Category Archives: What’s Worked For Me

Practical Tips, Key Lessons & Growth Experiences that have assisted my growth towards God

Deconstructing Self Punishment

I’ve written in the past about my own issues with self punishment and many people still ask me about it.

Since then I’ve done a lot to work on this issue. The first thing that really helped me was to begin to view self punishment as an addiction; a device to help me avoid my fears. I began to treat my self attack as something that had no future, could never be ‘felt enough’ in order to be released and decided that I just needed to halt it in its tracks whenever it began to happen.

To a small extent this helped but as with any major addiction until I was willing to deconstruct the false beliefs driving my justification for holding on to it, and to soften to the feelings I was using it to cover, I didn’t have much success. And the success I have had in letting go of self punishment up until this point is still limited to a large degree by the fears that I continue to justify and resist.

However I recently compiled some notes about the work I have done and insights that I have had about this topic thus far and thought that in sharing them here that they may be of assistance to others.

Self punishment is an interesting thing to deconstruct. I found that I really wanted to internally defend it as a ‘good’ and righteous thing. I’ve even gone so far as to delude myself that I was being humble, or ‘more humble than before’, when I was self punishing.

I often rationalised that when I was self punishing, that is, attacking myself, that I was being far more loving than I would be if I was attacking others. This is absolutely not true.

From God’s perspective attack of anyone is a sin. This includes when we direct the attack internally towards ourselves.

In addition, while I might have wanted to tell myself that self punishment effects only me, I have come to see that attack of self can at times be quite a manipulative technique. And just because I had stopped attacking others with my rage, it didn’t mean that my self punishment was lacking in passive aggression.

I’ve come to feel that my resistance to letting go of self punishment is in reality only ever a resistance to truth in one of two areas.

  1. How I Have Harmed Others

The first thing that drives my self punishment is a resistance to feeing how I have truthfully harmed others.

My emotional projection is that if I just punish myself enough about what I have done then hopefully the person I hurt will feel bad and try to make me feel better, or at least be happy that I am doing the punishing and they don’t have to say a thing.

This is actually a really manipulative tactic and makes the harm I have done to the other person all about me. I am avoiding of engaging with how the other person feels about what I have done and dealing with the causes as to why I took the unloving action.

A person in façade will often resist acknowledging the manipulative nature of self punishment. So growing a desire to let go of façade was an important step for me in giving up the addiction to self punishment.

  1. How I Have Truthfully Been Harmed By Others in the Past

The second is a resistance to feeling how I have been harmed by others.

I choose self punishment because I prefer that pain to the pain of feeling the truth of how little I have been loved in a certain situation. Essentially I fear experiencing the grief involved in facing the full truth of the situation. It is a way of blocking out the truth and shutting down my feelings.

I can also be avoiding an additional fear which is that I am afraid of how the person or spirit involved will respond to me if I feel and acknowledge the truth of how they are harming me. I often fear further abuse from them if I connect to how wrong what they are doing is and make a stand (even internally) for truth. Hiding in self punishment helps me avoid that fear.

As an adult, it is very important for me to remember that all of these situations in which I am being harmed are all attractions to help me to connect with causal grief. So the fears associated with facing and feeling the truth about personal hurt and harm are related to situations and unprocessed emotions from childhood.

I hope that this post might help some of you who are still finding that you are resistive to giving up self attack and punishment.

Responding to Spirit Attack: A Letter

Hi Jesus and Mary, I am wondering if you would be willing to have a conversation with me by phone or skype. Everything is really ramping up for me, I don’t know if I am on track, if I am being relentlessly attacked by spirits. I have focused on my relationship with God and feeling my endless addictions (I think anyway). I feel it would help me a lot.
Love E____ .

Hi E____,

I’m sorry to hear that you have been struggling with spirit attack lately.

Honestly, at the moment I am struggling with spirit attack myself. I know that it can be really hard, confusing and scary. Here are some things that I’ve noticed:

As I have gotten more connected with myself I have found that many of the things I thought I believed or felt in the past about myself or the world have actually been me agreeing with negative spirit messages to me. I have repeated their messages to me and to others in an attempt to avoid spirit attack.

As I work through things I have found that I actually have different feelings and beliefs and desires to what I was telling myself. I was just trying to be a different person with a different life in order to try and make spirits who I fear happy.

When I get or stay more connected to my true desires and feelings the spirit attack ramps up as they try to maintain or regain control of me.

So, I am not surprised that as you have started to follow your desires in harmony with love and truth (including going back to uni and doing more things that you love) that you have felt more under attack.

The key is to recognise that the problem is not what you are doing – you are actually doing better in your progress – but that these spirits are pulling out all the stops to try and get control back because they sense that soon they won’t have any at all.

Once you recognise this dynamic the real emotional work of freeing yourself from the influence and attack forever can begin.

