Day 17 Again: How I Found The Courage To Be Creative

This is the third post in a seven post series about my journey to enlightened consciousness. You can find the first here and the second here.

“Your body is a wonderful tool to help align you with spirit. Noting how it feels helps you make creative choices that will bring you closer to what you desire.”

-Deepak Chopra

Creativity is the focus of this blog.

Oh, you didn’t notice? Yeah! I’m doing a 365 Day Creativity Challenge! Today I want to use this time to talk about the many levels of what that means.

I use “creativity” to describe the conventional meaning: getting out the pencils to do some sketching, but I also use the same word to describe the act of communicating and creating a union of ideas between disparate fields of knowledge. Communication is creativity whether it’s me and a friend, a spiritual teacher, or just my sprit and my ego because words are vibrations that have real power in the world. I use “creativity” most powerfully though, in the context of the universe and humans’ ability to manifest reality and shape source energy into a life for themselves.

The electron soup we are surrounded by and a part of is what I call Divinity.

This is source energy, the stuff of pure potentiality. The quantum physicists among us will know that though we appear to be solid “Veronicas” and “Ehsans” our cells are actually composed of molecules which are composed of electrons, which are composed of ninety percent empty space! This knowledge shows us how different we really aren’t from the empty space surrounding and separating us. When we take perceptions of “solid” and “separate” out of our vocabulary, which quantum physics is now giving us the formulas to do, we begin to understand the true nature of abundance. If we are never separate, we are always whole; if energy is neither created nor destroyed and the air and people and stars around us are nothing but our same energy only condensed differently, then there is no end to life.

I don’t think spiritual teachers speak enough about the reality of what we must sacrifice in order to live this truth.

The realization that we are only energy and not separate from any of the other beings or energy constructions in the universe is a loaded one. When we see that the energy that makes up me and my daughter is the same as what makes up the cash in my purse, a certain level of responsibility must also be accepted. The Law of Attraction embodies this truth: whatever you are, you attract. Creativity in its divine sense is the embodiment of this law. In order to seek abundance we have to create the life, actions, thoughts, and patterns that we want to attract; when we live the law of attraction, we must accept that we are the perpetuators of our own personal destinies. This is the ultimate creative act.

Intuition is the voice of God and creative energy comes from intuition.

Those with stronger intuition will have more creative energy and those who silence intentionally or just never learned to trust their inner voice, will feel creatively powerless. This can manifest as feeling uncomfortable with a paintbrush in our hands or also, as feeling unable to control our lives, ourselves and our surroundings. Once we reach a point of being able to surrender personal will to divine will, our lessons in this theme will be complete.

Though the chakras and seven holy sacraments are a handy chart of life lessons and represent a symbolic path that culminates in realizing divine power and potential, the healing and self-development process is not an exclusively linear one. There are internal cycles underpinning the general current of learning and growth.

This is the path I've been walking.

This is the path I’ve been walking.

For example, today I want to write about my understanding of the throat chakra lessons Caroline Myss identifies. Though she places this body of wisdom fifth out of the seven life lessons we all learn, I experienced them in 2008 as the third phase of my journey. While I mastered the task enough to progress on to the next lessons in my process, I am now returning to do some unfinished business. Just a few weeks ago I was compelled to consciously focus on raising my throat chakra vibrations and began several rituals to increase my creativity. This was stimulated by a physical change (moving to Spain) which made me conscious of my literal ability to communicate with other people but it also raised questions about my symbolic ability to communicate with the divine; both are creative acts.

It is no accident that the center of creative power is the throat.

To open up another channel for communication with the divine, I have started to learn to read tarot cards and have deepened my connection to astrological events, I am also continuing to journal but am now using it as a highly powerful intention-setting event which has apparently culminated in this lovely little blogspace we have here! In an attempt to revisit the lessons learned at this stage of my life, I am consciously focusing on my breathing and how the nose and throat light up with blue light when I breathe. I also visualize my blue light as the bridge between purple and green, mind and heart. It’s important to note that these lights are not something I “invite” into my body. These are the bone structure of my energetic body, they are always there whether I am focusing on them or not; this knowledge changes the visualization completely.

Even the smallest events must have divine significance.

I have been setting the intention to notice the communication from the divine by listening to my intuition and noting acts of synchronicity. For example, when I find a hair on the sleeve of my coat; one day I suddenly understood this often unnoticed event to represent one small fear being released from my consciousness. The symbolic reminder that I have the power to physically let go of fears is very beautiful and so is the thought that I needn’t PULL the fears out of my head, I only need to set the intention to let go and when my subconscious has done the work, the fear will gently fall free. This practice also makes cleaning much more satisfying when I get to dump a dust pan of fears into the garbage afterwards.

