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I Am... Subject to change without notice (Book One)

 

This book is about my own personal journey – it’s about the many thoughts that I have encountered over the years as well as my experiences. I have always believed in trying things out to see if they work, rather than dismissing them outright. This book chronicles my work with the ‘law of attraction’ and the deep mysteries. I encourage readers to pick this book up out of curiosity about the unique individuals around the Universe, rather than because they think they “need it” to unlock some big mystery. I prefer to be wanted rather than needed. In fact I will settle for no less. Because if you feel that you “need” this book (or any self-help book) that means something is wrong. I would like that you were happy and want to read this for fun and curiosity.  This book is written as simple as possible so that readers can more easily understand and navigate the abstract concepts, ideas and thoughts that I encountered in my experience with the Deep Mysteries and Self-Discovery.  Additionally, it dives into a journey of healing old hurts which tormented and bullied me mercilessly over the years – thoughts which clung to my spirit and tried to smash my dreams.

[*“I AM … *]

Subject to change without notice.”

Book One, Volume One

First Edition

Copyright © 2012 Cheri M Bauer

All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2012 Cheri M Bauer

All Rights Reserved

[*All rights reserved. *]No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied, stored, or transmitted in any form, or by any means – graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, rental, or information storage and retrieval systems – without the prior written permission of Cheri Bauer. Requests to make copies of any part of the work should be submitted online to [email protected]

The information contained in this book is intended to be educational and not for diagnosis, prescription, or treatment of any health disorder whatsoever. This information should not replace consultation with a competent healthcare professional- The content of the book is intended to be used as an adjunct to a rational and responsible healthcare program prescribed by a healthcare practitioner. The author and publisher are in no way liable for any misuse of the material.

[1. nonfiction]

Cataloguing-in-Publication Data

Bauer, Cheri

I Am…Subject to change without notice/Cheri Bauer

Copyright © 2012 Cheri M Bauer

All Rights Reserved

ISBN-13: 978-1481991063
ISBN-10: 148199106X

Dedicated to all of my friends, clients, my kids, as well as my fellow artists, mystics, poets, geeks, freaks, my tattoo family, coffee baristas, and so on. “Thank you” to my room mate (and best friend) Andi for being open to sharing some highly unusual experiences with me, as well as being patient and supportive during the whirlwind of emotions which came from my first few precarious steps into writing.

To my friends who read the first (unedited) cut: Thank you for supporting me always. This, my first book, was like a guttural scream from deep inside; howling winds of thoughts and emotion which had been stuffed down and ignored for many years. I was shy about publishing it at first, but I wanted to get it out and make that step forward into my dreams. Looking at it (the first draft) now – which I am doing for editing purposes – I am really amazed at how compressed it was; how much information was like random thoughts which were not completely formed – but desperate to be heard and acknowledged. I really want to thank my friends for being kind and for encouraging me to keep going. The first draft was riddled with so many ‘errors’; grammar, structure, punctuation, held back expression and thoughts, etc. and it was very raw for me to write (and think) about. It was a bold step forward in my life. Thank you all for being thoughtful, supportive, and not pointing out my ‘mistakes’ or criticizing me. During the birthing of the first draft I had feelings which wanted me to utilize my skills as a writer to lash out at those who had inflicted hurt, and perceived hurts, on me – use the ‘pen’ like a sword, rather than a finely tuned creative instrument. As I was working through this time I held a deep vision and desire for my book while balancing the healing which needed to be done. I was starting to work with the law of attraction material and trying to make sense of how to go about testing it (and writing about my profound observations and encounters), while working through my many various other lifelong experiences and hurdles. At first it was much like a jammed up dam that had finally broke and spilled out onto pages; frustrated pilings of incoherency.

Now that it is finally completed – bringing my best visions forward – I am very happy and excited about it. I hope you enjoy reading it, and the many books to come in this series. I also wish, for all of you, the reality of your best dreams come true! Keep believing in yourselves.

Cheri Bauer

I am …. Subject to change without notice

Introduction

Have you ever felt like you don’t belong? Like something is just not right? Have you felt like there was just something that you couldn’t put your finger on about the World around you? Does it feel like no matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to fit in? Have you ever considered that you are not supposed to fit in, but rather – stand out? Have you ever thought that there has got to be a World that suits you; a World that doesn’t insist that you hide all of those wonderful “you” qualities and quirks. A World that supports you? A World that is meant to lift you up instead of push you down? I have. It’s a huge reason why I searched my whole life to find answers. I had experiences as a child which I was told were weird, or abnormal. I have experienced some curious events, and so looking into some explanations about what those experiences could be seemed like a logical thing to do. The more I looked, the more I questioned. I was told that I just had a vivid imagination and the way I viewed life was wrong. That explanation left me frustrated and led me to question even more.

I am thankful to look back on my life and examine all of the events which I have experienced, and to see that they have taught me some things. I would like to thank my family, my friends, and my clients, and all of the people who I have been in contact with in one way or another. I learned so much over the years. I have gone through some excessively painful times – some of which almost made me give up. I really wanted something to believe in. A piece of hope that all of my suffering, my family’s suffering, and the suffering all around the world was for a good reason.

I am a writer, it is how I express myself best. I receive inspiration and I write. Sometimes it is by way of a poem, or a metaphor, and sometimes it is deeply pondered philosophy which streams out of me. I try to express how I felt when I was going though the sometimes painful experience of “getting it out”, and I have experienced deep frustration trying to find anyone to help me. Someone who maybe believed me. At the very least, I wanted someone to accept me. I never realized that I did not accept myself.

I believe in being truthful, and the truth is that I followed many paths over the decades, I searched for answers in many places. The paths I followed were the paths of others, and I had witnessed many other people doing the same. People following in the footsteps of their parents, their friends, their ancestors, and some people who blazed trails of their own. I wanted to make my own way in life, I wanted my own path. Sometimes I would start walking my own path, not really knowing that I was on it, and then I would get distracted and seem to fall down rabbit holes. I did meet an awful lot of interesting people, and I can now giggle at some of the antics on the roads of life. My own personal truth is that there are many “truths”, and many paths. I needed to find my own, I needed to find myself. I am learning who I am.

I had never read a book about the struggles which others have endured on this path, maybe that is because my trail is different, being that it is uniquely mine. While my road has crossed many other paths, it is still my own. I wondered if I could be brave enough to be honest about the sometimes daunting work I went through while travelling this road.

Saying “I see a change needs to take place in the World, and I want to help free people.” is noble. Saying “And I will free people by telling them who they should be instead, and if they do not follow, I will force the change.” is saying “And they should wear these nicer chains which I have made.”. Saying “I like who you are, I like that you get to make choices for you, and I respect the choices you make for yourself.” is truly helping free others, and it also helps in freeing yourself.

Then again, that is my own truth…..

The thread between a paradox is thin, I knew that if I chose to walk that line that I had to be cautious not to swing too far one way and fall off.

At the point where I started this journey I was in the middle of leaving my Tattoo career (losing my studio) to take on my writing dreams. I was also battling life-long poverty, healing childhood drama, digesting hundreds of books/seminars/ information, working through learning ways to help myself, learning mass amounts of new techniques and information (the law of attraction being but one area). I had been battling years of criticism (my own towards myself included) and wanting help – but at this point I was in the middle of a violent storm which whirled around me. I think that any help at this time would have been viewed as yet another criticism, because I had been so accustomed to receiving such. I was holding onto hope, trying to find my ‘voice’ as a writer – never having formal training. I only had basic and minimal schooling. I was also balancing a home life, a breakup of a relationship which lasted seven years that I was healing as well. There were many circumstances and battles I was facing while writing this first book. I was multi-tasking in many areas, but I did it.

Chapter One

I started looking into The Law of Attraction, because I had heard some strange things being said about “secrets to life”, and how life really is meant to be. I was drawn to this specific material because it just seemed to “click”. I thought “This is it, finally!!” these people are talking my language, they are openly talking about things which resonate for me. They acknowledge gifts like intuition, physic ability, and other so-called strange abilities! They say that anyone can live their dream life and manifest what they truly want. I felt like I had finally found a place where I belong! I had heard people from this belief system say that one must utilize methods like intention, visualization, and many other things before they would be able to “manifest” (bring to reality) the life which they are meant to have. Since I had felt for years that something was not quite right about this World around me, I wondered if doing all of those Law of attraction methods would yield the results, and more-so the life which I truly felt I was meant to have, but not yet living in. The information which this group of people spoke about seemed to fit closer to the way that I had always viewed life. It seemed logical that like attracts like, and that thoughts become things. It was the background belief which kept me going through some rough times in my life. I started doing all sorts of visualizations, all sorts of positive affirmations, because the teachers of this program (create your own reality) say that an individual can manifest their dream life via these (and some other) tools. But so far they had yielded no big results, such as the financial freedom that I was striving for. I began to question things again.

But how could it be that I felt so strongly about this being “The answer” to my strange life, and yet I was having issues still? Was I broken? I had a complete change in other areas of my life, such as how I view things as far as letting go of a lot of anger, hate, judgement. Those changes have been marvellous. So when does the financial dream manifest? The lifestyle where I no longer struggle with the four months backlog of bills from “believing” that things like the Law of Attraction really do work? I believed that all of my positivity would pay off, that my World would change, and I waited ever so (im)patiently, doing what I could; hoping for art clients, believing they would come, believing that the people who follow the LOA would magically “find me”, etc. It seemed that I was noticing more and more that this “Create your own reality” was not just about manifesting money. In the beginning of this life altering experience I was unaware that one could change their life by changing their thoughts. I figured that it was just a cliche saying; another quote which people parroted to one another.

Oh this journey, oh this path! The strange results which I did have were intriguing, and unexplainable entirely. And who knew about subconscious battles? Who knew about one’s own shadows?

I didn’t, at first.

I had no idea at the time, when I began this magical journey, that I would uncover aspects about myself and that I would start to learn who I am. I never even realized that I was unaware of the real me. I certainly hid much of myself away for many years and I tacked on false beliefs about myself (and others at times). There was much fumbling and many challenges.

I dream of a World, A World where when someone says “That person was born beautiful” they mean spirit, not just esthetic.

A World where everyone can really live a wonderful dream, just by being themselves.

A World where people tell the truth, no matter how strange it may seem.

A World where people can have exactly what they want – where one is not greedy, and the other is not poor. Without one side or the other judging how each “should live”, based on personal preference.

A World where it’s OK to fall in love with whomever you do.

A World where things like grammar, spelling, or choice of style do not evoke the need to criticize, judge, chide, berate, or shun a person.

A World where ignorance does not turn into fear.

A World where everyone matters, not just a chosen few.

A World where diversity is beautiful, because it paints colours of curiosity, not hate.

A World where “living a good life” does not mean by the expectations, demands, judgements, or opinions of others.

A World where magic, miracles, science, art, music, love, poetry, humour, philosophy, playfulness, kindness, strength, and nature can all exist with balance.

A World where Magic exists, without corruption.

A World where faith leads to love, not a Religion of hate.

A World where strength is helpful, not abusive.

A World where softness is not weak.

A World without borders, where anyone may choose to explore freely.

A World with courtesy, understanding, and cooperation.

This is my World. The beautiful and diverse Universe which creates.

So how does one go about making a change in their thoughts? A change which enables them to live the life that they dream of? I don’t know what other people’s dreams are, I can only tell you about my own. I can only tell you what I have gone through in my experiences; the personal hurdles, the questioning, the resiliency of my deep belief in my ability to walk my path. It has been difficult at times, but things are starting to happen.

This is the first book in a series of books which I am writing. I can feel the pull of writing so very deeply. My heart, my spirit, my happiness, and so much more seem to really connect here. Sometimes I employ brevity, and sometimes I am verbose. It’s a balancing act, and sometimes it’s for sheer enjoyment that I sweep my arm across the banquet of words, pulling them onto my serving platter. This is a book which showcases the attempts at balance, it is part of the “Change” in the “Subject to, without notice.”. I hope you enjoy reading about my strange little World.

I went looking for my voice in others people’s throats,

I went looking for my eyes in others’ point of view

I went looking for my thoughts in other people’s minds

I went looking for my ears in other people’s noise

I went looking for my taste on other people’s tongues

I went looking for a touch in other people’s limbs

I went looking for my strength in other people’s fear

I went looking for my story in other people’s pens

I went looking for my life in other people’s experience

I went looking for my hope in other people’s eyes

I went looking for my talents in others people’s gifts

I searched the World all over, to find where I was hid

It wasn’t until my searching stopped,

that in my heart I did.

Chapter Two

D uring my journey into self-discovery I worked with a lot of different belief systems and programs. One of the things which piqued my curiosity was Eastern practices. I would work with all kinds of tools to help analyze where my blocks may be, what my challenges were, and some additional information which is used to help an individual with strides in moving forward. I kept getting *chakra charts which said that my heart and throat chakra were closed. “Bullshit, I always speak my mind” I would exclaim. Indeed that was a problem sometimes. In the past I would speak my mind, a mind which was riddled with doubts, peppered with fear, anger, judgement, insecurity, and a myriad of other negative thoughts and beliefs. Most of those beliefs, judgements, etc., were about myself and sometimes about other people – things I never liked, but that I had been taught to do.

*Chakra are points in the human body, i.e. major plexuses of arteries, veins and nerves, that are centres of life force (prana), or vital energy in certain metaphysical tradition and other belief systems. Texts and teachings present different numbers of chakras. The chakras are described as being aligned in an ascending column from the base of the spine to the top of the head. New Age practices often associate each chakra with a certain colour. In various traditions chakras are associated with multiple physiological functions, an aspect of consciousness, a classical element, and other distinguishing characteristics. They are visualized as lotuses/flowers with a different number of petals in every chakra. The chakras are thought to vitalize the physical body and to be associated with interactions of a physical, emotional and mental nature. They are considered loci of life energy or prana, also called shakti, qi (Chinese; ki in Japanese), which is thought to flow among them along pathways called nadis. The function of the chakras is to spin and draw in this energy to keep the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical health of the body in balance. They are said by some to reflect how the unified consciousness of humanity (the immortal human being/soul), is divided to manage different aspects of earthly life (body/instinct/vital energy/deeper emotions/ communication/having an overview of life/contact to Diety).

I found that instead of speaking my mind, I preferred to speak from my heart. Once I started speaking from my heart I found that my voice was freed, or “open”. The same applied for thinking with my head vs. thinking with my heart. I was excited to have noticed something new about myself – speaking from my heart connecting to the opening of my ‘Chakras’. I had written about this on one of my social networks, because I wanted to share something that I had learned about myself, and it was exciting!! It was met with some people immediately exclaiming “No, actually, it’s my opinion that your throat chakra closes because of other people. Other people affect your throat chakra….”. My immediate response was to get upset, because I had an exciting thing happen and then was told “No” about my own experience. I got upset because I had been told “no” about my experiences my whole life.

I am not saying that the person was wrong. The statement about the throat chakra was true for me, [in the past; _]being that there were times which I would censor myself depending on who was around, or who I was speaking to (if I felt like they were authoritative, or judgemental)[._] I did thank the person for sharing their explanation, to which I received negativity in response. Perhaps it was because I was feeling negative instead of just letting the other person’s explanation be okay. I was trying to relate my personal experience, I had studied information about Chakras, and I had some really profound personal experiences with the Eastern Practicioners’ belief system. It was not entirely my thing, but I was able to gain some tools, and also recognized that when I spoke from my heart I was able to write effortlessly. That breakthrough was huge for me, and it was what I was trying to explain on my social network.

My defensiveness came when I was told what to think, or what to “know” about my own personal experience. It caused tension because I had already been told throughout my life what to think, who to be, what to do. I too had done the same thing to people in the past (telling them what I “thought” was their experience, destiny, personality, etc.). But at this point I was finally at a stage of just being “who I am”, and being okay with it, thus the reason why it created some aggravation when I was told “No, you’re wrong about your experience.”. I was at a point of learning that people at different stages in their life; studies, understanding, self-development, or path, doesn’t make their experience any more or less than mine, it is just different. The disconnect was because while another person may provide information which can assist me, I also have my own “knowing” about my experiences. I was learning how to make my own understanding about my experience “okay”. There’s no point in getting upset that someone else doesn’t do things or live their own personal experiences the same way that another person does. It did open the door for me to question my reaction.

While I may discuss what I have learned to other people, I also recognize that my way may be very different from theirs (because it is mine). I do still learn from others, whether they have been studying for years or weeks. It seems that I am more receptive to listening when someone speaks about how they achieved happiness, peace, abundance, etc., if they are just speaking about themselves rather than saying “everyone has to do it my way”. It is logical that if everyone did things the exact same way we would never accomplish forward movement. There is also a balance in working with others, while allowing everyone their unique expression and experience.

I was more successful with learning the things which I need to learn if I could “relate”. Looking at questions like “How can I learn from that?”, “What can I learn?”, “Can I use this material in some way that is comfortable for me?”. That is how learning works for me because it alleviates the pushing force and allows things to flow. I have always been this way, even as a child. The saying “When you tell a kid not to do something, chances are that they will do it anyway.” was fitting for me. It was because I wanted to learn from doing. Sometimes it was a great experience, far different from what I had been told and sometimes it was exactly what I was told would happen – possibly because deep down I sometimes believed that other people knew what my experience would be. Sometimes in the past I would get the backlash of “I told you so.” and then I would believe that it meant that I better start doing everything the way that people tell me to, or there would be dire consequences. This set up a ridiculous circle of fear within my thoughts, because I would worry so much.

I would also watch people intensely and if I viewed them as having success with something in someway I would try to emulate their way. I never achieved a great deal of success trying to be exactly like other people, and my heart was never in most of those things that I tried to do. It was only when I added my own little flare to any activity that it would feel more comfortable for me, and I would have better success for myself. It didn’t mean that another person’s way of doing something was wrong or not helpful, it just meant that I do things differently, even though I may use some of their knowledge and methods at times.

But it is my life to have my own experiences with.

The frustration that I have encountered over the years came from when I would try to do things exactly how other people did them, or how they said I “HAVE to”. I got so caught up in trying to be what people wanted me to be, and trying to do the things other people wanted me to do. I would beat myself up for not being able to do what the other person told mewas the way I “should”, and I would ridicule myself for not being as “good as them”. It certainly was not from my lack of trying. What would have helped me a great deal more would have been to ignore what others think and examine my own thoughts – to see if I had picked up false beliefs about having to be anyone other than myself. The real me, not the me that people assumed I was, and not the mask I wore to protect myself.

No one has any right to tell another being what they have to think, like, eat, wear, aspire to, believe, or what to choose. It would have done a great deal of good for me to have recognized this sooner, and would have saved me from being treated the way that I believed I deserved to be treated by other people, which came from a place of self abuse. The beliefs also came from the unhealthy people that I was around, and from an intolerant, ignorant society who have also been raised being told that it is okay to force your choices on others. People make mistakes, and I can forgive because I am aware of how things got to be the way that they are. But I made a choice to no longer accept those old abusive beliefs – though the work to be free of them was challenging. I had read so many articles, blogs, books, listened to seminars, etc., in which people said “Let go of the past”. I agree that the past is a good thing to let go of; arguments, sadness, perspectives, “What I thought I knew”, etc. I also recognize why I experienced difficulty with letting go. I was trying to forgive people that I had viewed as hurting me and I was trying to understand them.

I was trying to figure out why other people believe what they believe. And I was trying to understand certain things like religion – to try and make sense of my upbringing. I was bumping into a whole lot of anger, hurt, and frustration because of the past. It was creating a block for me to even want to understand anything about those institutions because my own experience was peppered with a lot of negativity from them. It’s not that all the people in those institutions are necessarily “bad”, I could see some of the nice things which they had done (feeding homeless people, acts of charity, etc.), and I had met plenty of kind people in those institutions over the years. One of the issues that I was trying to resolve was all of the judgement which I had noticed growing up around certain Religious and social institutions. It was enormous sometimes.

I could not understand how on one hand they said “judge not lest ye be”, and on the other they would turn around and do exactly that; giving an explanation why they judged. A lot of other people have also noticed this same thing and it has caused a great deal of tension and hurt. I have met others within religious groups who do not judge, they love and accept people for who they are. They do not try to change anyone, or give reasons why anyone should change. So what is the difference? Is it love? There are wonderful, kind, people with religious beliefs. These beliefs may be different than mine, but I can still enjoy their company – now. I worked extremely hard to deal with my old issues, hurts and beliefs about certain groups, and I am continuing to heal those old wounds. I was also looking at individuals as a “whole” based on their Religion. I was unable to see the person, because as soon as they would tell me the Religious belief that they subscribed to I would make an assumption as to the type of person they were, based on my past experience.

I got into frequent discussions (most of the time turning to arguments) because I would question people about things like “How do you know God is real?”. It is a valid question. I personally believe that there are a lot of things in the Universe which are mysterious and I am comfortable not to give finite descriptions to them. I would rather everyone have their own personal experiences and not create arguments about “what to call things” (Religious, Spiritual, Scientific, etc.). And I prefer not create more fighting because of using a “name” which may cause tension, based on past experiences. Questions should open up discussion rather than fights.

I was curious if there was a big mystical being. I thought that if it was conscious, if this was indeed the case – then it would be far too infinite, vast, mysterious and complex for one small group of people to be able to place a label on it. There were so many contradictions about what that being likes, dislikes, and battles over what this being says, is called, etc. People clung to old beliefs, never truly wanting to reach outside of those statements – for fear of being labelled as “bad”. Things change (nature, beliefs, experiences, theories, explanations, people, understanding, and so on) so why limit the experience of anyone else, by giving finite answers to things in life? I have personally had really powerful experiences within many different belief systems – none of which is any less than the any other – but each of which are different, and sometimes very similar.

As I grew in learning about myself, I needed to start paying attention to how I learn, what blocks I may encounter and why. One of my obstructions would come when anyone would tell me who I am without bothering to ask. They didn’t know me, but made an awful lot of assumptions based on their opinions. It seemed to be something people did with most things.

And, maybe some of those opinions may have stopped others from getting to know who I am, because they might have heard something about me based on the past opinions/perceptions/stories of someone else, which were not true. I questioned “If people can make wrong assumptions about another person, never trying to really know them – could they have done this with other things?”. Seems reasonably possible.

Finding different perspectives – I guess that’s just part of who I am. I also like giving myself silly names like IronHam (long story, you can ask if you really want to know), or CheriChi, or so many other silly names that I have called myself. I also don’t think that my name explains all of who I am, because it is just one small word which is supposed to tell others everything about me. If people ask I can tell them some of my current likes, interests, things that I am learning about, curiosities, abilities, and perceptions – but those things are also subject to change. So, it would not be all of who I am, and why the heck would I try to squeeze into five little letters?

I will try not to argue when someone tries to tell me who I am, based on their limited experience with me, and I may even learn something from them. I can certainly see that a wall goes up depending on what assumptions people make about who I am, especially if it is based on things like the past. For example: “Here is this size 10 sweater with a Smurf on it – which was your size as a kid. I know that it fits because I know your size.”. That was the past. I may still like the Smurfs, or I may not but I would prefer to be asked instead of someone assuming.

I am certainly not the same size that I was as a child, because I’ve grown.

I used to judge people in the past, perhaps not the people that most others would think – being that it was not the so-called ‘outsiders’ or unique individuals, but rather it was groups who I viewed as hypocritical, cruel and non-accepting. I have made a huge effort to change that learned behaviour because it bothered me. I wonder if the negative opinions which I received from people I knew in the past have changed as well. Perhaps some of the suggestions were actually helpful, but they rubbed me the wrong way at the time. I have learned to differentiate between things like helpful suggestions – and opinions based on ignorance, reactionary criticism and self abuse. I am also still learning, and I am doing so because I have always felt that it is vitally important. Sometimes I was just looking at the past and assuming that those people were still the same as the experience I had with them in the past. Perhaps I was put off by one small experience with a person or a group and I clung to that old experience. I am aware that my past experience with certain groups or individuals would create a memory of a negative experience from my feeling of being “attacked” (judgement, condemnation, etc.), but it does not mean that they will treat me the same way anymore. Perhaps they too have grown.

I have taught myself that I can take the things which I have learned and use them to have a better experience by understanding that just because I change, it does not mean that others have to. If I can teach myself to be better equipped to live in this kaleidoscope World by learning tools such as perspective, emotion, cause & effect, communication and so on, perhaps I can be more effective in creating change. It is not that I “Have to change the World”, it is simply that if I change myself then I can let go of all of the heaviness of thinking that “I” have to change the World.

It seems like a reasonable possibility. How difficult could it be to go from learning to thinking? I could teach myself how to think. Right?

I examined what a lot of people (including myself) consider “thinking” to be. I realized that my whole life was spent looking for people to tell me what to think. I really noticed it years ago when I began this journey of learning how to “think” for myself, because the first thing that I would do would be to go look for people, quotes and so on – to tell me what is “right”. That is not really thinking for one’s self, is it? It’s nothing to be ashamed of. This behaviour is more common than people may realize, most people just never notice they are doing it.

I decided to start by viewing my past experiences differently and I began being more curious again, having no expectations (good, or bad), and just tried to observe the World around me.

I figured that was a good place to start with teaching myself “How to think for myself.”. Back to square one – without the explanations, opinions, beliefs, (mis)information of others… Just a simple “How would I view the World? What would I ‘know’ about my experiences?”… Well, the concept seemed reasonable – the work however was not quite as simple as I had thought it would be.

Chapter Three

“Dance with me.” The fall leaves sang to the wind,

the wind flirted and whispered back, “But you will soon leave”

“Then let’s make it a dance to rival all dances.” the leaves chimed back

The wind softened, afraid to touch the flaming colours, “But if I touch you, I’m afraid I will hurt you. You will tumble from the branches and then wither on the ground.”

The leaves swayed gently, “Only for a short time, and we will emerge again as soft buds for you to give us warmth to unfurl. Dance with us please.”. The wind swooshed and tickled the leaves, the branches began their motion.

[_“Let’s paint the ground, the air, and streets with our greatest symphony, oh please won’t you dance with me?” said the leaves in unison. _]

The wind touched the leaves, “So shall we dance… a Minuet?”

Doubt is the biggest monster to battle in my closet, it growls, it taunts, it whispers back everything that every other monster has ever slipped into my suitcase as I’ve travelled through life. Time to throw out the suitcase, and the monsters. I prefer to travel light, so I have chosen to pack only my dreams.

Reflecting on experiences which I have been through I can say that it has been an interesting journey. I was locked away so tightly within my thoughts, because I was afraid to be who I really am. I have tried finding out where I “fit in”, and I struggled to try and do so. I have always been silly, compassionate, an artist, a writer, different, someone who believed in trying to find the “good” in others (not in the ‘pious moralistic’ sense).

I have a very strong passion in writing about my personal journey, poetry, stories and metaphors; it is where I can express myself best. I used to find that I would lose myself if I tried to formulate my words to fit into what I believed so many others deemed “acceptable” – the words, flow, the rhythm and expression all getting lost in the tight and confined boxes of “how to write”. I can’t be so stifled anymore. I have started to break free from my cage and I want to fly. I want it to be okay to write how I write, to express how I express. I am finally realizing that I can write as I do, be who I am, and I appreciate that I have finally found my voice.

Now I am faced with the task of trusting that the mysterious realm of the Universe will send me helpers. The belief coming from my practicing the method of the law of attraction, which says this is what can happen.

In the meantime I am breaking free from the prison of my mind, and freeing myself from the tightly woven armour around my heart. I wore my suit of armour proudly in the past because I thought that it protected me from people and from their cruelty; I thought it protected me from having my dreams crushed. I may still need to sweep some of the cobwebs away, but I have taken my first precarious steps out of the cold walls which held me for years. The walls which my mind had built.

In truth the only thing that the armour did was to tighten itself around my heart, keeping the real me carefully hidden away in a dimly lit space, filled with shadows. I would sometimes peek out from my hiding spot if I felt it was safe. I would look out with my soot filled glasses and try to comfort myself in any way that I could. Sometimes I abused myself with the beliefs of others, and with the judgement of others. And in doing so I would let in the monsters, the toxic words, the cracked mirrors in which I viewed myself – and I would believe them to be true. The light in my hiding spot was becoming so dim and I struggled to find something to help me chase away the monsters, which were never mine, but that I had allowed in.

There were times when someone could see that I needed a spark to keep my light going, but I was always afraid of those sparks because I viewed them as fire – a fire which I thought could burn me. So I would douse the flames and shield myself even more so not to get hurt.

I don’t know what little piece of me finally shone through, finally stood up for what was left of my candle. I am glad that that one tiny spark was enough to blast away my darkness, carefully remove the shards of glass from all of the broken and dirty mirrors, and carry me through all of those words which had become taunting ghosts. I know that I have always carried that spark.

I worried so much for others that I kept giving my spark away to help them light their candles on their journey, through their own dark caves. I watched my little sparks unite with others and become glowing torches for them. And yet, I had no other trusted spark in which to light my own torch.

So how did I find the courage to walk my path with only a spark? I just believed in myself, I carried myself, and with each step my spark became a torch.

I think it’s called friction.

Chapter Four

This book was screaming at me to write it; to learn about myself and to explore, explore, explore! I have found myself at a crossroads in life on the road to self-discovery and I want to be sure that I do my best to explain my experiences while helping people to understand that these are my personal experiences and not finite answers. My book title sums it up best “I am subject to change without notice”. I am going to be as open as possible which also means being fearless about my thoughts, experiences and observations. Speaking “truth” is difficult for many reasons – one being fear, and of course we know that ‘truth’ is relative. Recognizing that no one has “the” answers in life (although some people claim to) was a great place for me to begin to learn how to start assessing things for myself; to make my own choices in living life as I choose. This book is an excellent example of how I started to explore who I am without other people telling me, and without holding onto old beliefs. You will notice the areas where I sometimes would get hung up for a while as I tried to examine my own behaviour, thoughts, and feelings – and you may spot some contradictions. That is all a very normal part of self-discovery. I was embarrassed by some of the things I stumbled on; what I had been told were “mistakes”. I have chosen to view mistakes differently because I would not personally call life experiences mistakes, they were only deemed such by other people who told me what a “mistake” was. Letting go of self-criticism was a first step in healing my past and moving forward.

Growing up we are told what to think about things, how to view life, and all sorts of other information which people view as helpful. At some point it is important – or at least it was for me – to break free from what I had been told and start thinking for myself. I was no longer a child and so why would I carry child-like mechanisms such as allowing other people to tell me what I should think, feel, believe, know, learn, experience and so forth. But it had all been so habitual to go through life still carrying that behaviour of letting other people infringe on my freedom and choices. For myself I found it prudent to go back to the beginning, unlearn some things which I had learned and reexamine my beliefs, thoughts, experiences and choices (to name a few) – and approach things from a whole new perspective… my very own. I used to think that I was flawed because I was different than people around me. I had been told what was wrong and bad; a good amount of adults around my life came from a Religious belief system which stated unwavering ideas of things, such as what is “good & bad”. As a child I believed that they must know what is good and bad because they were the adults and I was led to believe that adults were the authority and had all of the “right” answers. I didn’t know that people have different beliefs or views until a little later in life as I started growing up and noticing all of the conflict around. I was unaware that there was a thing called ignorance which had many people stating that they know the “absolute truth” about how the World works. I use this term in the definition meaning, rather than in an insulting manner in which some people use the term.

[*Ignorance (definition): *]Lack of knowledge or information.

Synonyms: incomprehension of, unawareness of, unconsciousness of, unfamiliarity with, inexperience with, lack of knowledge about, lack of information  about.

Some people still are not educated about the many different things in the Universe and they may be stuck in a certain perspective. But they are, each one, living their own life and free to choose whether to learn new things or not bother. The choice they make is hopefully based on their own curiosity and happiness. I like to explore. I like to look at many perspectives, and I always felt like there were some massive pieces missing in the puzzle of life which I was surrounded by. I wanted to know much more, I wanted the “truth” about a great deal of things, and after realizing that I truly did not know the real me – I wanted to uncover the mysteries within. I was in for a bit of a shake up when I realized that adults (even those we deem Elders) don’t have “the” answers although they may state things in a manner which seems like they do – being that they are quite firm about those answers at times. There are some answers which people have come across and they are gathered from many places – it does not make them ultimately “the answers”. I would like to add that the ignorance was not exclusive to the Religious groups of people – it also included society, schools, and so forth.

We believe a great many things, some of which are passed down and some which we may encounter as we grow. There are many debates around about many subjects and there are vast amounts of information which can be utterly confusing. I liked to immerse myself in many areas, the “Law of attraction” (Create your own reality/Ask and receive) program was the latest and it took me on an epic adventure which I am still currently navigating. The material I am working with and discussing in this book is something which I came upon after having watched a movie called “The Secret”. The movie (and book) resonated in me, it struck a chord deep inside and it also got me highly excited about the possibility that an individual actually could create a life of their very own choosing.

I desperately wanted peace from the storm which began with a rocky childhood and continued for many years throughout my life. I had so wished for someone, anyone, just to give me a safe space so that I could be myself, be completely accepted, speak the truth and not have to be around people hounding me until I gave them a lie – which seemed to ease them more than my truth. It was all so very confusing for me and I went through life thinking that I had to lie to protect myself. Some were simple little lies which I had learned to do by being told – or by example; things like making up a story so I didn’t get in trouble for being late or what ever else a child lies about to avoid the backlash and punishment from a well-meaning (or otherwise) parent or guardian. I also watched adults lying to one another and I picked that behaviour up without knowing or understanding why they did that. Knowing only that it was acceptable – some folks saying “Acceptable in certain circumstances”. Being a child and viewing so many confusing things created some hurdles for me as I grew up. I was also riddled with guilt about the things I lied about as a child, even though it is common for people to do this well into adulthood. This was one of the many reasons why I turned a critical view on what I had been told, and why I began to question so very much at a young age. I viewed a lot of what I had been told as “a lie”, still not knowing that “truth” is relative and there are numerous intricacies in many areas of life. I forgave the adults in my life because I have seen people make ‘mistakes’, there is not a single person who has ever not made a mistake in their life.

I used to think that it was brave to tell stories of being tough, and now I feel that it is actually when one can be raw and open and look at themselves that they are the most brave. This book is about my journey, my discoveries, my experiences – a beginning to finding myself in a new way.

I have had many different experiences in my life and I want to be as honest as possible so that my kids (and other people) know that there is no such thing as perfection, and so that they never feel like they have to live up to some weird ideal that they are flawed or bad in any way. Even if they think or feel like they have stumbled on the road of life. Everyone, absolutely everyone has experiences, that is nothing to ever be ashamed of. There are experiences and things we learn and unlearn as we travel through life. I hope that this also provides some comfort and knowledge to others who may be living with the belief that they have done something “wrong” – it is just life and it can be messy sometimes. Life is always changing.

I was talking with my best friend about how I finally found “where I fit in”, and the path that I have walked to get to where I am now. It has been a difficult path to say the least. My best friend has been there for me, sitting quietly in his own dimly lit cave. I handed my friend every spark that I could gather to keep his little torch lit. Sometimes I would wonder if we would ever find a way out of the tunnel. I have had times in my life where I tried so desperately to “do things better”, meaning that I grew up in a society which touts the musts of seeing something (like a piece of art, a song, a book, a career, etc.) and working at that thing to “do it better”. I viewed so many other people as better than me. I was trying desperately to make myself better, do “me” better – because I viewed myself as horribly flawed and broken. I tried so very hard to please other people by pushing myself, wearing a mask to hide myself, and I would strive to be “perfect”. I was not meeting other people’s expectations and I would take those expectations as my own as well. I could not find “my” voice because I was looking at things which other people did and trying to be like them.

When I would hear the saying “Don’t be a second rate copy of anyone else, be a first rate version of yourself.” I would get confused, mainly because I truly didn’t know who I really was. I had been told what to like, dislike, think, be, etc.

I didn’t even know that I had no idea who I really was.

I thought that the saying meant that I should “Do the exact same thing as the other person, but do it better”, which then fanned the competition mindset within myself.

I tried desperately to express what was in me - through music, through tattooing, through painting, but I always found that there was someone “better” at it than me, never quite grasping that my expression was my own. I was not acknowledging my own uniqueness. I kept listening to people who said “Don't worry about not being good enough, just be yourself.” and I thought that they meant that it was okay not to be Picasso, okay not to be Michelangelo, okay not to be Tesla, okay not to be Shakespeare, okay not to be ______; because I would never be as good as them. Those whispers taunted me and I never stopped to question where they came from, I just lived in the belief that there was something terribly wrong about me. The “Do your best” had the feeling in back of it - “Try to do better, because you're useless.”. I felt somehow worthless or lesser-than. Statements like “do your best” seemed to carry an undertone of “Because who you are is not good enough”. It was because I had years of feeling like I was never good enough and I thought (and was told) that I never accomplished any great achievements... but yet I felt like I was born to do something! Perhaps I was born to be me?

My parents, friends, and siblings were very different from me. They viewed life in a different way, which made me fee backwards a good deal of time. I was ‘weird’, a dreamer, someone who had strange experiences and looked for answers. I was knocking myself out trying to be like so many other people because I was groomed to view that as acceptable – to hide one’s self. I was struggling with being “normal”, rather than being who I am. I would hear people say things like “in order to be successful in life you must emulate your heroes and act how they would” – do things the way they did. I guess this is like saying “Don’t be yourself, be other people.” – depending on the role models one has available around them. While it was important for me not to worry about someone not thinking I was good enough, experience taught me that I “could” do things – like paint, make music, create design lines, counsel clients, do reception jobs, unload heavy trailers in a warehouse, tattoo, and all of the other things which I have done. I was never lacking the ability to do things. So what was still bothering me? Why was I still feeling unfulfilled? Why was I trying so hard to gain acceptance from people who could not accept me as I am?

I liked some of the experiences I’ve had, but there always seemed to be something missing. I would try to tell myself that I just needed to push myself more and get it “right”. But I still bumped into not feeling “whole”. Something was still just not quite right. I got so very lost in trying to find the “something” that I truly adore, the thing that drives me, the thing which I can do for hours on end which gives me the most pleasure. I was really trying to find what I really love and I was trying different things out to see if I could at least “like” something, or find some job which accepted my strangeness – while having to take jobs just to survive.

I felt like I was missing an important key, one which I did not understand, and I tried so very hard to understand!! The people around me all spoke about wanting a career in a company which they could stay with for decades and that thought made me shudder. I was looked at as being unstable, because that type of thing did not appeal to me. I was certainly not striving for it as a goal, even though I had heard that it was what was proper and what I should strive for. I tried to be like other people, to do things as good as them, to fit into jobs and places which others seemed to enjoy so much. But none of those things fit who I am. Although we now know that people are different and not everyone works the same way, I still had carried a lot of those old patterns of thought with me through the years and I viewed myself as inadequate because of those false notions. Even in my most free space – which is writing – I was led to believe some incorrect things like how to express myself, how to form my words, what to write about and so on. But if I wrote as I was told I “must” then I would lose my own unique voice. It just did not make sense to me. When I write, in the manner in which I do, that is where I am able to be genuine. It is the deepest part of me which can be expressed, and it is how I can explain the complex and abstract thoughts and experiences which are a part of me.

I wondered if this was what people were talking about when they say “Do what you love.”. I still had opponents who considered writing to be a hobby – an unpaid and unworthy choice. Being told it could not be a career. “It’s definitely not good old hard work!” were the responses at times. How could people say that to me when they had no idea what was going on in my mind as I wrote? My work was not always visible – but thinking, observation, and trying to explain abstract things in a simple-ish manner – explaining things which words can barely grasp, is work. Believe me.

What about doing something I am ridiculously passionate about? True, it wouldn’t feel like what I had been told was what “work” felt like and was meant to be like, but it does not change the fact that it is work. I also know a lot of people who are in careers that they love and they work unbelievably long hours – more-so than a person who has a standard nine to five job. I prefer to enjoy my work. Meaning (for me) that I can write for hours on end until exhausted, but that does not give me any more fulfilment or enjoyment than writing until I choose to stop and having (and taking) time to live life in other areas. Being that my measure is not based on a belief that I must do something until exhausted and bruised – or I am not doing what I love doing. There is nothing wrong with wanting that for myself. Many people have unnecessary battles as is (in their thoughts, with other people, physical ailments, etc.) and so why add exhaustion to that list?  Writing is different from some common jobs, but there are a lot of successful writers; success should not be judged by monetary standards. What about success being that an individual is “working” at something which is fulfilling and makes them ridiculously happy? Standing up to critics and dream-dashers can be a challenge at times. I always wondered why some people couldn’t see the benefit of being that example of someone who truly loves what they do. Why venerate only those who stick to the well trodden path?

So, how is it that some people are successful at uncommon careers, such as art? I asked myself “Why do I like the things which attract me to them: a certain painting, a certain song, a certain book, a certain landscape, a certain piece of architecture? Is it because I see, feel, or experience the love in those things?”.

Yes! I “feel” the love and passion in the creation of those things, it shines above all else – it presents visually and intuitively. Those wonderful creations have a definite magnetism in them. Love, authenticity, passion, uniqueness in the expression. Those are all powerful qualities which draw me in. It is when I feel and see those aspects that I truly appreciate them (this is also true in the people I meet). In the past I would see things which I loved and I would say “Oh wow, I wish that I could do that!”, and then I would set out on the task of teaching myself “how” (to paint, draw, carve, build, make music, etc.) instead of basking in a deep appreciation. I would diffuse the appreciation for a lot of things by thinking “I wish I could do that!” and then setting out to prove that I could – instead of understanding that I could just admire the gifts of another person without trying to be them. All along the thing I really wished that I could do was just be myself. But by chasing other people’s dreams I was not able to clearly see my own.

I struggled for years to find myself. It was always natural for me to express things through writing and talking, but I never thought that I could be “successful” – seeing success in monetary terms. I would worry that someone would tell me “Write more like such and such a person”, or they would give me an “opinion”. Those worries would (again) shut me away into the safety of my prison. People used to tell me that I needed to explain myself “better”; learn how to express myself. I tried, within the confines of structure and limits. I tried explaining how I experience things; A physical type experience which some call psychic, or intuitive – it can be difficult to express such abstract thoughts, feelings and ideas in a clear and fluent manner. I also wanted to explain without frightening people who do not understand these concepts and information. I can sense things when I read, or when I look at a piece of art, or when I am listening to music.

It’s challenging to explain, but I can feel the person who created the piece (painting, music, etc.). I believe that other people can do this too and maybe they just haven’t cultivated that natural sense.

I tried for years to find someone else who was like me, people who didn’t think I was weird, someone who experienced what I have. Anyone who could help me feel accepted…. I ended up finding people who wanted me to “read them”, but it didn’t work that way for me. I was questioning and trying to figure why and how I could connect at such deep levels with people – having been told it was what was called being ‘psychic’ and I was really trying to understand and learn about something which was prevalent and curious about myself. I finally just quit telling people anything, I dawned a mask of “normal” and tried my best just to fit in. It was hard sometimes because people can think some really mean things. I also could think some really mean things about myself. I was never told that I was perfectly me, nor was I told that how I view life and experience it is “correct”. There was always someone saying how life should be lived. A good deal of people whom I had encountered would speak ill of things which did not fit into their opinions (which is different than talking about one’s own perspective and personal discoveries). I had to let go of the past to start learning about myself, since a good portion of what I had thought I knew about myself was incorrect and based on the statements of other people. It was uncomfortable at times to really examine some things: such as “Where exactly do my thoughts, beliefs and views really come from?” and “How can I call myself an individual if all of my behaviours, actions, thoughts, beliefs, etc. come from handed down information?”. I also wondered how people made decisions, since most of them were simply parroting what had been taught to them; or handed down.

That is not to say that there aren’t any original thoughts and discoveries out there, but I had never looked at my very own. I was happy that I never lost hope in myself. It has been such a strange life for me. It has been difficult sometimes to try and make sense of my own inner knowing about my experiences while having lived life being told what is what – like the majority of people. There was so much in me that was waiting to be acknowledged and waiting to be discovered. I am finally on that journey – balancing things in a whole new way; trying to step away from assessments of other people while still learning new information. One of the things that I am thankful to be able to do is to open up again and take time to learn about myself more freely. A natural thing for a lot of people is to go looking for someone to answer questions for them but how could anyone tell me about myself? Truly? Certainly there are some things which we may learn through others and those things change over time as we learn more and discover more, but what about things that don’t fit?

I have carved my own path, cut away thorns, and cleaned up some of my scratches. I no longer feel the need to compete with anyone else, because I am not trying to be anyone else. Some people get caught up in competing with each other, which is fine if they view life as a game which they are trying to win. I however want a life that is playful, rather than a game. I don’t want to compete, I would rather live my life instead. I do not have to worry about the critique of others if they think that I should be someone other than myself, because I will no longer be critical of myself. I do not have to worry because what I do is from my heart and is an expression of who I am and not of anyone else. I do not have to live the life of anyone else, because I would rather be me.

There is a certain freedom which comes from finally realizing those things. I am trying to drop habits and behaviours which I have picked up over the years that were taught to me to be Some of the things which I am currently trying to adjust are: not giving “opinions” to others anymore when they are trying to share who they are with me, and I am going back to giving encouragement even if it what they do is something which is not my preference (such as a different experience of life). I would rather watch someone grow into who they are without handing them my old thorn bush and without pointing them down to the path that I made for myself. That was THE thorniest path, the most uncharted territory, and the coldest nights! But, I finally found the thick and beautifully carved door with my name on it. I unlocked the door – not before standing in front of it wondering “Is that really MY very own door?! I’m ready to explore now.

I will let love motivate me, not fear. I will break the cycle of fear by not allowing it to be the reason that I do anything. I would rather have love helping me, than fear pushing me. I will be mindful of the difference between giving a fear and calling it love, and giving love without fear. I will dissipate the power of fear by changing it to love. I will change my own future by not carrying the past. I will go beyond my limits by not giving myself any, nor will I take the limits of others. I will see that doubt has taught me patience and endurance. I will allow anxiety to change to excitement. I will change the cycle within myself. I will allow my own intuition to guide me along the path. This is not just a spiritual ideology. I also look at other areas in life; such as writing, creating dinners, being playful, and so on, applying the same thinking to those experiences. It is much more relaxed and fun when I am doing something because I REALLY love it.

I chose not do things – like take a job just because I am afraid of not having money. I believe a key to success is in finding something that makes one excited and happy; which you just love doing for the sake of doing it. I choose not to exhaust myself by using up energy – doing things just for survival anymore. Many teachers have spoken about this being a key to success, I guess I was just trying to find what that thing was which made me truly exhilarated. I wanted to live fearlessly; this meant dropping masks – the facade an individual puts on so that they appear to fit in. It’s such an uncomfortable thing to wear, always being afraid to truly be yourself. I released old fears and thanked them for teaching me how I choose to do things. It was a really difficult struggle because there were so many fears built up. I’m glad that I was able to overcome the obstacles which I have dealt with, it makes me feel accomplished and much lighter. It has created a much more calm and peaceful environment and helped me feel much happier, it also helps me to be conscious of not handing out the many fears which had been handed to me in the past – the ones which had added up over the years.

For so long I had been trying to cram myself into an “acceptable” ideal of what everyone else thought I should be, and what I figured they thought I should be… For what? Love? Acceptance? To help others by limiting myself? To be “good” in the eyes of others? I had helped many people who had done that very same thing (living for others). I appreciated them for who they are, hugged them when they cried because they felt that they were not living up to the expectations of someone else. I told them all the wonderful things which I had noticed in them. I constantly encouraged other people to be themselves, but I had left myself out of the picture!

I was doing the very thing I had seen others do (living to make others happy, and not fully being myself). I was helping others, but not helping myself.

In all my years I could not find one “perfect” system of Beliefs which allowed me to be me. I thought I had to use the whole of others’ beliefs as my own – which meant a lot of limited expression. It did not make those systems of belief good, bad, right, or wrong… They just didn’t “fit” for me in their entirety. I almost gave up on myself, almost gave up on my dreams. I was trying desperately to recapture some magic in my life.

*Chapter Five *

Really examining my beliefs has led me down a path which sometimes confused me. One of the issues which I focused on was the “money” issue. I had found quotes, beliefs, and the opinions of others all over the place. One of the things which I would get frustrated by was when people talked about how there is too much greed in the World. More specifically – if people would call others greedy simply because they wanted things such as large homes or items which are considered by some people to be above necessity. I wondered why people label an individuals choice as “greed”. I realize that my own frustration came from internalizing. I was so worried what someone may think of me – so much that I wondered if having a nice house with land so I can plant my garden and have room to play and enjoy, was “greedy”. I never stopped to think that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of my choices. My choices are my own, it’s okay for me to want something different than the other person. I know my own motivations and I do not need to justify anything. I used to take what others said personally and I would start feeling like I should not want those wonderful things that I wanted. I also felt like I was a horrible person because I did daydream about one day having a beautiful home. It (guilt) was a terrible feeling. I understand that some people do not want a big house and they really are happy with tiny apartments, and living in highrise complexes. I think they should be allowed to have that wonderful experience for themselves, if they choose it. For me however, I am starting to see that there is nothing wrong with my appreciation for a bigger home.

I had been taught in the past that wanting things which I liked was greedy. I had also been taught to think myself as undeserving of the things that I wanted, but I can see a fine line between wanting something just to have it, and wanting something because I enjoy it. I decided to look at what I had been taught the definition of greed really was. I happily let go of other people’s beliefs about my choices, realizing that there is a big difference between greed and appreciation – if I am wanting something because I want to experience and love it, that is appreciation. Understanding this allowed me to release the guilt of my personal choices.

Taking a further look into the money issue, I noticed other beliefs popping up.

I used to have a firm belief that people with money could control others who did not have money. There is a difference between doing things like giving money for the sake of wanting to have control; “I did this for you, now you have to ____”. And giving money out of love; “Here's some help, no strings attached.”. Even giving money without someone knowing can take away the “need” to be thanked. I have been thankful for those times when I require financial help and received it from people. My issue was when people would make me feel lesser-than for needing help, and when they would put stipulations on giving. What I was learning from those people in the past was “If you give, then you get to control the person because you helped them”. I didn't like that choice for myself. I wanted to break out of that pattern and learn a different way. I had allowed people to feel entitled to control me with money for far too long. It was time to put my foot down and break those thoughts which told me that I have to allow disrespectful treatment towards myself if someone “helped” me financially.

I had to teach myself to let go of blaming the persons who have made mistakes towards me in the past, and understand that I had inadvertently allowed that treatment. I also had to change my belief about how I should be treated and realize that I deserve much better.

I wondered why some people use money as leverage against one another “Here is my help, now you must do something for me, and do things the way I say.”. As I started being more conscious about my life I wondered if I had done the same thing to others… It would seem plausible since I often learned by example. I wanted to break that habit within myself, not pass on what I had been taught to do. I preferred to be able to have a really amazing experience in giving. I wanted to go back to giving in a way which made me happy, something that worked for me. I much preferred giving without attaching demands to the gift. It was common for me to give freely (when I had the money), and yet I felt like there were other times where I may have not recognized the pattern of “Giving with a caveat.”. I couldn’t see where, since I had only ever experienced happiness when I gave to my friends. Funny thing is that when I wanted to have this experience again (giving without strings) an opportunity presented itself.

Picking up my friend from his place of employment, there was a guy who was sitting on a curb in the entrance of the parking-lot. He had a sign that read “In trouble, need help”. The guy had tattoos all over his face, his hair was dishevelled, and he had a beautiful dog with him. I had seen this man a couple times and at some point I had parroted an old belief which I had heard. It frustrated and embarrassed me to have caught myself saying the comment without even thinking about it.

My comment, stemming from assumptions, societal habits and judgements, were along the lines of “If he is in trouble then he shouldn’t have a dog.”. The comment came from feeling sorry for the dog, instead of feeling compassion for the person. How could I have said something so ridiculous when I was learning how to view things differently? Here I had done what I was trying to learn not to do (judge, make a story up about why the guy was in the situation he was). I wished that I had not been so quick to judge the guy whom I had seen on the curb.

I could not change what I had said in the past. I did however want to change my future reactions since I had now been made aware of an old belief which had been taught to me.

I started being curious about the man and an odd thing happened. The guy was at the parking-lot again! This time I had something inside me that nudged me to get out of my car, walk over to him, ask him about himself, and give him twenty dollars. In the past I would not have done such a thing because I was told that it was only encouraging “homeless people to go buy drugs or booze”, and I assumed that it was exactly what they would do because I had been told that by so many people. People who made assumptions but had no idea what the real truth may have been.

It was such a strange encounter, with this person.

When I first walked over I could see his messy hair and the tattooed face, and as I approached the man he hung his head in shame. I felt a pang of sadness, I didn’t want to make him feel ashamed, and so I talked to him.

“Hey, how did you get here?”.

He told me, “I did some stuff, I fucked up.”

I responded “We all have experiences in life, don’t feel guilty, shit happens.”.

It was so strange what happened next.

As I was talking I was petting his dog, which was healthy and robust, the dog was looking up at me and panting happily and leaning against my leg. When the dog looked at me I felt like this was no ordinary dog, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it though. I smiled at the man I was talking to and it seemed as though his whole face changed. It was not the haggard face of a man who had been on the streets. It was the face of a boy, a young boy who was trying his best to act strong. The boy’s eyes stared into mine and I felt something, I didn’t care what this kid went through or what he did, I cared that he was asking for help. This boy actually had a very soft face, his eyes were full of embarrassment. I stayed, still petting the kid’s dog and I kept talking to the boy, without judging, without telling him how to “fix” himself. The boy told me he had gotten into trouble and he had two daughters on the other side of the country; he felt guilty about not being there for them. As we were talking more I noticed that he also had the most wonderful smile, once he opened up to talk to me. I think he finally felt comfortable enough to show me who he really was. My friend finally finished up work and was walking over. I said goodbye to the boy and his dog, he thanked me for the money and I went to my car. As I was pulling out of the parking-lot the boy thanked me again for the money.

I realized later that the boy “might” use the money for drugs, or he “might” use it to feed his dog, or he “might” use it to get back home, or he “might” have learned that there are people who care about him – someone who cared that doesn’t even know him. Someone who was not afraid of him and his tattooed face; someone who genuinely wanted to know him and his story (without trying to tell him how to do anything).

He also “might” just be a junkie, or he “might” ______(fill in the blank). There are a million “mights” and a million stories.

It doesn’t really matter to me what he had done, or what he might do. I had a strange feeling that something was different about this experience.

I also realized that maybe his dog was the only thing he is receiving non-judgemental love from right now. He is at a difficult point in his life and why would I think he does not deserve that love? My thought (when I first saw him) was that he should not have a dog. I knew nothing about the circumstances, why had I done that? Why had I made a horrible assumption about someone whom I knew nothing about? Just because he had a sign and was going through temporary troubles? I may never know the turn of events that happened for him, and I may never know all of the reasons why I was prompted to go talk to him. I may never know anything other than I learned not to be such a jackass with my judgements. The dog was happy, fat, healthy, friendly, and the kid was on a path that I knew nothing about. I am glad that I could step away from judging how the boy should spend the money I gave him. I just got to enjoy changing my own assumptions and giving what money I could. If it helped then that is what matters to me, not “how” – just that it did, because he also helped me.

Was it a “saintly” thing to do? No. It didn’t make me sprout a halo or open up the doors to any mystical knowledge. It just made me feel better to know that I treated someone in the way that I would like to be treated – in the way that I believe all humans should be treated. I had things in common with this boy because I too had been judged for having tattoos and for living in poverty throughout my life. I felt annoyed at how I was groomed to react to some homeless people in the past. I remember being a child and giving my cookies to someone who was on the streets, simply wanting to do so because he had asked and I could see he was hungry. At some point I had allowed an adults opinion cloud my own thoughts about doing things like giving. Each experience and situation is different. I like to go with the flow, go with what my heart tells me – it just seems to feel better when I do.

I also have plenty of wealthy friends whom I help as well. Their needs may be different, but I know other people who won’t do things for those people because “They are already pampered.”. I believe that everyone, no matter what, can always benefit from a little help – which sometimes means just a silly joke, or a recipe, or a pretty tattoo, or a shoulder to lean on. I’m learning that it is okay for me to do what feels right for me, even if others disagree. What I think, do, or learn, are things which are for me. I am trying to learn not to have an opinion on why anyone does what they do, or why they behave how they do. Just because I am learning about some things which I chose to learn about does not mean that everyone else has to learn what I wanted to learn – nor do they have to all of a sudden start liking tattooed people or helping people that are in need of help. This is just my own little journey, I wanted to share some cool stories and write down some stuff that I noticed about myself.

Going back to examining if I have tried to control someone with money I have noticed simple examples; giving someone an opportunity to work at my Tattoo Studio, as long as they did things the way I did: give the client a good experience, talk to the client, be a certain type of artist, etc. etc. I had justified that I was “right” to require those things, because “I” did all of that. I now realize that those things are important “to me” and to make someone do things my way is another way of controlling them, not trusting them, and demanding things to be “my way”. The artists livelihood was dependant on my requirements and that really felt awful once I realized I had done that to them. That was not loving, that was not kind, and that was giving – with a caveat of “As long as it’s my way!”. I don’t want to do that anymore. I would rather let someone be free to be themselves. Rather than paying attention to people doing things “right” I would prefer to just to watch them enjoy doing what they love doing for the sake of doing it and encouraging them by inspiring, not by holding life’s necessities over their heads. I realize that it is a common practice in business, I choose to do things differently because it feels better.

Some people really don’t understand this subtle control issue because it has been taught to us is the correct way to do things – using the fear of needing to change ourselves (for a job), to fit in or we go without things like food or a home. I caught it and it upset me that I unwittingly practiced it at times by telling my artists how to handle clients, how to speak to people, and all sorts of other things which I had picked up from various other Studios (and employers) over the years … Time to let that old stuff go and be glad that I did catch it.

