Friday, August 18, 2017

Poems to A Non-Existent God


Hark, there dwelleth in our nature

Humble though it be

A tiny seed of greatness.

Withered and dried,

Beaten down by the prophets of doom

Into an evil valence.

Whisk off that cloak,

Heavy though it be,

And stand in freedom’s light.

Despite the cold, unnourishing array

Of naysayers

In your greatness you shall delight.
 
 
Judie C. McMath
August 18, 2017
 
Copyright Judie C. McMath and
The Center for Unhindered Living
 
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Group Work "Our Country is Going to Hell in a Handbasket." Is it true?

So let's do "The Work" on our current national situation. Let's use the phrase "Our country's going to hell in a handbasket." Is it true? Can you absolutely know that it's true?
Some of you may be tempted to answer "yes". And if you do, I understand that. But let's go on to question three.
How do you react when you think the thought "Our country's going to hell in a handbasket." Angry, afraid, frustrated, hopeless, arguing with people, lashing out. Those are stressful reactions.
Who would you be if you couldn't think the thought "Our country's going to hell in a handbasket" or other similar thoughts? What if you didn't watch the news and keep this alive in your mind and heart? Then you'd get up every day and go to your job and live your life and you'd be fine. Nothing bad is happening to you, except the stressful thoughts you are tormenting yourself with.
But you say, "What about the people who are being deported or killed" Something bad is happening to them." Well, first we should question that that thought - Is it true? And that's a whole other discussion. But suffice it to say, that's THEIR issue to deal with, not yours. It's not happening to you.
Katie always says "There are only three kinds of business. Your business, my business and God's business (God meaning reality)." When you start using words like should or should not in relation to how you think others should behave, you're in their business. And this causes you suffering.
The people experiencing this who are stressed by their experiences should do The Work on their own experience so they can alleviate their own suffering. But you can't do it for them. You can only alleviate your own.
Back to our questions. So without these thoughts you'd be living your life and you'd be okay. Now the turnarounds.
Instead of "Our country's going to hell in a handbasket" what would the opposite be? "Our country's not going to hell in a handbasket." Can you give me an example of where that is true?
I see a country that is finding their true humanity. I see a country that is coming together in solidarity in a way they never have before. I see people helping people they might not even have talked to ten years ago. Not the skin heads, of course. But they never will and you can't change that. I see people doing the right thing not because the law forces them to but because their heart tells them to. I see many good things happening.
So our country's not going to hell in a handbasket. I'm not living in stress and suffering. When you get clear of the stories that you live within that aren't true, you are more clear to do something for the right reasons.
So thoughts might come to you like "I think I'd like to help an immigrant." Okay, so go do it, but without the stories that we spin around everything that cause stress and suffering. The people living in those stressful thoughts and situations can do their own Work around those concepts and get more clear about what they need to do for themselves as well. But help because you enjoy it, not because you think you are somebody's deliverer. Because you aren't. Nobody can deliver anybody but themselves from stress and suffering.

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Copyright Judie C. McMath and The Center for Unhindered Living

Today's "Work" - "My body has chronic kidney disease - is it true?"

I recently saw Katie working with several people who had been told by their doctors they had cancer. I decided to use the same process with my diagnoses.

"I hate chronic kidney disease because it makes my muscles burn" - Is it true?

Yes, it appears to be true.

"Can you absolutely know that it is true?"

No, not absolutely.

"And how do you react when you think the thought 'Chronic kidney disease makes my muscles burn?'

The diagnosis itself does not make my feel bad. But when I am experiencing the pain in my muscles from it, the pain makes me feel bad.

Who would you be without the thought, "Chronic kidney disease makes my muscles burn?"

I would have weak, burning muscles but I wouldn't know why.

"You don't know why you have burning muscles." Is it true?

Well, if I accept the thought that I have chronic kidney disease, I do know why. But if I don't accept the thought that I have chronic kidney disease, then I would probably assume that I'm out of shape and my muscles are weak because they need to exercise more.

"I need to exercise more because my muscles are weak." Does that thought feel stressful or painful to you in any way?"

No, it doesn't, although I know that actually trying to use the muscles more would not be comfortable and could be painful.

"Using my muscles more could be painful." Can you absolutely know that it's true?

Not until I try it.

"How do you react when you think the thought 'Using my muscles more could be painful.?"

I would dread having to exercise.

