What time is it?

Time is very important to me, probably more so than money. I’m often heard to say things like, “What a waste of time…”, “That’s gonna take a lot of time…”, “I’m not sure I can spare the time…”

It’s because while I’m here in the physical plane I have to cope with a chief feature (otherwise known as an Achilles heal) of impatience. This makes me feel as if I’m always missing out on something, like I need to be somewhere else, and I’m never quite satisfied with being where I am.

This just gives me a greater appreciation of being able to spend time on the astral planes. The astral planes don’t really experience time. The only reason someone would keep an awareness of time while there is because when you deal with physical plane people and situations, you need to have some awareness of time and how it is affecting them.

You see, time is an affectation of the physical world. People need time so that they can experience physical life. The physical senses and the physical mind are not capable of comprehending simultaneous similar or identical events. The physical mind needs time in order to experience cause and effect, progression, and aging.

Think about it? How could you experience aging if there were no time? You would be every age at the same moment, and your life span would last a moment. The physical plane is all about experiences, and one of the major ones is birth to death and all the moments in between. Therefore, you need to feel as if there is a progression occurring that brings you forward, moving from moment to moment.

It is the same with cause and effect. As a physical being with physical senses and a physical mind, you need to experience a specific effect from the choice you make. Otherwise, the ability to grasp, contemplate, and learn from your life experiences becomes moot.

Every time you make a choice you experience the effect. If you make the same choice a thousand times, and the effect (perhaps one you don’t like) is the same each time, experience each of those as a progression (cause > effect) helps you to finally grasp that perhaps you need to change your choice (different cause > different effect).

Without the progression, the physical mind finds it difficult to make the leap, to see the issue. The physical mind is very linear in its thinking and is therefore much more receptive to scenarios that play to that linear logic. This requires time.

Time, as conceived by us, and instituted by us for use in this physical world of ours, is very linear. We can easily visualize a now, a past, and a future. Therefore, we can easily determine where our “mistakes” were, and so forge a different future. Without time, without that linear road map of where we are, the physical mind becomes lost.

However, the astral planes are about emotions, not progressions. So, time becomes anomalous rather than common place. In the astral planes, cause and effect are simultaneous, as are probable cause and all possible effects. As the thought begins to form, the reality becomes; there is no waiting. Creating a scenario that shows all possible effects of a particular choice, and shows them happening all now, is much easier for the non-physical mind to comprehend. It also helps those in the astral quickly assess what scenarios they might like to try again, should they decide to return to the physical world.

That means existing outside the constraints of time and the linear effects of a physical mind for someone like me, who is so focused on time when in the physical world, becomes somewhat of a vacation. Without time, impatience has no hold. There is no “hurry up”, “do it now” type of thinking because there is no time. Every moment is now.

But then again, maybe I become too used to instantaneous when I’m planing. Perhaps, the ease with which things happen in the astral planes only causes my impatience to be more pronounced when I come back to the physical plane and find I have to wait for things to respond to my choices.

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How do they know that?

It always surprises me when authors describe some bit of the paranormal or metaphysical so (in my opinion, anyway) accurately. One example is the way in which Sookie Stackhouse (a character created by Charlaine Harris) actually “hears” people on two levels. Sookie describes the experience as hearing with her ears, heart, and mind. This is because that while someone might be speaking with their mouth, their mind (thoughts) and emotions are also speaking—and usually the mind and emotions are saying something other than what the person’s mouth is.

Sookie (like me) can hear these other sources of output, and usually the non-verbal sources carry more truth than the verbal output. For instance, I can walk up to someone’s cube at work and say “hi,” and they’ll turn toward me a large smile on their face (and in their eyes). Then while they’re telling me how truly glad to see me they are, I “hear” them thinking that they wish I would leave because they’re doing something they probably shouldn’t be while at work and they’re afraid that I’ll find out. What they don’t realize is that I already have found out, because they just “told me”.

I have faced incidents like this all my life. In fact, it is one of the biggest reasons why I am considered “shy”. It’s difficult to maintain a façade of friendliness or feign interest in a conversation when what you “hear” is Oh no, not her…, Gaaads, who cares…, What a loser…

Do I sound as if I’m being self-pitying? I’m not really. Once I learned to listen for the truth of people’s feelings about me or my interests, I also learned to identify those people who I wanted to be friends with because they truly cared about or were interested in me and the things that I was interested in. It has not only saved me a lot of time, but it has also helped me with my lessons in understanding why people are the way they are or why they do the things that they do.

