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Choose LOVE…always, all ways.

Mayo 25, 2011

It’s good to be reminded that choosing love over fear is what we’re here on earth for, what the spiritual journey is really about. If we see beyond the shadow, beyond the illusion of fear and find love in ourselves and in everything that we do, then we are consciously moving on the path to mastery.

Of course, easy to say, harder to do.

For every act, thought, word that we release into the world…are we always in a loving space? Check for yourself. Just for this day, go back to how you talked to yourself. What did you say to yourself this morning, lunch time, this afternoon or right before you read this post? What did you eat? Was it what your body needs, or wants? How did you communicate to other people? What did you think about them? Or what did you think about yourself? Try to notice these things for a few days and see if you are in a loving space most of the time, or even half of the time.

I struggle with this everyday. Maybe less than last year, but I still do. Every little self-talk or inner dialogue with myself, I have to stop and consciously remind myself — oops, that wasn’t coming from a place of love…! It’s easier to say loving things to other people than be loving to ourselves (but, loving another when you do not love yourself…is not really possible, at least that’s how I experienced it and that’s how I understand it now). And, it seems more “natural”, or maybe more convenient to blame ourselves, be negative about our lives, and prevent ourselves from doing things that will make us happy. It’s easy to react with fear, doubt, anger, sadness, guilt, shame, and pain than to choose love, hope, happiness, peace, light, and bliss. Again, it’s not easy, and it takes much courage to choose love always and all ways.

But, when you feel and see the difference it makes in your life…it gets easier and more joyous! Life becomes an opportunity, an exciting journey…an adventure that just keeps getting better and better. So, here’s to our adventures into love and our journeys as divine beings! Enjoy every moment, always, all ways!

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Ako ay Pilipino, Taas Noo kahit Kanino

Mayo 18, 2011
Kataastaasang Babaylan Reyna Yolanda Liban Manalo

"Apo", embodied in Kataastaasang Babaylan Reyna Yolanda Liban Manalo; photo by Louise Far

Sa pagbabalik ko mula sa mahigit isang linggong kapiling ang Apo doon sa Cagayan Valley, marami akong naunawaan tungkol sa sarili at lalo na tungkol sa buhay. Ang pinakamahalagang baon ko, ang pagmamahal at pagtangkilik sa lupang aking sinilangan.

Kakaiba rin ang bulong ng tadhana nang ako’y tumungo roon. Ang tanging sadya ko ay mabuksan at tuluyang mapakawalan ang aking karma. At pagkat ito lamang ang pakay, ninais kong pumisan doon sa loob lamang ng tatlo o apat na araw. Ngunit, may ibang planong nakalaan para sa akin. Dumating ang aking buwanang dalaw, dahilan upang di mapahintulutang lumapit sa Apo (sapagkat ito ay nakakaapekto sa kanya) at di rin mapabuksan ang aklat ng aking buhay. Sa simula ay yamot na yamot ako, di natuloy ang gusto kong mangyari. Maraming naglaro sa aking isipan, at nagpupumiglas ang damdamin. Maya-maya’y nagkaroon ng liwanag, pinakinggan ang tila mahinang bulong na unti-unting lumakas. Ano nga ba ang sanhi ng pagmamadali ko? Naisaayos ko naman ang mga naiwang gawain, at madali namang iayon ang anumang mga naitakdang plano ayon sa nagbabagong ihip ng hangin. Ilang saglit pa at gumaan ang aking pakiramdam. Tama. Ako ay mananatili sa piling ni Apo hanggang sa lumipas at lumisang muli ang buwanang bisita ko. Angkop rin naman sapagkat ang mga inimbitahan kong estudyante mula sa UP na nais magsaliksik ukol sa Dr. Jose Rizal ay maaari ko na ring hintayin at masamahan.

