My drive, energy, and force for posting every day as I have derives from my Heart. I appreciate and value others who know core Self and express it every day as much as I value what I do. Some are way more practical. Some I would rather be at times because it‘s wonderful to look on finished jobs every day. I enjoyed that when I employed physical skills as a painter and antique restorationist. Not so clear cut with this writing.
But I know I am walking in life Purpose. I remember, though, when I did those other jobs, I was seeking, and at the time, I couldn’t have told you what I wanted to do, be, and even sadder, who I even was at core Self. All of my life experience and my transformational, spiritual path has prepared me for this. I know not very many people of any age, wonderful people, can answer these simple yet soul-shaking questions: Who are you, and What is your purpose here?
I know because I talk to others; I ask them. Furthermore, I know what complicates these crucial life issues for virtually all of us. Ego. Why? Society, overall energized by ego, clearly communicates expectations and acceptable behaviors, and heaven help anyone who steps outside of the expectations.
This applies on a more personal level when we consider our close social circles and professional and work arenas. We tend to choose friends in part based on similar feelings about things like politics and religion because if we believe the same, we won’t experience censure. All of this is the work of ego, my friends. No matter where we are in terms of awakening, we will still be subject to it; ego is part of us.
Let’s, however, think a little further. These expectations, whether of society at a national level, the prevailing zeitgeist, or at a more personal level are all limits, limits the other would force us to mind. Stepping over the lines is viewed as a threat. Some limits are very prescribed, and we are to condense self to fit. Others are very broad, and we are to expand self to fill them. Those are the ones folks will really nail us on, especially politics and patriotism. Little variance is tolerated. Bullshit.
And I will take this further. Ego feeds off of the limits because its job is to keep us safe emotionally and psychologically by making us conform to society, macro or micro. Ego takes these somehow accepted limits and creates limitations in our souls. Limitations never serve us, ever, but we become stubbornly convinced by the rationalizations of our mind under the processing commands of Ego that limitations are our truth. Again, we come to believe Ego limitations are our personal truth, and we will vehemently defend them. Overcoming limitations presents extreme challenges emotionally, and sometimes interpersonally.
While some therapy or inspiration might free us for awhile, I believe we find a real answer, an emotionally, psychologically, and mentally sound solution by answering the questions I posed earlier: Who am I? What is my purpose here?
When those answers are known, limits cease to have any effect on a person — sometimes it takes awhile. I am going to express core Self by living my determined life Purpose, no matter who or what disagrees with me. It’s immaterial. This is deep. It is simple, though, but not easy. The only way to answer those questions is to acknowledge Heart, speak to it, and find our answers there.
When we hear Heart, discover Self, create life Purpose, and live it, then macro- and micro-societal expectations be damned. I’m not advocating offending people on purpose; that would be Ego at work. I’m saying opinions and expectations of others are limits, and they mean nothing when I live my purpose.
What are the deep, cutting, detrimental effects of those limits? They deny Self to express gift, talent, ability, and love to a needy world. So when I say I am sickened by intolerance, I am thinking far more intensely than I’m right and you’re wrong. I have to be right wing or left wing, pro second amendment or against it, blah, blah, blah. When those moronic insistences are made, my response is simple: screw them, screw those forcing them on others without listening or discussing, and screw opinions and rationalizations that are intolerant or unsympathetic of others’ views. I will listen to the opinions of the intolerant and discuss with them, but I strive to model to them the irrationality of forcing beliefs on others.
When we arrive at our personal truth, we need to move onward and upward, leaving those who operate via ego to their own limitations. And to be honest, I am not interested in judging who operates according to ego or heart. Doesn’t matter. My truth says to live my purpose and love others.
I am thinking about this today because in The Fellowship of the Heart, Eric Lafarnge, a protagonist, is faced with limits, expectations, and opinions of society, especially his personal one. The more money is at stake, a lot or a little, the more those with overt ego concerns will apply pressure for conformity.
Carl Jung said, “The best political, social, and spiritual work we can do is to withdraw the projection of our shadow onto others.” Live and express core Self, and leave others to do the same. Now, since we will never live in an ego-free world, not anytime soon, at least, we need legal limits, with which we can disagree and work to fix the broken ones. However, legal limits are not the sort that become personal limitations. Those shadows projected onto others do that.
The greater number of people who awaken and can answer Who am I and What is my purpose, the greater blessings will we know in this amazing, complex, rich Earth. The more beauty will we see. The more peace will we know.
