A curious thing happened to me, on my way to enlightenment. Not only did mundane things not disappear from my reality, but I actually began to enjoy them! Today, I sit with almost 17 years of a very active spiritual journey in my rearview mirror. Needless to say, I’ve got a whole lot of hindsight to draw upon!
As an Awareness Coach, I hear all kinds of things my clients want to vanish from their reality as they begin to realize that they create it. At least, early on the journey to awakening, everyone, including me, wants to manifest a full-time housekeeper to care for all the laundry, the cooking and the never-ending house chores. Also, always on the list, is more money so we don’t have to worry about the bills. Oh, I almost forgot, most everyone dreams of having a Victoria’s Secret body. This applies to both, men and women! 😉 There is absolutely nothing wrong with these desires!
As wonderful as it is to dream of life becoming easier, and by the way, I have come to realize that it is our birthright for life to be fun and easy, the real work is done by actually looking at how we’ve made life so hard and filled it with unnecessary difficulties and suffering. This awareness, even though everyone resists it at first, is the key to Awakening and Enlightenment. Yes, we are the ones that have made what we don’t like, therefore, we are the only ones that can shift it. It really is this simple, especially since Enlightenment simply means that we lighten up!
I recently moved to a new apartment, my “own” place in almost three years. (I’ll share more about this in my next blog) After being without my own washer and dryer for several years, I felt a familiar joy when I finally got to do laundry, specifically, my twenty-four-year-old son’s laundry since we now live together. For this to make sense, let’s travel back in time, to roughly fourteen years ago, when I was still using Spiritual training wheels.
As I read about the lives of enlightened people, such as Jesus, Buddha and the Dalai Lama, it seemed that they were always present in every moment and seemed to be at peace with whatever was unfolding before them, including a crucifixion, starvation and exile. Contentment and joy seemed to be their constant state of being.
I would often contrast my life with that of those enlightened beings by saying things like: If Jesus can awaken, so can I. If Buddha is cool with chopping wood and carrying water, and he is enlightened, then so can I. If the Dalai Lama doesn’t mind losing his home and his country, then so can I. Little did I know, but those statements, while I was becoming self-aware, got me to pondering why I did what I did, thought what I thought and felt what I felt. Obvious thought patterns began to emerge and primary among them was the belief that I had to work hard because life is full of suffering. As these recurring thoughts emerged it became clear that I had associated working hard with suffering. At the time I was having these realizations, I had 3 young kids, a dog, a husband and a home to care for, and I was usually the one in charge of laundry, housekeeping and bookkeeping, along with holding a full-time job as a realtor! Yes, I thought life was hard and I clearly suffered my way through much of it.
If Jesus can awaken, so can I! This became a mantra that fueled my commitment to awakening. As I began to desire inner peace and an end to my suffering, I began to have encounters with my guide. By the way, we each have guides, but they don’t make themselves known unless we ask for assistance. For much of my journey my guide has been Jesus. At first, I thought it was just my imagination but soon I realized that it was within my imagination that connection happens. Each of us experience connection slightly differently, for me, it was through inspiration and intuition that I could feel guided, which always left me feeling certain, peaceful and joyful.
My encounters with Jesus led me to realize that I was always at choice in perceiving everything from either love or fear. He actually gave me the simple practice of shifting my thoughts to lift my vibration. Oh, by then, I was already well versed in the fact that we are all made of energy and energy vibrates, so my work was to learn to attune myself with the higher frequency of love. I practiced shifting my thoughts and lifting my vibration with everything, from my kids not cleaning their room and not doing their homework to the dog peeing on the carpet. I even played with my new handy-dandy shifting and lifting tool with some challenging friendships, my career and eventually my marriage, which, in time, we transitioned into a spiritual divorce.
I was really getting the hang of being aware enough to know the difference between my fear-based and my love-based thoughts, and I could actually shift them at will. I had some pretty awesome encouragement because Jesus assured me that if He could awaken, then so could I.