However, the one thing I’m still puzzling over is how authors like Ms. Harris’ obtain the information to create such vivid descriptions of this ability. How did she so accurately capture the duality and dichotomy of a life lived by someone with this ability when writing her character Sookie Stackhouse. It’s uncanny.

It makes me wish that I were a journalist so that I could interview her. I would love to be able to know how she was able to describe these experiences so vividly and so accurately. I mean, is she psychic? Does she have the same ability that she just described so clearly?

Of course, just because I ask doesn’t mean that she would give me an answer. However, it’s not easy to keep your mind from answering, even if your mouth never opens—just ask Sookie Stackhouse (or me ;-)).

Imagination

I slid down a rainbow, rode on the back of a giant butterfly, and hid under a mushroom during a leaf storm today.

It was exciting; it was breathtaking; and it was all in my imagination.

Too many people today ignore their imaginations. Opting to spend time that they’re not working glued to the television or computer. While I don’t wish to denigrate either of those—I myself enjoy certain television programs, and if you’re reading this, then you know I spend time on the computer posting stories to my blog—I do think most of us spend way too much time watching man-made illusions instead of listening to and watching the wondrous stories stored in our own imaginations..

Have you watched a child and wondered what it would be like to be like them—happily and easily entertained by a simple box and their imaginations? All you have to do is let go of all the pretension that you fill your life with.

Take off the stress of whether your boss is going to give the promotion to someone else. Drop the mask of being perfect, and lose the worry about whether supper is on the table on time or not. Then go outside and lie down on a patch of grass and stare at the clouds.

Is that a dog, that cloud with the fluffy tail? And is it chasing that bird soaring across the sky? And see how the jet, streaking across the sky, shifts the cloud so that it now becomes a giraffe?

Yes, imagination is great. With it, you can be and do anything that you want. You can be the person you want to be, and most of all, you can get in touch with yourself. Too many people today are overstressed, overworked, and unable to afford to take a break. Yet, taking a moment with your imagination is almost as relaxing as taking a week’s vacation at a spa, but much less expensive. After all, using your imagination, you can go anywhere in the world, just by stepping into your backyard.

Want to be in Tahiti? Well, take a break to imagine yourself there. No, really imagine yourself there. Feel the warm sun baking your skin. Hear the waves washing up on shore. Feel the grit of the warm sand in your fingers as it sticks to the residue of sun block that you just smeared all over your body. Can you smell the coconut oil of the sunbather down the way? The gulls screech as they circle overhead, and the smell of salt water and fish waft to you on the gentle breeze that caresses your sun-warmed back.

As you feel yourself drifting to sleep, don’t forget to roll over in about 30 minutes, you don’t want to overdue the sun exposure.

Or maybe you’d rather go skiing in the mountains. Well, you can do that, too. See the snow reflecting brightly in the sun; better put on your sunglasses. The mountain seems a little higher than you first thought, isn’t it? And can you smell the crisp cleanness of the air with just a tang of pine? It’s cold just standing there, so better get up there so you can schuss you’re way back down. The snow is powdery, just the way you like it, and the conditions are just perfect. Ready? Skiies on? Then let’s hit the slopes!

So lose the stress. Take a break from technology. Unbutton the collar of your suit, and kick off the shoes. Let’s step outside and be a child again. Let’s use our imaginations and find out what it’s like to be alive again.

When was the last time you built a sand castle? Then let’s go to the beach and do it. You build one and I’ll build another, and we can even put a giant moat between them. Watch out…I think there’s a dragon soaring over. Crash! Oh no, the dragon has collapsed the tower of my castle…shall we don our armor and go after the dastardly beast?

Self-Destructing…

I didn’t really understand the full implications of the chief feature (also called your Achilles heel) self-destruction until the other day when I found myself at social gathering of mostly people unknown to me. Spotting someone I actually recognized, though didn’t really know, I grabbed my hubby and headed in that direction. When we got over there Mr. R was busy speaking with a pretty blonde woman, whom he quickly introduced as his wife. After making introductions all around, I found myself chatting amicably enough with his wife while my husband continued to listen to Mr. R. expound about computers and networks.

