There is softness, filled with a blanket of gratitude, which accompanies my perception of my world when I am immersed in the vision of my heart. Here I was, five days after returning from a cruise, still identifying with the peace of Spirit during my daily life. Something had changed in me—it was very subtle but it had a huge effect on how I functioned within my world.
The cruise was very luxurious. The staff totally pampered us yet, most of the time, I was bored! Back home, I reflected upon how necessary it was that I was removed from my normal routine, with nothing that I “had” to do. Trapped in the middle of the ocean, I couldn’t do my routine, even though I was addicted to it. My normal routine generally is not filled with softness, but rather a feeling of anxious rushing of “doing” this then that, chasing time with an attitude of lack.
On the sixth day after our cruise, I awoke with my customary feelings of anxiety. What had happened? Nothing changed outside of me so where was my peace, my softness, my gratitude, my desired vision? What had I done wrong?
So goes the drama of my life—a personal soap opera in which I cast myself into a role that seems to trap me in a hopeless financial struggle, like a soul caught in a mirror or some kind of bizarre Groundhog Day time-warp. It’s not that life is all that bad; it’s just that it’s not all that good either. What felt good from the cruise was how I lived within my world with the feeling of freedom, softness, and gratitude—Spirit’s vision, that accompanied my journey during those early, post-cruise days.
Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t the cruise that caused the identity of my heart’s vision. I’ve experienced it often before. It’s just that my heart’s vision occupies the minority of my life’s minutes, and I want to experience it more often. The cruise forced me to leave behind my normal routine, which I juggle with a lifetime of unfortunate habits. Death, in modern life, is an ongoing process of adrenal gland exhaustion and tightening brain structures, all of which bring fatigue at an increasing rate for those like me, who have played the game of life for over six decades.
All this brings me to a renewed motivation for internalizing the practice of peacefully observing my thoughts and extending a feeling of love to them, instead of judging them as either “for” or “against” them. The ultimate goal is to continually deepen my awareness of my heart’s vision for which I long. Not only that, but such an awareness entails the experienced understanding that it is our highest, deepest self which provides the conduit for that vision, though the vision itself comes from Spirit. Spirit is the flow of communication through the Oneness, of which our eternal reality as the extension of God’s Love, exists perpetually. Spirit communicates vision to us, using our body and brain as a tool. Where is the block between that Oneness and our physical experience of our world? Is the tool defective, or have we just not learned how to use it properly?
Most of us have been excellent students of modern life. We start being programmed at a very early age, and most of our education, inside and outside of the classroom, targets use of our analytical left brain. According to modern scientific research, that side of our brains thinks linearly and is our primary language, arithmetic, and logic processor. It is able to express itself consciously. We are promised to thrive in direct proportion to how efficiently we use the left side of our brain. Yet, the parallel processing right side of our brain is more responsible for how much we pull everything together, see the bigger picture, experience emotional balance, experience our oneness, and express ourselves creatively. It does not consciously express through word thoughts by itself. Together, a balanced development and use of both sides of the brain provide the perfect vehicle for Spirit to express through us. The problem is we’ve trained ourselves to ignore the non-verbal messages offered by the right side of our brain! In my estimation, The 5 Steps helped me to establish an excellent practice to reclaim right brained awareness, once deemphasized by the world in which I lived.
What do we do to extend love? For me, the end result of such an exercise is a mellowed state of mind that allows the more comprehensive and peaceful state, which I call Holy Spirit’s Vision. It is a vision I long to experience with increasing frequency. While the result feels automatic, getting to that result requires conscious choice, since I have automatically favored the choices of left brained reasoning, with a disproportionate lack of balance favoring linear logic centered on incomplete perceptual information.
Brain thoughts are but processed memories of perceptions. Perceptions are processed impulses from our sensory organs. Each impulse passes through an area of the brain that assigns an emotional meaning to the impulse, relative to fear or love, before the higher brain grabs it and figures out what it is and how to store it in relationship to previously stored memories. Language is then often attached to the thought. When a thought is retrieved, the emotional signal arrives first, followed by the analytical and linguistic signals. Often, the first arrival (the emotional component) is rapidly overlooked.
The good news is that our innate Spirit has been able to intrude consciously upon our orchestrated melodrama, exposing Spirit’s communication, many times in our life. We have a “feeling” memory of such times, though it often takes some work on our part to bring it to the forefront. We can remember times in which we felt an awareness that we are basically good, basically loving, basically wanting to express that inner reality into the world. Never mind that the world didn’t seem to want it. It is there, and it is real!
As part of my exercise, I start by recalling that state of awareness of love within. When my brain is agitated, I recall the feeling of peace, a time of awareness of Spirit’s presence and safety, experienced in my past. Then I clear the table of my heart and place that re-experienced memory front and center, allowing its essence to fill me. As I hold onto the feeling of that experience, I am turning down the volume of my linear thinking brain. Now, it is the turn of the part of the brain that is open to sensing a bigger picture, and my intent is to allow myself to enhance my ability to sense Spirit’s insights through that part of my brain. I am training my brain to be a more balanced vehicle through which eternal reality can communicate in a more effective manner to my earthly experience.
Peace steps in at this point. Peace allows vision. Vision looks upon my thoughts, yet stands apart from those thoughts and views them in perspective. At this point and for this exercise, I do not engage my left brain functions to analyze the quality of my thoughts. Neither do I dwell upon the emotional feelings attached to a thought. I simply allow the thoughts and their accompanying feelings, and stay centered in the experience of vision. I hold to my peace and knowledge of the love that I am. I trust it. I allow the peaceful experience of vision, and let each thought of evaluation just drift away from my soft centered awareness.