The same comes to giving money. I would much rather remove my old habits (which I am still working through), by knowing that when I do finally have money I can do things which are fun for me like giving it secretly or “just because”. Those things are choices I choose for myself. It does not make me better than another person, it is just something which feels more comfortable and fun for me. It feels better for me to give things without reasons like; “because I want you to like me”, or “because I have been told it is what to do.”, or “because I am trying to make myself feel worthy of love and appreciation.”, or “because I feel obligated to give things away.”, or “to feel better than others.”, or “I am giving this to get ______ (love, LOA, appreciation, ego boost, etc.)”. Reasons other people have said should be my reasons to give. Not that those people were intending their answers to be anything other than helpful advice - it was just not a space of giving that I could get behind.

All of those negative motivations do not feel good for me because they have so many caveats behind them. If I was to give for the reason of expecting anything in return then it feels like there is an ulterior motive which was hidden in the guise of giving. I would rather give because “I enjoy giving.” or “Its fun for me., or “I love seeing the sparkle in someone’s eyes.”, or “Just because I am able to.”. Those are much more enjoyable reasons for me to give. When I gave for the fun of giving I was the most happy and there is a really deep feeling of fulfilment and enrichment for me. I am not saying anyone is wrong for giving in the manner in which they do, I can certainly appreciate that many people DO give period. I choose to do it my way. Having more money would be helpful, and for now I can keep giving kind words, inspiration, and hope to others, because it is what I have.

I wanted to touch on gratitude since it is a part of the Law of attraction material which I am working with. I carried a belief for many, many years that stated what gratitude should look like and how it should be expressed.

Saying please and thank you is just something that I like doing, it does not mean that others are not polite if they do not say please or thank you. I recognize that sometimes a smile, a happy tear, or other expressions such as a hug, are a thank you. Even if someone does not express gratitude in the way which we are so often told is “the way” to do so, it is fine. Perhaps they may feel shy in expressing themselves verbally. Or perhaps they feel unworthy and that may be the cause of their silence. Gratitude should not be forced, and people should understand that there is a difference in being thankful and feeling obligated in a subservient manner. Are you aware that enjoyment is a form of thankfulness?

When it came to gratitude I needed to figure out where the line was for me between expressing gratitude because I truly enjoy things and expressing gratitude for the reason of feeling lesser than – “You worthless human, be thankful for the bread and water I have so kindly bestowed on you.” or “Be thankful no matter what.”. Okay, so people were saying to be thankful…. even if my life was full of strife and struggles? Be thankful for those struggles? It was more sincere for me to reserve gratitude for things which deserve gratitude. I was curious why people said to be thankful for things which seemed counter-intuitive for me to be grateful for. I questioned and was told that our struggles can teach us about ourselves and our strengths. I had read that those who struggle most are destined for great things – all of which seemed like placating answers at the time because I was so very angry that I had lived a life which was so very far from my dream life.

The answers about being thankful for a life of struggle had only one meaning to me at the time and I could only view it in that manner – thankfulness for the sake of appeasing someone, or something else, for giving me “life” even though it was littered with hardships. I wondered why someone or something would do that to a being on purpose, having been told that we are given these struggles for a good reason and really wanting to know what the point is. I had been told that out of experiencing what we don’t want we then can make a choice about what we do want – that made no sense to me either because I saw no point to contrast in order to help me know what I wanted in life.

For me it came down to consciously examining what is in back of the reasons why I want what I want and trying to remove my feeling of not deserving. Deserving in the sense of being “worthy and loved”. My whole life I had been doing things to get love and it created competitive attachment to love. There was competition around everything; sports, who got the best grades, who was the better (well-behaved) kid, who was prettier, who was funnier, who was the better _____ ; those things were attached to love. It is like telling someone “I will only love you if you get good grades, or strive to work the hardest, or be the most polite, or live up to my expectations, or be the most compliant, do things my way, be the best looking, or ______.”. It was really eye-opening, and quite a painful realization for me. Mainly because I had unwittingly practised that same belief. I was taught to do so by examples, so many examples. I had built up issues with expecting rewards if I did things that were everything but being myself. I know that the people who taught me this were not aware of what they were doing, nor was I aware that as I grew up I had continued this pattern. Rewards for conformity and trained behaviour.

So much of this “competing for love” has fuelled my life, fuelled my dreams, fuelled my feelings of being lesser than and unworthiness of love. I always looked at myself as flawed because I fought against the expected molding. This battle was something I encountered my whole life and a lot of it was subtle and passive-aggressive by way of opinions which people thrust at me. Things which they had been told to adhere to. In the beginning of my road to self-discovery one of the reasons I had been trying to change myself was because I had the belief that I had to become a “shining member of society”, learn the most information, be the most humble, the most intelligent, the most selfless, and so on. Be everything others had told me to be, or I would not get love. Never realizing that I already shone just being myself. It makes me rather sad to examine that I was so desperate for love that I lived my life trying to compete for it and I wondered just how many other people had done the same thing.

At the same time it makes me happy to have found something which was causing a huge barricade for me. It makes me happy that I have recognized this because now I can change how I do things, and I can be comfortable that I love for no reason other than because I do. I can love without expecting anyone to change and teach myself that I can experience the things which I love, just because. No ulterior motives, no having to force myself to be anything or anyone else. I still struggle to believe that I can just do things, such as writing in the way I do, in my own unique elucidation. I sometimes still have that voice in my head which taunts me saying that I have to conform to the ways in which other people do things – in order to receive love or success. I am so sick of listening to that bully, and sick of competing for love. The change starts with me. I have been teaching myself to love without reason.

I am who I am, I have tried to be more

the gate of love behind closed doors

a guide, and a spark that carried me

finally I turned another key

a battle within I had to see

before I could allow myself just to be

the battle not mine, but passed along

to live and love was always my song.

To be loved was to love myself.

To be comforted was to comfort myself.

To be forgiven was to forgive myself.

To be accepted was to accept myself.

To be helped was to help myself.

To release hate, fear, judgement, sadness – I did for myself.

To be released,

was to release myself.

Winning is based around competition, which is something I thought I had to do for love. In trying to do so I became disillusioned, hopeless, self-abusing, bitter, cynical, and suspicious. Because of this I sometimes mistook kindness for ulterior motive because I had seen it twisted into just that so many times in the past. I was often jealous of others accomplishments because they received love and praise for doing “fun stuff” and being themselves (musicians, etc.).

I was wrapped in blankets of anger, because I had believed that I had to live up to so many things in order to receive love. I could not live in that anger anymore – because I knew how it hurt to wear that blanket. It was hard to lose the blanket because I was afraid that I would be even colder without it. I chose to use the blanket as fodder for a blaze in which to warm myself. I found new ways to use other experiences to my advantage, things which have hurt me in the past, and I have found ways not re-gift those well-intentioned burdens of others. Yes, anger, hate, fear, and so on, are indeed a great burden to bear. I carried the burdens of those things for far too many years; I choose not to keep recycling them.

I was trying so hard to believe that I was (am) good enough to receive happiness, love and appreciation for just being myself. The pain was so deep that I didn’t know how to let go, except by writing about it. I used to hide in darkened rooms so that I could cry alone, away from people who I thought would use my pain as some sort of leverage against me. I didn’t want others to see my pain. I don’t want to cause pain to others by talking about being raised in a Religion and a society that taught me that I was not good enough, and which taught me that I was wrong for loving whom I do and being who I am. I was raised in a surrounding which told me that I was wrong for expressing myself as I do, wrong for crying if I hurt, wrong for feeling hopeful, wrong for feeling bad, wrong for gleaning my own intuitions about my experiences, wrong for so many things.

I didn’t want to be a “wrong” thing anymore. It was tragic to view myself that way and believe that I was a “wrong” thing which had been placed on this earth to mold myself to acceptable standards of the people around me. I wondered why I was born such an imperfect and unacceptable creature.

I really wanted to believe that there was a place where I am fine just the way I am. A place that I can live every dream that I imagine. A place that I have the ability to afford the things which I want to experience, rather than looking at those things through a dimly lit monitor screen while sighing wistfully at the beauty of places, homes, items, food, happiness and things like large gatherings with smiling faces and elegant dinner settings.

I had read so many books which spoke about things like “leave it in the past”, “Let go” and “Believe and receive”. It was hard to let go of the past when I would find hidden pockets which were still full of pain in what I thought was my newly emptied suitcase. And there were so many other struggling ghosts which asked me to carry their burdens, or they tell me that I was only helpful if I did. In the past I believed them and then once again I would fill my suitcase with their pain, because I felt that it would not be fair to them if I get to live my dreams while they still carry burdens.

I wished that I could stop trying to find where I belong and just be able to be accepted without someone trying to change me, and without trying to change myself. I had worked so hard to not do these things to others and to let go of judging and criticizing; holding my love back because I was so afraid. I kept trying to be something to show others how worthy I am and I always fell short, and then I would tell myself what else I must do to get love.

It was a vicious circle and a hard road to walk. It was a hard mirror to look at without getting caught up in blame and anger.

_Chapter Six _

I am trying my best to be kind, to understand why I am motivated to do the things which I have done and figure out why I am the way that I am. I want to walk away from the old mirror but I have been so busy peeking out from my hiding place; afraid to peel away my tight butterfly cocoon because so many people have told me to be a moth. They have told me that my butterfly wings have too much glitter, too many colours; my wings are far too unusual, even though I love them. So because I loved my wings I kept them carefully hidden. And instead I tried to be a moth without wings. But because a moth without wings can not fly I was always trying to figure out how to lift myself up by creating things like rickety stairs, which I would fall from.

I would give myself to the slavery of venomous spiders hoping that they would give me some silk in which to climb up. Those spiders would taunt me with the silk because they knew how badly I wanted to see above the canopy. And those spiders would remind me that I was a ground dwelling bug, a wingless moth in a World of winged moths.

The only way for me to escape was to not be afraid of my strangely coloured wings and to learn how to use them for myself. I had to clean off the dirt from crawling around in the spiders’ waste. I had to be brave enough to crawl out of the hole which I thought protected me.

I am cautiously fluttering the tips of my wings to see if help is out there. I heard a tale among the ground dwelling beetles which said that if I use my wings a wonderful thing will happen. They say that there will be birds which will just help me because they like my wings and not because they think they can take my wings to use for their own; not because they want to do anything but watch me fly. And they want to fly with me.

I have never used my wings, but I am testing them out to see if they will carry me to the canopy. I do dream of soaring high enough to see the stars and I want to escape the clutches of the spiders.

But I am just one strangely coloured butterfly, afraid to show my wings because I have been told that my wings were just silly, my wings were too sparkly, my wings were the wings of those ridiculous butterflies with their heads in the clouds. I was told that I should keep my wings hidden away because they could not do the work which moths could do and they distracted other moths because they looked far too different.

I packed the mud from the ground around my wings, I tore my wings by using the tools of judgement, hate, fear, shame, and anger. I tried so desperately to cut away the wings which I was told that I should not have, the wings which I dare not show.

Those tools were indeed very sharp and cut very deep. I wanted to stop doing to myself what others said I should do, but how does one allow themselves to be loved when they are told that they are all of the things which do not garner love?

And so my strangely coloured butterfly wings are just starting to test the air, to get a hint for what wind feels like. I trust that there will be magical birds, the ones which I had heard from many a tale, the ones which are said to assist strangely coloured creatures. I will try not to tuck my wings back because I feel that I should. I will try not to listen to the taunts of spiders who shout that my wings are useless. I will try to ignore that I will never have the beautiful and dusty coloured wings of moths, and I will try to appreciate my own wings and set myself free.

I want to see what my strange and glittery wings can do. I want to see if it is true that the mud covered sparkles still shine when the sunlight touches them.

I used to feel bad for spiders because they would never be butterflies, no matter how many butterfly wings they stole. I could appreciate their beautiful web building ability if it were not for the fact that they use the webs to catch butterflies to steal their wings. I also wonder if the butterflies would be more happy to help the spiders fly if the spiders didn’t try to keep the butterflies on the ground.

I guess being a strange little butterfly, with oddly coloured wings which I hid, has brought me to dark places. Ones that I would never have known existed. Nor would I have been able to see how beauty shines in things which some may view as ugly. Nor would I have met many pretty beetles who all need help.

They too have told me that they have dreams to drift through the clouds above the canopy and to let the mist tickle their armour.

I have listened to the screams of the howler crickets and felt their pain, and I have seen their light. I have handed out pieces of my wings to the ground dwelling creatures who had caught glimpses of my wings as I hurriedly tried to tuck them away. I never believed that others thought that my wings were really all that nice but I gave pieces of my wings anyway, because they asked.

I have been told by scorpions not to like my wings because it was not proper, and that they would only let me be near them if I told them how beautifully shiny their stingers were.

I always did see how pretty the flowers were which grew in the weeds. They were wilted, but it did not take away all of their colour nor their scent. I always did see the beautiful and curious things in the diversity of the ground dwellers and I tried so hard to do things as good as them because they were indeed able to do some things better than I.

But when I tried to use my wings to help I was laughed at because they were not the same as having a strong set of pincers. They were far too clumsy to spin webs and far too outrageous to fly with the beautiful moths. Because my wings were so very different. It didn’t matter how much I told the ants that I love that they have such amazing geometric patterns for bodies, nor did it matter how in awe I was of the caterpillars many feet. When I would try to show my wings the others would say “Ohhh how nice for you, look at your sparkly wings, fancy schmancy.”. And then I would tuck away my strange little wings and tell myself that I should learn how to be a caterpillar or a beautiful snail. And I gathered prickly things to make pincers for myself.

I was molded to teach strange little birds, who had fallen from the tree tops, that they were to hide their colours and “learn to fit in!”. But sometimes (more often than not) I would sneak away with the birds and tell them how pretty their wings really were to me. Even the wings which were broken from the fall were still so very beautiful in my eyes. And to help the poor little birds who had fallen to this mucky place on the ground I would try to show the little birds how pretty even the ugliest thing can be.

All the while trying to hide my own strange little wings.

Sometimes, feeling the air lifting my wings, I would happily start fluttering – only to be caught in more webs and then I would drop to the ground. But then I would listen to the beautiful voice of a shy mouse and it would make me smile because it lifted me again. I saw the beauty of the mouse, with its tattered little tail, and I would whisper to the mouse “How lovely your voice, you give hope to me with my strange little wings. In fact I could not fly without the air from your voice, which lifts me little by little.”.

I would say to the scuttling beetle “What lovely shimmer glints from your armour. Without your strength I could not have learned my own.”.

I would say to the wilted flower “How lovely your scent and colours, without them I would not have known that pretty things can grow in weeds.”.

I would tell the grasshopper “How beautiful your melody, without it I would not have been able to tune my ears to the subtlest sound.”.

And then I turned to the spiders, saying “What lovely webs you have spun, without them I would not have learned of my will.”.

I told the scorpions “What wonderful stingers, without them I would not have learned about Mithridatism.”.

And to the rats, “What lovely teeth, without them I would not have learned that I could heal.”.

And then I finally smiled and said to my wings “I finally see your beauty. Without you I would not be who I am, nor would I be able to fly.”.

Chapter Seven

I like witches, and fairies, and scientists too,
I don’t really care if they like pink or like blue.
I like rich people, poor people, and in between,
but I couldn’t help to wonder “Why were people so mean?”

I’m trying to break out and let my light shine,

my strange little wings all tied up in coarse twine.

I wish I could live in my weird little way,

not caring what others think, nor care what they say.

I tried to hide, learning stealth like a cat,

pretending that I only like this or like that.

I’m getting so tired of the fighting I see,

and so I started inside, really looking at me.

I’m trying to learn how to live in this place,

removing my mask, trying to see my own face.

I had grown up learning how to point out the “bad” in myself because I was raised to point out the “bad” in others. It was not just one small setting which taught this, it was society as a whole. I have carefully examined myself and have been going through the difficult task of releasing all of those old things which had been taught to me – some through direct teaching and others through emulation.

It’s funny to examine how I became the person that I am. I was a part of so many groups of people in the past who seemed so genuinely well-meaning; environmentalists, spiritual groups, religion, outsider groups – freaks, geeks and so on. And all of these groups said the same thing (including myself) “People who judge are hateful”. But then those same people would turn around, with their own reasons which seem to them to be completely valid, and they would judge. Every one had their own personal reasons, each saying why the other is wrong.

I always wondered why there even is a “side”? When is it okay just to like what we like, to not call someone names for what gives them enjoyment?

Throughout life I had been part of each “side” and I viewed each as having equally meaningful things. I had been caught up in the fighting at times because of being told to choose a side. I would rather not point fingers or be upset by what I noticed and I have been able to examine why I have done this myself. Now I would rather stay neutral because I have learned that things may not always be so one-sided. My choices are not framed within needing an opposition in order for them to be the correct choices for myself. Trying to break that habitual view point is challenging. I have read so many quotes, books, statements, and heard so many people say that they want peace. I always looked at how to make that possible. While in groups which held this desire I wondered “How is it possible to have peace when you are fighting against people who create war?”. Is that not two sides of the same coin? “I am going to fight you to make you stop fighting!”… “Pick a side. Here are some terrible things that the other side has done. Look at all of the fighting and causalities the other side caused.”.

Curious.

The only way that I found that I could have peace was to have peace within myself. I could create peace by not fighting someone about anything. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have preferences, it is just that I don’t need to argue about it. I could view things from a different perspective and I could find things in both sides which were neither good nor bad. Finding a way to look at things with a balance has been something that I have strove to achieve for many years. I needed to see that everything around me was also in me. I mean to say (as not to be so cryptic) that if I thought someone would react to me angrily, they did. If I thought that someone was right or wrong it was only because I thought so. If someone was good or bad it was only because I thought so. It did not make it true, except to my limited perception. There were many wars raging within myself.

Having an opinion that something is “good” or “bad” creates fights, anger, hurt, and all of those not so nice feelings which can deplete a person from having happiness. When things are different it’s best to understand and learn from those things and to engage curiosity. Step away from hard held opinions and learn how to respect diversity.

It’s incredibly difficult to explain this fully. I guess it’s something that one must examine for themselves, if they choose to, and experiment with while paying very close attention. It can be a little surprising and there are many explanations around which at any given point can be “right or wrong”, depending on how one thinks, feels, reacts, notices, and so on, at the time.

It’s one heck of a riddle, and yet it is so simple.

Chapter Eight

I wanted so badly to believe that I could be what I want to be, make the money that I would love to make by simply just writing. I was going through painful changes and I had heard many people say that “change is easy”. I’m sorry but for me it has not always been easy, not always fun, no matter how much I tried to look for things which made me happy. It would depend on what I was focusing on. Coming out of a negative pattern can dredge up a lot of issues to work through which can be less than fun. I got so frustrated trying to work beyond the one huge issue that I had left to work on – money. Money had been so ingrained into the World that it was necessary for me to work on this area since it was a part of life. I read statements from the Law of Attraction teachers about not talking about the “bad” in one’s life. But why not? I can see that dwelling on issues is not helpful because it can create a whirlpool of depression, but not to speak of it at all? Why was I even listening to people and accepting their words; believing it to be wrong of me to question those statements? Life can be terribly frightening at times, especially when there is a pile of backlogged bills that one desperately wants to pay but has no money in which to do so. I thought that eating packaged noodles, while putting on a happy face and trying to be thankful that I have noodles, would magically transform my financial situation immediately. I also bought packaged noodles because I felt that I was not worthy of a “nice meal”. Nor was I happy to “Do what you have to”. To me that is not living. I also heard “Give money to get money”, which is all well and good until you run out of money TO give!

I had never considered giving “thoughts” of wealth to receive wealth. Looking for abundance in my life in a different way.

I am being truthful when I speak of my old fears, frustrations, and anxiety which I encountered. I had read hundreds of self-help books, listened to MP3 meditations (as well as utilizing them in practice), but I still had all of those negative feelings inside – no matter how much I tried to “happy them out”. I had to be honest. I chose to write about my true experience. I do have faith that one day (hopefully soon) I will be able to look back at this and pat myself on the back for not giving up, because these are still some things which I am continuing to work on. I have experienced times as I was working through changes when I wanted to just check out of life. I have been so ready to throw in the towel at times; I wanted to give up. Give up thinking that I could “live the dream” and just go to sleep. I was so thoroughly disillusioned with the whole “Think positive thoughts and magically watch your World transform”. I thought I had been doing that! I feel so genuinely compassionate for anyone else who may be experiencing this; it hurts, it is painful, frightening, and it feels like a giant lie. It feels like another mass marketing “trick”. I was so sick of pushing myself “Keep going, it gets better.”. I was experiencing a lot of anger and frustration. That’s the truth. And it was/is perfectly normal to feel this way!

I had sent out countless requests for help – to the Universe and to many of those self-help “Gurus”. I would get the response “I’m sorry but we receive thousands of emails and can’t answer each one.”. I understood that they must receive thousands of emails and I am sure that many other people emailed asking them why their efforts at “living the dream life” weren’t coming to fruition as well. But I was trying to get help, I felt so alone.

I questioned if “Believe and receive” was a line, a lie. Were teachers making money from the desperation of others who really need something to have hope for “right now”? Are they really helping? I felt like I was being tricked into spreading other people’s work around – passing along their information (referrals) MP3’s, self-help groups, and so on. I could see that there was some really helpful material but I was still frustrated and looking for help while not realizing that I was strong enough to weather the storm I had been flung into. Happy quotes are helpful but I was really starting to lack faith in the Law of Attraction and lack faith in life period. Oh sure, I had seen other quotes about how the one man fell short because he quit digging in the mine while the other who kept going ended up finding a payload of diamonds. But really, I wondered, how much must one person endure before throwing their hands up and saying “Quit feeding me the carrot on the stick!”. I was ready for proof that the L.O.A. material was effective and correct – that I could just visualize my dream life into reality. I was frustrated, I was angry, I was feeling hopeless and I desperately wanted out of the life I had been born into. I wanted in to the life of my choosing and of my own design.

Give up, give up, give up, that’s all I want to do

Where is the light to help me make it through?

When does the rainbow shine upon my face?

When do I get to receive this Universal grace?

When does my pain stop trying to tear me up inside?

When does the help come to get me through the night?

I’m sick of wearing a mask when tears are what’s inside,

I’m sick of pretending I’m happy when I’m fighting for my life.

People in the Law Of Attraction system say “give and you get”, they say what you give out – you receive, and yet I wondered how many of us have gave out their quotes, gave out their information, gave out their sites and yet have you ever tried asking one of them for help? I have, quite a few times in fact. And I received the “We do affiliate marketing” routine. Never had I experienced “Sure I can give you a hand by mentioning your name/site/info/etc., on my free blog”. So how very truthful are they being about wanting to help people? Do they even realize just how many people go around and hand out their material…. For free? How truly thankful are they about the countless thousands of people who are making them money? Is it really that difficult to post a quick note to help in some way? Or do these so-called “good guys” think more like “How can you make me more money, even though you have been silently spreading my information and have actually been making me money which I hadn’t even considered you were already doing for me.”. Was I still stuck in the pattern of expecting thankfulness to be expressed in a manner which I had been taught was “the” way to express? It really sucks to try and break old habits, especially one’s which I do not want. I believed they were not thankful.

I am thankful to my close friends, my clients, and to the people who have helped me by coming in and paying me to provide a service to them. I received money for giving them a tattoo and inspiration, a chat to lift their spirits, and helped them through some desperately painful times. And I did all of that because it was what I like doing. I have also given out friends websites, spoke with people about them and have also given many free tattoos because the person did not have the money. I am quite thankful for the friends who have helped me, no matter how small they might consider the gesture. I see that little things are sometimes the biggest gift.

I try to tell my friends (when as I can) that I appreciate their help. I appreciate when someone does something nice and I truly hope that even when I don’t verbalize my appreciation that they still know and understand that I am grateful. I am also so very thankful to my clients when bring me things like coffee, or a tearful smile because they love their tattoo. I am also so thankful for the referrals because I have had a really tough time trying to keep my Studio going and I was really trying to do it all on my own. I guess not really doing it on my own… I have had clients who are actually helping me by coming in and getting a tattoo and I have an amazingly kind landlady who has given me the gift of patience in meeting my rent. I have been really taken care of. I guess sometimes people need to hear that “thank you”, but I had always thought that they would know that about me – that I am always grateful for what they do.

As far as my angst about the teachers and marketers, I think I had unwittingly been caught up in believing other people who told me what gratitude looks like when I was questioning the self-help groups and that was the cause of my frustration. I would much rather go back to knowing that people are thankful and we don’t always see or hear their expression.

Chapter Nine

Wow, what a tough day to go through yesterday! I was so upset, so jaded, and so confused. I am still working through some things in my life and I still have triggers which get to me. But I worked on pushing through and trying to find something to learn about myself, something which I could do to make a difference for me. Having gone through asking another self-help company to help me I realized that I am still thinking that just because someone says that they are “Out to help the World” it may not be in the manner which I think they should. That is old programming which taught me that others should all behave and express the same as one another. Although I may have noticed an affiliate marketing thing going on, which bothered me because I was feeling a little duped, it does not mean that they are trying to do that. Maybe it just means that they have found their niche with marketing. I had thought that because some of these companies talk about wanting to help everyone and I noticed that they are always putting up links to many sites to help others (which is what they say is the reason), that they would put up a link on their page for me. I was given the “We do affiliate marketing” email, and it upset me because I was still caught in that old belief about people telling others how they should do things. Instead of being angry because those people chose not to put a link up to my website which I requested (okay, maybe I slightly got cranky and sent an email pointing out to them what I noticed), I was able to wonder how “I” could make a difference.

I understand that business is work and sometimes people are just really busy – including myself, trying to keep grinding away with the daily struggle for money. I wanted to figure out what to do, in my own way, and also understand why I got so angry. It does not make the self-help marketing people “wrong” for not posting my link, nor does it make them selfish. Maybe they are already doing countless other things, which I do not see. I don’t know them personally and maybe they are truly busy. I got angry because I have always believed in referrals and have done them quietly, many times. For example: sending a client to another shop if they wanted a portrait because I do not do portrait tattoos. It is not that I was doing this just to be a “good person”, I did it because I genuinely cared about my clients and if I could not accomplish what they wanted then why not send them where I know the artist is amazing at portraits? Although I had been scolded for that attitude not being something “business minded” (sending money away) I still stuck to it because I believe in it.

My perception may have been incorrect when I perceived the marketing people as being selfish, but I still learned a valuable lesson from just looking at my reaction and thoughts about that incident. I also sent emails apologizing for my reaction and thanking those people for spreading other peoples work. Yes they get paid for marketing but it does not make it “wrong” nor is it my thing, and I am glad that people who like marketing exist – because I truly can’t stand doing it myself.

So how did I change this experience into a helpful lesson for myself and put into action something which I had learned? I thought, “Easy! I can set up a link page on my Studio website and just post independent artists, musicians, creative people, friends small ventures, and help them!

It takes nothing to put a link on my page and I know how expensive advertising can be, so that’s an easy way to currently help out a little more. I didn’t do this to be better than anyone, I just found something I liked which I was able to easily implement into my own life. I already give a service which I receive money for but I really want to just give back to friends, clients, and other people who I know are trying to get their feet off the ground. And although I can’t go around working for them by promoting them constantly, I can do one small thing and give them what I can by way of free promotion. I may, or may not keep up this practice.

And just as I don’t like being told how to live my life or being told what should be important to me based on another person’s values for themselves, I recognize that I was doing that to the marketers when I thought that they should put up a link for me. I was judging those other people based on what I wanted them to think and do, and that is something which I am trying to change because it has been done to me in the past. I also wanted to see if it was true that an individual gets what they give, also being curious if perhaps my response came because the marketers had done something which created a cause and effect experience.

I like to say “Thank you” to people – not when I am prompted, but when it feels the most genuine for me. I understand (because I have done it) that people often say kind things and tell other people about you even when you don’t see or hear it being done. Some people never really stop to think about the fact that this happens all the time. A simple thank you is nice to hear sometimes. So, to those who silently go about spreading the word about things and businesses, and people…. Thank you!

So, what else did I learn from my experience so far? Well, I learned that I may not be the shining example of a mellow, quiet, docile, zen, spiritual person. I come up with a lot of strange and sometimes deeply profound discussions. I do laugh at tasteless jokes. I also swear and I smoke cigarettes. It doesn’t make me a lesser person just because I enjoy those things. I am also still trying to be okay with being the strangely silly, sometimes deep, mostly goofy self that I am. I like to call it profoundly colourful and diverse…. But “weird” also works. I need to keep reminding myself that life is supposed to be fun! I don’t have to be some quiet speaking, white robe wearing, gentle with even the jerks who hurt me, kind of girl. I can be who I am. And I needed to understand that it’s perfectly fine to let deeply spiritual words come from within and yet still sit down and watch a good Marvel comics movie and call myself IronMan. I am a strange little butterfly indeed…. With rocket boosters for wings! To be anything else would be a lie. It would be some mask, and I am trying to shed that! I am strange, I am deep, I am grumpy sometimes. I am trying to see a different perspective to things and I do notice (and try to really examine) before I say something…. Most times… I am also human you know!

I am learning that it is okay when I do these things because it is MY life, and if I try to keep living up to some weird spiritual ideal of someone else then I am just putting myself back in that box. I must do some affirmations “I am okay, I am a little weird, but it’s my life. I am compassionate and sometimes get cranky, but I am sparkly and quirky.”.

I guess this is the part of life where I get my millions of dollars now??? Okay I tried, can't blame me for plugging [_that _]wish to the Universe again.

I am really grateful for having learned from the self-help marketers; the experience really did teach me about myself. I had not ever thought too much about all of the silent kindness that people give one another and it makes me happy to remember that people do that! I could have handled things differently with the marketers. I can keep reminding myself not to take things to heart when I write about being angry, frustrated, sad, or anything, because those things are all part of life. It is much more difficult (and not truthful) to pretend that those things weren’t going on. I do know how to pull myself out of it now and I know to find something good/happy to focus on. I also see that there was a lesson about being genuine.

I recognize that the companies which do the “Customer appreciation days” probably really do appreciate their customers! And although people express appreciation in a multitude of ways, which may not be the way that I do, I can still appreciate the appreciation… I have received some great deals on those “customer appreciation days” so thank you! ….. I like sales…. And cheese… More deals on cheese please (he he, no seriously.. cheese, just saying… ).

_I had a dream, I was a little spark _

I lit my own way through the dark

_I zipped in and out of the strangest places _

finding a spot which made my heart race

the colours, the lights, the feelings were pretty

which was great because I was feeling so shitty!

Okay not my best work, but I was feeling it and it kinda made me laugh… I am funny to me, oddly enough.

Chapter Ten

I have been doing a lot of daily contemplation and learning so much! I was trying to understand the results I had been having with the “Create your own reality”- applying it to the recent feelings I had regarding the self-help industry (specifically the marketing). I realized that I had perceived them as being false in their intentions because I thought it was just a ploy with marketing. I really believed it. I believed that they don't help anyone but themselves. The belief came from being told “To get by in this World you have to help yourself, because no one else will. It's a dog eat dog World”. Upon reflection what I was viewing was another twisted way to perceive things and people. Just because “I” do not like marketing, it does not mean that those people are just doing it for some ulterior motive. They may really enjoy marketing, and marketing does help people and they should earn money from it.But there I was again, making a “story”. I am much quicker these days in recognizing and challenging my perceptions in order to view things differently.

As raw as it may be for me to write about my own short-comings or embarrassing moments it still gives me release and something to look back on to keep reminding myself how far I have come. I am trying to keep being mindful of what I am thinking; observing how things are when I pin no “story” to them (events, or people).

I have found that by doing something as simple as paying attention to people, and not to my past memory or assumptions, I am getting some surprising results. The people who in the past I had pinned a “story” to are not in fact what I thought, or who I thought they were.

I was judging those marketers, for example, because I had done marketing twenty years ago. I was only doing it because I took a job (which I hated) just to pay rent and buy food for myself. I did marketing in the past just for the money and so I figured that other people do it for the same reason. I had made a belief which stemmed from my own personal experiences, the belief that “Other people are only doing those jobs for the same reasons which I had in the past.”. I kept my past memory and personal experience in my mind as being “all there is”; I was only seeing those facets. This also applies to the people whom I knew in the past who may have carried an old perception of me. I have changed dramatically over the course of the years however.

When I would hold on to old memories, such as something like a fear of bees (from one little incident), I would drag that fear with me – even though I had been around many other bees over the years and had never been stung again. I was able to look at that example of the fear of bees, understanding that it was just a sting, it hurt, and I was a child. There is no need to harbour a fear of bees because of one small incident. It may take some time to work through that, or any other fear. It may be more difficult if the incident was more dramatic, but it is still something which I can work through and understand without playing it (or expecting it) over and over. The same goes for any life experience which may have been painful or frightening. It’s good to let those things go and move forward.

I have been really paying attention to where I have success and where in the past that success has been limited. What I have found is that when I have done things such as worrying that I would not have clients for instance, I indeed would experience that. When I would also worry about things such as being afraid that my landlord would be upset and concerned about not getting rent, that too would happen. I also gave my attention to the thought “My landlord will get the back rent that is due and she has faith that I will pay her, because I have faith in myself.”.

Those times when I was confident about paying the rent which was overdue I would indeed get the money. When I shifted my focus and gave my thoughts to having plenty of clients, or being successful at writing (or any other endeavour), I experienced those beliefs.

The belief in getting what I think about was a difficult one to understand in the past because it was challenging for me to believe that I could just think happy thoughts and receive good experiences. It was because my habitual thoughts about things, such as money, were negative and fearful. It came from years of experiencing my negative beliefs without realizing that I had any control over what I wanted my experience to be. It took a lot of remembering and a lot of paying attention to realize that I am getting what my predominate thoughts are. I am experiencing what I think, and a shift in focus and understanding has shown me this to be plausible.

Now I am at a point of trying not to get caught up in the old pattern of worrying, nor letting my negative thoughts run away with me. It seemed difficult at first but I think that I am getting it!

I am able to give myself confidence that money is coming and that I will pay off my bills. While working with the Law Of Attraction material I just need to keep reminding myself that I get what I think about. I can utilize tools to make this change in thinking a little easier in the meantime. I have found a visualization program that finally suits me and it has been making me feel much more relaxed about my finances, money, and experiences in general. I am trying to immerse myself in the practices as fully as possible.

I have thought about how many things I have learned from the different people, groups, organizations, and life experiences which I have encountered. I was able to see that I needed to do the work and figure out what I wanted for myself and make my own assessment about the lessons which I took from each step of my journey. Of some of the teachers which I have had two of them have been my children. I learned from my daughter Jade, who was one and a half years old at the time, that – there may be a baby lock on the door but if you are determined enough even that lock wont stand in your way. I have been embarrassed at times about my “mistakes” and the way I handled things in the past. But from my son Justin, who was twenty years old at the time, I have learned that “Everyone deserves a second chance.”.

I use to have an old response, which was my own strangely comical way to answer people when they said “What’s up”. I would say “Price of gas, price of cigarettes and most men in the bar.”. Now when I am asked “What’s up?” I respond with “My outlook on life, my financial income, my belief in myself, and my spirits!”. Sounds cheesy, but I found a better way to respond (I still think it’s funny ha!); although I might also add in “And my cats tail when she pees.”.

The best way for me to start to see if there was truth to the saying “You get what you think about” was to really pay attention to my thoughts and write them down. I could look back at my notes and pay attention to experiences which were happening and I did (surprisingly) notice a correlation. It was a bit upsetting at first because I started worrying even more about what I was thinking but then I realized that I could just flip that thinking to be something better. The idea of flipping the thought was great – my experience was not as easy as I had hoped at first, but I have made that change. Take for instance my bills: I was experiencing a pile of bills coming and no money to pay them, which pulled me into the loop of always worrying that I would have bills and not have the money to pay them – because that had been what I was experiencing for so very long and so all of my thoughts were around exactly that scenario. It was difficult to switch my thinking because I had not experienced getting so much money that my bills were always paid. I needed to start just focusing on that.

Another difficulty was that I was caught up in watching for money in a worrisome way, with the feeling of the money not coming. I was experiencing a great deal of tension around that thought. What could I do? Start finding a feeling place of being relaxed about money, trust that money will come to me, and watch with excitement rather than the attitude of “Yeah sure, like THAT is going to happen.”. It seemed that I was getting what my thoughts were – over and over, and that was a really challenging pattern for me to change in myself. Using the meditation program which felt “right” for me and reminding myself to expect money was a really big step. I would sometimes get caught up in paying attention to other people’s comments about being broke and all of the negative emotions with needing money. The money was still hit and miss though.

I was able to do other things like having fun with changing a thought about the lotto, which was something that I had been “visualizing” (it’s fun, why not!). I would see what I viewed as signs from the Universe, such as a new commercial about the lotto with specific Asian drums which were my favourite, or clients would say “You should play the lotto”, or I would see numerous posts on blogs about lotto related things. All of that daydreaming and feeling better about things (such as the lottery being plausible for me) was fun. But, I would get excited, then go play the lotto and not win.

So what the heck is with that?

I had chosen the lotto to test the “Create your own reality/LOA” material because I figured that was a big test and … well, if it worked I would be an instant multimillionaire – so why not. I needed to examine my “thoughts” about the whole lottery scenario and see if I had any blocks in my thinking, or any deep feelings or beliefs around the lottery. Oh boy did I! From statistics to people always saying things like “You can’t just hope for that to happen.”. Tonnes of beliefs built around the lottery, and yet there were other situations which would make me take notice to the lottery in a happy and playful way.

I wound up thinking “Since I have not yet won this must be the Universe trying to bait me with a carrot on a stick.”…. Do you see what happened with my thoughts? Instead of just being happy, calm and letting it go, I would get caught up in thinking it was a “trick” of some sort which would then pull me back into thinking “Maybe people are right when they say that it’s impossible.”. That was my thoughts in the past about the lottery.

There were plenty more negative beliefs which I started working on immediately. I started by just letting that go of the belief that the lottery was the only way to pay off all my debts and bring me the financial freedom that I so desperately wanted. I focused on other things; bringing in clients, finishing up my design line, working on my thoughts and learning how to relax about money in general. I played the lottery again but in a playful way this time. After picking up my ticket there was a man sharing the elevator with me (whom I had never seen in our building before). As the doors closed he looked at me and the only thing he said was “I’m going to check to see if I won the millions, wouldn’t that be nice!” and then he looked me in the eye and said “But who wants that… They say that people who win have more problems.”.

He spoke one of my old beliefs…

My belief came from TV shows in the past that like to show people the “problems” of lottery winners – like losing all of their money, or having family issues with greed and so on.

But hearing that old belief from the man in the elevator made me smile. Why? Because I had been working on my “issues” and beliefs about money (and the lottery) and realized that I was being shown my old beliefs. I took that old belief (the one about money being problems) and released it. Then I took what the man said about “Wouldn’t it be nice.” and I let myself imagine how nice it would be. I used to think it was foolish to do things like imagining winning the lottery. But now I find that it is much better to have optimism and happy feelings about it, and about life in general.

People in the past told me to not even bother thinking about being one of the lucky people who wins the lottery and they said that I should just work my ass off to “be something”. But I already was working my ass off, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with imagining many scenarios which make me feel happy! Being stuck in a cold warehouse, unloading heavy boxes from a 52 foot trailer is a tough job and sometimes thinking happy thoughts about being a lottery winner was something which kept me pushing through. I think that is the best time to imagine a better life! I could visualize things like winning the lottery and still preform my job. I was also imagining becoming a writer. I was picturing sitting in a warm home office, coffee in hand as I typed away at my books.

I ended up becoming a tattoo artist. I moved to another city, built a Studio and worked for years building up a clientele. I still had the dream to write inside of me. I was still trying to find myself and being in the tattoo industry was the closest thing I could find which allowed me to be weird, talk about strange experiences, wear what ever I chose to wear, and feel a little more accepted while pulling in an income. I had some really amazing experiences in tattooing and I got to help a lot of people work through some pretty painful times (loss of a spouse, child, life change, etc.). The stories and the people started slowly pulling me into another direction. I was more of a counsellor to them. I gave a shoulder, listened to them and gave a lot of pep talks. My first studio space was massive – two floors and four studio rooms. I tried for years to find artists who would be able to fit what I was looking for. I wanted them to be kind to clients, to be able to help a client through painful (psychological) experiences, I wanted them to care more about their art and less about the money, I wanted them to have high standards in their work, and I wanted them to be friendly.

Basically I wanted them to have my desires for what the Studio should be. An unfair requirement now that I look back. I wonder if other people sometimes view the qualities they want for themselves as a quality that other people “have to” have. I’ve now learned that it’s okay for me to have my own personality and way in which I operate and it is equally okay for someone to be really different than me. Perhaps those artists who tried working for me would have worked out better if I had just let off the reins a little and trusted them to do their thing. I really liked the people I worked with, I found them fascinating. And at times it felt like they were family to me.

I had some wonderful experiences in my first Studio and I had some really strange things happen – like my tattoo cart moving a foot away by itself, in front of a client. That client ended up leaving mid-session because of the ‘paranormal’ activity in the room. There were also sounds of heavy boots walking around upstairs when no one was up there, sounds of garbage cans moving, various other sounds. And the one studio room, which my son deemed “Studio 13”, was always full of activity. There were whispers and scratching sounds, the blinds would be pulled up when I would go into the Studio in the morning (I would pull the blinds down every single time). And I also had many other experiences which sometimes made clients leave suddenly. I even lost a couple of artists because the occurrences. They explained that the paranormal events in the Studio were “Too much” for them to handle. I respect that, I guess not everyone is used to experiences like that. I was always more concerned with losing the client because I was worried about my bills. It seems kind of strange, looking back on it – that I was more afraid of not paying bills than I was of something ‘other-worldy’ or unexplainable…

My son was never afraid of anything in the Studio either. I really thought he was such an amazing kid, so brave and curious! He would go into “studio 13” and he would sit and talk with whatever was in there because he wanted to see if he could get a response – explore and understand just what exactly was going on. He would sometimes tease it, in a jovial way, to get it to do something.

I guess that my son is a little like me. When things like the cart moving in the room would happen it was a little unnerving but I was never truly afraid.

To us it was just more of a really interesting Tattoo Studio.

But that is for another book.

Chapter Eleven

I had written down a list of things I wanted to have and experience when I started the whole Law of Attraction method. I wrote down that I wanted to be a writer, be happy, be wealthy, experience love and learn a deeper appreciation for things. I also wrote down a myriad of other desires. I never realized that I already was a writer, happy, experiencing love, and that I am abundant. I was too busy listening to others telling me how exactly I should be expressing happiness and appreciation. I had taken such a huge journey of self discovery and was working at releasing judgement, anger, sadness, past experiences, old negative belief patterns, etc. And I was viewing things from the perspective of “Money first” in order to provide me with so much of what I wanted to experience (travelling, owning a fully paid off home, food) and not really giving much thought to all of the other things which I had requested.

“How funny!” I thought, “That I would have a total life change, a total change of attitude, have so many books waiting to pour out of me, and I have all of my other projects which are fun, lined up – and yet no money.”.

I worked so very hard on releasing so many negative beliefs and getting a better feeling but even after all of my hard work I still did not have the money! I was so frustrated that I had made such a dramatic change in myself and released so many old perspectives and yet I still “had to work on money”….

I was discussing this money issue (specifically in the context of law of attraction material) with one of my friends and a new perspective hit me suddenly through a burst of inspiration! I had been looking the money thing incorrectly…. Yes I had done a lot of work on myself which was things which I had wanted to change, and those things HAD changed.

It was not “Now I have to work on money.”, it was “Now I GET TO work on money!”. It is all about the perspective!

I was thinking about all the things which had changed and wondering why I didn’t have the money. I wondered how that was fair and wondered how exactly the Law of Attraction works to get money. Did I have to meditate more? Buy another book? Find a new program? Did I need more seminars on wealth? I had done so many other things and money was the only thing left; it was proving to be the most difficult! The “How is that fair” was yet another issue. It was because I was feeling undeserving, believing that I had to change into some super worthy human being in order to receive good. That old issue was still there and so I needed to work on it in a lighter way by understanding that I did not have to change anything except my thoughts of feeling unacceptable. It was not about changing myself, it was about changing the thoughts. See the perspective?

It was like a giant light-bulb went on and I swear the birds sang louder. My friends eyes lit up because she felt the power of that moment. We both started laughing. I said “I GET to work on money!!”, meaning the release of my negative issues surrounding money, my negative old beliefs about money, etc.

It was interesting timing because I also received a new program about getting rid of money blocks which I really love. I am feeling so much more relaxed. I am trying to be patient while noting the difference between excitement and anxiety. I am happily sticking to this daily meditation and expecting something fantastic!

I understand the reason why it is better to speak differently about money and how important it is to focus on money coming in easily and effortlessly. The most important is to believe it and feel the feelings of financial freedom. Yes it was difficult because old thought patterns and old experiences are memories that I carried; I didn’t realize (or believe) that my thoughts had created those things. Once I really payed attention I was rather shocked, and incredibly happy! At first I really didn’t believe the people who said that your thoughts control your experiences and that “you get what you think about”. I had been too busy focusing on the fact that I had been poor for so long. I was always thinking about that feeling and feeling the fear of it – I was not able to shift my focus so easily at first.

And now…. Well let’s just say that I am eagerly anticipating financial bliss and I am releasing my old pattern of being the kid in the backseat saying “Are we there yet?”, I just get to enjoy the scenery on the journey. And I don’t need to pay attention to the fears of other people concerning money, nor listen when they speak their worrisome beliefs.

Best of all I can give people happy beliefs about money and not hand out my old fears which would push others down. I would rather lift their spirits up instead.

There’s something so mysterious, something in the air

something which caught my attention

and now I am aware.

Like the changing of the seasons, flowing in and out

my experiences are thoughts[_ I see _]

which have been brought about.

Now I take a cue from nature, in regard to change

I may come upon a worried thought

but it will not remain.

Just as the beautiful maple I can change and grow

and so you see my thoughts, much like the leaves

may fall away like so.

As the old leaves fall away it makes room for the buds

and in the springtime the planted seeds

now start to open up.

So tend your thoughts carefully, being mindful what you plant

because it is much better to have a maple tree

rather than thinking that you can’t.

Chapter Twelve

Recently I have been working with this new visualization MP3 and have had such a wonderful time letting go of old negative beliefs about money. The guided recording has me visualize my beliefs bubbling up and then seeing who gave the belief to me and handing it back to them. They can choose to keep it or destroy it. That’s the quick explanation, the process is a little more than just that. I did have some guilt pop up about handing back a negative belief and I had to keep remembering that other people’s choices are theirs, just as their beliefs are theirs to keep or get rid of. While doing this new visualization I have been really surprised at the beliefs I had carried about money and I was sometimes surprised where that belief came from. It was nice to feel the lightness from handing back the belief and letting go of those old feelings, such as being unworthy of having money.

I decided to do something to show myself that I was indeed worthy of having money and of having nice things and so I went to the store with my room mate to get a new coffee maker. My old coffee maker was second hand and the water reservoir was not in the best shape because it was old. While at the store I picked out a coffee maker, which cost forty dollars. It looked nice and was a good size to fit on the small counter in my kitchen. It made me happy to think that I was getting a new item because I was telling myself “I am worth it!”. My room mate started to get upset when I grabbed the coffee maker off of the shelf, he looked at me and then said “What’s wrong with the old one, it can be cleaned.”.

I felt my heart sink the moment he spoke. I had been feeling guilty about even thinking about purchasing a new coffee maker and I was concerned that my room mate would not understand my desire for a new coffee maker.

My room mate did not know that I was buying this new coffee maker to help enforce a better belief about myself, nor did he know the poverty I had grown up with. Nor the guilt associated when I would get the occasional gifts (“Here’s your gift Cheri, it’s all the money I had.”). I felt so guilty from receiving anything over the years because I felt like I was taking away money from the person who gave me the gift. I always “made due” with things and bought a lot of second hand items because of feeling guilty over receiving anything new. When I would buy anything new I would shop for the least expensive item and would settle for what I could get. I was happy receiving gifts at first, but receiving became something over the years that would make me not want gifts because they came with guilt attachments. I realized how many times I would feel like I was taking from someone, rather than receiving out of the love of them wanting to give me something ‘just because’.

I told my room mate what I was doing by purchasing this forty dollar coffee maker, and why. We got talking about this scenario of not feeling worthy to receive and he said he had similar experiences with getting gifts. While he came from a more financially blessed background he had still experienced the guilt attachments when he was given things. After a long discussion we decided to let each other know that we are BOTH “worth it, and more!”, and that there is nothing wrong with having an abundance or receiving gifts just for we are who we are, period.

Is it true that my life experiences are created from my thoughts? From my interpretations of the stories of the past which have played out my life and from the actions that I took as a result of the thoughts that ran through my mind? I have heard it before “change your thoughts and you change your life.”.

But… Is it really as easy as that?

The vast majority of the thoughts that were controlling my life experience were programmed. Those thoughts and beliefs became automatic and had been playing over and over my mind since I was a child. They were such a part of my life that most times I didn’t even notice them.

I wanted to take a closer look to see if there were other thoughts which I had not noticed before which were playing in the background of my mind. I sat down with a pen and a couple sheets of paper and for five minutes I tried to write down everything that came into my mind. Every thought – every word. Crazy right? I had spent years learning how to get quiet, to work with energy, to get my thoughts sorted and when I really stopped and paid attention to the thoughts moving through my mind I found a string of negative thoughts streaming in the background like an old computer program that kept running! Without a doubt I knew that those old thoughts were holding me back from happiness, fun, and best life which I could have. Completely unacceptable! It was the fall-back expectations which kept popping up, completely unnoticed.

It is said that meditative practices work to “quiet” the mind, to slow the stream of thoughts that move through and shape our realities.

In theory this works very well, in practice it was much more difficult to reach the level of quiet which people say is necessary to affect the types of changes that I wanted. Because I couldn’t quiet the thoughts which were racing through my mind the next best thing was to change those thoughts. To find ways to shift my old negative thoughts and turn them into a good thought. I could take a thought like “What else can go wrong” and change it to a more suitable statement which would lend to a more positive outlook “What could go right?”, and start visualizing those happy things.

This was something which I was more comfortable with at the time, an easier way to look at an experience. And depending on where I may be “at” within my feelings, learning, etc. I can change those statements for myself or work on something within my statement that I needed to change and this seemed to work better for me. It was a difficult task at times.

It’s like asking myself “What pants do I have on today?”

"Today I am wearing my argumentative pants! I won't keep them on because I like my happy pants too.", "Today I am wearing my Science pants, but I will change those tomorrow for my mysticism pants.". The key to happiness may be in recognizing that I can change my "Who I am." pants at any given point. Maybe someone else will show me some awesome pants that I like and want to wear -. I can do that too...

Sometimes (to use the metaphor), people have “pants” that they wear for a long time, so long in fact that they don’t recognize how itchy and tattered those pants have become.

Example: “Today I have chosen my “victim” pants because I felt slighted by someone, or by some circumstance, and I want sympathy.”. Those pants are fine to wear occasionally but they might make me look frumpy or hide my wonderful figure! They key might be to get rid of those wool-lined pants as soon as I realize that I have been wearing them beyond the point of them needing to be cleaned. In the past I would sometimes keep those pants on and when someone else pointed out that they are “wool-lined, and must be so itchy!!” and I was feeling already abrasive from the pants, I would argue about how “comfortable” the pants were. Sometimes I even claimed that the pants were lined with satin! I would deny that the pants were wool-lined and furthermore I sometimes even started to whine about how I couldn’t get the pants off, because they would scratch up my legs if I tried! The key is to recognize what “pants” I may be wearing, ask myself if I really do like wearing them. Ask myself if it matters if other people think my pants make my ego look big. And ask myself if maybe, just maybe, those pants needs to be washed. After-all do I really want to wear the same pants ALL the time?

I believe that an individual can learn from successes. I had been so busy focusing on “mistakes” – because I had been told that’s what to learn from and had never realized that I was having success because of being so focused on spotting failures. I was so sick of having to do all of this work on myself, and for what? I had been faithfully doing the meditations, visualizations, and still drowning in bills. I really wanted to point fingers at law of attraction material. I wanted to say people should be responsible when putting out claims about getting the life you want just by imagining it. But even more than wanting to blame anyone I wanted to see the proof, by way of it happening for me! I really wanted a beautiful life.

I could let go of blame. I was afraid of losing my business and I was wondering how exactly I would pay all of the bills that had piled up; feeling like I should abandon the “Ask and it is given” thing. I wanted so badly to believe that things would work out in a good way for me. I was starting to wonder if I was making another “mistake” in working with this material. I was still not paying attention to the successes.

As far as law of attraction went at this point I had some strange results, such as “asking the Universe” and visualizing fog, then fog would roll in the next day – fog being not highly common where I live. I have also experienced other things like my plants growing like crazy after I offhandedly said “I want a jungle in here!”. The plants had been in the same spot, with no light except for the kitchen light on the breakfast bar and had not grown at all for two years until I said “I want a jungle”. And now I can barely keep up with the plants and I am having to clip and re-pot them often. I also got a free tank of gas after I wrote a quick “Dear Universe thank you for the wonderful surprise at the gas station.”.

Because I did have those things happen it drove me to see what else was possible for me. I have no explanations for how it worked, it just did, and it was far too frequent for me to dismiss as “Coincidence”. Even my highly left-brained, logical thinking, room mate was stumped and intrigued. I was trying to walk a path to learning more about this “Law of attraction” and it would get me frustrated at times. I would have the strangest happenings and I was trying to learn how exactly to yield the specific results I wanted in other areas – like success by way of financial windfall, or attracting magical and serendipitous events which would propel my writing career in a big way. I also wanted to be surrounded by nice people – open-minded.

I wondered if the people who talk about and teach the law of attraction ever got mad, or gave up at times. I wondered if those teachers were being honest, I wondered if they made mistakes, and I wondered if some of those teachers out there really did just “wish” their dream life into their lap or if they really did just work their butts off to get the mansions. I guess it’s not really important how they did it since they have their own intricacies to work with (beliefs and so forth).

Some days it seemed so hard to keep on track with trying to be happy, visualizing how “I” wanted things to appear in my own life and trying to let go of the past.

Chapter Thirteen

A friend of mine has just started making a huge change to live the life that is true to her. She had been so miserable for years and barely spoke; when she did it was always negative or depressing. I always tried to play cheerleader and give her encouragement, but she never mentioned this issue that she was dealing with. The new change has made her incredibly chatty, very happy, bouncy and all around positive – because she is moving forward! I was thrilled to see this and also intrigued that it came from a major life change, from her wanting to live her life as she felt was meant to be. Since I have recently started writing and expressing more openly who I am I have found that it is far more authentic and freeing to just be “strange little me”. I have also noticed many people around me have started doing the same thing (being themselves) and they seem so much happier. It’s really quite a difference. I love seeing my friends happy! As I was talking to my friend about the new direction of her life I expressed that I too had recently gone through some major things in my life, and then (for once) I told her the truth about how I have been acting like a tough girl when really I hurt all of those years. I showed her some of my poetry and writing and she was surprised that I had kept all of this hidden. Things like not feeling worthy of a new coffee maker, wanting to be a full time writer, wanting to be myself, wanting a healthy relationship and so on. I guess I had just stopped dreaming or talking about my dreams at some point because the people I was surrounded with always gave me reasons why I shouldn’t dream – viewing it as impossible or unachievable.

My friends used to see me put the mask of “Yeah who cares about love, that’s for idiots.”. What I was hiding was the fact that I never truly believed that I could have someone really love me, fall madly in love with me and have a trusting and healthy relationship. I always felt that I was only ever worth sex, just a one night stand (or a couple weeks at best). I had also tried so hard to be heterosexual in order to please some people in my life, people in the past. I would put myself into “straight relationships” which then turned into purely just sex and would be left feeling that I deserved not to feel love with people because I was a “lowly lesbian”. Even when I finally felt sort of okay to “come out” I had built years of trying to really “feel love” and so it had been twisted into “There is no such thing as love.”. I was not feeling love, ever, because I had not felt it when I was trying to date men. I had also been told for so many years that I just had “not found the right guy.” which caused me to spiral even more into feeling like there was something wrong with me. Although I had fallen in love (with a still guarded heart) in the past – it was always with women. Years later when I “came out” and finally started dating women I felt like I was still not worthy of love because I was sure that when I did feel sparks it was “wrong”. I crammed any emotion of (guarded) love down, ignored it, and told myself “It’s not real”. I felt so hopeless of ever being able to experience REAL love. I truly believed that real love did not exist.

My friend talked more with me about the things I had been discussing in my book (telling her the things I was writing about), she said something I had been longing to hear for years… In truth it made tears come to my eyes because I finally believed it. What did she say? [_“You are worth far more than a coffee maker, and you are definitely worth being loved.”. _]It seemed strange to be hearing that from someone without a caveat.

It seems so silly but I had not heard that, and I so desperately wanted to believe it. I also told myself over and over that I am worth it and more. I cried so many nights just trying to convince myself that I am worth love, I am worth happiness and I deserve all the good that I desire. So many breakthroughs are coming at such a rapid rate and I am getting so excited about my future now, because my heart is finally opening up after years of being in lock down. I love the feeling when I say “I am worth it!”. I believe people are worth so much.

If you (the reader) have felt like you are “unworthy” let me be the first to tell you that YOU ARE WORTH IT! You are worth love, affection, dreams come true, the beautiful life that you imagined and all of the good that you could ever think of. YOU ARE amazing. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel that you are not worth it and especially do not let yourself believe that you are any less than wonderful and deserving of love. If you are struggling with this…. I hope you feel the truth from my heart – I care, I think you are amazing and I would totally hug you! You really are so very beautifully unique and I hope you find things out about yourself that show you just how astonishing you are. And may you never be surrounded by crappy people who try and tell you otherwise.