Pretty life-changing results from answering two questions!
When I wrote about pre-awakening jolts from Heart, I thought about my years as a teacher. That was a jolt I paid attention to.
I knew for those years my heart wanted me to teach, even though I felt something more in me, something waiting to emerge into the light of day from somewhere deep within me. That was my Heart, too, and I knew I had to write. When I came to the fullness of that epiphany, immediate peace flooded my soul while tears flooded my eyes. I rejected Ego and consciously chose Heart. I knew it.
I did not care at that point if I was any good or not, if I was credentialed, credible, or even capable. I knew I had to write, so I did.
My teaching years, though, were filled with joy. I studied the science and art of education. I practiced it. I excelled.
I have thought about this over the last few days, because a former student, one who I had seven years ago, posted a picture on my Facebook wall. He bought a decorated sheet cake with a blank message space. On it, he wrote in tube icing, “sorry i was late to your class everyday”. Color me amazed he would even remember me, let alone buy a cake and write on it. I relate this because many of my former students have let me know I made a difference in their lives. They made a much larger difference in mine.
What sort? I learned from them I can be myself and be accepted for that. I didn’t purposefully hide things from them; they wouldn’t let me. Young people see through everything. When adults aren’t honest with them, they learn to use Ego to act in kind, to hide who they really are, to not make known true Self. If an adult is in education and approaches students with anything less than emotional transparency, they need to quit. The first rule in education should be the same as in medicine: do no harm.
Students also let me know I could be passionate about things they weren’t into, but it helped them to appreciate others, especially when we dealt with literature. Students love humor, yes, even my brand of it. They don’t like sarcasm, though; they are unforgiving about that, and what a great lesson that is. Sarcasm may be funny on sitcoms, but it hurts people in real life. I did not use it in the classroom.
My kids also knew when things weren’t right. They had me pegged. A number of times, they would come in noisy, as usual, and I wasn’t aware or sensitive to what was going on because I would be upset about something. I would take it out on them, telling them things like we were there to learn, not play, wah, wah, wah! I’m not kidding, certain ones, usually the more sensitive, would look at me and through their laughter ask, “Are you trying to be angry?” I would always laugh. Then, you know what they would do? They would ask me what was wrong. I never passed it off or lied to them. They damn well knew it.
And I have wandered far from where I intended to be, so let me see if I can call class to order here. Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to communicate to you what I did to my students. I was not fully awakened to my own Heart and the depths of eternal power, spirit, and energy therein, but I sure knew we all had endless abilities and possibilities. I shared those concepts with them, and now, awakened, I share them with whoever reads this tonight.
However, tonight I want to focus for the last few lines on the concept I touched on in Morning Pages: limits and limitations. Former students have told me one thing they knew about me for sure was I believed in them. I did, and I believe in each of us. Others, whether through school district educational policy and curriculum or through society at large, would create limits for us. You need this degree or that amount of wealth or you are not prepared or any of thousands upon thousands of limits.
Limitations, though, are not set by the Other. Limitations are determined by our own Ego acceptance of that bullshit others set as limits. These internal, Ego-generated limitations quash core Self, say you can’t possibly express who you are. As we grow up and hear such shit as “Be realistic. It’s for your own good. Your test shows you would be a good…,” we decide those love prods of Heart, things like intuition, resonance, dreams, and many others, are wild and socially unacceptable. We establish limitations on the eternal nature of our souls; we say we can’t express the fullness of life energy that is our Heart, our core Self.
How do I banish limitations? 1. Consciously ask Heart to show me, reveal to me, who I really am and what would be the best way to express Self. 2. Ignore limits set by others. Now, if it’s their game and their game says I can’t be the expression of Me I need to be, I quite playing and create my own game. Sometimes, though, I know I can do a job or perform a task, even though I don’t fall within the limiting boundaries, so I can apply for that job or volunteer for that position anyway. 3. Affirm to myself, believe it, accept it, that I have no limitations. None. I am an eternal, immortal essence and expression of life energy and of Spirit. Heart won’t lead us to anything that doesn’t express core Self; Ego will.
Much more here than I had thought, but guess what will be a factor in The Fellowship of the Heart in Anne’s awakening. There you go — limits of others accepted as limitations by self. What a yucky, sucky, f***y way to live. Please don’t.
Just for tonight, be one of my students and believe in yourself, because I believe in You. And I damn well know your Heart speaks to you, so listen.
