Say Yes to the Universe

What happens when an opportunity comes along which we  have not consciously called to ourselves, and it keeps insistently inserting itself into our lives?  This has been my experience of being the executor for my mother’s estate.  It is probably a good thing I did not know all that was involved because I would have probably gone running in the opposite direction. Well, I did run in the beginning!

One thinks of these roles as a few months duration and then closure.  This role for me has been forming and reforming itself for over 3 years.

Yes by diebmx
Yes by diebmx

Now as I am seeing a possible end to this, I realize that I have been given numerous opportunities through this process to say “YES” to the Universe or “NO”.  My major learning is that if I can get into a place to wholeheartedly say “Yes” to the Universe, my life flows more smoothly. If I don’t get into that place, I feel drained, worried, frustrated and disturbed.

When it was clear that my mother was finally ready to move to a retirement center, I kept ignoring what all this would mean to me.  We found a great retirement facility,  lovely apartment, worked out the financing, discussed the move.   We planned out the furniture she would be taking with little cut-out scaled furniture representations for each room courtesy of my husband.  I would be very present with her at her home, then return to my home and stop thinking about it, completely.  I just simply did not think about any of the real consequences of this for me. That worked okay for a while to lull me into thinking, “this will chug along just fine”.

Then I began to get phone calls 3-4  months before the move, such as, “Robbins, I just don’t think I am really ready to move quite yet.  You know there is only so much time and I’d like to spend it here where I am. ”  Or another call,  “Robbins, I don’t think this new place is going to really suit me.  Perhaps we should wait. ”   These calls were coming after we had paid a hefty deposit and already set the move date.

No Papparazzi Pleace by its'me'red

It slowly dawned on me that my 86 year old mother could not cope with the move, at all, really. She might be able to work with me on what to take but the idea of really clearing out her home of 41 years, was  simply shutting her down.  At my home, I went ballistic, right into agitated anger, then “I can’t cope” mode,   I am ” incompetent” mode, why me?,  defeated resignation and on alternate Saturdays, begrudging acquiescence.  In other words, I was in a state of resounding “NO”!

I really did not want to go to Richmond (2.5 hours from me) week after week to make this move happen.  I had a healing practice in full swing, for goodness sake.  I had terrible “clearing out” skills myself. Why me?  Why me?

Thus began my daily training and education about saying “YES” or “NO” to the Universe.  All the agitation with the situation and with myself simply made me feel worse. I had not expected to begin my role as executor while my mother was still alive and fully competent.   I felt surprised and really unprepared.  Therefore I tried to control everything I could.  Grasping for control is completely different from saying “YES” to the Universe.

Grasping for control looked like my trying to get clarity and a firm decision from my mother about what she would take to her new apartment,  in one afternoon.  We both ending up frustrated.  Another image comes to mind of my driving on I- 95 South and being detoured by a  three lane accident.  Traffic was at a standstill for 1.5 hours before it moved.  My reaction was to fume.  The more I fumed the worse the situation got.  I eventually realized I was driving in the wrong direction on a secondary road before I got a hold of the anger.  These are just some of the none too pretty exchanges which occurred in my “NO” period.

I did finally get that I was making myself and most everyone else miserable AND that I had a choice in the matter. I began to call for the clearing of my anger, my fear of failure, my fear of not being competent to help my mother, fear of screwing up the legal process, fear about resenting the time I needed to spend in Richmond and a few dozen other fears as well.    As each one of these fears was named and released over a few weeks, our time together got easier and easier. Surprise, surprise!

Freedom by Guille
Freedom by Guille

I went for 2- 3 days a week regularly and we began by setting up systems for addressing the “stuff”.  I remember being quite thrilled at about 6 weeks into this process, when my mother called and said that she had actually gone through a desk by herself and cleared it out as well as a chest of drawers.  She was very  pleased with herself.  This was the first time ever, in all the years I had known her that I remembered her doing this of her own volition.  So, confidence was growing for both of us. As I was increasingly going with the flow,  saying “YES” to the Universe, amazing things were happening.

We actually laughed a great deal as we were plowing through boxes from our lives in Holland, which had not been opened in 41 years.  We spent one afternoon remembering all the clothes my mother had made for me through the years.  This was aided by still having ever single one of the patterns in the basement and many actual material scraps of outfits themselves to aid our memories!  I began to program my IPod for the trip on I-95 South and by playing my own music, the trip seemed shorter and shorter.  We went out to dinner just the two of us which had hardly ever happened as we were always with other family members.   Such truly precious times, all from saying “YES” to the Universe.   I came to realize that this was a supreme blessing for me on every level,  one I had not called for myself but one which the Universe had presented all on its own for me.

Try saying “YES” to your Universe in your life.

Say Yes by teemow
Say Yes by teemow

There is likely to be a delicious blessing past the anger, frustration, need to control, fear of failure and fear of having to do something you don’t like doing.  My husband laughed with me as I began to come home each week and delve into our own piles of stuff, clearing, sorting and giving away.  I became determined to de-clutter and clear out so as to never have to face a 40 year stint of accumulated possessions of my own.  Another opportunity to say “YES” to the Universe. Happy affirming to you.

Judge Not – continued

* See Editor’s Note Below

All people make the only choice they can make, at the time their choice is made.  If a person could make a different choice, a better more loving choice, (s)he would make that choice.  We make choices from within ourselves based on what is whole and what is not whole.  It does no good to judge another, no good at all.