Chapter Fourteen

What exactly is love?

“There’s something about that girl, something kind of like a dream

Caught up in her gaze I’m waiting to be released

I know it’s kind of silly and it’s totally unplanned

But when I am around her she makes me want to just be who I am

There’s a wall between what I want and what she might be

there’s a wall that I put up myself, because it confuses me

to go into such a silly game with her, I want to know

I’ve been down this road a hundred times or more

But when I look at her I I cant understand why

I guess I opened up a new thing waiting just inside

So trickle into my oasis, show me what you can

Lets live in the now and maybe …now again

You know there is a certain freedom from letting go

Blissful anticipation of what I don’t yet know

So just tonight can we lose ourselves, embrace the feeling

and surrender to the tightly woven web of being

being blissed out, silly days, being just being

tightly woven.” ~ (Song lyrics)

After writing some lyrics I was listening to music which my friends have made. I could really feel them in their songs, which is what pulls me to music. One of my friends had no lyrics, just music and yet I can still feel him in it. There is such love for what he does. It seems to connect me to him in a way and it helps me to get to know him better. I think all music (or creative expressions) does this for me, for other people as well – we connect to something and it seems to bring a piece into our lives.

I was thinking about “living in the now” and listening to a piece that one of my other friends who is a singer/musician wrote, sang and recorded. It suddenly jumped out at me (I hadn’t seen this song before), so I listened to it. The words were so fitting because my now moment happened to be focused on romance and love. The song lyrics talk about “funny how we met” and “do you ever wonder about me”, etc. and I started reflecting on the whole idea of living in the now where romance is concerned. I wondered how do we know which is the correct path to follow which will lead to success. If our intuition/heart says go for it is that the voice which will bring about the events which are in favour with our true desire? Is our ‘failure’ fear that says “no” and if we listen then that is what caused the result? Do we miss out on things based on fear from the “now” moment, do we project a fear based worry which is not living in the “now” but rather an escape from the now? Or is it something intuitive that says “I’m trying to protect you.”. If we do go for something we desire and have a let down or embarrassing thing happen, does it keep us from ever doing it again? So many times I have heard “follow your heart” and yet when I did it was with a result that made me sad, frustrated, and confused. And so I would hold on to those old fears and I would apply them to future scenarios. I also had times when I was successful.

There were also other times when I “felt a nudge” and I did not pursue anything because I was afraid. Looking back and discussing it years later I found out that I should have maybe just gone for it. Those thoughts from the past held me back from living in the “now” in a few areas of my life. One area which was specifically difficult to move forward in was love. I had grown accustomed to just being happy with myself and not needing a partner. I would not be opposed to the idea but I was not eager to go looking for something that other people said that I have to have. Why bother when I was already happy with myself? Well, that was what I told myself to avoid looking at my insecurities. I was also taking myself out of living in the now with new encounters because my thoughts (of fear/cheating/failed relationships) would immediately go to the past, completely dodging the “now” with any encounter. I would thrust old worries, assumptions, and so on, into the future. As far as the law of attraction material I was working on it showed me what I was doing. Such a strange thing to consider, and funny how it came up when I was writing about living in those “now” moments. Why so much tension? I could say that it is because after 7 years in a relationship and then breaking up – then being single and meeting someone new I was a little skittish. I was also never really good at figuring out subtle hints when a girl liked me. Ask any of my ex’s, they will tell you that I “needed a brick to the head” to get it, in other words I was not good at noticing subtle hints when it came to romance. I think this was mainly due to the fact that I had a low self-esteem and I wanted to be cautious.

To get back to my story. I had noticed a new woman at this time in my life. I found her attractive and felt something which I hadn’t experienced in a long time and because of that I ended up a self analyzing mess.

So, dating. What is this dance that I had been flung into? All of this self help Law of Attraction work and I get … “Dating”?!!?

Is this an old issue that I need to work on, and the Universe (higher self, yadda yadda) has decided to toss at me? Was this a test? Did I even want to get back into this dating thing? There was that part of me that said “Because it is not a big deal, why not try?”, and the other part that said [“Why bother?”. _]If I were to focus on the negative it might be the cause of me missing a neat chapter in my life, no matter how brief. I wondered if I felt safer when things could just be a great story, such as “the one who got away”. I could see my fear; the things that I told myself [“But what if she doesn’t feel that way. Maybe she is just a friend”], etc. Are those stories that I was making up, or was it intuition telling me [“Just leave it be.”]? I did notice where my focus was – failure rather than the successful thought [“What if she ][_does][_ feel the same way.”_]. It was really uncomfortable to dive into wanting something again and battling the belief that it would not happen, was not possible, and all of the other negative frustrations.

For me (currently) I was more comfortable just to be curious, question what I think is my intuition and wonder if there is something. Do other people do the same? Is it true “what we give out comes back?”. If so was I giving out energy for someone whom I was interested in to stay away? Was this a test from the Universe to see if I was willing to be brave, no matter what the outcome might be? Was it teaching me not to make an outcome based around my fear? It’s confusing sometimes to ponder these silly things and I often wonder why they even come up in the first place when my focus was elsewhere. It did bring up a part of my life which I had avoided – “getting involved with someone”.

It wasn’t so much that this girl caught my attention. Rather it was the question being posed by myself, “Are you ready?”. Why think about that now? I am so busy working, trying to earn an income and keep my head above ground. I argued that I don’t have time for this romance thing because I was not wanting to be truthful and address my fear around the subject of dating. I was exploring the “Law of attraction” method, wondering if it is true that you can “ask and it is given”. I also wanted to understand “how do you know when the thing you asked for is truly being given?”. I had written down all areas of my life, including a girlfriend. When I wrote down the qualities of the girlfriend I wanted I wrote about her hair, her eyes, her being a signer/musician, her smile, I wanted her to be into LOA and open-minded about all sorts of things, I wanted her to be playful, and have a great laugh, etc. etc.

I had actually wanted a girlfriend and I wanted sparks! Undeniable and flirty sparks! But yet I was shy when a woman that I found myself drawn to did come along. Instead of facing my fears I clung to the old pattern of pretending that I wasn’t really attracted to her; making childish excuses about my behaviour. Ducking and evading potential rejection – believing that it absolutely would be such. This also started me down a path to working beyond some old beliefs and feelings and examining my esteem.

I noticed that when I asked for other things, and did the visualization of receiving it, I would receive some things which were exciting; things I had no real worries or emotional attachments to. But what about the things I really wanted? I have not received everything I wanted but I had odd results like my hair growing after years of no growth – whether that is LOA or just positive thinking mind/body connection, etc. I don’t know.

During my visualizations, I also imagined a house; I put a lot of thought into the house. Not long after visualizing my “dream house” I was looking on the MLS listing site and to my surprise this house actually exists! It has all of the things which I dreamed of; the columns, very specific type of floors including the colour, porte cochere above the driveway, exact driveway, exact trees I imaged lining the driveway. But how can this be so shockingly exact in all details?! The house is real but I have yet to be able to afford this house – even though I have imagined the money flowing to me effortlessly. Did the house already exist and I was aware at some level that it did? Or, was it something far more unexplainable? Chicken? Egg?

Imagining a dream house is something that I am comfortable picking out all of the details in. Although I did leave room for the ability to make changes and play with small renovations if I want, because those things are enjoyable to me. Unlike a house, I worried that a list might limit some things about meeting a girl who is “so close to what I want” (because of the details in a list), that perhaps it may create that “need to renovate” – rather than just letting things happen and experiencing that “spark” I keep hearing people talk about. I don’t want to change anyone. I am happy having made changes in myself, but I do want someone who is healthy-minded and complimentary. I am finally at a place where I can understand (and keep practising) that it is not necessary to change anyone, or settle with anyone. I trust that the right girl will come along when I am ready.

So with all of these highly notable things happening on such a regular occasion, which is hard to dismiss, is it possible that the law of attraction really does work? It seems strange that all of these things would be what I asked for, and yet were not the full experience. So what was going on?

I was not looking for the girl when I met her. I was not looking for the house when I found it. And yet there they were. So is it that we pick things up intuitively and think “Yes! I would love that experience!” and it happens? Can we talk ourselves out of something we requested because we have deeply rooted fear of failure?

Does it work with the lottery? No, seriously, does it!?

It’s funny, I just realized that I get caught up in worrying and doing what people call “Being attached to the outcome” instead of just enjoying the curiosity of the strange things which I have encountered. All I can do for now is try to remain curious and enjoy knowing that things which I am drawn to exist. The trick is to not project assumptions, worries, or disappointments into the future. Who knows, maybe I will get my dream house (career, car, vacations, income, and woman)! I guess worrying about it does nothing, just as not changing the worry accomplishes nothing.

So how do I go from “noticing” something that jumps out at me – to “allowing” it to happen? Can it happen that way for me?

I have been reflecting on love. What is love? Real love? Is it possible to experience real love? Can I move beyond my old beliefs and fears regarding this area which is so highly charged and layered with years of false notions and anxiousness? I am. I choose to not allow my old patterns dictate my life, especially when I am moving forward with finally creating what I do want. It may take some work but it’s worth it to me.

Chapter Fifteen

One of my friends had come to my Studio to get tattoos for herself, her daughter, and her husband. I had been trying to practice better listening and paying attention to people, something I had stopped doing because of being surrounded by people throughout my life who were judgemental, opinionated and cruel. While they were at my Studio I was listening to them talk with each other. I was also mildly engaged in the conversation as well. Part of the conversation revolved around being raised in Religious homes and how we (the adults) had grown up in fear. Fear of going to “hell” for so many things and how it had affected us as we grew up; how it skewed our view on certain things – such as being ourselves. It was a conversation which revolved around one of the very reasons (and subjects) which had caused me to stop listening to people. Funny how it came up.

I was completely silenced when my friend’s daughter asked why we believed what we had been told. Our explanations were as stated – adults in our lives telling us how things are, what the “truth” is and so forth. She responded with “People should just be themselves and appreciate who they are and love each other. That’s what the people who believe in God say is what they are supposed to do, right? Be loving and nice to each other.”. Validated by a child. How could a child get that and yet so many adults had not? I could have cried, and would have had I not been so busy with back to back clients.

I realized that my friend and her husband had raised one of the most beautiful spirits ever. What they themselves had gone through growing up had taught them to give love, to make a change and teach their children about love. Real love. The pure and untainted emotions; love and warmth, of my friend’s family was like a beautiful sparkling light in my Studio. It was like all of the dark clouds had swept away and there stood three people who were showing me what love is. Showing me that no matter what I have been believing (that real love does not exist), it was not true at all.

I started contemplating more about love. I was talking to my room mate/best friend when I got home from my 10 hour day at the Studio and I discussed how I never thought “real love” was possible, ever. I used to really believe that love meant changing who I am. Real love meant pretending, real love meant settling for something and calling it love, real love meant hiding myself to make others comfortable. Real love meant nothing to me. Why did I think that? Because I had not experienced real love. I honestly did not know that real love exists, and even more poignant – I did not believe that I could attain real love. Not from my friends, not from my family, not from anyone, especially not from myself. I used to tear myself down and call myself names (in my thoughts). I would knock myself out trying to be “perfect”; trying to be what I thought other people wanted. I would do things to get love, like giving away free tattoos to my friends sometimes, just to get their love. I would make myself feel lesser-than for not being able to meet my bills, rent, and debts. I used to look in the mirror and think [_“If I lose weight, get breast surgery, fade my freckles, get a nose job, and become a wealthy millionaire, then I can finally attract someone who loves me for me.” _]How strange.. “If I change, I can receive love for being me.”… How is that being loved for who I am?

Where did that belief come from?… Funny how we find the roots.

My thinking was so skewed, so foggy, and so damaged that I couldn’t just accept myself, let alone believe that it is possible for me to just be loved for who I am. Why change so much about myself? Why belittle myself so much that I hurt so bad and lost faith in life all-together? I am trying to change the way I view myself now, not change who I am at the core. I am trying to open myself to real love from people and not shy away from expressing my awe of seeing real love. I want to move away from thinking that people are just faking it. when I hear them speak of “love”, or when someone tells me “I love you.”. I want to believe that they really and truly mean it. I have always held back saying “I love you.” to anyone unless I really meant it, because I think that real love is such a highly prized gift that I do not want to use the term casually. I used to say “Love ya” to people in a safe way, which I felt was closed off from ridicule; closed off from giving “too much”. I did so because I did not want to get hurt. Now, when I tell someone that I love them (friends, etc.), I really do mean it in the deepest and truest way, free from fear. Now I want to see the truth when someone says “I love you” to me, and I want to believe them. I honestly never believed anyone before when they said “I love you”, because I couldn’t feel the truth in it. I want healthy love, love that is real.

My dog has taught me real love. My room mate has taught me real love. My cat has taught me real love (okay well cats teach it in a unique way). My friends I wrote about, who came to the Studio, have taught me real love. The feeling when I look at a particularly beautiful sky, sunset, picture, painting, song, or anything in which I have a deep appreciation, teaches me what it feels like… Love. No caveats!

I am learning what healthy love is and I kinda like it! It was scary for me to open up like this because of my past experiences but I am really starting to understand and believe that people can really say “I love you” and mean it! It feels terrific when my heart swells so much that tears roll down my face, because I feel a connection with whatever has brought about that feeling in me. I have been so afraid in the past – to let tears roll down my face or to write about things that make me feel “love”. I was surrounded in the past by my disbelief in love, my judgements about myself, my fear of being “real”; my fear of expressing emotion. I was afraid that if I expressed my softer side people would laugh at me or think that I am just weird. I was afraid that if I opened my heart someone would come along and smash it to bits, and I wanted to protect my heart at all cost. In the past I guarded my heart so tightly that I became cold and I stuffed my emotions down. I fought back against people whom I deemed as a threat to my heart.

I am done with the past, and I keep getting the message to “Let go.”. I really do want to let go. I want to see more of who I am. I want to feel real love and learn how to actually love fully without the restrictions of fear. And so I have started, bit by bit, slowly writing heartfelt emails and talking to people in an open and somewhat fearless way (still working on this). More importantly, I have realized that I won’t have to change who I really am to get love! I have been learning that once I really love myself fully and truly, without wanting to change, I will no longer experience my old beliefs about myself in the reflection of others.

I had another friend at my Studio who was at my studio the same day that I was tattooing my other friend. This friend came into my life at a pivotal moment, serendipitously, and pulled me forward in some of my thoughts.

A little back-story on this particular friend. She is a new friend. A friend whom I would not have met without a strange and wonderful series of events which occurred. I had been practising the law of attraction; writing down what I wanted in a house, a car, my life, my career, and a partner. I was specific about many things. One of them being the girlfriend, which I wrote about earlier. On a spur of the moment I was asked by another friend if I wanted to go to a gay pride weekend in another city. At first I was hesitant to go because I didn’t have the extra money to afford a weekend trip. But because I had been working on this law of attraction thing; remembering the teachers speaking about things like “When you get a nudge from the Universe, act.”. I thought “Well, I can try that approach.”, and I made the decision to go on the trip, believing that I would have fun.

A couple days before our trip, my friend had split up with her girlfriend and had decided she was not going. This would mean that I was going with my friend’s ex girlfriend and staying at the ex girlfriend’s parents’ house. I did not know my friend’s (now ex) girlfriend very well. I had only ever met her a couple of times, but I thought she was really nice. I knew I would have fun and this trip would help me to get to know her better. I asked my friend’s ex-girlfriend if her parents were still okay with me staying at their home, or if it would be awkward for them since I didn’t know them. She said it was fine and that she was actually happy to hear that I still wanted to go. We made arrangements for our trip out to the city. I had also been considering not going because my friend had mentioned that we would be taking the train to get around the city because they didn’t like driving and parking was expensive. I had always had a fear of taking buses and city trains. Something inside of me kept nudging me “Just go.”. So, I put on my brave girl pants and went. The start to the weekend was fantastic!

I had always been the person with the car, always the driver, and so I never got to experience the drive to the city – which I had driven to many times over the years. The mountains were stunning, the colours so rich and vibrant, the trees were so majestic and the sky was awe inspiring. I was like a child who had never seen these sights before. I felt an exhilaration coursing through me. I had the most amazing conversations with the girl who was driving, she was becoming a new friend of mine. She had such a positive outlook on life. She told me about her family, how she was raised, and about her life experiences. The way she explained her family made me feel much more comfortable to stay with them. I was looking forward to our weekend even more! I contemplated how amazing the nudge to go on this trip was, how I had already started to enjoy myself and have a positive outlook on the trip. It was much more relaxing to go without worrying about missing clients that I “needed” in order to pay my bills.

I own my own business and so I have not taken a vacation in many years. I was always afraid to take time off because I was struggling with money, struggling to pay back loans, and struggling to live up to what I thought people expected of me. Not going on vacations or having “fun” because it was not what a “good hard worker” does. I would have such a heavy feeling of guilt any time that I would think about taking a vacation. Even if I considered just going for a weekend it would cause me to quit thinking about a vacation and just stay and work. Even on my birthday, holidays, and weekends.

Getting back to my trip. I decided to let go of some of the guilt and just go have fun. I also told myself that I could do some networking. You know, to make up for the fact that I was missing two days of work.

The guilt still lingered and was tough to shake. I truthfully just wanted to be free and have fun.

I walked all over the city with my new friend. We laughed, had delicious coffee, and her family were truly fun and kindhearted people. To open their doors to me, a stranger, and welcome me in like I was an old friend. It was the most incredible feeling and I was so very thankful. During the first day of our trip my new friend had been receiving text messages on her phone from my other friend (her ex) and they had been going back and forth with their relationship issues. I was not entirely aware of everything that was going on. I was told that my friend was now going to be coming to the city after-all to attend the dance club event that we had purchased tickets for. At first I was worried. I was concerned that there would be an unfolding of tension which comes from a breakup and I was afraid that I would have to “pick a side”. Instead I decided to keep up with my positive thinking and not worry about any fighting. I did not have to be pulled in to the relationship issues of my friends, I could be supportive of both of them; knowing that they needed to work things out.

The night came where my friend showed up. I could hear mumbled talking, some laughter, and the voices of my friends doing their greetings. I also heard an unfamiliar voice and I was curious. I was told that my friend was getting a ride with a friend of hers who I did not know and that the friend actually lives in the city which we were currently in. The (new) girl had happened to be in the town where my friend was staying at the time because she had gone out to see her parents, but she had not been planning on going out there. And so my friend, who had stayed back, decided to come meet up with us since her friend was heading back to the city.

We had been sitting down with the family for dinner and I turned my head to give a hello smile to my friend who had just shown up, to try and show her that I am neutral and that I like her and her ex. As I turned my head I spotted the woman who had drove my friend to the city. This woman was beautiful. It was peculiar, I felt flushed and as I looked at her eyes. I felt something rather odd… A spark. I wondered if this spark was simply because I found her attractive or was it some other sort of connection that I had asked the Universe for. Either way I could not stop looking at the woman and wondering about her. My friend and her ex left the table to go “talk” and this left me alone with the new woman. We started talking about tattoos and she mentioned that she is a singer and musician. We also talked about how funny it was that she was not supposed to be in the town where she had driven my friend from because she had not intending to go out there on this weekend. She also mentioned that she had been looking for a tattoo artist who was into the law of attraction. Having heard that I was even more curious about what was happening….

Here was this woman, who made me stop and pay attention. She had somehow triggered in me a series of events and questions. It was in a weird round-about kind of way but there was no stopping that train. I had also felt a “spark”, something I had not felt before, much less understood. It caught me off guard because this brought up a whole rush of feelings, thoughts and beliefs about love. Not just in the sense of loving a partner, but loving life, loving people, and so on. I was not sure how this could happen, just from meeting an attractive woman. I also tried to convince myself that the woman is just beautiful and that’s all that this was about.

You know, just an intriguing new friend, nothing more.

I had originally thought that my weekend was supposed to bring me to the city to do some networking, bring in more business with my design line, my Studio, and other ventures in which I was hoping to make money. And yet there I was all of a sudden faced with curiosity and confusion.

I went for dim sum the next day, another new thing which I decided to try thanks to the urgings of my friends the night before. I felt really relaxed and happy just being out with all of my friends, eating a wonderful meal and experiencing something entirely new to me. I ended up asking my friends if their friend was straight. They replied that “Yes, the woman dates men only.”. Hmmm okay then, there’s that answer. I was confused because I felt “something” and I wondered if it was just a misplaced attraction because I was being opened up to the part of my life which I had carefully hidden away and denied for so long. But what was with the mention of the law of attraction? What about the serendipity of the whole thing?

I wanted to stop thinking about this woman but I found myself suddenly writing flowery poetry and opening up the idea of possibly starting to date again. In meeting her I was also nudged into looking at my beliefs about many other areas in my life. I also started to believe that it was actually possible to ask the Universe for a partner and believe that I am worth having a healthy and loving relationship (finally).

This new woman had already taught me so much about myself. It was both confusing and exciting.

Now, back to the day she came for a tattoo from me.

It had been a couple months since I had first met this woman and I was really trying to figure out why I had met her. What was the reason that the Universe thrust her into my life in such a serendipitous way? It was not for romance, my friends had already told me that she is straight. I found myself thinking that I would need to lose weight, change my this, that and the other thing, if I was to start dating again anyway.

While I was talking to her she told me how she is going to start working out because she has gained weight and she was speaking about herself like she doesn’t believe, or see, how beautiful she is. Light-bulb moment! I suddenly was able to view the reflection of myself in my new friend. I understood that I have been trying to love myself, appreciate myself, and feel confident but yet I was still struggling. I also wondered if I was able to accept myself, accept who I am, and more-so – just be comfortable with who I am and “let go” of all of my previous beliefs and perceptions about myself. It wasn’t that my new friend was just attractive. It was that she brought out more understanding of my beliefs about myself. She brought out more clarity of where I was at in my perception of myself and she brought out the excitement that I actually could have a loving relationship.

And I could start with myself.

I still had some things to work on with accepting myself and really giving myself “true love” before I could accept it from anywhere else. And for that I am so very thankful to have met my new friend. It’s funny how she stirred such a strange feeling in me, how much I have learned about myself just by listening to her and questioning myself if I had anything which I needed to feel better about.

I also opened up even more to understanding what love really feels like; Love from people, self love, friends, pets, and so on. I learned how to really give love in the truly genuine way, even though at first I feared speaking my heart to people I know and telling them how amazing they are and how many amazing things I see in them. I was afraid to give true love because I had hidden that part of myself away for so long; I was afraid to get hurt, or lose someone or something. I was terrified of love. I was afraid to believe that anyone would ever say “I love you.” to me and really mean it.

I also wondered about the humour of the Universe in placing a woman, who was so close to my ideal, into my life after having written about her in my “wish list”. I thought it to be a pretty cruel thing to do and I wondered about my dream home as well, since it was there but I did not have the money to purchase it. Soon after I realized that this new woman was actually compatible with me in friendship and I was very happy to have a new friend whom I could talk about this part of my life (law of attraction research) about. I think that I also came to understand that I had some personal esteem issues to work through still but I was ready to start opening up to the dating aspect in my life.

Onwards and upwards.

Chapter Sixteen

I wanted to know how to love; I had lost that sensation in my childhood. I had been so busy building walls in which to protect myself that I truly didn’t know how to love anything. I was even afraid to get (what I considered) ‘attached’ to things; people, or anything – because I felt like they would hurt me or go away any way, so why bother. I had pets that I thought were sweet and I would try my best not to get ‘attached’, which to me meant ‘love’, because I didn’t want to hurt if I were to lose them.

Something funny happened as I thought about “how to love”. A series of events which stemmed from just meeting a new person - my friend who I spoke about in the previous chapter.- who caused me to take a look love.

It began with my odd little dog.

My chihuahua had gotten into my coffee without me noticing and she had drank a fair amount. After the wonderful and strange day that I had with my friends I went home to go to sleep because I was physically and emotionally exhausted. All that “Love stuff” was tiring! At about half past three in the morning I made my way to bed after a long conversation with my room mate. At 4am my chihuahua started panting furiously and shaking. When my dog starts shaking it is usually a sign that she needs to go potty and so I got up to bring her to the washroom. My dog finished her business and was slinking away, still panting.

I wondered why she was still acting more oddly than normal and so I checked her backside and noticed wet brown fur (she is white). I had to bathe her so that she didn’t get poop all over the place…

4:45am and I am bathing my dog, who is still panting.

I got my dog all cleaned up and blow-dried her fur so that she was warm and dry. At 6am I was finally almost asleep but my dog had been shaking again. Not unusual for a chihuahua – but this was more like a shiver, a non-stop shiver and her breathing was back to panting. I asked her if she “had to go potty” and at this point I was getting cranky because I had been up since early the morning before and I had been tattooing back to back clients all day and night. I hopped up and brought my dog to the bathroom again… It was like a river of yuckiness, and my poor little dog had her whole backside covered even worse than the previous potty trip…. Back to the bath tub. By this time it was now 8am, my room mate’s alarm was going off and I was in full swing of being upset about not sleeping yet. I was yelling at him to shut off his alarm and I was scrambling trying to bathe the dog, who was looking scared and upset. I finally got my chihuahua cleaned and wrapped up in a warm towel. I sat on the couch with her, holding her and stroking her little head. At that point her breathing was so laboured and I truly wondered “Is she dying right now… Right here in my arms?”. I looked at her little face, her eyes were open just a sliver, she looked at me with so much love as if to say “thank you for holding me”. I started to feel tears roll down my face because I understood what else love felt like. I was holding my dog and I thought “I don’t like loving! Life sucks! I don’t think it’s fair to lose who or what we love! Why do the people and things we love have to go away?

I wondered if this is what love takes from us. Does love take and then give back an exchange made of pain?

I cried and cried. My room mate calmly made coffee (he is not a morning person) to start the day before he went to work. I just sat very still, holding my dog and stroking her tiny head. I looked in her eyes and said quietly “I love you so much it’s okay if you want to go, I’m here. I will hold you until you let go. I love you.”. Tears rolled down my face because my heart was so open. I felt so much love for this little creature and I wanted her to live. But I also did not want her to suffer if it meant living just to make me happy to have a small furball around to cuddle. That is part of love too and it really sucks! I was willing to stay with my dog and give her as much love as I could in that moment. I was willing to stay with her until she let go, even if it meant that I would experience the pain of losing her. I could do that much for her, she had been such a loving little creature who had laid beside me many nights as I cried through my shadows.

I had a chihuahua when I was little. She was one thing which I felt truly loved me (besides my hamster). She didn’t care that I was gay, she didn’t care that I was “weird”, she didn’t mind when I would hide myself away from the drinking and fighting which went on in our home – she would stay with me, lick my face and chase away all of the scary things. I slept in a room in the basement of our house, a room littered with dirty papers because my dog was not potty trained. I didn’t care about the mess because I loved her and the mess was just papers. I felt dirty. I was surrounded by dirty things and dirty neighbours – like the boy would would fondle himself outside of my bedroom window.

And there was another neighbour boy – whose room was beside mine (we lived in a duplex), he was mentally ill. The swat team had come out many times because he was in his room with guns. I remember being told to go upstairs to the living-room because of the possibility that the neighbour would start shooting and the bullets would penetrate the wall of my bedroom.

Those things made me so afraid, but I had my chihuahua who stayed by my side as I quietly wept through many nights.

Things happened and my parents ended up getting divorced when I was about twelve. We had to move out of our house. I had to give up my dog. My dog who I felt truly loved and accepted me, the only thing which kept me safe. I realized at that moment in my life I made a vow to never get close enough to love anything ever again – especially not pets, because of the incident I had as a child. I believed that if I ever loved another pet it would be taken from me. So, although I had pets throughout the years, I fought very hard not to fall in love with them entirely. This meant not cuddling them “too much” and not really wanting pets. I have a friend (in my adult years) who has made fun of me for “Treating my dog like a baby.”, she would say things which would always remind me not to be overly affectionate with my new dog. I could see that was an old belief and it was my own deep issue about being “overly affectionate” with pets. It was a sharp reminder for me at the time “not to get too close”. It’s sad to look at things like that, because I really wanted to be over-the-moon affectionate with my little dog and to love her and learn how to be loved by something again which holds no judgements. But what about the whole ‘going away’ thing? The inevitable end?

I have released this old vow of “Not loving too much” now. Looking at the reasons why I have closed myself off to love in the past has been a little painful. My method of dealing with hurt in the past was just to “suck it up” and I would hear people say things like “That’s just the past, so what?”. I would stuff things down which had happened in my life because I thought that I was being a “Better, stronger, and more independent woman.” when in fact I was actually becoming cold, bitter and jaded.

I am learning that it is okay to “Let go” and deal with these feelings, memories, and things which I am working through. And it is okay to cry about them. Maybe that is what needed to happen for me to really and truly “Let go”. I had worn my pain and experience as such a badge of honour for “Making it through”. I didn’t see that I had really just crammed memories down and told myself “You’re not allowed to cry!”. Certain adults in my life used to get mad if I cried; getting so angry when I couldn’t stop crying. And now I can’t help but wonder how badly they were hurt in the past and what was done to them that made them who they were? I don’t feel anger, I feel true compassion because those adults from my childhood must have gone through something terrible. I also do remember many good times with those people and I love them no matter what mistakes were made. They are human and they have had their own experiences – some of which must have been horrible.

I learned that I can love without being being afraid to lose because I wanted to really “feel” and understand what love is. I could open up to love before “It’s too late”. I had closed myself to love from anywhere out of fear. I did not want to close myself to giving or receiving love anymore!

In examining the past, while working with issues revolving around love, I also came to notice something else. I was thinking about “love” and thinking about my past relationships with men. I have questioned myself over the years because I was told that I had dysfunctional relationships with men because of what I had gone through as a child. Those memories are kind of sad but I don’t hold it against anyone, nor do I need to keep replaying those memories because I have let it go. I have always been attracted to women as far back as I can remember, and I was told it was “wrong”. I tried for years to be “normal”. And because I never felt romantic type love with men I would start feeling like I wasn’t “normal”. Since I didn’t feel that romance thing with men I would start to get icky feelings being with those men and I would feel icky because I was trying to pretend that I was straight. It was at those points where I started to wonder if it was true – what I had been told about only being attracted to women because of my childhood experience.

I really examined this as fully as possible because I still felt like something was “wrong with me”. I now understand what was happening as far as relationships go and why I would end up feeling “gross” after trying to make things work with men. It was not that I felt men were “bad” or “gross” because of what happened to me. I just didn’t have that “hetero” love for men in that relationship way. Men were my buddies, my compadres, my besties! The only time I felt the twinges of love – real love – and the butterflies which come from real love and romance, was with women. I was utterly twitterpated by some women I had met, even as a child. And it was so far removed from being “because of childhood trauma”. I am attracted to women because I am, period.

I realize that I would try to force love with men in the past because I thought that I had to be “straight”; I was told that being gay is wrong. Because I was trying to force something which was not natural for me I would end up feeling “yucky” and that is when those issues, which I had been told were my “reasons for not liking men”, would start to come up. I would think that maybe people were right – instead of understanding that I was just not attracted to men and that is perfectly okay. I felt that it was my duty to figure out why I was not attracted to men, having been told that there was something wrong with me for not being attracted to them in a romantic way, and it also kept me feeling like I was still “wrong” for being who I am.

I am thankful to have recognized this pattern and to have been able to clearly see the truth… I fall in love with women because that is who I am and who I am is perfectly natural, no matter what anyone else may think. Maybe the reason people felt the way they did is because they are not gay. Perhaps they thought that if they were to love someone of the same gender in a romantic way that it would only be because of abuse. But that is their judging and trying to make sense of why I love women, instead of asking and believing my explanations. I don’t know why some people in my life could not just accept that I love women, but I can honestly tell you that I don’t find women attractive because I was abused. I find women attractive because I do! I am not those people, they do not feel what I feel or think how I think. I don’t understand the romantic feelings towards men that my straight friends have but I can still appreciate that they have romance and love. And one day when I meet the woman I fall in love with I hope people will see how happy I am finally being me, and realize that I too am worthy of things like oooey gooey smushy googly-eyed love and romance.

I wonder if the Universe was showing me about love because the woman of my dreams does exist? Maybe I needed to work out my issues with love so that I could experience love in the way that is the most wonderful and healthy. I believe it is possible for me to experience the love which comes from being in a relationship, and it does not mean sacrificing to “make it work” with men. It doesn’t mean that I have to “force” anything, nor feel like anything is “wrong with me”. I can have love and the relationship of my dreams, with the woman of my dreams because I have chosen to be happy.

To get back to what happened with my chihuahua… You (the reader) will be happy to know that my dog came around fully within a couple of hours, got her spunkyness back and ate a good meal – which did NOT include my coffee this time. She was just fine… after scaring the heck out of me. It was just coffee, it was just a great diuretic moment in the life of a silly little chihuahua but it was a powerful moment for me and it began to crack the shell around my heart. I was beginning to experience “true love” again, and that was what I had asked to experience – I wanted to feel. I realized that I do not need someone or something to be taken from me before I learn how to love it. I actually know what love feels like again. It is a glorious, heart swelling, tears rolling down the face with joy, truly connected feeling!!!

It is so funny how a new friend, who I met through a strange twist of events, could hand me such a large key to open one of the most beautiful doors ever. The door to my own heart. But then again she is beautiful so why wouldn’t the door be equal to that. She has taught me so much and she has also taught me how to “let go”, and now I am ready to do just that. Incidentally, the tattoo I did for her had the words “Let go”.

I let go of worrying what people will think when I am genuine with them. I will let go of worrying that I will have to change before I am loved, or before I love myself. I will let go of being fearful of love and instead I will love fearlessly. I will let go of having to control everything, because I used to be afraid of losing control. I will let go of all of the emotions I am experiencing and instead I will just allow them to pass. I will let go of thinking that I am unworthy of happiness and instead I will believe that I am worth every damn bit of good that I have asked for. I will let go of wanting to change myself, and instead I will love myself even more.

And to my new friend, and to my old friends (and their families) …. Thank you.

I just went outside because the moon looked so beautiful. The moon has a rainbow halo around it and there are stunning northern lights dancing across the sky. It made me so happy and so appreciative of nature and all which I had gone through these last couple of days. As I sat basking in the picturesque night sky I suddenly visualized myself, my room mate, and our pets sitting in the back yard of my new dream home around a warm and crackling fire in a beautifully carved stone fire-pit as we watch the night sky.

I think I am getting the hang of this “visualizing the life that I want” thing.

Chapter Seventeen

[* S*]ometimes I get the odd sensation that I am writing for my life; writing to get all of the past out of me so that I can move on. Writing is what lifts my spirits out of the fog of “what ifs”, it lifts me so high that I feel so much lighter. I feel something coursing through my veins. It’s like that feeling when you ride over a fairground on one of those chairs built for two or three people; you can see beyond the fair, beyond the tiny people below, and you can feel yourself stretch out over vast distances. Those are some of the sensations I get when I write. I have such powerful moments as I let everything flow out of me through words. It’s much like sunshine blasting through low hanging clouds. I can even hear things more clearly now, I can see colours more vibrantly and I feel so incredibly joyful while I am writing. I could do this all day and night for years and years. As a matter of fact I realize that this is what I have been doing. This is the thing which I have been doing (so far without pay) that gives me a sense of belonging, of finding who I am; learning about myself. I can clearly visualize myself sitting in the office of my new home. An office where the windows are so large that I can look outside and take in all of the wonderful sights. Windows which are open just a crack so that I can feel the crisp Autumn breeze coming through, and filling my nose with the smell of the damp leaves. Oh that scent! I love the way the Earth and the trees smell at this time of year. The bold yellow, crimson and orange of the fall trees, set against a deep blue evening sky – birds making their way south as they take the cue from Mother Nature.

I can picture drinking Sumatra coffee, savouring the full-bodied earthy notes. Being wrapped in a warm blanket and just writing for hours as the winter slowly makes its way into the area. The snow falling softly in front of the big window as I walk across my office to turn out the lights so that I can watch the flakes tumble down slowly to the ground. The sensation of trailing my hand across the deep rich cherry-wood of one of the many shelves which hold the books that I love. I make my way back to sit in my soft leather chair and I watch the flakes of snow catching the light from the street lamps in the distance, making them appear as tiny bits of glitter.

I can feel so much in this moment. I can almost touch the cool panes of glass, the thick barrier which holds back the chilled air of winter. The tiny goosebumps on my skin as I feel the wind pick up just enough to push through the slightly opened window. I can visualize so many days and nights like this., and I have actually driven to the house. Oh yes, it really does exist.

It was to my happy surprise that everything I wrote about in my law of attraction “wish list” for a dream home already exists a mere twenty minute drive away from where I live now. I have driven by the home many times; driven around the area to check out ‘my new neighbourhood’. It is the most beautiful neighbourhood, the most charming large homes. The homes do not exude coldness nor “wealth” in the sense of having large homes just to show off. This neighbourhood has large mansions which feel loved. They are surrounded by so many massive and colourful trees, plants, flowers and orchards. I could stay all day and night in this marvellous thought until I am finally living in the house. An eternity of life in my loveliest dreams – on and on and on – as the seasons change.

Glistening snowflakes on my winding brick driveway, blowing to the sides of the tires of my new SUV, swirling in the crosswinds as I make my way up to the front of my house. I can feel the peaceful sense of accomplishment as I pull under the porte cochere; putting my vehicle into “park” and just sitting in my SUV for a moment before I grab my groceries from the back. I can see the front door of my house with an elegant winter wreath, made of cedar and scotch pine, and as I open the doors with my grocery bags in hand, I catch the woodsy scent which tickles my nose to say “Welcome home”. It seems so magical, such a lovely thought. I could write for hours in my office, the “office” inside of this dream home. I could just sit with my cup of coffee and write, and write. I can sense the scenes so vividly. Not a care to worry me, because the world is at ease and free.

I am doing the writing now, and I can feel the pull of having this dream come true. The people who teach the law of attraction say to picture what you want and make it as real as possible; I never realized how I was doing just that. For years I had visualized my “dream home” and when I found that this home actually exists, here in the area that I already live in, I was stunned! I was hoping that my other visualizations were coming to fruition as well – the lovely dreams where everyone is happy, healthy and abundant.

So many times I have been visualizing other things effortlessly, such as the time recently when I went to pay my car insurance. The woman at the insurance agency handed me papers to sign and all of a sudden I was transported to a visualization of a scene at a bookstore. There were people around whom I was hugging and smiling at, the feeling was genuine and heartfelt. As I signed my papers for car insurance, I pictured myself signing my books for people, it felt like a wonderful and happy moment.

I have also had other experiences revolving around my dream house and it including writing for a living.

I was coming home from work at my Studio one night, I pulled into the driveway and two of my neighbours smiled and waved their hello to me, a regular occurrence now that I have actually started talking to my neighbours more (ha). That night was different because when my neighbours first waved at me I felt a deep connection, like they really knew me! It was a visual in my minds eye; coming home and my neighbours knowing me, not from living in the building, but from being a well-known author who they had glimpsed a secret part of my life – my being within the pages of my many books and they accepted me. This was not in the sense of fame or popularity attachment, but it was the feeling that they had read my books and it had helped them! It felt like a wonderful and deeply touching moment of true appreciation and closeness.

I was over the moon with happiness as I played out the visual in my head. I smiled wide, felt such excitement, and I wondered “Is this what those people that use the law of attraction meant?”. It felt so very real, it also made me deeply thankful that I live in such a wonderful place and that my neighbours are so friendly. I feel so very lucky to have such a great experience living in this condo. True, the condo is not a huge dream house, although it was the start of a dream for my best friend and I. There was so much happiness and excitement when we purchased “Our first place” together. We are a family, my best friend and I. It may seem strange to others because we are not a conventional family. We are very close and so of course we own a home together – that is what families sometimes do!

I really love that I can look out my window and see the peak of the hill just up the street a little way. I love that I can watch the clouds roll over the top of the hill. I live between two lakes – which I can see as I drive down the hill to work. And for now, even though I don’t have many windows, or sun coming in (we face North, with windows facing that way), I still have luxuries that I enjoy about our condo like underground parking, heated floors in the bathroom, and two bedrooms. I also have some pretty terrific neighbours, quite a few which I have tattooed, and others who just love to chat in the elevator or hallways. I guess life is good. I am still writing, I am still dreaming and I have learned how to be thankful at the moment for things like macaroni and cheese, kimchi noodles, and treats like good coffee beans. I am also thankful to realize that settling for foods that I can afford on the small budget I have is only temporary, better things are coming.

Yesterday my best friend/room mate and I went to the grocery store to pick up a few small items for dinner, I wanted to practice spending money on a “nice meal” and feeling good about spending the money,. Rather than getting the usual cheap items such as noodles we decided to get things like chicken, bean sprouts, vegetables and rice, so that I could make us stir-fry for dinner. At the store I sat waiting in the car with my chihuahua, I was thinking how wonderful this feeling of love is, how alive it made me feel and I was wishing that each person who passed my car would receive the real feeling of love. People racing this way and that, some with small children, some older couples. I especially wished for the feeling of happiness and love for those whom I heard barking out their frustrations.

A woman on a bicycle was riding along side an older woman. The older woman clad in high heels, expensive looking jacket and jewelry, and the girl on the bike was saying something about being “down on her luck”.

The woman, without looking at the girl, handed her some money and started rushing off. The girl spoke up excitedly saying “Thank you honey, thank you.” and then she said “My name is Susan.” (I am not using her real name). At the moment in which the girl said “My name is Susan.” I thought “She just wants to be seen, she wants to be known.”. Tears came to my eyes again, something which seems to be happening regularly this last few months. I wanted so badly to run to the girl on the bike, hug her and say “I see you, you matter Susan.”, but she was gone. I did the only thing which I could think to do. I pictured the girl on the bike, whose name is Susan, and I sent her my love and I told her mentally that she matters. I also pictured ‘Susan’ receiving beautiful wishes, dreams come true, and to live a life of happiness; being seen, being noticed and loved.

I don’t know why, or even how, but I felt like ‘Susan’ somehow felt or heard me. I felt like ‘Susan’ would have a wonderful turn of events which would bring to her the most amazing circumstances. I also am very thankful for the girl on the bike. She showed me that I too share something in common with her… I finally want to be seen, I want to be heard, I want to matter, I want to live in happiness. I can feel the thumping of my heart, a bit irregular and sometimes knotted up; afraid to beat too loudly and yet it feels like dying and withering when it is caged. Sometimes it frightens me to wonder if I am living to die, or dying to live – the dizziness that sets in makes me want to take a nap and wake up in my own beautiful world.

Chapter Eighteen

[* T*]oday I sat down writing, feeling more invigorated, and I changed my bedroom around so that it looks somewhat like an office space for a writer. As I was straightening up my books on the desk I noticed a book which I had purchased about a year ago from a tiny bookstore which was closing. The book is hard-cover, written in 1951, and has nothing on the cover. The name of the book is on the side binding only. I bought the book for two dollars, it was high up on a shelf among many other books. The book seemed to call me to grab it and after some difficulty in reaching it I managed to pluck the old book off the dusty shelf and add it to the stack of books which I was heading to the counter with. I took a break from writing and thinking about love and happiness. I had been wanting to learn how to be happy with all that I have right now and I wanted to really understand what happiness “in the now” is. I wanted to really feel happiness, no matter what my circumstances. The book seemed to beckon to me again and so I picked it up and I went to lay on my bed to read for a bit. I was wonderfully surprised to find that this book contains the wisdom of many authors, many books within, and many philosophies throughout the ages. This book is not touted by any person whom I have come across, but yet it is an amazing book! And most notable, this book’s first chapter is on true happiness and how to really be happy without pursuing things to try and make oneself happy. I was intrigued and so I started reading through the pages, flipping each one to reveal more of its wisdom – teaching me about happiness, how to feel it.

I got it. It was a flash of inspiration, it was unexpected – a feeling; immeasurable happiness! I had only read a couple paragraphs when it hit me. I mean a real physical burst of sheer joy! I realized this is what “Happy” feels like, I really know this feeling! It seemed as though my room came alive, the light above my bed glowed a warm yellow over me, the walls where my art is hung seemed much more colourful and HAPPY! I looked at my chihuahua who was sitting beside me and she smiled her little geeky smile, and I understood that this is happy. I wanted to keep reading. I was thinking “Okay. Give me more!”. I didn’t want it to go away.

The book quoted authors and writers who spoke of being happy. As I was reading I stumbled upon one of the quotes which echoed the old saying “money does not give you happiness”. At first I was annoyed and I thought “Money would make me happy right now, then I could pay my bills.” but that was a quickly fleeting thought. I received a deeper understanding within me that, although money is helpful, it is not the cause of happiness – nor can it bring happiness if one does not already possess happiness within. Money brings helpfulness currently because we live in a world which operates around money. Money can assist one in being able to pay bills and paying bills brings relief, but money is not happiness in and of itself. It is merely one avenue (which should maybe be reexamined) in which to bring some things which assist in happiness, but not the source.

I started honestly, for the first time, feeling blissful happiness. The happiness that I am in a beautiful condo, happy that I have windows to look out from with a view which most people may not have the luxury to see. I have delicious coffee beans that create a wonderful aroma through the house in the morning as I start my day.

I have a best friend who is kind, patient and loving, who was always there to hug me while I poured out my sadness while working through my frustrations. I have pets who are my little fur family, as odd as they are, they fit here perfectly (because we are rather odd).

I felt deep happiness.

I get it! Happiness! What a wonderful thing! Something that can not be taken away forever – though it may be missing for quite some time. Something which is inside each person for themselves to discover. And oh what a great adventure to discover for myself, that a tiny spark of happiness was just inside waiting to reveal itself to me, waiting to be heard and felt! Waiting for me to notice it, just like the girl on the bike. Happiness was waiting, ever so patiently for me to say “I see you, and YOU matter!”. I asked for happiness and I thought it would come from purchasing things like my new car, my home, and the various luxuries which I had dreamed of. What I received was even better…. Happiness. Happiness that I did not have to buy because it is free, it is always with me, and I can wear it like a warm jacket at any time that I choose. Wow, what a great jacket!!

It may seem funny for anyone reading that I seem so thankful for happiness, but after years of forgetting what it really feels like it was a welcomed guest. It feels like the most refined jewel and it was inside of me all along. I wish for you, the reader, to really feel and experience true happiness, to really FEEL that overwhelming release of joyful emotion that happiness brings. It is truly a uniquely warm feeling to be reacquainted with.

I was going to finish this chapter with that last paragraph, however… Something magical just happened.

It is Thanksgiving, and I was being thankful for the left over stir-fry, for being able to write, and for having set my room up like a little office in which to get the feel of having a real home office. I was really feeling the things which I wrote, about just being happy and finally understanding what that means for me. My best friend came home from having dinner with his father; we went outside for a cigarette and we were talking – I was telling him about my ‘revelation of happy’ and we discussed the lovely gifts that his family sent with his dad. Funny thing is that one of the gifts was exactly what I had just been talking about – CHEESE! Yes I do really love good cheese that much!. And the other big news… he told me that the family is planning a trip… A trip which includes me! Where are we going? I wrote it in my law of attraction “Dear Universe, this is what I really want in the next six months please” list… A trip to Hawaii. I was floored, amazed, and ever so very, very, very happy.

My room mate and I took a drive after his father went to bed. The Northern lights are out again tonight, so very beautiful and peaceful. We talked about how we both feel so very happy, zen-like and content with what we have. We have not given up on our dreams of a beautiful big home but we are finally more calm about the dream. I guess life really is quite spectacular. I finally understand that happiness is a state of mind, a feeling, and it is priceless. I also learned that there is a calm excitement now about what else I wrote on my thankful lists… I am excited about so much right now! I am moving back towards hope and happy dreams.

I am mostly excited that I can be happy and feel deep love without having to first get my dream mansion or be on my full time writing journey and all of the other things that I thought I would have to achieve first. That’s not to say that I don’t still want those things or that they don’t bring a smile to my face when I think about them, but I am more relaxed than I previously was.

Without being able to just be happy how can one really appreciate life!

I do admit that I also grabbed all of my “Dear Universe” lists, which now amount to several books. I checked through my books wondering what else I had asked for, because I was excited about receiving. I also had a brief moment where I thought “I better write down MORE stuff!!” because I wanted to make sure that I covered everything, but then I realized that thinking came from an old poverty mentality of making sure to overstock – “have enough for rainy days”. I still had some work to do on that old fear of not having enough because there is an abundance all around, it is just (at this point) a matter of how those things can get to me.

I can experience happiness by living in the now. I had finally learned that too.

Chapter Nineteen

I was just awakened by a dream in which a visitor, who was staying with us, was rearranging some knickknack items in my home – white porcelain flowers, which is weird since that is not my taste. My room mate stopped him and said “Quit trying to rearrange her life.” and then he looked at me and said he never realized that our visitor had been doing this to me. He also said that I was perfectly fine just the way I am, and no one needs to change me or rearrange me. What did I get from that dream? I was truly appreciative that someone had stood up for me. I also realized that I am finally standing up for myself by being who I am. And part of who I am is someone who emotes and wants to experience things like happiness and fun. It was another powerfully adventurous day in store for me.

We really did have the visitor (who was in my dream) staying with us at the time. I had been toiling away working, trying to avoid being around the visitor because he talks about people’s weight in a negative way. He is not an intentionally cruel man, and maybe he was picking up on my own insecurity about my weight – mirroring my insecurity back to me. It does make me feel anxious when anyone says something about it; I am working on feeling better about myself and currently don’t know how else to handle the anxiety I feel. I also have views on people being bigger and completely healthy. I do enjoy being around our visitor because he is funny at times and he has interesting knowledge about rock formations – which is something I find fascinating.

I don’t like feeling self-conscious and I am very aware that it is my own feelings which affect me. This is just where I am at right now and I have faith that I will be able to release my old criticisms about my body.

I wanted to do something nice for our visitor and so I decided to take him for breakfast before he left to go back home. I had been wanting to go to a certain restaurant which was close by, and I wanted to work on “eating around people”. This may seem strange, but I needed to be able to have good feelings about myself no matter who was around. So I got up at four in the morning to make sure I could also make our visitor a cup of coffee. I showered and shook off the exhaustion from only getting two hours sleep (I had been writing all night again) and I woke my room mate to tell him about my “plan”. My room mate said it sounded really nice and he was up to going for breakfast as well, “even at this painful time of morning”. We are not really those suzy sunshine morning people, which is okay because we are who we are, and there is nothing wrong with being afternoon people.

We all went for breakfast, a breakfast which ended up being divine. I had been thinking “I hope they have eggs Benedict. I love eggs Benedict.”. Not only did they have eggs Benedict, but they have six or seven different kinds of eggs Benedict! The breakfast was delicious, the company was wonderful, and the sunrise was stunning. I was rather content and comfortable. After breakfast we bid our visitor goodbye and headed into town to pick up some Studio supplies. I wanted to try the “spending money on something nice” practice again and so I was out looking for a hounds-tooth jacket for my chihuahua for the fall weather. I also wanted to go to the medical store to pick up medical paper for my tattoo bed.

The medical store was still closed (still early in the morning) and so I ended up trying to go down the road to get to the pet store. I somehow wound up being turned around. I had missed the road which would have led me to the pet store and we ended up at the farmers market. The farmers market was one which I had seen signs posted for before and I had been wanting to go but never had the time to go (too busy working). It so happened that the Farmers Market was the only thing (for shopping) open at this time of day so I thought “Why not.”! I asked my room mate if he wanted to stop and “check it out” he said “yes”, and so we pulled in and then parked in the lot and got out of the car to have a look around.

There were fruit and veggie stands, some crafter’s tables with neat items, but I started feeling a “pull”, a very strong pull to keep walking. I walked on and came up to a booth which had magnetic bracelets – something which I had looked into before with curiosity. I stopped and then I felt another “pull” to walk to the far end of the long table which displayed all of the bracelets and necklaces. I spotted a beautiful bracelet with three large rose quartz stones in it. The bracelet made me take notice because of all of the “love” stuff I had been working on this last while. I know, from my long history of metaphysics, that rose quartz is for “love”. An earthy and vibrant woman with sparkling eyes walked over. She was the booth owner and the maker of the jewellery. The woman began telling me about magnetics and then suddenly the conversation shifted to all of the other things I had been learning about. I was telling the woman how I had been opening up and seeing other people changing and going through such a wonderful shift as well. The woman stopped and she looked at me with happy tears in her eyes and said “It’s you sweetheart, it’s you.”.

I was a little confused by what she said, but I felt something happen inside of me at that moment.

As our conversation continued I talked with her about how I feel about linguistics and she said the same thing “Language is hard when dealing with communication because there is the psychic/intuitive part missing.” – that is exactly what I had been trying to explain in my previous book! I looked at her and suddenly we both connected intuitively; we had an exchange without using words. I was shocked, but more-so mystified when it happened. I asked her if I could hug her, she said “Of course” and then she came around and hugged me so tight and said “I love you!”. The way she said it, the way it felt, the way she smiled, I realized that I was experiencing a total stranger saying “I love you.” and really meaning it. It was not in some fake manner – this was real and so very powerful for me. It also felt as familiar. I more-so shocked myself when I told her [_“I love you too.”; _]I did so completely unafraid. I did so because I really meant it, and I did it without worrying that someone at the market might think I am some weird, flighty, metaphysical crazy person. It was love, real love. I was also learning to open up to loving myself.

We exchanged emails and she told me that she is starting a new venture with writing. She was nervous about doing it because she is not a professionally trained writer…. I looked at her in this “Twilight zone” moment and said “Me too!” and I went on to explain that I found I write better when I don’t worry about being professionally trained, I just let the words flow. I also explained how I was nervous about my book because it is so “raw” for me and she told me she was doing the same thing with her book, and that she had been hesitant about being so open.

She thanked me and said “You made my day!”. I thanked her for the hug and for the beautiful bracelet I purchased because, believe it or not, the pain I was dealing with in my hand went away. I had hyper-extended my hand (between my forefinger and thumb); the injury had been so painful that it was causing me a great deal of difficulty while I was tattooing my clients. As soon as I put the bracelet on the pain stopped. Whether it was the power of healing magnets or the power of the moment and love of this woman, I don’t know for sure. I do know that this experience was healing in many ways and I was, and am, so very thankful to have had this experience. I also remembered that I had asked the Universe to show me what “real love” from anyone (including a stranger) really felt like. I wanted to have someone say “I love you” and really mean it and I had wanted to feel it in a way that made me believe it. And here on this early morning at a farmers market, which I had ended up at through a strange twist of events, the experience was given and it was fantastic – and not as weird as I had thought that it would be. I quickly looked at some other booths at the market and wished I hadn’t eaten already because there was an authentic Mexican food stand and the aroma of the spicy food was teasing me. But, that would be another day. I wrinkled my nose and asked my room mate “Do you want to look at anything?”. He said “No, I think you got what you came here for.”, because he understands this whole Universal nudge thing now too.

I kinda like this “love” stuff. It feels like a fuzzy pink blanket; warm, comfortable, tangible. And best of all it’s free. And I get to experience more because I am not afraid of it as I was in the past. I am also ready to believe that I can be loved and that I can give love, because I finally feel worthy of love and I don’t have to fake love with anyone, ever.

Chapter Twenty

Does fear motivate your life? I do things like walking because I love to walk, not because of the fear of not having a healthy and fit body. In fact it bothers me when people spread fear to each other about so many things. I love seeing the stars at night, the setting sun and feeling the cool wind on my skin. I love myself enough to enjoy walking and to enjoy all the happiness that I can allow. I also love things like fresh vegetables and fruit and I eat them for taste, not out of fear of not eating healthy. I am so lucky to be in a place where there is an abundance of things such as fresh fruits and vegetables. I also receive free fruits and vegetables from clients and from my room mate’s co-workers. I learned that I was never motivated by fear with certain things in life (exercise, eating, starting a new business, etc.), and now I am learning not to let fear stop me from expressing love either. I also believe that thoughts have a lot to do with illness in one’s body and fear is not a healthy thought to have. I am healing a lot of old wounds and I am getting rid of some skewed memories and beliefs which I had gathered from the past. I sometimes wonder if my weight issue was a protective mechanism – as well as the belief that I had about women gaining a lot of weight after a hysterectomy. Now that I have been working on myself (emotionally, beliefs, observations of old patterns) I feel lighter. I feel like the weight is being lifted and I can see the dark clouds rolling away. The clouds are no longer threatening and the air tastes sweeter.

I have so many things that I want to work on. I just need more patience.

I had often been told to “Be a morning person” and I was told that I should rise early in the morning every day “To be productive”. I find that I am more awake in the afternoon and evening. I seem to accomplish much more in the hours later in the day and I find that things such as writing tend to flow better. My writing, or anything creative, comes out much more fluid and more relaxed when I do not try to force the “time” in which to do those things. I have also recently realized that I do not need to force myself to conform to the hours or ideals of another person. I like going with what feels natural for me, and one of those things is that I work best in late afternoon and throughout the evening.

I don’t mind experiencing the mornings sometimes. I do find there is a certain beauty about the morning; the crisp air, the dew on the ground and the song of the morning birds. I prefer to take the cue of sleep when I see the morning sun lifting, I love watching the dawn unfold just before I drift off to sleep. For me the morning is foggy, like a veil of dreaming, it is not where I find my senses reaching out. I also find that there is a luxury which comes in the late afternoon; the way things seem to slow down and relax. Lost is the morning bustle, and in moves the peaceful hours which lay down the warmth of the ground in which the evening can walk. The evening, which is quieter now, sends out sparks to my body. Families gather to sit down to dinner to talk about their day and to share laughter around a delicious meal. The pinholes of the darkening canvass are starting to shine through as the sun disappears behind the now dusty blue mountain. The silhouette of the mountains and hills whisper great secrets, mystery plays in the hidden shadows behind the looming treeline. Quietly I gaze at the rich colours and place the scene within words of my books.

