Woke up giving myself reiki again last night.  This time, the heart chakra.  Specifically, what seemed to have woken me up was the sense of heat centered around my solar plexus; it felt like so much energy was moving through my heart chakra that love energy was burning up fears at the solar plexus.

Nice!  I’ll take that healing, thank you!

Here’s to sleep-reiki!  :)

I decided to free-write yesterday about the impressions I’ve already been able to piece together about my most recent lifetime.  Impressions that have come from dreams, from visions, from remarks from healers about things they’ve intuited or seen, and from uncanny comments direct from the mouths of (or unusual interactions with) people I’ve recognized as reincarnated souls I knew back then.  I had started the document with a note about Friend’s advice to me:  ”Begin embracing and accepting whatever happened (there).”

Somewhere on the fourth page of my free-writing, my computer started to glitch.  Letters were duplicating, the responsiveness of the program was slowing down, such that words were appearing with some delay, and finally, after a few seconds of this, the cursor just removed itself from where I was, and I saw the document scroll allll the way up, page by page, to the very top — and freeze, flashing, right in front of the third sentence:

Begin embracing and accepting whatever happened…

That’s solid advice right there.  I was creeped out.

Word has been frozen ever since.

Friend and I had a trippy conversation last night.  I don’t need to get into the details because it went in circles (as trippy things often do, spiraling around and around the same point).  But she said something that really made sense to me and felt true.  It was about my past life “struggles.”  I tend to reject the “memories” and dreams and impressions I get and resist looking at or accepting the idea of that past life as “real.”  For a thousand reasons — not just because the idea of individuated past lives is difficult for me to accept sometimes, but mostly because the lifetime was so unpleasant.  (“Unpleasant” being a disgracefully weak understatement.)

But instead of “just going away,” that lifetime keeps rising to the surface and revealing itself in astoundingly non-ignorable ways, interlacing itself with my current life.  The other night, in a taxi, when a past-life dream came spontaneously to mind and the men in the backseat started singing a song two seconds later that the men in the dream would have sung decades ago, I staggered out of the car sick to my stomach.

"Don’t worry.  That was just a nightmare.  It’s over now," one of them had said to console me when they noticed how shaken I was.  In real life.  This life.  Hell yes, it was a f*cking nightmare!  But the memory of the dream was so jolting and the moments leading up to it were psychedelic in their quality, with my consciousness having stepped outside of "Laura," and time having melted down, such that everything — the past life, the current life, and the realm of pure Spirit in between — was all simultaneous, and it was all now.

It felt so real.  The unreal felt so real.  And what happened in the taxi made it impossible for me to dismiss.  (Note:  I was not high, not even drunk, not even caffeinated, just really effing tired.  I guess you can get there with fatigue, reach the point where the limits and filters of the brain shut down.  Or so it seems.)  I spent the next few days grappling with food-related anxiety again.  (For months last year, I had panic attacks triggered by eating, a wave of guilt over having food.  They’d eventually gone away and been gone for a while — but resurfaced after that taxi moment.)

Someone told me several weeks ago that maybe the trick to getting the past life stuff to stop surfacing was to “decide for it to be over.”  But those words immediately didn’t resonate with me; I’ve willed this to never even have begun so many times that it hardly feels like a matter of clinging and needing to decide for it to be over.

But last night, Friend had a perspective which made a lot of sense.  ”You need to open your heart — to that.  To everything that has been coming up.  When memories or visions come, can’t you just will yourself to accept them?  Really take them in.  Accept that they happened.  And love yourself through all of it.  You’re still rejecting it.  You’re still ashamed about it.  Decide, once and for all, that you will accept it fully.  And I think that a lot of doors will open for you.”

She even suggested that things would “come together” in my writing as well, once I can do that.  I feel this.  She didn’t even know this detail, but, actually, for the past year or so, whenever I work on my memoir, I keep circling around the trippy interactions I’ve had with reincarnated people from that lifetime.  My soul is looking for something there.  I bet she’s right.  I bet that’s why I keep doing it.  I bet the key lies somewhere therein.

