Always Use Discernment When Making Your Selection

I had a push to write today, and this is what bubbled up.

220px-BuddhaintuitionPerhaps it has to do with the opportunity to observe more interactions between those who are seeking help from a reader, healer or spiritual teacher and the individuals offering such assistance.

I will start by reminding the reader that this is a touchy area, our spirituality, and that there is only one person who can look out for your well-being: you. If you find yourself in a situation where you are abused or taken advantage of by a healer, psychic, or teacher there is no recourse in most cases. And because you are usually more open in this area of your life, you might also be more vulnerable to such manipulation or unethical behavior by a ‘spiritual authority’ figure.

It’s easy to spot – and stay away from – the psychic that tells you you are cursed and that if you pay them  a couple of thousand dollars, they will remove it for you. But what about the less obvious situations? What about the experiences that leave you in turmoil or upset, maybe even frightened or confused?

Remember that this ‘world’ is not filled with people who only have a desire to serve the highest good, or who seek only to uplift and empower others with their work. This field seems to attract many people who have certain (often unrecognized) dysfunctional patterns which actually interfere with their ability to treat clients and colleagues with respect and as equals, or who are perhaps on a power trip. Though they may form only a small percentage of the whole, the damage even a single encounter with such an individual can cause is often long-lasting and devastating.

jamesraymugshotabcThe most extreme example that comes to mind is the case of self-help guru James Arthur Ray (The Secret) who served 20 months of a two-year sentence for the negligent homicide of three participants at one of his events in Sedona, AZ in 2009. Fifty-six people spent $10,000.- each to attend a five-day ‘retreat’ where some were willing to shave their heads, to endure extreme conditions in the desert, and who followed Ray into a “sweat lodge” (put in quotes because this was definitely not a traditional Native American sweat lodge) where at least 20 of them suffered severe effects that required hospitalization and three of them died. And Ray? Well, he walked out of the sweat lodge where people were suffering and dying and went to his room and took a shower.

After serving 20 months in prison, he is now free, but the families will suffer the loss of their loved ones for the rest of their lives.

What can you do to avoid a bad experience yourself?

Do NOT go “all in” without knowing someone unless your gut clearly tells you so. ALWAYS take the time to do your due diligence. Ask questions. Get referrals from others who have worked with that person. Do not just take at face value their pronouncements about their abilities or training. Get a feel for how the person presents themselves in their work. Pay attention to any physical response you may have to the person, their promotional materials, or their website if they have one.

Your guides and higher guidance will keep you on the right track. You just need to give them room to work with you. When you are reviewing a person’s presentation, if they have ‘issues’, it will broadcast in their materials, their book, website, and in their persona. You have to pay attention to the signals coming at you.

You may not understand it on a conscious level, but your intuition will let you know. You might find yourself feeling that something is a little ‘off’ or that you have a feeling of discomfort or unease. Watch for this. You do not need to have an explanation for your feeling, you only need to pay attention and follow your instincts. Your intuition is alerting you, but your conscious mind has not pinpointed what is ‘wrong’ yet. Trust yourself. You are better off taking a pass, and maybe just watching or waiting or making another choice for yourself that you feel more comfortable with than you would be jumping in with both feet.

Red FlagsTo help you with this selection process, here are a few ‘red flags’ that should cause you to run, not walk, in the other direction:

When you hear: “My techniques are better than the other guy’s. I have access to information/guidance that nobody else does. I have special training only available to a select few.”  No one person has all the answers and no one modality is a one-stop-shop. No person (except perhaps Jesus or the Buddha) can be all things to all people. Everyone has a connection to Source (including you) and anyone can bring through a ‘new method’. The important thing to remember is to discern whether this method, this person, is the right one for you now.

When a person seeks to invalidate your experience or perceptions, telling you the way you see things is not correct. If this happens often with the same person, this is an indication of emotional abuse, and can be used to keep you off-center and dependent on their ‘work’. A spiritual mentor of any sort should be offering support and encouragement, not making you feel insecure or uncertain about your inner guidance.