Yes, there is a certain liveliness in me which comes in the late hours, and I am thankful to share those hours with the limited few. These hours, they are as precious as the pastels of day but full of deeper colours and quieter moments. For me the afternoon and night is when I can create with optimal ability. The hours in which I awaken to weave my dreams, to live life most fully, to take the most immense breaths which fill my lungs. How lucky the Moon, to watch all of those below with such interest. To tuck the beings of the day into their slumber and to greet the rare few who dance beneath the mystery of her smile. I am thankful to be one of the few who greet the moon with an alert and joyful smile; the playfulness of her expressions united in my senses.

“To be kissed, as never before, under the falling cherry blossoms, to bridge the gap between our breath.” ~

I get waves of inspiration which flow through me and then I live in the felicity of writing. I pour out my heart and soul in my writing. I happily hum along and work many long hours with the most wonderful smile on my face, and the feelings of wonderful bliss. I have been feeling so free and feeling so much more alive.

I do question why things happen, like someone calling tonight who triggers me into being yanked out of my happiness. I haven’t spoken to her in six months. The truth is that I am trying to find a balance between loving myself enough to not listen to her tell me “Everyone has free will” – with that heavy tone of judgement about my “lifestyle”. I want to just be able to give her love, no matter what she says. I don’t like that I can be triggered so easily by her. It is very hard to maintain my poise with her sometimes.

I was in such a wonderful mood and then the phone rang, and as my room mate walked over to hand me the phone I felt a sense of dread. Dread is not something I want to feel when someone calls, nor do I want to end up crying afterwards. I am working on being okay with who I am. I know my beliefs about certain people comes from past experience and I am trying to let go of those old interactions – I will get there. I want to be loved without thinking that I will have to become the picture of perfection that I feel some people wish I was. I get these feelings when she says something negative, I feel such judgement that I completely close off to her because I think she finds me completely imperfect and I feel she wants me to change everything about myself. While this may not be the case, it still “feels” that way and causes me to spiral sometimes. I am trying to learn how to not be affected by other people’s beliefs, thoughts, and point of view. I am also trying to lose the critical view I have of myself, and be firm with this person in my life that I am who I am and it is not a “lifestyle”.

At times I see myself as a beautiful spirit, a loving being. And at other times I am highly abusive to myself, using other people’s beliefs to berate myself. I feel so childish when tears roll down my face; I don’t want to shut my pain back into my heart so that it can fester. I am trying really hard to accept myself; strange little sparkly wings and all. I am starting to love who I am, it has taken a great deal of practice. Talking to the person on the phone brought up an old memory. I cried again as I sat on the balcony and my room mate/ best friend said “You’re my family, and I love you.”. It made me cry more. I was telling him that I have always felt on the outside. I always felt an emptiness in myself. I really think that emptiness came from never allowing myself to be whole – always hiding and keeping away parts of me which I thought were horribly flawed and broken.

I had the most wonderful visual earlier today of going home to a mother and father and introducing my girlfriend, the woman of my dreams. I pictured them wrapping their arms around her, welcoming her to the family and being really happy for me that I was blessed with someone who loves me so much. Oh to be so happy. To be so loved and accepted, it was a perfect dream…. I never felt “suited to” my parents – I was so very different than my family, and I had beliefs which were not even close to theirs. I felt highly misunderstood and I longed to be accepted.

I do have a family that I fit better with now. It is my dog, my cat, and my best friend. We may not be what people think of as a family in the traditional sense, but we love each other. I call my dog “the weird little kid”, my cat is “the other weird little kid”; we are a family of weird little kids and I think we are pretty okay. We certainly love and accept each other, more than I have ever felt, and we certainly have happiness. Life wasn’t always what I pictured and I often was jealous of my friends who had such loving families who openly loved and accepted them. I used to think that was all fake; a great act in the theatre of family… I see now that was just an old belief. I am also starting to learn that just as I wish to be accepted for who I am – maybe I can accept other people for who they are. It does not mean that I need to submit myself to being told that I have to be what they think I should be, nor do I have to submit to things which hurt me. I can do my best to ignore that. Better yet I can stay away from the person at this time until I find a way to break through this issue. I do love that other person, I understand that others view things differently…

That feels better.

Chapter Twenty One

A review and some wonderful lessons gleaned. I was reading over, and examining, what I had written in the previous chapter. I was astonished when I checked the news feed on one of my social networks and started seeing post after post about learning to love those around you – no matter how dysfunctional they may seem to you, and learning how to find balance. How could I learn to maintain the ability to love certain people who were close to me without having their opinion of me affect me in such a manner as to make me cry? It would seem that if I am feeling good about myself and I am confident then those things won’t bother me. If I am loving who I am then what others think wont affect me, because I love who I am. I still hadn’t quite “got” that I did not love myself. It did present a question “If I love myself, am I willing to expose myself to people who say things which hurt me?”. The answer is no. The answer was also “Words can’t hurt you if you don’t allow them to, you are stronger than you know.”.

Excuse me, what?! Okay, how can I do that?

I realized that I can’t be around certain people right now while I am learning how to heal. I understand that they have had their own thoughts, fears, and issues to battle. I do not know what all of their battles are, but I can appreciate that while I may be learning a different perspective and experiencing a life change, they may not.

Ending the viscous circle of blame, anger, and hurt seemed like a reasonable thing to do. It’s so funny how one very important thing (to me), such as wanting to experience love in the way that I feel most natural, is something which created judgement against me in the past. I lived with judgement against myself for many years and I am finally able to let go of that. I am following my heart and that feels right for me. So where’s the balance?

I question myself all the time and wonder if what I am feeling is really mine or if it is the opinions, thoughts, and judgements from the past. Perhaps it is just the baggage of others. I am moving forward. I am strong enough to do this; to figure this out. When I am alone, when I am feeling the happiest, that is when I can feel the “knowing” that I really am okay, and that is a wonderful thing for me to finally understand. I trust that voice that encourages me. I trust that feeling and I trust myself more and more with each day that I work to be free of the old criticisms.

While I was studying and making changes which felt good for me I would get caught up in examining issues such as “Making changes in the World”. I would wonder if it was my “duty” to do all of the things – such as end World hunger, bridge the gap between Religion and Science, stop animal abuse, and all of the countless other causes. The feeling of being lesser-than came because people write about how others are not doing enough. I was trying so hard to get love and recognition for being a “good” human that I would end up knocking myself out to prove my worth. I thought that there was so much not being taken care of in the World and I started really being frightened about all of the horrific things people said were happening. Believing them all to be true.

I don’t know if some people truly realize how much is being done that they may be unaware of. I certainly couldn’t see those changes back in the past because I was too focused on all of the fearful things. I have seen so many people already making remarkable strides. I can be okay with others having causes. I personally used to take all of those causes and stretch myself thin. I also wore myself out mentally and emotionally, and I ended up feeling hopeless because it seemed that the World was filled with so many atrocious things. I was still trying to figure out how to make a change, how to help, how to be most effective. I was also still desperately trying to change myself so that others would appreciate me.

I needed to ask myself what makes me feel happiest. What makes me feel alive? I had to realize that what I do is important. I never gave myself credit for the things that I did because I was always looking for validation from others – while not believing that I did anything of any real significance. I was so wrapped up in the old belief that people “have to prove themselves” while not seeing that the many things that people already do is good enough. I know the deepest parts of who I am, I know the things that I am trying to accomplish. It is not for me to tell anyone else that they should follow my path, or do what I do, or think what I think. So why was I allowing others to tell me what to do, think, be, feel, aspire to?

There are other things which bother me still, like getting annoyed when I see people spreading fear to each other and speaking of perceived horrors, but I never stopped to think that they might actually be living those things and so my heart goes out to them. I also believe that they can break free. So how can I work with issues like that? I want to walk my talk, being mindful about others’ choices while still respecting my own.

I feel like I reside between two or more Worlds right now. I can see so many abundant and wonderful things. I can see the magic of nature and how it is perfect. I finally feel joy, happiness, real love, and the wealth of bliss which has come from stepping out of the darkened corridors of my old beliefs. I sometimes feel guilty from finally experiencing this wonderful life when I see so many of my old friends still living their nightmares. But I absolutely believe that they will make it through if they choose to live a happier life. And maybe they don’t want to change, and that is okay too. I still love them but I will no longer carry the burdens of any more horrors. I will no longer allow anyone, including myself, to tell me that I “need” to worry, fear, or feel bad. I have done that long enough.

It is time to move forward and allow who I am to be enough. It is time that I allow the understanding that “I may be much more” to come through. It is time that I let go of feeling inadequate just because I never understood what I had to offer was anything “all that great”. I know that there are many things which I can do and they are things that are fun and easy for me – for the most part. I am still working through releasing feelings of under-achievement which were based on viewing other people’s achievements and expectations. Things which were never my own calling, never my personal gift. And I am starting to recognize that writers can make powerful and effective changes, and can do so comfortably. The changes which I want to make are in being okay with myself and inspiring as many people as I can so that they may find a way to love themselves. I do this already. It feels wonderful because I am not pretending “love”, I am not pretending or trying to force myself to be anyone else, and yet I can still encourage others to be themselves.

I had started posting some of my writing on my blog and I was bewildered at the responses. Friends telling me things like “I love all that you post… it brightens my heart right now. Thank you for brightening my life.”. When I read those comments I tried to accept the compliment rather than slide into my old pattern of disbelief. The feeling that I could make someone feel good and be an inspiration for them is such a sense of true accomplishment for me. I like being able to do that for people and I guess it is important. Sure it may not be the same as building a rocket-ship to go to another planet, but I have a gift which is important! I do get super excited when people ask me when my books are coming out and when they tell me “Hurry up and write, I really need that book right now!”. I sit back and think “Wow… Really?”.

I am done questioning if I am good enough. I am ready to just open up to life. Flow with the wind, like the birds that I watch catching the subtle currents to surf the skies. I can hear the song, feel the rhythm, and I smile so much more easily these days. When I first started opening up to love and happiness I wondered if I was supposed to “make it happen” all the time. I wondered if that blissful feeling, which comes often to me now, was supposed to be all the time. You know, make it happen, be in bliss 24/7, rock the blissbah. I had a chuckle because once I stopped trying to control that feeling, I would experience it more often. The feeling is sometimes delicate; it puts a smile on my face for no reason. And other times the feeling is so intensely powerful. I have learned that I don’t have to force it. It is just a natural thing which occurs and it is mine to always have because I opened up to allowing it. Perhaps it’s like a shy mouse – if you rush at it wanting to squeeze it (because it is THAT adorable) it flees. While at other times it may be a roaring lion, which stands tall and speaks volumes.

I am good with just allowing the flow, doing what feels natural and trusting that “letting go” does not mean that I give up. It just means that I get to enjoy life finally.

Wow. I just realized that I have already effortlessly written 122 pages of this book! 122 pages in a non-formatted word document; the pages probably amount to more in a printed copy. And I have so many other books bubbling up wanting to be written. Some are fiction and fun, some are poetry and metaphors, and some are deeply touching... All of these books are telling me “Write girl, write!!”. I feel so completely excited, invigorated, and ready to write as much as wants to flow from me. I love this feeling, I love that I am “working” and it is not work at all; it is fun and wonderful. I can visualize myself doing this for years and years and still having even more to write about! Now to drop the guilt of work being fun (ha!). Is this what the people who talk about a person's “calling in life” mean? Is this where I finally fit in? It sure feels like an old friend, it feels like a comfortable pair of fuzzy purple slippers. 33,000+ words of love, that's what this book feels like for me so far. That is a LOT of love.

I am currently sitting in my bedroom/ “writers office” and my little chihuahua is snoring. I called it “Take your kid to work day”, and that made me feel good. Really good in fact! I am getting the swing of feeling that it is okay to work from home. I actually do a LOT of work from home. I write for hours – from the time I wake up until well past when I supposedly should be sleeping. This desire to write is in me, it is freely pouring from me, and I enjoy this.

I look out my window as the dusk approaches; the sky is now a deeper yellowish colour; the colour of a fall sky. The neighbourhood is much quieter than in the summer because the condo where I live is usually purchased by people as a vacation residence and so most people leave the area as fall rounds out, going back to their other homes. I love the playful laughter of children in the summer months, but I also love the quieter moments as autumn moves in because it seems more reflective to me.

I can stare for hours out my window at the vivid colours. The trees with green leaves closest to the trunk, working out to bright yellows, oranges, reds, and sometimes pink. My neighbourhood can also feel so very mystical, like the times when I hear the coyotes howling at night. Some people fear coyotes, but not me. I have a respect for them and I understand that, as with any animal, they can feel tension from fear and that can cause a protective reaction. I feel their gentleness, I admire their intellect, and I feel really close to them. Just as I feel close and connected to my beautiful ravens and crows; I see their unique beauty and I relate to the feeling of being an outsider. I feel what it is like for them to be feared without understanding. I will always hold the creatures and people which some consider threatening or “scary” close to my heart, because I have always been able to see beyond their protective masks. I love the beautiful things I see in them. They are like pieces of coal which have been under pressure. While some other people may not have the gift of seeing beyond the exterior of a piece of coal to the diamond that hides within, I look at the rough edges of each one I come across and I always encourage them to shine as brightly as they can!

Chapter Twenty Two

Some people tell me that I am extroverted, some tell me that I am strange, some tell me that I am edgy. I call them crazy, because they never asked me who I am.

Something inside of me says “As you walk through the dreams which others may have for you, do not lose sight of your own. Shout it as loud as you can “This is me, this is who I am!”. Do what YOU want! Dye your hair vibrant colours! Keep your hair natural! Eat fresh foods! Eat fast food! Drink coffee! Drink what ever makes you truly happy! Do what you really, REALLY want! And keep going, keep dreaming, keep working through. Don’t make age something which means losing the fun things, the silly cartoons, the playfulness! Dream your dream, not the dreams of others. Love yourself, love that you can do anything, because you want to and it makes you happy! Or don’t, the choice is yours alone to make for yourself.. If your dream is to work at an office, dream it as big as you can! And if your dream is to sing to billions, or even a one night show at a small cafe, do that! And if your dream is to take in animals, do that! And if your dream is to live a simple life, do it! Just remember to be mindful that others may not want the dreams for themselves that you do for yourself. Others may not understand your dreams, just be yourself. And enjoy finding yourself, in your own time and under your own rules. You are the authority of your life – no one else.

Wow, what an amazing past few days. I have been getting the hang of customizing my choices, in the way which would make me happy. Thinking about what I would like to have, be, do, and experience. I am finding so much of the old thoughts, beliefs and worries are just dropping away, like the dried flakes of an old cocoon which no longer confines me. I love this new feeling. I am falling madly in love with the possibilities to live the life I love; the excitement is wonderful and the anticipation is bubbling over.

So what has happened recently which gave me such a lift in my spirit? Well, a couple of really neat things actually.

I went to the bookstore, somewhere I love going because of the atmosphere – the smell of paper and wooden shelves, the lighting, and the imagination that it invokes in me for example; those things make me happy. On my last visit to the bookstore I had picked up a book on gratitude which I had been eagerly waiting for. While browsing through a section at the far back corner of the store, I was looking at other books which piqued my interest. However, I was on a mission to get the book I had gone there for. I headed over to the area (front of the store, opposite corner) where the sales person had told me that I could find the book that I was looking for. I was talking to my best friend, and he said that he was surprised that I never looked at the metaphysical section. He mentioned there was tarot cards in that section too, which is something I like looking at. I asked where the metaphysical section was because I wanted to check out the cards to see what they had while we were there. My friend said that the metaphysical section was over at the far back corner, in the area which we had just left.

I told him that I hadn’t even noticed that the store had a metaphysical section and then I made a remark that the metaphysical section “Should be at the front, in the section we are in now.”. The section which we were standing in is the “self empowerment” section. It made sense to me why the metaphysical section should be in with the self empowerment stuff. My friend looked at me, agreed, and then we thought nothing more of it.

Fast forward to a couple of days ago, the time span between my last bookstore visit and this recent visit was about 3 months. I was still working with the law of attraction material and so I had written three things in my “What I want/Gratitude” book this day.

1)“Dear Universe, Thank you for the amazing and wonderful surprise at (The place I had intended on eating lunch at).

2) “Dear Universe: Thank you for the winning ticket I bought from (the place I was intending to purchase the ticket from). Thank you for the large amount of money and for guiding me to the one I purchased.”

3) “Dear Universe, thank you for the (book I wanted on this trip) being on sale at the bookstore I was going to.”

Why I wanted this book which I was going to purchase is because it is by one of my favourite authors and I had felt like he knew something about law of attraction practice; he had certainly been outrageously successful with his fiction books. I also had a “feeling” that I should read more of his “less popular” books. Part of his popular series, but lesser known.

With me so far?

I had been getting messages from random places, pointing out “Be specific” and so I thought that I was being specific. I wanted a winning lottery ticket, a sale on the book, and a surprise.

I did get what I asked for….

1) SURPRISE! The place in which I had planned on having lunch was closed. I found out later that my best friend had not wanted to go and so he was happy because he wanted to purchase books instead. That was fine, because I had been slightly concerned over not having the money to do lunch and was trying to force myself to pretend that I am wealthy (as per a method by one of the law of attraction teachers) but still feeling anxiety over spending money. Another step in being more relaxed about allowing, something that both myself and my best friend were working on.

2) On the way to the lunch place I had stopped at the gas station where I was purchasing my ticket. I focused and chose the ticket that I felt “Guided to”. It was funny because I don’t normally get scratch tickets; in fact I think I had only ever purchased a couple of them in all my years. So there I was at the counter, picking out my “winning ticket”. I smiled and felt happy because I knew it was a winner. I asked for that! I hadn’t actually checked the ticket yet, but you know… LOA and all of that. (we’ll come back to this one).

3) At the bookstore I went to the “sale” section to look for my book. The peculiar thing is that there was a book which was an analysis about the works of the author of the book which I had gone to the store to purchase. The book had the description “A reissue of the literary detective work examining (the writer's) mystical sources and inspiration ...” . That book was on sale at 73% off. I laughed and thought “Apparently I may be correct in thinking that he knew something about the law of attraction.”, since there was a book written about the Author and his works which was “detective work” examining his “sources & inspiration”. After reading the descriptive forward from the book I went off looking for the original book that I had gone to the store for. I was even more fascinated now that I thought that I would find some answers in this obscure book.

I had also remembered that on my last trip to the bookstore I had not gone back to the metaphysical section to see what they had because we had rushed out of the store after purchasing the book which I had initially gone there for. I turned to my best friend and I asked where the section was. He took me to the far back corner of the store where he had been browsing the metaphysical section on our last trip. We searched and searched for the metaphysical section to no avail, so I decided instead of wasting time we would go look at the self empowerment section again, just to see if there was anything new over there.

My best friend and I have a specific teacher which we both feel more “in agreement” with. We like that she is open to people just being who they are, and she does not attach a list of “who they should be” to her material. We had been discussing looking at the teacher’s material again (the material which we already have at home).

We continued talking and made our way over to the self-empowerment section in the store. Arriving at that area in the bookstore, we both suddenly halted in our tracks… Why did we stop? Why did we both look at each other with eyes like saucers? Why did a huge smile creep across my face as I reached out and touched the shelf?

There, right in front of us, was the metaphysical section in with the self empowerment section… As I had said that it should be!

I was elated, for two reasons.

One being (of course) that the entire section of books was moved into the area in which I thought it “should be”. That is no small task and it made me really take notice!

The other was that I wanted to see the Tarot decks on this trip to the store.

Funny thing…. I was looking at the Tarot decks and there was a deck which was out of place. It is a deck which was created by the teacher that my best friend and I enjoy, the very teacher which we had been talking about! It is a deck on abundance and law of attraction. The deck was right there in front of my face. The deck was not at all what I was expecting; I hadn’t even known that this teacher had a line of abundance cards. And yet it was what I had been asking for – more material from this specific teacher. My room mate and I looked at each other and smiled and smiled. We did not stop smiling as I picked up the deck to add it to our purchases for this trip – having the money to do so since we did not buy lunch earlier. Hopefully one day we will not have to choose one or the other.

I had to go check and to see if the store had any more of these particular cards, to see if the deck was in its correct space, and perhaps to see if I was just making more to this than need be. You know, “The deck being out of place mysteriously!”. I found the spot in which the deck I grabbed are supposed to be; the self empowerment area, two book cases over from the section I was looking at. There were plenty of the same decks in the area in which they were supposed to be. I would not have gone to that (self-help) section on this trip because I had looked at the area on the last visit and the book which I had wanted on this trip was in the fiction section. To my happy surprise I got to experience a little bit of awe and mystery on this excursion. So here was what I asked for, in a slightly different twist of circumstances. Funny how that works!

My best friend and I talked all the way home, we were so invigorated and happy. We talked on and on, wondering aloud “What else can we ask for!”, we were starting to get really excited about this law of attraction theory.

Back to 2) I started thinking about the ticket that I had purchased earlier in the day, because I had briefly glanced at it to see what the prize amount was. The prize amount is a choice between a lump sum payout of $675,000.00, or an annuity prize of $1,000.00 a week for twenty five years. I asked my room mate how much $1,000.00 a week for twenty five years is (he is a math whiz, I however avoid math when ever possible). As my friend was adding up the amount, it occurred to me that I had written down in my “Dear Universe” book six months ago that I wanted to make $1000.00 a week by writing my book. I also wrote recently that I wanted to start getting paid now for the writing which I have been doing.

I almost couldn’t breathe. I had been thinking that the “only way” that could happen is if I won a different lotto. I had been so overly focused on that other lotto that I hadn’t even really considered that I could just get money from many other avenues, people, circumstances. I asked for the “Work at home, writing my books.” and I had visualized winning the lottery – so that I could pay for other things such as publishing, advertising, etc. I was starting to get really excited. Arriving at home we put away our coats and I grabbed my ticket out to scratch it to see what I won.

I ended up winning twenty dollars. At first I was perturbed, because I had been shown the possibility that this ticket was what I asked for ($1,000.00 a week). I looked at my “Dear Universe” book again to see how I had worded my request – since I had been getting “Be specific” messages everywhere.

Indeed, I got what I asked for on this trip… I received “A” winning ticket; twenty dollars is a large amount of money to some people and I was thankful for the twenty dollars. I also became aware that there were other ways to open up avenues of getting what I wanted (like publishing). I had requested to get paid for writing, and it was the specific possible winning amount that the lotto ticket I had been drawn to was. I am doing the writing now, I had asked to get paid now. But what’s with the “so close but no cigar.”? Aha! Old belief about how things work in life – time for that belief to get deleted. I have absolute faith that I will be given what I asked for and I will be even more open to receiving without focusing on how “The only way that I can possibly see how”. I also learned that there is more than one way in which to accomplish things. Touché Universe! Very clever.

When I went in to the store to get another ticket, which I was purchasing with the winnings from my first winning ticket, I figured that I “Had to choose” the tickets. I could not leave it up to trusting that the cashier will give me a winning ticket because I need to feel “Guided” to choosing….

Yes, you may laugh now.

I have noticed that results can sometimes work through many people, things, events, and so on, and I am open to things coming to me in whichever is the fastest route. I will also continue to do what I know to do – because this whole “ask the Universe” thing is not nearly fast enough in its response with the things that really matter at the moment. And, it is perfectly okay for me to get what I want, rather than wait around. I am also working on “Letting go of feeling like I have to control everything in order to get things done properly.”, a trust issue. I amuse myself sometimes!

In thinking about being an author. I had written down “Dear Universe: I want people around the World to read my books.”, and I had been trying to figure out “How”. I was wanting it to be via a huge publishing contract (but had not written that part down); trying to figure out how to “make it happen”. A couple days ago a woman from England added me on a social network. I had been wondering why she added me and was going to email her to ask. As soon as I added her she commented “Read your book online, really enjoyed it so far… Well done “. I was surprised, elated, and excited about the compliment. It felt wonderful because someone I did not know had just given me supportive words which helped me realize that I can write books which will be read and enjoyed. It was also a neat experience because her husband is a well-known author.

I reminded myself that a friend of mine in Turkey has also read the preview of one of my books, as well as a couple people in Australia and some in America. That is just a small handful of people that I am currently aware of. I was getting what I asked for! “I want people around the World to read my books.”.

I guess there were plenty of areas where I hadn’t noticed that I was getting things I wanted. I had always been so focused on wanting money so that I could get what I wanted – guilt free, without having to work on my deeper issues like accepting gifts from other people; letting go of feeling bad for it. It was mentally easier for me just to make my own way in life and not accept help (which was also associated with the feeling of accepting help as being helpless). In the past I was unable to see that I was always given things I wanted, I could only see and feel the guilt around it. It was like my mind was being helpful and only giving me those experiences which had guilt attachments – because I had twisted accepting things into feeling better if I had to do something for it. That rotten old saying “Nothing is free in this World”. Yes it is!! I had personally given people gifts (and help) just because I loved doing that.

So why had I not allowed myself to receive anything without feeling bad? It’s strange, the things I had done to myself. That was also why I wanted the lotto; it made a part of me feel guilt-free and yet there was still guilt about people who win the lotto not deserving it because they didn’t work for it! Being fully aware of my deeper beliefs and programs has helped me to realize that I was stopping myself so much in the past. It was better to go back and reexamine what had been going on and why.

When I wrote that I wanted an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables I was thinking that winning the lottery would make it so that I could afford those things – the income from working was being eaten up by bills and mortgage. I had received fresh orchard fruit (my favourite – cherries) from one of my clients who just gave without any reason attached to it. This client has also taught me a lot and has given me much needed support when I felt like giving up on writing. I have a lot of respect for him and I feel richer for having met him. We had also received fresh garden vegetables from people at my best friend’s place of employment. I kept thinking “I don’t want it that way. I can support myself!”. I would diminish the happiness of being given anything because I would attach negative feelings and beliefs to those wonderful gifts. But I did want those things for free – I just did not want the guilt attachments which had come with “gifts” in the past; the opinions about what I should do to “earn” those things. It was very hard for me to receive anything because of my past experiences and the feelings. I carried of guilt, shame, and unworthiness with things which should have been enjoyable experiences (given in the correct manner as opposed to the way it had been done to me). It’s nice to be able to drop those old beliefs.

According to the LOA material I need to be specific about the amount of money I want and quit trying to figure out the how. So perhaps I could try that now. I am still curious why I have been only getting limited abundance and if there has been something else blocking what should be “the flow” that people speak about. Perhaps I should try this gratitude thing again? Dear “Universe”: First off, thanks for showing me that I have not been noticing that I was receiving some of the things that I had asked for because I was too busy looking for it in other places.

Thank you for delivering all of those requests as best as they could be delivered currently, I am sure there is more which I have not yet noticed (oopsie hee hee). I am thankful that I paid attention to the scratch tickets which were shown to me. I am very thankful for the winning tickets I purchased the other day and thankful that I am learning to “Let go”. I will trust that things can work out in ways which I need not control, knowing that there are actually people out there (like me) who give without caveats. I can allow the winning $1,000.00 a week winning set for life scratch ticket to be handed to me (without guilt). I also am thankful that it could be even more money than I had expected because I also have another “free ticket” to redeem which I will gratefully accept even more money to come to me through. Thank you, thank you, thank you (The LOA book said to thank the Universe three times – did I do it right?). I also can accept that there are a variety of ways in which things I request can come to me. I may not have had the perception in the past to see all avenues which were open but I am grateful to now understand that there are many avenues. I am also grateful that I am learning!

Did I word that correctly now? Am I there yet? You, the reader, should also know that I worded the request while batting my eyelashes and waggling my brows.

I was talking to my friend on the way to buy my “winning ticket” and I had decided to let him pick where to go, make it an adventure! He decided that we should go to the West (about a 45 minute drive), which actually made me happy because there is a store over there where I could buy pink edible glitter for the sugar cookies I made. I made the cookies in honour of me finally breaking free and being who I am. Sparkly is part of who I am!

Our conversation was about how I realized that I needed to still work on trying to control every single detail and how to find the balance of writing down what I want without saying “how”, and without worrying about being deserving. I also noted that I had already received other items which I had requested and we discussed the trip to Hawaii – an issue I had deep guilt about (accepting a trip being given to me). I started reviewing why I wanted the 50 million dollar lottery win, an ongoing request, and I reconfirmed that it was because I wanted to pay off our debts, buy my dream house, car, vacations, and so on.

I started questioning “What do I really want?”; examining why I wanted to have such a large amount of money. I like having the “security” I thought – and then I understood that “I can feel secure with or without having millions of dollars”. Then I thought “I want to be able to travel to all of those places I have dreamed of travelling to and have lunches at places I want to eat at (without cost being an issue).”. Then I received a thought that I can do that too, and maybe someone else will pick up the tab – maybe it will be a gift or some other set of circumstances which provides that experience. I did feel a lot of discomfort around this idea because I was still hooked into feeling bad for receiving gifts. So why the multimillion dollar win? I wanted to be able to afford to take my friends on an all expense paid vacation to somewhere really nice and have the financial ability to do so while still having more than enough money to pay all of my bills in full all of the time, and purchase things I adore. I also wanted to show people what gifts without caveats are like – thinking that others had been given gifts in the manner which I was accustomed to (with caveats and guilt), not realizing they may have never had anyone do that to them. That realization made me stop, and it took me a moment to digest.

“I like the independence of purchasing things for myself and others” was my response, which was partially true. It also still had a guilt feeling of “wanting to be the giver, not the receiver.”. And I guess after having felt bad for anything that I have received from people in the past I just wanted to give to people (and myself) in a manner that has no guilt attached. Giving and being free with my money where I choose. Isn’t that the fun of having money? I wish money wasn’t even an issue. I also want to finally allow myself the same respect by being okay with receiving, especially with big things like millions of dollars. Some people like having a lot of money and some people like a simpler life, it does not make one any better than the other. I am learning about my own personal choices.

I am so ready to experience the flow of financial abundance. I gained a deeper understanding that I don’t “Need” money to have the experiences that I want to have nor to receive the items that I want. I like the money because I like the independence and maybe that is another thing that I can work on… I have always done things for myself, maybe it’s time to let the Universe, the people, circumstances, and events help me… I can release the guilt and understand that I am worth it. Understanding now too that I have had an issue with asking for anything in the past because that made me feel indebted to people. I guess when I heard that a person could just “ask the Universe” for things it brought up some old issues for me to work on. The issues were mine and came from experience. What needed to change was only my own feelings of worthlessness, my own guilt for wanting to have a fun and wonderful life, and my own belief that I could receive from anywhere and anyone without feeling bad. I do need to work on justifying why I want what I want. This little back and forth in my thoughts had taught me that as well. What is it with money? Why is it so prevalent?

Chapter Twenty Three

Letting go of past judgement. Taking a new perspective and understanding how I viewed things in the past was no easy task. I am getting there now; I am moving beyond my past. Sometimes I still get caught up in trying to “help” others find a different perspective, a happier and more positive outlook. In those times I try to remind myself that I am walking this path and it is not for me to try to get others to be happy. That is their own journey to take if they choose. I also remind myself that just because something does not make me happy, it does not mean that it does not make another person happy – and that is just fine too. It was so hard to watch my friends post pictures of terrible things that they focused on and hard to watch them go through misery and sadness. Then again that was me being focused on the terrible posts as well. I was trying to be positive and I didn’t want to do what some other people advised “Walk away from those people who do not uplift you or make you happy.” because that felt like giving up on them. It was also difficult because when I saw negative posts, or if people talk negatively, it pulled me into feeling depressed and I didn’t like feeling that way. What to do?

For the time being I had to block the fearful posts and be mindful about what my friends were going through; they might have been doing what they were doing to work out their fears. I also needed to keep reminding myself that what they are doing also serves a purpose. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I could be supportive without lending to their fears. In doing so I reminded myself to look for the things which made me happy.

I am still working out my own personal issues from the past and I suppose that one might view some of the things which I wrote as negative because I have spoken about the difficult things which I had been working through. The majority of my days are happy and, although it may seem like I am predominantly focused on the past issues, I am actually moving forward and releasing past hurts. Writing is the thing which helped me clear out old patterns that I was unaware of; things which bubbled up. It is a really great way for me to actually see where I was getting hooked in. One step at a time, one day at a time.

How can I make a change today? I would like to focus more on writing. I have been neglecting it for a couple of days because I was working through feeling okay about the fact that I work best in late afternoon and evening; battling guilt over this issue when it is nothing to feel guilt about. I don’t understand why I am still worried about other people judging me for the hours I keep. In fact I had never even questioned why I felt that way. It was so automatic just to feel bad and not question why. It’s a strange thing to look at and I can see that I am still looking outward – comparing myself to how other people live their lives and still trying to make myself “fit in”. I need to start appreciating that I work long hours and my writing is something which is vitally important to me. I am lucky that I can write at the hours which are most creative for me. The hours in which this happens should be a non-issue. I guess I am breaking past old barriers, thoughts, criticisms, and allowing myself to be okay. All while trying to release the feelings of “depression” or bummed-out-ness which happen when I read depressing things. I don’t want to have to stay away or ignore friends who are depressed or fearful, but the trigger for unhappiness is there. I do feel it dissipating a great deal, which is encouraging!

I was doing a meditation and listening to sounds which “help your brain relax”. I started thinking about how lovely it would be to see sunshine because I woke today with clouds, hail, and grey skies. Curiously, after this quick 10 minute meditation, I opened my eyes and the sun is shining bright, lighting up the gorgeous fall landscape. I also feel much better. Stopping my negative thoughts after reading depressing posts was something which I could do without trying to make my friends stop posting those things – it is up to me to make myself happy and that does not mean by way of trying to control things around me in order to achieve this. I should also mention that I am not speaking about the people who occasionally post something painful which they may be going through at the time. I am talking about the ones who post almost daily about negative and fearful things. The ones who get upset if someone does not engage in the fear. Again, it is their right to do so, but it is okay for me to choose to view things which make me happy and not engage or worry about them being upset over the fact that I choose to have a clear mind and look for solutions rather than focusing solely on the problems. Finding equanimity was extremely helpful, and I was able to let go and focus on what makes me happy. It is such a tightrope walk sometimes, but I find that meditative programs really help. Writing also helps me to focus, clear my mind, and look at things differently.

So what happened today. I read something with a negative outlook on life and I was really trying to keep my friendship with people, no matter what, because I love those friends dearly. However, it made me spiral into looking at negative things which still bother me. But maybe that’s a good thing, I always examine what my feelings are and how to deal with them.

A friend, along with a handful of others, had posted a picture with a quote that read “If you can not accept me and stick with me through my bad days, then you do not deserve me on my good days.” That saying feels like a guilt trip. And yet I had been sticking with those people through some really bad times, but I had recently stepped away a bit more and I had started being less engaging as I was making personal changes in my life. To me, if someone needs to remove themselves temporarily for their own happiness, or if they might be at a stage where they can no longer take negativity, it is not true that they are not a ‘true friend’. Sometimes I need to walk away from certain people for a while, it does not mean that I love them any less, it just means that I may be going through a tough stage in my own life and so I remove myself from people so that I don’t snap at them or pull myself down. It may not be the best way to deal with things but for now that seems like a reasonable thing to do.

I started feeling so upset by all of the depressing posts, comments, and quotes which people were putting up. In the past I was always trying so hard to “be a real friend” by ignoring my own happiness and trying to stick it out with my friends. You know, not “give up” on them. And because of that I spiralled into guilt, shame, and cursing myself for not being able to handle all the negativity. Some times I really just needed a break, and I could have used a little cheer-leading from someone myself.

The way that I used to handle being around adverse surroundings was to chime in with others about horrible things, in order to be able to relate. I hadn’t realized that I had been gathering all of those beliefs and focusing so intently on ‘problems’, it can just become habitual.

I started looking at other areas of my own life where I had been bottling up some problems and, as not to add to all of the negativity which had surrounded me over the years, I figured that I had better start taking a closer look at how to create more positive changes. One of the areas were blocks which I found myself experiencing with “ask and receive”. When it came to working with the law of attraction I found myself struggling with a lot of old issues revolving around receiving… and asking. I had past issues in which I felt that I would only be loved if I gave things to people – like money or gifts. In the past when I would come into any substantial amount of money I would buy things for people, give money away, and do as much as I could. Most times I gave out of the joy of doing it and then other times it was out of “Please love me.”. Why had I done that? What happened to make me start giving just to get people to love me? There was the part of me which received joy from giving. The battle was with the part of me which felt that I had to give things to get love rather than for enjoyment.

In looking at this pattern I realized that when this whole “law of attraction” thing came up I started feeling like it was wrong for me to ask for things. I wondered if the Universe (Nature, Energy, or God, or what ever you feel comfortable calling it) is conscious… Does the Universe feel emotions such as love? Are we really the Universe expressing itself? What exact parts of the Universe are we? Is it own my mind, or the mind of the Universe that is the thing that has been taking me on this adventure through stormy seas? Who, truly, can answer these questions? I have to say that I don’t believe that humans know all there is to know and a lot of old beliefs have so many negative attachments to them. I wanted to know more of my personal blocks and hidden beliefs, and why I was encountering so many ‘worthiness’ issues.

I struggled (for the purpose of) believing that there even was a conscious Universe because what I had been told about “God” in the past seemed so limited, and I wondered if when people said “The Universe” they meant God. That is where my “ask the Universe” issue was. Old beliefs stemming from the experience I had with a small group of Religious people. It tainted so much of my views about anyone who mentioned the “G” word. I also was suspicious of people saying to “ask the Universe” because I wondered what, or more-so – whom exactly am I supposed to be asking here? And “does this Universe come with a set of rules and caveats; worthiness, expectations, judgements, cruelty, and so forth?”.

If people believe that there is a “God” that is all loving and kind then why do people say the he says “you will be punished for being ________ (all of the things that those groups claim is “wrong”)”. I was told as a child not to question the “word of God”. I was also told that the books which have been written are the “word”. I was told that “God” gives unconditional love. But if people really thought about it... more importantly “Felt” about things, they would understand that some of the things that they claim are certainly the furthest thing from unconditional love. I wondered if people tried asking their own heart “what it felt” if that would change anything? I guess that's why I never bothered with Religion. I was so disillusioned with Religion because of what I had been told that their God said and did to 'his children'. It caused me to feel that I was nothing more than a mistake, a black smudge of dirt on a white sheet of piety.

I also noted how some of those people viewed and treated their own children – and everyone else – based on what they had been told.

Some of the people in the Religious group I grew up around said that certain people are not “good” and they judged others harshly. Even in them saying “I’m not judging, but God will.”, that is judging. The underlying feeling is that one is doing something “wrong” and so will be judged for it. What happened to asking your heart? Isn’t that where they say that they are connected to God?

I realize that I am having a minor struggle detaching “One small group of people within a Religious group” from other people who carry the basic beliefs of that fundamentalist sect. I am trying very hard to acknowledge that one small group should not paint the whole. I also realize that it is a common habit to do so. I believe that there are many unexplainable things in this World and I also think that when people say things such as “The Universe (God/Goddess/Deity/etc.) likes this, that and the other thing – only.” then they are limiting themselves. If those people believe that what they call “God” is infinite and all knowing, do those people not understand that it (He) might just be far more intelligent and loving than their perceptions and judgements? And, what happened to love? Seriously!

I have a personal feeling, a deeper sense of love. I am just opening up to considering that there could be something vastly more intelligent than what I have been told in the past. It could be nature, higher-self, a deity, it could be a “Universal mind”. I am cool with just leaving that open for the sake of curiosity, growth, learning and individual interpretation. I also have experienced a variety of connections (spiritually/philosophically) within many groups: Buddhism, Wicca, Ironmanism, etc. Some people in those groups had their own limitations on acceptance, and I have observed them work through some of the past hurt which had been inflicted by others.

I have noted that if someone, or something, is “different” it can cause fear in some people – which sometimes leads to ignorance. I guess that’s one of the reasons why I befriended so many “Outsiders” and so many non-religious people. I could see that there was nothing “wrong” with those people, even though I had been told different. I didn’t understand why they thought some of the things which they did, nor did I understand why they believed some of what they did, but those people were nice. Even if they were different, I was curious about them, I wanted to understand them. Some of the things which they did sometimes escaped my understanding, but I didn’t think that they were doing anything “terrible”. They were just different; they have a uniqueness and they are really awesome.

It is better to let go of worry. I prefer to live my life in the way in which my heart tells me to. I have learned that fear, worry, doubt, and all of those negative aspects of thought are unhelpful feelings. Love, happiness, and understanding, is what feels “natural” to me. I had only been exposed to a small experience in my life which taught fear, conditional love, wrath, judgement and so on, and those things do not feel “right”. I dislike using the terms right and wrong because it is (again) pinning something inside a tiny box. I prefer the term natural and un-natural, but even then that would indicate that there is a right or wrong. I recognize the difference between a good feeling and a bad feeling, and it feels good to love and be myself. As I was on my path to self-discovery I kept feeling like there was something trying to have a “connection” with me. And honestly, it felt like me. A bigger part of me, an unabashed and playful me! I don’t know how to really explain it without making it sound like a spiritual epiphany. To me it feels more like a spiritual experience which is unexplainable (to a certain degree) except to say that it is a journey of self-discovery.

I understand that some people may believe that this could be what they explain as “God”, or a “Spirit”, or “Higher-self”, “Something”; a deeper truth. It is my experience and, try as some other people may to give me their belief, it is my assessment to make. To me it makes no difference what anyone chooses to call anything. What bothers me is the fighting over a name, fighting over “right and wrong”, fighting over individual discoveries and experiences. Growing up listening to other people telling me what that feeling inside of me was, or telling me that the dreams I had were silly nonsense or wrong, gave me a feeling of separation. Separation from myself. I am happy without the criticisms and hatred of myself and others, which some people have. It is also perfectly acceptable for me not to belong to any one group. I can live my life and have my own beliefs while allowing others to have theirs. I also appreciate that people have personal beliefs which help them. There are a lot of really neat people around. It seems funny to me that when I am doing things which go opposite to what I was told growing up – doing what feels good for me; being okay with people, beings, “mystical experiences”, curiosity, questioning – I feel much more at peace. Much more in harmony with who I am.

There is a voice inside of me which says “You are not bad, you are wonderful, I love you unconditionally, there are no mistakes.”. I trust the loving voice more than the voices of judgement, hatred, fear, condemnation and ignorance. That voice is also within me, not outside of me. Some people call this spirituality, I call it self love. We all have our unique discoveries and explanations. There are a lot of Scientists and physicists, etc., who also have what I consider to be a deeply spiritual experience in what they do – and in what they perceive.

It is different from what most would think of as a “spiritual experience”. In listening to them closely when they describe “discoveries” (for example) and really hearing them, I have heard some deeply profound statements and awe inspiring view points. Why would anyone want to take that away from them? Why not let everyone have their own experiences in life, make their own interpretations?

One thing which held me back in having my own experiences was the guilt; something I was taught as a child. Guilt can be a real bitch sometimes! I needed to perceive for myself. I wanted to believe that I could be around a variety of people, a variety of beliefs, and simply observe and allow for diversity. So far I have done just that. Being just one human being, who has worked to accomplish this for myself, caused me to question “what about Higher Beings/God/Deity/etc”? It would make sense to me that something which some groups believe is all-knowing would also be able to do this. It also seems logical that the higher being would have already known this, and that only humans (with their short years on Earth, and their limited awareness) would be the ones who had not yet learned it.

I have heard strange beliefs and confusing ideals throughout my life. Things which were starting to bubble up for me to examine. Observations like abused women, within certain Religious groups, saying things such as “Honour thy husband”; I watched as they tried to “make things work”. For the sake of what? To be accepted by some group? To disrespect one’s self in order to please others? It pains me to see people suffer and I truly believe that life is not meant to be about suffering. I don’t believe that someone has to suffer to prove how worthy they are of anyone’s love. That is cruelty. It was really uncomfortable to look at this.

As I was dealing with my past I came to a point where I felt like I should go to a psychiatrist to get deprogrammed from cult programming, and it was making me feel ashamed for having come from this background – and for having ‘issues’ (fear, anger, self-esteem problems, etc.) because of some subconscious beliefs. It was also one of my issues with looking into the law of attraction material. A lot of the teachers use the word “God” and I thought “Great, another way to lure unsuspecting people in; spin the cult teachings, tricking otherwise happy people into guilt.” (“Do all these good deeds, behaviours, gratitude, and you will get rewarded”). I wanted a better life. A life of my choosing and a life free of the expectations of others – a life of being loved for who I am, rather than being tested for how much pain I could endure and having to measure up to some level of perfection. I carried that perception because of my limited experiences while growing up around a small number of people who were told what to believe. Those people were genuinely loving deep down, they just got caught up in believing in Dogma – rather than in God. It is good to ask questions; ask groups what exactly their beliefs are – what exactly they propose.

Looking at my past was frustrating and a little cathartic. I wanted to know how to get over my trust issues which stemmed from childhood. Believe me, it was no small task to rid myself of trust issues. I’m sure a lot of people have trust issues stemming from many other experiences as well. I was personally attempting this because I needed to move beyond those old issues if I was going to examine the law of attraction material; noting (again) that it was because I had bumped into people who spoke about God, and that caused me to throw walls up and listen with suspicion because of my previous encounters with Religion. I also really just wanted to heal that part of my life and move on to better things.

I know there is something to the “Get what you think about” and “Ask and it is given.”- at least to some point - because I have experimented with it. I also question “Who am I asking exactly?”. I do have some “scientific” views involving matter, energy, cause and effect, neurology (plasticity), and other subjects which I have found similar information in. Working with the LOA material I noticed that I was drudging up a lot of beliefs which have been carried over from my childhood and that sometimes really pissed me off. But, because I care about my well-being, I work through my own anger to try and understand why people do the things they do, including myself. Why was this is even an issue for me? How could I make this workable? How could I be okay with anyone being who they are while still being allowed to be myself? I was really trying. I was carrying such a deep resentment from things which hurt me growing up and I came to a point where I had to make changes - instead of carrying bitter fruit. The time had come for me to enjoy the sweet taste of ripening; the surprisingly delicious fruit which grew from the gnarled branches of the tree.

Maybe it is the deepest part of me, the truth of who I am. I have always tried so hard to understand people because I have a genuine curiosity of who they really are. Not the persona which people wear, but their dreams and aspirations. I believe people carry dreams inside of them, the real them, and it has been carefully tucked away as to protect themselves from the world around them. Perhaps it is that I am learning about who I am; finding out that it doesn’t matter about the circumstances in which I was raised, or who I have been around, because I can overcome any obstacles.

I have learned that I wanted to let go of the hurt which I had lived with and I wanted to see a different way to try and get along with many people.

I may not share the beliefs of some people, but I was able to at least understand some things about myself from having made this journey into examining my inner workings. I was able to understand (better) that I did some things in the past because of my hurt – like not even giving someone who said “God” the time of day because of my experiences in dealing with others who believed in God. I hid who I was because I was afraid to express myself and so I never truly gave people the “real me”. And maybe that is what caused some tension, maybe that is what caused some fighting, because I would be faced with reflections – the mask I wore. Angry that I felt as though I could not take it off and reveal my true self because everyone would treat me the same as a small group of people I had encountered. Those “shadows” can be difficult to face. They can create confusion, blame, anger, and hurt. They also gave me an opportunity to be true to myself, finally. I am not Religious. I believe in a deeper self. I have an affinity for the mystical and unknown, and I am allowed to own that, stand up for myself, and stand up for my right to pursue what interests me. I also believe in being kind to people, letting them be who they are, free from torment – I always have believed that.

I have met so many wonderful and sweet people who have been treated with cruelty based on ignorance. People have mocked them for their beliefs and said that they were naive, or stupid – never actually trying things out for themselves. Perhaps because of fear or embarrassment? But, how can one truly dismiss so many things so easily? Although I have been more experimental than some people, I too in the past have made fun of some things which were different; being taught (by observation) that it was the correct thing to do. That is not who I am though. I am compassionate and perhaps a little strange to some people.

I like being “real”, and honest, as difficult as that can be sometimes. I also like to discover things and step beyond old paradigms.

I can let go of the past because I am learning and teaching myself how to do that. I needed to address some issues for myself revolving around Religion while understanding that others may have what feels good for them. I see that if I do not mock those people for their belief then I can get along better and perhaps learn some really fascinating things. There is no blame for something which a large group of people had no control over – my own personal experience. I have met many wonderful Christians since letting go of my trust issues – I can focus on that now, although I am still admittedly wary at times. I enjoy living in harmony with people of all walks of life and so it was worth the effort I put into moving beyond old fears and my somewhat limited experiences.

I must remember to be patient with others who may be going through anger, frustration, confusion, and sadness. Those people have struggles of their own which I have no clue about. Their personal experiences have shaped them and their experiences may differ greatly from my own. One of my many experiences was with an ex partner of mine. The person had cheated on me in the beginning of our relationship, lied about it for several months – was then caught and finally owned up to it, with explanations and defensive arguments. I stayed with the person because I saw something more, a kindness which I had been longing for; a non-aggressive personality and a softness. In hindsight I can see where I was emotionally and why I chose to stay with that person. This, however, was the start of a relationship fuelled with distrust and a continued a pattern of lying, even over small things. The lying would cause more distrust and pain for me.

Years later we broke up. I had enough of pretending and yet I still wanted to create a salvageable friendship but that meant working on trust, working through the continual lying and managing a better way to deal with each other and heal old hurts which had been carried on for far too long. I had feelings of anger because I had never spoke about what my partner had done, or about how I was lied to over and over, and when my partners friends and family would see us they would view me as controlling – because I was. I was trying to control the circumstances around our lives so as not to get cheated on again. But they never saw or knew about the reasons why it seemed that I was so distrusting and bitter. That is not an excuse for my behaviour, but it does show you that you never know what dark things loom behind closed doors, or what people may be going through – and ashamed about.

The kind things that my partner did do for me all seemed shadowed by the initial hurt against me, and by the continued lying (which was current). I was discussing my book; talking about how I realized that I had a lot of people who gave things to me with ulterior reasons and expectations and my ex asked “Do you think that I gave you the things that I did because I wanted something?”. I answered truthfully “Yes.”. My ex looked at me in a hurt way and explained that the gifts given to me were with no attachments. I asked “Then why do you bring up other things that you could have done with the money? If you had no attachments and you were giving as you said you were (without reason) then why be angry about what you could have done with the money instead? Don’t you see how that is an attachment that you are placing on it?”. My ex got upset at this point and said “I expected to be treated nice because I did nice things by giving you gifts.”. Caveat right there, and uncomfortable for my ex to see.

I was really puzzled because I had done plenty of nice things over the years, including staying with this person even after having been lied to and cheated on. I had made wonderful dinners, encouraged and tried to inspire my partner, and I tried to spend quality time with my partner. I was always doing little things like writing notes and remembering holidays. I was working really hard on my own feelings of insecurity and trying to let go of blame and anger which had come from our rocky past. And, admittedly there were times when I tried speaking up about why I still felt distrusting and wary (being that the lying was current) and my ex would say “I don’t understand why you still don’t trust me!” and get upset that I didn’t – no matter how much I tried to explain that the current lying (about little things) made me wonder about bigger things. It was all so very cyclical and frustrating for me to try and address. And this is where I started to get a peek at my ex receiving a glimpse of what I had gone through.

I n the past my ex did not understand why I would snap back and throw out hurtful comments when I was trying to get my point across about being lied to, or why I still felt hurt about being cheated on. My ex would say something to me during an argument, something which hurt me, and then when I said it hurt me I would get a dismissive response. Discussing this giving with a caveat brought up something new. My ex having viewed my “being mean” in relation to the “gifts which had been given.” – wondering why I had not noticed the nice things and why I focused on the lying and cheating. Recently my ex had started remarking about how else the money spent on me could have been utilized in making them happy instead. I felt really hurt by the comment and felt like I had only been given gifts because of having sex with that person – since we had now broken up and the discussion about the money had surfaced. It made me feel cheap.

I decided to let go of the comment and try and work through what had been said. My ex was never a good communicator, and had not always said things in the best way. There was the realization that there had been a certain expectancy about what my ex thought I should do, because of receiving gifts (being nice), it was a pivotal point of discussion. My ex was viewing me as not being nice – because I had acted in a way which had come from being cheated on and lied to for years. I had separated the gift giving with my behaviour. My ex was unable to separate the two things – seeing that the gifts should have meant kinder behaviour, not having understood that my behaviour came from being hurt. I had moved past this (at this point). I felt a new vigour for life. I also felt worthy of having better treatment and I was able to view my past with a new perspective. I was also letting go of a lot of old trauma and sadness. I was trying to discuss this understanding of being given gifts with attachments when the old issue came up between myself and my ex. It’s not that my ex is intrinsically a bad person, there is just a non-monogamous desire that my ex prefers and I am okay with that …. now that we have broken up.

My ex was dragging up recent comments which I had made, hurtful one’s that I am not proud of. I also noticed myself make excuses for my comments; something which my ex had done with the cheating and lying. My ex was also saying that all of the nice things I had done were shadowed by the comments. Again, something which I had gone through with the gifts not making up for the lying and cheating. I did point out the interestingly parallels to my ex. There was a flip which had happened, and now my ex could see what I had been talking about and understand what I had been feeling. My ex, of course, was not happy about what I pointed out. Even though I pointed it out excitedly; without gloating.

I do understand the response, and I tried explaining that it can be hard to look at ourselves and our (sometimes) motivations and expectations. I really did want to move past this, but I also forgot that my ex has not done the personal work which I have – things like being truthful and examining my own behaviours and defences. I was happy to really get that feeling of not having to subject myself to anyone’s expectations for giving, and I was finally able to see how I had mistakenly not appreciated gifts from my ex because I had spent my time focusing solely on the infractions rather than receiving enjoyment from the gifts. It was interesting to hear my ex tell me that the nice things which I had done for years were all undermined by my recent hurtful comments. And, again, I did try and explain “That’s what I had been trying to tell you all these years!”. Funny how that happens.

I did want to heal both of our hurts and I didn’t want to react to being hurt by perpetuating the cycle by “biting back” nor did I want to excuse myself for my own recent behaviour, since it bothered me when my ex had done that. I did have to let go of a new comment – the issue about my ex drudging up what “could have been” done with the money instead of the gifts. I too had done “what could have been” when I drudged up the cheating and lying. When I used to say “It was really hurtful what you did.” I would be met with excuses “You should have left me then.”. When I recently said hurtful things my ex was able to view how hard it was for me to let go in the past because my ex was now faced with having to work on letting go of my comments. After we talked through this and ended up happy and satisfied with how we both learned things, and how we made a big change in our lives from doing this one seemingly difficult thing; talking honestly and without blame and cyclical patterns. Viewing what it’s like to be on both sides of an issue; walking in each others shoes. Yay us!

Although I would like to move beyond needing to walk in someones shoes before I can see their side of things – like having not understood my ex’s excuses, or confusion as to why I was so distrusting. I was sort of relieved after having done so because it did make me feel better about the whole history. I had been quick to defend my own self when my ex got upset by my comments, and I felt justified in my behaviour, but it did not make it right that I was mean. Just like his excuses did not make it right when it came to cheating. I guess it just took both of us a little effort to really grasp that. And, again, we are both happier now that we have because we have moved into a mutually respectful place of friendship and we are also more communicative about other issues – and we look at each others perspective by using parallels (a helpful method for us). We understand now that what might seem like “no big deal” for one person may be a huge deal for the other, and it is completely valid because it also works both ways.

Growth and learning can be aggravating, but I really feel it is worth making the effort and moving beyond.

Chapter Twenty Four

When is the last time you played dress-up or make-believe with your friends? I am guessing it was when you were a kid. Adults can have fun too. Who’s interested in a “Believe Come True” party? What is it? I read about a fairly well-known writer having a similar party and I decided to put my own twist on it, because it sounded like fun. The party will be one which people come dressed as the person they want to be; the “you of your choosing”. My guidelines were that people really immerse themselves; speak about things which they want as if they are already living it (doctor, famous poet, actress/actor, photographer, World traveller, etc.). During the party we will discuss “World events/News” – like how wonderfully lush and abundant the World is – how amazing it is that everyone is fed very well. We can discuss the Magical fairy in Scotland who was just talking about the mischief she got up to when she tripped over the thimble in Mrs.Grannie’s garden. We can chatter about the World renowned Doctor who cured all illness, etc.

Nice lighthearted discussions to keep the mood jovial. A way to break free from the day to day stresses and so-called adult responsibilities. All guilt around food and drinks will be left outside. Even if someone eats a cookie they can talk about how they can ‘eat anything they want and always stay fit’ (for example). People may even bring magical healing cookies, or fruits from a magical garden – or anything which they can dream up!

Leave all sadness, tension, worries, or complaining, at the door. This is a total “What you want” party. People can come dressed as anything they desire and no one will mock them. We will all support each other and have fun. People can bring props (like lottery tickets, books, costumes, monopoly money, etc.) and make business deals, grant wishes, or anything they can think of doing. People are encouraged to be as imaginative as possible; tell their story with as much flair, detail, and back-story as they can. For anyone who loves to gossip – they may gossip about wonderful things “I CAN believe that Mrs. Smith met her soul-mate and they have the most beautiful children. Did you hear that her husband even gives her a weekly picnic, by herself, so she can have ‘her’ time?”. Practice viewing gossip differently and break up the need to enjoy petty ‘bad stuff’.

I am going to be making a video to play on the television during the party. It will have pictures of all of the “places I have been” and the people I have met. Maybe even some photo-shopped pictures of me signing books at a bookstore. Since Halloween is coming up I think this would be a terrific idea for a theme!

