When Spirit speaks, I listen with open ears, mind and heart. I accepted an invitation to be in the presence of a deeply healing teacher from India named Sri Karunamayi,whose honorary title is Amma; which means ‘mother’ in her native language of Telugu. Her parents were told, even before she was born, that she would be an extraordinary being whose abilities would touch many. After spending years in meditation as a young woman, she emerged and began speaking and offering blessings.
She comes to the United States yearly and I had the opportunity to see her initially 10-12 years ago and then most recently, yesterday. I was eager to be in her presence again and absorb the sweet energy, as well as receive a blessing from her. We were asked to write on a note card what it was we wanted blessed. I affirmed my deep desire for a loving, committed relationship with someone with whom I would do my work in the world.
When I arrived before 11 am at a local Unitarian church which hosted the gathering which attracted hundreds throughout the day, there were already many waiting to see her. On the aforementioned index card was a letter. Mine had the letter F on it, which meant that it would likely be hours before I would stand before her. In the meantime, I sat and meditated, listened to her story and about the humanitarian work she does. She spoke of karma and the good fruits we receive in return for what we do. She shared her desire to alleviate human suffering and the importance of exuding compassion.
The sanctuary of the church was filled to overflow with some (myself included) sitting on the floor. Incense wafted through the air and the sounds of chanting reverberated throughout. A large comfortable chair in torquise brocade was the place she sat for hours, greeting those who came to be in her presence. Rose petals were scattered on the carpet and a garland of greenery with white flowers was draped behind the dais.
Her interfaith sensibilities embrace everyone’s traditions. “God is Oneness only,” she expressed. She asked us each to pick up a flag representing various countries and hold them aloft as we chanted Om Shanti, which represents peace. The flag I had was from Cyprus; certainly a place on the planet that needs love and healing.
During the time I was waiting, I decided that when I left, I would satisfy my craving for Indian food. I didn’t need to wait that long, since when I walked into the lobby, an Indian buffet had been set up and we were all invited to partake. Talk about instantaneous manifestation!
A few hours later, my group was called up to stand before her. By the time I got up there, she had likely blessed hundreds of people. I felt my heart flutter and tears form and I knew something powerful was happening. She took the card from my right hand, read it and then closed her eyes as she stroked my head. She blessed my intention and handed it back to me, along with three Hershey kisses, a card with her picture on it and three blessings on the back, as well as a baggie of vibhuti (sacred ash) which was to applied to the various chakras and on the tip of the tongue to assist in sealing in the blessing.
By the time I left the building, I knew something miraculous had transpired. I am ready for heart’s desires to come to fruition. Om Shanti.
A curious being, I question nearly everything. It’s been so since I was a toddler who asked, “What’s that?” as I pointed to an object of fascination. I explored (and still do) the world with wide eyed wonder. I heard a story several years ago when I was at a conference and the speaker told us that her first memory of a spiritual experience was when she was three years old, looked in a mirror and asked, “Who’s in there?” I’m not sure we can ever fully answer that query, but the adventure of a lifetime is to stay open to all possibilities.
Most of the inquiries I ponder have to do with what makes me and everyone else on the planet tick. Probably one reason I became a therapist. Even after more than 30 years in the field, I still scratch my head in bewilderment.
One of the questions I ask has to do with my beliefs.
- I believe that people are inherently good, loving and hold positive intention.
- I believe that the seeds I plant grow a bountiful harvest.
- I believe that actions speak louder than words.
- I believe what goes around comes.
- I believe that each person and experience can teach me something.
- I believe that love is louder….than fear, anger, hatred and violence.
- I believe (despite appearances at times) that the Highest Good prevails.
- I believe in making wishes out loud.
- I believe in being a Force for Good in the world.
- I believe we all have a gift to offer.
- I believe that love need not be earned.
- I believe that putting my heart and soul into something is essential for success.
- I believe that music is sonic sustenance.
- I believe in do-overs.
- I believe touch heals.
- I believe that all emotions are valid.
- I believe there is more to this world than we can perceive with our eyes.
- I believe in loyalty and standing by people I love.
- I believe in speaking up for those who have lost their voice or had it taken away.
- I believe that there is no excuse for abuse….ever.
- I believe that patterns can be broken.
- I believe that there is enough for everyone, if we share willingly.
- I believe in forgiveness.
- I believe in redemption.
- I believe in reconciliation.
- I believe in keeping my heart open.
- I believe in willingness to give it another go.
- I believe in walking my talk and being in integrity.
- I believe that people come into our lives when they are meant to.
- I believe I am always at the right place at the right time.