Myss has made an entirely new profession out of the title “medical intuitive.” Her book Anatomy of the Spirit is based on research of several disparate religious structures which she uses explain her ability to diagnose disease and recommend healing practices based solely on an energetic evaluation of a patient. She works with traditional doctors to implement psychological techniques to heal the energetic body and accompany medical regimens in order to provide holistic healing for people sick from cancer to HIV, to fatigue and depression. She has proof that all physical illness (and spiritual) has a connection to the fifth throat chakra because choice is involved in every detail of our lives and therefore, every illness.

Generally spiritual seekers experience the maturation of will power in a predictable progression of three basic stages: 1. tribal perception – everyone and everything around you has authority over you; 2. you alone have authority over you; 3. true authority comes from aligning yourself to God’s will.

I do everything backwards.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that in order to develop as people, we must meet certain needs in a certain order, starting with physiological needs, but HSPs are backwards!

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that in order to develop as people, we must meet certain needs in a certain order, starting with physiological needs; but HSPs are backwards!

As a child, it was remarkable how unwilling I was to permit others and my surroundings tocontrol me, and I learned to control my emotions after I learned to say everything happens for a reason. The most recent stage of the development of my will power has been learning that the energy of others has an effect on my energy whether intentional or not. This developmental abnormality is because like all HSPs, I have been programmed to do this and everything else backwards and upside down. Myss’ book has seven chapters, one for each chakra or step on the healing journey which is common to most of her patients and people in general. I am reading them backwards. I have never done this before and it is proving to be so insanely enlightening and mind-blowingly awesome. I can’t believe how accurately I can pinpoint the times in my life when I have experienced the same progression of healing and growth that Myss writes about, TO THE LETTER, just backwards!

The first time I remember thinking You choose, I’ll follow, I was something like seventeen.

It wasn’t a total surrender but I knew a big threshold was coming (helpfully disguised as my first year of college) and I didn’t have any real guidance from the world or my parents to help me shape the next phase. All I had was my past experiences which led me to break open my fears of personal growth, leave behind the familiar contents of my life, and shout “No more – I will not take this anymore; I do not deserve this type of treatment. I cannot stay here one more day – I must leave.” Of course, being a (physical) minor I had to stay put, but this feeling had been building in the years since I’d crossed my third eye threshold when I was fourteen and I recognize it now as a subconscious desire to let the Divine have its way with me.

The familiar contents of my life were not at all inviting and I knew from deep inside that I deserved much more love, happiness, and security. So I went to get it.

“The only way to acquire that feeling of security is to enter the whirlwind of change and come out the other end, feeling alive again.”

– Caroline Myss, Ph.D.

These are the words of Myss but they were the feeling I got from my intuition and with symbolic sight to guide me, I saw the year 2008 as the finish line of a long marathon before freedom. It seemed so obvious and natural that everything would change once I was finally allowed to leave home that I didn’t even think about the reason I anticipated such a change until just now, writing this.

Home was a place I had to bide my time, leaving was never something I noticed should be scary.

I didn’t know what would happen after the time to leave arrived but I spent my early teens lying in bed, hushing the longing cries of my suffocating Wild Woman and not allowing myself to dream of the glorious freedom I could only wait to achieve. I knew what was out there: a new beginning of a journey which was led by me and no one else, but actually it wasn’t me who led it; I didn’t know what I wanted. I had no expectations but happiness, I only knew how to do what felt right, I only knew how to follow my intuition, God’s will, and I didn’t even know that’s what I was doing until six years had passed.

That’s the kind of realization that makes a person whisper WOW to an empty room.

My problem with the fact my parents forced me to attend church every Sunday, and the thing that led me through a period of agnosticism, wasn’t an issue with the concept of God, it was with the rituals they insisted upon following blindly. What I understood after fourteen years of church services was that no mortal could ever know the mind of God and that the only true act of faith is to accept all that God asks of us. The extra stuff, created by humans, seemed like it was polluting the idea of Divinity and I shied away from it. God owes no mortal an explanation for His decisions, Job said. So why, I wondered, do we go around focusing our time on trying to figure out the reasons for all of his decisions?

“God asked Job, ‘Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?’ and ‘Have you ever given orders to the morning or sent dawn to its post?'”

It’s possible that this teaching was conferred to me in my fifteen years of Sunday school and Youth Group but I don’t remember hearing it, only the feeling of understanding it. My transcendentally oriented mind was programmed with a distrust for all constructions human and I saw the rituals of Christianity as threatening and even repulsive after a time.