This is where I still run into problems but Jesus so often helps me with encouragement and truth about these issues and I’ll do my best to share some of the key things he reminds me of below:

1. Allow yourself to feel the attack and how that makes you feel.

Rather than believing the messages the spirits are telling you let your self soften to feeling how terrible it feels that spirits would say and want to do such things to you. Let yourself feel how afraid you are of these spirits and what your beliefs are about what they can and will do to you.

Very often I find that I go rigid under attack, I try to ‘survive’ it rather than grieve it. This often means I shut down my emotions completely and start telling myself what they want me to believe. This includes things like “I’m a terrible person” or “Everything is hopeless” or “Feeling emotions doesn’t work anyway – look at how unhappy you are”. Once they have me in that place I will often then be more likely to do their bidding. I get attacking or really negative with others. I put myself down internally to myself or with others. This is me accepting their messages and often I’ve done this so much that I have ended up thinking that these messages came from me not outside me. This is dangerous because it allows the spirits to be ‘anonymous’ and invisible to us. I don’t sense the attack and instead I become their instruments to attack myself or others.

The key thing here is to know that the only reason I do all of that is in order to avoid how terrified I am of the spirits. Because I don’t want to feel fear I believe I have no other choice but to do and believe what dark spirits want me to. And if I have done that long enough and am avoiding fear enough I will end up wanting to not have any sense of the spirits at all.

So I very important step is to begin to recognise that attack and threats are coming from outside of yourself towards you. It sounds like you have begun to do this which is great.

All the negativity and self attack or attack towards others that I end up engaging are all ways that I avoid feeling my terror of spirits. I submit my will to what they want rather than maintaining my love of truth and acting in accordance with it. I believe that you have done this a lot in the past but now that you have grown in love you are less willing to do as much attack of others so of course you feel the attack from spirits more strongly. You need to be aware however of how much you are still willing to attack yourself. This is a way that they sap your energy and you still give up your desires out of fear of them.

From things you have told me in the past, you came from quite an emotionally violent family and so some of the fears that these spirits are triggering are to do with how violently you were treated when you desired to engage your will for yourself as a child. That is, there is terror in you of your parents and how they responded to you as a small child when you had desires and emotions that they didn’t approve of. These spirits are manipulating this unfelt emotion within you. When you release it they will have zero power over you. So let this process expose those fears.

2. Let yourself feel your specific fears.

Under attack from spirits let yourself feel what you really fear will happen. You need to let yourself be specific.

No fear is just general. For example the feeling is not just “I am really afraid of spirits” or “I am really afraid of the dark”

Our fears are specific and individual to us. While we might have many fears of many different things, each one is definite and often intricate in detail.

For example:
‘these spirits will be able to kill me unless I do what they want’, or
‘these spirits will be able to influence people to hate me’ or
‘people will laugh at me when I’m like this and unless everyone loves me I am worthless’ or
‘these spirits can kill my loved ones’ or ‘in the dark people will come and rape me and no-one will see and rescue me’

So let yourself feel and discover what you are really afraid will happen when these spirits are attacking and threatening you.

Below is an excerpt from an online chat I had with someone else which illustrates the process of getting more specific about fear:

Mary: So here is the thing about spirit influence. I know it is hard and I still struggle with it myself but this is what I have found to be true: spirits can only influence through our own negative feelings towards ourselves and through our fear/terror.

Friend: Oh, that makes sense.

Mary: For me, my resistance to feeling intense shame about certain events (abuse in first century) leads me to agree when spirits tell me I am worthless and also my resistance to experiencing my terror of being physically abused and tortured opens me up to believing or doing what they tell me. For example, I might take actions towards myself or others that are unloving in order to try to mitigate their projections or avoid the fear their threats to cause physical harm to me if I don’t comply.

The problem is (as you are experiencing) that by doing what these negative spirit people want or repeating their terrible messages towards us, we end up feeling worse and worse.

Friend: Do you have things you do that help?

Mary: I have found the key for me is to find their particular hooks into me (those emotions I talked about). It isn’t always easy but it really, really helps to get specific about what I am ashamed about or what I am afraid about.

Once I can connect to those emotions even a bit I find I am ‘on my own’ again … that is… they can’t influence me into those terrible negative compounding cycles that lead me to feelings of wanting to die etc

Friend: OK .I will start trying that…I have been working to go back too to the past where the terror started too.

Mary: Great, so for example to start with – when you say that seeing mum in the paper terrifies you… can you get more specific about what you are afraid of?

Friend: I am afraid they can commit me and destroy any chance of a good life for me because they have all the money, power and influence to do that and would if they could.

I feel like I have given up any chance of love and happiness already…and it’s not enough for them. And like they are winning…and I can’t do anything about it.

Mary: So – lets get even more specific. When you mention the fear of them committing you, does this relate to a fear of being physically overpowered and your freedom being taken away?

Or is it that they can convince others that you are wrong and therefore alienate you from acceptance in the world?

Friend: definitely the second one…

I’ll never understand how they can all be so happy when they know the truth…

Mary: OK – awesome.. so you know that one of your big fears is about them influencing other people’s opinion of you and being able to convince others that you are bad and worthless.

