Stay Free

“Stay Free!”

“Stay Free!”

“Stay Free!”

Was the message the Angels were showering upon me, all around me, on the outside and on the inside.

There was a juncture in my life some time ago where I had left and was led out of a longstanding super committed relationship. I had poured all of me into this relationship and into the other and all the others around this longstanding super committed relationship. Later on I was to find out that I and the other have had many lives together in the past. This other  person and our relationship were the sun of the orbit of my life. And I used all of the sunshine  within me to lighten and nurture the other and others. It was my duty and obligation. And then it imploded. It was no more. It vanished. It became a nothingness, a vastness, an emptiness, a vacuum. And I lost all sense of me, my identity, my purpose, my purse, my meaning, my reason for being. Like an astronaut untethered from their spaceship floating aimlessly and in eternal perpetuity, I too was untethered from that and those that shaped who i was, why i was, and where i was going. For a period of time, my body was here on earth but the “i” in me or the “eye”  of me was floating in a black hole of nothingness. It was as though I was a walking, living, breathing shell of a body whose soul had departed. I knew not where my soul had gone, nor if it would ever come back and fill me up again. I knew I still existed because I could see and touch my body. That much was there and true, but the inside was hollow, like a dead tree. It was the weirdest sensation I had ever had over a period of time. I knew what depression was and how it felt. But depression was kindergarten to this sensation. At least in depression I felt something. With this encounter, I felt nothing.

As the adage goes, “The Universe abhors a vacuum.” and thus, in time another was brought into my life who could and would help me have a reason for me. Everything that I had wanted from the first other that I did not get and which had caused me great angst, this second other gave easily, freely (or so I thought initially), and abundantly. This second other was lavishing generous gifts upon me, flying cross country to see me and spend time with me – and all I had to do was “say the word”. Conversationally, this new other was brilliant and had a genius mind. To me and for me, this characteristic gave me an inside natural high. This was my own fairy tale unfolding before my eyes. I was excited again. I was alive again. I was feeling again. I had hope for the future. I began making plans for a future of togetherness, of “happily ever after”. But lurking behind all of this abundant external positivity and fortune, I was being hounded and stalked by a feeling from deep within of uneasiness, unsettledness, and like I wanted to RunRunRunRun.

This was a period in my life where I was a neophyte to understanding and responding to my feelings and to the messages my body was sending me. I was on the border, in that liminal zone between discounting them, ploughing through them, or bulldozing them down with the might of my bull-like will and to actually stopping, feeling them, discerning what they were telling me, and then proceeding with this newfound wisdom. Interestingly, one of my major mantras back then reflected this shift. It was, “Stop. Feel. Think. Then Act.”. I even had a t-shirt made with this slogan. I needed to wear these words and have my body and being absorb this lesson and way of being and living.

Even though my mind was elated and my Heart alive again, my body was SCREAMING something completely different and opposite. My body’s wisdom and intuition was feeling, reading, and responding to the vibes in this encounter. My body, God bless her, was figuratively and literally saying RunRunRunRunRunRunBabyRunRunRun! I am sure that you Dear Reader can figure out and make the connection how the RunRunRun… part manifested itself in my body. But just to give you little hint and clue: whenever I left my house, my predominate thoughts and concerns were, “where is the nearest rest room” and “how long before I reach the nearest restroom”. Get it? My body was so anxious and so distressed that she was always on the run from the present moment.

Around this time I was reading books on how to develop my intuition. I wanted to know how to hear and respond to God, rather than to the whims and desires of others. God responded by presenting to me in my path books about intuition: Laura Day, “Practical Intuition” and “How to Rule The World from Your Couch”, Sonia Choquette  “The Psychic Pathway” are the ones that I remember now.

Meanwhile I was teetering and tottering between co-joining my path with this new other or go at it solo. A wise person suggested that I visit and spend some time with this other person in their home and native land. And so I did. And oh Dear Lord what an eye opener this was. My trip was slated for seven days but after about day three or four, I KNEW I wanted OutOutOutOutOut! I called the airline and they wanted almost eight hundred dollars to re-issue my ticket to a flight a few days earlier. Um, maybe not. Maybe I’ll just tough it out, I thought. There is always a silver lining because if before my “no” was the size of The Rock of Gibraltar, after the extra few days my “NO” solidified from the surface down to the core and it became the size of the Rocky Mountain Range.

