As it spoke my name I wanted to learn all it knew about me. It knew all my stories, every lifetime, every memory. It had been there with me watching, my companion, invisible yet always there. I felt like a newborn just opening her eyes for the first time. I felt like I was finally seeing. I felt like I was coming home to myself.
Below is the script I used for the guided meditation. With background music and appropriate pausing, the meditation was about 15 minutes. Please feel free to use the script below as you wish.
GUIDED Gratitude Meditation Script
Close your eyes. Relax. Settle in to your body. Let go of all the things you have to do, everything on your to-do list. Right now, you are here, with us, safe, with nothing to do. Just to be.
Take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Take another breath in and feel your lungs expand. Let it out and feel your lungs contract. Again, slowly expanding and then slowly contracting. Now allow yourself to breathe at your natural pace.
Your body is a perfect silent machine knowing how to perform vital functions without your conscious thought. How blessed we are to have these bodies that serve us so well.
Now, I am going to ask you to think of a few things from your life …to bring into your awareness some other blessings we may have forgotten about.
I want you to think of one simple thing that you are grateful for. You may not recognize the value of this thing often, but let’s hold space in tonight’s meditation to honor this little gift. Maybe a warm spring breeze on your face or the sound of a child’s giggle? Maybe the sweet scent of your favorite flower or the way grass or sand feels under your feet. What is that simple joy that enriches your human experience? How does it make you feel? What emotions does it inspire within you? Express gratitude for this simple thing that reminds you that you are alive.
Next, I want you to imagine a place where you love to be. Maybe it’s a place that gives you peace and quiet. Maybe it’s a busy family kitchen. Maybe it’s somewhere in nature. What does your place look like? Imagine it in your mind now, every detail. What colors do you see? Are there people there or are you alone? What does it smell like? What can you touch? What sounds do you hear? How does being in this place make you feel? Be thankful you have such a place that you can come back to in your mind whenever you wish.
This next one may take some thought. Think of an event in your past that changed your life for the better. It could be a big event. Maybe the birth of a child? Or meeting your partner? Maybe graduating college or landing that amazing job. It could be a small event like a quiet decision to start practicing yoga. What’s one thing that completely changed the course of your life? Nothing was the same after this happened. Imagine all the details that had to fall perfectly into place for this one thing to be happen. Express your gratitude for many smaller events that led up to this one. It’s like … it was all meant to be.
Now, bring to your mind’s eye, a person who is very special to you. Visualize this person’s face. Their eyes, their smile. Why are they special to you? What role does this person play in your life? Think about how you met them. In what way did they come into your life? Remember a happy memory with this person. Think of the sound of their laughter. You’ve been able to share so many great memories together! Feel the feeling now that you get when you’re with them. Feel it within you. Let it rise up from your heart and extend outward, so that your whole body is filled with that amazing feeling of love. How blessed are we! How much we have to be grateful for! Relax into this feeling of love and gratitude. This is yours. Any time you want to remember, you can. This feeling is yours. Enjoy it!
Questions through the Houses/Signs
Each house is considered to be ruled by one of the signs. For instance, the seventh house, our house of relationships and partnerships, is ruled by Libra, who is known to be fair and just and considers everyone's feelings before making decisions. Librans are very relationship-focused by nature, which makes Libra the best ruler for House 7.
Using another example, Aries people are very assertive, eager to start new projects, and motivated by action. It makes sense for Aries to rule House 1, which is the house that begins the journey and is the first impression that the world sees of us.
For each house/sign below, I've attached questions that will help you better understand the feeling and message behind each house and sign, and what each represents in your birth chart. And of course, the placements of each will be open to your own interpretation.
I will use my own chart as an example. I am a Gemini Ascendent or Rising, which means I have the sign of Gemini placed in my first house in my birth chart. This means that in my life, my personality is very influenced by Gemini traits. My natural approach to life is to see all sides of things, the many facets to problems, both sides of an argument. I like to play devil's advocate. I use my logic and intelligence to consider issues. I use my natural curiosity to solve problems. I am communicative, and I get along well socially with others.