Ang buong linggong paglagi ko sa Cagayan ay mapayapa, simple, masaya, at nagpatibay sa aking paniniwala sa kahusayan ng lahing Pilipino. Bagamat ilang araw ko lamang nakausap ang Apo, ang mga butil ng kaalaman ay aking napulot mula sa mga bagong kaibigang bahagi ng komunidad ng Celyo Rizal, sa mga kabataan, sa mga hayop at halamang naroon, at higit sa lahat sa mensaheng pinarating ni Amang Araw, Inang Lupa, Amang Hangin at Inang Tubig. At sa loob ng tatlong araw na nakausap ko pa ang Apo, aba, talaga namang siksik, liglig at umaapaw ang kaalaman at karunungang ngayo’y aking tunay na nauunawaan.

Sa mahabang mga usapan at sa libo-libong butil ng kaalaman at karunungan, na tila mga butil ng palay o butil ng buhangin sa dami, isa ang naging napakatingkad para sa akin — ang pagibig sa tinubuang lupa — ang malalim na pagunawa sa aking sarili bilang isang Pilipino, at ang di mapantayang pagmamahal sa ating lahing maharlika.

Nakakatawang, nakakatuwang kausap si Apo, sapagkat ganito ko rin talaga kausap ang sansinukuban (universe), o ganito ko nakikinitang kausapin ang diyos na aking pinaniniwalaan. Yun bang puno ng pagmamahal at pagunawa sa kanyang mga anak, walang galit bagkus nariyan upang magbigay gabay o patnubay, pagpapala, biyaya at pagkalinga. Yun nga lang, di ko naisip o nahinuha na kakausapin niya ako sa sariling wika, haaay ang sarap pala nang pakiramdam na dito napiling pumisan ng diyos, sa piling nating mga Pilipino. Yun nga lang, sa dami ng drama natin sa sarili, sa buhay, sa mga “nang-api” na mga mananakop, at kung anu-ano pa…di natin ito alintana. O siguro mangilan-ngilan sa atin ang nakakaalam at tumatanggap sa katotohanang ito. O, tulad ng sabi ni Apo, hindi pa lang ito ang panahon. Ngunit malapit na malapit na ang nakatakdang muling paglutang ng Pilipinas, at ng Pilipino, mula sa dungis at putik na kinasadlakan nito.

Haay. Syempre, ayan at naiinip na naman ako. Ang hanging elemento ko ay nais lumipad, sumugod, umikot at pumalaot upang marating ang panahong binanggit ni Apo.  Nakakabagot na rin kasing hintaying makilala natin bilang mga Pilipino ang gintong pagkatao natin, ang tunay nating husay at galing. Manaka-naka, may magpapakitang-gilas sa atin, ngunit di magtatagal ay pilit nating ibaba kung sino man iyon, tulad ng patuloy nating pagbaba sa ating mga sarili.

Ako man ganyan sa aking sarili, paminsan-minsan. Iba kasi ang naging pagunawa natin sa saliting pagpapakumbaba e. Nabahiran ng kaisipang nakatali sa salitang “api”. Di natin kailangang ibaba ang sarili, di rin kailangang iangat. Sapat na maunawaan natin na ang lahing Pilipino ay tunay na maharlika, at ang Pilipinas ay lupang hinirang. Kapag naging malalim ang pagtanggap natin sa katotohanang ito, nagiging malinaw ang papel natin sa mundo, ang papel natin sa nakatakdang plano. Wala nang kailangang gawin kundi ang magpakatotoo sa kung sino tayo. Taas Noo. Kahit Kanino. Sapagkat tayo ay Pilipino.

Ang hiwaga ng ating lahi ay unti-unti nating mauunawaan sa paggulong ng mga oras, araw at buwan. Sa katunayan, pagsapit ng 2012, ang nakatakda para sa ating lahi ay mabibigyang katuparan.

Marami pa akong ibabahagi dito upang kahit paano ay maging gabay o kapulutan ng mga nagbabasa ng aral, hugutan ng lakas ng loob, o kuwestiyunin na siyang magsisilbing daan para sa mas malalim na pagkilala sa sarili at lahi. Yan ang mas mainam. Ang simulang tahakin ang landas pabalik sa kung sino at ano tayo bilang mga Pilipino.

