This has become the unexpected summer. I was only a week out of teaching my classes after the semester ended that I was handed the opportunity to work with a crew of people during half the summer which quite unexpectedly gave me a brilliant insight into the nature of our own suffering as human beings

A stone heart, one of many I have been finding on my journey that sits in my flower garden
 Now I know how that might normally sound, but in my case it was a golden opportunity to see how I had been affected in the past, and how I could choose to go forward (differently) from where I was in my own journey now.

I had a front row seat in seeing how this group of people followed the programming from childhood that had them in all sorts of tangles. I had the odd feeling like this was all for my benefit. Watch what they are doing the voice suggested to me. These men’s lives were in many ways a mirror with my own. Since nearly every problem we face winds up being rooted in love (or lack of it), we are as a species very similar in many basic ways. I saw how same backgrounds, same childhood dramas helped to mold their lives based on how they “fell into” the beam of certain ways of feeling about themselves. As I saw this, I felt all of my old material rising to the surface. When this happens, I have learned that people who are compliments to that energy start crawling out of the woodwork. No, these are NOT mirrors of us always, but often our opposite. So naturally, I began to wonder what was going to happen next in what seemed to be a production put on for my benefit. In this instance, I had the gift of perspective. I buckled up and watched the show.

And then?

And then my ex showed up behaving in a way I can only describe as her usual mean old self. This was that same old meme. But in my role as observer, I was determined to do this whole thing differently.  I was actually ready. This time I didn’t respond to what was clearly a provocative move to try and wound me, to do as she had so often did in the past, which was to drag me down to her level. So I didn’t respond to my own old program, samsara, or karmic glitch. I just resisted and it hung in the air there….and? 

And then something happened. 

Something inside of me began giving way. I could feel the blocked energy behind it break free like a solid little knot which softened and melted away. In my energy body I felt a pain on my right side along my hip and down near the root. I was familiar with the presence of this block. It was one of the very last cluster of blocked energy to be released. After nine years of work, day in and day out, this was the hardest and most stubborn block of all blocks. It was the oldest and also the freshest of all of my blocks. It is why it has been the last to go. A day later, as I stepped out of the work van, I felt it go. I had to fight the impulse to stop and double over. I watched it as I felt a twinge the size of a bee-bee begin to rise up the meridian. It hurt at first, like passing a kidney stone. As soon as it rose up several inches along the meridian, it began to soften, and then it dissipated like a tightly clustered spark expanding outward into smoke…and then nothing. Poof!  Would there be more?

In perfect timing, I opened the book I had bought on a whim a few weeks before, by Osho,  and on the page I had opened to, he was saying how we should try an experiment…to not respond to anything that normally would be upsetting and then see how our energy  changes. Just try going through one day where you don’t respond to the things that happen during a day. This came as a confirmation that I was on the right track. Then, a few days later there came another effort to try and rattle me. It was, most certainly, unnecessary, and it would have pulled me down with the ship, dwelling in this negative space I had come to know so well in the past. I remained calm and didn’t respond…and suddenly I felt something give way in me that led to a release of this stored material. An old connection also lost its power to activate me as it had done in the past. This connection, most certainly karmic, had been a mine field of unresolved issues in the past… and they all played into my reactionary self. By staying out of it and doing my work for me on my own, healing came so much faster. It was yet another epiphany moment. I have learned that each time these releases occur, they correspond with a change with material reality. How so? The saying that we create our own reality can nowhere be better illustrated than in moments such as these. It seems uncanny, yet I have hundreds of events just like this one that have happened over the years since I embarked on this journey to retrieving the authentic self. Events begin to match the inner landscape.

Over the following weeks life bloomed in unexpected ways in the wake of this. Stores of energy were put to manifesting a life that mirrored these inner shifting tides in me. 

The crew I was working with then began telling me their deepest secrets. It was the strangest thing. The timing was what was so unusual. This began the day after this last release. Each began to tell me directly the reasons for all the things I had been witnessing in both the ether and in their behavior. It was as though their souls knew I saw them and they couldn’t help but engage with that type of awareness. I wondered what on earth was happening. And then, right on cue, just a week later, the work ended right at a point where I didn’t think it could get any more woo-woo….and I was free. New work appeared without my looking for it, and what might have been seen as a loss resolved into an easy transition into a subtly different world.

As my inner sky cleared, I saw just how much clutter there was from the psychic junk that had come from others who I had let into my space. My mind clarified. My inner guidance grew clearer, and stronger. I began to see and understand how the people who had come crawling out of the woodwork  had been so obsessed and how ill-prepared they were to be honest about their junk. The difference was I no longer needed to identify with their stories. Enough time had elapsed that I simply no longer had any connection to those broken ways of being. 