And if you think about it this is the exact fear that came up for you in your recent attraction with me and Jesus when you thought L____ would ‘poison’ us against you. This wasn’t the case but the fear was triggered in you and because you didn’t feel it, it clouded your perception and allowed a bunch of very negative spirits to manipulate that unfelt terror and convince you that you were really in danger of something terrible happening.

So you know that this is a big fear to work on that must have roots in your childhood.

Friend: yes…that is so true…and thank you for that…I will start to really examine this…

3. Don’t neglect truth

This is a beautiful thing that Jesus reminds me of and I watch him practice under spirit attack himself.

This means things like:

–  Read or watch things about God, love and truth

– Don’t avoid people who you know are loving and will be truthful with you and who you have found in the past to be trustworthy, seek them out instead

–  Remind yourself of the truth about your true nature, about progression and about God

– Keep speaking what you know to be truth and follow what you know are loving desires

– Remind yourself that you are getting more attacked because you are growing towards God and love and your real self – not because you deserve it or the spirits are right about you. In fact, anyone who attacks you cannot be delivering truth to you.

– Remember your loving motivations for doing what you are doing e.g. why you decided to follow your desires to go back to university, why you wanted to grow and heal etc.

Truth and love are such powerful forces – more powerful than the evil ones – but when we resist fear it is easy to loose sight of that fact.

So, don’t neglect sources of truth and love in your life. Seek out things that you know inspire you and remind you of truth and goodness. Dark spirits are hopeless themselves and they find it easy to manipulate a person who lives in negativity and hopelessness.

While we do need to surrender to and grieve any feelings of faithlessness or hopelessness that exist within us be careful not to live in those feelings. The path to God is to feel those feelings and continue to seek God’s Truth about everything that frightens us and that we feel hopeless about.

Anyway E____, I hope that some of that helps.

I read some motivational quote the other day that said that most people quit right before they begin to see results. While I think that the person was referring to health and fitness I find it fitting in relation to spirit influence, control and attack.

We feel the world’s resistance to our change the most when we are making definite moves towards personal change and growth. Before then we don’t notice it as much because we are in more agreement with it. As we begin to shift the level of opposition to love and truth that was always there around us just begins to be exposed. We just didn’t notice it that much before because we were stagnant on those issues ourselves. So, I hope I can encourage you to keep going and remind you that Jesus and I love you and we know that you can get through this.

Your sister,

Mary

*******

I wrote this letter some time ago and revised and slightly updated it for publication here today.

As I was rereading over what I had written I was reflecting ‘gee I really left out a glaringly obvious thing to do when under spirit attack’ – which is to pray.

I could claim that it was too obvious to mention – but the truth is that often, when under spirit attack myself, I find myself feeling that the most difficult thing to do is to simply pray.

But it is actually the most powerful thing you can do.

I see that many of us when under attack – myself included – have a tendency to give up, assume a figurative (or literal) fetal position, hang a ‘position vacant’ sign on ourselves and try to wait for it all to be over so that we can feel better again.

This never works.

The truth is that only way spirit attack lessens is when:

  1. We comply in some way with the unloving demands and projections of the attacking spirits.

    We might stop the loving action we were planning to take, we might treat ourselves or others with a lack of love or even begin to attack ourselves. In short, the attack lessens because we, in a small or large way, give up our will to what these spirits want and thus become their instruments. This is what they want and so they ‘back off’.

  2. The attacking spirit changes and decides through their own free will and desire to grow in love to stop attacking you.

  3. We respond proactively by becoming more humble and faithful.

    This means that we begin working through the emotions that the spirits are acting upon thus lessening the power of their dark messages to manipulate us.

A few important things I want to point out here:

Firstly, that option number 2 rarely happens unless you engage with option number 3 first yourself. There are various reasons for this that probably deserve a longer explanation but put simply; it is unlikely that an abuser will cease abusing another person and decide to become more loving before the person who is being abused decides that they don’t want to accept that abuse anymore.

Second thing I notice is, that people sometimes get confused, believing they are doing number 3 when really they are in reality engaged in option number 1.

That is because darker spirits are often comfortable with people they influence on earth living in certain addictions (and calling it ‘experiencing emotion’) if those addictive emotions reinforce the unloving viewpoints the spirits themselves have and make the person on earth more willing to do what they (the spirits) want.

The person on earth can gain the impression that experiencing a certain emotion is lessening the spirit attack and that must mean that they are working through their injuries. However unless the person on earth is willing and desirous to receive God’s Truth on issues then they can really just be experiencing a lessening of spirit attack because they are becoming more compliant with negative spirits and more in harmony with their darker soul condition.

Perhaps a good example of this is a woman who is working on herself and begins to feel that she would like to open her heart to her man. She begins to feel spirit attacked. Through her unhealed emotions spirits can then start to suggest to her that really her issue is that she has been abused by men and she just needs to ‘feel’ her rage and ‘forgive’ the man she is with for harming her in the past.