Taas Noo. Kahit Kanino. Pagkat tayo ay Pilipino. Ako ay Pilipino.

I am GAS-SENG! (my ancient name)

Abril 25, 2011

Me and KB Yolanda Liban Manalo  I am still amazed at how my journey is going. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, where one piece is necessarily linked and most of the time leads to the next. Well, it’s probably that way ever since, or that’s probably how it was designed. Or maybe that was how I co-designed it before I went back to earth, when I was still in the spiritual world, planning with the rest of the spirits and divine beings there. It’s just funny how I never really saw it that way before, or I was not aware of it and was only able to see things more clearly and more consciously now. What do I mean?

Well, let’s start with my last blog (which is the usual way I start, because like this blog, my life seems to be a continuation of where I was before…and again, that’s probably “life 101”, right?). Anyway, in my last entry, I said that my journey has led me to the emergence of the healer in me. And voila! I get to meet one of the most important healers of this time, probably even beyond what we know of the word “healer”, here in the Philippines. She is embodied in the personality of Kataastaasang Babaylan (High Priestess) Yolanda Liban Manalo, of the group or community Celyo Rizal (one of the many Rizalista groups in the country). I guess, when you open doors, you really have to be prepared to go through the doorway and find more doors to open…if you so choose. Then the door (with whatever lesson is there for you to learn) shows up exactly at the time that you need it and when you are ready for it. How much you learn from that lesson, again is entirely up to you and how open or ready you are. Boy, this time around…I was open and ready!

In Kataastaasang Babaylan Yolanda Liban Manalo, I somehow found myself (or a version of myself that I was yet to rediscover) and a lot of my deep questions (even those that were not articulated in words) got answered. It was as if I had encountered a Divine Being of the highest order, who truly, totally know who I am. She spoke of deep truths that resonated with my whole being, past-present-future, across time and space, all at once. What was really magnificent was that she spoke in the language of my motherland and spoke intelligently, humorously, truthfully…no pretensions, no hidden lies (which I have the gift for knowing, given an “internal barometer” that I was born with, as an Indigo). Woah…ok, now what is an Indigo? Well, I don’t want to go on about being an Indigo here, that’s for another blog entry I guess. But, you can easily find out online, just enter the words Indigo Child, Indigo Adults, Indigo Phenomenon, etc.

Back to my encounter with the KB…you see, I had been reading articles by the “new age” people, and I keep resonating with them (I actually consider myself “new age” too, although I don’t agree with the term new age because we are in the new age, that term has got to evolve, or maybe it has and I have yet to find out what it evolved into) but now I was granted an opportunity to be with someone who understood me, completely. She knew what I know deep within and of course, she knows even beyond, and knows not just about me but about other people (and nature, other beings, ancient truths) as well.

She spoke about my past karma, a trauma in one of my past lives that has had an impact and effect on how I live my life at present. She was spot on. Exactly! I’m not too comfortable sharing it here though, so…I won’t. Then she gave me an exercise on how to start releasing that karma. I’ve done it most of the time, of course I’d forget once in a while, but I felt a huge difference. I felt lighter, like I lost a lot of baggage and burden. Plus, knowing about it already made a huge difference. I can see how it plays into my life, into my drama.

And, the most significant gift she gave me (and the rest of the people who were part of our group) was my ancient name: Gas-Seng. This is of course a translation because it was written in ancient script. What it means is Spark, or like a Key. She said that it means a wayshower, a precursor, someone who starts something or opens something so that others can follow. Woah…YES, THAT’S ME ALRIGHT! I’ve always seen my path as lonely, and myself as misunderstood. I keep wanting to do stuff that seem quite farfetched, or even advanced for what is currently in my reality. Given this knowledge, given my ancient name, it all fell into place. The puzzle that is my self has finally found completion. Of course with room for expansion and growth. But, after knowing my ancient name, I felt this deep sense of peace, serenity, and love. I am Gas-Seng! I embrace myself fully…ancient-present-futuristic me!

