In a phrase, shift just happened. I’d like to start by saying that the most significant and lasting changes came from hundreds or thousands of small improvements and daily reinforcements.
As I became more mindful and deliberate, I parlayed these small wins into something epic, culminating for now as Gratitude Games.
This reinforces my summary insight: I just started doing things, paid attention to what resulted, and made lots of small improvements along the way.
Underneath that, I guess, I’d say that I dug and threw myself into a Pit of my own making for no more reason that having an epic challenge, something meaningful, and ultimately valuable to others.
For the first few years, I would wake in a mood of mild dread or pending panic.
I would try pushing it away. I only succeeded in numbing it, or until something bad would mind-flash, jolting me out of bed and into action.
It felt like, “Oh, my God, what other shoe will drop today? What new hassle will find me? I sure hope this deal comes through. I’m screwed if it doesn’t.”
So I began turning all that around, using Focus and Unity Wheels, Evening Journal of Gratitudes, like I already mentioned.
I mentioned that I hit a rock bottom, looking into the eyes of that naked guy in the bathroom mirror.
Now years later, I understand the full terrain of my journey home, the long way around.
As I began to feel better, happier, less worried, and more grateful, the pattern just dropped into my Being … the guidebook home.
I call it Love’s Way: Four Soul Lessons that Everyone Must Learn and a Bonus Lesson for Life Masters
The first crack in my Egg of Ego came while on one of my hikes in Tennessee Valley just north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.
As I was being swept up the sheer beauty of the valley, I heard something both deep in me and far away say,
Love is neither yours to give or withhold. So just let it flow through you.
I must say that I invested decades resisting or denying that, until I just couldn’t anymore.
I then recalled a teaching from Lazarus, channeled entity, from the mid 1980s.
In one of his audiocassette recordings, you know pre-Internet podcasts, he set forth that human beings exist for one sacred or divine purpose: we are all here alive, or waiting to come back, to learn four love lessons.
Lesson #1: Learn how to be love
You can’t really love anyone without first having the experience of being loved yourself. Sure you can make it seduction or a romantic affair, you know, shadow theater within experiencing being loved.
For me, this lesson is about present to another’s love of me without resistance, embarrassment, or shame.
And, as you know for our 17 years of marriage, that was a tough nut for me to crack … or at least until I learn to marinate them in some wine.
Lesson #2: Learn how to love others
This is about how I show up with others, how I appreciate them, and finally how I express or demonstrate heartful, unguarded acceptance of others.
This started with mindfulness, being mindful of others, in sharp contrast to my historical way of being.
It then evolved, with another nudge from a Matt Kahn recording, into thoughtfulness.
Today I am working out the last bits of thoughtfulness and started to crack the last shell, heartfulness.
As best I can explain that, I am learning how to stabilize a sense-feeling place of loving as a set point, rather than something that I strive to do.
As you know, regular meditation and journaling play a huge role in that.
Lesson #3: Learn how to love another unconditionally
This is how I learned to accept the totality of another person, receiving any and all of their expressions or behaviors as a gift to me.
Initially, I did that retroactively with my journaling, Ho’oponopono, and Faithing protocols.
As you know, I never had any children, nor never really got close to any, which I now say with a tinge of regret: I know that having children would have forced me onto the gameboard of unconditional love.
But then again I would not have fallen into such a deep pit, taught myself how to climb out one fist of dirt at time, nor be able to bring Gratitude Games into the world.
Still, I feel like Hercules mucking the horse stalls, mounds after mounds of stuff.
Recently I sped up the mucking process with something that I call the Forgiveness Timeline, which I’ll have to write up because it’s too involved to talk about here.
Lesson #4: Learn how to be transformed by another’s love of you
This is about surrendering my most innermost self to a condition of relatedness.
It’s started for me by becoming the alpha dog pack-leader to my Ego (my time-bounded Concept of Self), demanding its submission, serenity and willing if not cheerful response to my nudges … invocations, placemat intentions, and inscribed appreciations of other’s Character Strengths in action.
I know but have yet felt the full impact of this lesson as a blending with you while maintaining our respective autonomy, as an expression of the eternal Self.
One of my old partners, Larry Byram, now of Higher Alignment, used to call this transformational intimacy.
And, as you know, I am still learning how that works, even though we both made huge strides just in the last year.
Bonus lesson: Learn to teach others how to master the 4 Soul Lessons of Love’s Way
I have come to understand that the movie Groundhog Day frames this bonus lessons with perfection. While the Bill Murray character relives that one day several thousands of time (according to the screenwriter), he taught us all by example how to move through a day, one that already happened, with thoughtfulness, heartfulness and finally soulfulness.
And I can say that my learning these Soul Lessons had transformed my life, my very existence…my relationships with the world, you and myself.
With our seventeenth anniversary just past, I can say I am still learning all four lessons with you, for which I am grateful beyond words to express.