If the woman isn’t humble she can start to act out emotionally in blame of her partner, withdraw further from him than she was previously and try to ‘work on’ her rage. She may even cry angry tears and spend time bashing inanimate objects in the guise of working through her rage. Suddenly the spirit attack may lessen.In fact, she might feel lighter and have more energy in all of the other areas of her life – except with her male partner.

If this woman is blocked to receiving God’s Truths about matters she only has her own ideas and the spirit’s attack or lessening of attack to gauge her progress. Even if this woman has been harmed by men in the past, while blocked to true humility and to God’s Truth she will stagnate or even regress in her progress. She will not be able to accurately discern what she needs to forgive others for and what  she needs to repent for.

Which brings me back to the issue of prayer. Involving God in this process of dealing with attack (and life in general!) is way powerful. Immediately that we do this we aren’t reliant on our own injured self or the negative spirits around us to determine what is truth and what constitutes progress. If you really think about it, it is so illogical to exclude the most reliable source of Truth and Love from our quest for growth.

A lessons I have learned this year is that I often shut God out of my life because I want to hold onto false beliefs about myself and others. I do this because either:

  1. I believe that remaining in a state of error and untruth in my soul keeps me safer from violent attack (which is an issue of avoiding terror), or because,
  2. I don’t want to feel the overwhelming emotions that facing God’s Truth would trigger (which is an issue of avoiding immense grief).

When I don’t want to pray I remind myself that it is likely due to one of these two false beliefs and attitudes. I can work on those and I will need to deal with these global issues if I am to remain free of negative spirit influences for good.

I encourage you to find the reasons you stop wanting to pray when under spirit attack and to remind yourself that without seeking God’s Truth in our lives we are flying blind, with our injuries and errors clouding our judgement and assessments of things. Alternately, having a reliable external source of absolute truth is such a gift.

God’s Truth provides us with a compass and His Love gives a light to move towards.

***********

Jesus and I have spoken about spirit influence a lot in the past and I really recommend viewing the following videos if you would like more information:

Positively Responding To Spirit Influence S1P1 S1P2  S2P1 S2P2

Coping With Spirit Influence P1 P2

Spirit Influence S1 S2P1 S2P2

If anyone found any other Divine Truth video or written material helpful in responding to Spirit Attack then I’d love to hear from you via email and I can add your suggestion to this list.

Mother, you had me

Some resources for those wishing to heal in regards to their relationship with their mother:

Click on the underlined grey text below to follow the links.

Mother ‘love’ photo collection

Book Excerpt

“Cultural norms – backed up by the Judeo-Christian tradition -require us to honor our mothers and fathers and, above all, speak no ill of them. These cultural strictures affect all daughters, including those raised by essentially loving, if occasionally imperfect, mothers. They can get in the way of the work a daughter needs to do when she moves from one stage of her own development to another – from adolescence to young adulthood and then into adulthood and motherhood, for example – and must confront the task of seeing her mother wholly and realistically. Our cultural unwillingness to challenge the idealization of motherhood combined with the injunction against criticizing our own mother can leave any daughter unable to take the next necessary step in her evolving relationship to her mother.”…..

“In the court of mother-daughter conflict, it’s usually the daughter who’s on trial. ”

“The cultural myth of absolute mother love combined with the real-world power of a mother to inform her child’s universe often create a terrible conflict within the daughter herself. Precisely because a child is dependent on her mother not just for her physical needs but for the emotional cues that inform her sense of self, the pain caused by her mother’s ambivalence or meanness co-exists with her need for her mother’s love and attention. In a loving, securely attached relationship between a mother and child, power isn’t an issue. With insecure attachment – whether avoidant, ambivalent, or disorganized -the mother always has the advantage and there is fertile opportunity for the abuse of maternal power.  “

Emotional Incest Syndrome

This book outlines a specific injury that can occur in a parent-child relationship. It may occur with mother or father (so this book is not just useful with regards to the mother relationship). It won’t be relevant to everyone but those who have experienced this dynamic with one or both parents are bound to find it useful.

I like that this book is thorough. It highlights the issue from the perspective of all members of the family system, gives example of the many ways Emotional Incest can manifest in the parent-child relationship and the long term effects upon self-esteem and relationships as the child grows into adulthood.

Will I Ever Be Good Enough?

The last section of this book has practical journal exercises that encourage emotional connection. I recommend them.

 

Fear, Reality & the Gap Between

The law of attraction has been bringing me many opportunities lately to work  with and communicate with people in a lot of fear.

I am myself a person who still has many (many) fears.

But in recent time I have been dealing with people who have somewhat different fears to my own or in situations that I don’t find as scary as they do. This has been an immense gift as it has allowed me to see what it must be like for people around me when I resist experiencing my fears and instead live in them and let them direct my thinking and actions.

I have been given insights into just how damaging living in fear really is and how much fear impairs our perceptions of reality.

I wrote a note to a friend about some of this and I thought others might find it useful as a tool for their own self-reflection.