I started feeling my past-life self hanging around me earlier this month.  She’s the sweetest, most innocent bad-ass teenager you could ever imagine.  It feels like she’s real.  I’ve even been talking to her.  I think it’s time for me to stop hiding her.  And hiding from her.

I don’t know what else to say about this for now.  I never know what to say about this.  My instincts regarding that incarnation are always ones of secrecy, evasion, fear, and self-reproach.  The thought of acknowledging it fills me with flashes of ugly emotions:  panic, shame, guilt, self-abhorrence, fear of wounding others without wanting to or trying, fear of loss, fear of being attacked.  So I stuff it all back down and keep it quiet, sharing my experiences only with my closest soulmates or my teachers or healer friends when I absolutely have to say something to someone, and then just feel like a freak most of the rest of the time that I try dealing with (or ignoring) it on my own.

But I’m realizing that those “instincts” to hide it all and feel scared just may be conditioned responses.  And I’m not ready to “own it,” but maybe the time is coming closer when I will be.

"I think you’re on the edge of something with all of this, Laura.  I really do.  And when you can finally accept this and stop feeling so ashamed about it, lots of things will open up for you."  That’s what Friend told me.

Where does one begin?

Sorry this is all over the place and so vague.  I just had to write.  Something.  Now.

So, one of the predominant themes of synchronicity in my life, for the past several years, has involved a particular past-life lived last century.  For a while, I was extremely resistant to this; I wanted nothing to do with that life, its memories, or even its mere suggestion.  In fact, I wanted nothing to do with the idea of reincarnation.

Over the years, I’ve made peace with a lot of the recurring “messages,” and healing has been coming.  What I’ve been questioning for nearly a year now, though, is when healing is truly “done.”  Several times, I’ve had a session with a healer who has received the message, “That’s done.  It’s over.”  Prior to this, I begged the universe to allow me to heal from the energetic imprints and move forward in greater health and peace of mind.  Even have gotten impressions, from time to time that seem to whisper, “This has been healed; it is over.”

Regardless, it’s since those messages have come and since various people have been convinced that I was finished with the lifetime’s processing, that some of the most stunning synchronicities revolving around it have come to light.  People who step into my life and I recognize quickly as old acquaintances.  Hearing them speak — about dreams they had, or about issues they wrestle with — and understanding exactly where those are coming from.  Some of these people have even been impossible for me to side-step, as if the universe were insisting, “Please, don’t walk away from them; you were meant to meet because you were meant to be in contact, have some critical interactions, and heal some things.”

It doesn’t generally disturb me anymore when I realize I’ve re-encountered an old acquaintance or when I have a past-life nightmare or get impressions of events in meditation.  Not that I’m de-sensitized, just that it’s less shocking, and the fear has abated a bit.  When the past-life dreams come now, or the people reappear in my life, I mostly observe them with a sense of detached curiosity, just watching things unfold.  (There is one exception; I’ve made a friend in Shanghai over the past few months who feels very kindred, and we are actively cultivating a friendship with one another because we enjoy each other’s company and really seem to connect.)

I mused aloud to one of my healer friends, however, a few weeks ago, that, “I wonder what it means, when all these people have gotten the message, ‘It’s over.  It’s done.’  And yet the coincidences and the dreams keep coming, when I keep meeting these people — more than before — and additional realizations keep coming to light.”  I told my friend that I started feeling like I was always meant to (eventually) be learning what I’ve been learning, that perhaps even past-life-related healing was going to tie in somehow with my life purpose and that maybe that’s why life was teaching me so much about these kinds of situations.

"Maybe — and I don’t even know what this could mean, but maybe — you have to decide to be done with it,” was my friend’s suggestion.

But what does that mean?  This was an idea I contemplated well over a year ago, but it was weird to me to hear it again because, way back, I came to the conclusion that this was, in fact, not my stumbling block.  It didn’t resonate when I heard it (even though it used to be a question on my mind).  Why did this feel inapplicable to me?  Well, because, was it not decision enough when I pleaded with the universe, years ago, to just let me heal without having to look at any of it?  Was it not dismissal enough when I denounced my ties to that lifetime and all the ways in which it was still affecting me?  Wasn’t I “deciding to be done with it” each time I decided to walk away from a connection with an unpleasant past-life association (even though the universe saw to it that we kept meeting by “chance” to keep our interactions going)?