My best friend and I have decided to start doing this daily just to experiment with the idea of visualization and attracting the things we want into our lives via doing this exercise (as has been said is the way to attract one’s desires and have them manifest). We talk about how my book signing was fun, how I gave out so many hugs and connected with all of those people; shared tears, shared dreams. I spoke about how very alive I felt after the book signing. We also talk about the delicious catered buffet and how we shared this buffet with so many interesting and wonderful people.

We also imagined the big fat $500,000.00 cheque which we presented to the local food bank. We talked as if we had already done it (like the law of attraction teachers suggest doing). The reason that we wanted to give the local food bank a large amount of money was because we actually had to go to the food bank one year – even though we were both employed at the time. The memory was not so nice, but I had a beautiful experience because of it and I was able to start letting go of some baggage.

At the food bank there were people standing outside in minus 20 weather; it was even colder because it was a windy parking-lot. There is no place inside the building for people to wait and so those people not only have to stand in line to receive food, but they also have to do so in very bitter weather. The people who were in line were “hard” looking but were quick to offer us their plastic bags and try to find us some boxes. We didn’t know that people are supposed to bring their own bags and boxes in order to carry the food which they are given. The generosity and willingness to help that came from those people in the line was heartwarming, and very humbling. Inside of this food bank was a sign which read something along the lines of “If you don’t like it go out and get a JOB!!”. The sign was particularly offensive to myself and my best friend because we had jobs. Not only that, but this place was supposed to be helping people. How is it helping people to insult them, to make them feel worse about their situation. Even if they (the staff) were told a short story about the person at the intake, how do they know the full history, the struggles, the diamond within, or anything? I can see how signs like that one could cause a reaction from those people who are already suffering. It does not give those people hope, it does not encourage dreams. It is not telling them “This is temporary, you can do anything you dream of, and you can be successful.”.

No. It tells those people that they are not worth anything, especially not the food which they need. My friend and I were treated “better” because we both had jobs, but that broke my heart. The other people in line had been so very kind to us, even the elderly man who carefully waddled across the ice in the parking-lot to try and find us some boxes, to make sure we were able to get food. The staff did not see what took place outside because they were inside the warmth of the building. My heart breaks when I think of those people in the lineup to get food. I believe that every human, no matter what their supposed “ladder wrung” in life, all deserve to be treated with kindness and respect, love, compassion, inspiration and warmth.

So why do I imagine giving $500,000.00 to the local food bank? Is it to make myself feel better about needing that service? No. I want to make sure that the people who stood in line, in the freezing cold, have an abundance of food and have a warm place; one which is respectful, one which is happy. A place which lifts their spirits, rather than dashing them against the cold frozen ground of a cement parking-lot. I read that my local food-bank needed one million dollars to build a new place; there was much commotion about spending the money to do so. I wonder if the people in City Hall have ever stood in line at the local food bank, or if they really watched those wonderful souls distributing kindness under the most challenging circumstances. The people in line at the food bank may have looked “rough”, they may have cussed a lot, they may have addictions which they use to try and help them through each day, but their hearts were the most beautiful gems I have seen.

I was deeply embarrassed about needing “help”, I felt like something was really wrong about the whole thing – why do so many people go with little to nothing in an abundant world?!. Why are working people, or even unemployed people suffering so much? While I stood in line I lowered my head, I tried to hide beneath my hood and I tried desperately to keep my feet warm. Even though I had two pairs of socks and warm boots it was absolutely bitter and cold. On that day in the food-bank lineup I was captured by the only warmth which was present, the warmth of the people in line. In the past I had judged people in food-bank lines, or people on welfare, even though I had been in those positions many years ago when I was young. I had heard from so many people throughout my life that “those people” (people needing help) were “lazy, addicts, sketchy people”, and a myriad of other terrible things. At some point I believed those lies. And so when the time came for me to need “help” in the past I ended up internalizing those things and feeling like I was one of “those people”; making me feel lesser-than and hopeless. More-so I would judge others in line because I felt horrible; believing that all of those people (including myself) were all of those things which others had told me.

The experience for me was that even though myself and my best friend had jobs we still needed help. We were so afraid to tell anyone that we needed help because we did not want to go through being scolded about our failure, or criticized for trying our very best to make things work. We wanted to keep believing in ourselves and keep trying. But why have to go to the food bank? Why after working really hard to manage my company, my writing, my design line and my law of attraction “path work” did I end up with this nightmare - instead of my beautiful dream?? I worked hard to prove myself worthy of my dream life ... Hadn't I??

Perhaps we were placed there because we needed to see a different perspective. My best friend had no personal opinion on people who need help. My opinion of myself and other people has drastically changed after that event, just as my assumptions about people in need has changed. More importantly, my own judgement and past belief about myself has changed.

I was never lazy, or beyond help. I was disillusioned with life, I was hopeless, I was frustrated that I believed others who told me “That’s just life.”. I always tried my best in life and was fearful to ask for help because I would get caught up in believing that others had the right to tell me how to live my life if they provided assistance. A life which was not mine if I was living it for others’ expectations and demands. I too had grown up doing the same thing; telling others how to behave – I was taught to do this. I wasn’t always doing what came naturally to me.

I prefer to ask someone what they want for themselves, then encourage them and believe that they can do it; even if I personally can’t see “how” they will accomplish it. Maybe just look for the spark in their eye when they speak of their dreams and then encourage that.

I always wondered why people were forced to take any job which they could get; why they felt obligated. My view is that when people say things in that manner “Any job I can get” it shows me that there is something deeper behind it; very unnatural. What I hear is “I have lost faith in my dream, I am suffering just trying to get by and I am ready to give up because I am not happy.”. I hear that underlying sentiment because I have felt it. I tried for many years to get others to believe in me by being willing to “do what it took” – even when it cost my own happiness and fulfilment.

But then doing all of that “doing what it takes” came to a point in my life where my dreams were being crushed on a cold surface, much like the cold surface of the parking lot at the food-bank. I truly thought that if life is just a series of “do what it takes.” and if there is nothing to dream about and no fulfilment, then what’s the point of living? I needed to find my own dream again and encourage myself to ignore the negative thoughts, opinions, and beliefs which I had gathered. It was time to just go for it.

Maybe the workers at the food bank wanted to help people and they were helping in the way they could. Just because I think that people should be warm and kind – especially in places which need it the most – it does not mean that the people aren’t being helpful; they are just not helpful by way of being encouraging. Perhaps over time they became frustrated. Or maybe they thought that the only way to “help” was to force people to work at any old job – maybe that is why they decided to put up that sign. Maybe they have never been in a position of hating their life so much that small things like working at any old job means the unhappy straw which can break a camel’s back. I don’t know their story, but I can’t imagine someone working in a place like that who didn’t start out with compassion. Maybe I just gave an overall picture to a one time event; one day out of many in which the head staff just happened to be cranky. I don’t know what they were going through that day. I think that – like the people in line – the staff are also shining gems underneath all of their rough exteriors. Perhaps that day it was forgotten because, blinded by icy veils, they had lost their faith in making a difference. But maybe I was seeing my own reflection of beliefs. I believe in warmth being able to melt even the coldest places. I can tell you honestly that if it were not for the people in the line on that cold December day two years ago my “spark” may not have stayed lit.

I have not been lucky to have gone to a prestigious school, nor did I receive any formal training on many things which I have done for work over the years. I have learned some of the most valuable lessons in life. I have learned that I am no better or worse than any other human. I am a very hard worker who has done “what I had to” just to “get by” and I have learned that a person need not do those things, if they can keep hope alive that they can live a dream life. I’ve also come to realize that I just needed to find that thing which made me happy, and keep believing that I could do it.

I may have done things in the past which people viewed as a mistake and I also viewed those experiences as such at the time. The experiences in my life has enabled me to open up a new perspective for myself; I have been able to finally find my voice. I am happy when I write, no matter how embarrassing the experience I have written about might have been. Maybe I was meant to live the life that I did so that I could be a spark for others, or maybe I am trying to have a better feeling about my circumstances. At the very least I can show people what beautiful things I have seen in the darkest shadows and I am truly thankful that I was able to always find those glistening flecks. One of the toughest jobs to do might be to keep smiling when faced with the taunts and judgements of other people. I do wonder if I was put in those places to learn and to understand that all people work hard and are valuable (myself included); it just might not be how another individual perceives “work” to be. It can be extremely difficult work to stand in a line, no matter what the temperature – it does not mean that it is not “hard work” to find hope where there seems to be none what-so-ever. Then again, even if I wasn’t “put in those places” for a reason, I can still take my circumstances and use them to help other people to better understand things they may have had no understanding of.

I believe that people in high paying corporate jobs may have equally hard work sometimes, and they may be equally unjustly judged due to their income bracket. They may also have their own struggles, though it may not be poverty; perhaps it is something difficult in its own way. I don’t believe that “work” has to be hard, I believe that people are meant to be doing things which make them happy. I have seen many people rise out of tough circumstances to live their dream life, and I have seen those people help many others by being examples of what people can achieve, no matter where they start from. I do feel that there is still something which needs adjusting in the world, because even though the world is abundant there is still so much lack of wants and needs being met – not because those things are not there, but something is stopping them from reaching people.

To the loving, kind, and gentle people in line, any line, any food bank, any place of need – thank you. Thank you for showing kindness to each other and to strangers. Thank you for your tenacity and courage even in the face of poverty and hopelessness. You are the lights which candle millions of flames, whether you know it or understand it. You are some of the few who keep hope alive, though you may not see it. I believe you all have dreams, I believe that you are all worthy of every bit of good that you can imagine, and I believe that you have something more valuable than gold. You have true love, kindness, and strength. Not many people could stand in line ups such as food banks and still keep hope alive. Many times I have felt like giving up in the past. I have been in more than one line up, because I needed help, but that is where I also met some of the most amazing people who taught me strength. Thank you, each one of you. May each of your dreams come true, may you see the amazing person that you really are, and may there be kindness, inspiration, love and warmth in your time of need.

To the workers in places which help others – keep your sparks alive. Thank you for keeping hope burning and for helping so many people be able to experience some relief. I believe that there might even be some people who work in those places which may even truly love what they do, it may even make them extremely happy. It really takes a certain someone to stay positive amidst such darkness. Although it is not my calling to work in those places I can still learn from the things which I have experienced from them. I can still help those places by writing about what I have seen, and that is one way that I actually can help.

People say “You reap what you sow”, and as you all have been so kind to each other, to strangers, and even to the staff of places like that – I can smile and imagine that you will receive what you ask for; the wonderful dreams you want to experience. And (if my dreams are correct) I will at least be able to help by handing that big $500,000.00 cheque to the local Food-Bank to at least help keep others warm in their time of need.

Maybe that Food Bank can even post a new sign. Maybe I can paint a new sign for them using my own quote (about my heart, home and business)…

[_“May this place always be warm and inspirational to the weary traveller on the road of life.” _]

I like that better than “Eff you, get a job.” hee hee.

Note

About a year after I wrote this, the food-bank received a huge cheque and City hall went ahead with plans for a new building!! How awesome is that!

Chapter Twenty Five

A new day and more writing. I feel fantastic! I had the most incredible dream, one which gave me feelings of immense happiness. It was a strange dream. I was able to glean some amazing information and understanding from it, though. I am learning about discernment, or rather “insight”.More specifically I am learning how to differentiate between creating an event (based on L.O.A.) and still utilizing my intuition. I had years of experience with being intuitive, but I did not have knowledge or experience with a separation when it came to projecting worry and future scenarios. Based on past events, and my belief about likelihoods of reoccurring events, I had ended up utilizing my intuition incorrectly, and I was (if you look at it by way of “creating what we think about”) projecting a negative outcome.

The dream was that I was pregnant, but my belly was the Earth, and I was “Gaia”. I was washing my clothes; the clothes represented washing away all of my old fears, need to please people, and mental wounds. There was a girl in her early twenties standing a little off to the side of me; she was someone that my room mate was secretly dating and the premise was that he was going to sneak away and live somewhere else without telling me. In the past a scenario like that would have caused me to boil over in rage for being lied to and abandoned, but this time it was a choice point for me (handle this calmly, or get angry). I chose to talk to the girl and tell her that we had more than enough room in our house; we had ten bedrooms, and she was welcome to live there. Bravo me! I Handled it differently!

The scene jumped to the girl and I being in a gay-friendly market place. Her and I were discussing what had been going on (my room mate’s “secret plans”), and then he came walking up. My room mate was dressed in a long black jacket; his face blazed red with embarrassment that the girl and I were talking. He knew that she had told me what was going on. I felt a pang of anger seeing his reaction to getting caught. At that point I spoke, “You don’t have to do it this way.”. The moment in which I spoke I was also understanding that I was telling myself “You don’t have to do it this way.”, which meant the old way of being angry. So right there I flipped the upset feeling to a curiosity as to his reason for going about things this way. He thought he had to hide things from me because of my anger, which is why he was trying to sneak around – not realizing that it was the lying and sneaking around which was the cause of my anger. Just as in real life I had been working through the issue of my room mate lying to me based on his fear about my potential reaction. I too have had to hide myself away from people because of their lack of acceptance and their reactions.

The next scene had the girl and I standing on a balcony which looked over a wide mouthed river. Across the river was a beautiful cliff with miles of green grass which stretched out as far as the eye could see. I felt like I was in Scotland somewhere, unsure of the exact location. There were sea birds flying around lazily, and the smell of the fresh air blew gently against my face. I smiled, feeling really happy. Suddenly a semitransparent purple swan appeared and was flying towards me, it hovered (flying) in front of me and I looked around in amazement to all the people around and said “D[o you see that? Do you SEE that!” _]Everyone shook their head “no”. The girl smiled at me and said [“It’s for you, you found your dragon”. _]I had been told 5 separate times that day that I had found my (good) dragons.

The swan then flew into my mouth and into “me” and I fell backwards. The girl I was with caught me from behind and then slowly lowered me to the ground with her. She held me in a sitting position (behind me, her legs to the sides of me like a birthing position) and she said [_“Shh go with it, let it go, it’s you, you are falling into YOU.”. _]I “woke up” (still in the dream) in a fun kids’ bookstore, or comic book store (not sure), and the girl was still with me. She said _“You fell into YOU finally”…. _

That was the end of the dream.

At this point my cellphone beeped and woke me. The beep is the sound it makes when I have a message on my phone. I blinked out of my sleep, but felt like I had actually “fallen” into my body as I woke. I glanced at my phone which was lit up (like it does when I have a message). Funny thing… No message… No text or voice-mail, and yet the phone made the beep sound and it was lit up. I sat looking at my phone trying to grasp what exactly was going on. I was so happy when I woke up because I felt like I understood that I am finally coming into being who I am. I am washing away old hurts, pasts, and moving forward. I am changing my feelings and learning about opening up to love. This dream was that feeling for me. That is a rewarding feeling! I do also find it interesting that I received a message from the dream and my phone indicated a message with its beep.

I normally don’t bother looking up what dreams mean – especially if I get a feel for the message, but this time I decided to check into it. I looked up “purple swan”, being curious if purple swans have any significance in dreams. Again, I don’t normally ever bother looking up dream meanings because I think it is for the individual to feel what it means for themselves.

I clicked on the first page which came up (whatsyoursign.com, thanks Avia for allowing me to use this material) and have to say that I was a little shocked since the meaning was very close to what I had been feeling.

In the Celtic mind, swans and geese were observed in the context of movement. Specifically, the keenly observant Celts noted their transitory nature and the swan’s pattern of migration. Consequently, the sign of the swan urged Celtic intuition to consider changes of mood (water) and heart (love). _][_Swan meaning is also linked to Celtic deities with solar associations, like Belanus and Lugh. As solar animals, the swan represents the rising glory of a new day as well as the farewell of an old day with the setting sun. Fittingly, the Celtic goddess Bridghid is also associated with the swan as her grace is expressed with equal elegance in the form of writing (poetry) and song.

[
__]Celtic myth also indicates when inhabitants of the Otherworld required passage to the physical land of life you and I experience every day, they would take the shape of the swan. Furthermore lore states they would travel out of the Otherworld in pairs, thus reinforcing the theme of union, bonds and partnership. In Celtic art, gold and silver chains are often depicted around the swan’s neck. I’ve read where this is symbolic of supernatural appearance of divine energy or the descent of gods to earth. I like to think the chains are symbolic of a harmony between cosmic forces; gold representing the sun, and silver symbolic of the moon. Perhaps the Celts recognized the essence of gods within the guise of the swan, and honoured that power in the bird.” (Thanks again to Avia at whatsyoursign.com, for allowing me to use this material).

I wanted to know more about “Brighid” because I kept getting a nudge to look deeper. I also really like learning new things and so I went looking for some information on Brighid.

(Source – Wikipedia) In Celtic religion and Irish mythology, Brigit or Brighid (“exalted one”) is the daughter of the Dagda and one of the Tuatha Dé Danann. She was the wife of Bres of the Fomorians, with whom she had a son, Ruadán. She had two sisters, also named Brighid, and is considered “a classic Celtic Triple Goddess”. She is the goddess of all things perceived to be of relatively high dimensions such as high-rising flames, highlands, hill-forts and upland areas; and of activities and states conceived as psychologically lofty and elevated, such as wisdom, excellence, perfection, high intelligence, poetic eloquence, craftsmanship (especially blacksmithing), healing ability, druidic knowledge and skill in warfare. In the living traditions, whether seen as goddess or saint, she is largely associated with the home and hearth and is a favorite of both Pagans and Catholics. _][_Stories and symbology that survive in the persona of Saint Brigid may be related. St. Brigid was associated with perpetual, sacred flames, such as the one maintained at her sanctuary in Kildare, Ireland.

The explanation left me curious and my first reaction was to wonder “What does that mean?”. I have met others in the past who claimed to be a reincarnated Deity and they claimed to have a superiority because of being a reincarnated Deity. I wondered if this was what my dream meant (reincarnation). And I did have a brief moment of feeling this is really “important”. Was I remembering a past life? Was I that person back then in the past? Are past lives true?

I stepped back from the glorious fantasizing of that scenario (the reincarnation of the person/deity, which ever one believes that Brigit is); understanding that there is a balance between feeling important and feeling superior. Important meaning: Everyone is important, no one person is better or worse than another (that’s how I feel anyway). Superior meaning: Above others, higher rank. I quickly gathered my intuition to look at my dream more clearly. I believe that it may have been a message from something (memory, subconscious, unexplainable “thing”), or perhaps not. Brighid was trying to teach people how to get along, be it Pagan, or Catholic, and she was loved by both because of her ability to see the good in all people. That was something which piqued my interest, because that has been something which I have strove for since I was a child; teaching people how to get along, “seeing the good in ALL people.”. Not meaning good as in “moralistic or pious”, but just knowing that people are amazing, period. I had never looked into Brighid before but I think she was a pretty neat lady. I appreciate that there have been figures throughout time who have been able to bridge the gap between people and teach that differences should not fuel hate. It is doable, even if the task is just to bridge the gap in my own thoughts!

I used to believe that there were hierarchies which dictated one’s placement; rights, privileges, and so forth – the right to tell another how to live their life based on being superior, or an authority. It is silly, I know. I don’t know where those old beliefs came from, but I am happy to understand that I can just be myself. I am the authority in my life – as is the same for all individuals. You are the authority in your own life, unless you give that power away by buying into the many systems of belief which tell you that you are a flawed being that needs to be controlled and judged.

I’m not really concerned how others may view the dream that I had, because it is mine to analyze and understand. I can tell you what I felt from it. It was happy and I felt comforted that I am finally at a stage of being okay with who I am, and accepting myself. I think it is really the insight which a person experiences for themselves that can be the most helpful – sometimes other people’s perspectives might misconstrue things (like interpretations of other people’s dreams based on their personal belief system, judgement or assumptions). Although, at times, some additional perspectives may also be able to provide further insight.

What I took away from my dream was that I didn’t need to be Brighid (or anyone else for that matter) because I already have insights. Some may be similar to other people from history, but it does not mean that I have to start being who they were. I can learn from their knowledge, without needing to be them. The dream was also teaching me a couple other things – questions which presented themselves to me. One being “Do you want to handle things the old way (getting angry), or the new way?”. It was also teaching me how to “intuit” the meaning of the dream and showing me the feelings (important vs. superior) to learn the deeper feeling in me. I was excited about the dream, and the explanation I had found about my dream. At first I felt that tingle of ‘something’; I recognized that the old “I want to be important.” feeling was there because all beings are important – but the trick is to give yourself that validation, because you will not receive it until you acknowledge it for yourself. I was excited to have made it through old patterns, hurts. Moving into being myself was the deeper message. So I released the strange ‘I have to be important’ thing and gave myself permission to be happy about the dream, because it was a very happy dream! And, of course, everyone is important – including myself.

I believe that people have a natural gift of intuition/understanding/insight, and I choose not to use the word “discernment” for this because it is loaded with old patterns and a heavy feeling in back of it. Perhaps it is just because I was raised around some people who tout “The gift of discernment” as being a valuable thing. To me (as a child, and now as an adult) I still question that statement. It is not that those people are right or wrong, it is more that I was able to catch something “off”. The word discernment itself means judgement. I don’t know why the word bothered me so much, it just did. Maybe there is something to the intonation behind words, or maybe it is just the fact that I am trying to release things which had built up in my childhood from being raised around a Religious ideology which didn’t feel right for me.

Discernment definition:

Noun: The ability to judge well. Synonyms: Discrimination – perspicacity – acumen – judgement

Insight definition:

Noun: The capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing. An understanding of this kind: “new insights into the behaviour or whales.”. Synonyms: Understanding – perspicacity – intuition

Using the term “insight” is still not quite what I am trying to communicate. Sometimes in the past I may have thought that I had an insight about something, not recognizing that it may have been shrouded with veils of judgement and confusion. For example: having an “insight into another person” when it could be a variety of things (perception, assumption, secondhand information, misunderstanding, and so on).

I am always subject to change, and so too are my “insights” and understanding. Perhaps leaving an insight open-ended is the best way for me currently because it allows for other learning and understanding. I can’t speak for the reasons why the people I grew up around believed what they did – except to go by what they told me. I can only explain why I experienced a “trust issue” with what I was being told about discernment being a “gift”. I do not find judgement to be a gift. I also was never truly taught how to utilize insight/intuition for myself. I was raised in a society which tells children what is “right/wrong, good/bad”, without allowing the child to learn to use insight and intuition for themselves.

In doing what some parents and some societies deem as helping a child; by giving them predetermined “rules, beliefs, values, truths”, they are basically not trusting nature within the child. I don’t mean that a parent should let their child play with things like knives or hot pokers which could physically hurt them. But I think some parents get overzealous in handing out their beliefs, fears, and worries. This does not always allow the child to have an adequate understanding on how to truly learn about life in a more helpful way (hopes, dreams, possibilities, curiosities, analyzing, thinking for themselves). That is just my own personal assessment, which came from my experience with the surrounding I grew up around. I feel that it would have been more conducive to my own upbringing to have had my intuitive gifts cultivated. I also realize that there could be some issues which might stem from people not understanding things which are new to them; not understanding the full scope of many areas in life. They may unwittingly create problems because of this. Problems such as people not being able to properly use their intuition because they are so use to being told what to think, see, believe, perceive, and know.

If one looks through a tiny microscope which was passed down from their parents, their parents’ parents, their society, and some skewed history of “life”, then they may only ‘know’ what those personal scopes contain. What of the other things which surround them? Then again, maybe I was still looking down my own tiny microscope and viewing the small world of my childhood as being the whole World. Viewing my problems as the problems of the whole World. I may have been viewing my solutions as the solutions for the World, when in fact they are chosen solutions for myself.

So how did I learn to perceive for myself? How did I learn to use my insight while also gaining insight from others; understanding that each person has some insight? I started, once again, trusting myself.

There are many levels of “understanding”, just as there are many personal preferences and right/wrong values which people believe in. I do think it is each person’s right to have what ever beliefs fit them and so I am trying to allow myself to gain a perspective about people whose belief systems do not match mine entirely. I am trying to be understanding while trying not to judge others, and yet provide an explanation as to why I was motivated to do and think the things which I did. I noticed that a lot of it came from seeing things which conflicted with what had been told to me. I still have triggers pop up from time to time that “bother” me, and I recognize that I still may have some conflict in what I say at times. I am still learning.

I wanted to let go of getting upset when I heard (or observed) other people making statements such as one I’d heard recently: “In order to be sure that you receive clear, lucid, and authentic replies from “above”, you must purify yourself.”.

One way for me to do this, is by trying to let go of the immediate knee-jerk response which was triggered from my childhood experiences and definitions; to try to “understand” what that means for me. For me this statement, at first, would suggest that people are less than worthy to receive a reply unless they are purified (made clean – indicating piety in my understanding of the definition “Purified”). I was also annoyed about the “you must” part which seemed to be indicating that the “you” (being me) must do something which another person says to. Because that was how the statement was written. On a second look at it, without the anger that it first triggered, I could view the statement by relating in my own way. “If a person is confused or angry, hurt, or unwilling to try and understand something – then all they might get would be a skewed view based on their negative perception, judgements, etc.”. Clear understanding can come easier by cleaning out the cobwebs of one’s mind, so to speak.

Okay that feels better.

The person who made this statement did not say “All people are dirty and unworthy”. That was my own internal definition behind the word “purify”. It came from an old trigger which I am trying to let go of so that I could communicate with people more harmoniously. It’s funny because I am writing about receiving “intuition/understanding/ insight” and this quote popped up. The other person may have explained it in her way, and she may have her own traditions on how to “purify” which may differ from mine – but it is basically what I was trying to explain in this chapter, without using words such as “purify” because of my own personal feeling about the intonation and definition.

The key for me was to just drop the argumentative nature of “saying things differently” and understand that we both are saying essentially the same thing – just with different words. I am trying to be accepting of other people – no matter what their personal experience, understanding, walk of life; I want to let go of conflict. To do so I choose to use other words which are less “triggering” (like the words purify, perfect, right/wrong, good/bad). I was trying to navigate how to say things which can be inclusive to all, without making assumptions. I also wanted to show how I was “triggered” because it could help other people understand why some people react to something they’ve said. It’s not that people “have to” watch what they say, but if you want to understand some seemingly confusing reactive responses then my explanation may help you in doing so. Not all people have the same triggers as me, nor do all people have to want harmony, that (again) is my own personal thing.

Arguments can sometimes come from one person saying something completely harmless, and if someone is easily upset or feels like another person is trying to dismiss or take away their own personal view/ experience/understanding/etc. a fight may spring up. In communication if either person tries to dismiss the other’s point of view, rather than try to understand it, this causes tension. It helps to understand that not everyone has to share the same perceptions, knowledge, experience – although maybe we can all learn from each other instead of fighting. Just because someone writes “You must” it does not mean that they are trying to tell others to do. It may just be the way that they write (or speak). The best thing was for me to just drop the argument, drop making my way of speaking “correct” for anyone but myself. There really need not be any bickering. Learning to let it go. Ah, this learning thing!

If words are power and could cast spells,

it would seem wise to use your words well.

Speak good of your neighbour, the land, and of love

speak only the things which help rise above.

Choose carefully your thoughts and tend to your mind

leave the bitter, the fearful, and worrisome behind.

There is a flicker of a flame, which I shall speak

understand that this gift inside you is yours to keep.

No one else may take it or wield it for you

within yourself the key – the very “how to”.

High above the clouds one may not see, from such a height, what true beauty lay neath the great oak. A small acorn it may seem, but from it springs a mighty deed. Not is this deed made for dreams to devour, it is at first a bud – then flowers. Tis for hope that this road led, to carry a flame, a bridge, and a breath. Keep tight your dreams and believe in yourself.

Chapter Twenty Six

I was studying another teacher's program; listening to him describe his experience with what is called Samādhi. I have studied this area of discipline because I was curious about it. I had my own experience with this particular practice. Although my experience was slightly different from his, in that mine was a sudden experience which did not stem from months in meditation - it was none-the-less the description which he gave for Samādhi (which is what others also explain the experience to be). I have indeed had this experience three separate times. It was unsettling at first because I was not prepared for it. It was not induced by anything other than a sudden onset or awakening- whatever you choose to call it. I didn't use medicine-man entheogens, nor was I engaged in deep meditation for months. It just happened.

As I was listening to the teacher I started worrying that “I have to” walk the path the way others do. And that’s when I caught it… I caught that I do not “have to” do anything. I can choose if I want to walk certain paths, but what I am wanting to do is just to understand other belief systems so that I can communicate, understand, and get a long with others who have different beliefs. I wanted to learn from them. It does not mean that I have to live their lives and beliefs fully. That’s a tricky one to catch for me because I am still studying other beliefs systems and my mind tends to get caught in feeling like I “have to” have their experience (such as method of meditation which another person used; otherwise I am doing it “wrong”).

I received a deep intuition telling me that I was being asked if I wanted to have that experience, not for any reason like competition (who is the most enlightened), but rather if I wanted it just for fun, to learn/understand, or just to have that experience. All perfectly acceptable reasons to want it.

The experiences I had with Samādhi were fascinating because I felt like I died three separate times. I could feel my breath leave me, I panicked a little but then came to peace with it, I felt my heart stop, and I floated out of my body – traditional experience (so I had understood from explanations people gave about their death experiences). I was sure that when I ‘woke’ I was in the afterlife, and I was half expecting to have some sort of guide explain to me that my family were gathered and I could watch my own funeral, or I could go play in the charming afterlife World which I was now in. It was quite a few days where I was walking around and trying to figure out what exactly happened – trying to look for clues to see if things had changed; landscape, abilities, maybe seeing a relative who had passed. Afterwards I had a physical sensation of being really connected to everything, and everyone. I also experienced people coming into my Studio and repeating verbatim conversations about topics that I had been talking to my room mate about the night before; different subjects, different clients. This was a regular occurrence for a while. I also experienced what I would call a bliss state, and a total switch in how I perceived people, things, etc. While this was an overwhelming state to be in (actually made my eyes well up when I looked at people), it was an experience rather than a “lifestyle” for me. I appreciated the experience because it helped me to better understand people who have this belief system. I can also understand why people require teachers for such practices – because it was jarring and confusing.

I also had another experience around the same time frame, while studying Eastern philosophy belief systems and mysticism. This was after the “Samādhi” experience which I had gone through. I was having what people call a ‘lucid dream’ and it was quite profound.

In the dream I was sitting cross-legged (in a standard meditative pose). The room that I was in had beautifully polished wooden floors, earthy brown and sunset sponged walls with flecks of gold leaf. There were deep red coloured items; a couple vases and small sculptures in the room. I was on a mat sitting quietly. Two deep brown coloured snakes (not scary or evil), which were roughly the width of my body, started weaving through and around me; upwards from the base of the floor, moving through each of my “Chakras”. The snakes were two in appearance, but I understood that they really were “one”; unique in-and-of themselves but connected. They travelled upwards weaving a figure eight style, and met at each chakra point. As they met I would feel a strong sensation… The feeling is hard to describe really, but it was like a thump of electricity; a warmth/ opening… They moved its (“Its” because of the two being one) way slowly through and within me, starting at my “root chakra” and then making its way all the way up through each of my other ‘chakras’. I could feel powerful triggers of energy as they connected at each chakra point. As it finally joined at the top of my head, a massive enveloping field formed around me and I felt like I was being healed. The snakes came together above my head and a burst of radiant light shone outwards and through me. It was a highly profound experience which left me feeling wonderful. It was such a beautiful moment; I received all sorts of answers to things which I had been confused about – which is nice because I do like more clarity (ha ha). During the experience I heard the word “Kundalini”.

I was a little confused about the entire event, but I understood the gist of it because I had studied the belief system. It was quite an intimate and long lucid dream, but I was so still and felt so balanced when I woke up. I looked up the meaning of the snakes and chakras and came to find out that (yes) it was what people consider a “Kundalini” experience. Some people claim that you have to be at the practice for years before it happens, while others say that it can just happen spontaneously. It happened spontaneously with me, just like the samādhi experiences had.

I kept the feeling of connection from the experience of samādhi (and also the chakra event) because it felt wonderful, but I also moved on to study other beliefs. I moved on because I still felt like there was something not entirely “complete” for me personally. I don’t mean that in any sort of disrespect, in fact I have far more respect for those who follow that belief system because it is pretty intense! I really learned a lot and was grateful for having experienced this wonder.

I was also quite thankful that the doctor that I went to after this experience gave me a thorough exam, as well as a series of blood tests and other tests; the evaluation coming back as [_“In really, REALLY good health. In perfect health in fact!” _](to quote him). I felt fine after my kundalini dream but I had been concerned about the dizziness after my samādhi experience. Not only that, but I really did experience feeling like I had died, and so just to be on the safe side I went to the doctor to get a full checkup. I told him about my experience: “Felt I died three times”, which caused him to run the full gamut of tests. I guess when you tell a doctor that you feel like you died three times, within the course of a few months, he is motivated to run every test he can possibly think of. Thankfully I got “Perfect health”.

I was telling my room mate about the over-view on what I was writing about in this chapter. He piped up, telling me that people can experience what they call “kundalini syndrome”. Sometimes my room mate shocks me with what he says. I never even knew, even after living together for years, that he knew anything about Mystical practices! While my experience was really beautiful in most aspects, I also had some unsettling things happen, but they came after the samādhi experience; pressure inside my skull, dizziness, confusion about the verbatim conversations with people who came to my studio. That was why I went to the doctor. After the kundalini dream I felt okay again and I went back to “clear” thinking, I also experienced a pivotal healing (physically and emotionally).

The samādhi experience was wobbly. I see why teachers of that practice put emphasis on having an experienced guide to aid you if you are getting into it. Teachers of those beliefs require their students to engage in tight disciplinary practice for years. I also understand why those teachers require their students to learn in the way which they do, because it is certainly something which I would never tell someone to do by themselves. I came upon it unexpectedly, because of my earnest desire and intention to learn about the people and learn about their beliefs to educate myself. I was studying Eastern teachings and it just happened. Maybe that’s the trick? It is certainly spoken about throughout many belief systems (including law of attraction) – when you don’t chase something it just happens. I feel fortunate to have had those experiences, and I feel honoured to be able to understand a little better. I appreciate the feeling, understanding, and gifts which came from this. I felt a little embarrassed for being gifted with amazingly profound experiences, despite being somewhat ignorant of the entire system and not having devoted years to the practice.

It was something which I also had to reconcile as far as the beliefs which had been handed to me when I was younger. I had been told that mystical practices are evil and wrong. I was annoyed that I had been held back from such experiences because of the incorrect information I had been told, but happy that I was able to go beyond those misconceptions. I had my own experience and it was awe-inspiring, peaceful, and amazing. It was like going to the most charming garden and spending time in it, admiring lush greenery and flowers – petals opening and twirling about me. It was vibrant and welcoming. There was certainly no ill-will or “evil”.

As I was writing about the experience with Samādhi and Kundalini, I was given a strange thought about something seemingly “out of left field”. Listening to lecturers speaking of the history of buildings such as tombs – I have often heard them say that the inside was built to provide decoration for those who pass to the “other side”, meaning in death, so that those people had riches, beauty, and so on, for eternity. One gentleman has said [“When you look at the intricate carvings _](of an excavated site in Ireland)[, the people noticed that there were more carvings on the inside rather than on the outside. Why? Well, if you’re building this because of what you’re putting inside, or who you’re putting inside, then you want to make sure that what they’re looking at for eternity is your best work.”. _]

It would seem that there is a much larger spiritual significance to the clues about the tomb. Ancients believed that that which is inside oneself, is “outside”. Meaning manifest in the outer “World”. What one puts inside themselves (takes to heart), or opens up within themselves, is theirs for eternity. It could mean the ‘living World’ or the World one awakens to, or the mysterious World(s) which one becomes conscious to after ‘death’.

That is one of the big mysteries after-all.

There are some people who try to frighten others about the death experience because they may not be sure what awaits them – if anything (some people believe it is nothing). I personally believe in living life and not fearing death. I also have a deep feeling that there is more to life and death than some of us may be currently aware of. It could be like truly becoming fully conscious about the more (currently) abstract understanding and beliefs, and letting go of the old thoughts which we have held onto. Such great and challenging concepts and mysteries are indeed a vast thing to try and explain. We are still learning about other previously complex subjects like mind, quantum physics and multi-dimensions (just to name a few) – so why would the abstract notions and previous beliefs about death not be equally open to exploration and learning? I wonder why so many people get caught up in doling out fear about the great voyage beyond. I think it’s neat to look at things differently. I still have many questions along my path – many wondrous experiences to be had.

Coming from a background of being around religion which gave unyielding and firm answers to enquiries about things (like death and afterlife), I did question and wonder if allegory was not only used in the past to plant a moral or political seed – but also employed to explain complex and abstract things that individuals may have encountered. Those experiences are often times difficult to clarify. I find them sometimes challenging as well, especially while trying to remain open-minded about my personal experience, growth, learning and understanding.

Chapter Twenty Seven

I have been diving into different perspectives during my journey; trying to work with this new information which I had, such as the law of attraction material. Today I am going to write about some of the “limitations” I stumbled with, and address some of my past issues with getting back into living the real me – the unlimited me. The happy me.

I was discussing limitations with my friend. The topic came up because I had been talking to him about pulling the limitation cap off of visualizing/ believing/ and really “going for it”.While we were having the initial discussion I asked him why he didn’t want to visualize the exciting things which I was picturing, and why he dismissed the material. His response was “That’s not possible for me.”. He also started negating unexplainable happenings; call them miracles, magic, L.O.A. – whatever suits you best. My friend was talking about how he could visualize people bringing money (attracting) because it could be explained in a logical way – “Well, through a series of events, someone happens to need a service that someone else provides. It’s not about having a direct effect in attracting, it’s just that someone out there needs that service.”.

He was viewing it as happenstance. I was trying to get to the root of why he, or myself for that matter, may feel the need to do what I consider to be ‘explaining something away’ – dismissal.

It was a somewhat hindering dichotomy that I was encountering with the law of attraction material; having various reasons for my skepticism, but having an intuition (and resonance) about there being something ‘more’ to life than what I had been taught or experienced. I had too many unexplainable and frequent experiences which seemed to correlate nicely with what I had been learning about while researching the law of attraction material. I wanted to fully immerse myself in the practice (belief). I could easily visualize money just appearing – I have a wonderful and unlimited imagination. Whereas when I was around him I tended to let his limitations affect me so that my imagination dissipated. It was not his fault that I allowed myself to be affected by those things. It is a tough one to recognize because many people like to argue “logical” and highly limited thinking. I know because I have done it.

I have met people over the years who feel like they are doing someone a service in telling them things like [“You shouldn’t imagine (exciting) stuff like that. That is just wishful thinking.”. _]For some reason that seems logical to them. I have asked people in the past why they say things like that; why they dismiss dreams, and a lot of the time the response is [“Because people think they don’t have to work hard and they can just wish their success into reality.”_]. I used to allow the defeatist comments and so-called “logic” of those types of arguments make “sense” to me – instead of steadfastly holding onto the conviction of my own positive beliefs and experiences which came from my investigations. I questioned why dismissive statements from other people made me dismiss my own experiences. There were some factors which came from childhood: allowing others to dictate things, viewing adults as infallible (especially skeptics, because they could be rather arrogant – at least the ones I had encountered were).

One reason I would get pulled down was because of the ‘tone’ of the saying “People who daydream don’t work.”. It would make me feel like the person was telling me to work harder, not allowing me to also utilize my imagination; viewing me as somehow less-than because I was different. Do people not think that an individual can do both, or that nothing comes from imagination? What a limited way of looking at life. I worked. In fact, I worked my ass off at jobs which beat me down further and took away almost any hope for a happy future. I felt like I was supposed to be destined to slave away in a warehouse, when in fact that was not the case. It was more that I had not been around people who knew what can come from imagination and creativity. My creative side was not fostered or encouraged because the people around me worked in other jobs that utilized other skills which were different than my own skills.

I worked very hard at many jobs, and over the course of years I became disillusioned with life. Believing that I could not live my dreams – and allowing other people’s limitations on my dreams to affect me. That bit of hope for a brighter future was something which I needed to get me through the stressful days, especially in jobs like warehouse work. I needed to look at different successful people, ones who were in creative careers. I also looked for successful people who held true to their vision and made it happen – much to the surprise of the people who had doubted them. Their success was measured not only in accomplishing the task which the individual had set out to do, but it was heavily weighted in terms of monetary reward – living a life where the person’s wants and needs were easily met. Creative people who made a substantial income from doing what they dreamed of. Something I was wanting to accomplish for myself – but that I was told was a “rare thing”, or “lucky”.

I wondered why it was that there were so many people struggling in life – working in lower paying jobs which brought them no joy. I was always told “That’s just the way it is.” – that statement was baffling to me. I really began looking for answers and wondering how people could find fulfilment in their “work” while also having all of the other things which they choose: house, car, time, experiences, and so forth. Many people had said that in order to acquire a lifestyle of one’s choosing – rather than settling for less, or trying to make your choices based on what you could afford – a person must place themselves in a job position which pulls in the amount of money which is required for their choices. A lot of choices currently having a monetary measure to them (Big house = big price)… Something about all of that seemed amiss to me. It was the same old solution time and time again. If you want more than just the basic necessities in life then you must go where the money is.

I also started questioning why some professions are deemed better than others when they truly are just 'different'? Why is a Lawyer paid more than a cashier? Why is a Doctor paid more than a lifeguard? Why is one musician paid more than any other musician? Why do we still measure things on a monetary scale? And what about the choices for things like a home? Size equals cost? More materials yes, but nature gives of those materials for free and it is only people who put a price-tag on those materials. Even smaller apartments have huge prices if they are in what's considered to be “valuable location”; less material but the location dictates price?? I had so many questions which no one could give me a logical answer to. I was searching and searching for answers. I was frustrated because I believed that I was not able to live my dream life, or experience all of the wonderful things which I wanted to.

I believed (from being told it is such) that, unless I sacrificed my fulfilment, my time, my happiness, my personality, my nature and many other things, then I would not make the income which was needed to make the choices which I wanted for myself. “Dreams don’t pay bills.”

I was observing and listening to conversations about what is acceptable – believing them to be true, and worrying that my individuality was not acceptable. Just look at things like forcing an employee to dress or look a specific way in order to even hire them. Dangling an individual’s very livelihood (food, shelter, clothing, fun, dignity, etc.) over them as a subtle control mechanism, which hinders anyone from expressing themselves fully. Does that really seem logical? That unless a person adheres to conformity then they go without? How can a person make themselves justify actions like this? I know people do justify requirements like that, otherwise it is really uncomfortable to look at – unless an individual looks, behaves, does things the way that is subtly demanded of them, then that person goes without food, shelter, clothing, etc. But who exactly was given the right to choose what is acceptable for people to be, do, think, want? These types of questions came from growing up in a society that dictated what should be sacrificed in order to gain things like abundance. Control issues based on lack of knowledge about an easier way that things work; a natural way which we are all meant to live. A way that I started discovering when I looked into the law of attraction material. “Create your own reality”, “Manifest your own dreams”, and the other helpful methods.

Time to leave old beliefs and fears in the past and move forward to a much more beautiful life. The life that I choose for myself – freedom and abundance.

Chapter Twenty Eight

Beliefs, beliefs! So many beliefs to address. So much information that I am wading through. Thoughts were one of the areas which I addressed during my study and practice with the law of attraction material I had been examining how thoughts can affect many aspects in one’s life, and noticing how intricate it could be to work with thoughts – conscious, subconscious, taught, intuited, observed, etc. I noted that not only can thoughts affect successes – by way of imagining wonderful lifestyles, careers, and so on – but they also affect other things such as health.

I grew up in a family who worked in medicine and they had observed, as had most Doctors, that “Your thoughts affect your physical health.”. So why then do people still argue this? I wondered if the people who disagreed with this information were afraid that they have more control over their lives than they had been told. I understand that some people can’t see past their fear sometimes, but what if they could stop and recognize that there have been people throughout the centuries who have always “pushed past that box” and made huge changes… Massive healing and so-called spontaneous good health after things like a long term illness. I was curious what people were arguing for when they would dismiss things like miracles or the ability the mind has to heal, and other results which had been documented. Were those people arguing for their limitations?

In keeping with the law of attraction material it would seem (to me) like a good belief to have; that one can heal themselves, or that one can ask for a miracle or manifest wellness.

I did wonder if I had ever argued about keeping limitations? Did I have any helpful things which I could delve into in order to remove some beliefs, or thinking patterns which were hindering me in my life? Did I have beliefs or thoughts which may have caused illness in my body?

Indeed.

One example comes from a time when I got in an argument with someone close to me. He took off to go cool down, do his own thing, and whatever else he needed to do. I knew where he was and also trusted that he would work through what he needed to. But another group of people decided to use this as a drama – they started saying that I was terrible for not being “worried” about the person. I almost accepted that belief, and I berated myself. I was not “worried” because I had a firm belief that he is smart and strong. I also knew exactly where he was and that he was fine – angry, upset, and dealing with stuff, but otherwise fine. I asked what worrying does and immediately was judged as not caring. Why? Because I choose to think positive about the situation rather than give in to the negative, which would only stoke those fires more? Thoughts which would give that person limitations and show him that I don’t trust that he is strong, smart, perfectly capable of handling things.”? Because that is what worry is to me. Worry is a lack of trust, a lack of positive belief. To me it serves no purpose – and can make an individual sick. Look at the old saying “I was worried sick!”.

Worrying is not to be confused with “caring”. I view those as two separate things – although many people seem to confuse the two. I also chose to lose the term “compassion” after realizing that it carries the intonation of pity; it didn’t feel quite correct for me to feel pity towards an individual… I see strength in people, and I do “feel” for what they may be experiencing, but I “see” something stronger and more hopeful – healthier. I don’t find worrying to be kind; it denotes that there will be failure. I prefer to care about someone, and I am empathetic, but I choose to keep my strong belief that they can do anything. It boggles my mind how people believe that thinking negatively (worry, fear, etc.) helps.

[Worry *](definition)[:*]

Verb: Give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. Noun: A state of anxiety and uncertainty over actual or potential problems.

[Compassion *](definition)[:*]

[*Noun: *]Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others: “the victims should be treated with compassion”.

[*Synonyms: *]pity – mercy – sympathy – commiseration – ruth – clemency

[Caring *](definition)[:*]

Verb: Displaying kindness and concern for others.

Empathy definition:

Noun: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

What “worrying” does (to me) only causes anxiety. I am not saying that one should ignore their feelings or dismiss their concerns. I am attempting to help people realize why some others may not engage in worrying; it does not mean that they don’t care. I did not give in to panic or worry, and so I was judged as “Not caring.”; that was the furthest from the truth. In this experience I learned where I judged the other person because they worry. I may not see how it is beneficial, but it is the way in which they do things. That was a good step for me because I was able to break free of another “right way” vs “wrong way” habit which had been taught to me. A behaviour which was hindering my ability to have a wider perspective and blocking me from being able to slough off a dismissive mentality about how other people view things, or react – knowing that neither is right or wrong, but each individual has what works for them. The way in which the situation was handled caused a rift and fighting, and I was not happy about that. I held strong to my belief that the person who had taken off to “cool down” was just fine. I had explained to the others in this situation where the person was and they chose to ignore me; turning it into a huge dramatic scene. They also chose to insult me, and that is where my own ‘health’ moment came into play – I started worrying that I was somehow ‘bad’ for not worrying. I was feeling ‘sick’ over the whole thing.

I was always so curious why people defend “worry”, why they view it as a “good” thing, and why they do it. I had been pointing fingers, telling people not to worry, and yet I was engaging in worry myself! Although I placed my worry in different areas, I was still practicing the (to me) unhealthy behaviour. Worse, I was worrying in a far more dangerous way; creating false beliefs about myself (‘bad for not worrying’). Looking at myself in a way that caused injury to my spirit and health.

Worry is a lack of faith. I examined my own lack of faith in myself. Lacking because if I had faith in myself then what other people believed about me would not bother or affect me.

I was catching all sorts of areas where I was implementing worry and I wanted to work past those issues, because I wanted to see if they had been creating unwanted experiences, illness, and dis-ease. It was nice to have spotted an area which was previously unnoticed to me (stress as a result of being worried about what people thought about me). So too had I taken on stress when it came to things like first time meetings “First impression is very important!” – worries that people would judge me unjustly, or with assumptions, upon first glance or interaction.

In realizing that I had many areas to address when it came to “worry” I started to wonder if there was a better way to rid myself of worry – rather than addressing every single area of my life, and every single old belief or taught behaviour. At the time I was working through the worry issue I was also mulling over techniques to bring me money; something I was “worried” about not having enough of (being that I was still living in poverty and desperately trying to escape that experience). I was able to catch that I was lacking faith with the issue revolving around money. I would get highly excited, happy, imaginative and start discussing all the wonderful experiences I wanted to have, but if someone was around who was negative I would sometimes get trapped in their worry. There are a lot of quotes about walking away from people who do not inspire, uplift, or make you happy. I can understand the logic behind it to some extent, because it is certainly difficult to be around people who are negative. I wanted to be able to be around anyone without being affected negatively.

I wondered if I was hindering my own wellness and stopping myself from receiving things that I wanted because of my beliefs about myself (does ‘worry’ that one is not worthy – for example – create a barricade?). I’d rather be a positive force in someones life, but I did start to question if I was engaging in guilt if I did something like walking away from people who were ‘negative’. I recognize that the negativity comes from the frustration of a person still not living the life that they should be, a life that they want, and I was trying my very best to help them (placing demands on myself about how hard I should try and how far I should push myself).

I really believe that any individual can live their dream life, and I enjoy encouraging it. That is not me telling them what that life is, just that they can actually be happy (if they want) and fulfilled; I believe in them – I really do. It only presents a problem when people argue with me saying “You can’t just live your dream life!”; handing me all the reasons they believe I can’t succeed, or pulling me down. The reason I wanted to argue with people was that I really wanted them to believe in me, and I was trying to figure out a way to achieve that result, and trying to convince people that I was worth something. I was not convinced myself. I was too busy believing people who had told me about “How life works” and believing their false notions about who I am. I was placing the majority of my energy in failure and hopelessness. I was also making myself sick from worrying about everything from my own dreams, to what people thought about me, and everything in between. I had never really paid much attention to the fact that I actually engaged in so much apprehension and presentiment about so many things! It is somewhat strange for me to actually look at just how many concerns I did carry over the years. But, thankfully, I do tend to foster my hope more than I feed my fears.

Money is a really huge and unnecessary block for people and it creates so many issues where there would be normally would be none. I was trying my best to help in a world that was filled with unhappiness. I needed a break from negativity – there was just too much.

It is easy to be around happy people, it is easy to be around those who only uplift you, or speak positive. I wish that for everyone; to live a happy life. I also understand that unless one chooses to live on a remote island, away from people, or try to shut themselves out from negative people, it is not giving them skills to cope with the World as a whole. I personally wanted those skills – to be able to stay positive and firm in my beliefs no matter what negativity was around. I also wanted let go of taking on others’ beliefs which I felt were limited. That meant to keep being my own cheerleader, and sometimes allowing myself to step away from negative people for a short time to be able to assess where I was at. I recognized when I started feeling “blah” it had been because I took on the negativity and ran with it. Other people might not see the possibilities I can; I need not argue. I understood that my feeling of “needing to argue” also stemmed from wanting to keep my happy outlook – instead of just being happy, I would fight for it at times. That seems rather silly now.

If someone I meet chooses to have what I view as a negative outlook it is not my job to change their outlook, it is not my job to tell someone how to live. I needed to remember this – I could present someone with a different view point but it is up to them to choose what is suitable for themselves.

What were my issues; why not just let go of fighting? Why was I really engaged in past quarrels? When did those arguments start?

There were times when I presented an exciting realization of my potential and someone argued limitations, worries, negativity, and I would get reactionary. I used to wonder why someone who claimed to love me, a family member or a close friend, would choose to give me their limitations and fear – projecting their worries onto my success or life experiences. That was not love in my definition, and I felt like they didn’t have faith in me. I really wished people would have taken a closer look and asked themselves “Why am I handing my fears over? Really?”. Then again maybe it was their way of reaching out for help, a way of saying “Please give me something to hope for.”, maybe something in them recognized my ability to inspire and bring hope.

Say there is a carnival in town. It is fun, happy, full of beautiful lights, sounds, laughter, and wonders. On a stage sits two people. On one side is glittery fun things; pamphlets on people who made huge change; living their dream life. The other side is covered in flies, pictures of terrible past events, gloomy music, and ropes. The manner in which the glittery side speaks is happy and exciting. They laugh, tell you about all the possibilities which they can see, and there is a wonderful feeling just from being in this area. The negative side talks about how you should be afraid of things like foods (which you used to like, until you got to this side), and they speak of “no hope”; they hand you the ropes to bind your hands and dreams because it is “How you must do things, just to get by.”. People start speaking up for the doom side – because he is presenting cold hard “facts”; showing everyone how “bad” things are. They say to “face facts”. Those people choose to ignore the successful happy people, calling them “dreamers”, even though the happy side also has “facts”.

The people on the fun side may start to doubt all of the possibilities, which they could happily picture until the doom and gloomers came over with their spare ropes. The once happy and hopeful people now start to spread fear to their once happy children, and the land becomes dark and terrible. What's more, people start arguing for limitations and dismissing hope. Because hope is ... something they don't want??? Doesn't make sense, does it?

The best thing for myself is to keep strong in my beliefs and not allow people to get to me. I am not saying be dismissive of them, but what seems better for me is staying happy and hopeful, rather than giving in to the negativity of others. I can ask people to question themselves as to why they want to still hand me doom and gloom, rather than take my cheer and hope. I won’t give up, nor turn away, but I also choose to keep my belief in happy things. I know people are still frustrated, or they would not be doing what they do (worry). I am trying to come up with ideas and solutions that could work but I needed to step away from the overwhelming needs of others at times in order to figure some things out. I am not saying people who are negative are “bad” people, but rather explaining how in the past I took on their worrisome beliefs, and because of that my world became very dark and hopeless. I have chosen a different path and it is happier; filled with hope. I can imagine wonderful things again. I have compassion for those still stuck in the shadows but I know that they can step out of them, and that is one of the reasons why I chose to continue my friendships with those individuals. In examining some options that I had found (letting go of negative people) I ended up venturing inward and coming up with a more suitable solution which made me feel better: Strength in myself, belief in my dreams – letting go of worry rather than cherished friends!

There was a post on a blog which perfectly illustrates another lesson I gleaned from my “worry” experience. The post is humorous and yet it drives home the point. Sort of like saying “Quit hitting yourself”.

The post was a picture of a famous singer, and the caption read:

At a recent (Band name) concert in Glasgow, Scotland, (famous singer) asked the audience for total silence for a moment. Then, in the silence, he started to slowly clap his hands, once every few seconds. Holding the audience in total silence.

He spoke into the microphone saying,[_ “Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.”._]

From the front of the crowd a voice with a broad Scottish accent pierced the quiet….[_ “Well, effing stop doing it then ya evil bastard!”. _]

Scottish dudes: They’ll save the wee African children even if they have to gut (famous singer) to do it.

Funny how the Universe sent me this comical piece to get the message across to me that I could just let go of worry (the easy way to do it) – instead of nitpicking every single aspect and area of my life; piling over years worth of thoughts, statements, and beliefs I had been handed – and .. you know… ‘worrying’ about them. I guess I was in store for a ‘lesson’ about doing things the hard way; being stubborn about my own ‘need’ to have ‘earned’ my dream life. Thankfully the Universe is patient, and I am guessing amused (at this point) by my quirks.

Chapter Twenty Nine

I have been really working through the uncertainty of being genuine and open in saying the things which are truly the core of me. I have read many statements speaking about standing out from the crowd. Some of the people and groups who have echoed this saying are often wonderful holistic workers; those brave few who step outside of the box and boldly challenge convention and engage their curiosity and learn new methods of healing. I appreciate the work that so many people do – especially the people who stand out from the current general “norm”; working with healing, energy, and alternative methods for wellness. I really love the assistance that healers provide and I have much appreciation for how difficult their work can be at times. One thing which I had noticed is that sometimes healers can accidentally pass on fears which could trigger disabilities, anxieties, and illness in their clients. I too had done this in the past. I do understand that many healers are really trying their best to help others and that sometimes they quickly jump into helping because they know that they have gifts. But I think they might sometimes doubt their ability to help/heal/etc. What happens in some cases is that the healer will hand their client a limiting statement (again, quite by accident). They may say things such as “Oh you have to stop eating or drinking a certain type of food or drink because it is loaded with bad stuff and that’s why you are ill.”. They then continue on to tell their client about all of the scarey and atrocious things that are happening ‘out there’ in the World. The client does not always believe what the person is saying – but, why hand over fears?

Perhaps one may use their healing gifts while not passing fear by saying things in a slightly different way. If they receive intuition that their client should try (say) Lactose free milk. They could say “I am being guided to suggest to you to try lactose free milk.”, and then there is no fear added in. I also believe that there are healers that are strong enough to help the client without the client needing to change their dietary needs (which could be costly in some cases). Perhaps not in all cases, however.

In the past when I would notice energies such as fear, worry, doubt, panic, etc. while I was working, I would ask myself “Am I using the tools of fear to do my work, or am I using positive tools?”. I used to speak those statements (coming from fear), while totally ignoring the deeper feeling of “Your body is a wonderfully amazing machine that can heal easily with good thoughts”. I really wanted to question myself, having noted that where one’s energy flows, their energy goes. I found that I could be more helpful by lending and directing positive energy to assist. I have a great deal of trust in people who work with energy and I look for those which are firm in their belief about their abilities. I also believe that a person should stick with a traditional doctor if they are concerned – it is up to each person to make the choices for themselves as to which feels most comfortable.