Consider the questions below and how your birth chart reveals the journey of your own life.
House 1 / Aries: Who am I?
What are my likes and dislikes? How do I express myself in the world? How do others see me? Who am I when I am out in the world? What is my personality? How do I react to my environment? How do I handle problems? What are my strengths and weaknesses? What is my natural state of being? What kind of first impression do I make? What is my natural approach to life?
House 2 / Taurus: What is my value and what do I value?
What is important to me? Do I think I’m important? Do I have the right to be here? What material possessions do I value most? What do I place in highest priority? What ascetic do I like to surround myself in? How important is my physical appearance? How important is physical beauty? Do I make enough money? Am I receiving what I think I deserve? What do I deserve? What is my worth?
House 3 / Gemini: How am I different from you and how are we the same?
Who am I in relation to you? How do I communicate? How do I think? What is my mental process? How do I relate to you? What does my knowing you make me? What are our differences? Is it ok that we’re different? What can I learn? What am I curious about?
House 4 / Cancer: Where do I come from?
What is my heritage? How does my lineage affect who I am? What did my parents offer me? Did I receive what I needed in my home? How do I feel about home? What do I do to create a safe home environment? Do I share family traits? Am I continuing the family cycle? How did growing up in my family unit contribute to who I am today? Do I feel safe? Do I trust my parents? Are there lessons to learn from my family of origin? Who is my mother? What is my relationship like with my mother, or my more nurturing parent? Can I accept where I come from?
House 5 / Leo: How do I play?
Who am I when no one is watching? How do I express myself? Do I express myself fully? Where do I find enjoyment? How do I play with others? How do I express myself with others? Where do I ‘let down my hair’? How do I relax? What turns me on sexually? How do I connect with other people at the surface level? Where do I like to create?
House 6 / Virgo: How do I work?
What are my daily responsibilities? What do I do to take care of my health? What do I do to take care of my wealth? How do I care for myself? How do I care for my pets? Where am I of service? How do I contribute in my work life? How do I keep things organized? What is my schedule? How important to me is my schedule? Where do I have a sense of control? Where do I feel out of control? Am I spending my time wisely? Do I enjoy what I do?
House 7 / Libra: Are you a safe partner for me?
Who am I in partnership with? Is my spouse safe for me? Can I be myself around my spouse/romantic partner? How do I relate to people in a romantic partnership? How do I relate to people in a business partnership? Am I in a safe business relationship? Is there equal energy exchange in my partnerships? Is there equal give and take in my partnerships? Am I receiving what I need in my partnerships? Does being in this partnership recharge me? Does this partnership allow me to go out into the world confidently?
House 8 / Scorpio: Can I trust you with my deepest secrets?
Who are the people I can share my deepest secrets with? Do I have people around me that I trust with knowing every part of me? Do I feel judged? Can I express my deepest fears with someone? Do I trust my partner with my money? Am I financially partnered with a person, business, or institution? Is there anyone I’m in debt to? Who are the people I can be most vulnerable with? Who can I cry to? Who am I most intimate with? Where am I completely intertwined with someone else?
House 9 / Sagittarius: What is the meaning of life?
What are my belief systems? Do I have a religion? Is there life after death? What can others teach me? What cultures am I attracted to and why? What can I learn from other cultures? What do I love to learn about? How does travelling contribute to my life? What can exploring my world teach me? Do I explore? Am I learning about different cultures and different beliefs? Am I judging those who are different from me or learning from them? How do I reach higher wisdom? How do I explore philosophies and theories?
House 10 / Capricorn: What will be my legacy?
What do I want to leave to the world? What do I want the world to know about me? How do I represent myself to the world? What do my social sites say about me? How do I manipulate others’ opinions of me? What is my reputation? What is my public image? Is it important for me to leave a mark on the world? What did my father pass down to me? What is the relationship like with my father? Where is there structure and order in my life? What are my long-term goals? What do I want out of my career? Have I been a victim of my family of origin or have I used its lessons to make something of myself? Am I proud of who I am?