Look for the use of the words ‘never’ or ‘always’ or ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’. Any reading or reader or teacher/healer who tells you that there is some sort of deadline or definite time frame for something is not coming from a helpful place. It is often more about their (again often unconscious) control issues. Spirit/God/Source never abandons us, is eternally patient and will not deliver ultimatums.

persononapedestalDoes this person allow you to put them on a pedestal? As long as we inhabit a human body, we are not perfected beings for this is the realm of lesson-learning. A person who claims to be perfected or enlightened, especially when this comes with an appearance of being blissed-out (which usually means they are checked out from life) and can indicate a need for adoration or admiration which can interfere with the person’s work, and distort their ability to be clear conduits for Spirit.

We all have faults, experience upset, have weaknesses and shortcomings. Some people are just better at presenting a good front than others. Do not let apparent perfection fool you. Before you submit your energy field to the influence of another, no matter who they are, make certain they have the level of integrity and intention that you are looking for.

Sometimes you can tell what something is by what it isn’t. ~Kenneth Copeland

All original material posted to this site is (c) 2014, Julie Marie. All rights reserved.

Photo credits: abc, Wikipedia, fotosearch.com

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October 2013 Energy Report – A Season of Change

English: partial lunar eclipse as seen from SW...I have a feeling the months leading to the close of this year will be intense ones for all of us. If there is some comfort here, it is in knowing we are not alone in the experience we are about to have, collectively.

Yes, the change of seasons is upon us, on more than one level. There is a nip in the air, and a chill at night. It is almost time to switch the system to ‘heat’. On a spiritual level, the process of evolution continues, and there is no turning back.

The choice we have is in how we dance with the energies that are being beamed this way. We will continue to have many chances to support the changes at a profound level. We can move with the flow despite the challenges, or we can continue to experience chaos and drama in our lives by choosing to resist the waves of change.

You may be asking yourself “Will this ever end?” The answer is “yes”. And “no”. Each cycle within the larger cycle has an end, but also as each ends, it becomes in that moment the beginning of, the opening to, the next cycle.

Here is a brief summary of the energy we will be bathing in this month:

The Libra new moon of Friday Oct 4th is a call for balance, an integration of all that is still polarized within us and that is not in alignment with who we really are.

English: Pluto system. Français : Pluton et se...October is the change agent and will be setting the stage for the Apex Uranus square Pluto that will come in November. This fourth Uranus square Pluto is the exact center of this series of seven squares, and the middle one of the larger four cycles which began with the first series in the 1960’s. (There will be two more Uranus square Pluto series after the conclusion of this series in 2014).

Mercury begins a retrograde period October 2, and will be in full retrograde power by the 18th of the month, with the shadow of this energy continuing until November 27th. (Actual retrograde: Oct 21 – Nov 10). Watch for heightened tempers and road rage, travel issues and problems with your technology. Because Mercury will be in a dance with Saturn at this time, be aware the challenges may be more intense.  You may actually experience missed communications and mechanical breakdowns. Just don’t forget to breathe!

See the blessing here:  this is the final Mercury retrograde for this year. There is also a potential for social unrest during this time as the full moon lunar eclipse on October 18th is in Aries.

During this retrograde, take your communications seriously, and because this is a ‘Scorpio’ retrograde, pay particular attention to your contracts with others (written and otherwise). Be patient with yourself and don’t forget to be forgiving as well.

Neptune will be in the limelight with the full moon and lunar eclipse of the 18th. Here comes your strong dose of evolution! Systems may look like they are crumbling and all that once was ‘secure’ is not. Nothing is the same. It reminds me of the teaching my Unseen Mentors gave me about the life cycle of the butterfly. At the time I was taught this, I applied it only at my individual level, but now I can see how – collectively – we are in transition. When the caterpillar begins the process of metamorphosis and goes into the cocoon, its very body liquefies before it rearranges itself into the butterfly.
It seems our societal ‘body’ is in the process of liquification in preparation for an emergent butterfly model. Our best response seems to be simple: don’t be too attached to what is, because that is changing. A good strategy at this time is to go with the flow whenever you can.