Another interesting piece of information the KB shared (after rediscovering my ancient name, which was apparently part of my name or inherent in my name) was that I have a twin, embodied in male form in this lifetime. My theory is that because my name is a two-part name, that’s why. Haha. Just my theory. I have yet to ask the KB again. But, this was a true “aha” moment for me. I’ve always felt that something or someone was missing in my life. And, early on it was translated in a sort of “knight in shining armor”, “someday my prince will come” notion of that other. Then, as I grew older, specifically in the recent years, I realized that I was looking for a spiritual companion-spiritual colleague-best friend-partner who I will be with in this life to understand my purpose and path…the lover aspect, a bonus. I also have this deep knowing that I will know for sure who this person is and that we will start walking together (still walking our individual paths, but in partnership)…this year. A very exciting meeting indeed!

In the short amount of time I got to be with the KB, I felt I moved so far along on my path. And I can’t wait to go back and experience so much again the next time I meet her. In fact, she invited me back so that we (or she) can release the rest of my karma in order for me to move or glide onward to my life’s purpose! Yey! And of course, you’ll read more when that happens…pretty soon!

If you are interested to have the same experience and get to know our very own Kataastaasang Babaylan Yolanda Liban Manalo…don’t hesitate to comment here or send me a message. I tell you, being with her (if you are open and ready) is life-changing. And, as I embrace my current name and my ancient name…that means I open the door for other people to follow. So…if that’s you…just knock and I’ll lead you to her. Because, it’s time for all of us to embrace who we are.

Photo courtesy of: Louise Far and Contemporary Corporeality Dance Residency

the Emerging Healer in Me

Marso 8, 2011

Last year, between April and May, during the Emerge! International Training for Cultural Creatives that I co-organized with some young people, I had a glimpse of a “different” and “amazingly powerful” me. One that seems to be who I really am, but not yet. An emerging, future possibility. It was the most wonderful experience to have  been given that opportunity, to see what one can BE (or maybe one was already but hidden through layers of shadows and darkness).

Equally amazing was the chance to be in communion with people, who at that time also seem to be encountering their own emerging selves.

Going back into our “daily lives”, into our “ordinary selves” was shocking. In fact, after the experience I went straight into depression. After experiencing “heaven on earth”, I went and dove into oblivion, the abyss, rock bottom or “hell”…of my own making. The easiest thing to do was to succumb to the darkness and stay there. The most challenging was to find the light within and to open one’s heart to love oneself.

Staying with the process, I realized that I have been truly blessed. My journey towards healing has allowed for the emergence of the healer in me, the me that I encountered as a future possibility. Slowly, lovingly I am becoming who I was meant to be.

In the recent days, in constant dialogue with the Universe, I have been shown various avenues for continuous healing — for myself, and others as well. I see now that everything I’ve done in my life was leading me to this path, for this very purpose. The integration of my past and future is becoming clear in my present reality. Healing and empowering myself and others, using all my gifts (talents and skills), is my unique contribution to the world.

Moving towards my 33rd year come September, I am ready to be a vessel to help co-create heaven on earth, to bridge Spirit and Matter, to walk the Jesus path. The trials that were “thrown at me” in the past couple of months helped strengthen me as a willing, open and loving vessel.

The healer in me grows stronger as I continue to believe in myself and love myself. Doubts and fears are accepted, embraced and then released. Focused and open, strong and vulnerable, trusting and loving…I walk consciously on to create the life I am meant to live: blissful and purpose-driven.

Inner Journey: the next phase

Enero 3, 2011

Just as 2010 was bidding us all goodbye, I felt my journey coming to an end…or detouring to a new beginning. I’ve stepped into a new space, a wonderful world that seemed to open up inside me. It is filled with light, love and tremendous peace. I’ve never been to this “place”, although I have longed for it my whole life. Yet, at the same time, it is all too familiar. It feels like home.

When one gets to this space, this Sacred Space, you find that you don’t even have to think about what to do with your outer world. You don’t even have to think, period. You have complete trust in what you feel. You know that it can only get better…and better. The old ways of doing things just fall away. My inner journey took me from autumn to winter and now it’s spring. I have given birth to a new me.