House 11 / Aquarius: How can I contribute to humanity?
How do I participate in my social spheres? Do I belong to any social groups? How do I communicate my beliefs and legacy out to humanity? How do I influence the people around me? Do I engage in technology that sends info to the masses? What am I doing to support the less fortunate? How do I help humanity as a whole? What is my place within the group? How do I recognize my place as part of the whole?
House 12 / Pisces: What’s on the other side?
Do I consider myself separate from or at one with other beings? What are my beliefs on the afterlife? What are my beliefs on karma or soul responsibility? Where have I received healing in my life? Where have I experienced closure? What is my dream life like? How do I tap into my own subconscious? What are my thoughts on meditation? What do I dream about? What do I hope for? How do I spiritually recharge? Am I a spiritual person? Do I believe in a soul? Where is my soul? Who is my soul? Have I lived my best life so far? Would I be happy with my life if it were to end today? What have I kept to myself? What is still locked away in my subconscious? What parts of my life do I keep hidden? What do I still not yet understand?
Questions? Contact me!
But most of all, I hurt. I hurt for women everywhere. And for men everywhere too. I hurt for all humanity, the ones that have been victims, but also the ones that do the hurting. Because most of the ones doing the hurting were victims once too.
This life is hard. It's painful. It's not fair. It's cruel. There is evil in the world. Not that any one person is entirely evil. But every person has the capacity of evil inside of them. It is the blood we share. It is the air we breathe. It is the earth we walk upon.
In the Christian religion, it is called Original Sin, the Fall of Man. The concept of evil is not a concept at all. It is alive and well, and something that each person living in this world encapsulates. Look at any toddler. Barely able to walk and talk, yet they grab tightly to what is theirs. "Mine! Mine!" they say. Selfishness is inherent in us. Some of it is for survival. How much of it is the evil that is part of humanity?
This show, touching on themes of rape, violence, ridicule, loneliness, embarrassment, and downright torture was excruciating. Mostly, the main characters' behaviors are a direct result of fear. And every viewer can relate to that.
So as I watched Hannah Baker be bullied, get raped, slit her own wrists, and die alone in a bathtub, I saw myself in Hannah Baker. As I saw Jessica sexually assaulted in a drunken episode at a party, I was Jessica. As I saw Clay fall in love with people he wanted to save, I saw myself in Clay. When I watched Bryce sit alone with a glass of whiskey wondering if his parents even loved him, I saw myself in Bryce. I was in ALL of these characters to some extent. And I think you are too.
I think that's why this show touches us on such a deep level. At least, I think that's why it touched me on that level. Because it was no longer about the 'good' guys and the 'bad' guys. It was only that we are all human. And to be human is to suffer. And suffering can make us do unimaginable things to ourselves and to others.
I know as long as there is fear living in me, I am capable of evil. But if there is love, a deep love that recognizes we are all One and part of the One, I will see myself in my neighbor. So of course I'd want the best for him. I get back what I put out into the world. Call it the law of Karma or whatever you want. But it is Truth.
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear." - 1 John 4:18a
"Namaste - the light in me honors the light in you."
Yes, this show dramatizes the teenage experience. Some people can say that, sure. But I choose to see this series as a reminder of our own humanity and the depths of anguish we share as humans. I choose to see it as a reminder that I am no longer the 'one who was sexually abused'. I am only one of the many faces of humanity, who each have a story to tell, a pain in their heart, and paralyzing fear that motivates us to behave in all kinds of hurtful ways.
The more we choose to search and focus on our similarities, on the One in each of us, we will experience healing in our own lives and in humanity as a whole. I pray that very thing.
For all of our sake.
Then the world pulled you down. Pulled you under. It darkened your dream with its own clouds and fog and haze. It holds you down so that you won’t grow above the rest. It holds you down so that the growth of the world will be slow.