I noticed some things in my past which came to my attention. I wanted to use and understand my ability, rather than arguing for limitation. I trust strengths, I do not believe in limitations. One of the insights which I have gained is in how to utilize my intuition better. I have been practising using this gift by first getting to know myself more, and then by learning how to combine a few processes to get a better understanding of what I may be intuiting.

When working with someone whom I am ‘reading’ intuitively I first ask myself “Is this thought/belief/feeling” mine? I have learned to carefully examine those questions because sometimes there may be an energy which may feel like it is mine. This is a tricky thing to explain, and I shall do my best as not to confuse. When I speak of an energy which felt like it was mine, I mean that there are energies that I have encountered – which some people label as harmful negative thoughts, demons, spirits, radio signals, etc. Energies that an individual may “pick up on”, some people mistakenly take these as “their own”. Just like negative thoughts which people may view as “theirs”. People sometimes take those energies as their own because they are so thoroughly convinced (or have been told) that they are just their thoughts. They take ownership of the negative energy because they believe that they are just ‘naturally’ pessimistic/ negative/ doomed/ depressed/ etc. – they believe (or have been told) that they were born with things such as depression and so on. Those energies need to be examined more carefully. People can also learn to watch for other people handing them those energies, by way of handing out fear, doubt, limitations. They are not yours and you can respectfully tell another person “No thank you.”.

Some people do not subscribe to the “energies” terminology. I’m trying to explain this field of exploration so that I can bridge a gap so individuals who are not familiar with this area can better understand, and hopefully gain an appreciation for it. I have studied and met numerous people over the years who work with energy and I learned that a lot of people who work with energy have been doing so for such a long time that they actually have gained a “sight” for it. Such was the case for myself as well; sometimes not as finely tuned as some whom I had met, and other times more I was more adept than other people. We all learned from each other.

I have an analytical side which spurs me on to try and understand the “Science” side of energy work as well. Science understands that the eyes do not (normally) view things outside of certain spectra, and yet they know that there are things which can be viewed through machines which the eyes normally could not “see”.

I wondered if there was a way to quell the conflict within my own mind about the divide in metaphysical and scientific views about my experiences. How could I make a bridge for myself to include both sides? I do see them as equally valid, and I personally prefer to include both perspectives in my own life – while leaving out any arguments, or bickering. One of the things which I took into account is the fact that there have been people who have been learning how to do things like ‘seeing energy’; the variety of practices which can assist an individual to view outside of a “normally visible” spectrum. And although those people tend to practice what is called “magick, mysticism, spirituality, etc.”; it does not mean that they are wrong, weird, crazy, or unprofessional. They are equally authoritative to be able to speak about discoveries and phenomenon while providing very helpful and informative pieces to many puzzles in life. It is sometimes difficult to be able to explain abstract things to people who are not used to being around this particular area of study.

Science-minded persons can view other spectra through machines and this is an accepted method for them, and for many other people. What I took into consideration is that just because some people have not tuned their own senses to other “energies/spectra/etc.”, this should not dismiss others who have been working hard to accomplish this naturally.

Because I have a love for science, and a love for spirituality/mysticism/ unexplained ‘phenomena’, I wanted to understand where the argument comes in between the two. An argument which also presents conflict within my own thoughts as well. I believe that it is just a misunderstanding and that when one side, or the other, is fond of their area of expertise they might dismiss other perspectives – because they do not understand them. It is their perception, which can be clouded by things such as anger, finger pointing (“right/wrong”), name calling, defensive reactions, and so on. No one side is better than the other. Both are equal in their area of understanding. I have personally learned a great deal from both – once I was able to engage in discussion without anyone trying to argue.

Back to how I have been learning over the years to work with “energies”. I will be using the standard terminologies for what I have been working with. Feel free to fit it within your language, belief, or meaning. I worried about working with “energies” as a youth because in childhood I was taught that it was “bad” but I still had unresolved questions and curiosities about this field. Throughout my years what I have found is that not all energies/thoughts are “bad”, although some people may view them as such. Some of those energies can actually teach people. One may call them “life lessons” or experiences. I was explaining to my best friend, who is mainly analytical/science thinking, how to understand other groups when they talk about things like “evil entities/demons /tricksters”. I brought up a scenario as an example to try and explain better, by looking at one of the common belief systems. I spoke about how one may look at this system (and it’s beliefs) in a different way – to provide a better understanding. Although some people may view these practitioners as archaic I think it is helpful to try to be more engaged in education about different beliefs.

When thinking of a Priest for example, who does things such as “exorcisms”, what you are looking at is something which the Priest has trained for years to do. Some movies often portray this incorrectly – and often times add things for “dramatic flare”; frightening things. And there also have been incidents where charlatans, looking for monetary gain, have mislead people. It is better to understand that Priests, Shamans, Light-workers, Mystics, etc., might actually physically “see” an energy. They may actually “see” something “dark”, and it may be firmly attached to the person that they are working with. The person may have taken that energy as theirs, thereby giving it a physical host. Others may not have this “sight” and may be hasty to mock it, or say that the person who is being “exorcised” is just having mental issues. But the fact remains that there is a physical presentation of whatever is going on (be it thoughts which are creating negativity, or energies, or what the Priests call demons).

The reason that Priests, Shamans, Mystics and teachers take years to train is because they must be sure to not have any “shadows” themselves, so that they can carefully “intuit/see” what it is that they are working with. There is also the matter of not being “tricked” into thinking that an energy is “theirs”, or their clients. It would be similar to a doctor of psychology (or psychiatry) wanting to be mentally fit so as not to project their own issues on a client. It is a very in-depth process because these energies can affect things such as sight or hearing, and they cause confusion if one is not adept at their practice. Similar to a client (say in psychology) who may be highly negative, possibly even aggressive; that client might be so “wound up” that they can’t hear what anyone is saying to them because they are so angry/ frustrated/sad/etc. The client may even lash out, because they feel as if they are being told that they are lesser-than for having this “affliction”.

Because these energies are so very intricate to work with, one might dismiss it as “Just a negative thought”, or “That’s just me”, or a myriad of other tricky beliefs which can present themselves. I say tricky because it may enable the client to keep those energies/thoughts because they feel that it is something which is truly theirs; a malady they were just born with. A client under psychological care may be able to convince themselves (or even the doctor) that the issue which they are dealing with is just how they are. This shows the clinician that the client is still holding on to that thought. That way of thinking can be slippery to deal with while trying to help a patient gain a more self-empowering view of themselves. The client may have picked up a negative belief about themselves and they may even argue for it, when it may not be the case at all. A good example would be a person who is anorexic, and they really believe that they are fat. This is an untrue belief, although the person may really view it as completely true; even physically seeing it as true when they look at themselves.

Mystically speaking, there are a variety strange things which I have personally encountered. I have experienced energies which were startling for me to recognize at first. One such duplicitous energy I happened on in the past was a “child-like” entity. I was learning at the time how to release “negative” energy. The child-like entity was particularly interesting to me because I had come across information about things such as this phenomenon in books and teachings, as well as having watched movies which had this theme. I always thought of that child-like energy as being a make-believe character. I was surprised to encounter this energy and I did wonder if this phenomenon came from a subconscious memory of something I had either watched on television or read about. There are many answers as to the nature of what something like this could be.

In working with this energy I was noticing some features about it. This energy had a definite signature to it, and what struck me about it was that I could actually “hear” it. At first I was thinking it was just my imagination and then I noticed that it seemed to be something more. There were things being said which were like a pleading. A strange feeling was in back of it, and so I questioned this experience more. It was not an actual voice, more like a “thought”, sort of, but with a child-like tone – very hard to actually describe as accurately as I would like to. Since this was only a one time event I ended up having more questions about it, which was (again) somewhat frustrating because many different people can give an individual many different answers which they hold on to as “the” definitive answer.

I’ve recognized that a person could be unintentionally tricked into picking up a similar energy and believing it was theirs because of well-meaning practitioners telling them things such as information about their “inner child”. They might say that sometimes our inner child throws tantrums and misbehaves, but should be accepted and embraced in order to begin a healing process. It seems perfectly rational because we all have seen kids misbehave, or act out, and so we may believe that it must make sense that an “inner child” would do the same. Therein lies the deception; a note to pay attention to. If you experience that particular (tricky) energy it may “plead” for you to just accept it as you, and could make you feel as though you are “abandoning” it. It may make you think that you are being cruel by choosing to release it; no longer considering it yours. An individual should try to be conscious when listening to those thoughts because most times they are like background noise. This would be also referred to in other areas of practice as ‘subconscious thoughts’. Whether you subscribe to one belief or another you can still learn how to work with this challenge.

I would like to point out that it’s not nearly as frightening as it may seem to read about, I assure you. Although I suppose it could be if someone lets the fear take control. I chose to be curious and that seemed to lift the fear right out of the picture for me. I also dropped “ownership” of that energy and in doing so it disconnected its power. At the time when this happened I was getting to know my true inner child; trying to perceive it fully, while peering through what people call “the veil”, or “shadows”, or “Negative thinking” (again, what ever term works for you). During this time I encountered thoughts/whispers – I will explain how I was able to differentiate which were really mine and which to release. Each person may do this for themselves if they feel the need, although it is better to have an experienced teacher assist you because the experiences can sometimes be confusing or jarring. It is also important to make sure that your own personal experience is not stemming from a medical condition which may need assistance from a trained professional. It is perfectly okay to explore the unknown, and mysteries of life – but please exercise helpful responsibility and make use of the many people who are there to assist you.

It can be complex for teachers to clearly and accurately perceive energies if they have not worked with their own ‘shadows’, or if they have been duped into owning negative thoughts. While it is normal to sometimes have negative thoughts, one should release them once they learn from them. While working on exploring my “inner child” I was releasing old beliefs and feelings about myself stemming from my childhood. This meant things like moving into an authoritative position in my own life, rather than still viewing myself as a child who was to meet demands from other people, live up to their expectations, etc. I was not expecting the strange experience of meeting with the childlike entity I encountered.

I was letting go of energy which had negative qualities built around it; letting go of old patterns and feelings in order to actually “free” my true inner child. Erasing old misconceptions about myself by looking at my childhood and reinforcing better beliefs and understandings about who I am, and always have been. Free of the judgements and perspectives from other people whom I had grown up around. Releasing false beliefs about myself as a child (that I was ‘bad’, or ‘evil’ and other statements which had been placed on me by people within a certain religious structure). This work meant that I was letting go of old beliefs, worries, false perceptions from the past, and releasing hurtful childhood drama which had been impeding my self-healing. I also was able to look at the adults in my life from a different perspective; seeing them as trying their best under the circumstances which they had been in. This was not only poverty, but also heavy dogmatic subscriptions which were inflexible and dictated how to view things in life: people, children, questions, experiences, curiosity, etc.It was, at times, laborious to move beyond.

Bumping into the other energy which I experienced at this time was like the age old tale of the trickster saying things like “If you banish me, this person goes with.”[. _]That is a lie; it is simply releasing negative energy to free your true inner child which is bright, happy, curious, playful and fearless. I also bumped into thoughts like _If you get rid of me you will lose your gifts. Another clever lie; what I was actually losing was the veil of fear/ judgement/trickiness – and not my natural gifts. The thought had a distinct feeling; almost tainted. It was something to look at more thoroughly, and I was highly curious about my puzzling experience. It aggravated me because I had been releasing beliefs about ‘demons’ and I was annoyed; having recognized subconscious religious programming.

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  • I understand that some people may be confused by terms like “inner child”. It is the terminology of the belief system which I was employing at the time. The energy I bumped into absolutely had a child-like voice/feeling to it, and presented thoughts (whispers) about things which really and truly were not mine. It was surprising at first because I wondered what the heck I was experiencing exactly. At first I considered that it may just be old childhood patterns/issues which I had not quite worked through (because there were some of those as well). On closer inspection I caught things which were not mine; the strange encounters with ‘thoughts’ which were trying to “convince” me that they were mine. I examined these thoughts, released them, and looked at my behaviour/logic/etc. for more clarity. I found myself needing to make a ‘sanity’ check – being that this was a deeply baffling encounter and I wanted to be responsible in my examination of my experience. I found the experience to be curious, and I gained a deeper insight into other explanations about ‘spirits’ (energies). So too did I thankfully move away from that system, having affirmed that it was not for me, and I was pleased to be able to resolve some resentment.

During the years I worked in these fields I gained a deeper respect for people such as Mystics, and even Priests who trained for years to understand and work with these “energies”. It took me years to learn how to distinguish “energies” of my own – letting some come and go as I learned, because you can learn from them. I was also working with the energy of others around me because of my “intuition/physic gifts/ sensitivities”. The best way to explore is to experience and question. I found that arguing over answers can take away from experiences. It is more helpful to be open to wonder and curiosity while engaging learning.

Recognizing that my natural and true inner child is gentle, non-judgemental, sweet, curious, fearless, playful, loving, and kind, was very helpful when working to gain the benefits that I was working towards; positivity, natural being, and health. During my work with this method if I felt fear while releasing negative energies I would remind myself that it is actually the energy itself which is afraid, not me. If I were to allow those fears as being mine then all I am doing is giving my own energy to it. This is what teachers and practitioners have been trying to explain in the past when they talk about “not giving energy to fear”. An individual may intuit a fear energy, but if one feels fear and accepts it is their own then they allow that energy to take “host” in the body/mind. There are rare cases when the energy may try to convince someone that it can harm them, or that it is really the individual’s fear – this could potentially work a person into hysterics if they allow it, or don’t recognize what may be going on. For myself I realized that because I have power over my thoughts and energy it is me who can allow – thus I also have the power to release it.

People state that you have to “Get over _][_your fear.”, which simply means that one has allowed the fear to be theirs – not that it truly is. It is more that the person may have been mislead into thinking that the fear is theirs, thereby giving the fear a “host”. Remember always that as you speak it, or direct the energy to leave, you may indeed feel “fear” – realize it is not yours, keep that in mind always. You may also have a “thought” pop up about provoking it, or not being strong enough to confront it. If you feel this, again it is not yours, it is simply the energy trying to make a last ditch effort to save itself. It holds no power unless you allow it as your own. People are much more powerful, and protected, than they know.

The cunning of these energies is demonstrated in masking their fear as the individual’s fear. It can be a more difficult bond to break if the individual is not willing to understand that fear is not theirs. At the times when a person is thoroughly convinced that the negative thought/energy is theirs, taking ownership, it would be helpful to have a strong practitioner release the energy. The reason a strong practitioner is helpful is because they have learned how to dispel these types of energies. When practitioners are strong in their gifts the client can feel the calming energy, or “light”, and they comfortably can lend their own energy in aiding the priest/ practitioner/ shaman/ etc. This is adding more positive energy to the banishing and releasing, rather than adding to the negative. Unfortunately, in the past, a lot of the reasons why some people experience energies/thoughts/spirits “coming back” or reoccurring is because the individual holds on to the belief that they are “cursed”, or that the energy can’t be banished. Which is because the individual has given energy (again) to that thing.

It goes to show just how powerful a person can be with their mind, energy, thoughts, etc. If they can keep bringing the energy back, they should more-so understand that they can just as easily release it.

Another thing to consider is that not all energies are “evil/bad/ malicious”, although they can at times be mistaken for such. Things which cloud our natural gifts, such as strength, can sometimes be covered with a “veil” of anger/hostility/aggressiveness. The “lower” qualities are just a thin veil which has been placed over the strength of an individual and sometimes it is really easily remedied by looking at what is in back of the seemingly aggressive/hostile display. It could also be a protective measure from childhood which has been slowly turned into a lower energy.

I mean to point out that not all energies are “sinister”, one must be careful before making such a prognosis. Thoroughly investigate the thoughts, feelings, intricacies and so on with each case – as not to get caught up in scenarios such as has happened in the past; “witch hunts” or “exorcisms”. To do such careless things, such as a quick assessment or perception, can create issues; making a person fearful – which can attract unwanted things (be it thoughts, or actual energies). More often than not people are quick to dismiss such incorrect judgements and their inner workings/feelings give them intuitions which provide assistance in “knowing” that the practitioner is incorrect in those cases. When I speak of tricky/negative/malicious energies I am speaking about the truly lower energies which create harm (psychopathy, suicidal tendencies, violence). There are lighter “negative” energies, which are still something an individual needs to be able to let go of and change/ transmute to a “better” thought/feeling/energy as it is released. A practice which I use is to release the lower energy and then keep the higher energy, thought, and understanding, which I have learned from the experience.

I have rarely actually encountered such a strange and foreign energy (such as the child-like one), and it was easily released once I realized it was there. This experience even it taught me a valuable lesson – how to distinguish, how to recognize tricks, and it taught me about how different people (like Priests) work with those energies. Valuable knowledge which helped me not to be so quick to dismiss the work of different practitioners just because of my past judgements and disbelief.

I learned that one may more easily dissipate the energy by realizing their own personal power to let go of the energy and not take it as “theirs”.

Again any “fear” which may be encountered may actually just be the “energy’s fear”; a person is intuiting fear because the energy is near enough to them that they think it is in them. The “energy”, or even the person themselves, may also be triggered into fear mode simply because of the type of display in which the Priest (or practitioner) is employing; shouting loudly, darkening the room, appearing to “battle”. These Priests and Practitioners may feel that it is what “must be done”. When I was learning how it works for me I was guided to an understanding that it is about the strength of my own inner “light”, and allowing positive energy to work through me. When I was younger I had seen many practitioners employing things such as shouting; I thought that maybe they use loud vocalizations because they feel that it helps them to exert “authority”.

I prefer to use a calmness and I am not given to shouting, although I have (rarely) at times throughout my training and research had to do so. No one way is right or wrong. It is dependant on what each individual feels is necessary and most helpful in each case – knowing too that each case is entirely unique and subject to thorough inspection and assessment. I still think it may be helpful to recognize that shouting and “battling” can create fear triggers and anxiety for some clients/patients. While I was working with this system it helped to remember that it is so highly rare that a true “negative” energy presents (other practitioners will also tell you this). The majority of cases tend to be simply a build up of beliefs, thoughts, or smaller energies which appear to be one big thing. In those cases there is just fear upon fear, which creates more fear. And although those “fears” have an energy signature, they are easily let go of and released without much dramatic showing. So to is it the same for releasing negative thoughts about one’s self; it may seem monumental, but it is not.

Some people may believe that they have “darker” things because they have been pulled into such a fear; it is (in most cases) not the truth, no matter how it appears. Again this is why it is helpful for clients to go talk to someone who is used to working with energy or beliefs. A person may comfortably question the practitioner that they choose to do work with about themselves (their beliefs and experience), and how exactly they go about “releasing” energies. Find the person which you feel most comfortable with and understand that there are many ways and many people who can help, and it can be a custom fit for each individual. I personally prefer workers who believe in their strength and those practitioners who have a firm belief in their ability, non-fear based, as well as knowledgeable in their field. Some gifted workers may even have little experience but if they fit what I am looking for, I may also work with them. I likewise work with individuals at times who I may be presented with via synchronicity; having learned that energy can also work through people I least expected. I guess it is more of a general guideline, mixed with intuitive nudges.

To understand this type of work in a more science/psychology based way of thinking – using different terminology: a patient coming in may display behaviour which some may deem as negative, destructive, crazed, etc., possibly even uncharacteristic. And if they truly believe that they are doomed to be depressed, negative, mentally ill, then it can be difficult (not impossible) to help that person regain positive mental health. Some of the time many doctors jump to drugs to try and suppress the extreme behavioural tendencies (suicide, psychopathy, etc.), as is similar for some mystical practitioners in the use of herbs, trinkets, and certain stones/ gems/ etc.

If you are under a doctor’s care it is advisable to follow their directions and not make an abrupt stop to the course of action which they are recommending. It may also be helpful to also include some positivity into that regimen. Remember too that just because one professional makes an assessment which seems to be a life sentence – you (client/ patient) do not have to accept it. You can find doctors/practitioners who will work with you to make healthy changes, but it does take participation. It would do well to show clients/patients that they are perfectly able to release negative thoughts through various methods, such as working out old issues/ beliefs/ thoughts/ programming, via alternative means such as meditative practice. I am aware that many Doctors do already sometimes employ this method and make helpful alternative recommendations to their patients.

Although my preference leans towards alternative therapies, it helped me to look at scientific medical aspects as well. Because my parents were in the medical field I had viewed opinions, beliefs, solutions, illnesses, health and wellness practices through their medical terminology – and it was sometimes conflicting for me. Being curious, I asked myself how I could understand this energy/demons view point from the perspective of a person who may be someone like a medical practitioner. I wanted to see what I could glean for myself by bridging the gap in my own thoughts as well.

When patient is booked into a hospital (here in Canada, possibly elsewhere) the patient, or a relative, fills out forms. One of the questions is about faith/beliefs “What Religion are you? Do you have any Spiritual beliefs?”. This is a helpful question because it can provide the patient with a ‘spiritual’ counselor, and it can show the hospital staff the possible requirements (such as dietary) that the patient may have.

For myself, I would fill out “No” to the question because I had no Religious beliefs. I was raised in a Religious environment, and although I did not follow those beliefs I did have deep down issues and fears revolving around spirits, as well as some minor psychological issues stemming from beliefs taught in that system. I was not consciously aware of the intricacies of those worries; feeling bashful and unintelligent because I was (at times) fearful of some of the things I had been taught. Fearing ridicule for being deemed silly about having a latent anxiety, which had been born out of people who I viewed (as a child and young adult) as ‘authoritative’, about things like demons. The concern about being made fun of came from encountering people who outright dismissed the possibility. And worse, disparagement rather than engaging in helpful examination (opening their own minds as well) and asking questions. But somewhere deep down inside of me I wondered if they (demons) were real. I also held beliefs which conflicted with that of my parents.

It may have helped me, and possibly the doctor, back then if there would have been a box to check which said:

  1. “Were you raised in a Religious/Spiritual environment” which may have caused some hidden beliefs and created certain blocks. (If yes, answer question B. If not – way to go, you!)
  2. B) Do you think or feel that you have conflict with those beliefs which you were raised around? Experiencing cognitive dissonance?
  3. C) Do you know that no answer is right or wrong, and that people never have the exact same things to work through? Do you know that it doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you just because you are experiencing these things?
    p.

Although there were no boxes to check I was able, after many years, to work through my own challenges, recognize my own patterns of belief, and give myself a custom “treatment” program (which included a lot of Sumatra coffee). I was able to achieve a healthier mindset for myself. I am proud that I was able to learn things for myself. It feels good to know that even if someone else could not help me I was able to help myself, no matter how difficult the task. I like to take a deeper look at my thoughts, behaviour, beliefs – and instead of dismissing them as “upbringing” or strictly traumatic environment, I understand that it may be a tad more. Some people have discovered that “thoughts are things”, so perhaps mystics were not that far off. They may explain it in a way which can seem unreal but if you want to learn more then give yourself that opportunity to be open to curiosity. This helped me to open up a wider viewpoint, and a fuller life experience. It also provided some welcome resolutions.

Perhaps the thoughts and beliefs that I had been told were mine may have been something else. It helped me to release those energies – ultimately providing a cure. I discovered that although I did not believe in demons and other frightening things (the world being full of evil and scary people), I still had a deep down fear that they could be real because of the beliefs in the environment I was raised. But because I did not believe in those things, and was confusingly fearful, I spotted the pattern which had formed within my mind. I denied the existence of demons (for example) and did not understand that they were still in my thoughts; that dichotomy was causing a battle in my heart and mind. So, which is right? Is it demons, or is it just thoughts?

It doesn’t really matter to me what one chooses to call it.

After years spent studying and working with a myriad of systems I can see that there are a lot of “phenomena” that people are still discovering, still trying to understand and explain. The more important point is that I have learned that I can release the energy/thought; it was helpful, just as my experience with healing and new information was helpful because it taught me a lot. The work I had done helped me bridge gaps in my understanding and it showed me that I have the strength to move beyond it. There is always new information being constantly presented, and new insights to the workings of many things. I learned so much more when I stopped being dismissive and argumentative, which was the battle in my thoughts (is Science right? Is Religion right? Who’s right?).

It might help to ease the load from doctors, who are overburdened with cases, by giving a patient release (beliefs/energies/ thoughts), to encourage the patient’s strength, rather than handing them a “disease/metal illness.”. Holistic practitioners may also understand that Doctors have a strength because people view them as an authority, and they are often helpful by giving hope with the knowledge they have. Both sides have a place in being helpful when they use their unique talent in a positive way.

I want to address more about working with metaphysical practices so I think I will make a new chapter, since there is quite a lot of material to cover.

Everyone group hug now okay. Cookies? Glitter party? Happy, fun yayness?

Chapter Thirty

I would like to discuss how to work with the practice which is called “mirror work” (if you are so inclined to explore this area). As in the term used when people speak of being a “mirror” of others, or others of themselves – rather than the polished items which hangs on a wall in one’s home (or scrying mirrors). I will also be discussing the thoughts and issues which I had encountered relating to this work. To start, I would like to take a look at how to work with a better understanding of “mirrors”. Because currently there are a lot of people starting to learn about this method, and others who may not be familiar with this topic. Some material which I have learned along my path covers viewing your mirror reflections in other people; the teachers explain that what you are seeing in other people is the mirror reflection of yourself. Some positive, some negative/limited, some really challenging in recognizing. While I was working with this method I did start to “see” myself in people – meaning that they spoke about things which I was going through at the time, as well as some beliefs which I held (unhelpful beliefs). I also often experienced verbatim conversations on what I would be thinking or discussing. That experience was boggling!

A lot of people claim there is a “Universal mind”, or connection, or one-ness, etc. I took a look into what these people were speaking about, and I investigated what I could learn from it. I also wanted to learn about the people who believe this because I do “feel” that having connections to others is natural – for humans and animals, plants, nature, etc.

While I will note that there seemed to be a definite “something” going on while I was looking into this area of belief, I also bumped up against some stopping points and limits in the information which I had perused about this topic. I did however come out of it with some additional insights for myself. I would like to also note that I believe that some people may just be really “strong” with their ability to intuit or project and they could be affecting others around them. I kept in mind that groups of people can “influence” each other (it can be through energy, physical body language, and many other things… connection). It is clear that people can and do affect each other, and it can be by greater or lesser degrees. I believe that it is based on each person’s abilities, beliefs, attentions, and a wide span of other factors. Since I am trying to make this as simple as possible, I will try to stick to the basics by explaining my own personal experience.

Getting back to the mirror explanation. It is felt, within some belief systems, that other people are just a mirror reflection of what is going on inside of “you” – meaning the individual who is looking at other people is to view them as “mirrors” of their inward working (thoughts about one’s self, behaviours, etc.). It is said that what you experience while interacting with another person is a direct reflection of you. This seems plausible, and yet I could feel that there was more to it (for myself). While exploring this belief I noticed that there were some issues which I was working on at the time, and some beliefs that I held which were “reflected” in other people with whom I interacted. I was curious about how to utilize the mirror system in the most beneficial way, and while working with it I also started to get worried at points because I was seeming to be confronted with all of my old negative beliefs (which is one of the things that people who teach this method talk about). I was also challenged with my old behaviours.

It got so uncomfortable at times that I was starting to wonder if the people who speak about “one-ness” were “right” about this being the “answer to life’s problems” – “Fix yourself and the whole World gets fixed”. That explanation was a little too finite and diminutive for me; although it also carried a heavy feeling because there seemed to be an overwhelming amount of “things to work on in the World”. I did notice that my personal “world” got better after working on some of my issues, but I started feeling like it was solely up to me to fix the whole World. While I do have an effect by being more happy, speaking more positively; creating more inspiration – I also remember that I am a piece of the great puzzle and others are just as equally connected, and also a helpful piece of the puzzle.

After stepping back a bit from the “everyone is only a mirror reflection of you” belief I was able to assess (for myself) that, while I did have some powerfully unexplainable experiences, there were also some “non me” things which other people (“mirrors”) had. e.g., I like meat but the “mirror reflection” likes tofu. I like being open to a wide variety of possibilities – the “mirror reflection” likes things one-sided. And while I do have “two sides” to myself (my analytical mind says one thing, my creative side another, etc.), it was not the same as viewing other people as solely a mirror reflection of myself. I also noticed that I would be prone to taking on the limiting beliefs, problems, thoughts, of another person if I viewed them as solely a mirror reflection of myself. I was also trying to force my beliefs on the other person, as long I was thinking that they were just a mirror reflection of me. Sort of like saying “Okay, I don’t believe that anymore, so if you are just a mirror reflection of me then here is what you should think now, because I do.”. While that may not be the case for other people who work with this belief system, it was the case for myself.

At the time I was so worried about “fixing” myself, stopping old habits and making a change in my life – that I didn’t realize that I was adding to my list of “things that are wrong with me”. Problems which were not actually mine, but which I had started taking on as mine. While other people can provide a wonderful “reflection” at times, and one can learn by listening to others about some things which they may be choosing to work on, I found that there was also the tendency for me to get too caught up in thinking “everyone” is a mirror reflection and everyone’s “issues” are my own. I wasn’t stopping to check if I had cleared those old patterns (negative thought/behaviour/belief) – not bothering to check if perhaps that “was” an old issue of mine which I no longer carried.

Doing this method helped me to better relate to and better understand other people, because I had gone through what they may be experiencing and had worked through those issues. This was a better step forward without taking that old pattern back and owning it as “mine”; getting stuck back in a loop of “being broken”. Example: I would be speaking to someone who was dealing with a limiting (to me) belief, judgement, and so on. I would get caught up and think “I must have that old behaviour still, since I am seeing someone with that issue. I’d better work harder to release it! It would not have come up if I worked on it.”. I would over-analyze and hypercriticize myself; looking for where it might be “true” that I still held on to that old thing, to be sure that I was being thorough. Sometimes I would find a small residual belief/old habit/etc., but after having worked on releasing old “issues” and making positive changes for myself I found that there were a lot of times which I did not hold the beliefs of the other person. I wondered how is this mirror thing possible – holding the view that all people are only a reflection of what is going on inside of me.

Sometimes I would dig deeper until I would come up with an obscure thing to attach to my reason for seeing something in someone else, taking it as mine in a round-a-bout way – because of the manner in which the mirror work was explained. I also never considered “good” things being mirrored at me, because I still viewed myself as flawed and needing to change so much. When I first started using this belief system I flat out denied that I had any of the things, which I was seeing in others, to work on (take for instance “someone being controlling”). I needed to get honest with myself and recognize that I did have some issues which I wanted to work on. It was annoying at first because I didn’t want to think I was like the other person – especially if I was viewing them as judgemental, controlling, negative, hypocritical, etc. I likewise wanted to change those negative aspects of myself; not for anyone else but me. I didn’t like feeling grumpy all the time or having the negative outlook which I had picked up over the years; I wanted to be genuinely happy! Furthermore I wanted to see if my thoughts about things really did affect what I was getting in life: the responses, the people, the experiences – cause and effect. I was startled to find that when I started making these changes I was met with a more positive experience, even though I had long believed that other people were just mean, cruel, and the cause of the issue. I did need to work on finding a balance as not to tip too far into self-criticism though.

If I experience the feeling of being annoyed, angry, or frustrated about someone, I do still sometimes make sure to ask myself if I am doing something (behaviour, belief, judging, insulting, etc.) which triggered the annoyance that I may be experiencing from another person. I also ask myself if their initial interaction may be the factor which created the effect and response. This is not a point of blame, just something to notice.

Sometimes it is not that I am doing something which is a behaviour I “need to change” (learning about Need vs. Want to), it is just that I am still working with learning to accept that people are different, and although I may have worked on my own past behaviour and reactions – it does not mean that the person whom I am dealing with is at that point. This is where understanding and empathy comes into play. Just because I am working on things that I wanted to change about myself, it does not mean that the other person even needs to change. I also remind myself how I love the diversity of different people who have different outlooks in life because without them I could not learn more. It doesn’t mean that I have to always learn more from people, it can mean that I could also just enjoy being around a variety of people. There is a want for everyone to be happy which triggers my response at times; it is more helpful for me to keep reminding myself that “I want to be happy”. Even though some of my happiness also comes from seeing other people happy, my own happiness is not wholly dependant on the happiness of another person. Good reminder for me.

I keep wanting to go back in my book and make adjustments, so that I am not being hypocritical. But I think it’s more helpful to be able to look back and have the reminder that I have come a long way. I can look at those old things which I may have done (by not paying full attention to doing them). I also know that those issues need not be a mirror anymore, and I can congratulate myself for having worked this hard to make the positive changes that I really wanted for myself. These changes have made me more relaxed, happy, and more like the person I started out in life as. I also have been realizing (for myself) that making lasting positive changes can take time and repetition in order to fully sink in and become habitual.

More mirror work:

I was reading a statement made by another teacher who quoted “You can either go happily and easily into a new awareness or be dragged.”, and “Let go or be dragged.”. That to me was forceful, and certainly not my way. It was also a very finite way of speaking (“this is the only way”).

I did get an understanding from this quote but it also triggered me (again) to check if I was doing something to “push, or drag” other people into something – and to keep making sure that I was not using finite visuals as to how my desired life experiences could unfold. I was checking my “mirrors” so to speak. Because I was finally noticing many other people who were having similar mystical/spiritual experiences as mine I was getting excited about the possibilities of what the future could bring. I was picturing people finally accepting things like people with “psychic” gifts, further (more open-minded) research into fields of “mysticism” and so on. I wanted the World to “hurry up and get there.”. With that thought was also the feeling of finally being “accepted”. I was not even thinking about the other people who may be uncomfortable with things such as “energies”, psychic gifts, etc. I felt like I had been looked down on, dismissed, mocked, and ignored for so long – that it was about time more people spoke up about this. Indeed there was some push. I forgot about the feelings of others which are equally valid. Time can help by allowing people to look into those things at their own pace, and feel more comfortable – which helps by not creating an aggressive energy (something shoved at them). Education is wonderful, but sometimes there is a fear factor to deal with. There is a time to grow up, start learning and stepping away from ignorance. But at that point I had just wanted to shout “Stop fighting and start listening, these things exist! It’s time to explore them!”.

That was a quick and easy instance for me to look at the “trigger”, and resulting mirror work which stemmed from it. Because of how the quote was stated it got my attention, and then a realization came about that I had been wanting things to happen “now, now, now!”. I could also see other areas where I was equally as impatient (money now, now, now!). So there was a “mirror” which I could work with. The teacher’s statement had an impatience in the feeling which mirrored my own impatience with a few things. Such is the case for making changes in oneself a lot of times.

There was also a lesson for me by way of an understanding that just because someone else states something such as “Let go or be dragged.”, it does not mean that it will happen that way for me; it may have happened for the other individual in that way – and that is perfectly okay as well. I choose to look at a wider aspect (not saying theirs is narrow); utilizing that statement, and similar ones, to work on myself. Not because it is “right” to do so, but it was my own preference not to be so conclusive or impatient (still watching that – I try to remember this as well, while not bashing myself if I do). I am always learning. I do not have to cram all of this learning into a small amount of time just because I see other people quoting about how short life is, or how “we” need to hurry up and make changes or “get left behind”. I don’t believe those statements, and it’s okay that those people who say those things do. I won’t argue because it does nothing but create more fighting and I am working to build bridges not smash them. I am simply writing about what I have experienced when I read quotes, heard things which people say, etc.. I want to learn about other people and also learn things for myself; glean information from my own insights and notice where my triggers/ blocks/ stumbles happen. It helps to consciously examine my own feeling or reaction – to learn about myself.

Some people don’t believe in the things which I believe. Everyone is a unique expression – my desire to understand a variety of people has caused me some confusion along the way. That desire has also given me a lot of really amazing and sometimes unexplainable experiences, all of which I am truly grateful for. Moreover I am grateful for a wider perspective on life. Learning takes time. Sometimes new changes which are tricky can take a while to sink in before a person manages to just “live” those changes automatically. I have seen people who make personal changes quickly and those changes stick; I am learning about myself – and it seems that repetition is the key when it comes to this area. I am truly (excitedly) anticipating the ease of living my new changes. I can feel that my thoughts have shifted; I am back to looking at things in a positive way. I am not ashamed that I had to release some old “pains/hurts” by writing (and sometimes crying), because each step of this journey has been fascinating.

I like to be able to explain myself in a way which is informative without making it seem like I am saying “My way is the only way.”. I do have a lot of valuable information which I am trying to provide. Additionally I am trying to take my time so that it will be presented in the manner in which I am striving to accomplish. Perhaps it is best to explain it by saying that I have a desire to utilize my gifts in a way which releases fear and negativity, and I have noticed a few ways in which I may accomplish this. I have noticed how fear is sometimes passed to others unintentionally and have found some ways in which I can change that for myself as well as providing some insight which could assist others – just as I am sure that there are also other ways of accomplishing this task. By opening up to a wider range of possibilities I am able to allow in even more helpful ways in which to best use my tools, skills, and information.

Again, I have an urge to go back and correct some of what I have already written because I can spot the unintentionally contradictory statements I have written, but I feel that it is also important for me to be able to show the learning process which I was experiencing as well. It is a step by step learning and I was finding that I was slowly able to be more patient with myself as I went along. It was relieving to catch some old patterns as I walked through the process of self-realization and personal growth. I was making huge changes, and that is very important to me. I guess it is like the saying “Anything worth doing, is worth doing well.”; applying this to the changes that I am making in myself. It is worth doing well. This does not mean trying to live up to some other person’s standard though. I was never happy when I would over-exert myself doing jobs which I didn’t like (which is where the quote was applied to, by the people who told me the quote). I am more than happy to take my time in implementing the changes which I desire to have a lasting effect in my life. Taking time to build the roots of that new belief while carefully removing the old weeds.

One of my old weeds which pops up from time to time is the thoughts/beliefs about things which I read online. I recently read a supposed quote by a ‘light worker’ which said something really startling about her deciding who lives and dies. The quote was on several pages, and they (the people who posted this quote, which was said to be from one of her books, perhaps taken out of context) all spoke about how she seems nice, but is really evil. The quote made me immediately post on her social media page and I asked if this quote was true, and if she had really said what was quoted. I also noticed several other well-known ‘guru/teachers’ who were on the page of hers and I wondered how they could possibly back a woman who had this belief. This is where another lesson came in.

I emailed a few of the teachers to ask them if they were aware of the quote and what their thoughts were – if they agreed that it is their job to choose who lives and dies. Additionally I wanted to know if this quote was in fact true, and so I asked. It created anxiety because I don’t want to see anyone get hurt, nor do I believe that anyone has the right to decide such things.

After fretting about there being someone “that insane” out in the World, I caught that it was the old saying coming back to teach me. “Don’t believe everything you hear or read.”. That is a tough one to work with in today’s World of social media, false perceptions, misunderstandings, and media hype. There is so much sensationalism around and it can often be difficult to figure out what is true or false. The quote got me worked up and I talked to my room mate about how I worried about people like her; an old belief about ‘scary people in the world’. It was not that the quote was in fact true. It was a quote on the internet, a quote which could have been made up by a group who disagreed with her; perhaps setting out to make her seem crazy. It could also be a really bad prank which was made by “Trolls”. The term troll is referring to a person who goes about making sites, quotes, and other disinformation finding it funny to dupe people; mocking people for believing their stories. The issue with spreading disinformation is that there are a lot of pieces of seemingly strange information, some of which may in fact be true and worth investigation. I personally had a point where, because of troll behaviour, I didn’t believe anything anymore – not even the helpful/good information. I was frustrated after learning about ‘trolls’ and I had let myself react. I think it came from being raised in the environment I had been in – coupled with my discovery about feelings from having been mocked about my latent fears stemming from childhood. It was like a sharp reminder which garnered an equally angry reaction at the time.

After working through my initial challenges which had been brought up; taking me into heavy skepticism and (sometimes) outright dismissal, I moved away from discounting everything and went back to reinforcing my knowledge about there being unexplained areas. The best thing I could do was to try things out before dismissing them (like the law of attraction material). It may seem like a silly thing to do, however I truly believe that until I at least tried it and wrote down my findings and experiences I would not really know for certain. I have noticed that I, like many other people, have beliefs and opinions and was still learning this true/false thing. It also seems that it was far more complex than I had realized. I could see that a lot of my issues in learning have stemmed from being around a society which tells us what is true/false. When I was not trying things for myself it meant that I was only taking other peoples word for it. I like to ask questions because it is really helpful, although sometimes those answers can be incorrect. Learning is truly complex at times. I guess that’s why I like writing about my personal experiences. Currently I am aware of what I may be aware of; some of what I know is also subject to change, and subject to learning. The more I learn the more I realize that I know very little about a lot of things. I also knew more than I was aware of.

One of the toughest things I did, while walking my path to self-discovery, was letting go of the old ways that I viewed myself. I had work to do on forgiveness – mainly because it involved many intricacies such as forgiving myself for thinking the things I thought about myself. Those old views did at times come from other people when I was a child (and teenager), and although they were incorrect and hurtful I had to let them go. It took time to understand that people passed on beliefs, having been taught what was “good and right” in the World – it did not make them correct. 

The only way for me to move forward was to really and truly understand that I carried those old beliefs about myself. And, because I carried those old views of myself I was met day to day with those views being mirrored at me. And because those old views were mirrored at me I would either blame the person who was treating me “badly” or I would take on those beliefs for reinforcement and “proof” that I was bad, wrong, not smart enough, not confident, etc., or that people didn’t want to bother getting to know me. I did also have some behaviour that had become reactionary from having lived in the world which I did. It also created personality traits which were very far from my natural disposition – things that I never realized I was even doing. Not to mention the perspectives, assumptions, and assessments based on false paradigms. I had taken my reactionary behaviour as the ‘truth’ of who I am and that set me up for a lot of painful experiences. Moving beyond negative beliefs about one’s self can be difficult; it can be peppered with feelings of inadequacy, guilt, and shame.

A person can mirror back at you the beliefs that you have about yourself – as much as you really want to be treated better, regarded better, and truly loved – it only happens when you take the step to release those false negative beliefs about yourself. People intuit (most without even knowing it) what someone thinks of themselves and they respond accordingly; it’s a subconscious mechanism. The good news is that there are also other people who can look beyond the negative beliefs that you have about yourself and they can see the amazing person that you truly are – free from all of the masks you carry. You may not believe them when they tell you how wonderful you are, you may tell yourself that they are only doing it to be nice (not believing they are being truthful) – in thinking that way you set yourself up to encounter those beliefs sometimes.

It’s much more helpful to take those genuine compliments and own them! It is not an easy change to make for some people, letting go of all of the tormenting thoughts about yourself. But if you can do this and really start believing that you are smart enough, strong enough, don’t need to prove anything, are kind, funny, and outrageously awesome – you will see that mirrored back at you. Because it was there all along, you just couldn’t ‘see’ it. Your past difficulties may not be other people; you may have been treated the way you were treated because you thought that’s how it is, or you expected it. You may have been the one who (falsely) felt that there was something wrong or bad about you, and other people just couldn’t help but respond accordingly. It can be tough work to do, and my deepest wish is that people start seeing how really wonderful they are.

To begin to understand mirror work and “see if it works” the best way is to try it – start viewing yourself as amazing, let go of criticizing yourself and blaming others (be patient with this). If you really, really do want that life that you dream of – happiness, self-esteem, success – then you have to begin with loving yourself. Additionally you have to see it for yourself, because no one can “prove it” to you. Little steps, one day at a time. 

I can tell you that it was initially frustrating for me, but worth every single hurdle that I jumped. I learn things quickly and I have moved beyond these old barriers because “I am subject to change without notice”. I love how the title of my book series sums up what I am writing about. It gives a wonderful illustration of my journey all in one title. It shows the changes which I have made, and will continue to make. It epitomizes the fact that what I write about right now is only what I am going through right now, and what I have been learning and experiencing up to this point.

It is also a notification:

Although you may be reading this book “now”, it is actually my past – I don’t live there anymore.

Chapter Thirty One

Feel that feeling of love, seeing the things I want (intention), feeling having it, minding my self talk, and speaking about the good.

Something I was pondering about the law of attraction is how so many people keep ‘asking’ for stuff and it doesn’t seem to “come to them”. I had read books and listened to countless audio and seminars which speak about how to make it happen by taking certain steps.. What was happening for me was that my mind was trying to figure out “how to make it happen.”. There are countless programs; teachers who speak about experiences, desires, magic, miracles, and unexplainable occurrences “just happening” simply because an individual asks. I recognized that I may have been using a lot of programs incorrectly in the past by thinking that I had to try and figure out how to make stuff happen. You know, carry a purple feather from a chickenhawk across the lip of a volcano while correctly reciting a chant in a language which I can barely pronounce. Some of the programs are simply meant to help a person relax, visualize, and have good feelings about the experiences they want. They are also meant to help an individual feel better about past events (for example), which helps one to get into a more happy and “abundant” state of mind. What I had been doing was listening to these programs and immediately trying to “figure it out” because of my left brain habits. I would get mixed results. I started paying close attention to the times in which wonderful unexplainable things would happen, and I noticed that there were a few things going on.

The times that I would get desired (positive) results were when thoughts like that would be nice!, or feelings of happiness about an idea or experience would pop into my mind. It was “light” feeling – unlike the heaviness of “I need money badly!”. There was no efforting behind it at all! It was that state of flow, or the “being in alignment” which teachers speak about. I needed to find my own ‘flow’ and I did so by trying things out. In the beginning of learning about different systems I was looking for answers; “Okay, that resonates with me, but how do I do it!”. I think it is important that each person finds what works for themselves, understanding that a first response can be to look for “answers” from teachers, programs, other people – that is a normal human behaviour. It is really important to question our own internal messages as well, especially if you notice a conflict in your mind (“That’s not possible.” vs. “I can do anything!”).

One of the ways in which I heard the law of attraction spoken about and explained, which gave me an “aha!” moment, was when I heard a teacher say that it is not that “one needs to do anything, because that thing the individual wants (experience, item, lifestyle, etc.) already exists”. That felt “right” for me – although I could not perceive the abundance at the time in a way that connected it to me acquiring it. The speaker’s statement gave me a physical response, like an inner knowing – so I followed this information up. The teacher believes that a person has already chosen what they desire and that they are coming into alignment with it. She said that “you see that thing because it is yours, and you just have to say yes. Long before that (item, experience, lifestyle, person, etc.) was in your experience/life, even before it was even in your head” – your higher self, the part of you which is connected to Universe already knew you were going to have it.”.

She explained that in order to teach someone how powerful they (their thoughts/beliefs/faith/etc.) are, the first step is for a person to have an idea which comes to fruition. She believes that the idea came from the individual’s “higher levels” in the first place, not that one actually intends (or manipulates/forces/wills) it into being. It was already coming anyway. She said that it’s because a person is “waking up” (which simply means to me: realizing, noticing, learning that they even had the idea). She said that “although it may appear that the idea created the item/experience/etc., the item/ experience was already created – because a person is a divine child of The Universe (God, higher self, etc.), and so it was done.”

It’s a slightly different way to look at the law of attraction and although I do not fit with some of her other beliefs – one being a statement she made ‘that it is “impossible” to ever get rid of judgement’, which is something that I am actually working on doing, and having success at. I was able to catch why I was triggered and why in the past I may have ended up just dismissing her entirely. It was the way in which the belief was spoken: “it is impossible”. I prefer to view things as “possible, with time” and I really do believe that achieving things in life which others may view as “impossible” are actually achievable, if a person so chooses. What one person deems as impossible is just something which that individual may not believe as being achievable for themselves, but there is always someone else who looks for solutions and then forward movement takes place. It does not make the people who say “impossible” wrong, it just means that it is where they may be at with their beliefs or perspective. The teacher was not standing in front of me saying “The work that you are attempting – to rid yourself of judgement is impossible.”. My reaction (however) came from old patterns.

The old pattern stemmed from being told as a child that I “could not just do anything I wanted”; the saying being given in times when there was a control issue happening. In the past I too have given similar types of answers to things out of the habit of mimicking what a parent or adult had repeatedly told me. But, I have been trying to open myself up even more and in doing so I was able to release old ways of viewing life. I’ve also noticed where I had other things to work on – “How is that ever going to happen.”, instead of “I may not know how, but I believe that it can.”.

To get back to what I was talking about… I felt the “aha!” from part of her statement (that which we want is already here waiting for us to allow it to come into our experience), because I had heard other teachers speak about Everything we want already being here.”, and quotes like “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ~ by W.B. Yeats.

It was like more puzzle pieces coming together. I was always trying to understand what those people meant and with this new point of view I was able to open up a wider understanding – of myself, and what I wanted for my own choices and beliefs. I had questioned many times “Where DO my thoughts, desires, etc. come from? Why do I want what I want?”. I noticed that things which used to seem “impossible” when I was younger (such as flying cars, invisibility cloaks, etc.) are now starting to be produced! People may have laughed about those things in the past and dismissed it as “silly science fiction”, but it is now a reality. I have wondered if it was possible that there was an effect on creation because so many people watched science fiction movies/shows while having those thoughts and feelings of “That would be awesome!”. I could certainly see the possibility.

Some people may dismiss that perspective, which is okay as well, but from what I have been studying I notice the validity in it. Perhaps it was the “planted seeds” which had now sprouted. Those seeds had a beginning!

Anyway, having this insight was showing me (again) that I needed to learn how to stop sabotaging myself by trying to force things to happen. It was simply that what I wanted was already bound to show up. I was finally “getting it” – the “it” being what other teachers have spoken about countless times, but one which I needed to “get” through my own mind; the opening of the petals, rather than trying to pry open a bud.

I used meditation to calm my thoughts. Abundance meditations helped me to have a more relaxed feeling about money so that I could move into having a lighter feel around wealth, which is far more fun and relaxed. It also gave me far more confidence about my excited expectations about moving out of poverty. It is still a work in progress but I am getting there. It seems funny that I had heard the explanations of how meditation works many times but I was still in a state of confusion due to the left brain response of “figure out how”. I was standing in my own way! But I needed to learn that too. I was still getting caught up on trying to “petition” the Universe. I also tried picturing “energy” forming into things I wanted. “All how – without allow” (yeah quote me on that, it’s pretty good – you should be aware that I am waggling my eyebrows). It makes me giggle, now, although I certainly remember the desperate feelings of “what else do I need to do!” as I went along my journey. There may still be some things for me to work on but I have taken enormous steps forward. I am much more excited about my life now – and in the future, because I have been making adjustments to step away from dwelling on worrying.

It took a lot for me to be cognisant that I was even spending so much time fretting, and I was kind of shocked at just how much I had been doing that! I started paying close attention to my thoughts, feelings, and tendencies.

I emailed a couple friends to share this new insight and one of them said I don’t want to believe the Universe has already given me something which I don’t have yet, because that leaves room for doubt if I never get it.” – I had to read that email several times. I had thought something similar in the past. It was a thought built around wanting to do it myself, just in case this law of attraction wasn’t true.. I am ready to release that. It was interesting what my friend wrote, as it showed me that I had that small belief to jump over to utilize this method effectively. I just needed to pay attention to what my friend wrote to realize that I did have that old belief lingering in my thoughts. It helped me to start getting past that tiny barrier of believing that I will get what I ask for. Admittedly it can be arduous for me at times. I also had another friend who had received money (during this time), which she has so desperately needed and asked for. The money came and she said “But it was not how I wanted it to come.”[_ -_] because it came through a relative, who was more than happy to give. My friend had feelings of guilt because someone had given her money. Even though the person was happy to do so, and said nothing to make my friend feel guilty, she managed to make [_herself _]feel bad about getting what she wanted. Interesting that I had been working on my own guilt about receiving money (or anything good) at the time. Intriguing. I explain it like the old feeling of “Having to work hard to deserve.” – not realizing I already do work hard. It may come from when other people talk about their own personal “values”. This can make some other people think that they should feel “bad” when good things happen. Guilt which has been handed down.

In the past I was one of those people that would allow the opinions of others to make me feel bad and it is something that I am currently working on changing. I can appreciate another person’s values, although I may sometimes not agree because it is not my personal value; it doesn’t make me better or less than the other person either. I just view things differently.

As far as things which I want already existing – I’m good with seeing it that way! To me, it means that it is mine and all I have to do is let it come to me by acknowledging that it’s there! If someone is standing in front of me with the money (or experiences, etc.) which I asked the Universe for and they are saying “Here you go, enjoy.”, I wouldn’t argue that I don’t want it. I will simply say thank you because I am learning to let go of all of the old negative attachments (guilt, shame, etc.)! There is also a matter of trying to understand being given things which I did not ask for, and perhaps learning the value in them. Things like an experience which I did not want; seeing that it teaches me a few things, like where my focus is, what my beliefs about certain things are (“I get what I don’t want”), and noticing an actual change in the outcome – by changing it to focusing on what I do want. That is great for practice, and it can easily show an individual that this method works. Once the change in thinking is implemented and reinforced that person has the “proof”. I used to chime in with the individuals who complained about “People being so lucky to just get what they want.”. I even wrote how nice it would be if it were just that easy. In the past I had feelings of jealousy about others receiving good things. How strange to be jealous that other people are receiving things – and they are saying that people don’t have to do anything but ask! I like seeing other people happy; it was what I tried to do to help people in the past. I also wanted to have things truly be that easy for myself as well!

I wanted to break the habit of jealousy which was attached to seeing others succeed, and I wanted to believe them when they said that an individual only needs to ask for what they want and then they receive it. Although one of the things I wanted was for other people to be happy, I learned over time that I can’t “make” anyone be happy; they have to want that for themselves. I had to learn that for myself as well. It does not mean that I can’t inspire them or give them temporary happiness (jokes, a hug, saying “I love you”, helping with something). I really do believe that when a person learns how to be happy for themselves then that happiness is theirs forever. In learning that one needs nothing else to “make them happy”, it then just comes naturally. Happiness is one of the best gifts anyone could give themselves in my view.

Another breakthrough came for me when the teacher, who was speaking about what we want already being here waiting for us to say yes, said something to the affect of “The Universe has not been delivering a lot of people’s requests because it wants people to know that they don’t have to do anything, they are already worthy. But until someone lets go of thinking that they do have to ‘be worthy enough’, the Universe will hold back on stuff so that the person doesn’t feel like they only got it because of finally being worth it.”.It was difficult to believe because there was a side of me that thought “That’s a great way to bait someone – giving an excuse as to why there were no manifestations yet.”. It was a huge relief for me because I had been doing so much work on myself; making positive changes, and I had so many times where I would question “Okay, am I worthy enough yet?”. I was also trying to figure out “what else” I “needed” to do in order to get what I asked for. My own past thoughts of “needing to do things to be worthy enough.” were just that… past. Silly beliefs which I held on to.

True, I did a lot of work on myself but those changes were for me. I wanted a happier, more relaxed life; more enjoyment, less fighting, and I wanted to understand people. Those things are all fantastic and they have helped me to feel better, especially now that I realized that I could have received more of what I wanted if I would have just let go thinking that it would “Only be if ______”. That was me saying “I have to do more”, it was not the deeper part of me (or Universe/whatever one’s beliefs are) having that requirement of me. I was standing in front of [_myself _]saying “Not yet, I am not worthy enough.” and my heart was trying to tell me “Yes, you are.”. Wrangling those old thoughts and beliefs were the task which I wanted to work through in order to begin living the life I desired.

I was able to to learn some of my blocks; I released a lot of past hurts, old negative beliefs, and I have had some amazing experiences. I learned so much about my self; more about who I really am. I am ready now to just allow all the wonderful things I asked for to come into my life. I was able to learn a few helpful discoveries for myself, and likewise I am incredibly grateful for all of the patient teachers in the World who are constantly helping people. I am also appreciative of myself for being able to walk this road, teach myself a lot of things, and I am proud of myself for actually trying things out. It takes a lot of courage to openly dive into meeting the challenges that come from experimenting and working with beliefs like ‘the law of attraction’; some people have really strong beliefs about the whole thing being “lies, crazy, etc.”. I wanted to check it out, and that means doing the steps – actually doing the work and writing things down so that I could go back and examine what I had encountered, perhaps even with new perspectives in the future. And hey, I did get a few books born from taking this bold journey.

It was frustrating sometimes; there was a part of me that desperately wanted answers. I was learning about my own personal blocks, my own personal choices, and how I work exactly. I also am learning patience. I now have more faith that everything is coming; sometimes it just takes a little time and that’s okay(ish)…. Because I asked for a lot.

I get to savour the unfolding!

Also, I asked for a LOT of cheese. I believe I may be getting so much cheese that I get to have plenty of those cheese parties – which I also asked for (did I mention how much stuff I asked for??)…. I hope my new friends and my old friends really like cheese, because I figure that the Universal storehouse with my name on it is probably jam packed and ready to spill out. The workers are probably also wanting to quickly deliver the blue cheese (that I repeatedly requested) to get the smell out of there!

Chapter Thirty Two

I like to go back through my book and have a look at how far I’ve come – it helps me to remain focused on the changes which I have made, and break free from the past. I was able to expand my understanding about a previous pattern of mine revolving around “connection” to people. I wanted to look at it a bit closer. My desire to have a connection with people was so strong that I was trying to figure out how to relate to them and what would happen was that I would take on their beliefs, opinions, and attitudes about life. At first, when having a conversation with someone who was always complaining about things, I would attempt to bring up alternative views on life – point out the wonderful aspects and dreams for better things. The other person would feel dismissed and then argue about negative things; being firm about their frustration. Feeling like I was ‘bad’ for not agreeing I then got caught up by agreeing and I would chime back about how life was terrible – because I noticed it was more well-received. I was around a lot of people who had a pessimistic view of life and it came from their own challenging upbringing, experiences, and so on. I was able to relate, and I could find my own examples to add to the discussions. I would believe what those people had said was the “truth” about life, as in “The truth about my life”. Although I would start out by trying to be “positive”, because it came naturally to me, I would soon get caught up in “learning” from them. The learning should have been learning about them, and their own struggles without taking them as my own struggles. It is a fine line to balance – empathy without adopting those beliefs as mine.