What does the new me look like? I still have no idea. If I did, then I’d just be rummaging from my old set of identities. And, honestly, they’re all worn-out. I love recycling, but I know when to give up something that does not fit anymore. The best clue is when you’re getting suffocated and uncomfortable, or when you feel limited by the lack of options. It’s not been easy for me in the past, especially for someone like me who suffers from “attachment syndrome” (this is my own diagnosis, although I know there are sufferers out there like me). I get deeply, crazily attached to things that give me a sense of meaning, worth and love. Of course, when you lack these things, or fail to see these qualities in yourself, you have a great need to find it in other people and in material stuff.

Anyway, I do know that the new me is still human. And I will have bits and pieces of my old identities, just like a baby getting his/her DNA, genes and characteristics from his/her parents. I also know that I’m going to be a different kind of human, listening more to my heart, my soul and my intuition (which is really my way of communicating with the Universe); moving into the world coming from a place of light and love. This time with the inner strength and love that I continue to cultivate and nurture.

So, what is the next phase? From light to more light. A light that will be shared to others. From this inner spring…to summer! Now, what would that look like? I still don’t know, but I am truly excited.

Continuing the Journey to Self-Healing

Oktubre 10, 2010

How well do you know YOU? I mean, really know your SELF? My guess is, like me, not much or not enough. In fact, like me, you might also be thinking that the journey of being human is knowing and experiencing oneself as a human being. A being that seems to be not of this earth but seems to be of this earth as a human. Confusing? Well it is, that’s why to find clarity in life we continuously need to search for answers.

So as I slowly move towards self-healing, I found myself asking the fundamental questions once again — WHO AM I? WHAT IS MY LIFE’S PURPOSE? You see, in this ever-evolving journey we are never who we seem to be. In fact, the moment we cling on to a certain identity we get stuck. Especially if everything else is zooming past us, changing in the blink of an eye. Roles get muddled. Careers, relationships and finances come and go. Yesterday is only seconds away from today. It’s quite difficult to be who you were yesterday, when today has already changed so much. I’m not saying it’s a good thing or that we need to catch up or be a chameleon. What I’m saying is, with the speed by which the world moves, have we been able to stop and ask the important questions? Or are we just lost, floating and spinning out-of-control?

I don’t know about you, but I know I am quite lost. Back in August, I fell into the Abyss. I fell deep and hard. I’m just slowly learning to climb back up. Slowly. This is one of the painful lessons I’ve come to accept. I’ve avoided and gone around the darkness for far too long. No more. I needed to come face-to-face with my Self, to encounter myself deeply, and accept all that I am with love. Everyday in the last two months I continue to be shocked and surprised at what I discover, what I find about myself. The support of my family and friends are indispensable, with conversations that I will forever treasure. Silence, meditations and prayers — phenomenal! Books and articles on spirituality, self-help, enneagram, temperaments have helped tremendously.

One such book I’ve recently got a hold of is “Creating Optimism: A Proven, 7-Step Program for Overcoming Depression based on the Popular Uplift Program” by Bob Murray and Alicia Fortinberry. I haven’t finished reading the book and only on the first part, or first step of the entire program but I am blown-away by what they have shared. The authors combine scientific studies, their personal experience of chronic depression and experience with the patients or clients in their Uplift Program –an unconventional method culled from their own search for personal healing. I’m not planning to copy-paste here everything that they’ve written in that book because it would be too much and I can’t select specifics — one needs to read the book in its entirety, because it is quite complete in it’s approach.

There were things that struck me though, one is what they said about the mismatch between us and the world we live in today, that we are hunter-gatherers trying to cope with the fast evolution and rapid technological advancement of today. Families have suffered so much, especially the nuclear family trying to fend for itself when it is still in need of community, of communal life. I deeply resonate with this, seeing the impact in the families here in the Philippines –with migration and overseas workers, with children left behind by parents who both need to work in order to “survive”, with the television as the new nanny, and so much more. They also went on to explain other concepts necessary to understand depression, from the different methods used to the influences both biological and social.

