Saturday, July 26, 2014

Finding peace

After working with angels nearly two decades, I've come a long way in learning to allow everything that arises with me to be expressed, at least in private. I rarely get mad anymore, but every now and then something triggers me. Instead of taking this out on anyone else, the angels have taught me to go to my journal and give myself permission to rant and rave, whether reasonably or not. And so I do. I let out all my feelings, whether rational, reasonable, or even justifiable on paper. I type and type and type and write the letters to souls, saying the things that I would never say in person. Inevitably what occurs after awhile is that I get a new perspective. I see what changes I must make in my own mind, my own life, or my own heart to return to love. I usually find compassion for myself and for anyone else involved. Like clearing pipes in which mud and dirt have built up, suddenly the clear feelings run through me like clear water.

The angels have also taught me to let go of my attachment to how others behave, think, and act, and to allow others to be as they are. If I do not like how a person is behaving, they've taught me to kindly ask them to change, or to learn to allow. They've taught me to either stay or move away from relationships depending on whether or not compromises and loving solutions can be reached. And in this way I've been able to avoid a lot of unnecessary drama, and wasted time. Others either belong in my life or they don't. I can either work things out with someone or I can't. All wishful thinking must be laid by the wayside and I must deal with the reality of the person in front of me. I have been taught to be impeccably honest - my own feelings, and to keep my opinions of those in front of me to myself unless they have asked me to share. It has taken a lot of practice, and a lot of really looking deeply at my own ego needs to finally be able to "live and let live."

I'll never forget a time someone near to me said they were concerned about my soul. They read one of my books and decided I needed to take religious classes to correct my perspective of reality. At first I tried to explain myself, but the angels told me to "stop seeking agreement," and simply come from the heart. I finally told this individual that I loved them but I was quite happy with my belief system. I told them that I would never presume to tell them what they should believe about life, and I requested that even if they could not agree with me, I was asking them to accept that I was choosing the path for my life that was right for me. If they could not do that, I kindly said I would not be a part of their life. We had a long discussion on the difference between acceptance and agreement,"II accept that what you choose is right for you, even if I do not agree." At long last we agreed to disagree, and to love rather than to have a need to be "right" in any ultimate sense of the word. It made continuing the relationship possible.

Years ago, I was crying over the fact that my family did not understand my new found mystical beliefs. I was praying, "God how do I get them to understand me?" Jesus showed up in my vision, clear as day. "Stop trying to get them to understand you," He said. He had my attention. The sheer power of His love made me stop crying. I listened. "They will understand your love," He said simply and then left. They will understand your love. That one statement changed my life. Now when I disagree with someone I attempt a dialogue. If not possible, I simply let them be, make a clear decision about whether or not I want them in my life "as they are," and choose to be loving and kind no matter what. In this fashion, I have finally found peace within. We all can...

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The right wrong turns

I'm laughing at the angels' mention of "No Wrong Turns." As you read llast week, I finally took a big road trip to see the glorious slot canyons in Northern, AZ. One of the things that kept me from doing it so long, in addition to the many other excuses I had, was a subtle fear of getting lost on the highways. I like taking off on my own but in doing that I have no one else with whom to confirm directions. I do not have a cell phone because I don't need one, and I don't have a car that talks to give me directions. So when I go anywhere I do things the old fashioned way. I print out maps and memorize the turns.

I was enjoying a beautiful sunrise drive on Route 66 north of Flagstaff, that turned into Highway 89. The pine forests gave way to grassy meadows. In time the highway was bordered by beautiful mountains on the Navajo reservation, and dotted by roadside stands, farm country, and the rare gas stations. I had wonderful songs blasting on my iPod and was deeply enjoying the scenery when I realized that I had driven over 100 miles and the turnoff to Page, AZ was supposed to be at the 82 mile mark. I could not, for the life of me, recall seeing an intersecting highway. I decided to drive farther to the next gas station since I couldn't remember where the last one had been!

The highway snaked and rolled through beautiful countryside. Red rock mountains in the distance were dotted with white bands of what appeared to be limestone. A mixture of cactus and scrub brush carpeted the landscape. A house here, a church there, and just as I started getting nervous, I found myself crossing a beautiful huge bridge over a sapphire blue River into the entrance to Lee's Ferry at Glenn Canyon, and the Vermillion Cliffs. I pulled the car over and started laughing! Just last week I had seen the Vermillion Cliffs online and made a mental note that I'd like to visit them "some day." I had decided that including them into this weekend trip would be too much. Yet, here I was at 8:00am in the morning staring at these treasures!

I drove up to the lone Chevron gas station where the kind clerk informed me I had to drive back 40 miles to get to the turn-off to Page, AZ. Thanking the angels for waking me up early, I realized I'd make it to the canyons just in time to catch the perfect late morning light. In the meanwhile I fueled up the car, snapped some photos and finally turned around to continue to my original destination. No wrong turns indeed!

Of course, as I wrote last week, the trip was breathtaking and beautiful. Nature's splendor and raw power held me in an awe-inspired embrace the entire time. And even though I drove over 630 miles in two days I was not at all tired. I was overjoyed!