But what would happen if you remembered who you were called to be. What would happen if your growth catapulted? What would happen if you became bigger than you thought you would become? As big as the dream of your youth? So many people have forgotten that inner dreamer, let alone her dream!
Meditate, Pray. Tap into it again. Create a quiet space where the Universe can speak to you and remind you why you were put on this planet. You have a job to do. You have a dream. Get to it!
During this particular experience, one of my friends and I were discussing the meaning of life. We spent hours exploring all angles of the topic, finally reaching the conclusion that we are all one. Fast forward 20+ years later, and here I am exploring this same idea in an even greater and deeper way, this time integrating our separateness into our oneness.
I’ve been meditating on how each person, each living thing for that matter, has its unique role in this life. We all work together with our individual talents and uniqueness to create our current time and space. This idea has helped me gain confidence and appreciation for my uniqueness in the world, thus eliminating the need to compare myself against anyone or try to conform to anyone else’s idea of normal.
Practicing this idea has given me an enormous sense of freedom and purpose, trusting that my unique talents and specific character set has been designed exactly as it is to add to this life only what I myself am capable of adding. Just like you with all your unique gifts and personality add to the current experience exactly what you are meant to add.
We are each a very specific imprint, or expression, of the oneness of the Collective. The Collective, Source, God, Universe is where we come from. It is what we are a part of and what we will return to. Because we all come from and are a part of the Supreme, we are one. Yet, we also are separate in that we enter into this experience as unique individuals, each possessing a unique expression of the Divine.
We are like snowflakes, each completely different in pattern, yet all created from and part of the higher element of Water, which we will return to when our experience of being snowflakes is finished.
In everyday conscious practice of this idea, I can look at people around me with complete acceptance and love. Now, I must note here that I can still disapprove of certain behavior patterns. (That is an entirely different post!) Yet, it would be incorrect of me to think of myself as any more or less valuable than anyone else. As we are all expressions of the Divine, we are all equally valuable.
This concept is leading me to a higher level of self-love and acceptance, along with a less judgmental view of my fellows. I believe it will eventually lead me to vegetarianism once again in my near future. It has also given me more confidence in using my given talents and gifts to raise the Collective conscious, as I believe all of us have a responsibility and purpose to do.
If I can impart any wisdom here, it is this: Do you. Do you shamelessly and enthusiastically, confidently living the exact nature of which the Divine has chosen to express Itself through YOU!
And when those things happen, the person on the pedestal falls the hardest because they have the longest way to drop. The person holding up the other person experiences even greater disappointment because his image of perfection is being destroyed. He won’t be able to control the situation and mold me into the thing he believes I should be without me experiencing just as much pain and disappointment. And when his image of me shatters, he probably won’t stay because he hasn’t fallen in love with me at all, but instead some illusion of what he wanted me to be.
So please, don’t ever hold me on a pedestal. I am human. I will mess up. I will disappoint you. And that’s exactly how it should be. Hold me alongside of you, never above and never below. Walk with me, not ahead or behind. There will be times where we may walk out of step, but in the words of the great Bruce Springsteen,
“We swore we'd travel darlin' side by side
We'd help each other stay in stride.
But each lover's steps fall so differently,
I'll wait for you
And if I should fall behind
Wait for me.”
It took me a while to slow down long enough to not only recognize, but appreciate, the great order to the universe. For a long time, I thought I was unique, apart from, separate, different. I lived my life according to my own rules, controlling and manipulating to have the world work as I thought it should. Of course, it never did, and I’d be left feeling hurt, lost, depressed, and angry. I was either mad or depressed for most of my life.
I knew the sun came up every day and set every evening. I was aware of weather patterns and seasons. I recognized there was a high tide and a low tide. I knew the earth and solar system ran on some kind of power to make all these things happen. But I never saw myself as part of it.
It was when I had lived in anger and pain long enough, when I had created my own world of chaos and destruction, when I had tried over and over to set things right and was met with continued failure, that I finally started analyzing the Universal order with more curiosity.
