Sorry…no kooky cats

I got lost in the wilds of YouTube the other day. It’s a crazy place out there. Lots of strangeness, craziness, and things that should be none-of-your-bizness but people put it out there for the world at large to see, anyway.

When I finally wandered back to my own little corner of the world, hours (nearly a whole day) had passed. And yet nothing had been accomplished (although, I did admire several hilarious cat videos). It’s amazing how such small bits of no-purpose videos can suck you in.

At first, I was glad to simply escape with my life and my sanity. But after a little thought (very little, actually), I decided that maybe I should throw some of my own hey-look-I’m-on-YouTube-too videos out there. Unfortunately, without any crazy cats or other cute animals (well…except for my husband, who is adorable and fluffy) I didn’t know what I could share.

Then my BFF reminded me that I have books. Books that I’m actually trying to encourage people to buy. “…but what has that got to do with crazy old lady or kooky cat videos?” I asked her. Oddly enough, it seems that you can create videos even if all you have is words. Isn’t that something? Who would have thought it?

So, here it is…my own attempt at a YouTube video (I promise, next time I’ll find a crazy old lady or a kooky cat ; )

 

 

Listen…

If more people would actually listen to themselves, the world would be a lot quieter.

“Huh?!”  That’s the response I hear after making that statement. Yet, all it really means is that most people are so afraid of just being still, that they surround themselves with noise. To sit quietly and just listen to their own soul—that tiny internal voice that knows so much and can help make our lives so much easier if we’d only pay attention—is  a concept that most people just can’t grasp.

Most of the time these subtleties are lost in today’s rush to know everything all the time. People are so busy texting, phoning, cruising the internet, playing computer games, watching TV, listening to their music, or even reading books that they can’t possibly focus on or “hear” anything else.

Yet, there is more information to be gained by simply listening to yourself than you could ever glean from any of these other sources. Still, most people fear the “silence of their inner being”, because they don’t want to hear that little voice of their soul. So, they keep themselves hooked up, plugged in, and tuned into that extraneous noise and they let it fill their minds, ears, and hearts. They let it block their soul’s voice from being heard.

They claim they’re too uncomfortable just sitting around doing “nothing”, or they’ll say that listening for some small inner voice makes them feel too cut off, too out of touch. Truthfully, they’re simply too afraid of what that voice might be trying to tell them. So they tell themselves that they don’t need or want to know what their soul is saying to them; that they’re fine without it. In fact, some people are so afraid of hearing what their soul has to say that they even block their dreams from their minds.

It seems surprising to me that so many people can harbor so much fear of such a simple, little voice. After all, the soul is you, so why wouldn’t you want to hear from yourself? And it’s not as if the soul is a chatty little thing always yapping and gossiping. Mostly it talks to you when you need guidance, when you need warnings, and when you need praise—and who doesn’t want to hear praise, really? The soul’s voice isn’t frightening, it’s actually quite loving.

Just take a moment to put down the iPod, the iPhone, or the book; turn off the TV, radio, or computer, and just listen. Really listen. Do you hear it? That tiny little voice struggling to be heard? Yes, that’s right, that’s your soul, the essence of who you really are. Can you hear what it’s saying? Isn’t it beautiful?

As you focus on that voice, you’ll hear all kinds of wondrous and wonderful things, and you’ll begin to see what a wondrous and wonderful person you really are. Admit it now, isn’t it more compelling, and more beautiful than any story on your Kindle or any song on your MP3 player?

Pendulum swings…

It seems that the acceptance and understanding of those with psychic talents is like a pendulum. It swings from acceptance to fear and back again.