It has taken five years of research and eleven years of re-programming but I have finally been able to see down to the roots of theology, buried by human will and the perceptions of men. For years I shied away from any mention of God or divinity because I felt uncomfortable with the whole body of Christian thought. With time I have gained enough distance from the torment my parents caused by being unable to accept my questions about their religion and now I am able to identify two basic issues that I (and many others) have with modern Christian practices:

1. Original Sin – I believe it is completely awful and disrespectful to ourselves to think we are born needing to seek forgiveness from the Divine. We aren’t perfect but we aren’t innately sinful either.

2. God would never punish an unjust man – The story of Job actually deals with this but the impression is still that if you are a good person, only good things will happen. Actually, suffering and injustice are universal experiences.

Can you imagine growing up in an emotionally abusive household based on the second rule?

Suffering was the major theme of the first eighteen years of my life and I was supposed to believe I deserved all of the punishment I received. I was NOT buying it. The only thing I knew I could trust was that divine will always leads us to learn and that all learning sheds light on the nature of Spirit and God.

I when I found my first book on Buddhism it was the definition of finding a light in the dark.

Buddhism showed me a religion without a God and guided me back to a place where I trusted completely the love of God, the Universe, Goddess, Gaia, whatever you want to call it.

Sahara Desert, Tunisia (c) Veronica Anderson

Sahara Desert, Tunisia (c) Veronica Anderson

The dark night of my life ended when I learned that suffering is inherent.

The torment of my childhood wasn’t my fault! Buddhism’s founder, Shakyamuni Buddha was the one who taught me that God wasn’t punishing me. He showed me that I could return to the knowledge that I was born understanding which is that we are all naturally divine after all.

Before I healed myself at the level of my relationship with God, I was unwilling to accept that I had divine power and was responsible for my destiny as well as capable of manipulating it. I didn’t believe that I was capable of knowing my divine purpose and reason for being; I thought these were either non-existent things or out of the realm of things I could understand.

My will is what got me through my dark night.

God’s will is what pulled me out of it. When I reached the point of mastery in these life lessons, I realized that the best choice I could make was to live according to these rules:

1. Make no judgments
2. Have no expectations
3. Give up the need to know why things happen as they do
4. Trust that the unscheduled events of our lives are a form of spiritual direction
5. Have the courage to make the choices we need to make, accept what we cannot change, and have the wisdom to know the difference

I had no choice but to give up the need to know why things happen as they do.

Sometimes in our dark night there is simply no reason big enough to explain why your father doesn’t want to like you and only loves you because he has to. All the sleepless nights in the world aren’t long enough to ask the question enough times to find out why you simply can’t trust your mother for support. After enough time, you have no more energy left for sleepless nights and all that’s left to do is trust that there is a bigger purpose, a reason that’s so huge you can’t possibly see it until you have enough distance.

“Everything happens for a reason” is the start of a new life.

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Day 15: If You Can Say What It Is, That’s Not It

Head hereto read the first step of my seven-part journey to consciousness: How An Alcoholic Taught Me Peace; inspired by Caroline Myss, among other bodhisattvas.

The essence of what it means to become conscious is to seek truth that is detached from social or cultural structures like language or religion.

This is the groundwork for symbolic sight which gives a seeker the ability to penetrate illusion. We are all capable of this at some level; for example, seeking truth is what makes it possible to notice when someone is lying or acting unethically. The degree to which we are each capable of seeing patterns correlates to our varying levels of sensitivity.

The most highly sensitive people are not challenged by a lack of symbolic sight.

Detaching from tribally recognized ideals that don’t serve us is likely to be faster the more sensitive you are. Living impersonally — that is to say, detaching from subjective perceptions — comes naturally for us once we learn to hear our intuition. Detaching from the emotions of the physical world is something all HSPs need to do on a regular basis. We cannot simultaneously feel all that goes on outside and inside of us, it is simply TOO MUCH. Wisdom is achieved through detachment and it is this detachment to culturally established perceptions that has led many to call me an “old soul.” You know the type, I have encountered several myself. Their energy is most noticeable in the form of wise children and teens that automatically seek truth and shy away from illusions based on the quiet whisper of their internal voices.

I have a loud internal voice.

It was the only one I ever trusted, in fact. By gradually learning to trust this voice, I opened the door to evaluating my internal reality before I can even remember. After many turbulent years of jostling and coping with change, my ability to detach when changes came along steadily increased and I quickly realized that no one person or group of people could determine my life’s path. As I learned this lesson, I grew strong in the same way that repeated small tears from exercising muscles re-heal bigger and stronger each time.