Dear Sister,

I think that the major lesson or emotion I would encourage you towards is to see how much you feel controlled and pushed when a situation is simply triggering one or more of your fears.

Often the communication or events that are triggering your fears are not controlling or bullying but you feel that they are. This happens because you are resisting your fear. Internally you still believe that feeling fear is ‘impossible’ so you interpret that the person or event is being unreasonable and ‘pushing’ you toward something that is crazy and unloving. In reality they are often just being logical or direct.

I’ve noticed this dynamic in my own life a lot. That is, how I often feel pressured or controlled when fear is triggered. If I allow myself to soften to fear or sometimes even just recognise the fear, I see things far more clearly. Feeling and releasing our fears is definitely the best and most loving thing we can do. It allows us to see reality, not just interpret events through our investment in avoiding fear.

Love,
Mary

blurry vision

Image Source

Desire, Dreaming & the Destination {Operation ‘Get Present’}

Before I start sharing some of the things that have helped me to become more present, I figured it was important to define somewhat what I actually mean by the term ‘being present’.

Turns out defining what it is to be present – in words – is much harder than writing tips about it. Hence the time lag in my beginning this series.

My procrastination about ‘the definition post’ has caused me to pause and ponder quite a bit about the metaphor inherent in this situation (which of course hasn’t helped the time lag issue).

Here’s what I’ve noticed.

The Tip Phenomenon

It’s easy to love “tips”. In fact tips seem to be quite the fashion these days. I googled tips and found tip lists ranging from Al-Qaeda’s 22 tips for dodging drone attacks to very particular travel tips. It seems you can find tips relevant to almost any pursuit life may offer you. There are time management tips, handy household tips, school survival tips, cooking tips, healthy living tips and then there are the authors that go for broke with all encompassing lists to change your  entire life. It’s an epidemic. Tips are the new black.

So why are we all so obsessed with tips?

I believe it’s because “tips” and handy checklists give us little strategies to help us feel like we’re getting it together and doing something neat, or useful, or beneficial. For most of us, most of the time, life feels overwhelming, and instead surrendering to all that, we want a road map the hell outa there.

Its easy to kid ourselves that tips will be the fast track to helping us live in the dreamy mantra that we’re improving ourselves and our situation in some way and because of that – its all gonna be A-OK.

This is why I’ve had to pause and consider that the tips ‘scene’ can turn out to be tricky territory.

You see, I’m a girl who advocates the beauty and power of surrender and overwhelm. I’m no longer into quick-fixes and nifty strategies that help us avoid rather than embrace. So clearly care needs to be taken as I prepare my discussion of what it means to be present and launch into my own ‘tip-fest’. 🙂

But there’s more to it than that.

My concern is that, in the modern ‘Western’ world, we are so busy trying to get away from ourselves, and our feelings, that we search for a road map to anywhere else but here.

Getting all addicted to tips and strategies, we can fool ourselves into thinking that we’re heading towards a thing, without fully examining what that place will be like, and if it’s somewhere we actually want to go.

Then there’s the issue that without spending enough time thinking about what our heart really desires, and dreaming in specifics about the possibilities in front of us, we just set off without any way of discerning if we are actually getting closer to our desired destination.

If we aren’t careful, this idea of ‘getting present’ can turn into something we logically agree is a ‘good idea’ when we haven’t fully deciding what it means to go there, if we think we’ll like it when we do and without any way of knowing when we might be getting close.

A Journey to ‘Rome’

Imagine for a minute that you grew up under a rock and had never heard of far-off places and distant lands. You just knew the place you were in.

Then suddenly everyone around you started to tell you that you should visit Rome, a distant land in the west. Most of the people you knew had either been there, or were about to go.

Without even considering the merits of Rome, you promptly pack your bags and set off to the west.

In this scenario, knowing as little as you do about travel, Rome and your own personal desires, the problem inherent in your situation would be that:

1. You can’t actually say that you truly want to go to Rome based on a desire you’ve developed as a part of your own personality, interests, curiosity or desire to learn about new things. People have just said it and you’ve acted.

So, you must be doing it for some other reason, like “other people know best” or “I’m stuck for initiative myself so I’ll just rely on everyone else’s life plan” or “everyone else says it’s a good idea and the only way I’ll get loved and approved of is if I go there”.

Desire like that doesn’t get you very far, nor is it very fulfilling along the way. In fact, such duty-bound or fear based endeavours just get tiring, instead of energizing.

Also, driven by such impure desires, when and if you finally did reach Rome, you have no idea if you’ll actually like it, and may end up feeling that the whole trip was a complete waste of time.

It pays to develop a feeling and desire for where you are headed before committing a lot of time and effort to getting there.

If you see benefits to going there, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.

If fact you’re unlikely to get anywhere if you don’t actually want to go there.

If you don’t see any benefit you’ll quickly give up, or go so far and tell yourself that that’s enough or the best you can hope for.

2. Since you don’t have a strongly developed desire for Rome and its unique and exotic sights, tastes and smells, you are likely to set out and get way-laid looking at other things – which may or may not be as good as what Rome herself offers.