I’m sure to many my observation about my writing the last two days is obvious. This morning, though, as I wrote my really personal morning pages, I realized what I have been writing about is pre-awakening pokes from Heart. I hadn’t been thinking about it in that way. Minor epiphany to me!
Resonance, intuition, and today dreams and inspiration all say to me Heart works throughout our lives to awaken us. These Heart impulses emanate from our subconscious to pierce our consciousness. We need to make a conscious choice to acknowledge Heart and to awaken to its working.
Why? Because we came here to discover core Self, eternal essence, and express that to the world, the circle of love to come to love Self (not an easy, automatic response) which allows us to love the world with the blessing of who we are. Each of us is different, wonderful, and has an essence no one else can add to the richness and intricacy of this world.
Yes, Heart wants to awaken us, to lead us to discover core Self and life purpose, and to bring us to awakening. Heart does this wonderful work, letting us know Ego neither sends nor controls those wonderful subconscious impulses of energy like dreams and inspiration.
In my rewrite of The Fellowship of the Heart, it’s the dream Eric Lafarnge began his law work with that Heart uses to continue the awakening in him. Anne, his wife doesn’t understand it. When Eric thinks he sees some heart movement in Anne, he responds, but she is not ready. Ego still operates, and she scoffs, basically, at Eric’s dream.
“Because you are really inspired about this new project. It’s something I haven’t seen in a while, and it looks good on you.” Eric continued smiling.
Anne’s smile vanished. “What do you mean, Eric? Never mind, I know. You didn’t want me to get the associate position. I sickened you every time I talked about it. I could see it in your face. Don’t try to deny it.”
“Hey, I was complimenting you. I won’t try to deny it, though, dammit. I rooted for you, and you know it. But you became obsessed with the opportunity and Paul and the other guys. To me, you didn’t seem to care about the engineering, just the power.” Eric didn’t move, didn’t flinch. “You know what, Anne? I didn’t even mind that. I’m realistic. If you want a position like that, you’ve got to play the game. You know why you started seeing disgust, disdain, whatever you want to call it, in my face?”
“Oh, no, I’m sure I don’t know why, Eric. I’m not a wise, deep, moody-ass thinker like you. So why don’t you tell me.” She turned from him for a split second and turned off the heating elements of the stove top.
Eric heard the voice. Be truthful, not angry. Eric paused for a few seconds. “Okay, Anne, I was happy for you. But I have been questioning playing that game for months now, wondering what I really wanted to do about the partnership. It wasn’t me; it’s not me. And you very much kept shoving me, forcefully, in that direction.”
Anne relaxed a bit. “If you want something like that, you’ve got to be ambitious. You’ve got to go after it. You have no ambition for a lawyer of your status. It’s like you lost the will to work.”
“Anne, I don’t want to get you more riled up because you keep accusing me of being philosophical and seem to think it’s a negative thing. But I have to say this: ambition is not the same as passion. I am passionate about seeking justice for people, and it took me all this time to remember my dream.”
Anne walked past him and sat down on the other side of the counter. Eric turned and sat down, too.
“Okay, Eric, I’ll take the bait. What are you talking about when you say ambition is different than passion?”
“Look. It takes special determination and persistence to reach these partner levels, and you did it. But your drive and actions were all geared toward this personal gain at the expense of what your passion for engineering had been. That’s the difference I saw in you when you told me about your plans for the new project — that spark of passion, a love for the work that excites you, not drives you relentlessly. The passion will carry you forward. Ambition will squash passion if you’re not careful.”
“You’re speaking too much like a lawyer, parsing and finely dividing words.”
“Maybe, but you wanted me to be a partner, pushed me for it. I could have done it, could still do it. Jack and Peter want me to.”
“Not for me. My passion is to work for justice like this new case before me now. Like I see the passion in you for implementing new ideas and innovative engineering. I guess to me, ambition has an end that benefits only me, even though it requires dedication. It’s like making a stupid choice and then you stick with it no matter what. You do it, but you may hate it — or not — but it’s not the same as love. If I’m passionate, I love what I’m doing; it will fulfill me. Ambition for something I’m not passionate about will leave me empty, feeling meaningless, even though I achieve something. It’s superficial.”
“Now you’re calling me superficial, and I think you’re being obstinate and making excuses. I think you’re afraid of the new responsibilities you’d have.”
“You don’t know me any better than that, Anne? C’mon. I take on the government in court. I am not interested in ambition. I am passionate about justice.”
“Yeah, got it. So what you’re telling me is you aren’t taking a partnership.”