Sometimes people would be annoyed by my “overly optimistic” attitude – they would make a comment such as “Yeah well must be nice to be so happy”, or “Life isn’t always sunshine and roses.” or something similar, and then I would start feeling bad… As if it was a “bad” thing that I was happy, or had an optimistic outlook on life. Those individuals also thought that I was dismissing their “bad circumstances” when I was really just trying to show them a good side to things – to help them feel better. So after years of being around people with a pessimistic outlook on life I adopted their point of view because I wanted to “relate”, and I wanted to “help them” by not being what they deemed annoyingly optimistic. Seems so strange. I was trying to help, I was trying to make someone happier by making myself equally miserable so that we had something to talk (bitch) about. Perhaps that is where I got hung up – instead of really understanding that no one can “make” another person happy, because an individual has to do that for themselves. It’s not that people shouldn’t be allowed to complain – I have done my share over the years. But at that point I needed to step back and out of communication with people who complained the majority of the time because my desire to “connect” with them was so strong that I would get dragged into griping with them, just to have something to talk about or relate to.

I do think that it can be helpful to “let it out”, or release things [_sometimes. _]The trick is in not getting stuck in that place, because it can cause a downward spiral where a person can get stuck in viewing life only from the depressing or negative point of view. It does take work to move from that space into a better space, which can seem imposing if one has had a life filled with terrible experiences and little to no help. And, sometimes, when help is presented it can be rejected for various unknown reasons.

Sometimes people unknowingly create things (like illness or drama) for themselves because they don’t know any other way of getting through to other people. Many people are so busy just trying to work with their own life that they truly don’t notice subtle cries for help It’s a sort of how loud do I have to scream before you really hear me type thing – perhaps even before they hear themselves. How do we work with this in a balanced way?

One of the areas which I was having some real difficulty (at first) was in the area of money. I had been around lower income people most of my life, and because of that I picked up a lot of discontented conversations revolving around money, having to “slave away at a job you hate”, and a variety of other beliefs. Complaint sessions that I would join in on because I had started to believe what I had been told. This also set my patterns revolving around the heaviness of money. There were plenty of people who I was around that would also talk negatively about individuals who have money. If I tried to speak up about things like how some of those billionaires do things to help less fortunate people, or any other differing view point, I would get scolded and reminded about all the greed in the World. Some people would even say passive aggressive things such as “I guess some people don’t care about the poor, they would rather be greedy and evil.”, or “Yeah well some people work hard for their money.”.

And so the cycle would go. I would feel bad, change my “view” to be able to “fit in”, and I would shut up about my own hopeful beliefs; such as how I thought it was great when someone wins the lotto because then they can live their dreams, or making so much money (easily) that you could travel the World and enjoy life fully. I also knew that there was something not quite right about those other dismissive statements. There had to be more.

A lot of my acquaintances, friends, and family had the belief that enjoying life meant only after retirement “If you’re lucky, because economic blah blah blah.”. Depressing! So what about my beliefs? I had observed people rise from poverty to become multimillionaires; people win the lotto, people prospering while the economy is in poor state, people who were born wealthy, many others living their dreams, and so on. I needed to get out of the muck of depression and step back into my strong positive outlook, regain my joy about life, and just keep going! I’m relieved to have found old stumbling blocks and grateful to have also started habituating a healthy view for myself. There is an issue which is still prevalent. Even though a few people have managed to acquire their dreams, there are still other people who are barely surviving when everyone should be thriving. The World is overly abundant and yet we still have many people living in a state of poverty. That issue had not changed, but I was starting to look for solutions at this point – going back to knowing that there had to be a better answer. An answer which included everyone. An equally beneficial answer. I just hadn’t noticed it yet because it was in the stages of coming forward. I was starting to get an excited and expectant feeling. Even as I wrote about past negative beliefs I was watching those old patterns vanish. I was able to start maintaining a new way of thinking and living. I felt the momentum building for all of the exciting things which I intrinsically knew were coming into my life. I was beginning to feel tickles of the magic of life.

In addition to starting to reclaim my positive outlook I also enjoy re-reading what I have written so far; having realized that a lot of my asking and receiving came from just quickly having a very light thought which was coupled with a feeling of happy peacefulness. At those points things just happened. This gave me a renewed sense of calmness and fascination.

Chapter Thirty Three

Learning how to detach from the stories, beliefs, opinions, and patterns of others, learning how to choose for myself and realize that what I want is okay and achievable for me has been an interesting area to examine. It does not mean that I am ignoring helpful suggestions; I am however releasing criticisms and opinions. Each day I felt much happier integrating the changes that I wished to have for myself; those ‘wishes’ were starting to come true – owing to my resiliency… and maybe the Universe’s. I was learning that even though I was surrounded by so many experiences, people, and beliefs, I had shifted to viewing things as a choice. So too had I regained my own power to make choices for myself, and accept my choices as my own; free of the anxiety, attachments, or approval of anyone else. I have always enjoyed learning about a variety of subjects, including people. It provided me with better ability to co-exist happily. During my jaunt into self-awareness I had many things that I wanted to work on. Habits mainly, which I had picked up along the way – habits like judging and being critical of others. Those behaviours really bothered me and I didn’t understand how I could have easily slipped into the pattern of doing those bothersome things without much notice. I had done so much research to try and move beyond preexisting emulated patterns; pushing myself, working on my beliefs, working on my “self”. I could feel something deep down wanting to be freed. What was it? Some people believe that it is a higher power, but I can tell you that it was me; the real me – wanting desperately to be freed.

I worked on some pretty monumental tasks of getting rid of programming and patterns which I had picked up from my childhood. Which I have since come to find out could have been minor and easy to work on – I set the task to be ‘monumental’. I had doubts; feelings of being not good enough unless I met the expectations of other people. I had picked up those conclusions and then grew up with an underlying belief that whatever I did was to be judged. I ended up judging myself (and others) unintentionally as well. Being able to be broad-minded meant having the capacity to allow others to believe what they want, and accept them for who they are. This does not mean consent to poor treatment however. I had grown up with so many contradictory and strong beliefs about what to accept and what not to accept, and it was confusing at times to sort out my own feelings about things. I had a strong belief that everyone, no matter what they believe or what system they do or don’t follow, are genuinely kind people. That belief was always in me. I still believed that people were, at their core, amazing. I recognized some issues in working with this way of thinking, because it meant that when I was confronted with individuals who treated me poorly I had an internal conflict. “If they are kind, why do they do hurtful things?”.

I presented the question and so began the lengthy journey into some of life’s various intricacies; backgrounds, perceptions, misunderstandings, projections, defensiveness, perspectives, beliefs, differences, definitions, relativity… and on, and on. Starting with my own intricate workings I dove into figuring out how to make shifts in those areas. Oh yes.. All of them! Remember that whole battle with being worthy and valuable..? It made a reappearance during this time, egging me on towards seeking acceptance through perfection and mastery of myself.

One issue which I kept noticing throughout life was in the judgement of others. I also noted the actions of trying to force their beliefs on everyone, rather than appreciating the diversity of differences and allowing everyone to be themselves. I had heard a lot of negative talk about others, condemning of many, judgement upon judgement, which I found to be rather hypocritical (many other people probably agree, but may not see their own hypocrisy). I am trying not to be critical, especially because I had been unaware that I had done the very same in the past. I chose to step outside of that system at a very early age and look into other beliefs for my own self so that I could get a deeper understanding of why so many people continue to do things like fight with each other. I unknowingly did still have an awful lot of learning to do when it came to recognizing my own behaviour and beliefs which revolved around this issue. I truly thought that I was non-judgemental until I really examined it in full. When one turns a spotlight on themselves it can be shocking.

On my journey to self discovery I have had to do a lot of reassuring of myself – about being a “good” person, helpful, creative, different, but still perfectly fine. I had to really work on forgiving the people who judged me so harshly and made me feel “lesser than” in the past. That was a lot of work and a lot of tears, because I was trying SO hard to live up to what I had been told is “being a good and proper person”! Those judgements hurt me because I believed them. It was essentially because I had been allowing childhood programming to affect me a great deal, when I knew deep down that there was nothing wrong with who I am. I didn’t understand that maybe the people around me had no other understanding or experience to go by – they were only doing what they were told was the right thing to do.

Those old “beliefs”, which were not mine, jabbed at me, called me names, reminded me minute by minute every day in my thoughts that I was “bad”, rejected me for being myself, told me I was horrible for being me and created a lot of unwanted sadness and pain in my life. I was relieved when I finally started to realize that I do not need to carry the negative beliefs of others. I do not need to try to force anyone to be anything that is not truly who they are, and I do not want to judge anyone for what they do in life; those beliefs about having to live up to expectations were never mine. I wanted those beliefs gone because that is who I am. I am much happier to let others be who they choose to be, watch them achieve wonderful things in life, and encourage them to do what they want. I can help them when they need a kind word. I can make a difference by not allowing opinions or beliefs to get in the way of me enjoying anyone! It’s so shocking and strange that I lived believing thoughts about how I should feel about people and their choices, only rarely allowing my own beliefs to guide me.

As I went along, back to my way of viewing life, I did have to check if I was still making judgements about things such as people, circumstances, or about future experiences, etc., because I had picked up those behaviours in the past and was aware that I had been emulating them for so very long. It’s not a point in which to berate myself for having done such, it was just a matter of being conscious and staying conscious. It was a fantastic day when I realized that I don’t have to care what anyone thinks of me, although it was admittedly tough to work past that concern. I am learning who I am, I am happy to be who I am and I was more than willing to “let go” of the self-loathing which had started from being told by other people who I “should” be.

It was also an even more wonderful day when I met some folks who realized the same thing which I had observed. Those people accepted me for who I am, encouraged me to do what I want, did not tell me I had to do (or not do) anything, and assured me it was okay to be who I am. They were accepting of me having any beliefs which I choose, and I was okay with their beliefs because there was an ease in allowing one another to be themselves. I get to choose my own life, my own experiences and my own way of being, which also means dropping habits I don’t like such as being anyone but myself. There is a valuable lesson in allowing others to be who they are (Scientists, Spiritual, Religious, Atheists, Self Empowerists, Batmanists, etc.). I like all of that diversity. I like people that believe a wide variety of things because it expands my personal knowledge, fun, understanding, happiness, creativity, etc. There are countless millions of other people whom I am curious about! It is like I am in the wonderful school of life learning a new skill… a skill which I have had all along but had forgotten over the years.

I had overcome hurdles like arguing against the beliefs of someone else if it was attacking my own personal beliefs, disagreeing with interpretations rather than just allowing someone to have their own life experience and not judging how those people are “right” or “wrong” for themselves. There is a fine balance in learning, understanding, and choosing for one’s self while maintaining an open mind about other information and experiences. But, like all things, I believe it works itself out perfectly and I had faith in myself. I view all people as equal, all are unique, and all have the right to co-exist. Admittedly, judgement was a tough one to notice and to let go of; be it of people or circumstances.

I can say that I released a lot of judgement but when I check on my thoughts/beliefs I sometimes find myself still forming an opinion, or judging. It has really been a challenge to learn and a challenge to change. I am still working on releasing all of the thoughts, beliefs, opinions and things which I was able to see were “not for me”. Leaving those things aside was difficult at first because I carried that baggage for so many years.

The people whom I have known throughout the years that told me things were “wrong” about me and the way I viewed life was based on what they knew from the belief system they carried. The underlying sentiment was just that they did it because they love me; a strange way to think of love – nonacceptance of an individual. Fortunately I was learning for myself how to break free from judging them back by acknowledging where their thought originated. Dragging old untrue beliefs about myself with me throughout the years and attracting people who mirrored those faulty beliefs back at me was something I had been unaware of. It has taken me practice to focus on the beautiful aspects in others – more-so, I needed to do this for myself; to see the qualities in me which were there all along.

I am learning a new way of looking at things; a new perspective, and I am opening up to this “new to me” way of life. I never had this opportunity before. I was not exposed to this information, or the methods that I have now since found and have been working with. I am happy knowing that I get time to truly choose what I really do want in life. I had that desire to learn everything as quickly as possible, but I have now opened up to appreciating that I have time to really digest what I am learning. At times I like things fast and sometimes I like things to be a more relaxed pace – it all depends on what exactly I am working with at the moment.

I wanted that feeling back… you know the one… as a child – waking up each day with an eagerness to explore, an eagerness to discover new things, a non-judgemental perception of all things, people, places, experiences. A zest for LIFE! Passion, excitement, fearlessness, silliness, variety, and so on. I am ready to embrace those aspects back into my life. Thankfully I never lost my curiosity, nor did I lose my wonderful imagination.

One of the many things which I desired to change within myself was how I felt about some minor things which frightened me in the past. I never understood or knew that I could just ask for something and have it happen effortlessly. With that information, I decided that I really did want to see what was possible for me. I grew up hearing people say things like [_ “I wish _______ did not exist.” _] I thought it seemed reasonable (as a child, not knowing any better) that if something was “scary” a good thing is to wish that it did not exist, and so I would apply that thinking to things such as my fear of bees for example (having been stung when I was younger). What I was not taking into account was that bees (example) make things like honey, and they pollinate the beautiful flowers that I so adore. If there were no bees then I would lose out on things I love just because of fear! I have since come to view things differently. Instead of wishing something which I considered frightening did not exist I could instead ask to lose my fear of those things. Viewing it this way opens up much more potential. What a switch in asking for what I want. What a great new way to choose! It means that instead of hoping fearful things don’t exist, I could not only change my asking into including things which are valuable and important for life, but I also got to drop being afraid; conquering an unjust fear! I wondered what else I could look at making a change in?

I wanted to have a new perspective on the Winter season, snow in particular. I was able to see that my only “issue” with snow was that I did not yet have winter tires. While working with the law of attraction material I wondered “Can I ask for winter tires?”. I am perfectly okay with snow and winter as long as I have winter tires on my car, and I appreciate that we have a wonderful crew of sanding trucks that go out at all hours to keep the roads clear and safe. Could I find things that I did like about winter? Of course! I am happy to have underground heated parking and I really love my beautiful fireplace (my cat is also extremely grateful for our fireplace).Changes such as looking at what I like helped me to gain a different perspective on the winter season and brought back that calm feeling once again. It is strange to look so closely at some of my old habits. I would get so stressed out over a simple thing, such as wanting winter tires, because I would focus on “how” I would be able to afford them, or “how” I would be able to afford the bill for a mechanic to put the tires on – instead of just asking (and trusting) the Universe (a person, a magical serendipitous happening, etc.) for the tires, however they may come to me (a gift, money, etc.). I decided to try out the practice of visualizing receiving new tires and driving safely where ever I would go.

I had a mini battle in my thoughts when I first started looking at things this new way, because my old habits of thought would be “You can’t ask for tires, you should worry about getting down the hill, you should worry about winter drivers, and you should worry about ____.” - statements which tell someone to focus on worry instead of healthier focal points and beliefs. I did recognize where some of those thoughts came from (people who meant well), but it was more important for me to move beyond worry and shift my focus to positive visuals.

In the past I would drive all the way from Calgary to Kelowna (Alberta to British Columbia), sometimes leaving after work (6pm). The drive is about 8+ hours, especially in the winter. The trip took me through the Rocky Mountains and very steep passes; the mountains can receive some dodgy weather at times. I have done that drive many times over the years, and I have even done the drive with old vehicles which were not in great shape. I certainly did not have winter tires on those cars in the past - not for want of them, but because I did not have the money to buy them. I recognize that some people may see that as foolish, and I am not advocating dangerous driving, but I was just fine and I did the best with what I had. I was always cautious, and it is also not something which needs to be justified. Besides, if we lived in a world where tire manufacturers were able to give tires away (wouldn't that be awesome!) without having to rely on selling them in order to make a living, then people would not have to do things such as making due because of financial circumstances, using less than adequate items such as all-season tires throughout winter. It's not like we don't already have an abundance of everything we could want or need (like proper tires), but there is simply a barrier at times between those things for a lot of us in part because of money; be it a lack of, a belief, or a need for.

Although I would have much preferred to have had winter tires in the past, the times I drove from Calgary to Kelowna I took my time, and I have always been an adept driver. I would be looking forward to my destination, which left me little time to worry about the drive. I would have a great experience because I was so busy focusing on the joy of being in British Columbia, rather than fearing the journey. Pretty applicable to life, yes?

I think so.

I picked up the fear of the journey later on because a few people would voice their worry for me, overly voice their fears; “Do you know how dangerous that is!”, [“Do you know how many people get in accidents!” _]and other similar statements. Those people voiced their concerns because they love me, but when someone does that it can create fear, rather than creating a helpful statement such as [“I know you will be just fine because you are a cautious driver.”], or [“I believe angels/fairies/Universe/etc. will protect you on your trip, have a wonderful time.”]. While I can’t make anyone say the things that I wanted to hear, what I can do is visualize safe trips for others and give them positive statements, just as I always have. I can keep telling my friends and family [“You’ll be just fine.” ]rather than engaging them in their fears and worries, and I can keep my strong belief that they will have safe journeys where ever they travel. More importantly, I can tell myself [][_I][_ will be just fine. ][_I][_ will get new tires. The roads are well cleared. ][_I][_ trust other drivers to drive safely, ][_I][_ trust I am protected.”._]

This is just one small example of how I am redirecting my thoughts; stepping back into my optimistic and healthy beliefs. I choose to feel, think, believe, and live the way which feels best for me. Most of all, I now have found beautiful things about the winter season that I truly love, and I noticed how a couple of small things which I viewed as horrible could take away the rest of the joy of a whole season. I used to focus so much on those few small issues and I would carry those fears around, taking away enjoying anything about the winter months. I have changed that now and found a better way. I honestly do love winter; I think that the snowflakes are so beautiful when they glitter in the street lights, and I love how snow looks falling around the colourful lights of the holiday season. I have found many wonderful things which have given me a whole new perspective.

I won’t lie, it has taken me some work to get back to my helpful beliefs and to step away from the worry and fear which I had taken on. It was completely worth it to me. I did get frustrated at times because I wished that I had not allowed myself to take the fears, worries, and pessimism in. I am willing to start bringing myself back into even more of my upbeat beliefs such as “Everything will be enjoyable, I am always protected, I trust life, I trust in love, I see the good in things, I am happy, I love life.”, I have always felt that way. Perhaps it’s time to add in “And astonishingly easy”! Got that new request Universe? I finally ‘got it’ – thanks for that option … which was always there… that took me a while to ‘see’.

Time for new (and positive) experiences! And maybe, just maybe, we can do something about moving from a place of making due to a place where we all get to experience abundance and freedom. That sounds fun!

Chapter Thirty Four

Life itself is quite magical. I believe that everyone has seen magic, they just call it different things (Science, Physics, Nature, Universe, Miracles). It still bothers me to see the division of some people around the globe and I am trying to understand why there is this division. Is it about fighting rather than wanting to understand other people? Is it misinformation? Is it the way people push their own personal beliefs on others? What it is? What can I do to change things for me? How do I comfortably navigate this intricate World of countless experiences, beliefs, and opinions?

I recently came upon a picture which someone posted on an online group; the picture was of a zebra with bar codes under it and the caption read “Nature cannot be restocked.”. I posted a response. “Technically it can. Birth, death, seeds, growth, cyclical perfection. I have seen forests spring from areas which had been ravaged by fires, floods, clear-cutting, etc. I have watched thousands of people planting new seedlings to help, and I have watched so-called extinct species re-emerge/be re-discovered, as well as thousands of new species being found.”. My response was because of the obvious (to me) fact that nature is constantly “restocking”, and I wondered why people post things such as that picture. I do understand that what they may have been trying to say is that people should care for Earth a little more, but I think they may not see that the majority of people do care and are coming up with ground-breaking ways to make changes. Nature is perfect; life is always in cycles and regrowth – Earth is abundant.

I was immediately chided by the group owner who made the comment “This is a (Specific Mystical Religious) page – (Specific Mystical Religious group) worship NATURE… not really certain how people find negative things to say about a post regarding nature in high form on a (SMRG) page that is for people that worship nature…. but people shock me every day.”[. _]While my post was a positive message, there were several people who took it upon themselves to verbally attack me instead of reading what I wrote. I have a deep awe of nature; I appreciate that some mystics of this belief system have an awe of nature as well; it is the _If you don’t agree with our fear then you are not one of us. vibe which created the issue in this case. It was baffling to think that people within this group would not be able to see the beauty and perfection in The Goddess/ Nature/ Mother Earth, and they would choose to react because instead of chiming in with fear I tried to remind them about how amazing Nature is.

Then again, I was questioning how someone didn’t see things the way that I did.

I do things differently than some people in this particular group. I have remembered to use my positive thoughts/ imagination/ energy to encourage growth and bounty. I am grateful to the Earth for being so amazingly magical, and because of the connection (psychically, intuitively, astrally, energetically.) I direct my thoughts to abundance in an area, rather than using the tools of fear. I remember that which my Celtic ancestors taught about respecting the Earth: use your gifts to encourage growth by planting seeds (planting those seeds both in the mind and in the Earth itself), and do not crowd the forests with the veils of fear.

My methods are different than some other individuals, but they are methods which work for me. I recognize that no matter how carefully I may try to present information to others they may be so immersed in shadows (the veil, sadness, fear, anger, hate) that they react from that space. The balance is a fine line. I believe that people who feel like they have a calling (naturalists, mystics, etc.) know that they have a gift. I think it is helpful to use one’s gifts and understand the strength and focus of those gifts – use the tools well. There is a difference between bringing awareness to something and creating fear. There is a difference in judging vs. noticing, and the navigation can be tricky at times. I am currently trying to detach from negativity while trying not to interfere in another person’s beliefs or growth. While working through this I kept wondering “Am I supposed to present the different perspective that I have? Or am I learning that I need to say nothing at all?”. Both can be effective.

It feels heavy when I think about ignoring other people altogether, and yet I feel heavy engaging in a back and forth about beliefs or points of view. It is the balance, I suppose, which is helpful. I wanted to be able to create bridges, weave pieces of puzzles together; I could see where separation existed in some areas. I could also see how to change some things, and so I changed them within myself. Learning how to utilize the knowledge that I have and having a desire to see change, based on new things which I am learning, was what I was trying to accomplish in the best way for myself. It was good practice to pay attention to reactions to the way in which things were said because it can show a problem with understanding. It is really helpful to listen carefully as well because we are often giving the very advice that we should be paying attention to ourselves – that can be a tough one to spot and it can also be rather uncomfortable to think about.

It is not something to be ashamed of, just something to consider if one truly wants to explore. It's like asking yourself “How can I ___” and then listening to what you say to others, all puzzle pieces.

I have found that if someone goes out of their way to force a view point on others or if they “try to help” when it is not asked for then they may meet with a reaction (but not always). Sometimes a simple comment may come across as forceful, or an attack, if the person being addressed is in a place of fear, anger, personal trials or frustration. Getting back to the experience I had when I commented on the Mystic group page… I met with a barrage of attacking comments. But then at one point the group moderator said “Then I’d like an example of a species that was totally extinct that has re-emerged please”, and so I posted a link to a couple pages which listed a variety of species which were reemerging and new species being discovered. While the statement made by the group leader was meant in a sarcastic way, he/she still asked. The curious thing is that the attacks stopped entirely, not a single person commented afterwards. I wondered if the attacks stopped because the page administrator asked, and then I posted information or maybe they were just more receptive and realized that I was not actually attacking their core beliefs about appreciating nature. When I offered my view I felt it was helpful because it was releasing fear, and providing a positive outlook – when not asked for, it seemed to create tension. It’s funny how hard I try to find good ways to communicate.

There have been things which I cared deeply about and I wanted other people to care about those things too, but I also knew that other people have things which they care equally about and they wanted others to care about their things. Things which can create tension and false beliefs.

It seems that people want each other to see things their way instead of just being okay to view things how we do – to each their own. A lot of people are trying really hard, and I think that working together is a wonderful idea. Working together means being open to new ideas, which includes everyone. I have many friends from many walks of life, with a variety of personalities and wonderful qualities. Sometimes these personalities clash or misunderstand one another. And there have been other circumstances where one friend makes an ill-informed comment about a group of people which may include one of my friends. Whole statements about groups, not knowing there are individuals within those structures who are clumped in to those hurtful statements. I have done the same in the past – viewing all people who believe in God as being like the people whom I was hurt (or judged) by in the past. My glass house was not free of streaks on the panes; I am now aware of my doing the same in other situations with anyone who spoke about belonging to a religious organization, or anyone belonging to societal structures or institutions. Thankfully I got my senses back and changed that behaviour – not before slapping myself on the forehead though.

I did find that when I would be met with a broad statement which would include one of my many friends (be it racial, occupational, economic, etc.) I would take it as a personal affront and then it would create tension towards whichever of my friends had made the thoughtless comment. Those friends would not understand how I could be upset, nor why I would correct them about the false notions and misinformation – they viewed it as me being harsh or critical – no matter how patiently I would try to explain. That type of behaviour exasperated me at times. I did wonder if there was a causal issue which triggered a mirror reflection.

Not that the offensive statements which bothered me were geared toward the groups which I was judgemental about. Because I was seeing that pattern it helped me to dive into my own behaviour and take another look. And that’s when I found myself being unjustly opinionated towards people within the areas I had reservations towards (without getting to know the individual themselves, or ask about their personal beliefs). Ah hypocrisy! It’s much easier to chime in with others who share your view of things. In my own case it was a view towards religious and social institutions that I viewed as a whole. Clumping people into those feelings and dislikes simply because they were part of those groups, and rather then step away and question if I was engaged in the very thing that I so passionately stated as something I couldn’t stand … Well, it was time to deal with my own misgivings and false beliefs.

The other statements from people were towards ethnic or fringe groups, people who believed in uncommon things, or statements about groups like artists and social outcasts. I found racism and ignorance intolerable, never having viewed my own opinions and limited perceptions as being the same thing – only directed at different groups whom I found fault with. Thankfully I swept myself off and questioned my previous statements about those groups; I also ended up meeting people (after that) who showed me that there are kind and loving people who are respectful and open-minded within those structures and groups. I wondered if that one small act, changing my belief, was the thing that started me encountering people within those groups who were completely different than my past experience. I also asked myself if maybe I hadn’t recognized that they were there all along because I was too heavily focused on seeing the people who met my negative expectations.

I have my own way of doing things and I have worked beyond my own challenges (and am continuing to), which at times just meant changing the way that I viewed things and letting others be themselves. I used to see a whole lot of fighting, which made me wonder how my own happiness could be achieved while considering more than a one-sided opinion or way. It came back to observing my own surroundings; noticing things which I could change on a smaller scale (such as some of my old fearful beliefs which hinder growth in myself). The best thing for me was to let go of that fear and understand that I may not have always seen all that was being done all the time – but it did not mean that things were not being done.

I don’t mind showing others that I still trip over small pebbles from time to time, and I own my learning curve (the things I used to call mistakes). I own the fact that I am attempting to widen my understanding. I do try to be as mindful as possible, and I have let go of berating myself about my experiences and fumbles. Things are getting better and better as I go along.

Chapter Thirty Five

While I was studying different belief systems I would sometimes get caught up in thinking “Oh, so is this the ‘right’ way?”; I was getting caught up in thinking that there was only “one way” to do things because I had grown up around that mentality from certain individuals I had been exposed to. Just because there was much wisdom and helpful lessons within each system it did not mean that I needed to take on all of the beliefs of one specific group or person. I was able to recognize those beliefs which did not fit for me, because I would get a physical feeling (like tension in my stomach). Later in life I wanted to understand people and groups; not because I wanted to emulate their beliefs, but because I wanted to lose the ignorance in my own perception of them. I wanted to make an effort to understand others without previous assumptions which were based on what I had been told by other people. It was a navigation in balance again, mainly because I was learning new ideas, new systems, and I had confusion (“So, is this group right?”). My will to understand kept me going. It wasn’t that any one group was right or wrong; the deeper question was “Does this fit” for me. Some things did and some things did not – it was a matter of choices, rather than right or wrong. I was viewing things as right and wrong because of what had been programmed into me as a child – to view things in a certain way, and what to put into which category. Right vs. wrong should be what an individual chooses for themselves; often it is just beliefs which have been passed down and programmed into the person.

I would rather make my own decisions, otherwise it is just unconscious parroting. It is important to know that it’s okay to view things differently. While I could learn some things from other people, I could not live the life of another. I had my own unique gifts, which could include information from many places and many people. It’s like ordering a pizza from the Universal kitchen: “I like the looks of the topping which that person has, but I would like mine with a little basil sprinkled on top and maybe I’ll try this new topping. I need not tell others that they shouldn’t like olives (for example) just because I don’t. I may not understand how someone could like olives; my tastes may change over time, and it’s okay that I currently prefer spinach. I am glad that others get the enjoyment of olives on their pizza, because if no one liked olives how would I even know that it exists if my tastes change? I am willing to allow my tastes to change, and I know there are an infinite variety of toppings which gives me the chance to have a diverse pallet.”. I also like to create my very own pizza, with ingredients no one has ever heard of..

As you read this book it may seem that I am going through a roller-coaster; it is because I am learning to habituate to the changes which I am making for myself. It is a process, and I am finding that I am opening up more and more everyday to new insights. This has started to become really exciting! Occasionally I feel embarrassed when I look back at some things which I have written but I am having a human experience and, although I may stumble, I am learning. I am okay with putting the whole of me out there and I am not so shy about my lessons that I will keep myself hidden away until I deem myself good enough. I am pleased that I could recognize my desire to step away from ignorance, and step away from the beliefs which I had gathered while growing up.

I had been blind to the fact that I was ignorant; having been told by many people over the years that what they were saying was the absolute ‘truth’. Some people may have been lucky enough to have been raised in an environment which allowed them to really think for themselves and question convention; I however was not. School taught me what and how to think. Individuals within the religious background I was raised around told me what to think and how to think. Society taught me their views on how I should think as well. I can appreciate myself for wanting to explore “thinking” and for wanting to research more information. I also appreciate that I do in fact like to question things.

I remember back a few years ago when things seemed so monumental, and I viewed the task which I had set for myself so high that I could not see (at that time) how I would ever achieve the goal. I can see it now – I feel as though I am striding beside my new expanded ‘World’, almost fully emerged, and I keep hearing a little voice whispering “Just be patient.” I read quotes from some teachers which say that one must hurry up; they speak of time being short. Those sayings can create an urge in me at times to quickly finish up what I am learning/doing and try to make changes quicker. It is when I am quiet and when I step away from those “hurry up” beliefs that the whispering of my soul reminds me that I am living my own life. Paths may cross and I can learn from those times, but currently I prefer to be patient with some things. When I listen to my inner self I feel calmer, more focused and more patient; being excited rather than anxious. Sometimes it does help me to quickly move beyond something – it all depends on if what I am feeling is a fit for me at the time.

While I have been learning about all of the ins and outs of the Law of Attraction, Mysticism, Religion, Physics, Science, Spirituality and just about everything in between, I have also started noticing that I have been able to accomplish things which I had I set out to do, and I did this myself. I had a deep desire within myself to make changes in my life, and I was able to spot where I was encountering issues. I knew that the way I did things in the past didn’t always work, and I started paying close attention to where I was experiencing troubles. I could plainly see that things such as fear, anger, sadness, frustration and other similar emotions/behaviours were creating a lot of tension in my life. I worked really hard on changing those things within myself. It also meant standing up for myself more; learning when to do so, and how.

I was at times guided to information which gave me choices; I would consider my options, and see if it felt like a good fit for myself. I was trying to get to the root of my own beliefs and behaviours, while trying to understand why I had lived the life that I had lived. It really bothered me to have flaws (like being hypocritical) and I truly wanted to be free of those types of things. I took it to heart so much when someone would criticize me for something and I would work on it; never noticing that those people had their own ‘flaws’. Those people deflected notice from their own character quirks by pointing out things in other people. So too have I used deflection as a protective mechanism, but it really annoyed me that I did that type of thing – it was something about myself which I couldn’t stand. I can’t say that it still doesn’t happen from time to time especially if someone is trying to tear me down to make themselves feel better, but I now understand why some people do that. More poignantly, why I did.

I often wondered why I felt like I always had to compete for things like love, or acceptance; feeling like I “had to” be the most understanding, and the most kind – no matter what. I really wanted change, and I worked myself really hard striving to achieve the things I wanted. I was also trying to figure out what I really wanted; it was the driving force of wanting to be myself, and be accepted for being me, but not realizing that desire was even there wanting to get out. I had spent far too many years trying to be everything that other people wanted without recognizing my own wants for myself. There was also a lot of sparkle and pizazz in me that was waiting to come dancing out – jazz hands flailing wildly.

I was contemplating some of the things (in addition to changes in beliefs and attitudes) which I wanted; I’m not just speaking about material things, although I still want material items as well as experiences – what I am referring to is asking myself for acceptance, being okay with who I am and moving away from any critical points of view. To stop thinking things about myself which hurt me. Belief that I just might be able to easily achieve what I truly desired was sometimes one of the most difficult things for me to overcome and when I heard other people say things like “You can ask, believe and receive.” I wanted so badly to believe that it was that easy, because I had spent my life striving so hard to achieve one of the things I truly wanted most … to truly be myself, fully. I also needed to strip away what I had been told was me and discover who I really am. In other areas I would set out to try to achieve things myself; never allowing assistance, except for a couple of times – which were always mixed with guilt for needing to ask (or receive). I want to believe that I can live the life that I choose. I want to see the proof that because I believed, it happened for me.

Acceptance is something that many people think they already do, but most don’t, not really. If you have ever told anyone that they should change anything about themselves – what you view as habits, behaviours, beliefs, lifestyle, or any thing else – that is not accepting them. If someone is truly happy living the life that they live, then why not leave it be? Believe me, it took a long time for me to shake the old thought that it’s okay for others to tell someone how to live, because I was surrounded by a good majority of people who believe that you should tell others how to live and what to choose for themselves. I even believed that it was helpful to tell others things like what they should eat, think, like, want, choose… Recognizing that I did that was another matter entirely.

One of the most difficult things in my life was to battle my own thoughts, and maintain a balance in those thoughts while working with this material (LOA); being fair in walking my talk. It can be a catch 22 doing this work, noticing just how very challenging it can be to assert oneself while allowing others’ beliefs and opinions to be okay – especially if they clash with my own. Even though I was often trying too hard, I can look back and pat myself on the back for trying and shake loose the belief that I am not good enough. Humans have wonderful quirks (I choose to lose the term flaws) and I think sometimes people do walk the ‘perfection path’ – I am guessing ultimately it leads to teaching us how painful it can be to not be oneself, or to recognize false beliefs we have picked up about ourselves. I took issue with those people who claimed to be something that they were not and yet attacked other people for who they were; it always felt like something was not matching up. Something about that behaviour seemed truly awkward and phoney. Self-discovery can be awkward I suppose. It could be like a second ‘puberty’, a growth spurt so to speak.

I wanted my dream life so badly that I decided to follow up the law of attraction material – to do the experiments for myself and see if it really was true that I could relax and receive the assistance (and life) that I really desired. I have been mocked at times for following up on some of the things which I have researched and I always wondered why. I also questioned why had I let others taunts make me feel silly or foolish? Because I am different? Why shut myself away from something I love and deny my intuition or curiosity? I don’t know “how” other people work, or what their deepest desires are. I do have a strong belief that if someone wants something badly enough they can accomplish things which others have deemed impossible; like people who were paralysed, told they could never walk again, and then a “miracle” happens, or they believe so strongly in themselves that they fully recover.

Maybe it is less about the “working hard” and more about the believing – changing old beliefs and letting go of blocks which stood in the way of ease? I am certainly attempting to figure this out, and that is partially because I have some residual beliefs about how to “make it happen”. I am getting there. I am truly curious about the mysteries which I have seen and I am aware that there are a multitude of explanations, and people who will argue that other people’s explanations are wrong. Maybe the reason that there are so many answers around is because people are starting to realize that the Universe is not a one size fits all. It can feel unsettling for some people to have what we think we know challenged – but it is also an opportunity to learn more, explore more and experience more. Perhaps explanations are best left out of the equation some times; maybe it is more about the actual events (magic, miracles, etc.).

Although I am definitely curious about how things work, it is currently much more fun for me to just pay attention to the events that do happen – I have seen some pretty spectacular stuff. Learning about myself has its own mysteries, never mind trying to figure out the rest of the unexplainable things in the Universe.

Chapter Thirty Six

I am open to believing in the possibility of many things existing which I may not be able to see currently (energy, beings, angels, fairies, God, Goddess, aliens, multi-dimensions etc.). I do question if they exist; I feel there is something more there – I would sure appreciate the help from them which people say they provide. I mean why would I dismiss something which could help me? Just because other people may tease me for asking? Well I have gotten over that, because I really do want to know! I would rather drop any ignorance and just check it out – that makes more sense to me. People can sometimes take away another individual’s magic in life by scoffing at them. But you can always reengage your curiosity and belief – it just takes a little bravery.

The ugly sweater: A Metaphor

I like to view the fears, opinions, judgements and well-meaning advice from other people as a gift. A gift which they give me, not knowing what I like. You know, like that “ugly sweater”, which is the giver’s taste in apparel; their idea of nice, something that they really think that you could use but it’s not really your personal taste. You take it, say nothing, and hold on to it because you feel you should. Sometimes those ugly sweaters might even be what the other person thinks would look better on us, and they think that because they personally like that style that everyone should. And sometimes our styles change over the years.

If someone asks for a sweater I do offer what I have. It may or may not be something which fits them, or maybe it could with some minor adjustments. I like to leave sweaters for others to pick up and use, if they choose. I will earnestly try not to hand them out because “I” think someone should wear it though. With real sweaters (meaning the material, or knit ones) we take it and smile, and we may put it on when the person comes to visit. We might hang on to it and tuck it away in our closets, even though it is not our style. The lucky thing about fears, opinions, judgements and well-meaning advice, is that you can refuse them silently, be thankful that the person was thinking about you and not tuck them away in your closet – or wear them just because you feel obligated. But then again, that ugly sweater might have had a surprise gift in it occasionally, which we didn’t notice at first because we were too busy thinking how ugly the sweater was. Sometimes it helps to check the pockets.” ~End.

I have had wonderful results in certain areas by doing things, such as meditation and visualization, in my way. And, I believe that others have experienced success and achieved results for themselves in their way. I have also seen a lot of people who had many varying results, so I guess the best advice I could ever give would be “I don’t know, try it.”.

I can’t tell anyone how exactly to achieve their dream life, because I don’t know what it is, and I don’t know all of the subtleties in how other people work. I won’t tell anyone that they have to do things my way, because that is “my” way. Hopefully what readers might gain out of this are some different perspectives, based on my current experiences and understanding. I can only tell you some things which I have had experiences with, and some great information about things which I am always learning.

I can tell you that I experienced some doubt when I would see things which were unexplainable (such as asking for specific things, answers, etc., and then receiving them), and that would cause me to go looking for “how it happened”. I would also question myself: “Is there another explanation?”, or “How is it that I have been working with this law of attraction material and yet I still have no mansion or new SUV that I was visualizing. And yet small things like receiving random emails from random people, which were addressing the very thing I wanted an answer to, would come from various different places?”. From noticing things that happen, which I can’t explain, the only thing I can offer is that those things do exist – I have an innate curiosity about “how” and “why”. People have explanations, some of which make sense, some that don’t, and I sometimes experience ambiguity, wondering if people are being truthful. I can see things from many perspectives. I would like people to be truthful, but I can also understand that truth can be relative. So what to do?

I guess the only thing which I can do currently is to have faith that my belief in “Things working out”, such as the right circumstances, people, events, etc., can happen – although I may not know “how”. This feels like a fit for me, and I enjoy the thought of it very much.

I think there is something more to the law of attraction than I was aware of when I first started experimenting with this belief. I guess results can depend on such a variety of things: how many negative beliefs a person may need to overcome, how much fear someone may be working with, how much time one can comfortably afford to work on these things, how easy it is for any one person to believe, how bold a person is willing to be, and so many more countless factors which are unique to each individual.

I can appreciate the variety of factors one may have to overcome because, speaking for myself, I have conquered some truly difficult (for me) things like opinions, judgement, being too stubborn to ask for help, thinking other people had all of the answers, learning how to encourage myself, learning how to communicate without tension, learning about perspective in a broader way, in-depth analysis of my own psyche, and so on. I am comfortable with understanding that others may choose to think that the only reason I was able to achieve these things in my life was because of whatever their beliefs are (miracles, higher-self, magic, nature, studious work, etc.), because it could strengthen their own belief – possibly even my own. The truth really is that I don’t know, and I can say “Maybe” when people ask me if I think it is such and such a thing. That’s currently the best that I can do and what I am currently comfortable with. I can also tell you that I worked hard to accomplish these things for myself, and I have had some help. All of the areas that help came from is not entirely known to me so that I could definitively state that some of the help came from a deity (for example), and it is not for anyone but me to examine for myself.

As far as working with the Law of Attraction to bring me windfalls of money… I would love to easily pay my mortgage off, pay all of my bills easily, and easily purchase the things that I want. I haven’t given up, but I certainly was apprehensive about jumping in feet blazing, although only because of worry about what others may think. I really wanted to have that amazing story of the girl who walked the path, had her own dreams, which she chose for herself, come true – easily – just by being herself. In fact, I feel that I am close. I keep trying to not worry too much and get anxious, and I am currently still enjoying meditations. I am learning how not to criticize myself for what I do, or why. It’s my own journey after-all.

I may not always see how or why things happen for others the way that they do. I can keep being kind and inspirational where I can, looking for things to be appreciative of (which certainly eases stress) like sunsets, rainbows, kind people, gorgeous butterflies, new species of animals, plants, etc. emerging. I can keep writing and creating my design line, because it’s fun. I can keep playing and making music when the inspiration strikes me. I can keep having deep conversations with a variety of people. I can keep basking in curiosity, etc. All of those things make me happy.

There are plenty of programs and tools available which can help an individual to manifest changes in their lives (such as books, vision boards, mp3’s, seminars, teachers, hypnosis, etc.). I wondered if it may be beneficial for me to do the “asking” thing by including a plea for logic in this world – “Can we please step away from things in which to numb or console ourselves and look to reason. Ask pertinent questions and come to solutions which work better for everyone, rather than a small few who benefit.”. Changes in thought are wonderful, especially if they can give some sort of reprieve from the many unnecessary woes in life. But at what point are we to stop hiding our heads in the sand and actually speak the truth and let it be known that this world is not quite what it should be? I have looked into many systems and examined many well-meaning programs which have helped me to clear some space but yet the frustration still resided within. I know that one can give themselves many illusions about life; “That’s just life.”, “There is nothing we can do.”, “One person can’t make a change.”, “You can’t help everyone.”.Those sayings cheapen life and take away one’s very humanity. To soothe ourselves and to deny openly that we are not all thriving, just to keep a facade going which seeks to hide that things do need to change?

The tools that I found were great to help me start out, but I learned that I also have tools within myself. I realized that while I can use all the tools which are around if I want, it may not be necessary. Nor is it necessary to do it (“fix” myself) all at once. The truth in me is that my heart is already a powerful tool; one which stands on its own. While I was learning how to understand that new awareness I was also able to use the tools of others to guide me in the interim. It is like the training wheels on a bike; the training wheels can provide some assistance, but I had to learn how to ride my own bike. I could also decorate my bike with colourful streamers, glitter, and fun things to keep hope alive while I was learning. It may have taken some time, but I can see now that everything I wanted was in me already; the ability to make changes, the core beliefs, the desire to love, the happiness and so on. I just had to find those things. I had to learn that I could achieve anything; even big changes in myself. That is not saying that assistance isn’t nice to have though – it is in fact necessary for all of us (believe it or not). I certainly was grateful for the help.

I still love wondrous things, I still like the idea of law of attraction, and I can now understand better how cause and effect work (and “like attracts like”). I appreciate the ability to learn about new ideas and information. There are some teachings which say that a person “must” manipulate things like energy, or forces. Personally, as far as thinking that in order to achieve what I want I would have to manipulate anything – that’s not something I like for me. I had seen far too much manipulation around already. I think that it is important for people to make their own choice for themselves. It is equally important to understand that their choices are not good/bad/right/ wrong, it is just their choice. I prefer doing things the way that I do, and learning how I learn.

I believe that connections (mind or heart) are natural and need no control or manipulation – in-fact I think that when one tries to control it that is when things get messy. I understand that some people may seem desperate to survive but why employ a method which takes away the freedom and rights of another person? What happened to trusting that people are just naturally giving and happy to help out one another? I believe that love is the strongest power and I believe that each individual has the ability to be equally as strong as another. I would rather use words, feelings, and gestures which come from my heart – it feels more genuine for me, and I have lost the fear of being open. That is what I have learned about myself; not saying my way is better than anyone, it is just what feels like a better fit for me. I still believe that being genuinely kind, loving and helpful can create more opportunity, because most people like working with someone who is nice to them in an authentic way. When I assess things for myself, such as mental control, I don’t like it because it doesn’t feel sincere at all. I don’t know why people use it to try and accomplish things, other than perhaps they are unaware of how flawlessly nature works.

I have observed some people applying control in life and I have noticed that it may work for a time on a few but it always unravels and turns on the controller. I have witnessed people who ‘posture’ and claim to do things as a protective measure or for many other explained reasons which escape my full understanding. What I see is there fear. During my research I came across lessons on how to use the power of hypnotic writing, or mental influence on people; some people even gave convincing ‘reasons’ why they utilize those methods. It was a question which I chose to ask myself (again), and I really thought about it in great detail; in the end it was another resounding “no, not for me”.

The question stemmed from trying to understand why people would use this method (whether it truly works or not is another matter). It has always been more beneficial for me to have the ability to be understanding, non-judgemental and open. I like having those capabilities and qualities; it is far less stressful, much more calm and happy, and I love that I had those abilities all along. I just needed to remember, and to ask myself what was truly important for me. I am not willing to compromise what my heart tells me feels better. Some people may think I am foolish for believing in myself and following my heart when there are potential ‘tools’ that I could utilize, but it makes me far more happy to know that I can just do a simple thing (like speak from my heart). That I believe is a gift.

I spent my whole life listening to other people, trying to figure out what was right or wrong. I spent years trying to do things like other people, and I spent years thinking that the only way I could get by in life was to have something outside of myself “save me”. I have since realized that I have everything I need inside of me; it was there all along. And again, that is far more empowering to me, it just took some work. Sometimes it took some work to accomplish what I wanted but I was able to do it and I have a great sense of happiness in being able to have made it this far. I also found that I am the one who knows what is inside of me – I know my deepest desires and dreams, and I trust that I will be just fine. I can see so much potential, so much possibility, and I have a deep feeling that I can just trust that good things will happen. I also need not try to force anything, nor do I need to do things such as manipulate anything, or use methods which feel unnatural to me. It just feels better for me to be able to stick to things that I like doing such as writing, dreaming, and picturing what makes me the happiest and most fulfilled.

I truly believe that life is about choices, and everyone gets to choose what feels right for them. My choices for myself are better than others’ choices for me, which is not to say that other choices are bad in-and-of themselves; I get why some people have made those choices. I choose to try and understand others, and I like to ask people questions rather than making assumptions because it just feels better for me. I am open to learn more. I like asking others about their experience and why they do what they do; it is because I am curious about things. These are things which make me ‘me’. Steps in discovering who I am. It also helps me to actually see if I can find a logical option to some problems that we all (or a good majority) face.

When I pay attention during times in which something bothers me, that moment can be a choice point; a really powerful one. Because the choice carries a charge around it, it holds the potential for a switch to something positive which can then be even more powerful for me. When something bothers me I can switch it right there and just simply make a choice about the things which I do want and in doing so I am utilizing the power of the moment in a positive way, and I find that is when good answers come.

Understanding the principal behind some Martial Arts has helped me to utilize the negative energy of a thought or situation in a better way, by transmuting the energy to positive, thus giving a more powerful flow of energy. In addition there is an added charge which already exists in what I do want – positive energy. There is a latent strength behind worry, fear, doubt, and so on., and once flipped it increases the positive. The ‘higher’ (positive) energy of trust, love, faith, courage, focus, calmness, etc., carries a much greater charge and they are much easier to use because they do not drain an individual. This power is a person’s own inner Ninja.

Learning how to adjust one’s energy in day to day experiences can really make profound differences. Take for example the feeling I used to get when a bill would come. I would get such a powerfully strong feeling of “don’t want” and it was just waiting for me to change it to having the ability to look at each bill and effortlessly visualize the bill being paid easily. I could start trusting that the money was coming and feeling the relief that my request was being achieved effortlessly. Additionally, it was helpful because I would then be able to feel genuine gratitude for the money to pay each bill on time and in full – rather than trying to force being thankful. Relief is also a type of gratitude (for those working with the “Be thankful” method.) – that feeling of “Whew, I am glad that got paid!”. My own experience with the method gave me some insights about what exactly “thankful” means. At first I found myself feeling like I had to fake it in order to ‘get’ the money. This came from people telling others that they “have to” be thankful and then they get what they want – and telling people how to be thankful (write lists, say it so many times, etc.).

That method just felt so very phony to me, and it ended up counteracting what I was trying to accomplish (a genuine trust and good feeling that the money would come). It had an undertone (for me) that indicated ‘how I was to behave in order to get what I wanted’, rather than a faith that it would happen; to which I would feel genuine gratitude for. Switching the way I had been thinking and feeling certainly helped me much more than being wrapped in worry, fear, and hopelessness. I came to understand more about “thankfulness”; it was as simple as relief, or going quiet during a good meal, or even a feeling of enjoying something. There are countless ways in which each person expresses gratitude and I believe that it is for an individual to go with what feels happily compatible with themselves.

Chapter Thirty Seven

Examining where I can apply the law of attraction method and make some changes has provided me with insights into some really core issues. I don’t mean changing the real me. One of my goals was to be genuinely okay around people and different beliefs while learning from them about their beliefs. This was not so that I “bend” to their way of life (which was something my thoughts tried to tell me would happen); it was more for my own peace of mind and happiness. I choose to be able to co-exist around a variety of people and beliefs, knowing that I can have my own explorations and way of life as well. I am still trying to learn to let go of old reactions when I see other people using statements like “You will”, or “You have to”. I have observed that saying things in such a manner is pushing rather than allowing people to be themselves and it can create some tension because it is trying to control another person’s choices for themselves. Clinging to that old mechanism is baffling to me, although I can see that it may be due in large part to fear or confusion. I wanted to get over my reaction to things which bother me. I am learning to recognize what is in back of the things which trigger me; to understand why had the reactions that I did in the past. Observing it in a lighter way for myself. I like to use terms such as “You could”, or “You may”, because that is allowing for other possibilities. I like that feeling for myself better; it does not mean that others are wrong if they feel that they themselves “have to” do something.

Some people have told me that this self-discovery journey that I am on is termed “enlightenment” (as their custom calls it). I choose to use the term “changing”. It is okay if others use the term enlightened; it just feels more natural for me to use the term changing. The changes I am making can be viewed by some as an awakening, or being enlightened, and those words mean change (natural, spiritual, etc.). I feel the term “change” carries a lighter feeling for myself; it strips away the heaviness of thinking that I have to behave in a certain way or live a certain lifestyle which I associate with “enlightenment”. It is simply the feeling which I have about the term enlightened; I am okay with saying it differently. I can allow others to say enlightened without arguing right or wrong because it is their unique definition to use. I also know several people who say “enlighten” in a wispy way because it feels light to them.

Looking at what I have written so far has shown me that I was making choices all along – based on some interfering factors at times. I would happen upon something which bothered me, or which I felt could be expanded on, and I would sometimes get caught up in being upset by those things. I had been giving my energy and thoughts to what I didn’t want instead of flipping it to what I did want. I was viewing the circumstance without understanding that I could make a different choice for myself, while allowing what another person felt, said, or believed, to be okay for them. I couldn’t possibly see how someone could want something which I felt was not a fit for myself. I would push against that thing, which only created tension. It was simply a matter of choice. Understanding, or trying to understand, something which I was not accustomed to used to be difficult at times. I was really trying to open up and learn a better way for myself; a way which was, and is, much easier.

The way for me to feel happier about life is by viewing things as a choice; it would make me much more satisfied if it included free will.

Free Will (definition):

Noun: the power of acting without the constraint of necessity or fate; the ability to act at one’s own discretion.

To truly have free will one must look at a variety of factors which can affect an individual’s ability to make choices for themselves with no interference. If an action has an effect which is not desired then that means there is no free will involved, unless the person desires to punish themselves. And the punishment may also be rooted in false beliefs about ‘good vs. bad’ (as we have learned throughout history – examples like people having thought there was something ‘bad’ about inter-racial marriage and then later realized there was not, and it was the people who deemed it as such who were the ones that were mistaken). If someone is programmed with beliefs (societal, religious, parental, etc.) – without their own knowledgeable, thoroughly thought out, and considered consent, which includes many perspectives, supportive upbringing, and examination of all the varying intricacies in life – there is no free will. True free will means that an individual receives what they choose with no threat or ill consequence of something undesired. To introduce cause and effect where someone else has definitively stated what the ‘effect’ would be from one’s ‘cause’ is to take away free will – unless the individual chooses to have that definitive result which was stated in the agreed upon (knowledgeable thoroughly thought out, and considered consent; which should also be subject to change because of personal growth factors in individuals, as well as society and information) ‘cause and effect’. Choices can be wrought with varying factors.

Even a simple societal grooming is the exemption of free will if something goes against what is accepted at the time by a majority who have their own intricate variables (assumptions, programming, prejudice, information, beliefs, etc. etc. etc.), and especially if it takes away an individual’s support, happiness, personal choices and so on.

Let me give you an example: If Susie wants to drive and has a vehicle but is told that she has to have insurance and has to pay to get insurance, then she has no free will to drive her own vehicle if her free will choice is to not pay for insurance. Some say that she is free to choose to drive “but” that if she “gets caught” then she will face consequences (punishments). Susie may also have been told that she had free will in deciding to choose to drive and pay insurance, but that is still not the case because there was no other alternative unless she chose to go against the legal system. Susie is still under the condition of having to pay for and have insurance just to be able to enjoy one of life’s pleasures. Also being prompted that “Driving without insurance is irresponsible because she may get in an accident (consequence)” is putting another condition on a choice – taking away free will. That is just a small example of where free will is stated, but not truly the fact. It can also apply to anything which causes distress such as guilt, judgement, fear, sadness, lack, or anything which would create an environment where a person faces an unwanted result from their choice.

Free Will must also come from conscious choice and self-realization (discovery); it must also be subject to change as an individual grows and learns. Free will would indicate that an individual could happily choose to drive their uninsured car without ill consequence or punishment (for example). The person may have other choices presented as well.

Someone who has been groomed in any manner or has subconscious thoughts, behaviours, or beliefs is unable to act according to will – because the choices being made are coming from too many factors which have consequence, punishments, “right & wrong” labels, coercion, programmed guilt (which could be unjust), and interference. That is an obvious rational argument and observation which has come from really examining a small blip of what “free will” means (truly). The important issue of Free Will has been widely debated throughout history, including not only whether free will exists but even how to define the concept. It’s a tricky issue because there could be factors like people viewing someone else as ‘harmful’ to them when it is not the case at all. So the premise of “and in it harm none” could start to get knotted up depending on each individual’s definition, perspective, incorrect assessments, and so forth.

Let’s have a look at it in the realm of the law of attraction – since that is the method which I have been working with and writing about. So, applying this choice of “Free Will” in the “Create your own reality” scenario would mean that one simply chooses Free Will for themselves (would it be interfering to include asking this for others?) and then it must manifest as per stated in the theory of this belief system. Proofs must also manifest and come into reality. So, hypothetically speaking, in application to “Free Will” and choices based on such a notion what choices could an individual create?

Lets take the example of having a vehicle and driving. What are some choices one could “will”?

  • - Driving without insurance: Understand that accidents can happen and throwing money at some company does not stop accidents – it does however cover costs such as loss. Is there a way to counteract theft or damage and other things which could annul the need for insurance? What if we could live in a society where an individual need not have to resort to stealing for their livelihood; remembering that people are not intrinsically bad, they are just truly desperate and may currently be living in a world where money creates factors like divides between ‘have and have not’. There are certain other limitations based on many other critical factors (upbringing, availability to resources, etc.). Perhaps it’s time to look at how very ineffective money is. That could clear up some issues.

Now this is a hypothetical, but it does showcase how Free Will is lacking in our society today. There are many other areas where this is the case as well and I think it is well worth discussion. Some people may not agree because perhaps they can't think of something that currently infringes on their own Free Will, but I am quite sure that if they give any thought to it they will find areas where they can see this is the case. Any area where one makes a statement of “I don't want to but I have to in order to ____” is exactly what I am speaking about.

Perhaps we need to really give a good look at what it is that has taken away this free will. I had a lot of areas that I was (personally) starting to re-examine again and I was starting to make changes in my own life which helped me to clear up some much needed thinking space. Thoughts were creating things in my life which interfered with my own happiness. The thoughts about success, judgement, fear, anger, and so on. Those things were creating disharmony for me, and also a lot of tension.