Can you think of one good reason to keep the thought "Using my muscles more could be painful?"

A good reason?

"A stress-free reason. The only reason I can see for you to keep that thought is so that you won't have to exercise."

Exercise is really hard for me.

"Exercise is really hard for me." Is it true?

Yes.

"How do you react when you think the though 'Exercise is really hard for me?"

I don't want to exercise.

And who would you be without the thought "Exercise is really hard for me?"

I would just exercise as well as I could.

Can you see a good reason to drop the thought "Exercise is really hard for me" and just exercise as well as you can?

Yes. Even if  I'm only able to exercise a little bit, it would be better than none.

And we don't know what would happen in the future but you might get better, is that true?

Yes, that's possible.

Now the turnarounds.

"I never want to experience the burning in my muscles again." Turn it around.

"I am willing to experience the burning in my muscles" or "I look forward to experiencing the burning in my muscles again."

Can you give me one reason why that would be true?

Well, if I don't ever feel the burning then I would not be exercising. So in order to exercise I'm going to have to feel it.

Can you think of another reason?

Well, when I am experiencing the burning, sometimes I have to ask people to help me with things. Like carrying things that are heavy or completing a task for me that I couldn't complete. So I get help with things that I probably wouldn't have asked for help with before.

Can you think of another reason?

Well, it keeps you grateful and humble."

Grateful for what?

Grateful for any and all assistance I get. Grateful for kind people.

Any other reasons?

(This is where some meditation was required)

I guess when I'm just walking and I feel the burning, it reminds me that I need to do my resistance exercises more.

It reminds me that if I give up and get a wheel chair that eventually my muscles will become weak and unusable and so if I don't want that to happen, I better exercise.

It reminds me that the universe is friendly so there must be a good reason for this to have happened.

It reminds me that I can change the way I walk. I don't have to walk as fast. I can allot extra time to get where I need to go. I can slow down.

Slowing down is good. Slowing down means taking more time to notice things and be more present right now. When we are hurrying, we aren't really present. Having chronic kidney disease is my body's way of telling me to slow down and be more present. And that's a good thing.


*******************************************************

I have thought through this many times in my head, but until I wrote it down for this blog post, I didn't see these obvious conclusions. Katie always says, "All war belongs on paper." And it's true. If you don't write it down, you just don't think it through the same way.


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Monday, August 14, 2017

How Do You Wake Up To Your Goodness

Who would you be if you trusted the basic goodness that lives in you and in others?

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning is a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor...Welcome and entertain them all. Treat each guest honorably. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from                                                                                                               beyond.” 
                                                                                                     ― Jalaluddin Rumi

Treat each guest honorably. Most of the time we think of the dark parts of us as unwanted, as undesirable, as wrong. But there is nothing wrong in the universe.

The dark parts of ourselves are not something to overcome. They are not something to strive against. They provide balance, and balance is wholeness.

Close your eyes and think about a time when you are aware that you exhibited some dark thought, some malice, some less than pure motive. Invite in these thoughts with love. Accept that part of you as a welcome guest. Take that angry thought, and in your mind surround it with a bubble of light. Realize that even that dark thought is holy. Through every thought and feeling there is insight.

Now think about an unpleasant experience with another person. They say something to you that is hurtful. Or they are simply unfeeling or uncaring. This part of them is also not something to overcome or strive against. If you can meet your own thoughts with love, you can meet the thoughts of others the same way. Welcome in their hurtful words or actions. Take them in and surround them in a bubble of light as well. Realize that even their  hurtful words or actions are holy. You are a being of light. So are they.

When I talk about hurtful words or actions being holy, I do not mean holy in any religious sense. My intention is to convey that those actions are meaningful and provide insight. That is what all communication provides. All communication is neutral. It is we who superimpose upon it some kind of value judgment. It is because we hear all communication through the mirror of our own psyche. Whatever we hear that we find to be negative is interpreted that way by us.

What if the next time you hear something hurtful or negative you receive it as a welcome guest?

"Good morning Cheryl. Isn't it a beautiful day?"

"No it isn't Steven. You left your socks in the floor again. You are always making more work for me, and you never listen to what I say."

"Thank you Cheryl, for sharing that with me."

"Well, what are you going to do about it?"

"I'm listening to your concerns."

"I want you to pick up your socks."

"I think I can do that. Thanks for your insight."