“That’s right. I’m not. Jack and Peter don’t know that, though. I made, well, I had a conversation…” Eric paused, listening for the voice. Patience. She is angry. Not now. “I’ll say I evaluated the way I felt and what my original dream was when I started practicing law.”
“You have no idea how to grow, do you? You are not a newly licensed member of the bar. You’re a seasoned, winning, money-making attorney who has been noticed. You don’t care about that?”
“No, I don’t. My dream was to fight for justice. This new case I have has helped me to clarify my own thinking about all of this.”
“Dreams. That describes your lousy ass attitude for some time now. You should be acting, not dreaming.”
“My dream has given me cause to act, Anne. I know who I am and what I want.”
“You sound like an idealistic school boy. God, Eric, wake up from your dreaming.” She stood and left everything in the kitchen.
Eric could hear her going upstairs. He assembled a burrito for himself, grabbed an ale from the refrigerator, and went out on the deck.
He wolfed down the burrito, set the plate down, and sipped at his beer as he stared at the sunset. You used those dreams, Heart, to help me see, didn’t you?
“Yes, I did.”
Eric smiled as some crows cawed repeatedly in the distance.
Without awakening to Heart, without following through to know core Self, to create a life purpose, the living out of a dream or the completion of some work based on inspiration would not happen.
Eric’s heart brought the dream back to him. He chose it, chose Heart, chose love. So can we.
Creative WritingWritingSelf-awarenessSpiritualityPersonal Development
As I write The Fellowship of the Heart, I want to show different ways our heart seeks to pierce our conscious minds. Heart does this so we can choose the Heart Operating System (hOS). I’ve written about this before, but last night I began considering ways Heart speaks to our mind and soul.
I considered the concept of resonance. Resonance can be felt in reference to so many things. Music in its extensive expressions and genres, literature of all sorts, artworks in infinite variety, moving motivational speeches — far too many things to mention or even hint at — all can affect us at any time and produce that energy of frequency with our souls in which the vibrations match and songs are sung within us. That is resonance, and when that happens, it indicates Heart-joy touching our soul, an evidence that something is deeper in us than simply rational thought, at least rational thought as operated by our default system of Ego (eOS).
But there are other ways Heart touches our conscious mind, and in doing so it short circuits Ego. Heart is ever seeking our good through intuition, those flashes of overpowering sense that a decision is the right one, that something good or bad is going to happen, that we need to call a friend right now — you get it. How does this bypass Ego?
Ego grabs onto proofs and evidence in order to draw conclusions, and those conclusions will always be an animal-based tendency to preserve self, not to actualize and know core Self. Ego uses those proofs and rationalizes, manipulates, maneuvers, and jams facts to an irrational end, many times, and it will always be irrational to an awakened soul, simply because it isn’t seeking the expression of love to this world in a grand life Purpose.
Intuition, though, doesn’t require proof or evidence; that’s Heart-work, knowing without seeing. Those flashes of intuition are massive, powerful energy surges, seeking to pierce our conscious minds to awaken us to consciously call on Heart, to enter into the sphere of the fellowship of the Heart. Heart powers our core Self and helps us co-create our life purpose and then links us to all the magical energies, life energies of the Universe.
People a lot smarter than me recognize the power and reality of intuition; they also recognize it reflects a deeper self. Carl Jung says, “Intuition does not denote something contrary to reason, but something outside the province of reason.” Yes, Heart tries to make Self known to us, tries to make us aware of something deeper than a faulty, rationalizing ego. Jung also says something along the lines of “intuition is perception via the unconscious,” and the motive force for that unconscious making itself known in the cognitive model, our conscious self, is Heart.
Another great thinker and psychologist is Carl Rogers, who I have written about especially in reference to education and his book Freedom to Learn. He says in reference to his work with patients he is most effective when not consciously processing the encounter: “…when I am closest to my inner, intuitive self, when I am somehow in touch with the unknown in me…I am full of healing…when I can relax and be close to the transcendent core of me...my inner spirit has reached out and touched the inner spirit of the other.” This is a description of Heart work.
And hearts know things, can communicate on a level I suppose many would accuse me of saying is magic. It is. Heart the true energy force that leads us to significance and fulfillment, and it powers our core Self and helps us co-create our life purpose and then links us to all the magical energies, life energies of the Universe. Hearts mediate with Eternal Spirit, and in that way, they can be aware of one another, touch one another as Carl Rogers describes it.