In fact you might just get a few villages over, find some interesting characters and ideas there. These people, thoughts and customs may be only slightly different from those you have known all your life, but they might excite you enough to feel that you’ve really branched out, and changed and probably gone far enough.

You could do all this, not understanding that on reaching Rome what would feel like a whole new world would open up, and that even a new language and way of interacting could be possible.

You might settle for ‘this will do’ when ‘out of this world bliss’ was actually on offer.

Your viewpoint of the possibilities for personal change and growth will be vastly limited if you lack imagination and/or lack desire to ask more or learn more.

3. In your travels, you won’t have any idea if you are even in the vicinity of Rome. If you knew something about it, like that people speak Italian there, or if you had heard a story about the Colosseum or tiramisu, then as you entered Italy and found some clues, you might be able to deduce that Rome was not as far off as it was when you first set out on our adventure.

Some knowledge, applied using logic, and self-reflection would help you be aware of your progress.

If we take Rome out of this hypothetical scenario and sub in the destination ‘Present’ or ‘at-one with God’, basically the same lessons and principles apply. The truths that apply to our fictional journey to Rome, apply just about any desired aspect of personal or spiritual growth.

For example, we might have an intellectual concept that a relationship with God is a good thing but if our soul holds the feeling that relating to a parent will actually be a burden and a giving up of our joy and will, then our desire for God won’t be heartfelt or passionate. We’ll give up before the get-go.

Similarly, any steps we take towards Him out of a sense of duty or desire to ‘just be rid of our pain’, or ‘to be a good girl or boy’ won’t get us very far, or last for very long.

Getting present, becoming at-one with God, these things must be thought about in terms of their merits and dreamed of in terms of the possibilities they will offer, if we are to ever embrace the journey to get there.

We’ll also have to come to terms with the fact that it is indeed a journey, not a destination that can be reached in a moment and in order to get there we’ll have to not only want it, but desire to know more about how to go there and to see that we don’t already know everything about it.

A Story about Tris

Tristan once jokingly told someone (much to their total horror) that when his Dad first introduced us, he planned to just lead with calling me ‘Mum’.

Thankfully, Tris is one of the most mature people I know and since he’s very focused on this Heavenly Mother, he’s not shopping for more earthly ones, so he’s always just been completely himself with me. These days, I’d regard Tris as a very good friend of mine.

One of the things I love about him is that he often starts sentences with phrases like:

“When I’m at one with God I can feel I’ll do..(insert awesome action)… or be like.. (insert awesome quality)….”

Or he’s been know to say to me, with a sense of wonder and slight bewilderment:

“Did you know that that person has never thought about what it will be like to be at-one with God?”

Like he’s thinking – how could you want to know God and not consider things like that?

Tristan has dreams that involve bringing God’s Laws into being for everyone on the Earth, and creating places for children here in the physical world, with substance and potentials that have only ever been seen in the spiritual one.

Tris gets that, in order to get to where you want to go, you need to see it as a great destination.

He dreams about what may be possible based on what he has already experienced of God.

He continually fosters and grows his desire to be at-one with his Father.  He loves to think about it, he imagines what his life will be like when he gets there. Its not and ‘if’ type of scenario, it’s a ‘when’.

That’s faith, desire and imagination working together in a beautiful synergy.

I feel very blessed to know not one, but two men, who constantly model to me such a beautiful approach to life. They have not only dreamt of ‘Rome’, but they set out each day with a strong knowledge that its possible to get there, and excitement at the joy, hope and wonder that such a destination will bring.*

Tris&Jesus

And That’s Why We Need to Talk About the Destination

So that, my friends, is my long way of telling you that we’ll never get more present if we don’t know what that actually means, and have a feeling that it might just be a good idea.

Which is why we need to have at least one post in this series that deals with defining what I mean to ‘get present’.

But this isn’t it. 🙂

Stay tuned – its still coming.

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* Tris and Jesus also carry with them the humility to know that even their current perceptions of what is possible or probable may need to be revised. Just like the person in Rome, who tastes pasta or pizza for the first time, has to concede that our Australian version falls quite short of the flavour and flare that Italians give to these foods.
These men dream in the positive, having faith in a God that provides and multiplies gifts. They live in a world where knowledge, and dreaming, and change, aren’t just possible, but certain under God’s Laws. They understand that even what they dream of at best, will likely be superseded by something more wonderful sometime in the future. 

 

Operation ‘Get Present’

It was sometime last year that I finally had to concede that I really did have a hard time staying present and connected with emotions and my bodily sensations on a day to day, moment to moment basis.

I can’t remember exactly when I realised how pervasive the problem was for me. But it probably happened because we spent so much time in airports last year.

Airports are like my ultimate tune out of myself and my experience zones. Up until recently when I hit an airport, not only did I immediately become vague, illogical and distant, I also had a zillion additional strategies up my sleeve to disassociate from the fear, stress and projections I experienced being there. (I’m not telling you my strategies by the way – because it’s kind of the opposite of what I’m writing about today and trust me, you just feel like a zombie woman after using them, which isn’t fun).

