Addiction is Absence of Connection

A great little short video that explains, with new studies, how the old studies on single rats in cages was flawed when it came to identifying drugs or other substances as the cause of addiction. Humans naturally crave connection, just as rats do. We are social animals. Separation as well as poor living situation is what can drive both humans and rats to substances to numb out.

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Emotion-O-Meter

Recently I had a job interview that went really well for the first one, and they asked me back, and during that one, I had all sorts of red flags go off, and I KNEW, basically, from that second interview that I could never work there, but I wanted a job so bad to get out of debt, so went against my instincts (which felt TERRIBLE), and asked what the compensation was–and was disqualified, much to my instant relief.

I found out later that it was a very good thing I disqualified myself, because that company would have been TERRIBLE to work for, and that it was preferable to have a bad interviewing experience than a bad job experience.

Emotions are powerful indicators of what our intuition is telling us. Our mind can overpower our “gut” for only so long, and feelings will out, eventually, if not immediately. What I’m learning lately is that I have much less tolerance than I used to for ignoring my instincts. Doing so, especially in such a situation as the job, with my friends urging me to “go for it and ignore your fears,” quickly drives me into deep, overwhelming depression, and I suspect it is a protection mechanism at this point.

The idea for the graphic below (done in Illustrator) came from a dream I had a few weeks ago, of an “Emotion-o-meter” to gauge situations, thoughts, beliefs, etc. Anything that felt GOOD was allowing my core vibration, anything that felt BAD was resisting my core vibration. It was a pretty powerful image to me, because often, I’m so used to having my head overrule my heart that I needed something to gauge.

 

Emotion-o-meter

And, since money’s sooooo tight, and I am not a salesperson, someone suggested adding a “donate” button to my blog, which I have just done, and plan to do more posting over the summer…I have let this blog lapse while so busy in school, in favor of my technical blog. I also hope to get much more of my cookbook keyed in from the several inches thick stack of papers of hand-written recipes in my bookcase in the kitchen!

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive Dissonance is when we are exposed to two conflicting stories, cannot “take it” and shut down, emotionally, blocking out the story that is conflicting with our current worldview or perspective. I mention this, because I just saw a documentary aired on PBS in Colorado about the scientific evidence of the buildings in 9/11 coming down in controlled demolition, in direct opposition to the official story that jet fuel from two planes ignited office fires, bringing down three buildings, melting steel, etc. Some friends of mine are vehemently opposed to this presentation of evidence that invalidates the official story, because they do not want to believe that our government could cover something like this up.

I think that keeping an open mind and listening to the evidence, however painful it is, will be ultimately more healing than shutting out everything that challenges what we believe in–as it said in the Bible, “The Truth Shall Make You Free.” In the end, it is facing and acknowledging the truth that will heal us.

It’s a good documentary. I highly recommend it.

http://video.cpt12.org/video/2270078138 is the full video on PBS

http://911expertsspeakout.org/ is the website by the people who did the documentary.

Whoa….Breast Cancer is a booming industry!

”Watch

I saw a trailer for this documentary done in Canada on breast cancer and how it has become commercialized, basically–raising money for possibly profit rather than research, and it is very very disturbing. I read on the website that the movie should start touring the US in early Spring, and opened up in Canada this past weekend. I want to see it.

For some reason, the graphic above does NOT show up–it’s supposed to be a square sidebar image for the film, but instead, it just shows up with a ‘”Watch’ but I bet if you click on it, it will take you to the trailer, just the same!

How much are we stuck on automatic pilot?

Airplane-autopilot

This morning as I was driving back from a friend’s house, the road was very curvy and after passing a couple of people going the opposite direction in my lane (giving me a bit of a scare), I wondered why they would drive that way. Soon after, I realized that hugging the curve at higher speeds was increasingly difficult, and took a cue from those drivers to cross the middle lane myself (as long as there was no one coming!) and “iron out the curves” as they call it in mountain driving. Adjusting driving style made it much easier to navigate the curves (all the while keeping careful watch on potential oncoming traffic–but it was mostly deserted) brought to mind a memory I had of my first (and only) flying lesson.

It was almost 20 years ago, but I remember clearly going in this little passenger plane Cessna with someone I was dating at the time (who was a pilot and flying instructor), and he suggested that I “drive” the plane just up the runway, a procedure called “taxiing.” Now, I didn’t realize at the time I was in for a lesson–I thought he was going to take me up for a joy ride. So gamely I took control of the throttle, and seeing an unbroken yellow line in front of me down what looked like a road, I automatically began to steer the plan to the right side of that line, as if I were driving a car. It was the most natural thing to do, with my training as a driver. He laughed and said, “No, no, no–steer her right down the middle of that line. If anyone comes down the other side, well, they’re just out of luck, because this runway is ours right now!”