- I believe in making a difference.
- I believe in cosmic coincidence.
- I believe in speaking from the heart.
- I believe dreams come true.
- I believe in telling people how I feel about them, not assuming they know.
- I believe in hugs and cuddles to feed skin hunger; which is as important as caloric nourishment.
- I believe that loneliness can be remedied.
- I believe that words have the power to heal or harm.
- I believe in dancing and singing my dreams into being.
- I believe that ANYTHING is possible.
- I believe in YOU.
What do you believe?
This morning, I awoke with a sense that today was going to be scattered with sweetness and fueled by miracle power. I had a breakthrough dream in the wee hours that shook loose some long standing limitations and fears. It contained imagery that was both humorous and alarming. Being an experienced lucid dreamer, I knew it was getting my attention and calling me to take charge of the choices I am making.
I was able to go back to sleep, fortunately, since the nocturnal turning into bird chirping morning would have had me only netting four hours of shut eye. By the time I arose, it was after 10. I have rarely seen that number on the clock while still horizontal (unless in the company of another).
While typing these words, I am listening to a song, called Wake Me Up in which a primary lyric is “I tried carrying the weight of the world, but I only have two hands.” For so many years, that could have been my theme. These days, I share the responsibility with others, rather than believing it was my job alone to do so. That lightens my load immeasurably. The wake up calls come daily. Sometimes gently whispering and beckoning, and at others, with rattle me to my core, knock me on my butt, gotta move now, woman ferocity! I much prefer the first.
Today, I am heading out to celebrate a friend’s birthday at an outdoor arts festival at which one of my favorite cultural events from my 20’s called The Rocky Horror Picture Show, will be highlighted. I spent countless hours at the TLA (Theater of the Living Arts) on South Street in Philadelphia, garbed in costume, calling out the lines to the iconic movie, doing The Time Warp and living the line, “Don’t dream it. Be it.” Looking forward to drinking in the juicy activities. Tonight, I will be at a dance party with friends, at which I will ‘sweat my prayers,’ which is what I sometimes call fitness activities.
What if, just what if…today was the one in which your dreams and desires came to fruition? How would you enter into it? Would you allow doubts and fears to rule, or would you shoo them away in favor of what you truly want to show up? Last week, on a group coaching call, the facilitator told us that we needed to “know like you know like you know,” that what we were calling in, would actually arrive. Could today really be the best day of your life…so far?
In this fast food communication time period, people use shorthand/text speak to communicate what is on their minds. Yesterday, I was reminded by a new friend with whom I was on a Naturist (meaning clothing optional in this case) hike to celebrate the Summer Solstice, that we do indeed only live once. He was referring to his decision to live and love full out and appreciate the opportunity to connect with kindred spirits. The concept of YOLO (You Only Live Once) came to me courtesy of a heart attack that had me on my back, but not for long. In the midst of recovering physically, I had forgotten that there was a strong emotional component to the condition. It had me taking emotional risks and stretches that I had only dreamed about before. There was a time when I lived cautiously, often, as my husband would tell me, “looking over your shoulder to see if the propriety police were watching.” Sometimes they were and at others they were not even in the neighborhood. It didn’t stop me from keeping my own radar alert. What would someone think if I expressed my desires that were not in keeping with what I ‘should’ want and sometimes disdain for what was happening around me that other people were engaged in? Would they judge me as being too sensitive or just ‘too much,’ whatever that meant? As an out of the box thinker, likely since birth, I would often share observations that would have kid friends shake their heads and say, “Huh? What are you talking about?” They were more interested in the mundane than the metaphysical, while I had my own head in the clouds, pondering the nature of the universe.
It seems to me that a life well lived is one in which we risk putting our hearts on the line. One in which we stretch our comfort zones. One in which we are willing to laugh and cry in equal measure. There was a time when I would hold back tears in the service of keeping on keeping on. I would hold steady so I could be the rock on which others could lean. I would move away from ‘messy’ situations and people who stirred them up. That one was the most challenging, since my work as a therapist brought me in direct contact with folks whose daily circumstances could be wildly chaotic. Lately, I have engaged my emotional bungee jumping muscles and leaped off of symbolic bridges, really putting myself out there in the world. Scary? You bet! Rewarding? That too. With my heart racing, I have shared thoughts and feelings that I would have kept locked away in a steel enclosed box for fear that they would be misunderstood or judged, all the while pretending that I had it all together. These days, I am less concerned with maintaining the facade and more concerned with being real.
Who knows what today will bring that will allow me to live this one lifetime to the fullest?