The Essential Light of Grace

One of the things I learned early on in my journey is that I needed to be really honest with myself. And when I say honest, I mean that that if I avoided myself in anyway, I was going to miss out on something that I loved more than anything else in the entire Universe. If I wasn't honest with myself, I would not be open for Grace.


We need Grace. Our deepest, longest-lasting shifts depend on Grace. We can have little insights here and there, and we can even have deep shifts of consciousness, but if we want to stay inspired to keep evolving- to know our deepest potential, and to have complete faith in Life- we need Grace. For Grace is Love...and when we really experience this right within our own Being, we know we are right where we want to be. When we feel the Love blooming in our Being, we want that again and again for ourselves, and for the world. The love of Grace keeps us going- way beyond what "we" might think we need or want for ourselves. Grace begins to use us- for the bigger picture. For the whole.

Being honest with ourselves- or telling the truth- is the absolute door-opener for Grace. Telling the truth is what lights the fire of Grace. So why is it so difficult to be with Grace all the time?

Most people are judging themselves. When we judge- we are covering up beliefs and ideas that we think we know. Judgement says, "it should be this way, and not this way. Or this is true, and this isn't." Those are all beliefs, and they judge anything that is in opposition. And so, they obstruct an opportunity to tell the truth.

Truth-telling is a skill. The more we do it, the better we get at it. And even though it brings us into the heart of vulnerability- it also brings us face to face with what we love! The Self. Grace. The Beloved. When we tell the truth, this is what awaits our vision. So, this is why telling the truth becomes something that we don't want to ever mess with. It becomes our way to open doors that we never knew were there. And telling the truth is something that is already happening- so there is no place to get to. Everything we need for Grace is already here. We just need to recognize it, and learn to utilize it.

It's Time

It's been awhile since I have posted anything. It isn't as if I had nothing to share. Quite the contrary...

So, as some of you know, I began backpacking again this summer after having a new hip surgery last year. I had planned my first trip as sort of a small, get-to-know-your-new-gear-and-hip sort of trip. I planned on this trip early June- before going to see Amma. And then I got a bad summer cold, and cancelled that trip.

I saw Amma, and that was fabulous, of course. And then came the next planned backpacking trip. I planned on going with a friend- hiking for four days along the Colorado Trail- all above tree line. And then my friend cancelled; so I decided to solo it.

I got a ride up to my trailhead- south of Lake City. I was nervous for many reasons,- new hip, new gear, etc. But underneath all of those reasons was an inexplicable dread. Like a part of me knew there was something I needed to go through- by myself. Colorado was in a drought, with a big wildfire south of us, and I was a bit concerned about water sources, as some of the streams looked to be seasonal on the map. Also the little satellite communicator that I had ordered still hadn't shipped, and so I would be alone without communication. But all these things were what I was accustomed to- so where was this dread coming from?

The night before my hike was real cold. I camped at the trailhead, and didn't sleep well. I got up early to get a good start- carrying with me three liters of water. The day warmed up quickly, and soon became windy. I was still feeling a bit sick, but good enough to hike. I think the underlying nervousness had kicked in some adrenaline, which helped fuel me for a bit. 

As I hiked, it soon became apparent that the seasonal streams were all dried up. The high county that I was walking through had a parched feel to it, and because I was breathing hard, my mouth took on the same feel. As the day progressed, I found myself with my last liter of water, knowing that the only water I might find was at the end of that day's hike.

I reached a place where an emergency yurt was constructed- a place for thru-hikers on the Colorado Trail. I hadn't seen a soul all day so I decided to check out the yurt. It felt good to get out of the wind. And inside the yurt was about 5 liters of water in some pots! There had been a race through there a few days before, and the aid station had left the excess. (There was an entry in the log book explaining all this). Before I laid claim to all this water, I checked out the water source in the meadow below. It was a spring, but it looked green and slimy, and so I figured the water left in the yurt was meant for me.