Now, it may or may not be true that you never listen to what Cheryl says. That's not the issue. You are receiving her comments as a welcome guest. You aren't acknowledging that what she said is true or not. You are simply listening and responding to her without blaming, contradicting or making her wrong. And now the incident is over and you go on your way with love and light.

But what do we usually do? Respond from our ego. The ego says, you are wrong and I must show you where you are wrong and I must protect my self-image and defend against your attack. The ego is not interested in love or insight.

"Defense is the first act of war." --Byron Katie

Watch Tara Brach's video "Trusting Yourselves, Trusting Life."


No matter how negatively a person speaks or acts toward you, it is not your job to correct them. Their thoughts and actions are their business and your thoughts and actions are yours. If you get caught up in the negativity of their actions or statements, you cannot remain clear and authentic. You simply get caught up in the story they are believing about themselves, and there's no truth in that for you.

So our original question stands. Who would you be if you trusted the basic goodness that lives in you and others? Perhaps you would experience more peace and less fear. Perhaps you would not always be expecting others to act a certain way. Perhaps you wouldn't even care anymore how others act because you're not judging their actions. You would stay in your business and out of theirs.

“What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.” 
― Jalaluddin Rumi


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Sunday, August 13, 2017

The Multiverse Paradigm

In the June 2017 issue of Scientific American, the cover article was "The Quantum Multiverse." You may or may not have heard of this paradigm, but it is rapidly gaining popularity in the world of physics. It says that our universe is part of a much larger structure of "bubble universes."

The very early cosmos expanded exponentially through a process called inflation. As the cosmos was expanding, some parts of it stopped expanding sooner than others, creating these bubble universes. Our universe is but one of many.

In a single universe, events occur a finite number of times, and so scientists are able to predict what will happen next by looking at the number of times an event has already occurred and mathematically determining the chances of it happening again. But in a multiverse which expands infinitely, prediction is not possible. Everything that can happen, does happen, in some other universe or reality.

This means that no matter what event you are able to imagine, it can and has or will happen somewhere else. That means there are universes out there where you do exist and universes out there were you were never born. And this brings up an interesting thought.

If you've ever had the thought "There is a god" and you've questioned that thought, as we should do with all our thoughts, you've had to honestly conclude that you cannot absolutely know that it's true. There is no proof one way or the other. I personally feel quite comfortable saying that in the universe we currently inhabit, there is not a god.

But if the multiverse paradigm is true, then there could actually be a universe out there where there is or was a god.

This brings up an interesting thought experiment. Why did some universes develop with a god and some develop without one?

Ah, but you say, the nature of God is such that he is everywhere. He would be the God of all universes. He is omniscient, omnipresent, etc. The creator of all.

And yet, the multiverse paradigm requires that every possible combination of events does happen in some universe out there. So there HAS to be a universe out there where there is no god, and there never has been one.

So this opens up the concept that god is something that develops out of the universe rather than being the origin of it. Because if some universes develop and have no god and some develop with one, then God cannot be the creator of a universe in which he or she does not exist.

Quite interesting, and the next question that comes to mind is, what set of circumstances would have to happen in a universe for a god to develop? And is he/she a real god or just perceived to be one by the inhabitants?

In the multiverse paradigm, there is a universe where he/she is just a perceived god, and there is one in which he/she is a real god. This begs the question, if some universes develop without a god, and they are fine, then why do we need a god in any universe?

The good news is, we don't need to know. What is true in another universe doesn't matter to this one because they don't interact. The laws of one universe do not apply to any others.

See our website page on "Spiritual Enlightenment" for more food for thought.


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Acceptance is Attractive

The only way we can ever truly teach others is by living as our authentic selves. Did you ever come across a person and think "This person should learn to be more _______" ? 

First of all, any time you find the word "should" in your vocabulary, you are already in somebody else's business, not your own. It's really not your business what another person does or doesn't do.

If you are acting in accordance with your own inner truth, if you are acting in a pure manner, clear of any untrue thoughts or motivations, this is a magnet to others. People are drawn to authenticity because they sense you are a safe person to be around, and you reflect back to them the qualities that they would like to see in themselves. 

Giving someone advice or preaching to them rarely changes their minds about anything. But a person who is clear and true to themselves, you can always know that they will act kindly and compassionately. Even though their words may be hard to hear, they would never intentionally harm you. It is also clear to you from this person's actions that they accept you unconditionally.