At this point I am working on identifying and defeating my Inner Saboteur. It’s quite interesting that this is one of the initial steps necessary to overcome depression as it was what I’ve encountered at the bottom of my personal deep dive, confronting how I’ve created my own problems and sabotaged my own happiness, again and again. I’m way past the blame game and stopped looking for people, situations and relationships to blame for what I have become, for my problems, for “programming” the way I think, feel and act. I recognize that blaming people is just a vicious cycle that may even lead me to continue down the spiral of self-defeating and self-destructing behaviors. But, I also recognize the need to identify the root cause of my problems, identifying the voices that have helped create my Inner Saboteur. To identify in order to dis-identify.

What I’ve discovered is that my program (and most likely yours, too), created in early childhood then reinforced all through my life, is a smorgasbord of wrong beliefs that I’ve owned from my experience with significant adults. The sabotaging voice inside my head is a combination of the constant negative criticism, feeling of unworthiness and pressure to excel, abuse (physical and emotional), failure or inability to fulfill my dreams, conditional love (punishment and reward), money madness and materialism (and so many other things that I’m still unearthing) out of my experience in childhood with my mom, dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles, neighbors, teachers, nannies, older cousins; although mostly from my parents (because they were the closest and the most significant relationship in my young life). Again, I don’t blame them because they have also been programmed by the significant adults in their lives and by our entire society.

Obviously, I’ve got a lot of reprogramming to do. Especially, since the inner saboteur is masterful at deception and manipulation, I have to see how my habitual patterns show up in daily life. Doing the exercises is quite surprising, I realized that everyday the choices I make from the moment I wake up to the time I sleep is part of the programming. In order to defeat the program, I have to be vigilant at doing things that counter the program. For example, I have to watch how I criticize myself and others, then change this habitual pattern into encouragement and support, or even just to find ways to say things gently and without judgment.

Realizing these things now, I can’t help but think about the young people like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and “stars” both international and local who went through the same problems and more –magnified and distorted by media. I feel compassion for what they went through and continue to go through. At the same time, again I am truly amazed by the gift of spirit, humility and talents exhibited by Taylor Swift, Zac Efron, and our very own Charice Pempengco. I can imagine the strong foundation that their families and loved ones have provided to help them remain grounded and level-headed as they continue to reach for their dreams, share themselves and inspire other young people.

This leads me to another crucial thing in my life right now: my purpose. Really figuring out what I love to do, what makes me truly happy and inspired. All through my life I’ve done things to rebel against my parents and authority figures, to prove something to people, to please others, to make myself seen and acknowledged, to be worthy. I’ve had rare occasions where I was able to just do and be happy with what I do. As I delve deeper into myself, untangling my knotted perspectives and identities, I also rediscover my passion devoid of any ulterior motive or agenda other than to just be me, love myself and be happy!

Oh and one important advise from the book is to enlist the support of family and friends, people who can help me arrest my inner saboteur, without reinforcing them. Funny how I got to have a great conversation with my brother yesterday (who’s really been there for me throughout this journey) and he’s offered to support me even without me asking. How great is that!

In this whole ordeal (which I do believe was Amazing Grace), I’ve gotten closer to my family, gotten to know myself more, slowly finding and rekindling my true passion. Authenticity, Creativity and Integrity –here I come! Rock and Roll! And, thanking the heavens in advance for all the wonderful blessings coming my way…slowly but surely.

I’ve still got a long way to go but this time I feel more empowered as I continue on my journey towards self-healing. It’s exciting to feel this way now with the first step in the program, I can see more empowered steps soon. One sure step at a time!

And, just now as I’m writing this — I got news of a great opportunity (and possibility for work) from my dad! I’m not jumping in as quickly (especially since I’m still in the process of getting to the root of my passion) but I know that it’s the Universe responding to my open heart! Wow! (and my brother cheering me on…”positive! positive!”)