The Universe in It’s part was also signaling to me Their View on the situation with Their communication. We were driving in the city and a bus stop advertising caught my eye. It’s prominent message was “Stay Free”. Then while we were stopped at a red light, an elderly couple crossed the street right in front of us. I looked at them and they looked and felt MISERABLE. In that moment, I had a deep impression and feeling that said,                  “Irena if you co-join your path with this other, you will be this miserable couple down the line”. On my! Not good grief, but miserable grief. Later that night as I retreated into the safety and sanctuary of my hotel room, I had something happen that had never happened to me before – and at one point in my life I had done a a lot of business travel and hotel rooms had been my second home, so I had a cache of reference points of what a good hotel experience should look like and feel like. I had taken a long hot bath to wash the day away and then enveloped myself into the cocoon  of white bed sheets. I finally relaxed when I heard someone fidgeting with the door. By the Grace of God, I had engaged the chain door latch. I got up to see what was going on. The hotel staff had somehow mixed up my reservation with someone else’s who could not get into their room, which was my room. They tried to get in but could not. I was fuming mad! But in hindsight, it was just another sign along the way. I now see the innocent mistake of attempted intrusion in to my safe space as a signal of what would happen down the path line: my i would be intruded and invaded. Since I was so stressed and anxious, my monthly visitor, the feminine kind, came early. I always travel prepared and reached for my feminine product. Although I had used the same brand for years, it was as though I saw it for the first time. It read “Stay Free”. Need I say more! I laughed with deep gratitude at the affirmation and confirmation.

I could not wait to get into that metal cylindrical man made bird, sit into my seat  and fly home to my little safe nest. I thought I was home free. Again, at one point in my life for a few years, I had gotten on a plane several times a month and had always had a pretty good experience. Not this time though. The flight was delayed couple of hours due to an electrical issue related to the set belt safety light overhead our seats. All the passengers remained on the plane while the service crew repaired the short circuit. Meanwhile, I prayed and prayed and prayed. Finally a few hours later we were airborne. Home safe! I thought! Not so fast, said something else. About an hour into the flight the seat belt light started flashing uncontrollably, the pilot came on and said that although it was not a major issue and we could continue flying, regulations required that we turn back. WHAT! TURN BACK! NoNoNoNoNo!!! Turn back we did. Change planes we did. This I had never experienced before. Eventually, after much hassle, fuss, inconvenience, we made it to our destination, safely.

“Stay away from this person and this path. Very Very Very Far Away.”, the Universe not only whispered, pleaded, hinted, but screamed too. By the Grace of God, i listened and i obeyed, even though on paper and to the naked eye the positives were in abundance. This time I didn’t override The Holy Spirit. This time I took Her Eternal Wisdom and heeding.

Upon my return home, I severed ties with this person. Within a relatively short period of time, my body calmed down and stopped “running”.

Grateful beyond words.                                                                                                    Take Charge of you, your choices, your life, your health, your outcomes,                      Irena As I Am                                                                                                      02/23/2018

Message in a Funnel

This past Sunday, on the Eve of the new year the Western World calls 2018, I went for a long walk in the desert. The desert has become a place of refuge for me, a place of healing, and a place for receiving messages. A lot can happen in the wilderness.  Much can be discerned and many messages heard during times of silence and contemplation – whether in nature, in a temple/church, in meditation, or in one’s home. Silence and contemplation, this is where I am reconciled and recalibrated  gently, gracefully, and peacefully   back to filial obedience to Yahweh. This is where my joy in the Journey of Love and with Love is refreshed and refilled. Thus, this is why in my Walk of Faith, I make quiet time a priority. For me it is as essential as food, water, shelter, clothing, money, and transportation. It is the spiritual equivalent to these material items. And, it sets my feet, my thoughts/mind, my Heart, my being, my life on the “Path of Truth”.

On this particular day and on this particular walk, Christmas was on my Heart and thus as I stepped onto the desert path, I felt like singing. And so I did. I sang Christmas carols, litanies, and different melodic versions of “Alleluia”. I once heard a spiritual teacher (Hay House Podcast, I think it was?) say that the Soul loves hearing our voice , or its voice, and especially in out loud prayer. I sang and caroled to the desert, the sky, the plants and trees, the quail, the zipping hummingbirds, the scurrying lizards, the attentive ground squirrels until I was all sung out. Then I walked in silence, listening to the crunch of the gravel beneath each step I took. I let my mind and my thoughts do as they please. I let them be like the ocean: at times they came in waves and at times there was just stillness, nothingness – calm and peace in the mental domain.

As I walked on I noticed some trash here and there. My response to trash in nature is varied. Sometimes I pick it up. Sometimes I send a blessing to the litterers. Sometimes I just walk on by. This time I did all three. Toward the end of my walk,  I could no longer justify walking past the trash and so I began picking up what was on the side of the path which was aluminum pop/soda cans. Some of them were so old and so sun worn that they were full of desert sand. All it took was a bit of a shake, their sides gave way and the sand returned back to the ground. And then near the trail head I came upon a most unusual object: a small black funnel. I thought it odd being there. I wondered how it got there and from whence it came. I picked it up and with the cans tossed it into the nearest trash bin, thinking that was the end of it, and patting myself on my shoulder for being so loving toward Mother Earth – just a little ego self-gratification, not too too much.

This picture of the funnel I borrowed from Google Images and the image source is Amazon. This funnel is identical to the one that I picked up. Had I known I would have written about it, I would have taken it home and taken a picture. (On this particular walk I chose not to take technology (my phone) with me.)