In “ancient” times the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians all had their prophets, oracles, and “speakers” (the folks who spoke with the gods or with the spirits). [pendulum forward]

Then organized religion took hold in Europe and North America, and anything smacking of witchcraft got you a death sentence. [pendulum backward]

In the mid-1800’s occultism gripped Europe and the US, and suddenly those with the POWER, or thought to have the POWER, were back in favor. [pendulum forward]

With the advent of World War I, occultism and spiritualism again fell out of favor. However, this time the threat of death was not so prevalent. It just became unacceptable by society to be “different”. [pendulum back]

In the turbulent 1960’s, it all collided – the pendulum became tangled. Those born in the 1940’s and 1950’s wanted to embrace enlightenment and all that it entailed, including psychic talents. However, their parents and grandparents (mostly) wanted to continue ignoring the possibility of all that frightening stuff. Half the world embraced the concepts and pushed forward toward enlightenment, while the other half fought madly to stay in the dark as they had been. It was safe there, it was easy there. [pendulum stuck]

Come the mid-1980’s, the pendulum untangled, and initially it swung backward. People took refuge in religion and science. They hid away from anything smacking of paranormal, and drew away from fringe sciences and marginal belief systems. However, it is now moving forward again. Slowly; ever so slowly; but it is moving.

Scientists, neurologists, cosmologists, and psychologists, along with some of the leaders in the world of faith and belief are all now pushing the pendulum forward again. They push quietly but steadily, so the pendulum continues to move inexorably toward that point where science and faith combine.

It used to be called metaphysics—or quite literally, beyond physics—but now the terms being used are those that are less controversial, which is probably helping this steady swing forward. Terms like unconscious knowing or extraordinary knowing, which is the practice or skill of knowing things that are beyond the 5 senses ability to know, are some of the terms being used today.

Papers have been published in well-known (and respected) scientific journals showing that prayer and meditation actually work. Scientists have conducted studies on those suffering from a type of inoperable cancer. One group received focused thoughts (prayers), and one group did not. They found that those in the group receiving focused thought (prayers) had a greater recovery rate than normal, whereas those in the group who didn’t receive the focused thoughts, maintained the same recovery rate as any other group with that particular disease.

There have also been papers showing how different sections of the brain are used when different psychic skills are being used—remote viewing, clairvoyance, telekinesis, and ESP. Another paper actually showed the changes in the physiometry of people who were being healed by a psychic healer.

So, although it may seem at times, that our society is as backward as in the days when witch hunts were considered a sport, we really are moving forward. [pendulum forward]

Answering the Question

Most of us have questions; questions that we may not ask out loud, but they’re questions that we ask ourselves all the same. For some, the questions only appear once in a while, and are quickly dismissed, for others the questions seem like a constant yapping and their silence isn’t so easily gained. For some of us, the questions are as fundamental as “why are we here?”, but for others, the questions may be even more intrinsic to their lives.

It’s these internal questions that send us seeking; seeking for those elusive answers. But maybe the answers aren’t as elusive as we think; maybe it’s just that we can’t see the answers for what they are. I believe the answers are there, everywhere, all around us; we simply need to recognize them. Many times, though, it’s just not as easy as it sounds.

For the most part, the more insistent the questions are in your life, the more likely you are to notice the bits of knowledge or “clues” that litter your path. These “clues”, these bits of knowledge, are any piece of information that makes you stop and rethink how your world, your reality, works. It’s a bit of information that brings you insight; it’s something that gives you an “Aha!” moment (big or small).

Perhaps, you hear something on TV, maybe it’s something just in passing as you’re skipping channels, and even though it seems totally contrary to what you “know to be true”, it resonates with you. So, you find yourself searching for more information about it. Maybe you find the TV show online and watch it. Perhaps doing that makes you want to know more, so you dig out books and articles to learn more. Then, you find that the more you discover about this topic, the more your own previous convictions begin to crumble. Suddenly, you realize that you’re seeing the world from a whole new perspective; you’re seeing the world in a new and different way.