Mrs. R. and I found several topics in common and I found her to be quite a chatter box. Not minding in the least, since I much prefer listening to having to carry a conversation, I let her talk. As I listened to her tell me about her life, her family, and her work, I couldn’t help but notice a distinct pattern to all the events that she was relating.

I immediately noticed that the pattern emerging from her discourse fit perfectly with her chief feature of self-destruction (something I picked up when we initially shook hands).

Here was a woman, who in her youth, wanted to be a dancer, but at the age of 16 decided to try downhill skiing despite all the warnings she’d gotten about how dangerous it could be. Yes, you guessed it…she tumbled down a hill and broke her leg and ruined her knee—so much for a dance career. She decided to follow her second choice for a career, which was writing. Again, though, I could see how her chief feature kept “popping up” and sabotaging events in her life.

She joined a rather large newspaper and was doing really well at her job of metropolitan reporter, but then for some unexplainable reason, she picked a fight with the editor and ended up fired. She explained it as probably best, after all, she had been becoming too well-known and losing her job was a humbling experience (trust me, being humbled was the last thing this woman needed—especially when I could feel the frustration and hurt rolling off of her as she said this). Then she told me about the ex-husband, who, by her description of him, seemed to me to be an emotionally abusive and demanding man. By what she said, he constantly belittled and demeaned her and what she did. When I asked why she stayed with him, she seemed surprised at me, and merely responded that she loved him. She was devastated when he left.

She then explained that she had dated other guys both before and after that first husband, but whenever she felt that the relationships were getting too intense, she would break up with them. (Her descriptions of the relationships that she broke up with all sounded like the perfect “dream” guy—good job, great personalities, helpful, kind, and loving.) She then went on to talk about her current husband (Mr. R.), and I soon saw that the man she had picked to marry was almost a carbon copy of hubby number 1, except that hubby number 2 came with a spoiled 12-year old girl (my opinion not Mrs. R’s.). Mr. R. worked part-time (when he felt like it), devoted most of his time to his daughter, and constantly faulted his wife when his daughter was upset. (Now, understand that Mrs. R. never complained to me. Her ruminations were straightforward reporting, with a few half-smiles, and shrugs thrown in. She didn’t see her situations as anything but “normal life”, so the comments about the girl being spoiled are coming from me.)

As Mrs. R. talked she puffed cigarette after cigarette, while also consuming quite a few alcoholic beverages. Next she told me how she was “failing” at work because her bosses kept giving her more and more work to do that she couldn’t keep up no matter how hard she tried. She had 4 projects all coming due at the same time, plus several (ten by her count) extraneous writing assignments to do and every day they just added more and more. When I asked why she didn’t just tell them that she couldn’t possibly take on any more, she just looked at me as if I were insane. She then stated that she couldn’t possibly say “no” to her bosses because they might fire her, and if she got fired her husband might leave. (And she said this as if it were a bad thing…) Meanwhile, she said that the stress from work combined with the stress of having to find another apartment—she was looking for another apartment because the landlord, in a fit of pique, said that her step-daughter had thrown a wild party several weekends ago while she and Mr. R. had been out of town—that her back was killing her, and she was just getting over a bout of pneumonia. On top of that, next week was her step-daughter’s birthday, and the girl wanted some new (and horribly expensive) electronic “toy”.

She talked about wanting to travel and see the world, and to try new and different things, but would quickly back off when I suggested even just going to the local park for a hike.

We finally made a break from this couple and soon afterward escaped the social gathering completely, nearly running for our car. On the way home, my husband asked me why I was so quiet and I told him that I was amazed at how blind some people were to their chief feature’s manipulations. I then explained to him that no matter how hard Mrs. R. seemed to try to get her life together, she was doomed to “fail” until she recognized that she was sabotaging herself. Because with her chief feature of self-destruction firmly in place, she was destroying herself physically with stress, cigarettes and booze. Mentally and emotionally she had convinced herself that she should simply accept everything, no matter how bad, because she simply couldn’t face her fears (success and failure). She was so equally afraid of failing and of succeeding, that she was stuck in place. She was afraid of being happy, and afraid of living. She had so much fear around her, that it cloaked her almost like a shroud.