Yes, Heart seeks to pierce our consciousness, erupting from the subconscious. When we acknowledge that and consciously choose and speak to Heart, fellowship with Heart, we have awakened, become self-aware, and entered the path of discovering core Self and creating life purpose — awesome and powerful. This makes for an engaging, significant life journey, a path of growth and enlightenment.
Yet, some of us don’t respond very quickly — I didn’t fully for a long time — because Ego will rationalize away phenomena like intuition or resonance because it doesn’t happen consistently. That’s because we don’t choose the Heart Operating System (hOS). When we do, the magic of things like resonance, intuition, and synchronicity are normal occurrences.
Have you had strong experiences with intuition or resonance? Your heart is speaking to you. Ask it. Listen. Just breathe, wait, ask, and listen. Insist until you hear an answer about whatever you are asking. Many times Heart will ask clarifying questions back, over and over until you realize you were asking the wrong question, thinking with Ego.
Our Heart wants us to make the choice that leads us to the reasons we came to this plane of existence. It is a choice of tenderness, love, peace, and a passion for being here. I want my characters, my story in The Fellowship of the Heart to illustrate the beauty of this process, this phenomenon of awakening to core Self and purpose.
Do something for yourself, please. I’m going to ask you a question. Then, with that in mind, take a deep breathe, maybe three. Focus on your breath and any answer or answers that pop into your mind after reading the question, hold onto those. You may want to have a way to record responses.
Question: Thinking back over your life, what things, persons, events, writings, trips, or just anything have created a response in you which super-excited you, thrilled you, provoked you, or evoked a strong reaction from you, i.e., what of these sorts of things have resonated within your soul? (Now, I’m not talking about a really good ice cream cone, unless it was so special at such a special time and place that it made you think about eternity! Well, maybe that is a bit extreme, but ice cream could do that for me!).
Okay, got something? How do you feel about it now? Be as specific as possible.
If this is still something that moves you, draws you, creates a strong resonance with you, then your heart is probably seeking to communicate to you through that memory. Go ahead. Now, it’s your turn to ask a question. Ask your Heart if this is a message and what more does Heart want to say to you. Listen. Listen closely. Anything?
For a couple of years, I worked in the pilot plant of a large chemical producer as a chemical engineering lab technician. The pilot plant is the intermediary between the people in the lab with the test tubes and the 3,000 gallon production reactors. Not everything works the same in scale-ups in stainless steel vessels as it does in glass test tubes and beakers. Our work was to scale up the formulas, charge the appropriate compounds to the reactors, run reactions starting from 1 gallon reactors up to 300 gallon ones, and keep samples and assays of the reaction. I’ve thought about it occasionally as an apt metaphor for my writing and life — not perfect but apt.
In my life, those things that really resonated with me are the chemical compounds my heart has used to charge to the reactor of my soul. The reactions occurring in my soul were a way Heart used to bring me to hear the voice, to awaken to and know core Self, and to co-create my life Purpose. Over the years, those resonating experiences swirled around in my soul until I came to the point of hearing my Heart: “Take a sample, Mike. It’s time.”
My heart was always seeking my conscious attention, while subconsciously compounding the mix that would yield who and what I am. The mix was always there; I just needed to stop and take the sample of core Self. Now, it’s an ever-increasing yield.
Once those chemical reactions occur, they aren’t undone, except at great cost. Some of them cannot be reversed. Point? I cannot, will not, no matter who or what attempts to force me to, take a different path, especially my own Ego. When I came to this, I knew all my Heart spoke to me of and directed me to was my truth.
The compound which is me, now, has realized some personal truths I must share because this is my Heart, my purpose. I help others discover — Heart, core Self, Purpose. However, I don’t claim to have a corner on truth. Different terminologies and approaches exist. I have come to know the terms as my personal truth, but that seems to have resonated with a number of people. I hope so, sincerely, because nothing produces such love, peace, joy, fulfillment, or significance as coming to know who one is and what life purpose is, no matter what terms are used to describe it.
And that is why I’m working, have worked on my novel, The Fellowship of the Heart. I believe it can at the very least create one of those resonating experiences for many, if not help them to discover some depths of their souls they have never consciously processed.
If you’ve read this far, look back or think back to your answers to my original question. Whatever your answers were, know that your heart is using those to call out to you, to help you know yourself and fill any emptiness, answer any distress, or guide you to creating a life purpose.
Stay in touch with Heart! Heart always produces some of the most useful formulas for a successful, fulfilling life.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!