Somehow, the Universe kept moving forward. The earth kept revolving around the sun. The moon kept revolving around the earth. The Santa Ana winds came every fall. June was always gloomy. The trees always started blooming again. The hummingbirds all started coming out each February. The moon would be full every 28th day. I could count on these things. They were unmovable. I started to appreciate their consistency. I realized that all these things would carry on if I were on this planet or not. I, no matter how hard I had tried to fool myself throughout my life, was not running the show.
Even more, I realized this outside force that was taking care of the rest of nature was taking care of me as well. I realized that I AM nature. I am a part of this great tapestry of life. I’m not apart from it at all. My life is woven into the very fabric of the Universe. How assured I could be realizing that to the animals of the air, water, and earth, I belong. I am one with all of it. And whatever is running this whole thing has got me as well.
I don’t have to fight anymore. I go with the flow, knowing that nature will take its course. Yes, there is destruction in nature. There is violence. There is brutality. But there is also the unstoppable force of life. With every forest fire, isn’t there a brand new forest that begins to grow from the released seeds? With every hurricane, is there not plant life that thrives from the blowing of seeds and saturation of rain? Even concrete poured to cover the earth still bears dandelions in its cracks. Life is unstoppable.
There is the never-ending process of death and life, chaos and order, destruction and benefit. Is it not the same way in our own lives? If we look hard enough we can always see the good that came from the darkest part of our lives. But we must choose life. We can’t actively block it with our own ideas of running the show. We submit to life. We submit to the natural order of things. We accept. We adjust.
It’s not the strongest that survive. It’s the most adaptive that survive. Life comes. We let it. We adjust. I stop trying to control life. It is my place to adapt, not control. That is the natural order of things. That is my place in the world.
He also taught us how to 'Kylego', a technique where we talk to each other like the day or week or year has already happened. We say things like, "I remember when..." and then talk about our dreams like they've already in the past. In that way, we trick our mind into believing they have already happened, and therefore we can do them again. Also, the longer the Kylego exercise, the greater and greater the ideas become!
Anyways, it was good stuff for sure. If you ever get a chance to go see him, I'd recommend it.
I’m sorry you are experiencing some pain right now. Life gives us all kind of experiences so we can feel the full range of human emotion. It really is a beautiful thing! Sometimes we lose sight of that while we’re in the pain, however.
I’ve heard it said that whenever we are disturbed by something or someone, it is usually some thing within ourselves that is the problem. I can’t give you advice, per se. But I know from my experience, when I have issues with people around me, I look for the answers within me. Is it my expectations that are out of line? Is it my behavior that is causing a negative response in them? Am I being understanding and loving? I usually find that somewhere, I am feeling pride, fear, etc. Maybe I’m not being honest and forthright with my feelings. Maybe I’m being too controlling, expecting those around me to behave in a certain way. I spend some time taking care of myself for a while - eating well, getting enough sleep, having fun in life, making sure my spiritual life is thriving. I try to find balance within myself.
One of my favorite quotes is this: “When I stopped living in the problem and started living in the solution, the problem went away.” Sometimes, I just need to start moving forward and stop dwelling on what’s keeping me down - even if I don’t feel like it. Things sometimes just take care of themselves :)
Unfortunately, sometimes relationships end or change. That’s a part of life too. We don’t always want them to, and we try to hold onto a relationship, expecting it to be as it always was. However, like life and everything in it, relationships change too. If you and your partner have expressed the pain points of these changes to each other and have tried everything in your power to grow the relationship into something new, and it still is not working, it may be time to have an honest conversation about the future of your partnership.
Remember, a relationship is a partnership. There is not one person making all the decisions. If something feels wrong to you, you must express it and give the other partner an opportunity to express themselves as well. Hopefully, you both are in a healthy enough place on your own to be able to honestly and lovingly address the state of the partnership and start working as a team to correct any issues.
That is why it is so important to take an honest look at yourself first - your health, your motives, your level of understanding. You want to make sure you are your best self before you try to tackle relationship problems.
All the best, my friend!
I'm just a traveler, a dreamer, like you.