There is a pair of eclipses in the weeks ahead, as well. The Lunar eclipse is October 18th, with a Solar eclipse in early November. Eclipses are all about bringing in breakthroughs (which sometimes come through breakdowns) in an accelerated way. It will be interesting to see how this pair plays out for us.

Those are the big picture influences this month. Now, what can you do to move through this month with grace or to take advantage of the opportunities that are offered to all of us at this time?

It is helpful to go within and ask some questions: How can I create a more connected relationship with those close to me?
How can I use the transforming power of the Uranus square Pluto to bring positive change in my life?

Since this next few weeks is all about balance, remember to take care of your body. Don’t push yourself. Slow down if you need to. (I will say that I have been experiencing the re-emergence of a disrupted sleep pattern with the need for mid-afternoon naps that began almost two weeks ago, and is ongoing.) Be kind to yourself this month.
Drink more water to help your body flush out the toxins (physical and emotional) that are being released at this time. Eat as clean (organically) as you can. Smaller portions of cleaner food is better than larger amounts of less quality nutrition.

This is the month to do things differently or to go a different way. The energy will support your efforts in this regard, and know that the outcome of your efforts will support your highest purpose as Soul, incarnated.

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete. ~R. Buckminster Fuller

All original material posted to this site is (c)2013, Julie Marie. All rights reserved.

Photo credits: Wikipedia

Morning Coffee – 11/14/12

Intention Setting Time

Coffee C0531

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today is my birthday. Every year, I do the same exercise. I look back at where I’ve been, take stock of how far I’ve come (or not). I acknowledge where I feel I have done well and met or exceeded my expectations, and I give myself a pep talk about how I do have the ability to address the things I intended that did not get accomplished in the prior span of twelve months.

This has been a good year for spiritual growth, personally. It has not been easy. In fact, I would say it has been one of the most difficult years I’ve been through in a while. It has also brought some glorious gifts as reward for my willingness to do the hard work required to shift into the next level of expansion of awareness, of my consciousness.

I re-evaluate the goals and intentions I set for myself. I renew the goals that still feel in alignment with where I am in this present moment, and release the ones that no longer serve my highest purpose and intention for my life.

I know that all that has transpired is in preparation for whatever is coming next on my path. There have been a lot of changes, and some have been dramatic. Whatever is ahead, I know it is in alignment with Spirit’s purpose for my life.

This birthday is especially significant, because there is an important, unprecedented gateway that is opening wider with each passing month. How do I choose to Serve in the expanded consciousness that is becoming more available to us all? That is the question I am asking myself today. I also have the eclipse energies to help bring me clarity about this.

I would encourage everyone to take this opportunity to ask to be shown how to best be of service in the months and years ahead. I am waiting for clarity, and when it comes, I will set my intention to be brought into alignment with God’s plan for my life. What would Spirit have you do?

Your greatest self has been waiting your whole life; don’t make it wait any longer.        ~Steve Maraboli

All original material posted to this site is (c) 2012, Julie Marie. All rights reserved.

The Foundation – Part II(Intent Is Everything)

The Teaching Begins

Foundation nail dedicated by Gudea to Ningirsu...

Foundation nail dedicated by Gudea to Ningirsu for the building of his temple, the E-ninnu: “For Ningirsu, the powerful hero of Enlil, his king, Gudea, prince of Lagash, accomplished what had to be; his temple of E-innu, the shining thunder-bird, he built and restaured.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was over two decades ago, yet it seems like just yesterday that my whole world shifted.
I was given the following principles over the period of about 6 months.  I have learned so much through the application of these principles to my daily walk with Spirit.  I have grown to appreciate the inherent power in these simple guidelines.

The principles themselves would not make a book, but the application of the principles and how it changed the way I moved in the world certainly would.  Like this foundation nail that was dedicated for the building of a temple, so I perceive these simple principles to be the foundation for the building of the temple that is the vehicle for the expression of my great I AM into this world.

I am not the same person I was two decades ago.  I am not even the same person I was 5 years ago. Or even three.  (Now here I am, having an insight.  I shall make a note of this insight and write a separate article on it after this series is completed.) I have made measurable progress on my path through diligent application and conscious recognition of these principles in my daily life.