I was shown by spirit how their own lack of awareness had also let in entities, these low-level life forms that serve to tie up people’s energy so much of the time. While I had removed or “cast out” these beings from the person I thought of as my “twin” some nine years previously the voice said that this is an inside job for them to resolve. 

Many awakenings are marked by the removal of these etheric influences, which help to accelerate awakening and “clear the deck” so new growth can take place.For me, this clearing had come easily with the help of a brilliant healer. Most of the time it’s hard for many people to see the influence these presences have because they feed on the very energy that is part of our own soul wound, samsara, or karmic glitch. After spirit had shown me this, it also showed me how a soul connection had behaved as she had, unable to let go, utterly obsessed. It helped me to understand the reason why things were the way they were. Somehow, after seeing this, so much made better sense. Once I understood, it quited the mystery in my own mind…which led to a still-deeper capacity to let go and just be free. I was also able to see how obsessed I had been with trying to please people who were fundamentally very unhappy people, even deeply disturbed. My glitch was that I thought it was my fault and this kept me in the game trying to bring healing, awareness, and healing. They have to heal themselves…let them do their is theirs to do, spirit urged.

My own inner voice was clearer. I saw that my life was a blessing. I simply chose a different way to be. When I began relying on myself, so much cleared up that wasn’t even mine. It helped to remind me how I had taken on stuff that just didn’t, and couldn’t, belong to the self that lay deeper down. If ever there was an illusion, it was that I was trying to be a version of myself that just wasn’t authentic enough. It’s good to help others, but this must always be an act of leading a horse to the water…and that is all it can ever be.

I was around this time tapped out of the blue to make art for the Russel Senate Building in D.C. I had a wonderful weekend visiting with friends in D.C. and delivering the work to our Senator’s staffer before heading for my home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was a great feather in my cap and an honor since I was being selected by way of a state-wide search by their curator. I didn’t apply for this opportunity. I’m hoping they will have a reception so I can take my daughter to see the Senate Building as honored guest.

My daughter arrived after this and we spent our weeks together swimming in the pool and nearby river, mixing a new clay for a sculpture for her portfolio this Fall, seeing movies, shopping for books and going to the fair where she was able to find something so cool, it was as though it had been made for her.We saw art and she took the car for the first time ever alone after having gotten her license. Yes, I felt a twinge inside, as every parent does,  and I was reminded how glorious it was when I was given the car keys for the first time…ever. So my twinge dissolved into delight (cautious delight!).

My daughter and I share a moment of levity over the Summer together 

I revelled in being a father and saw that for as hard as I thought my life has been over the last few years, life had actually been blessing me all along. I just needed to show up for it in just the right way. It went from a perceived trouble to a wonderfully perfect life….and it was going to continue to unfold in this way.

My daughter asked this Summer if I could show her how to see auras…something that she knew I had the gift for, and have mentioned in passing in years past when asked about it. I explained to her that there is no better way for us to know that we are more than just our bodies by seeing into the world of our energetic being. I was able to show her all the techniques for seeing them and found that she was able to tune them right in. For years she has heard her Mother poo-pooing the existence of auras, maybe out of jealousy, or ignorance, or just as a way to make me seem like a kook….(and who knows what that was all about, really!) but now she will have the tools to decide for herself, despite whomever the naysayers might be.

Being able to have my daughter spend time with my mother (her grand mother) was also itself a blessing,  because she was able to see how this woman has led such an interesting life, and that my child can benefit from such a close family tie, which makes me so happy. Not everyone has this. Some people in my life have propped up these ideas spun out of their own story of hurt and cannot be in my life or my side of my family as a result. The difference now is that while I love them and miss them, I know that their story is so turned around that to deal with them in anything approaching the real is an impossibility. As hard as it’s been, it’s how some have chosen for themselves. My son was a casualty of my divorce, something that’s called Parental Alienation where he chose to believe a broken story from his Mom that was so distorted that the only way to keep  the story propped up meant having to cut out the one person who could have set the story right…(me!). This, again, was a difficult lesson in letting people who are determined to be unhappy to simply be what they want to be. This has been an extremely hard lesson for a parent because you only want the very best for your children. In the past, I mourned this loss like a death because  I had learned that when children are brain washed in this way by a parent, an authority and caretaker, most children don’t snap out of it. I had to let go and stop playing into the trap that the two of them had built around themselves. But in doing so, I felt a wonderful lightness of being. My son could be just as weird and messed up as he needed to be-it was his journey, one in which he made a very concerted effort to exclude me from. Taken like this, an even deeper love emerged. Timeless, it seemed to stand with me at the shores of time explaining that our lives are a gift given to each of us, and that each life must be lived, for good or ill, as part of our own unfolding story. Maybe that sounds corny….no, it really does…but it is true.