Naturally my soulmate had been pointing out the problem of my ‘going away from myself’ fairly often since we met. While I could recognise what he was saying was true (read: nod, agree, and then largely avoid), it took me a long time to actually want to see what a major and life-long issue it was, or what the repercussions of my constant tune-out were in my day to day life.

Last year, exacerbated by the airport merry-go-round, I finally felt how debilitating this problem was in regards to my personal growth and long-term happiness.

I began to recognise, how my problem with staying present, was affecting my ability to experience emotions – both painful and pleasurable. This lack of experience was not only limiting my spiritual progress, the key to which is my desire to feel my real emotions constantly, it also meant I had no joy in my life.

I couldn’t effectively feel anything, or deal with anything, while I wanted to absent myself from things a large percentage of the time. This meant neither significant release of pain nor the resultant relief that comes with it. But additionally, many times, I just wasn’t there enough to feel happiness of the wind on my face as we gazed at a startling view, or the enjoyment of a new acquaintance in a foreign city. Even the taste of great food was dulled by the myriad of other experiences I was suppressing as I ate it.

Beyond this, I was also very lonely. My unwillingness to be present with myself for long periods meant that I couldn’t experience deep connection in any relationship. This problem extended to my most significant and valuable relationships. Without experience of myself, I couldn’t achieve any true intimacy or connection with God or with my soulmate.

Put very simply, I came to understand two very important truths:

1. Not being present meant not really living my life.

2. Becoming present was actually the crucial first step in engaging humility on a daily basis.

Thus ‘Operation Get Present’ was born.

goofy Mary

Today I’m introducing a new series in which I share many of the things I learned and experienced as I decided to focus on this one thing – becoming present – as my first goal every single day.

In some posts to follow, I hope to give you practical tips that helped me in this endeavour, plus convey some of the emotional and spiritual things I realised and encountered along the way.

As fair warning, I should say that blog writing, at the moment, falls a little lower on my list of priorities than many other things in life. That’s why things get a little sporadic around here. So, while I’m promising you a series, please keep in mind that entries will come as time and personal processing allows.  I’m pretty sure that most of you get that! Thank-you for your understanding.

By the way, if you are stuck for inspiring reading, you should totally check out what Denis, and Paige & Kerry have been up to in Kenya. Is it completely dorky of me to tell you that, in my head, I call what these guys are doing The Awesome Adventures of PKD?

Yup, probably 🙂

Tips On Staying In Touch With Your Guides & Guardian

While we were in Greece earlier this year, I had the beautiful experience of being approached by the spirit guides of those who attended our group there. They wanted to provide everyone with some very practical tips on how to stay more connected to them, and to receive their guidance more readily.
I channeled a list of seven tips, they are listed in this post, dated 16th of February, 2012.

I’m sure these wise folk had much more to say but what I was able to receive I found to be very applicable and valuable in that its the kind of advice you can apply to everyday life, even if you don’t consider yourself to be a medium.

You can also now watch the full talk on youtube. The first part is below.

Have a beautiful Monday everyone,

With love,

Mary

When Anger Stops Us Seeing A Friend

When we begin to open our eyes and hearts to the level of addiction that has existed in our lives sometimes its tempting to declare “Well no one has ever loved me! True friendship is a fallacy.”

Even if we don’t admit it, deep down, many of us feel cynical about love and friendship. All the little hurts have added up and while we may not say it out loud a part of us has become hard.

But for most of us there have been people – amongst the comings and goings, the growing and learning phases in our lives – who have extended the hand of friendship our way. 

Its true, we may not have noticed.

These special people can pass us by if we want to hold onto our grief and pain, if we want to blame and be victims.


It happens because we get angry instead of sad.

We get angry because we hurt and don’t want to know it. We don’t want to open up again, to feel how alone and sad and friendless we felt before, when our feet were small and hearts tender.

I know this because I have been there. 

Sometimes the hurt of feeling friendless, abandoned, unloved and unimportant feels too much and I just want to hold onto angry disillusionment instead. 
And if you are like me, then when we do this, when we shut down in this way, we not only miss the chance to receive the gifts and gratitude of true friendship but we also prevent ourselves becoming true friends to others.

When we are willing to be humble to the pain we feel, we will stop trying to have those around us alleviate it, and begin to have something to give.
Before this can happen however we will need to stop blaming others, we will stop waiting for the world to make things fair and safe for us to share and speak and be ourselves.
We will have to ask –
Do I want to be true even if others aren’t?
Do I want to give more than I want to justice?
How much do I want to love?
The story of ‘Through the Mists’ shows us many beautiful examples of friendship in action, not the least of which is Fred’s own life. Fred was a lonely man while on earth, he lacked love and support from almost everyone in his society yet he lived his life in service and friendship to those less fortunate. His humility made him not full of self but of compassion; his integrity made him willing to risk ridicule in order to live by the principle of love he aspired to. 
I have learnt that to be a true friend I will require humility. It may mean taking steps that feel risky. 
But mostly to be your friend I will have integrity. I will honour love and truth above my image or comfort. 
And in thisI will serve as a matter of course.
Who has been a friend to you in your childhood or life today? What did they teach you about life and love?
 