We each do this; every day we do this. We hear, see, or read something that intrigues us, piques our curiosity, or just sticks with us—nibbling at the corners of our mind. We bring it out and puzzle over it, and sometimes we even go so far as to discuss it with others to see what they might think about it. Eventually, we either throw it out because to accept it creates too much fear, too much of a dichotomy with what we “know to be true” and what we want to “believe to be true”, or we accept it, thereby, pushing out the old truth/beliefs and opening our minds, hearts, and eyes to new possibilities, new ideas, and new experiences.

These bits of insights can come from anywhere or anyone. Someone in the line at the grocery store might say something to you, and while during the encounter you barely paid attention, you now find yourself thinking about it. Maybe you even wish you’d paid more attention so that you could have asked a question or two. Or maybe you read something in a magazine while waiting at the dentist’s office. You catch a quick snatch of conversation between a couple people at the bus stop or waiting at the elevator. Or it might even be a tricky turn of phrase in a blog or online story.

As I said, the clues, insights, and bits of knowledge can come from anywhere. They’re easy to overlook, but then that’s why there are so many of them. You might miss half a dozen of small ones, but trip over one nugget of information that encompasses all of the insights of those that you previously bypassed. But even tripping over a nugget of information is no guarantee that you’ll pick it up and pay attention to it.

After all, it’s scary every time you pick up one of those nuggets of information with all its new concepts, and start looking it over. But then new concepts and new ideas are always scary, because you don’t have a knowledge base that can tell you what might happen if you follow this new idea or accept this new concept.

However, if your need for answers to the questions that keep plaguing you is stronger than your fears of anything new, then you’ll let that new concept in and accept the “Aha!” moment. And every time you have an “Aha!” moment, it makes it easier to overcome the fear the next time. After a while, you’ll find that each piece of insight, each new concept isn’t really so scary after all. In fact, you’ll start to see that it really offers hope, confirmation, and assurance, not fear.

What’s it all about?

I’m an inveterate book reader and movie watcher. In fact, I go through (on average) about 4 to 6 fiction books and biographies and about 3 movies or TV dramas a week.

When people ask me why I read so much or watch so many movies or TV dramas, I always tell them it’s my form of entertainment. But the truth of it is that they’re also my learning tools.

I’m a student of human nature. I really want to understand why people make the choices they do, what motivates them, what situations combine with what personality traits to create the choices and scenarios that occur.

While watching people is interesting, it’s not as easy to observe a complete scenario since things are happening in real-time. By reading a book or watching a movie, you see the whole scenario unfold in a condensed timeframe. Therefore, I can look at hundreds, even thousands, of “case studies” over several years rather than observing a handful of people over my entire lifetime. And when you observe people, you only see part of the situation. You don’t get the thoughts of everyone involved, you don’t get the private actions (the actions that take place just between a husband and wife, wife/husband and lover, parent and child, etc.). Therefore, you miss half of what motivates the person into doing what they do and saying what they say.

Even reading accounts of events in newspapers or seeing them on the news, you’re still missing most of the information, because news sources only tell you enough to let you know that something happened. You may never learn that the couple had been having trouble for years prior to this one incident. You may never know that the child had run away a dozen times before this incident. The news only really cares about this incident and how much drama they can milk from it.

That’s not to say that everything I read in the biographies or true crime novels is truth, either, but usually there are enough surrounding circumstances, facts, and speculation that I can get a better perspective, a fuller understanding of the motivations behind the people’s actions.

Even with the fiction books, a lot depends on the author’s honesty—their honesty to their characters. If they allow their characters to be and act according to the personality that they (the author) have developed for their character, then the book is good and is a good character study. However, if the author decides that a character needs to go or do something just to make the story interesting or to move the plot along, then the book becomes little more than entertainment.

Most authors know, though, that if they want the reader to keep reading their books, they have to let the characters be true to their established personality. Therefore, as I said, the books become a condensed timeframe study of why, which is really what I want to know.