But the next day and the day after that, the first and the second days of the year 2018, that funnel kept coming back into my thoughts. I thought it odd that these thoughts were fluttering through my mind. So I asked in my Heart, “is there a message for me?” and “what is the message of the funnel?”, and then went about my day. The image or impression that came to me was that the funnel represented my energy and its being wide or dispersed or spread out or non-focused or non-focal-pointed. It was telling me to harness, to reign in my energy and focus and get it flowing and going and centered in the Divine Direction. Or, said another way: stop being distracted by things that seem important to you and do what the Divine is telling you is Divinely Important for you to do. Stop missing the mark and get on target. Oh my! It was gentle nudge. It was a gentle message. It was a gentle reminder and reprimand. I’ve known that “They” have wanted me doing this and not that for some time, for a long time actually. I see that St. Paul had the same issue: Romans 7.

 I do not understand what I do.                                                                                  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.

I’ve noticed a pattern in my Walk of Faith. When I am asked to “start doing this and stop doing that” it seems like the “tests” or the “opportunities” or the “importance of the opposite” multiples and magnifies in taking me in the opposite direction. It is almost like the opposite steps up its campaign in “alluring” me away from the Divine Directive. Anybody else experience this? It seems like Genesis 3:1 all over again:

Did God really say… Did God actually say…                                                      Indeed, has God said…Is it really true that God said…

These thoughts are like thugs. They are little big seeds of doubt that get us to either delay or not do or stop doing that which we know in our Heart is a Precept of the Lord. And sometimes, the current of life can even take us on tangent streams, no matter how strong a swimmer we may be. But if we do do that which we are Divinely called to do, the rewards are phenomenal. Always. Remember that. Always.

The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart.                                  The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.                                     Psalm 19:8

In hindsight this is not the first such message. I’ve been seeing, hearing, feeling, thinking, dreaming, and knowing about the “funneling of my energy”, my efforts,

for a very long time.  One way to look at Divine Messages is that they are like a snow covered mountain. God does not just send us one snowflake, but rather a whole snowfall of messages that covers the landscape of our lives. The BIG QUESTION is whether we take the time to stop, listen, discern, and RESPOND in a peaceful, graceful, gracious, grateful, loving, joyful, trusting, and timely manner to these promptings, to these Divine Directives or Precepts.

I have come to grow in my love for the passage in Hosea 2:14 where Yahweh speaks tenderly to Israel as though Israel were His wife:

But look, I am going to seduce her                                                                         (away from the false gods she has been worshiping                                                          and which have led her astray from my Love),                                                                and lead her into the desert and speak to her heart                                          (and/or – speak persuasively/tenderly/lovingly/comfortingly to her heart). 

It especially resonated even more deeply with me when I found myself actually living in the desert. It now even gives me a good chuckle as it went from a figurative passage into a literal womanifestation. But seriously, the false gods in our lives are very subtle in that they seem “urgent/important/necessary” and yet they are VERY LOUD in telling us that theirs is “serious matter which we must attend to, immediately”. In doing so, we become subjects of their fickle demands which lead us away from peace in our Hearts.

For many years now, the Bible passage from Ecclesiaticus or Wisdom of Ben Sira or Sirach 37:15 has been a mantra inscribed deep into my Heart. It reads:

Most important of all, pray to God to set your feet upon the Path of Truth.

My prayer is always that it is God’s Truth and Divine Wisdom upon which I base my feelings, thoughts, and the actions of my life and not the fickle sways of the ego or temporary emotions or external circumstances. That is not to say that I am always 100% on point or on target, far from it, and no human being ever is, but it is the lighthouse or beacon of Light that I try to hold myself accountable to. When I fall short, or miss the mark (sin**), I ask for ABUNDANT GRACE to pick me up, dust me off, strengthen my resolve, and re-set me on The Divine Way. When I am on point, on target, I ask for ABUNDANT GRACE to keep me humble, reverent and continuing in my obedience before God and God’s Precepts.

Either way, Grace is there for the asking and the thanking.                                           Either way, Grace always responds.                                                                                  All we need to do is ask.                                                                                               Then do.

Grace in Abundance to All,                                                                                            Irena As I Am


**Note**                                                                                                                    Revised Definition of Sin – In my journey from fearing God to loving and revering God, I came upon an article many years ago in a small local paper – “Arcadia News”, (I think it was?)  that wrote about the definition of “sin”. The author explained how the word “sin” was an actual old archery term which meant “missing the mark”, or “missing the target”. It implies that we do our best, but just like an archer does not “hit the target” 100% of the time, neither are we always able to “hit the target” in our walk with God. This definition game me IMMENSE relief for my Heart and Soul and Mind. It took me from the “sin and hell” mindset to “pray, ask for grace, and do your best”. It also helped my reframe God from being a punisher to a Lover. I no longer have that article, but I will always be grateful to that writer for sharing, easing my burden and lightening my Heart. Angels are all around us.