The lessons weren't over however! On the way home, Zippy, my car angel, reminded me I needed to take the car in for service as soon as I got back. Prior to the trip the car felt like it was wobbling. I had the tires checked and asked the angels if I'd be safe on the road. "Yes you'll be fine but take me in right after you get back," my car angel replied! A few days later at the repair shop, I was simultaneously appalled, and delighted to find out that my brakes were shot, my engine and transmission mounts had collapsed (which explained the wobble!), and there were a variety of other things wrong with the car. It was a HUGE repair bill but I have a credit card, thank God, and I was SAFE! Had I known all this before the trip I would have canceled it and missed my opportunity once again to do something I'd always wanted to do. No wrong turns... once again.

So when you think you've made a mistake, think again. Maybe you created a great lesson. Maybe you're giving yourself a new opportunity. Maybe you're really doing the right thing, but just not what you thought you wanted. Every opportunity is an opportunity to see love. I could have been frustrated with my first wrong turn and ruined my mood and my entire trip. Instead I saw divine synchronicity! I could have freaked out about the car problems and the scary-big bill, but instead I saw the Divine protection that I always pray for, and the grace I was given to enjoy the trip without worry. Every time we do something we think is "wrong" we can turn it around by seeing the love within it.

Try it this week - when you find yourself in a situation where you feel you've done or said the "wrong" thing, look for the love. "Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door will be opened." Have a blessed week.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Another Some Day Saturday

My sunrise hike up Cathedral rock a few weeks ago inspired me. “What else have I been putting off that I want to do?” I asked myself the question and immediately the thought of visiting Antelope Canyon popped in my head. Ever since I’d seen this natural marvel with its sinuous curves of red, yellow, and purple sandstone in a travel magazine years ago I’ve had a craving to experience it for myself.

However, as often happens, excuses got in the way. It is a 5 1/2 hour drive north of Phoenix. There are only certain times of year when you are guaranteed a tour, as any threat of rain within miles causes closure. Being in a canyon carved out by flash floods is a bad idea when it is flooding! I used cost, time, effort, etc. all as excuses. And every year I reached the rainy season regretting I had not taken the journey. I realized that the last weekend in June was my only window of opportunity. I still didn’t know how I would fit 11 hours of driving into a two day trip and enjoy it, so I sat down, prayed, and waited for the answer.

An easy answer soon became obvious. I threw my stuff in the car and took off after work on Friday driving the first three hours to Flagstaff, AZ where I slept in the cheapest motel I could find. It was clean and did the job. I was up before sunrise the next morning to continue on my journey. I got my “Kicks on Route 66” as the song goes before it turned into Highway 89 and continued onward to Page. I took a little unintended detour but that will be the subject of another story!

Once in town I headed straight for “Ken’s Tours” of Lower Antelope Canyon. A quick five minute walk with our guide to the canyon entrance had us standing at the top of a steep set of steel steps. Descending into the deep red-orange slot in the rocks I felt as if I was being embraced by the spirit of our Mother Earth herself. Our young Navajo guide played the flute in the first echoing chamber as we ooh’ed and ahh’ed over the beauty evident from every angle. The views just kept getting better. We stepped carefully on the sandy twisting path that led us in and out of some of the most beautiful rock formations I have ever seen in my entire life. I snapped photos rapidly, not sure I could even begin to capture the wonder of it all. The warm embracing earth and the energy of the water that carved out this amazing place filled me with a sweet, peaceful hum. I was in heaven.

Later that day I took the Upper Antelope Canyon tour I had booked. It too was breathtaking, but out of a love for the first tour in Lower Antelope Canyon, I returned for another. My late afternoon trip into this Canyon was accompanied only by another young guide, and three tourists. The silence, solitude, and beauty was overwhelming, and due to the time of day, the rocks which had been glowing red, orange, and yellow in the earlier daylight were now turning deep shades of crimson and purple. The earth embraced us, as only a mother can, and I emerged from the canyon as if I was being birthed once again by the forces of nature that shape our planet and shape our hearts as well.

Still filled with energy, I decided that a sunset trip to Horseshoe Bend - a scenic overlook high up over Glen Canyon and just ten minutes from town - would be the the perfect ending to an amazing day. Had I been slightly crazier I might have slept out on the rocks, under the stars, but a scorpion darting away from my hiking boots on the trail back convinced me the motel might be a better option! The next day I broke up the long drive back into two segments by starting early and resting in Sedona on the way home. I could not believe I had used thge long driving time as an excuse to put off this beautiful journey for so many years!

So the next time you find yourself longing to do something but making excuses, pray. Ask God and the angels for insight as to how you might make it happen. Trust the timing. And when you have the urge, act upon it. When the urge hits me, I will no longer be saying, “I’ll do that some day.” I will no longer be making excuses when I really want to make something happen. I have experienced too much beauty, grace, and wonder the past few weeks to put off my life one moment longer.

There are dreams that take more time than I have at the moment. There are dreams that take money I do not yet have. There are dreams I know I will want to do at some point but am not urgent about now. But I do know, that when the desires in your heart are planted there by God, water them with your acknowledgment. Shine the sun of your “yeses” upon them. And then when the desires ripen and turn into hungers, urges, and urgency, pluck them from the tree of life and make them happen. God will show you the way! Some day? How about now?