The framework for a story (book or movie) is the same as it is for everyday life. There are monads (frameworks) for every type of scenario you can think of—serving a corrupt master/boss (honest secretary or aide finds out their boss is on the take), love/unloved, friendship, betrayed/betrayer (et tu Brute), siblings, parent/child, teacher/student, love triangle, honest/dishonest, law abiding/non-law abiding (It Takes a Thief or Catch Me If You Can), etc. All of these monads or scenarios show up in life and in books, you merely have to pick which ones you want to learn about. Once the characters or actors are added, you just go along and see how it all plays out.  

In life, it can take a lifetime (50 or 60 years), in a book, an afternoon or two of reading. And since there are a myriad of character traits that people can have, there are a myriad of ways in which a monad (scenario) can play out. That’s why it’s so much easier to study them in stories (books and movies) then to observe them in real life, and that’s why I never get tired of trying to find out what it’s all about.

Finding the Door

We all live in a little bubble of reality just like Truman did (as played by Jim Carrey in the movie The Truman Show). Some of us easily find and recognize the little door that lets us expand our vision of reality, some of us never go looking for it, and some of us might take a lifetime or longer to finally find and recognize it.

For the most part, we each create the boundaries of our little bubbles of reality through our own fears or lack of knowledge. However, as we learn and grow, we usually begin to search for that door that lets us expand our boundaries; the door that lets us open ourselves and our reality up.

To even start or accomplish that journey, we’re given “clues”—little bits of knowledge or insights—that if recognized, can help us in our search for that door. These little gems of knowledge appear constantly throughout our lives. However, since many of us aren’t even sure what it is we’re looking for, we don’t always recognize the “clues” when we come across them. Others of us just know that we have questions, so we look over each clue to see if helps answer any of those questions, and if it does, we tuck it away somewhere safe. If it doesn’t, we usually just drop it back where it was and let the next person stumble across it.

Because each of us is a unique individual, we all interpret the clues in our own unique way. Therefore, with every clue we collect and interpret, we also adjust our path, sometimes a lot, sometimes just a little. However, sometimes we find that the clues we collected don’t all work together, and other times we find out that it’s our own interpretations that don’t fit; either way, we sometimes find ourselves lost in a labyrinth or facing a dead end, and we have to backtrack and start again.

But that’s what life is about…trial and error, experiences and learning. So, although we might walk ourselves in circles, or pick up things that seem like clues, but lead us nowhere, we just have to believe that eventually we’ll find that door, and we’ll move beyond our limited reality to something a little wider, a little broader.

For Truman, “fear” took the form of the man manipulating his life, the man running the TV show. For us, it’s not that much different. Fear is a secret little manipulator that pulls our strings and gets us to do things that we might not otherwise do.

We look at a clue and because the information it offers brings us too close to the door that will open our reality, our fears tells us to drop it, or it causes us to misinterpret it; thereby sending us down a false trail. The fear whispers to us and tell us that the clue is dangerous, it tells us that the information will hurt others—others that we care for, or a multitude of other excuses, and so manipulates us into ignoring or misunderstanding the clues.

But if we really want to find that door, then we have to recognize when fear is whispering to us, and ignore what it’s saying. We have to learn to trust that other part of ourselves, that part of ourselves that questions our reality by asking “Why are we here?” or “Where is here?” Because once we start collecting the clues that will lead us to that door, we begin to find that our reality contains a multitude of choices we never saw before. And if we start to use some of those choices, we start finding more clues, and more choices. It builds on itself, until soon there are no more barriers, no more hidden panels, and no more secret passages. There’s only that door, that once opened can never be closed on you again.

Once you see and recognize that door, it can never be hidden from your view again. It’s like the gestalt theory that says once you see and recognize the pattern of miscellaneous dots as picture, you can never unsee it. It’s always there for you.

Once your mind and awareness are opened, you’ll find it very difficult, if not impossible, to close them (at least in this lifetime). So, you might as well open the door and move beyond your little bubble of reality, to the greater world outside.