What about situations in the public, where we come upon practices which we know are unjust but are generally accepted, all the same, by our government?  The same principle applies.  Government officials have greater or lesser degrees of conscious knowing, as do all people.  Separate the behavior from the person or set of persons.  Make the comments about the injustices, not about those supporting or endorsing those injustices. It is a tricky line.  It is however a most critical line to understand, if we are to remain in integrity when faced with injustice or the unloving choices of others.  This is one way to do no harm and stay in integrity.

Do not resist evil.  When we resist that which is dark, unbalanced, evil or horrific, it grows. It grows because we are giving our power to it by our resistance.  When we put our power on the Greater Balance, the Greater Good connected with the situation, that is what grows.  The photo of  the young woman in green, in our last post read,  “My eyes are set on freedom”.  She was focused on the Greater Good.  Here is another way to focus on a positive action regarding war, “Awaken”.

Iraq War Fifth Anniversary by pictoscribe

Iraq War Fifth Anniversary by pictoscribe

Speak the Truth as you know it and let it go. Your speaking the Truth from your own integrity is very powerful and should not be underestimated.  If you have a spouse, friend or colleague whose behaviors you find troubling, speaking one’s Truth can be transforming especially if done in a non-judgmental way.  There is inherent power in the Truth.  It stands alone because it comes from our Higher Selves.  After speaking one’s truth, let it go.  Time is needed to take it in, after Truth shows up.

Greg (name changed) had been noticing his wife’s steady increased spending on clothing for herself, for months.  When we talked, she was regularly spending a minimum of $500 a month on clothing.

Shopping by Franganillo
Shopping by Franganillo

Greg was reticent to say anything to her because he did not want to criticize his wife and make the situation worse.  However, he was worried about what was behind these behaviors which they were not speaking about.

He first asked for Divine Help in clearing his  fear, anger and judgment around his wife’s spending pattern.  He worked on his fear about what her behavior might mean for her,  for their marriage, for their family and he worked to let all that fear go.  When he finally did say something, he asked for Divine Presence to be with him and speak through him in a loving manner.

Greg first told his wife that he loved her.  Secondly, he told her what the actual pattern of spending looked like over time, with facts and figures.  He said that he felt this pattern was something other than the need for new clothes and that he was concerned about why she was making these choices for herself.  This opened up several weeks of dialogue which eventually led to their mutually uncovering issues she was masking over, by buying clothes and overspending.

Greg spent some early months “not resisting evil” regarding his wife’s spending.  He chose not to rant, criticize, condemn or judge.   He began by seeking help and then cleared his own judgment about his wife’s actions, his fears about what this might mean.  Greg figured out what his own Truth was, without confusing his Truth with his own fears.  He also separated his wife’s behaviors from his wife, herself.   People are not their behaviors, no matter what those behaviors are.  If we can separate others behaviors from the individuals themselves, we have some hope of having Love help solve the issue rather than devolving into attack, blame and shame.

  • Do no harm
  • Do not resist evil
  • Speak your Truth
  • Face darkness with the power of Divine Knowing

Above all, remember to lovingly separate a person’s behavior from the person him/herself.

*  Editor’s note: If you have not seen the previous piece on Judge Not, you might like to read it as well or before this one.  Click here to link to it,  Judge-not.

Judge Not

Who is to judge what is right and wrong?  When is speaking out called for?  When is accepting the point of view of another, called for?  Most of us are not heads of government but each of us is influential somewhere, at work, at home, in communities, in our spiritual groups, etc.  When we do feel called to speak out, how might we do this in our highest integrity?

My Eyes Are Set On Freedom #Iranelection by harrystaub
My Eyes Are Set On Freedom #Iranelection by harrystaab

In the end, these questions can only be answered individually.  We may connect with others answering as we are, but ultimately, we are called to keep our own counsel and keep it with Divine Presence, the best way we can.

  • First and foremost,  do no harm.
  • Secondly, do not resist evil.
  • Thirdly, speak the Truth as you know it.
  • Fourthly, face all human darkness with the power of the Divine Knowing.

These are principles which are in alignment with All That Is for all peoples.  However our interpretation of what this looks like can be wildly different from one to another.

The most challenging stance when deciding to speak out or not is, can one speak out in a non-judgmental way? Judge not, lest you also be judged is one of the fundamental spiritual principles in alignment with do no harm.   Why is this so important?

We are each and every one on our own spiritual path.  Some of us are highly conscious, some of us are barely conscious and some of us are not conscious, at all.  Being conscious  in this situation refers to being connected with Divine Presence and aware of that connection.  We can not know another’s  level of consciousness.  Therefore, we are in no position to judge even about those who are the closest to us.

The “right” behavior or choice for one may not be “right” for another due to his or her conscious knowing. Take for example a person who steals or smuggles.  Immediately we might say, that is always wrong, regardless of the circumstances.

Children of the Hills I by Papyrarri
Children of the Hills I by Papyrarri

If we are in a situation where all ways of making money have been closed to us as we see it, and the only way to survive day to day seems to be to steal or smuggle, we may be in integrity because we are trying to provide for ourselves and our family.  This might well apply to the children, for example, forced to smuggle along the Afghanistan and Pakistan border.  The judging of this is only for Divine Knowing to determine.  We are not that Knowing, generally.

What we can do is speak out about the injustices we see without condemning the people doing these things we have issues with. The same thing goes for our children and family members.  We may have a very rebellious child who is pushing all our buttons by trying to express him or herself in ways we find offensive and dangerous.  There is a huge difference in speaking out about one’s behaviors or choices and becoming angry and critical of the person who is making these decisions regardless of their age.  Separate the behaviors from the person and love can still remain while we are speaking out about the choices we find troublesome.  Confuse the person with the actions in a condemning way and we have crossed a line which is extremely damaging to most people. ( to be continued)