Remembering that made me ponder this morning, how many times have we acted on “automatic pilot” letting our conditioning run the show (the “show” being “our lives”)? Without even realizing it?

Later this got me into thinking about, oddly enough, abundance consciousness, and my conditioning in that area. Or I should say, “Lack consciousness,” because that is what I remember learning. My father weathered the brunt of the Great Depression at an early age, raising us on stories of how nicer bread cost 10¢ a loaf, so their father would buy “Roger bread” which was only 5¢ a loaf. My mother was a bit younger, but she was raised out in the country, and experienced her own aftermath of the Great Depression, living on a farm in N. Wilkesboro.

In some ways, training us to save money was a good thing, as it also helps the environment to use less energy, water, etc. My dad used to charge us kids 10¢ every time we left a light on without using it! “Who’s using the light in the kitchen?!” was a common question in raised voice throughout the house, to which one of us would leap up to go turn it off or finish whatever we were doing in the kitchen. I turn off lights when leaving a room out of habit.

But then comes the other side of that coin (pun intended)–the feeling of never having enough, not being worth enough, and always needing to scrimp and save–that conditioning of “money is scarce” really pervades, layer upon layer, and shows up as an energy field of lack. It’s hard to imagine making a lot of money. Why? Because only rich people make money? Why not be rich? And then I come to a sticking point–it’s like I have a mental/emotional block to making money, because I’m still running the program (at some level) “money is scarce–I have to scrimp & save if I’m going to get by.” Which, actually, is the case with a lot of people lately, with economic downturns since 2008. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The earth is very abundant! Nature shows us abundance every year, when I am astonished at how many seeds are produced by crops in my garden–each one of those seeds can potentially grow into a new plant next year! How abundant is that? And if nature follows the “rules of the Universe” it would seem that one of the rules of the Universe is Abundance, not Lack.

But, if I’m standing in a field of blueberries, say, with blinders on, will I see that I have plenty to eat? Our conditioning does that–it puts blinders on us. When we are not present to opportunities, wailing in fear, we are missing the boat. Maybe I could smell the blueberries, even with blinders on, but would I believe that they are there, that abundance is possible? Maybe not. Maybe the first step to stepping into presence and out of conditioning is merely to trust that there is more out there than we can see right now. Noticing conditioning, too, is a good first step. I still struggle with how. How to be present? I cannot think myself there. In fact, thinking is what gets in the way. Awe is one way, which short-circuits thought for short bursts of time, but it’s a now and then for me. Perhaps being open to possibilities is a way to let more awe in, and trust helps one to be more open. All of this was somehow going to lead into a dialog on the spirituality of marketing, but my thoughts before writing this and actually typing it seem to have meandered onto another path. Where we are now, what we do now, is what we have to work with. So it goes.

Violet Flame

I’d never heard of “Violet Flame” until a few weeks ago, and when I first heard it, mistook it for “Violent Femmes” which put it totally out of context. Apparently it is a meditation visualization practice from St. Germaine, good for clearing karma as well as raising low vibrations to higher ones. I couldn’t find a good visual for a purple fire, though (admittedly, I didn’t look for one too long), and decided to make my own using some still shots I took of my firepit outside, and doing an “animated gif” with tweens.

Curdie thrusts his hands into the rose fire

When I read more about it, though, it reminded me suddenly of a scene from George MacDonald’s THE PRINCESS AND CURDIE, in which Curdie is invited in by the Princess’s grandmother–who is actually some kind of fairy being living in a tower–to thrust his hands into a fire she’s made with roses. This rose fire is a magical fire that can enable Curdie to be able to sense men’s souls with his sensitized hands (ie. at one point he shakes hands with a man and almost pulls away because he feels a snake in his hand).

I found several different versions of Violet Flame meditation, from super simple, to really involved. Meditation and visualization are personal to each person, of course, so depending on how I feel, sometimes I will just imagine a purple bonfire (like the video above) and imagine stepping into it to clear myself of negativity and karmic blocks, imagining it as a cooling, refreshing fire. Other times, I follow one of the more involved suggestions, which is to first invoke St. Germaine & God by saying something (in my head) like, “Divine I Am Presence, St. Germaine, ignite in my heart your sacred, violet flame” and visualize a purple fire in my heart chakra. Once that’s established, I imagine asking for this purple fire to spread throughout my whole body, and then through all my subtle bodies, through all lifetimes and parallels, past, present & future, clearing karmic debts & blocks, raising any low vibrational energy into the highest vibration possible, and generally permeating me with light on all levels. After I imagine that for a while, I feel gratitude and release the visualization.