She was allowing her chief feature to destroy her completely—not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Because of the fear instilled by her chief feature, she destroyed relationships, careers, and jobs; she was busily destroying every aspect of her life.

I had really wanted to tell her that she had to overcome this cycle of self-abuse and fear, but as frustrated as I was with her inability to see what she was doing to herself, I also realized that these were her lessons and her choices. If it takes her 1000 lifetimes of “self-abuse” to get it, then that’s alright.

After all, it’s easy for me to stand outside and say, “Hey, I see what you’re doing—now stop it!”, but it’s not my life, and not my dramas. However, it’s very difficult for someone involved in the life and the dramas to see them for what they are, to recognize when chief feature is dominating the life and filling it with fear.

So, hopefully, those of you reading this posting can take a look at your own lives and perhaps see where chief feature is inserting itself into your life and leading you on a path that just maybe you’d rather not take. Then next time you come to a similar crossroads, you can recognize the path of fear and change course. I won’t say that I’m perfect at this — I still have my moments when I race down that path of impatience, afraid that I’m missing out on something — but they’re becoming fewer and fewer, and trust me, the path of love and light is much nicer than that fear-filled path any day. So, try it — what have you got to lose, except maybe some fear…

1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

For the past dozen years or so I’ve been struggling with my chief feature of impatience. I’ve learned to recognize it, which helps me head it off before it gets too destructive; but, the real goal (to me) was to turn it off before it even started. However, it seemed like the closer I came to figuring out how to turn it off, the farther away I got, too. It became like a dance — 1 step forward, and 2 steps back.

Then the other night I had a dream, I was wandering through a house. All the rooms were dark and empty, but somewhere within I could hear music and laughter like a small party. So, I continued to wander through the dark rooms until I finally found that one room with the lightes on. Although disheveled and dirty from having wandered lost for so long, everyone in the room accepted me as if we were the best of friends. I was given a cooling drink, offered food and a comfortable chair, and generally made to feel at home.

When I awoke, I realized that my approach to overcoming my impatience was all wrong. Instead of “conquering” it, I needed to accept it, just as I needed to accept myself. I needed to accept myself for who I was—warts and all—instead of trying to change myself to fit an ideal that was unrealistic. Once I could accept myself, I’d be able to accept everyone else. You see, my real issue isn’t impatience—or even the negative pole of impatience, intolerance—my real issue is acceptance. As long as I keep seeing my chief feature as a flaw instead of as just another feature of who I am, I can never truly accept myself. And if I can’t accept myself, how can I possibly understand or accept anyone else?

So, instead of struggling with my chief feature, I’m learning to embrace it, along with myself, and everyone around me, as full and complete beings with likes, dislikes, foibles, and chief features. And that’s all okay, because all of that is what makes each of us a unique and intriguing individual. It’s what makes our perspectives so different, and our experiences truly unique.

So, instead of struggling with yourself, embrace yourself. Instead of hating yourself for being too stubborn, too arrogant, too thin, too fat, or too anything, learn to make the most of who and what you are—because who and what you are is something wonderous, amazing, and unique!

That doesn’t mean I go out of my way or allow myself to hurt others, or deliberately let my chief feature run amok, because once I recognize that everyone is a unique individual I find that my impatience is curbed and I no longer become so intolerant.

Does that mean I never suffer road rage or the anger of waiting in line thinking, “I could be doing something else right now”. No, those moments still flare within me, and those old angers still raise their ugly heads. But they are fewer and less inflammatory, and by accepting them for what they are, they quickly die and fade back into the ether from where they came.

It sounds a bit like the spiritual training that Mr. Spock (of StarTrek) went through to suppress his emotions, and I guess, in a way it might be. But rather than suppress anything, I’m simply acknowledging the emotional flare up, then allowing it to fade into the well of acceptance that I’ve created for it, instead of flinging it outward and allowing it to grow into something uncontrollable. There is no reason why this has to become an uncontrollable monster, not if I take and accept it for what it is. Once accepted, it loses its power and the monster fades away.

So, next time you face your own monster of a chief feature, try defanging it by not fighting with it. Instead, accept it and watch it turn from a roaring beast into a purring kitten.