This goes to show to what length people will go to remain in their own hurt. It is here where the concept of the victim is used to cover a world of wrongs that they believe others have done to them….when, more often than not, they are doing it to themselves. The only problem is that none of this is as one-sided as we think. We need clear eyes if we are to be able to be really honest with ourselves. By now it’s clear how badly people need their story, and I get that now. I am left wondering what happens when all story has been dropped as we step out of our own shadow into our light? I mean, what happens when we completely shed all remnants of what held us back and made us into limited beings? I don’t know that any of us have yet dug all the way down to clear ourselves out in their entirety. Goodness knows I keep at it, but I wonder, what that will look like?

My department Chair where I work at the university recently completed her evaluation of me recently which comes around every three years, and I received a glowing report.I get to be evaluated each semester, anonymously, by my students, which is an important key to improving the teachers and the program. My evaluations from my students have been consistently favorable since I began working there. I used to hate going to grade school as a kid, so it’s a real turnabout to have the opportunity to be teaching.

I really love what I do, and it shows. I teach a class that has gotten to be very popular since it was first offered only a year ago. Using sustainable and recycled materials, we often work out in nature, a part of the class that the students love. I find that the biggest impediment to learning is how disconnected we have allowed ourselves to be at the university, and how the spiritual basis of inspiration gets lost in the mad dash to other more linear methods of performance measurement. How do you measure something like inspiration? You can’t….you can only trace the path it blazes, and this path is not always a predictable thing. Some inspirations don’t lead to a successful end product, but this doesn’t always mean that the student hasn’t always learned something valuable.

For six hours a week my students get to have fun, work hard, and discover new ways to work with sustainable materials. Their work has been nothing short of amazing. I also have students turning the assignments inside out and making them their own. Students retake the class for additional credit…because!

The piece, above, was made entirely from container plastics my students took out of the recycling bins at school. This piece was over 6 feet tall.
“Cooke” was my student who didn’t seem to want to be at school…but day by day he rose to the challenge and made work that was really great. He resisted, coming late to class, until he saw how much fun we were having…. and then he turned into a real work-horse for our group projects. The detail above is from what I call a “disco wreath” made out of plastic cups and led lights that he made. It was really something!

I’m not in the habit of posting my student’s work, but every project they did knocked it out of the park. Being able to inspire them to push beyond what they thought they could do is the single biggest reward for me as a mentor and teacher.

I have faculty who now want to collaborate with me on projects, and this only makes things all the more exciting to look forward to. It has pushed me each semester to find new ways to invigorate ways of teaching the old stuff in order to build excitement, inspiration, and great work. In the end, it only succeeds when I can provide a platform interesting enough for students to make it their own. Our lives are only as good as the content we are willing, and daring enough, to fill them with. We like to say it’s another person’s fault when we aren’t happy in a job or relationship, or a life. But the truth is, we are the ones who are responsible for our happiness. Don’t like it? Goodness me, change it! If nothing works, it might be a sign you are doing just what I did for years, which was fighting the flow of events and people. There is a much happier existence when we learn to accept…all struggle just ends and all that energy spent trying to go against the flow is now available for the bliss of a new way to create and to be.

As I work this Summer,  I hear that voice returning, telling me about the deepest love there is, how our shame has tangled us up. I was recently shown a new method for helping couples to heal themselves and their relationships by bringing a greater awareness of their true nature more to the fore. Can it be turned to the cause of helping build greater intimacy, understanding, and closeness in a relationship? I hope that it can serve as an effective healing modality. Time will tell.

It’s curious, too, as I have been working on a class/seminar for men that I’d like to offer in the future. It is based on how to revision the masculine, and how to tap deep well -springs of love in an effort for  bringing forward a more aware man.I have this curious thought that this could lead to an integrative approach to being more fulfilled as men. I have gotten more and more excited to begin this work.How do we bring such deep love to the fore so that we ARE this love? I think it’s a wonderful healing time for those who are ready to try. After a consult with someone today, I think it’s all within reach. Life has turned into a blessing and its helped to build peace and joy. We so often forget that the quality of our lives is up to us. 
It’s been an unexpected kind of summer, full of blessings that could have turned into curses had I let them. All that really changed was me. This Summer has revealed itself to be an unexpected joy…a quiet one…that I can’t help but toot my horn!