When I was thirteen I was just getting ready to enter high school. I had endured four years of my parent’s divorce and lived in three different homes during that time. The court-regulated schedule had me at Dad’s every Mon and Tues, Mom’s Weds and Thurs, and alternating Fri, Sat, and Sun every week.

Santander, Spain (c) Veronica Anderson

Santander, Spain (c) Veronica Anderson

The discovery that I kicked ass at Tech Ed was a landmark on my path.

CAD and hand drafting were the easiest and most satisfying subjects I had that transitional year. I was encouraged by teachers who noted my proficiency in such things as quite curious for a twelve year-old girl and I was given extra assignments which I devoured with a new, unfamiliar voracity. This was the natural step between designing structures with Legos and attending architecture school which I finished last May.

My destiny light lit up that first time I was handed 3D graph paper.

Intuition kicked in. I now recognize that forward-moving confidence as my third eye lighting up with a purple glow I know very well today, but at the time, I was just happy to do something I was good at. Because I instinctively knew I could only listen to my inside world, this is the same light that led me to my passion for design and it is the one leading me into a future of satisfying work helping impoverished cities full of people. This is the light that shines when I imagine myself as a bell of mindfulness, which I know is my highest purpose. I have only just begun to change the world.

“What is life about, what am I meant to do, what is important to learn?”

These are the lessons learned via the third eye. These are not questions with a static spoken-once set of answers, symbolic sight will always be the tool necessary to see the higher truths hidden behind illusions of perceptions and attachments to beliefs. One learns that this time of intense change in the spiritual and physical worlds should be used to distinguish between knowledge and wisdom, brain and mind. From these lessons we learn that healing requires union of though an action, mind and heart; integration of Self and Divine can only happen when we become conscious of the relationship between what we think and what we feel.

My no-sarcasm-intended perfect childhood taught me quite early that I needed to evaluate the distance between my internal emotions and external actions. This is the same skill people learn after a mid-life crisis when they begin to reevaluate unhealthy jobs and stuck marriages but I learned it from my parents and am so grateful to have gotten a head start on my divine purpose.

We all know that God’s sense of humor is strangely perfect.

Turns out, my father’s particular quirk about reminding me that children should be seen and not heard was a good catalyst for self-investigation. It was impossible to not question my place in the world when one of his favorite ways to end a good yelling match was, “I get to be the father this time around!” (Side note: Do you think I was his parent a few lifetimes ago? Probably.)

Simultaneously, my pre-teen self was thrust into the role of emotional care taker for a small boy three years younger than I. My brother and I have only recently waded through the weird murky waters of our mother-son relationship and I still think our bond is tainted by the grime that floats between us. We find it strange to be friends at times and I can sense the same awkwardness within him that I feel when I’m talking to my own mother about certain sensitive subjects.

The day of reckoning came about one year ago.

Suddenly my Mom blurted out how I had been more of a mother to my brother than she had. I was shocked, this was something all of us had seen for thirteen years but it was never something we talked about. I was speechless and the comment was left hanging in the air over the dining room table. It was a statement, not an apology or commitment to change her style and we haven’t talked about it since. Think of the removal from stereotypical tribal roles necessary when your mother writes you, “Good point my lovely mentor,” and you have a definition of “detached.”

This is how we become conscious.

A mystery arises and we feel compelled to take action, again and again as each following mystery is shown to us. Once you start asking the question “What is my purpose, why was I created?” you can’t ever stop, it always leads to another truth which forces you to redefine and refine your connection with the divine, as you shed externally constructed non-truths. This is how the process of becoming mentally and emotionally congruent happens. This is how we become complete. Once the crisis in my personal life had activated my ability to question my reason for existing, I was continuously empowered to confront my shadow side again and again in order to achieve spiritual mastery.

Santander, Spain (c) Veronica Anderson

Santander, Spain (c) Veronica Anderson

I recall “just knowing” as a pre-teen that the greatest thing a being can do in his life is to know his Self.

I believe all humans have the instinct to seek a level of consciousness that “knows no conflict with the Divine,” where one’s choices are the same as Divine choice. A drive to align oneself to ideals that hold only truth can often be mislabeled in our society as stubbornness or as a hard-headed nature. This is sometimes the case but when resistance is the result of a person’s sensitivity to the inner voice, it identifies a truth seeker and it is an essential act of becoming a conscious person — especially in a tribe which values mindless consumption and pacified unconscious behavior.

In my experience, it was highly common and totally cool to be too drunk at a party to remember how the night ends.