As soon as I got back to the yurt I began to feel sick. Dizzy and headachy. I had planned on camping in some trees across the valley from the yurt. But it was so windy, and I began to feel so crappy, that I laid out my pad on the floor of the yurt and tried to rest. As soon as I did this however, the dread/fear showed up in a big way. All the fear of hiking alone, on a trail I didn't know, above tree-line the whole way, without any reliable sources of water- it all hit me hard. I began doubting myself. I felt I was in way over my head. And of course, this was all ego. But the way it showed up gripped my being in a very strange way. I felt like I was in some altered state, and I was never going to get out. My mind couldn't see me going forward with this hike- the ego was too afraid. And I couldn't turn around and go back- my ride was long gone. There was nothing I could do but lay down in this gripped state.

Of course, everything was fine. There was clean water for me to drink that night, and enough for the next day. I had shelter out of the wind. No-one was around, so that I could be in this weird state. I lay down for about two hours, but I was unable to rest. The altered state encompassed my entire reality. I tried to eat some food, but I had no appetite and ended up burying my dinner outside.

It was so beautiful where I was, yet I was totally unable to appreciate it. I might as well have been on Mars- it all felt so odd. I couldn't cry, or meditate, or transcend my experience. There was absolutely nothing I could do to manage what was happening to me and I felt like I would never, ever return to normal.

As night fell, I went to sleep. And I slept solid and deep. I awoke early with the first light. The first thing I noticed was how clear I felt. I felt light and good! I made my coffee, and then had a nice meditation. I knew that I wanted to continue the hike, and even though there was some nervousness in the body about water, and my capacity, I felt much more supported by Life. The gift of the water last night, and the restful night was validation that all was well.

As soon as I began to hike, the new lightness flooded my being, and I felt extremely joyful as I saw how beautiful everything was. There was a new awareness of Life everywhere- with each step. And even though the hike became more strenuous, I could feel a new inspiration fueling me. A new excitement to see where I was going. The dread had left my being, and where it had resided was a new spaciousness- a new light. I felt so grateful- for the water, for what I had gone through, and for the Love that I felt for all that IS. And this stayed with me for the duration of my hike. 

The Transformation through Love

It was 30 years ago when I found myself so sick that I couldn't get out of bed. I had spent all the money my mom had left me when she had passed three years before. I had been to every promising naturopath, acupuncturist, and M.D. that might help me. But with every doctor's prescription, I only found myself sicker. Until I finally took to my bed, and stayed there, convinced that I was going to die.

It was not the kind of sick that is a helpless kind of sick- I could still function. Yet, I was extremely weak, and had a great difficulty focusing on anything. I couldn't read and understand and understand what I was reading, so researching about my illness wasn't available for me (and internet hadn't hit the mainstream yet). I also couldn't follow conversation easily, so engaging with people was exhausting. As a result, I found myself isolated in my fear, alone with no-one to support me in what I was going through.

I was exhausted and scared. And I didn't realize it at the time, but I had begun to put myself in a little box of feeling sorry for myself. I think this is only natural for folks, until they realize what they are doing. I felt like a victim. And this made my illness even more exhausting.

But I had one thing going for me... I was already aware of God all around me. Several years earlier, I had experienced a big shift in perception, and I knew in my heart that my illness, and the fear of dying was taking me deeper into my relationship with God. And so, I began to open up to this Divine Presence. And I spoke of my fear, of my loneliness, and as days went on, I began to speak of my Love.

My fear and my loneliness were an open door for me to realize my Love for God. I was at the bottom...I felt no hope that I would ever get better. And in this place, I discovered a deep and very real Love for the Divine. This Love allowed me to open up to God all around me, because all I wanted was to voice this feel it deeply in my heart. And even if I did die, I would know that I had told God, and myself, the truth.

This Love drew God in closer, and my being delighted in opening up to this experience. Through this openness, I began to see that the "poor me" that had defined itself as a victim was not real. The illness had begun to expose an idea- that I was a victim of circumstance- as just an idea. This victim had kept me ill.

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After seeing through this false sense of self, this victim, I began to feel better. I still wanted to open up to God, and to feel Her hold me, and know me. And so this became the primary focus of my days, and not my illness. And little by little, I became well. And it wasn't much later, that the illness was just a memory.