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Saturday, My Some Day...

I think we've all said, "Some day I want to do this!" "Some day I'm going to do that." And while it is true that many of my "some day" wishes are things I do not yet have the money and time to do, and honestly, not yet the driving desire, there are many things that I have wished to do and have not done.

One of these desires was a relatively small thing, a simple but deep wish to climb Cathedral Rock in Sedona, Arizona, to watch the sunrise. I had, as many of us do, plenty of excuses. I will have to get up at 2am in Phoenix and drive two hours while I'm asleep to make it, OR I'll have to take time off, drive up the night before, and spend my hard earned money on a hotel room just for this tiny hike. It didn't make financial sense. It didn't make practical sense. I caught myself finally and reminded myself that if I only did things that made sense, I'd live a pale shadow of the life I truly want to live! So I stopped making "sense" and decided to work extra, thus making clients happy, and just get a hotel room in Sedona the night prior.

That inspired a torrent of other wonderful ideas. I could go up the day before and have an entire day of following my heart! So I hopped in the car early in the morning with a small suitcase, food, and water, and hit the highway, not even knowing where I would end up. It ends up, I ended up in Flagstaff, Arizona, hiking in one of nature's breath taking cathedrals - an aspen forest where the chalk white giant trees reach into a sky so sapphire blue that I surely felt as if I could dissolve into it all. Cool, crisp mountain air filled my lungs and cleansed my soul as the sun warmed my skin. Shadows played with light on the rocks. Wild irises amidst knee-high grasses carpeted the forest floor and a symphony of bees, locusts, and the occasional cry of a raven circling overhead vibrated through my very being. I lay down on a fallen tree and simply allowed myself to drift, surrendering the boundaries of my human self and melting into the Oneness of it all.

Suddenly the urge to get in the car and drive south hit me. I had not known the highway between Flagstaff and Sedona was open after the big fire a few weeks ago but to my surprise it was. I only discovered this by following my instincts and driving! I was able to see not only the burned hillsides but also the beautiful green that has been preserved all the way down the scenic drive. A hike I had always wanted to try, popped in my head. There wasn't another person on the trail for the entire two hours. In spite of 100 degree temperatures, I was charged with nature's energy. No more solid and separate I felt as if I were one with the landscape again, like the wind blowing along the trail, or simply a thought in the mind of God moving through the greater Self.

Finally, after all these years of saying I would do this "some day" I parked at the base of the Cathedral rock trail in total darkness at 4am. A crescent moon shone above, silhouetting the mountains in the distance. A few crickets chirped, but other than their song, the morning was deeply silent. A sweet peace filled my soul and as soon as my eyes became accustomed to the dark, I began the climb. The rocks emanated a pleasant warmth that they had absorbed from the previous day. Half way up the trail, tints of silver light began to appear over the horizon, and the mountain came to life. Rodents and lizards rustled in the brush. The wind that comes as the warmth of day begins to dance with the cool of night began to blow softly. Birds awakened and began their sweet song of welcome. I reached the top in time to see the moon and stars being chased away by the softly glowing pink light on the horizon. Five other individuals were already there. A young woman sang her praise to the day by doing yoga "sun salutations." Three younger guys wrapped in blankets were waiting with their cameras. An older native gentleman sat in silent reverie with a giant crystal strapped to his third eye, preparing to infuse it with the light of the new day.

Then, suddenly as the birds sang louder, and the locusts began their endless hum, our beautiful golden star burst over the mountains to the east in a stunning display of liquid light. It filled the valley, brought the glowing red rocks to life and reached into every crack, corner and crevice of my soul. I shut my eyes and opened every cell and aspect of my being to this light, inviting it to fill me, merge with me, and become one. Once again, I lost all track of my body, and became only a thought, only light melting into light, with pulsating energy pounding both from within and without. No longer just Ann, I perceived the greater self. I was the mountains, the valley, the stone, and the sky. I was the earth and the space in between. I felt suspended in a timeless space of blinding bright light, in silence... sensing only love, feeling only an expanded sense of reality. When I finally opened my eyes, my third eye was pounding, and my entire body felt electrified, humming with life. There was not even a trace of fatigue.

Back at home the next day I was able to achieve monumental amounts of work. I was inspired to work on projects I've put off for some time. Even after putting 300 miles on the car, hiking about 4-5 miles on foot, and having very little sleep over the past two days, I felt fantastic.

So this week think about your "Some day" things and see if you can take steps towards them. I am starting to catch myself when I say "some day" and ask myself, "Do you want to create that now Ann?" And if so, what can you do now towards that dream? Some dreams involve saving money. Some involve blocking off dates on the calendar. Some I don't have a clue how to bring about so I'll just visualize and pray for them, for now. In doing any of these things, as the angels say, we call forth Life, precious energy, and love into our lives.

Try it... it affects every aspect of your existence to allow joy to flood into your heart in this fashion. And while most of us have to work to pay the bills, life is too short to only focus on survival. Dream this week... start down the path to your "some days."