I guess my question is, is this really my “fault” that it keeps resurfacing?  I’m not saying there’s anybody else to “blame;” I’m just doubtful of the idea that this is even the kind of situation where my approach to it is drawing more of it unto myself.  It was once I surrendered to the fact that I didn’t know how to get it to go away that it started making sense, that positive associations began arising, and that it stopped terrifying me.   It was once I started looking at this as a potential future teaching tool, and the synchronicities as custom-made curiosities just to be observed (not fought, not resisted, not rejected) that it stopped feeling like a torment and I started feeling the love flowing into (and through) the situation.

I don’t have any answers.  I’m just not buying the idea that this is continuing because I’m “clinging” to it.  Because if extricating myself from the synchronistic reminders was as simple as deciding I didn’t want them, they would’ve ended before they even began.

Months ago, I finally reached a point where I was at peace with what’s been happening — is that really the wrong approach?  Is this really the wrong place to be?

And what is “healing?”  And when is it “finished?”

And what does the “decision” to heal really mean?  How would this “decision” really be separate from my long-held, earnest intention?

Just throwing questions out there.  I don’t really have the answers right now.  But it’s okay.  Someday, there will be answers.  For now, I’m just happy to be feeling peaceful about things for as long as I have.  It’s not something I feel like I try to run from anymore.  ”What you resist persists.”  Sometimes surrender is a decision to heal.

"Negative beliefs are exactly that: beliefs, not facts. The world was never flat, although everyone believed it was. You are not dumb, crazy, egomaniacal, grandiose, or silly just because you falsely believe yourself to be."
— Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way)
Anonymous Asked
QuestionSo I saw somebody post this on twitter 'the strongest type of love is the love the makes you the most vulnerable' Do YOU think thats true? Answer

Well…  I don’t disagree with this quote, but my concern about it is how people in unhealthy situations might twist it to justify their own mistreatment.  If by “vulnerable,” we’re talking about being genuinely concerned for your well-being, constantly feeling like shit, etc. — no, that is not the kind of amazing love we’re talking about.  Neither are we talking about situations where someone is trying to gradually manipulate their way into your affections, making you second-guess yourself; that’s another situation where you can feel “vulnerable” but not at all because there’s love involved.

In healthy connections though, with partners who respect you, where there is incredibly deep mutual love, people let the walls down.  And the deeper and more powerful the love, the more they do this.  They’re not trying to  be “sensible.”  They’re not trying to be composed.  They’re not trying to be tough.  They’re not wearing any masks.  They drop their guard.  The love that floods in is like a powerful wave that won’t be held back by any rickety old structures, so those get washed away at first contact.

In those circumstances, once we have had a moment to reflect on what just happened, we can feel terrified to realize we’ve been rendered vulnerable.  But — and here’s the part that’s very important to remember — it’s not because anybody forced anything on us or played a trick; we only feel so vulnerable because WE have let love in.  WE have allowed our old defenses to crumble.

It’s like the lyrics from that Snow Patrol song (“Just Say Yes”):  ”Just say ‘yes.’  Just say there’s nothin’ holdin’ you back.  It’s not a test nor a trick of the mind — only love.”

People’s first instinct when they feel vulnerable is to put their defenses back in place, get skeptical, question what they’ve found.  But it’s not a trick.  It’s not a lie.

We are vulnerable because we have fallen in love.  And THAT kind of love was — is — real.

That’s how I understand this quote.

From the article:

An emerging field of psychology called post-traumatic growth is suggesting that many people are able to use their hardships and early-life trauma for substantial creative growth. Specifically, researchers have found that trauma can help people to grow in the areas of interpersonal relationships, spirituality, appreciation of life, personal strength, and — most importantly for creativity — seeing new possibilities in life.

"A lot of people are able to use that as the fuel they need to come up with a different perspective on reality," says Kaufman. "What’s happened is that their view of the world as a safe place, or as a certain type of place, has been shattered at some point in their life, causing them to go on the periphery and see things in a new, fresh light, and that’s very conducive to creativity."