Discovering the Antidote to Self-Sabotage

Setyembre 28, 2010

In my last post, I recognized the vicious cycle that has plagued me for most of my life: self-sabotage. This was deeply connected to my issues of worth, love, and beauty.  A phenomenon that affects a lot of people, in many different ways. It has been very helpful for me to understand and accept that I was the one creating the difficulties in my life, led by my “inner saboteur” and therefore the power to stop this cycle is also mine, my choice. The all important question now is: HOW??

Yes, it’s easy to say: aha, it’s you! Much, much harder to figure out what to do next. So in the last weeks up until last friday, I continued to “sit on it”, sift through the thoughts and emotions, moving through the dark tunnel of my own creation and past the cobwebs that keep blocking my path. As I continue to focus on developing my inner strength, continuing to face and embrace my shadows, one-by-one…slowly…slowly…I find the light and the light finds me.

Of course, it wouldn’t have been possible without my family, and my closest friends supporting me as patiently and lovingly as they could. Not that they knew how to help me, but just opening their hearts to me and sharing themselves in love was enough. In fact, listening without judgment was more than enough. I’ve had plenty of judgments on myself and days devoted to hating myself, so to hear or even feel judgments from people is like a million daggers piercing through my heart. One wonderfully memorable experience was my brother’s girlfriend, who was quite the church-goer, reminding me of true acceptance and surrender. I was totally moved by it. Although I know myself to be deeply spiritual, I was never religious. But, in that moment when she was praying for and with me, I completely understood what she was saying…and this song started playing in my head: “cast your burden upon me, those who are heavily laden. Come to me and I will give you rest.” I was finally allowing the “Christ Consciousness” to fill me. I cried buckets of tears the entire time.

I realized then that my biography up to this point has been about me finding my way out, about me doing something about my life, only my efforts can yield the results I want. I keep saying I trust the Universe, God, the higher beings…but in reality, deep inside, I have been holding on to the belief that I can only help myself, that I can only lean on myself. The know-it-all in me, and the fearful me seemed to always have its way. I keep doing my thing. But, during this journey, I found myself trapped, there was no way out for me. I’ve exhausted my options. It’s time to learn my lesson, to understand the message behind this powerful experience.

Layer-by-layer, I saw what’s underneath, what’s been lurking in the deep darkness of my soul. The first layer was my rage and anger at dysfunctional systems, people and myself. The next layer was this utter loneliness that spiraled into depression, the feeling that I was alone in this struggle, disconnected to everything. Then the next layer was  guilt and shame.

An article by one of my favorite spirit library (www.spiritlibrary.com) writers, Jennifer Hoffman,  has clearly articulated my personal struggle with these two negative emotions. Here are some excerpts of her article:

Guilt is one way that we are manipulated by others. Parents often use guilt to control their children, believing that by showing them the consequences their behavior has on others that they will learn to be considerate and compassionate. It’s a backwards way of saying that we should be aware of our connections. But then we avoid acting by trying to minimize the guilt we will feel when we put our needs and desires over those of others and we lose our perspective about what is important to us.

Shame is such a destructive form of manipulation because it takes guilt one step further. If we disregard the guilt ploy then we get moved into shame. Now we are a bad person, inconsiderate, selfish, or self serving by ignoring others’ needs. Our desires become a source of shaming by those who feel their needs are more important. Within the guilt/shame cycle, if we can overcome guilt and proudly declare our intention to serve our needs, we are attacked at our core and our being. Shame moves blame from what we are doing to who we are. Few of us can withstand this type of attack, so we absorb the shame and it becomes part of our belief system.

When we have learned these principles well, we use the guilt/shame cycle on ourselves. After a few passes with it, we do not need someone to guilt and shame us, we know what to do. So when we put our desires forward, we look at what others want or expect of us and decide whether the guilt is worth the effort. If we decide it is, then risk shame if we make a choice whose outcome ripples energetically around us, as it will. Now comes the hard part, can we step out of this cycle, see the interplay of these energies and use our heart to ask “what do I want’ instead assessing each choice through what it will cost us in terms of our guilt and shame?