So too were other people’s (negative) opinions about how I should live my life and what choices I should make for myself. It has been quite a roller-coaster dealing with things which I knew were not for me, nor did they fit into what I wanted for myself. Being told “That’s just the way it is” was not a reasonable answer for me because then what is the point? Are we slaves to the ideals of a model of life of someone else without input? No. Are there better answers and choices around for us to choose if we so decide to make that choice? Yes. Can it be an immediate change if we find that our previous choice was not beneficial to our wellness, happiness and fulfilment? Yes. I want choices for myself which are subject to change with my approval, because I myself change – as do the experiences, knowledge, information, and other factors. Going with the law of attraction maybe a good thing to include would be Free Will. Sounds reasonable currently! I think the like attracts like thing could be worked on a little bit more, since we are aware that if someone is thinking unhelpful things it can attract unhelpful results. Safe guards are always nice!

I was told in the past that my choices were ‘bad’ – coming from individuals who thought a certain way. During one discussion I was trying to explain my newly found confidence about my life and accepting that I was different from some people and that it was perfectly okay. I was explaining the many diverse individuals around the World, and I was told that what I was saying was “wrong” and that certain people were “going to hell” (gay people specifically in this conversation). I said that was a hurtful statement – I was told that my ‘choice’ to be gay was what hurt me, not the statement. I told the person that the choice I made was to be happy. That choice meant that I accepted myself for loving whom I love, and being attracted to whom I am attracted to. A choice was born out of the interaction with this person..

I had been trying to live up to this other person’s expectations and definitions of ‘good’. I had tried very hard to maintain a relationship with someone who had been saying hurtful things to me based on their beliefs. I was able to forgive this individual and I did remove myself from communication with that person. The stepping away was done without my feeling a need for retaliation or arguing; it was more healthy for me to examine some perspectives and feelings about the situation. It did cause me some unhappy feelings because I was still wishing that the person could love and accept me without viewing me as being ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’.

I also made a better choice for myself – not to be hurt by the incorrect beliefs someone had about me, or the incorrect beliefs other people may have had about the things which make me happy.

Believe me, that was a far better choice than I had been making in the past!

I want my own choices for myself to come from a healthy space; to affect me in a positive way which provides happiness, fun, fulfilment, support, respect, consideration, understanding, well-being, abundance, confidence, trust, satisfaction, excitement, creativity, beauty, freedom, love, ease, and kindness. I like those better choices for myself.

Chapter Thirty Eight

During my journey I have been learning about choices. Choices based on what I feel, and things which have learned about myself. These choices are thoughts which I have crafted for myself by using some ideas inspired by other people, and even more from deep within my heart. It’s hard to explain how I have come to this point; I believe that my book shows some of the changes – although it is only a small blip of what I have been experiencing and learning. I have noticed a change in perspective which has now shown me that I have been making choices this whole time; choices which did not truly include my free will in the past, but that is changing as I find truths within myself. More importantly I am learning to trust my inner voice. It’s like each individual on this planet is a bundle of choices; as I have met them I was listening, watching, and learning, while never truly understanding that they were/are a choice for themselves, as well as some choices for me. I was never quite seeing that before; not really consciously anyway. Statements like “Some people show you what you don’t want to be.” feel negative to me, but yet it was also true in a way. There was some sort of disconnect which caused me to look deeper into what those types of sayings meant for me – the disconnect coming from not wanting to feel negative about the character of other people, and yet there was a definite sensation of dislike. The dislike, as I came to find out, was that they were showing me how I felt about myself – and I was being treated in a manner which was what I had come to expect. It was time for some big changes!

I had heard people say that human behaviour is “hardwired in”; I deeply felt that was an untrue statement. It was not only because neuroscience has now proven that the brain has plasticity – which refers to changes in neural pathways and synapses which are due to changes in behaviour, environment and neural processes, as well as changes resulting from bodily injury. I also stood behind this because I had personally made changes (utilizing various methods to do so). I made changes to suit my own desires, rather than my previous behaviour of changing to make others like who I am. My life is mine to create and be happy with.

During my personal change process I was exploring and viewing choices for experiences, beliefs, perspectives, and answers. I kept questioning “So who’s right, who’s wrong?”; a finite question. I had bumped into confusion because I was stuck behind a veil of anger, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety, “battling who’s right or wrong”, and competition. The competition was derived from right vs. wrong – I needed to switch that old belief which I had been taught. I had been raised in an environment (social, familial, religious) which told people what to do, think, feel, and say – I would mimic the behaviour of others because I thought it was “right”. My heart kept urging me to look deeper, my heart kept giving me little signals. It was difficult at first to be myself; going back to who I really am, rather than what had been browbeat into me. And it was hard at first to truly accept myself because I kept trying to squeeze into so many groups of people who were saying that they are “right” to choose for me. People who viewed me as somehow flawed. I never realized then that I too viewed myself through the lens of other people – using their skewed standards to live up to, hoping they would validate me as a human being. I had to validate myself and that took a lot of work but it made me much happier.

Sometimes people get so caught up in fighting when they are trying to relate to others about themselves, which was the case for me when I was in the process of breaking free from the harmful beliefs which I had been subject to. The choices in beliefs that other people made for themselves did not mean that their choices are what I (or anyone else) “have to do, believe, follow, think, or act like.”. I do not have to accept anyone trying to change me; I was never really aware of that before. Letting go of negative opinions about myself was a bold step which helped me to heal many years of pain and false beliefs about who I am. I was changing by going back to the real me. Life for me is about a Yes+ choice. I may come across a belief system which has a definite “I like that” fit for some things, and some definite “That doesn’t fit me quite right” things. I have learned that the “Not quite right fit” things are like a hidden area of a game; the rickety old trunk that is waiting to be opened and a gem waiting inside. Although it was never about the trunk – I needed to stop and realize that it’s about what is inside waiting to be uncovered.

When I chose to remove my want to argue it switched the energy in me. Instead of being angry that the other person is trying to push their beliefs on me, I view it as a choice for myself “Can I learn something from them, realizing that it’s also okay that my beliefs fit me?”. I like discussions rather than arguments. I like talking about my experiences and things I have noticed. The arguing can come from a variety of circumstances which I have been learning about throughout my observations in life (some of which I have touched on already). Pushing beliefs and presenting alternative perspectives are different. When one gives information which they have come across, that is presenting. Telling another person that they “have to” do it your way, and your way is the only way, is pushing.

It is not that the other person doesn’t matter or that they are not allowed to choose what fits them. I get choices too: how to react, or not react, how to listen, how to choose, how to understand the other person. Again, this is my own experience which came from my personal exposure to the people and systems which I was in – my challenges and things I learned based on the examples around me. Helping others to understand that we all have varying circumstances and experiences opens up more information to work with. Why I chose to approach experiences and learning this way was that it really took the negative charge out of each experience for me. This has also helped me to understand why I used to get angry when I met with others who had different beliefs than mine. If someone dismissed my beliefs entirely I used to get upset because I felt like they were dismissing my right as a person to choose for myself, and at times that was actually the case. When I started learning that I didn’t need to argue but I did need to pay attention to what was going on, I opened up to a bigger perspective and I felt a weight lift. A simple shifting of my focus was a really valuable tool for me. In all my years of trying to “fit in” I was missing the part about how to “Fit in to myself.”.

I awoke at 3 today. My body tightened and my mind said “Oh look, you slept all day, you should have been doing so many things, what would people think?!”. My heart washed waves of warmth over me and said “It’s okay, your body must have needed the rest, there is plenty of time to do what you want to do, it’s good to take breaks, would you like a cup of coffee?”. I chose to be kind to myself instead of adopting the old opinions from other people who chide people for things like not having the same hours as they do. It seems so silly to have an opinion about the hours which someone else keeps, or why. People are different and that is perfectly okay!

In the past my thoughts would hold on to “You have to be up early in the morning like people have told you!”, and “You have to (do this, that, or the other thing).”. I like listening to my heart because it says “What would you like to do?”. Customizable fits. No competition, only a variety. No jealousy, only admiration. No fear, only curiosity. No cramped quarters, only a space so vast that the mind can’t comprehend; especially since it feels so cozy. My heart says “I love writing! Yay, new friends to play with!”. My mind would say “That person just complimented your writing! Say something deeply complex, you must impress them with your linguistic jousting or you will get nowhere!”. My heart says “Aww thanks, writing’s fun. I’m curious about you too.”.My mind would say “This is what you should see and how to see it.”.My heart would say “Look deeper, here are some more perspectives.”. My mind would say “Acquire more knowledge.”. My heart would say “Hamster, music, banana, chicken, squirrel.” and it would laugh, giggle, smile and say “Let’s play!”.

I was sometimes shy about the thoughts which I have come across; I feel better being truthful and open about what was there. I do love my mind because it is a part of me, but keeping thoughts which I never agreed with but adopted to “fit in” and live up to other people’s ‘standards’ was something that went against my very nature. It also caused a lot of inner battles. I prefer to be guided by my heart, rather than controlled by negative thoughts – being that there were far too many in my mind. I replaced the old negative patterns with new and healthy thoughts and began living life from that space; learning daily how to live a more fulfilling life. I feel the sayings “There’s no place like home.” and “Home is where the heart is.” so much deeper now because I am at home being myself and living my life as I choose.

I have been learning to transform my life in a manner which feels comfortable for me; learning to trust my own inner guidance to tell me what feels like a “fit”. My choices – things that make me happy. I still have some fine tuning to work out but I am getting there and feeling much more relaxed and optimistic. It has been really interesting to grow through this journey. I am learning so much more about myself; relaxing about the fact that I don’t have to work out everything all at once. I am the pilot of my own life – it is my life to live, and my course to chart! Being surrounded with so many choices and observing so many people who may believe that everyone has to do things the same way is still bothersome, but only mildly now. It’s my choice to let go and understand that just because someone else says or thinks that any other person “has to” do what they say, it does not mean that I have to internalize that for myself. Nor does it mean that I have to change myself into what someone else may think I should be.

I have finally learned how to start fitting in to myself after all of these years and, oddly enough, I fit my choices perfectly! I wanted to make changes because I wanted to be able to be happy, loving, and have more fun in life. In the beginning I thought that it meant that I would have to change myself even more (and everyone else as well), to be nicer and more peaceful because I had been taught that. I had also been taught that people are not already that way. “Trying to change the whole World” was far more difficult than making changes in how I perceived things, and what things to let go of. I appreciate that the World is so complex; it has so many lessons to teach and an abundance of variety. I can learn even more if I want, or I can choose to take some time now to enjoy life; live a more fun and fulfilling experience. Allowing others their own unique expression resonates far more with me rather than trying to make everyone the same.

I am currently trying to remember how to detach from the many stories and choices of others. This way if I decide one day that I want a new experience I can have that. If one day I choose to have some comedy I can have that. If one day I decide that I want crazy mystical experiences I can have that too. And it is because those things are there for me to experience.

I am at a point where I am finally letting go of things like anger, resentment, judgement, and blame. As for certain other intricacies… There are so many choices out there and I am so very grateful for all of them. How boring would it be to walk into a store called ‘Life’ in which every shelf was packed with the same item – one item – and the only choice was one thing? I like a variety and I have learned how to appreciate choices, no matter how strange they may seem to me. I like examining options, sort of like how I might drive a few cars before picking the one which fits me best at the time. Alternatively, sometimes I may already have picked the car that I want; it may already be firm in my mind and I can just go pick it up. It all depends on what I am feeling at the moment. And just like changes in my life (be it career, or new home, or personal growth), I can take my time picking what fits best for me at the time. The choice is mine.

My mind offered up billions of paths which led down many ruddy roads but once I followed my heart I realized that I found my home. To follow my heart confused my mind at first. To see with my heart unclouded my eyes, to hear with my heart opened up whispers. To speak from my heart is to be genuine, to listen with my heart is to better understand. I was letting go of past mental chatter and programs and stepping into the real me once again and it was, and is, freeing.

The eye which can see with clarity beyond all veils is that which lay within your heart. The brain may try to figure out its secrets and will soon realize that this place holds no knowledge – only wisdom. No fighting – only peace. No brutality – only strength. No favouritism – only equality. Nothing to figure out, only to “be.”

Chapter Thirty Nine

When I looked at the belief where people say “You must do something for the betterment of humanity”, which seems to be an aspect of a few of the self-help programs out there, I wondered what exactly is something for the betterment of humanity? I guess I have a different perspective on that phrase. After this epic journey of self discovery/ new way of life/ path to “IronMan-ness” I realized that everything has some purpose. I may have not noticed in the past what those purposes were. I may have judged situations based on my perception, perspective, and understanding which I had at the time. In the past I could not see “reasons” for the things that I went through – I am aware that we do not always see the reasons at any given time. I did use those old experiences for the betterment of my own healing, and also to assist others by giving new ideas which may help them. Imagine if there was a conscious higher power and that higher power got to view choices of what it wanted in the World – anthropomorphizing its thoughts. Seeing those thoughts as a choice in what it wants in its reality. Viewing the thought in form as ‘people’. The conscious Universe could then really evaluate what it wants in its reality; which thoughts are most helpful, which thoughts are the ones to let go of – an outward mirror of its current reflections. There is a purpose to many things in life, all of which are always in a state of working towards the betterment of humanity. A better World, a better life – better choices. We are all parts of a vast Universe; each have our own worlds which we make choices for ourselves.

I often wondered about my own thoughts as I was starting to make truly conscious choices for myself. I considered if my thoughts were conscious. If they are – would I want to help them or hurt them? If your thoughts are yours and you hurt your thoughts could they hurt you back? If you help your thoughts would they help you in return? If you have a thought in your head that seems to keep coming up, have you ever tried understanding it? Have you ever wondered where the thought came from? Do you dismiss thoughts and find them coming back? Have you tried controlling your thoughts only to find them rebel? Have you tried to give your thoughts a place to relax and flow in and out? Do your thoughts work together, or do they battle one another?

There are always an infinite number of reasons why someone may be at the stage where they are at in life; reasons why they think the things that they do. Those people could be learning and experiencing things which most people are not even aware of. And maybe those situations can lead to an amazing outcome. When it comes to my assessment of “Do something good for the betterment of humanity” I can see many different ways that people already do. Even just having a variety of people around can give you different perspectives, which can help. I feel lucky to have been able to have many perspectives which I could learn from, which just goes to show how valuable everyone already is. Throughout time there have been many people who provide new information to help others move beyond past misconceptions and old beliefs – people who have corrected their generations (or previous generations) misinformation; things to let go of.. Everyone doing their part in assisting humanity to grow; taking something and working with it to create a better life for all of us.

Clearly I have my own struggles which were based on the challenges of my ‘time’; things to let go of. I was taught misconceptions about people in the tattoo industry, for example. Old statements which the previous generation held on to and repeated to many other people, statements which were completely untrue but that those people believed because they were truly living in the past (holding those beliefs firmly in their minds). Tattooing helped me meet a variety of people: some who shared deep and painful memories with me, some who were going through a tough life situation, some who provided a compliment when I needed to feel appreciated, some who laughed with me, some who just wanted something whimsical to live in the now, some who were old, some young – all of whom taught me things. The people I worked with, and the people who I had the pleasure to tattoo, were really fantastic people from all walks of life. I also had experiences which came from being in and around the industry that showed me some challenges that tattooed people experienced, and some beliefs that they too held on to. This was just one area of life where I learned from. I also learned that even though this area had been considered different they also faced a lot of the same challenges which other people in other areas of life faced.

At times some people seem to have the same issue with letting go of the past because it appears to dominate their “now”, but that now may just be an illusion which comes from projecting one’s old beliefs. If an individual is believing that other people won’t accept them then they may project that feeling and mannerism – and then they will get a correlating reaction. It does not make their thought [false belief] ‘true’, but they may view it that way because of the received response – not realizing the reaction came from their own initial projection. “Illusion” from false belief.

My childhood was another area of life which taught me things and provided me with experiences in which I was able to make myself the strong woman I am today, with the determination of a wrecking ball going after a spider. ALL belief systems and people taught me, be it – Pagan, Wicca, Christianity, Catholic, Agnostic, Judaism, Atheists, Scientists, Philosophers, Shinto, Native American, Indian, Evolution, Mysticism, Buddhism, Environmentalist, Hambugerists, Fairies, Mermaids, Nature, Crappy drivers, Body Builders, Self Help teachers, Taoism, Vegans, Divorcees, Married people, Kids, Poets, Painters, Wealthy people, Poor people, Working people, Unemployed people, and the list goes on and on…

All people at varying stages in their life; some learning, some that are happy just being them, some sad people, some angry, some hopeful, some lost, some dreamers, some who are ready to give up – have all taught me many things, including things about myself just from observing my interactions with them, or noticing my thoughts. All people “give to the betterment of humanity”; some by way of teaching us what we don’t want, some by showing us a better way, and some by providing choices. Some people just may not realize how important they are; I sure do though and I think they’re all pretty cool. Who knows, maybe that comic book clerk is highly gifted, or maybe that person is a great teacher, or maybe that person has innate gift like delivering a silly joke which could totally changes a series of events in someones day, or maybe that person is really good at perspective. You never know what is within each individual you meet. I sure wouldn’t dismiss any of it. So when some people said “You must do something good to help humanity”, I wondered if they had a caveat (become a saint)? How about perspective – day to day people, all of which “help humanity” already; although some people just may not recognize it.

I can say that I hadn’t noticed it in the past because I had been so busy chasing Buddhas, Deities, Great Teachers, Powerful Gurus… Instead of seeing that my Barista, my acquaintance who wrote a naughty book, the homeless kid I talked to, my tattoo brothers and sisters, my friends, my clients, my landlord, my mechanic, my kids, my favourite cartoons, my family, my room-mate and best friend, etc., were always the Buddhas, The Deitys, The Great Teachers, The powerful Gurus, The Saints. They sure did teach me a lot. Thanks guys.

I noticed a lot of times that when I wanted an answer to something it would come out of left field (somewhere I was not expecting). When I started just paying a little more attention, and not looking for answers to come from one specific thing, person, or place, I was a little shocked at all the places those replies were coming from. I was open to letting answers come; It is funny how it worked. I would wonder (for example) about deeply philosophical things like “How do you live in the now?”, and I would be doing something like helping my friend with her book – which was on a subject that was not even close – and suddenly the answer popped out (specifically about “live in the now”). The place where I would have never suspected to look for the answer and yet there was an explanation, which I had asked for. I have also wondered how it was that when I wanted an answer to something I would have a client come in for a tattoo and they would suddenly start talking about the subject which I was wondering about. It was not just rare occasions in which this happened; it was glaringly reoccurring. I could be pondering other things and get the exact answer from a phrase that stood out in a cartoon, or in a movie. The topic of the movie or cartoon may be very different from what I was pondering, but provided the answer none-the-less.

When I wanted answers, sometimes it would come from the least expected places; I just needed to pay attention. This was a new beginning for me, another stage in my life, another start to an adventure. I am excited about the possibilities. I am grateful for having learned so much about myself and what I could do, and what I have done. While I can only present some of the ways in which I made changes for myself, and the wider perspectives which I learned, I can not tell anyone how things work for them or what their own perfect fit is for them. Some of the things, which have worked for me, may work for others. I feel better not to say “You have to do it this way!”. I would rather say “You can try it this way if you want and there are also a number of other ways. Some of those things may help you by providing training wheels while you are learning to drive your own inner-self/higher-self/being/destiny/choices/ etc.”. While it is fun for me to have a variety, it may not be something that someone else wants.

Some people like simple things in life, some people like life to be complex, some people like a mix of the two. Some people like challenges, some people like an easier flow, some like an occasional challenge which flows. Some people like meat, some people like veggies, some people enjoy both. Some people like quiet, some people like noisy, some people like a busy night out (or day) and then quiet. Some people like cold weather, some people like warm, and others like it hot. Some people like small groups of friends, others like large gatherings with friends and strangers. Some people like steady relationships, some people like to spice things up. Some people like sunsets, some people like sunrises, some like all parts of the day and night. Some people like coffee, and some people like tea. Some people like the thrill of being afraid, and others like feeling safe.

I could go on and on; the gist is that I can offer suggestions, but they are only suggestions, and you are the only one who can customize your choices to fit you. Personally, I have learned that if I feel that a change needs to be made then I can understand that the change to be made might just be in me. I am grateful that I can change whenever I want and I can change whatever I want to change about my own life. Just as everyone is equally entitled to live their own lives.

At times the changes which I wanted for myself seemed like a massive mountain to climb, but looking back it was only ever a hill. I love the changes which I have made and I love that I am free to change. And just like the title of my book I am subject to change without notice because that is how I like to do things. It has much more of a “live in the now” feeling to it, while still allowing the potential for more.

Chapter Forty

Although not always simple, or easy, I[* *]have always preferred the ‘truth’. I don’t mean the great truth of life, or that there is any one single firm truth. What I am talking about is the truth in my heart, and I really feel like everyone has a truth in their own heart, and a certain way that things work for them. I have found that sometimes people bully others in a passive sort of way, noticing this (sometimes) to be within the law of attraction groups as well. Some people taking the “Be positive, speak only positive” to the extreme – where it makes another person feel bad because they are in a situation which still needs to be addressed. Having a need which requires attention, and always speaking negatively are two separate things. We must keep in mind when using this L.O.A material that there are times an individual may have been living their whole life in an awful existence and they may have picked up a pessimistic view on life because they have never had the chance for a good life, no matter how much they “gave it their all”, or “kept their chin up”.But while it is important to have a positive outlook on life, it is equally important to let people know your needs; hiding the fact that one is not happy, or is struggling, is like slapping a mask on because of shame or feeling inadequate. It is also counter-productive if you need help but no one is aware of that need. Coming across methods with the ‘law of attraction’ material which tell a person to speak positive can also mean positive hope while voicing your needs.

I have had friends who are doing the law of attraction, and they were experiencing similar difficulties which I was having and I questioned things because of our shared difficulties. I was really paying attention to “How it works”, as were my friends, and I was listening intently when my friends would tell me the circumstances in which things would “happen” for them (meaning when they received what they wanted). Sometimes it was because they “asked the Universe”, and sometimes it was a fleeting wish, and other times they received what they asked for even when they were so very frustrated; stating it like “I need the money now!”. We were all practicing the law of attraction, and each of us used many programs, read a lot of material on the subject, and on various methods to achieve what we wanted to have, be, or do. It seemed that there were hit and misses for all of us, and so I kept asking myself “What is the common denominator?”. My current perception is that the common factor came down to asking/stating, and also the availability of help that each person has. I guess that this brings us back to the things which I spoke about at the beginning of this chapter – being truthful about having a need and not silencing oneself and pretending things are okay when they are not. There could also be factors such as the opinions of other people who judge a person in need, and our own beliefs about ourselves being in need which could factor in. Life can be complex at times.

As my friends and I worked with the law of attraction material there were things which were helpful, such as when we would give each other encouragement, hope, inspiration, and ‘cheer-leading’. Perhaps that is because so many people have spent years taking our dreams away by discouragement, judgement, or by doubt, or by fear, that we just needed a little positive reinforcement.

Maybe the people who knocked the wind out of others sails have done so because they themselves felt discouraged. Perhaps it would have helped if they had a little fairy dust sprinkled on them so that they could have a little more magic in their lives again. For me there seems to be a few factors which I have noticed while trying to pay attention to how exactly the law of attraction “works for me”. One of those things is being truthful. I personally do not feel at ease, comfortable, or good when I am doing what I feel as ‘lying’. The lying comes in when I tried to pretend. The L.O.A. material stating that one must pretend things are wonderful in order to attract that wonderful life. There was only so much pretending I could do as I stared into a near empty fridge knowing that we had bills that were back-due and no money to live on at all. While it was important for me to choose a better thought, and to move away from dwelling on negativity, I also felt like it was better to be truthful “I am really frustrated, I want money to pay my bills, I want money to pay my landlady, I want money to purchase food.”. I kept thinking that if there was a conscious Universe, or if it was a higher-self, or something within, then wouldn’t it prefer me to be truthful so that it could provide me with an answer or some sort of help. I prefer being truthful and so it would make sense that anything which (if you think it can know your deepest secrets, thoughts, etc.) is inside of me and knows me, my thoughts, and my preferences, would want me to be forthcoming. I was sick of hearing an overwhelming amount of negativity, sick of hearing an overwhelming amount of depressing things, and I just knew that people (including myself) were not living the life that they should be living – being forced to try and survive instead of thriving. There had to be a better answer to living life; an answer to help people actually attain a wonderful life instead of this constant trying to survive.

Being truthful does not mean that I want to complain all the time, it means that as positive and optimistic as I currently can be I also have that side of me which wants proof. The proof would come from receiving the big things which I have dreamed of. And I really have learned how to have a deeper appreciation of the small things (such as the free gas at the gas station, the plants suddenly turning into a jungle even though there is no natural light getting to them, the cheese). I have tried many things throughout life to break free from merely surviving – one of those ways being the law of attraction material.

I had a part in me which could give explanations which would seem rational. Example: “Maybe people are more psychic than they know, and perhaps my thoughts sent out desires for cheese and so someone picked up on that somehow and sent the cheese.”, or the plants growing after I pictured a jungle in my home and business could have been because people really can have a good effect on nature by just picturing growth – maybe it really is true that our thoughts/energy can do that. Other people may even view these things which I experienced as “coincidence”, or they may have a multitude of other ways to look at it. I am okay with how they choose to see it, just as I am good to not know how exactly it happened behind the scenes. I just know that it did. I have learned some really valuable concepts along the way, such as how to focus on better thoughts rather than letting my mind run away with negativity. Shifting my focus was one of the valuable ways of making changes. I also noticed that there were times in which I would get so worked up over trying so hard to think happy thoughts that it would sometimes derail any work which I had been doing. I kept asking “What do I have to do now?!”; that question does not feel applicable for me anymore.

According to the L.O.A. material – because I was asking “What now?!” it seemed that I would be given even more TO do, and because more kept coming I had a feeling like there was more that I was [_supposed _]to do before I got what I wanted. I kept going and going, wondering how much truth there was to the law of attraction methods providing an individual (who practices it) with their dream life and all of the things which they desire. I could certainly see that when I worried a lot about things I would sometimes experience them, but not all the time. I had been exhausted since starting this journey. When I first heard about the law of attraction I felt something click for me. There was something which resonated deeply, and because of that I ended up trying to chase down the answer to “how”; questioning “what am I supposed to do, or behave like?”. That pattern made me digest hundreds of books, hundreds of seminars, and meanwhile I was trying to juggle work, studies, and life. The juggling created confusion, depression, and I kept trying and trying to “get it right”, because after all of these years I really and truly wanted to live my dream life. I also wanted to have some sort of validation that it really is okay for me to want what I want, and that it okay for me to be who I am. I can tell you that I am the only one who could do those things for myself (validation, acceptance, kindness, appreciation, and so on) in the way which felt most fitting for me. And while it makes me somewhat sad that I have had to be the one doing those things for myself I am also really proud of myself for being able to do that amidst the toughest circumstances.

There is a part of me who still really wants help - free from judgement, control, and opinions. I would love to say “I need help with ____” and then just receive that help without question. Help which comes in a genuinely kind and easy way. That is the kind of help that I appreciate.

Even without the help that I so desperately needed I was able to console myself, be my own cheerleader, and carry my own dreams. I was also able to forgive people who had willingly or accidentally hurt me. I was able to see that some of those people may have done so for many reasons. I don’t really know exactly why people do what they do, but it feels best for me to just let the hurt go and keep believing in a better future. Some people are the way that they are (pessimistic, angry, bitter, etc.) for very good reasons most times. People can change some things if they want to (like hopeful expectancy), but they should not have to change themselves just to receive help. It’s also good to remember that a person does not have to change anything about themselves in order to live up to the expectations of anyone else. Additionally, it is helpful to get to know who you really are – which may be very different than you have been led to believe. Change for some could mean dropping negative false beliefs about themselves.

When I was working with the L.O.A. material and all of the systems and methods which I was immersed in, I noted that questions seemed to come back to me. What do I want myself to be? What feels natural? What feels comfortable? What makes me happy? How do I work? Who am I really? There were things which came down to really paying attention to my own intricacies, and the challenges which came from many areas and people in my life. Some people say that one should be open to all possibilities and avenues and that things such as help, money, and so on, can flow to you from anywhere. I would end up thinking things like “Okay, so don’t focus on the lottery?” and my best friend would tell me not to because he felt it would mean that I was not allowing for other streams of help. The lottery would provide me with what I want, isn’t that something to say yes to? I am equally open to money coming from many other sources.

I do have guidelines which feel like a “fit” for myself and I also have my own challenges – things which are unique to me. Some of those challenges have come from being different and believing in the possibility of uncommon theories and explanations. For example: “the Genie in the bottle” who gives you what you ask for – but there is a trick he plays (ask for money – have a relative die kind of scenario). And while trying to figure out some of the ‘attraction’ methods which I was learning about I would end up getting dragged into thinking “So you can’t ask for magic/ miracles/ mysterious circumstances because it will be just a trick?”. That is just one example of how some of the stories I read created beliefs that I had to work with. Stories which could become part of subconscious beliefs – depending I suppose on one’s background and beliefs they may have been raised with, and also how much programming may have been drummed into the individual. Although this is not always the case.

While there was some information I could work with for myself, based on getting to know my own challenges, I could see how something as simple as a story also could create fear and diminish hope in people who are genuinely kind and thoughtful people. If they think that making wishes for a better life may create awful events (because of an old story which was drummed into them as a child suggesting that their ‘wishes’ could have a horrible outcome), then they could have a subconscious block. Focus on the positive side and understand that those stories also come from a writer’s perspective, beliefs, and personal ‘truths’ – some of which may have been negative because of various other factors involved at the time. Personally I think that wishes are great! Sometimes wishing/ hoping/ praying for a miracle/magic can be the one thing which gives people strength to get through their situation. Let go of fear aspects about your dreams, though.

I have read a lot of books where the “good person” suffers their whole life and stays poor, and it is considered to be a good thing. I don’t believe that suffering is ‘good’. Things change, tides come in and go out, circumstances change too. I believe that anyone can rise from their circumstances, and I believe that wonderful things should, can, and do happen all the time! I believe that a person can want (and ask for) something and receive it. I believe that anyone should receive assistance without jumping through proverbial hoops or having to prove their worthiness. A person need not reach a certain level of enlightenment or have the most shining behavioural attributes in order to have a wonderful dream life bestowed upon them. I believe that it is okay for someone to live in any manner they desire for themselves. I have seen plenty of people who have had magic (miracles) happen to them and some have said that it was because of (whatever their belief). Additionally I have seen people who did not believe in miracles have magical experiences happen. I want those things for myself as well.

I noticed that when negative thoughts ran my life I would be running all over looking for more answers and I would be feeling like I had to do more, be better. I would be assaulted by hurtful comments: “You need to work harder.”, “You need to be a better student.”, “You’re not as good as (such and such a person).”. Then my heart stepped in it told me that I am more than good enough and asked me what makes me happy. I started understanding that life can be easy, life can be fun, life can be magical, life can be all that I dream of and more – and having those experiences is perfectly okay to want. I may sometimes view choices (perhaps even mild arguments) in my thoughts but I am now able to move beyond big battles with it. I want to move forward and live my life. A lot of that meant being okay with my choices no matter what the opinions of other people.

Through working with the ‘law of attraction’ material I started noticing some issues which caused me to stumble. I wanted a wider perspective on my personal challenges because I could see that there is unlimited potential all around. The Universe is unfathomably massive; within it there is a rhythm and flow to life. I now have more tools which can help me understand and navigate my own way a little better, and I am open to much more. I am ready to let go of trying to “fix myself” because I have now learned that I was never broken, I just couldn’t see the bigger picture at the time. I have always had a different way of looking at things, I have always perceived other choices, and so I always wondered why people view things in such a black and white manner. I did in the past occasionally get caught up in the black and white way of looking at life, but it was difficult to squeeze myself into thinking that way because it has such a limited expression. It did help me understand people who did think that way a little better. I think it’s possible that people create their own reality – to what extent people create their reality I don’t know. I am just starting to figure out how that knowledge can be applied in my own life by experimenting with it and noting some interesting findings and experiences.

I have noted that some people are afraid that they may be creating real monsters, demons, and horrible things. This is not a point to make fun of; I don’t know what they see exactly because I am not them. Personally, when I was looking for terrible things (in the past) I would find countless fearful realities – stacking up news story after news story about how horrible and scary the world is when it was just a handful of incidents which were all compiled in my mind. Stories which – because I focused solely on looking for those things – seemed to be vast in numbers. This is a good way to show how an individual may believe that the world is filled with horrors.

Fear is a funny thing, and sometimes people latch on so tightly that it holds dreams hostage – it creates tension and it can hold back happiness. Fear can also challenge a person; it can be a gift which teaches a person how much strength they have and it can give a boost of excitement once someone moves past a fear. I like to remind myself to use my gifts with love, and detach my gifts from fear, resentment, hostility, and blame. Breaking free by recognizing that sometimes attachments – such as fear, anger, hostility – are just things which have been spun together forming a web. A web in which my dreams had been caught up in. The web is only an illusion; a tricky and well crafted one, but it is just an illusion of the past. It helped me to move forward in strength, not in fear. I also added more happiness by leaving attachments to past hurt behind, and most of all I learned be patient with myself. There are so many choices, and if it is true that my thoughts can create then I would rather use my thoughts to start creating wonderful things.

I used to wonder why I got caught up in thinking that I must know how all of the ins and outs of the law of attraction works (fully), for every teacher who has manifested their own dream life, or I would not be able to manifest the dream life which “I” wanted for myself. Thinking that if only I knew what worked for them then it would work that way for me; never taking into account my own intricacies and personal aspects. I believe that it is possible to attract what I want and so I was trying it out. I have had some really strange experiences which I can’t explain. I do enjoy that not everything can be fully explained because it keeps that wonder and awe in life. I used to think that I had to do so many things in order to receive what I wanted, but I really wanted to experience wonderful and miraculous (specific) things happening for me effortlessly, without caveats.

I wanted the proof that what I was hearing was true. I was desperate for it to be true because I was at my wits end and I was so sick of living the life that I had been living. I wanted to know what “exactly” one could ask for and receive. “Does it work with items?”, “Does it work for experiences?”, “Which exact things can it be applied to?”, “Does it work for me?” “What exactly can I ask for, and receive? How does it work for me specifically?”. I keep going back and reading about my experiences because I sometimes forgot about those unexplainable things when I was being analytical. It certainly seems that I have a connection to nature and some people (people being part of nature of course, so it would make sense that I have a connection to them). The questions still remain – is it Nature, Universe, Self, Deities, Beings, etc.? I don’t really know, and to me it doesn’t really matter although I do still have curiosity about them, and I still have questions about many things in life. I have all of those aspects inside of me: science, mysticism, self, nature, spiritual, creative, logical, and so on. Some things seem to make sense while other things seem to defy all reason, and I am okay with that for the most part.

I have observed people who don’t believe in magic/miracles have amazing things just happen for them; maybe deep down they may have held a belief that things do just happen for them, not viewing them as magical or miraculous – rather they are just expected. I have heard people say things like “I never win anything” and then they suddenly win something huge like the lottery. Maybe somewhere they did believe it would happen, or maybe it was in them all along. It doesn’t mean that they “had” to do anything (consciously) to bump that event necessarily. I have observed a few people say that they willed (or asked their Deity) for a lottery win and they won, that too makes me happy.

I have seen people hit rock bottom and then have something magical happen to change their lives. I have also seen people born into wonderful circumstances or people who have wonderful things start to happen for them at a comfortable stage in life (without hitting any rock bottom). It makes me happy to see that good things can happen for people, no matter what. I wondered if I could ‘ask’ for things to happen for me in a manner which I was happy and excited about. There are many ways in which things happen: luck of the draw, working, willing, asking, magic, miracles, believing, hoping. It is endless really, just as the choices which someone could believe in. I am happy knowing that even if people don’t believe in things like miracles/ magic it can still happen for them. I am happy knowing that people who do believe in magic and miracles have things happen as well. Behind the scenes I really don’t know for sure how exactly something happens like a lottery win. There is a certain thrill from hoping and believing that it can happen – no matter what the so-called ‘odds’. I have utilized so many programs, I have believed so many things, and I have considered many theories. Ultimately all I could say for sure, at this point, is that I hoped and believed that it was possible that I could start getting what I wanted in life. I have also felt doubt at times and had given up trying to “make it happen”. There is so much potential for a wide variety of possibilities. I believe wonderful things happening from out of nowhere and I really would like that to happen to me - even if I waver in believing that it can, even if I feel desperate and frustrated, even if I don't subscribe to a certain Deity or the so-called refined personality traits which are said to be worthy traits, even if I haven't hit rock bottom, even if ______ - no matter what. I am finally at the stage in my life where I am willing to let go of the frustration which comes from “trying to figure out how all of the subtle mysteries happen exactly”.

I believe that there are far more astounding things, experiences, and people than I may be currently aware of. I am ready to see what happens next; I am ready to embark on that journey. I am a little apprehensive, but that part also makes things exciting. Why try to figure out all of the various mysteries to life? A little mystery adds zest! I am ready to step into myself even more fully and now I am once again curious because I have left some fear in the past. I am once again excited, because I have found more balance. I am once again happy, because I am ready to better handle sadness. I am once again hopeful, because I have let go of despair. I am once again viewing the World through glittering eyes because I have opened up my perspective a bit more and I believe that there is an answer that is ready to take the stage and create big changes.

I may have a few things that I could choose to work on in the future. Letting go of anxiety, I can see that it might be simple things right now – such as working on what colour scheme I am going to go with this holiday season. I also have better tools to deal with other not so simple issues, which may still hurt a little, but it wont throw me into a state of depression. I don’t mind the occasional discussion, as long as I find a balance which allows me to move past it turning into an argument or huge battle. Even if an argument does happen occasionally, I am equipped to handle that better too now. Sometimes a person just needs to vent, I am glad that I have that option. Currently I am much happier than I had been and I am eager about the future. I am happier about the “now”. When ‘bad days’ come I now consider if it is because there is a question which needs to be addressed; it may open up doors to better answers. I am more well-equipped to deal with those days which are less than ideal. So too am I learning to draw my focus away from those ‘bad days’ and look for better things to dwell on.

I took steps toward believing that anything is possible. I not only took the first steps without seeing a staircase, I in fact took many steps. I don’t know “how” miracles/magic happens, and boy oh boy did I try a lot of ways to make things happen! I also previously thought that maybe I did not deserve wonderful magical experiences and I have now since moved beyond that way of thinking. Right now I am at a point where I mostly believe that wonderful and magical things can happen for me, and I really want an indomitable belief that it will happen. I would really like them to start happening now in a bigger way than ever before. I am so ready for that!

Maybe I just needed to be bold and speak the truth about what I want and where I am at, rather than to ‘pretend that everything is fine”. It does feel better for me to ask for what I really want, and be sure to not hold back on my requests. Really… If the Universe is listening and I am not being forthcoming about what my wants and needs are then how would those requests be met? There have been many times in the past where I didn’t speak up out of fear because certain people I was around were extremely judgemental and would point out what they perceived as my shortcomings and imperfections, and they would make me feel bad for needing or receiving help from them. They were not giving me a healthy or positive support or view of myself. But, standing up for myself and realizing that I did not have to accept negative views or opinions about myself seemed to have attracted more people into my life who do things like pay attention and notice telltale signs that things are not ‘okay’. Those friends I can be truthful with because they don’t come back at me with judgemental statements; they just help me because they genuinely care. I cherish and appreciate them because they truly like me and encourage me, have faith in me, and lend a great deal to my life by showing me my true worth.

I had to start by seeing my own value and that was not the easiest thing to accomplish at first; it took a great deal of reaffirming and paying attention to many things. I think a good first step is getting to know who you really are instead of listening to negative opinions which come from people who think they know. It can be difficult at times to stand up to bullies, especially if those bullies’ statements linger in your mind and you keep company with them. Perhaps if this is happening you could ask the Universe to bring kinder people into your life, or help you to notice the people already in your life who are that type of person. I know they exist, now, although I never believed that in the past – partially due to focus.

If I never spoke up, or when someone asked I said “Oh things are fine” (when they are not) then the person would have no idea, nor could they provide me with the assistance that I want (or need). Speaking up about wants and needs is different than dwelling on hopelessness, although some people I have encountered did not understand that. There have been times when I did try to speak up and I would be told “Remember, only say positive things.”; they would make me feel guilty or ‘bad’ for stating a request. I finally started (in this case) to correct those specific people and tell them that I am thinking positive thoughts about getting what I wanted and my putting a request out (whether it was frustrated asking or not) was simply that – a request. If I had been not saying anything and thinking “It doesn’t matter anyway because no one will help” then that is entirely different than knowing that if I ask, no matter what, I will have help come from somewhere. I have noticed that even if someone doesn’t think something is possible the Universe can show them it is, and this comes by way of what they would deem to be a ‘happy surprise’. You know “I never in a million years thought that was possible!” and yet it happened.

It’s okay to ask for what you want – in fact, please be truthful about it and don’t let anyone bully you into silence. And even if someone tells you not to ask in a certain way it does not mean that you have to listen to them. If your heart or intuition (or anything else) says “Just ask!” then I would suggest to go with it.

Chapter Forty Two

A t the Universal ordering window of life I was at I realized that I could take the Yes+ combo, or I could choose to go dine in and have even more choices and relax in a warm atmosphere. I am really looking forward to savouring my choices and I am not worried about it making me gain weight, because this place is full of great options which are vast but free from the heaviness; healthy choices which I can make for myself. It also has delicious treats. [_ ]“Sparkle cookie, and be one of those people who can eat anything they want, and never gain a pound? That would be great, but I also don’t mind a little exercise – the fresh air is wonderful.”. I used to be “that person” in the drive-thru line, carefully weighing my choices, wondering what I _should choose. And I was asking other people in cars what they like, what they would choose, what they thought I should eat – because I was worrying about my own choices. I was asking them how their choice tasted, expecting it to taste the same for me. Perhaps I was holding up the traffic a little but I am allowed to take my time; it is my life and I want a custom order which fits me perfectly. I had heard that I could go inside, although I didn’t quite believe people because I could never find the door until recently! Likewise I never knew that things might not taste the same for everyone. I personally like a variety, so that is what I ordered! I like to try new things, and some things I like are age old recipes. I’m ready to relax and enjoy my order now. I can tell you that the menu is massive and just as I was able to – you get to choose as well.

So, does the law of attraction thing really work? Can a person change their thoughts and start experiencing the magic of life? I didn't believe it at first, and I have not experienced the proof of bigger things yet: like a publisher miraculously coming to me through a series of strange events and twists (*see note). No lotto win either, yet. I realize that I do like doing some things for myself; I have faith in my ability to do things such as writing a series of books – I just needed a little more confidence in myself. I do believe many things are possible and while I used to think that it would be really nice just to have a magic wand that does everything for me, I also gave it some deeper thought and realized there’s no fun in that all the time. Life can be about facing challenges, a growth experience, and about individual journeys. I do think that more miracles and happiness with a little less fighting and sadness would be a better choice. I had a hard time believing things could happen with an easy change in thought because I struggled for years with (an unknown) mainly negative outlook. I used to have a hopeful attitude when I was younger and I once again found a way to let that attitude back out to play. I had deep beliefs that I had to work hard to achieve anything because I had people wanting to help me by telling me how hard life is, or how you had to be one of those “lucky” people. I had to recognize that I was still thinking in the way in which I had habituated from years of practice; years of worrying that people were right when they said how hard life is. I let those old beliefs go now.

Note: *A year after I wrote the wish about a publisher coming to me through a series of strange events I actually did have a publisher come and pick me up at my house. I did not know at the time that he was a publisher, nor did he know that I was an author - we were going to do some volunteer work, and as it happened I needed a ride. He happened to be the one who offered to pick me up when the coordinator (who did not know our occupations either) sent out an email to arrange it - knowing only that we lived close to one another.

When I first started working with the law of attraction material it was a wonderful step towards being optimistic again – free from the inhibiting old paradigm of negativity which I had been around. I was finally back to allowing myself to utilize my wonderful imagination and creativity which helps me to believe in a much more logical way. I was afraid of being wrong, and also afraid of what people would say. I didn’t want to share my dreams anymore because it seemed that society had lost so much trust in unexplainable magic and miracles. I let go of my fears, let go of the worry and habitual thinking (failure). It was difficult when I was in the middle of going through the work because I had a tendency to look for miraculous things while still carrying the worry that it was just “wishful thinking”. I always wondered why people thought of wishful thinking as a bad thing; why do people take away the hopes and dreams of another person instead of encouraging them? Then again, those people taught me a lot in life. It was a bit of a struggle to “let go” because I had almost given up in the past, and I was worried that letting go was the same as giving up. I was always determined to keep going; I sometimes got trapped in “making it happen” because I had been told that was the only way to do things “You can’t just hope for things, you have to make them happen.”. Well that is not always true that one must make things happen; I have thankfully had experiences to the contrary.

I spent years trying to fit in to an outside World; I tried so very hard but I would fall short. I wondered why I felt so strange in the outside World. I am finally understanding that where I really “fit in” is within myself. That is where I finally found acceptance, where I found beliefs in magic and miracles, where I found hopeful wishes and comfort. It is also where I finally found love and appreciation.

I finally chased away the monsters which barred my entrance. They were trying to keep me outside of myself and it had worked for many years.

I have grown in some appreciation for the ‘difficulties’ in life because it has shown me how strong I really am. I get to go inside now where all of the choices that I made are eagerly waiting for me to sit down and enjoy them, instead of quickly trying to gobble down my choices while sitting in my tiny Smart Car. Wow, valet parking even? I never knew! I wonder what else is inside. I have heard that everyone can do this, I have heard that no one gets left behind. I hope you enjoy choosing for yourself, the window is always open and you can also go inside, kick back, enjoy your meal. Guess what else I found out! The Universal place has far stranger hours than I was aware (Twelveteenity gillion o’clock!). What ever you choose for yourself, I hope that you enjoy your own custom choices.

Over the course of this part of my journey I have learned more about choices; I was always trying to find my way through learning. I have had some success at making huge changes in areas which were important for me and I am ready to open up more potential. I want my dream life to start coming into my life and I am ready to start believing again that it is truly possible. I have given a great deal of thought about what brings true happiness; it was not something outside of myself (which is not to say that I don’t enjoy ‘outer’ experiences, people, or items). Balance is great, and all things in life can teach us. If a person wants things to change they need only make changes within themselves. That is a wonderful gift, a great choice, and it is not forcing the whole World to change or lose the gift of learning or experiencing things for themselves. Our own little triumphs!

Each person gets to live their life, each persons choices matter, each person is a unique experience. The idea of wanting a “one size fits all” World misses out on many things. Change is good – I found that it need not be a massive thing; each little change makes things better. It is not outside of each person to be able to make changes for themselves; they may need a little extra assistance sometimes, but life can be good if you really examine how perfectly it is set up. So many choices, and thankfully there is time in which we can make choices without being rushed, or without jumping into a “change it all right now, never-mind everyone else.” scenario. I have at points wished I didn’t have to go through suffering at all. I also realized that even though I went through that experience I came out just fine. I feel a great sense of accomplishment in being able to do that. I encountered a lot of things and I found a balance which works for me. And hey, there is always a rainbow after a storm, and there is also a certain exquisite beauty in storms. Oh, and about all of the ugly “one size fits all” sweaters that I may have given out to people in the past…My apologies, I thought you might have been cold. And you have to admit, I was pretty generous.

For me, variety is the spice of life.

Spending my life jumping through hoops has made me realize what my own personal “Dear Universe” list would be now amended to include. More things which I have noticed that came from my own experiences – things which I have learned not to be afraid to ask for; things I am setting free from judgements and opinions. I have spent years around other people who have also gone through years of struggle because they were trying and trying so hard just to get by. So what’s my own personal Law of attraction/thank you list for a better World?

I would really appreciate a World where it is true/reality that what anyone, including myself, asks for and can have what they want (without causing true wilful harm to another)…. And this is just the start of my list – which is also subject to change without notice – just as I am. Although I can’t truly speak for another person, I will put out thoroughly thought-out requests to the Universe which people can pick and choose from for themselves. I will also take care this time to finally, and without shame, include myself in the requests. I want good things for myself as well!

I would really appreciate a World where all things work harmoniously and whatever any being wants (or needs) can be had immediately and they can have as little or as much as they want – and it will not negatively affect anyone else because there is an unlimited abundance and perfect so-called synchronicity for all. A World where anyone can get what they want without having to jump through hoops, without having to prove themselves, without having to do countless programs to ‘alter their thoughts’ before being able to receive the awesome lifestyle that they really obviously want so badly. No having to lie or ‘fake happy’ when they are desperately hopeless. No having to be someone else’s idea of “perfect” or worthy enough; being able to tell the truth about their feelings such as “I really f^**ng need money, I don’t care who thinks that is a bad thing to say, I don’t care if other people think it’s greedy because they have no right to judge anyone but themselves!”. A World where people quit telling each other what they have to think, want, behave like, care about, say, or live. A World where people can be themselves without anyone trying to change them and without anyone judging them. A World where one needn’t have to word their requests “perfectly” – where “Ask & Receive” mean exactly that (be it verbal request, silent visualizing, wistful thought, shy murmur, etc.).

A World where anyone can just get what they want immediately without having to struggle for it. A World where people don’t have to work just to survive, but they can busy themselves with things which they adore and which bring them great satisfaction and fulfilment, because they are just naturally wealthy and abundant. A World where no one has to go through sitting for hours/days/years focusing on what they want just to get it. A World where no one has to maintain a certain “frequency” before they come into alignment with what they want – because they just ask and it shows up effortlessly. A World where people can choose their own lifestyle; Win the lottery (easily) if they want without being told that is not a worthy thing to aspire to or choose as an experience. A World where no one has to hide themselves because of fear of being persecuted for being weird/different. A World where people are always surrounded by inspiring, loving, and supportive friends who genuinely like being with them and helping them, without question or judgement. A World that, even if you worry, you still get the good things you want – because worry is a normal human emotion sometimes. A World where all you have to do is want a World like this and you can choose it. Customizing things for yourself and building onto the list because you are able to be fully aware of all the choices available to you and you can choose based on your uninhibited freedom and excitement. A World where even if you have trouble believing – that’s no problem because you get the good stuff you ask for,[_ just because you asked_].

Oh yeah, and worried about “how”? Don’t worry, I got that covered… “I would REALLY appreciate a World where things that I want just happen without me worrying about how, and even if I do worry it doesn’t matter because I still get what I want just because I want it.”.

I have some friends/people/acquaintances who are still trying to survive and barely making it day to day; I would like them to be set free from that now. I would love to live in a World where people (including myself) can finally be free to live the life that we all want for ourselves, effortlessly. I like that idea. Because it means that no matter what, everyone is included and abundant and no silly hoops to jump through. And these are what I want right now. Exciting? Yes. Remember that thing where I was discussing how I was already receiving what I had asked for, but just hadn’t noticed all of it yet? (wink)

In the past, those negative and seemingly negative experiences have all taught me a great deal. Those experiences have shown me that I did have strength to carry on, no matter what my circumstances in life. It is at this point right now that I am ready to experience the fun and wonderful things that I want, such as having an abundance of money (more specifically, the amount which I have repeatedly requested, or better) because I currently live in a world which necessitates that request. I want to vacation and travel to all of the destinations which I have pictured and I want to actually live the life of being a successful (meaning what I view as my own personal measure of success) author and designer. And yes, I do want a steady and robust income from my books and design line. In today’s World of internet/online communication it is easy for more people to happen on my books. Other people have ‘happened upon’ my other books, and so I know that these things are possible. Since I am currently self-published, large volume sales of my books is also acceptable.

Do you think the Universe caught me batting my eyelashes there?

The saying “Money doesn’t bring happiness” – Well, currently it is one avenue of many in which happiness can travel to me. Cutting the road off right now would be counterproductive. I am opening up that street because I am willing to give additional happiness as many roads as it wants in order to get to me the quickest.

Oh, and that other old saying “You only live once”…. Where did that saying come from? How do the people who repeat this quote know for sure? Had the person (or group) lived once? Was it once in this realm of existence? How does one really know for sure? Did you know that the synonyms for life are existence – lifetime – living – being – spirit?

Spirit – [_noun; _]ghost – soul – mind – psyche.

Who says how long a “Life” is? And, if life is spirit as well… And spirit is infinite… Guess what.

It is known that the mind makes up things from symbols, providing a visual representation for us to grasp and understand (“That is a cat”, “That is a tree”), and yet science has shown that things are actually energy fluctuating at a rapid rate. So what if people who believe in death, as in a decay of the body (which is something that they physically “see”), are seeing what they believe is “ghosts” of their passed on loved ones. Perhaps it is because they can’t fathom how it would be possible for that person (now as spirit form to their perception) to still exist. Could it be that as people have always believed that death is a physical decay of something, their minds have created visual scenes so that the person could make sense of what they may be glimpsing?

Maybe when someone sees a ghost they can not communicate because they don’t believe that they have a psychic ability to do so, and maybe it is just our minds showing us what we expect to see “passing on”. That would also explain why some people think that we can’t communicate with those “otherworldly” phenomena. Perhaps if we looked at it with more curiosity we could see that person is not really dead (in such a finite way), maybe it was just a change. Perhaps it was just that our senses (or mind, etc.) were not able to comprehend what exactly we were “seeing”? Most people are unable to comprehend “death”, and we have many explanations to try and conceive of what “death” is (some say next adventure, some believe in reincarnation, some say haunting, some say _____).

This ties in nicely with quantum physics as well – multidimensional realms of existence, which is another way of trying to make sense of how people can “see” things which are not common in our current, and limited understanding.

There are still an infinite number of things which we are just starting to understand, and there are infinite explanations, and ways of perceiving. It is because it is difficult to truly explain something which is currently incomprehensible. But, if one is open to expand their current views, and open up, perhaps their World would change. I know mine has. And I like it!

So where do I go from here?

Chapter Fortyacular Kagillionington

I am an original – The one and only odd little Quincess.

You see, I like all the pretty things that a Princess would: Butterflies, pink glittery things, beautiful stone covered mansions, dressing up in big colourful hats, ♫ humming as I saunter through outdoor markets, afternoon coffee parties filled with adorable little decorations and the most divine tiny cucumber sandwiches, pretty little birds chirping on fantastically quaint windowsills. And those things are perfectly good and fine for me to love. 

The difference, and why I am the Quincess, is that – unlike a Princess who would wait to be rescued, I am a Queen who gets things done. I save myself, I plant the gardens in which I walk, I cut the crusts off of the sandwiches that I made for my coffee party, I write the songs that I hum in markets, and most importantly – I do all of this while still wearing pink, and flinging around glitter. It’s not that I “have to” do any of those things in order to be worthy of my title. I do them because I like to and I am able. I also sometimes get tired and like to be pampered. Additionally I am playful and silly – which suits me just fine.

My Title and status are ownership of my own wonderful and powerful verve and strength, and I claimed them for myself. It is not a statement about being above anyone else. I do not see other individuals as subjects of anyone, I see them as equals who have chosen their own Title. I respect others if they respect me (and my own choices). However, if someone chooses to be petty, cruel, judgemental, or make assumptions – they will be shown out of my sandwich party. Yes, I own who I am and I have worked very hard to step into myself. So please… Don’t bother talking down to me, don’t assume that I am unread. I wrote the book on myself my dear. And, make no mistake – I am well-versed in the Magick of kick-ass-ology; I do indeed have a wand and I am not afraid to point my sparkle at you.

*´¨)
¸.•´¸.• 
(¸.•´ (¸.•` ✿ Sincerely, Quincess Cheri Bauer – The First

About the author

[* C*]heri Bauer currently lives in British Columbia,

Canada with her best friend and their chihuahua

“Shey”. Their cat “Pidgey” is no longer living and is

remembered quite fondly as an integral part of their

‘weird little family’. This book is the first in a series

of three. The second book is available and Cheri is currently writing the third book in this series “I Am…Subject to change without notice” and also has a fiction book which will be published in the immediate future. Cheri is currently a self-published author and self-employed artist.

Throughout her life, Cheri has been a tattoo artist, a multidisciplinary artist, and designer. Her art is in private collections around the world and she currently has paintings in the Penticton Art Gallery as a part of the “Styx n Stones” exhibition. Additionally she has her own line of designs – her company is called ‘Infinite Verve’ and features home décor and clothing as well as art prints and a line of children’s items. Cheri has lived in Canada most of her life and has spent time living in California as well.

Notes

Notes

Created with _][_Writer2ePub

by Luca Calcinai


I Am... Subject to change without notice (Book One)

A candid journey through the issues of being raised in a Religious home and society which felt foreign and detached from her. Among such discussions are the issues addressed about being queer (loving whom she loves); the dichotomy in her thoughts about being expected to live up to different beliefs, values and views of people while having her own different beliefs and different views on life. The author writes about charting a voyage to break free from the guilt and confusion of the fundamentalist programming from her childhood, and delves into some often times strange waters of the self help industry. This book looks at a variety of topics: The Law of Attraction, Paranormal phenomena, Science, Mysticism, Poetry, Philosophy, and many more curious surprises. Have you had trouble with the Law of Attraction? Do you wonder if the teachers of the Law of Attraction are telling the truth? This book boldly discusses some of the surprisingly extraordinary results which the author encountered while experimenting with this method. Highly candid and honest, this book is a remarkable exploration into the "Create your own reality" theory. Filled with in-depth analysis of thoughts, psyche, perceptions, and programmed beliefs. It is not a flight of fantasy, although the author's personal experiences are highly profound - seeming to step straight out of the pages of a good fiction book. Rather than asking anyone to believe her, she encourages the readers to make their own personal discoveries; knowing how important it is for an individual to have their own experiences. There is a mix of laughter, drama, sometimes controversial topics, heart-warming stories, and a whole lot more in this book. The title is a good indication of the oddities which may be inside for readers to engage in.

  • Author: Cheri Bauer
  • Published: 2016-03-04 00:20:26
  • Words: 119935
I Am... Subject to change without notice (Book One) I Am... Subject to change without notice (Book One)