Took an aimless walk today and noticed I was feeling mildly depressed.  I wasn’t sure precisely why, but I think I can blame it largely on the two consecutive late nights I’ve had this weekend (roommate’s birthday party Friday night, and a friend’s 4-year Chinaversary last night).  Lack of sleep tends to mess with my brain chemistry quickly.  My walk took me down Fuzhou Lu, Shanghai’s “Culture Street,” lined with bookstores and stationery shops.  I popped into the Shanghai Foreign Language Bookstore, looking for direction.

On a table towards the back, there were a bunch of novels by Coelho.  Coelho’s books The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes were life-changingly insightful for me, back when I read them about four years ago.  I picked up Eleven Minutes and opened to a random line, wondering what I should know about how discouraging the circumstances of my life have felt lately.

The page I opened to happened to be about concepts of pain and gain and how pain is just one sign that we’re making great strides.  I’m not a believer in the idea of pain-as-a-necessity, but it was timely to read that.  I read a few paragraphs further however and was delighted to see that the novel also included “advice” of sorts, on how to lift your spirits.  What was the secret?

Whenever she got depressed or scared, Maria, the protagonist, would think about her love.  With gratitude, she would fill with that sense of love and reflect on what a gift it is to love without expectations.  She would also fill with gratitude at the simple fact that her love existed and what a blessing he was himself.

I smiled when I read this.  I forgot this passage.

So for what it’s worth, for all of you, I share again.

It’s very true:  the energy of love and the power of gratitude can change your life.  Don’t get stuck in depression or wrapped up in your own pain.  If you have ever loved unconditionally, this in itself is a blessing.  Smile.  Be grateful.  Reflect on that love for a moment and allow its energy to grow within your heart, to overflow, and to radiate from you.  Let it ripple through the worlds.  It will do amazing things.

The questions to ask yourself are, do you believe that you can be loved, wholly and unconditionally?  That one of the paths to the divine which is available to mankind is by walking the path of love?  That we can truly see our own soul in another?  That there exists a love which demands nothing at all and only wants that we, ourselves, recognize that we are whole and healed?  A love that is not about sacrifice or hard lessons or proving yourself, but rather one that shows you just how perfect you always were?  A love that allows you to truly and directly connect with yourself, rather than one that demands karmic dances with “others”?  A love where you are already home, rather than a love where you go looking for that place or seeking to build a “home” with another individual?

As I see it, those are the questions that have been helpful for me to ask myself.  Not whether “twin souls” or “twin flames” are “real,” but whether they should be.  The love the mystics spoke of, where lover and Beloved are one in the same, and one with “God.”

lovemorefearless:

One of the most commonly overlooked spiritual practices is daring to be completely honest with everyone you encounter. Some may say others cannot handle the grace of honesty, but true honesty is not a strategy or a weapon of any kind. It is the willingness to be open and absolutely transparent in sharing how any moment feels in your heart. It has nothing to do with confrontation, accusation, or any form of blame. True honesty is the willingness to stand completely exposed, allowing the world to do what it may, and say what it will, only so you may know who you are – beyond all ideas.

Feelings such as shame, guilt, doubt, envy, anger, and resentment arise whenever we have prevented ourselves from speaking our deepest truths, or withheld a depth of sincerity from being shared with others. With nothing to withhold or hide, the truth is spoken freely – at no one’s expense. The truth contains no form of blame or judgment. Instead, it celebrates how intimately you know yourself by how open and available you’re willing to be. Knowing this, life’s deepest wisdom always remains the same: you’ll feel better when you’re totally honest.

This is why honesty is also the ultimate healing modality. Honesty is the absence of avoidance, no matter what situation appears. Inevitably, life transforms when the value of honesty is no longer dominated by an attachment to convenience or the threat of rejection.

When honesty is regarded as your highest value and acted upon with kindness and compassion in every personal encounter, you invite the precision of life’s inherent perfection into all areas of life. In doing so, every relationship and circumstance transforms at the rate in which true sincerity of heart leads the way. This reveals life’s natural way of being, which cannot be known on the deepest level until you’re being completely honest.

- Matt Kahn

Honesty as “the ultimate healing modality.”  Resurrecting this quote because I like it, and it’s important.  :)