And what do you find when you move beyond that door? It depends on each person, I think. We’re all different, so our realities are all different. However, as we overcome the fears that limit us, that bind us and keep us in place, we find that our reality becomes filled with more freedom. So, it seems to me, that opening that door must be the most freeing experience of all.

It’s Magick…

The Norns of Norse legend and the Moirai of Greek legends spun and wove the threads of human lives. In some native and early cultures, the weavings of threads to make cloth, rugs, and other artifacts were often equated with the weaving of lives and the paths that lives followed. Other societies and cultures think that a type of magick can be done through the art of needlecraft (stitchery, sewing, knitting, and the like). Knotting, braiding, and weaving can supposedly render a man impotent, bind his affections to you, or keep him from wandering from your side.

While we all like to think of ourselves as more sophisticated nowadays, the reality is that these legends, stories, and beliefs all hold some truth. Objects imbued with the emotions of the person who created them can (and do) affect the recipient.

As I’ve said before, thoughts are energy, and those thoughts coupled with the intentions of the person thinking them can become embedded into a focus object—sometimes without you even realizing it. If, for instance, you feel obligated to create a gift for someone, yet you are angry with this person or with something that they have done, that anger can leach into the gift you are creating. The recipient of the gift may then find themselves reluctant to use or wear the gift, or perhaps they just become uncomfortable every time they touch the object. This is because they are picking up the emotions that you “magicked” into the object.

Or perhaps you focus love and warmth into the object. This, then will most likely cause the object to become the recipient’s favorite, even if they don’t know why. However, even if they don’t recognize the “magick”, every time they hold it or wear it, they will feel the love imbued throughout it.

The more you handle something, the more likely it is that it will become imbued with your emotions, whether you focus a particular emotion at the object or not. However, by focusing a specific emotion at something, you not only ensure that that specific emotion becomes embedded throughout the object, but you also ensure that the emotion will last a long time.

The emotions embedded within objects—emotions such as infatuation, unconditional love (such as the love of creating the object or the love for all creatures), hate, or sorrow—can be so strong that they make the recipient feel smothered, accepted or happy, disgusted or fearful, or even despondent.

Most people create this type of magick without even realizing what they’re doing, just as many people tend to ignore the feelings they get from objects, putting it down to their own moods, their feelings towards the gift giver (if it was a gift), or something about the object’s design or materials. However, if they were true to themselves, they would recognize that many times their initial reaction to an object comes from a more internal place, a place that is recognizing the magick for what it is.

The most common type of magicked items are, of course, those that are handmade, the knitted sweater, the crocheted afghan, the quilt, the woven or hooked rug, or the embroidered hanging. That’s because these types of objects take time to create, and it gives the creator time to focus their intentions and their emotions into their work, whether that intention and emotion be positive or negative.

So, the next time you pick up a handmade quilt or sweater, close your eyes, and take a moment to see what your emotional response is to the object. Don’t think about how it looks or fits (if it’s wearable), or what colors were used in it, but “listen” to the object itself. Does it make you feel warm and comfortable, or cold and uncomfortable (as if you can’t put it down quickly enough). Do you feel as if you want to have it around all the time, or do you want to get as far away from it as possible?

Your responses to this object aren’t crazy or neurotic, they’re normal. It’s the same way you would respond were it a person standing there focusing warmth and love or cold dislike at you. Emotions are strong energies, and because of that, they can remain behind. They become like an invisible stain that permeates all types of materials—even glass, metal, and stone. But unlike stains, they never solidify completely. So, when you touch something, part of that stain rubs off onto you, and if you let yourself, you will notice it.

This staining, this magick, can be subtle especially if the maker of the object wasn’t really focusing on a specific emotion, or it can be very strong. However, either way, you should always be aware of what you are receiving or buying, because whether the magick was intentional or not, the magick exists.

Note: Magick indicates a paranormal ability to manipulate energy, as opposed to Magic, which is another term for prestidigitation.

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