If Buddha is cool with chopping wood and carrying water, after he became enlightened, then so can I, I proclaimed! The only problem was, I don’t do wood chopping or need to carry water, where I live in the suburbs. Then it hit me: can I be peaceful paying bills and doing the much-detested laundry of five active people? You got it, I decided to shift my perception from fearing paying bills, while experiencing the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. It was painful paying for things that the kids had either broken, outgrown, or we had already donated to Goodwill. But the most fear inducing thing about paying bills was when there just wasn’t enough money in the checking account, but the damn bills kept coming in. How the hell was I going to lift my vibration and love these freaking bills, I stated, while fear gripped me tightly and I squeezed my empty checkbook toward the heavens?!
Right on cue, intuition lifted my vibration with the idea that I should practice gratitude for the house that we had mortgaged, which provided my family with shelter, a beautiful place to call home and a safe space for everyone to grow and play in. One day, fear took my breath when I discovered that my rather new vehicle needed a new transmission. Oh yes, I was suffering with worry. Then I made the conscious decision that I wanted to feel peace instead of fear, and into my imagination came the marvelous memory of our many trips to Florida. Oh, how I loved my big Tahoe SUV and the many vacations it had taken our family on. Boy, those shifts and lifts always left me feeling better, and clearer, with ideas on how I could make more money or ways I could reduce our debt. This shifting and lifting practice was making my mind more peaceful. It was in that peace that I remembered that my Tahoe was still under warranty and the new transmission was fully covered. I actually drove that car for fifteen years!
One of the most amazing shifts I experienced came on a day when I was doing laundry, for my two young sons. My boys loved playing in the neighborhood creek during the hot and often wet summers. Do you realize how hard it is to get the red Georgia clay out of white socks? Well, I had my share of annoyances about the amount, frequency and condition of the dirty laundry I was dealing with. I knew laundry could be a great opportunity for me to shift and lift. One day, as I was whining about the laundry while the TV was blaring in the background, I noticed I was polluting my vibration with thoughts of aggravation. Why can’t these boys be more cautious? I need to make them do their own stinking laundry so they can see what a pain in the butt this is! What’s wrong with them that they don’t think to go around those damn mud puddles?
Then I heard a story, on the local news, about a little boy who had just died of severe injuries during a boating accident. That boy was 8, the same age as my youngest son. In that instant, I looked at the pile of laundry and tears began to shift my vibration from anger to gratitude. My thoughts shifted to: How blessed am I that my sons are healthy and love to play in the creek! How wonderful that they are curious, creative and full of life, as their freshly skinned knees drip blood on their brand-new jeans!
I knew my guide had turned the TV’s volume up, at just the precise moment, when I needed to shift and lift so that I too could realize that, just like Buddha, I can choose to be at peace with what is. With that shift in perception I realized that my enlightenment was happening. Yes, I was still paying bills and doing the laundry, only now, I did them with enjoyment instead of judgement. Those chores didn’t change, but my perceptions about them did.
My guide made it clear that we each create our own reality. He instructed me to make peace with what was before me because to resist it makes me believe that things showed up without my invitation, and that lack of taking full responsibility for my power to manifest leaves me feeling powerless and reactive. He told me that we manifest through our powerful mind and all that is before us is the materialized energy of our imagination.
This awareness made so much sense. I had imagined, since I was a little girl, that I would work, have a husband, kids, a house, cars, money etc., and that is exactly what was manifested before me. I created this reality and my part was to lighten up and enjoy every experience, as if I had birthed it, because as a powerful creator, I did! Awareness and acceptance began to change my life.
In my next blog I’ll share what I discovered by believing that if the Dalai Lama doesn’t mind losing his home, and his country, then so can I. And no, I didn’t awaken or become enlightened all those years ago, but my awakening and enlightenment has been expanding ever since. The journey is gradual and the destination certain, for those who truly practice shifting and lifting our thoughts from judging what is, too enjoying what is, as it is. Today, I can say with certainty: I love paying bills and doing laundry!