Indeed, this is the trend in many social circles I witnessed during and after adolescence. One pattern I’ve noticed in my travels is that the need to consume alcohol to the point of excess increases in proportion to the degree that the society’s mentality is oriented towards economic consumption. It says something about a culture when one of its pass times is getting together with the hopes of winding up unconscious.

Feeling the healthy flow of energy at this node in our physical and spiritual bodies means we are in touch with the juicy realization that mastery of the physical is not the goal of becoming conscious: mastery of the spirit is the goal. Western society really started to get me down when I was about six years into my dark night. I gave up on my pledge to never drink in a symbolic protest to my alcoholic father and instead, changed attitudes to prove I was able to be a good person and still drink as much as he did. So drink I did, at least every other day for three years. With each plastic bottle of vodka I grew more complacent as I sank into the inescapable world of body-issues, sex, drama, and black out drinking all the while, carefully balancing a 3.6 GPA and a job designing high fashion jewelry thirty hours a week.

One day, my third eye suddenly snapped wiiiiiiiiide open.

When I found the book Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh, I started taking notes immediately. This revolutionary idea of living in the present moment came at a time when my relationship with my father completely deteriorated, I was starting to receive intense dreams, and I was preparing to move to Philadelphia for college. This was the shake the universe gave me which opened my third eye for good. I had been learning for years how to work with my own mind to refine my mental perceptual system without having the words for what I was doing; I was being led by nothing but my symbolic sight and it was life-changing to find a whole body of knowledge that described the same work I had begun intuitively.

Buddhism is a well edited philosophy of the history and art of penetrating illusion.

The simple, intuitive writing of this Zen Buddhist monk gave me the literal words for what I previously only had the feeling of symbolic sight to describe and Thay opened up a whole new dimension to my experience of becoming conscious. To this day, when I read his work and that of any other enlightened being (monk, nun, or layperson) I feel as though I am remembering ancient wisdom and my inner voice often shouts YES! That’s what you call that pattern!

This is what it means to be an HSP.

We connect to the universe’s raw energy with our symbolic sight first and then once the transcendent energy of the universe is inside us, it is our work to pull that energy down and out into the physical world where books are written and conversations are had. Transcendence isn’t our goal, grounding is. It’s okay to do things backwards. When a human begins from the level of transcendence it’s easy for her to get stuck in her own world in the same way it’s easy to get stuck on the illusions of the outside world when we are — or think we are — one of the eighty percent who experience life as a physical experience first.

All humans instinctively know that all truth is the same at the most basic level of truth itself, this means that attachment to one religion or doctrine is a failure to see with the symbolic sight of the third eye. Some feel more deeply compelled to follow their inner voices to an understanding of how to live this deep knowing we all possess. At the end of this path which we all walk, regardless of its beginning, is a state of consciousness in which the dilemma of choice no longer exists, where one sees that every choice is the correct choice because no one is better than the other. Intuition is our guide on this path, it is the voice of God and we know it leads us to pure consciousness, total union with the divine.

“If you can say what it is, that’s not it.” -Zen Koan

Everything is easier before we take responsibility for our lives and learn to understand the power of choice, the deeper meaning of choice. Staying unconscious is less scary. No question.

“We are forever looking for the easy meditation, the easy exercise, that will lift us out of the fog, but consciousness doesn’t work that way. Ironically, there is a simple way out, only it’s not easy; just let go. Let go of how you thought your life should be, and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness.”

-Caroline Myss

There comes a time when our struggles have beaten us down to the point where we are willing to surrender to the idea that “all will be well” — not “well” by our standards maybe, but certainly by God’s. When you are strong enough to release fear of surrendering to the physical plane, you embrace the truth that “everything happens for a reason.” The third eye is how and where we see the divine reasons when the time is right. When we surrender our lives to God, we are blessed with the gift of learning without conflict and move beyond the relentless cycle of external and internal conflict. Developing the mind is a lifetime task whose work is done here, in the third eye: the bridge between knowledge and wisdom. At some point we give up and realize that try as we might, we cannot forever “visit” truth only to return to illusion once more, we finally learn to accept change as a vehicle for moving forward.

Once we accept that a shift of awareness is always accompanied by a settling-in period of isolation and loneliness, new companions are found. I say this only because I know that when I experienced the deepest level of letting go I received the greatest gift of my. The gift is the subject of another chakra but the lesson of creating space is relevant here, never the less.

After a long period of work and struggle I realized that memories and attitudes are literally rules that determine the quality of our lives, and the strength of our bonds with others.

It was only then that I became conscious.

The inherent desire to find our ordained path is the definition of divine intelligence. Maybe you have more of it than you think. What things in your life nurture the feeling that you’re on the right path?