The Worst that can Happen

Guilt and shame take us on internal journeys of fear, where they convince us that whatever they represent is the worst thing that can happen. Like all fearful things, they are the debris of the past, so they have no real power other than that which we give them. But as with all things that reside in our imagination and harness the power of our mind and thinking, guilt and shame are powerful creators of our reality. They can also block us at every turn until we move beyond the belief that their imaginings are the worst that can happen because there is something worse than our guilt and shame.

How can anything be worse than shame and guilt? The paralysis that they create within us which prevents us from taking any action whose outcome they could be connected to. For guilt, these are outcomes that risk our feeling guilty about our actions or being made to feel guilty by someone else. Remember that guilt is about manipulation, so if we want to do something that benefits us, the fear of having someone telling us that we are bad or wrong, because they would have preferred we make the effort, spend the time or use the energy on their behalf.

Shame connects to our fear of abandonment, rejection and ultimately, death. Our fear of being shamed has long roots in our primal fear of being left alone, without support, and dying. This could be physical death but it can also be emotional death, where we have no one to love or care for us. In today’s world this fear can seem silly but we’re dealing on the level of the mind, past lifetimes and cellular memory. So from that perspective these fears are very real and will lead us to do anything to avoid shame and its potentially disastrous results. (http://spiritlibrary.com/uriel-heals/the-guiltshame-cycle?utm_source=Spirit+Library+Updates&utm_campaign=8d8e0b5e9b-Daily_Update&utm_medium=email)

Seeing all my shadows, issues, and patterns…the next logical thing is to hate — my life, this world and myself. All of these layers played into my Self-Sabotage pattern. I was never free from it, just moving from one layer to the next. Today, the session with my voice teacher has led me to a still deeper layer of consciousness (or unconsciousness) that I believe informs my Self-Sabotage: the false belief and deep-seated fear of death, not physical death but the death of my Spirit. I would always get out of situations ultimately because of this fear. I probably even created the situations, attracting people and opportunities in my life then eventually getting into destructive patterns to “shield” myself from the possibility of my Spirit “dying” in the throes of criticisms and negativity. This seems to be at the root of all my victim stories, as well.

Fortunately, also because of my voice class I’ve found the antidote: eternal Spirit. I am reminded of the powerful message I have encountered (but obviously not internalized) from the Conversation with God series of Neale Donald Walsch, that our purpose here on earth is to know our divinity, and accept that we are all Gods, “we were made in the image and likeness of God.” Doubting my divinity, my authentic source of power is truly the rock bottom in terms of disconnection. How will I be able to manifest my truth when I am denying that truth?

This knowledge, this light has showed me how to move forward. Inner strength is to be found in following, allowing, fully believing, trusting and committing to my Spirit. What’s exciting for me now is that I not only know this, I have experienced it in my voice class. It is in moments when I could completely trust my Spirit that I am free to sing like I’ve never sung before. I feel my limitless potential soaring through the high and complicated notes. Doubts and lack of commitment are the only blocks to my liberation. Loads of doubts have accumulated — from experiences, from people who have told me again and again that I couldn’t do it. Of course doubts that I’ve perpetuated myself because I have allowed myself to believe the lies and negativity, and accepted them as my truth. But, today I say, NO MORE.

I have to start listening to my own Spirit, to the voice within. I have to keep practicing, putting my attention and intention in following my Spirit. Quieting my mind, leaving the past traumas and dramas behind and striving to connect more with my heart. Whenever I listen more to my heart, follow my joy and bliss, life flows more easily…in the same way that singing comes naturally, amazingly. This lesson has been greatly affirmed by the inspirations that Charice Pempengco (who has the most powerful voice, and Spirit) and Arnel Pineda are sharing with all of us. They are living their truth, the truth of their Spirit and we stand in awe and gratitude to be able to witness such power and creation. I am not hoping to be Charice, or to be Arnel…but like them, I aspire to strengthen my Spirit and share my gifts to the world.

Now that I’ve found the antidote, it’s up to me how to continue to heal myself and walk my path. I shall start stripping the layers off, until I stand naked and free, letting my Spirit take me towards the fulfillment of my purpose, passions, and dreams. Slowly, but surely, I will get to where I long to BE.