Be Real, Be Loved

Yesterday I talked about overlooking friendships. I said that not so long ago I’d asked myself:

“If I can’t see the love extended towards me from those around me, how can I know it and receive it from God?”

This question opened my eyes to many things.

When we live steeped in addictions and co-dependence true friendship doesn’t always stand out. It takes a growth in integrity to begin to recognise those that give without trying to getsomething from you. And often when we’ve been used to co-dependence it can feel vulnerable and strange to begin to enter relationships based on love and humility.

I often find myself feeling exposed or insecure or stupid when I can’t ‘control’ the way others will perceive me through projections or addictions in the way that I used to.

As I let the real me speak, the child in me identifies risk.

All of the times as a child that I was made fun of, or judged, or rejected, or just not approved of when being myself taught me to play it ‘safe’ and hide myself in gradually increasing increments. I replaced these ‘self-parts’, my ‘whole-heart’, my ‘true-ness’ with parts I thought would please everyone, until one day (not so long ago) I realised that my heart was closed off and I had lost the ability to sincerely love and to be loved.

It’s hard to let love into a heart that is walled off by fake parts. And as I tear down the barricade I often find myself overwhelmed with emotion. When love reaches behind the façade it is such a contrast to the loneliness my true self had grown accustomed to, that I often melt into tears.

So I’ve learnt that sometimes friendship requires bravery. Sometimes it means taking a step that feels risky. It means taking down the walls and opening up to the possibility of love once again. It means having the courage to grieve as well as be real.

I see the same thing reflected in my relationship with God.

Have you ever realised that you overlooked a true friend in favour of an addictive relationship?

The Fruits of Friendship

Each day this week I’m reflecting on friendship.
In my journey to understand true friendship, I realised something truly humbling. That is, that many times over the years I have completely overlooked people who extended true friendship to me.
I’ve done this for many reasons.
Sometimes it was because I’d never stopped to consider the qualities of true friendship. I was constantly seeking addictive relationships in order to make me feel safe, or validated, or liked.
Sometimes I recognised the character and goodness in the person but I felt so vulnerable and insecure about myself that I withdrew from them thinking they wouldn’t like me.
Sometimes I was just completely self-involved in my own life and issues that I didn’t even notice that the gift of love and acceptance was right there beside me. I didn’t see a gift without strings attached when it was offered to me.
How sad I feel to have rejected such gifts.
I recently asked myself the question: “If I can’t see the love extended towards me from those around me, how can I know it and receive it from God?”
Last Wednesday at the book group and karaoke night, the gift of friendship was extended to all of us present.
There were quiet helpers who gave us their time without demand for payment or recognition.
They set-up the sound system, they set out your chairs, they recorded it all, they charged batteries, set-up microphones, played music, cut-out feedback, and then packed it all up and stacked it in the van. They give you the gift of their time, their service, and their expertise almost every time we meet.
Did you see them? Did you notice the fruits of friendship all around you?
Often friendship is a quiet gift, by its very nature it does not demandour attention. Instead it ripens and bears fruit. It is enacted not just felt.
I am reminded that many who have now passed still serve me and offer me friendship. Fred and Robert James Lees extend their friendship across a century assisting me to grow and learn.
Also that each of us is surrounded daily by invisible brothers and sisters who wish to guide us to greater love and safety.

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Huge gratitude to these people who helped out on Wednesday.

Lena, Igor & AJ
 

To Lena – who has learnt how to edit video files so that we can bring you the book group on youtube every  week. She edits the video for upload each week and also operates a video camera and helps with set-up and pack-up.

To Igor & Vlad – who operate a camera and handle sound during presentations. Igor is our usual video editor and Vlad is learning the ropes. Igor uploads all files to youtube.

Joy & Cavil

 To Joy – who was the first to arrive and last to leave. I believe this made her stay at the Wondai Hall more than 10 hours!

Cavil

My AJ – who has individually purchased every piece of sound and video equipment we use, he maintains all of it, and understands how each item works. He has trained all of us in how to use these things and is involved in and oversees every set-up and pack-up we do. He packs the van and unloads. He backs-up every piece of data we collect. He edits all of the audio files that appear on our website.

Diana, Jane, Joy & Laurleen
Vlad & Igor

Jane & Anto

 To Diana, Cavil, Anto & Jane– who handled hall logistics, and mucked in with technical support or whatever was needed at the minute.

You guys are awesome

Some great guy who would probably rather be playing guitar!

My special thanks to these wonderful people and many others who often show up and quietly add their hands to the task. (I think Joy calls you her ‘silent ninjas’!) Every one of them is led by their own passion in these areas and their desire to serve others.