INTENT IS EVERYTHING

Well, that seems simple enough.  All of these principles are no-brainers.  (Again, no pun intended).  I came to understand that it is more important, the intention I hold while engaged in activities as varied as visualization for my own personal dreams, conversations with others, or waiting to be asked to do my spiritual work, than the actual activity itself.

What is my intention for participating in something?  This is the question I ask on a daily, often hourly, basis.  Sometimes the honest assessment of the answer is quite educational.  I have changed my decisions occasionally when I uncover my true intention for doing some things, because my intent is not placed where it should be:  on being of Service, on following to the best of my ability in the moment the directives of the part of me that Knows.

Squirrel on a wooden fence

Am I ready?

Am I committing to this or that because of a deeply hidden fear that I won’t have enough squirreled away to see me through the long winters when everyone takes a break?  Or is it because I feel obligated to be there for the people who show up who expect me to be there?

Perhaps my intention is to expand my potential area of  service.  That one is kind of tricky.  Ego is crafty.  There was a period of a few years recently when I was driving myself into the ground driving all over the country doing shows.  The purpose was to build interest in the work I do, and hopefully receive calls for assistance in between the shows.

That is not what happened for me.  The people were happy to see me, and were impressed with my work, but did not make those calls.  Instead, they would simply wait for the next time I came to town.

After a good long look at the dynamic, I realized I was wearing myself, and my car, out running all over the place.  I was not accomplishing what (I thought) I had intended for myself.  So I stopped traveling so much.  When I did, I realized just how exhausted I was.

My intention changed.  I put my health first.  It took some time – a couple of years – for my body to adjust and to actually come back to the place where it could begin to heal itself from the deficit I had put it in and start to function with some semblance of normalcy again.

I stay focused on this simple intention all the time now.  I do not engage with anything that does not support my health and my growth as spirit animating form.  This now includes the food I eat (pretty much all organic), the amount of traveling I will do (it has to be a reasonable exchange for the time and energy expended.  In other words, I no longer run hundreds of miles down the road for 1 or two people, but I used to), and the people I have in my close circle (a very select few, and you know who you are because I tell you constantly how very much you mean to me and how much I appreciate your presence in my life).

It may seem simple enough, this first principle.  But try living it, truly and thoroughly, for just one day, and you will begin to see how difficult it can be to stay in alignment with your highest intention.

My life is my message. ~ Ghandhi

All original material posted to this site is (c)2012, Julie Marie.  This article is all rights reserved.

Celebrate the Milestones in Your Life

A Good Way to Measure Your Progress

English: Old Milestone Old milestone on the A....

English: Old Milestone Old milestone on the A.134 near to Ampton, Suffolk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

milestone: a significant event or stage in the life, progress, development or the like of a person, (or their blog).

May has been a month full of milestones for me, blog-wise and otherwise as well. I hadn’t been paying too much attention to the ticking over of the stats here, but then within a few days, three of the benchmarks hit personal goals I didn’t even realize I had.

Followers went over 100.  I have written 50 articles.  (This makes 51.) The number of views here is over 7,500 and climbing.  The Fibonacci  spiral of growth has moved from the growing “up” stage to the growing “out” stage.  I will take credit for the effort of writing the articles.

I want to express my deepest gratitude to you for being responsible for the biggest benchmark:  the 7,500+ views here.  You are the reason I continue to write.  I am still feeling my way through what most interests you, however, and will renew my invitation  to you to tell me what you would like to hear about.  (To those who did respond last time, I am working on it).

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It’s Not About Me, It’s About You: The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Intent is Everything

I am surprised to find myself nominated for yet another award.  I will start by acknowledging my nominator Paul of Resting In Awareness for this recognition.  If you are interested in getting to the end of the ‘spiritual search’ road, then please visit his blog.  It resonates in harmony with the ideas presented here, and will certainly provide some more perspective on how we, as sentient beings, can live our lives from that place of true Authenticity.

The most important acknowledgement goes to the people who continue to come here.  You are my primary inspiration, and your feedback often inspires my writings, so thank you for taking the time to give it.

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