Being your authentic self is so peaceful, without conflict. No conflict with others and no conflict with yourself. No conflict with the world at large. 

You may think "The world is full of conflict. There are so many things I disagree with, so many things that should not be happening. How can I have peace with that?" 

Once again, when you catch yourself using the word "should" or "should not" then you are out of your own business and into somebody else's. It's not your business what the world does. In fact, the world is in the terrible shape it's in precisely BECAUSE each person is constantly into somebody else's business but their own. 

You can't rectify that. It's not your responsibility. Your only responsibility is to stay in your own business and make sure YOU are clear of conflict. Then others will follow.

You know for a fact that when someone tries to order you to do something, you will do everything in your power to assert your right to do the opposite. Coercion doesn't work, and it's not attractive. 

Acceptance is attractive. Accepting another person as they are. Accepting what happens to you with grace. Accepting a gift from another. Accepting another person's honest communication, no matter how hard it is to hear. Accepting your circumstances, knowing they are always for your good. Accepting your limitations. Accepting yourself unconditionally. 

Acceptance takes away the stress of living. Acceptance causes you to stop arguing with reality. Arguing with reality is what causes all your suffering. 
You may think that a stressful event is what is causing your suffering, but actually it's your unwillingness to accept the event that is stressful. 

Acceptance doesn't mean you have to agree with the action or event. It simply means you acknowledge that it is reality, and that reality is always good.

"But it's not always good," you say. So let's test that thought. Is it true?

Give me an example of an event that is not good. 

"I lost my job today." Can you absolutely know that it's true that losing your job is a bad thing? 

"Yes, because now I can't pay my bills." Can you absolutely know that it's true that you won't be able to pay your bills? You are AFRAID you won't be able to, but you don't really know that it will happen that way. 

Losing your job COULD mean: you'll get a better one, someone will volunteer to help with your bills, some bills may be forgiven, you'll make a lifestyle change where you won't have to worry about bills anymore. No matter what happens, it's all good. Even if you can't pay your bills, it's all good.

"No it's not. I might lose my house, my car, my spouse, my reputation." 

Can you absolutely know that it's true that you wouldn't be better off without those things? I know lots of people who live happily without those things.

First of all, my reputation is NOT my business. What other people think about me is THEIR business. 

Living without a car is not difficult. I did it for several years and it's quite possible and in many ways less stressful. No car payments, no insurance, no money spent on maintenance, repairs and gas. No possibility of getting speeding tickets. Buses are readily available in most areas and now with Uber and Lyft, rides are easily and cheaply obtainable. And of course, there's always walking or riding a bike or carpooling.

If your spouse is going to leave you because you can't pay your bills, then you're probably better off without them. 

And believe it or not, losing your house is also not necessarily a tragedy. I've lost two houses in my life. I rarely give them a second thought. 

What's stressing you out is "thinking" about how bad you "imagine" being without those things might be. It's your thoughts, once again, that are causing your suffering, not reality. 

How do you react when you think the thought "I might lose everything." You panic, you make poor decisions, you are constantly afraid, and you miss opportunities that are right in front of you because you are fixated on an illusion. And you're probably pretty unpleasant to be around. 

Acceptance is so much more peaceful, so infused with integrity. It dispels confusion, simplifies difficulties, and provides a center for you to inhabit within yourself. Finding it only requires you to question your thoughts honestly. The answers then become obvious. 

Learn to questions your thoughts HERE 


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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Meditation Insights 8-12-2017 - Loving Your Body

During meditation time today, I began to once again have pain in my neck from degenerative disc disease. I stopped the meditation momentarily to perform some more of the AccuBalancing Technique. This time the phrase that came to me was "I apologize to my body for not loving it all these years." After several rounds of tapping, the pain began to subside again.

Back to meditation. The thoughts that began to arise were that I have never loved my body. I've always felt it was a hindrance to me. It didn't behave as it was supposed to. It didn't look beautiful. It was untrustworthy, unreliable. There was nothing I liked about it. 

I spent the rest of the meditation time cultivating a deep sense of respect for my body and the job it's been doing all these years. When I nearly died, my body fought to stay present. It continues to communicate to me even when I'm not listening. It tries to give me guidance. It loves me even when I don't love it. 

And yet, I am not my body. 


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