Choir Concert Poster/CD

And it was going to be so simple. Just two different Celtic designs, and something for autumn…but then a picture of the sun flaring off the surface of the earth spoke to me, reminding me of the of NASA “earthrise” picture I used for the CD (see below), and I decided I could tie the two designs together. Collages kind of happen for me. I’ll start pulling in elements here and there, and play around with them, and somewhere in the play, they start designing themselves, taking on a life of their own, like book characters do for writers. The ghosted celtic knot in the earth is very subtle, filled with autumn colors, but becomes very important in conjunction with the smaller version of itself in the space between the earth and the ravens, like consciousness arising from the collective, and taking the appearance of a beautiful jewel…

Lynn, the choir director, and I discussed the design of the CD way back in Spring, and when she said it was supposed to represent Jubilee, I immediately thought of the globe sculpture that hangs in the middle of the main worship hall. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the designers of the Jubilee CD, to be released around the same time, had a very similar idea, and so our CD is very similar to theirs–but as they will probably be bought together, it provides some continuity 😉 Above is the general design, but I do not have track durations or barcode yet–they will probably get Diskmakers to add the barcode.

Insight from Meditation

Sometimes when I do meditation, I visualize going into my heart, and there I can “speak” to my guides, etc, and they speak to me–it’s all imagination, of course, but sometimes it feels like a lucid dream…

Anyway, recently, after coming out of the meditation, I felt called to journal a bit. It may not all make sense, as I was still at the end of a “dream state” when I wrote it in my journal:

“There is no good or bad”–we choose different experiences, based on what we focus on–it is our choice. To not focus on darker thoughts (fear, worry, etc) is not to deny they exist, but rather to choose not to participate in them, in favor of joy, hope, abundance. Negative thoughts will come up until we re-train. Gently acknowledge them and release them to the light. To resist is to set focus, to empower the very experiences we’d rather eschew.

We are all experssions of light–all different frequencies. Raise the Vibration. Elevate Consciousness. Live & be in the moment–this is good practice for escaping worry. The present moment is like being surrounded by and being part of the Divine. It feels “magic.” It seems easier to do in nature. It is always “here.” It’s us who rush through memory and expecation/anticipation to escape the very joy we seek.”

The importance of daily meditation

Being One with All

If someone had told me two months ago that I could do not just daily meditation, but meditation THREE TIMES A DAY, I would have laughed and said, “No way! I don’t have time for that!”  Time is a funny thing. It has a way of elongating, to accommodate that which is really important. Not that I thought meditation was really important before now (I thought it was a chore), but the rising energies of the planet are bringing up stuff to be stirred around, brought to light, and healed, and I need all the calm I can get, especially since losing my main client who was my bread & butter. Where will the money come from?! As worries start to crowd in, I retreat to a quiet space, plant my bare feet firmly on the floor (ground, sand, etc.), palms up in my lap, spine straight, and focus on my breath, first grounding myself in paying attention to the present moment, where there is no stress. Gradually, worries slip away, as, ultimately, they are ephemeral and unimportant. Sometimes my mind seeks desperately to distract me any way it can, and if it gets too distracting, I focus on some more active visualization, to give it something to do, something to make it feel useful, before returning to the breath.

Meditation is profoundly calming (or it can be), and I have had some pretty interesting and unusual experiences in meditation (including intense, pleasurable, physical sensation, once of being “breathed” by the earth, energy spiraling up my chakras, and another of having the feeling of unfolding like a lotus of energy from the core of my chakras through/out of my body, and yet another of being “carried to heaven” by spirit beings…to open my eyes and find myself back in my body, poised on the edge of the couch, chest lifted, and incredible joy coursing through me. Yep. Meditation can be pretty cool. It doesn’t happen every time, but I’m finding things like this happen more often, the more I simply take the time to do them–and I only usually meditate about 10 minutes each session. So it doesn’t take a lot of time. I am noticing myself becoming a little more aware of the present moment in daily life. I also get insights during meditation that are helpful in clearing old patterns. And meditation is calming. Because face it, worries are no fun. Worries don’t seem to cling to me as much now, when before they were habitual. I would worry constantly without even realizing it. Habits are hard to break, and take practice. Easy does it, and compassion helps a lot, too.