Untethered Soul, Chapter 4: Get Me Lucid!

“What differentiates a conscious, centered being from a person who is not so conscious is simply the focus of their awareness. It’s not a difference in the consciousness itself.… Just as all light from the sun is the same, all awareness is the same.”

clip-art-sun-rays-2

Are you lucid?

Now that you know you are aware, based on the last four posts we’ve shared covering the topics in The Untethered Soul, have you found yourself being more aware that you are aware? Chapter 4 is called The Lucid Self and wraps up Part 1 for us. So let’s see what Singer has to say about all this awareness stuff before we launch into the very exciting Part 2, Experiencing Energy.

A lucid dream, as you probably know, is a dream in which often you are flying but especially in which you know that you are dreaming while having the dream. Michael Singer says that similarly if you are aware that you are Awareness, then you are lucid.

Throughout the day you might not be aware that you are Awareness. But when you’re seated in the self you’re lucid, aware that the thoughts, feelings, judgments, labels, emotions that you are experiencing are not you but that they are the dream in which you are immersed. Or, if it resonates more with you, they are the movie in which you are immersed.

Singer uses the analogy of TV to make clear that we can allow our awareness, or our consciousness, to wander. When you’re watching TV, you often don’t focus at all on what else is going on in the room, or the time that his passing. In the same way, we can get wrapped up in what Singer calls our “inner show.”

Let me get a little personal to make this more relevant. I don’t just want to write chapter summaries here. I want to be real and I want you to take something from this for your OWN lives. In thinking about all this in relation to my own life and trying to think of a way to make it functional for you readers, I ended up noticing that there are three levels of lucidity for me. (Nothing is really so easily categorized, but for the sake of ease let’s say three levels.)

Level 1: I Love Lucid!

This strongest level of lucidity happens for me during times of meditation and prayer when I can remove all distraction and “go inside” to be in the witness seat. With practice, I am more and more able to remain there fairly steadfastly and commune with whoever/whatever I want to from that place. When I began the exercise of silent mediation a few years ago it was MUCH harder to quiet down and let the monkey brain relax. Now, I can get myself into that seat of witness with more ease and once there, I let the prayer begin…if that is what needs to happen. I rarely start with prayer anymore (unless I am praying with someone in person) because it is much better for me to get into the seat of Self and pray from that spot instead of just sitting down and praying from a more ego-run place.

Level 2: Lucid or Lose It!

My Level 2 is the point where I have to work out my awareness muscles. It is where I am inundated by distractions of my external movie and internal reactions and so my intention and effort to remain aware of my awareness is in full effect. This would be for example while I am driving my car in busy traffic, while at the grocery store, hiking at the busy and bustling Hollyridge Trail, or surrounded by energies at a family gathering. Basically, anywhere that is not my quiet meditation spot requires me to flex my awareness muscle!

The great thing though it that I fully believe that the more I flex, the easier it will become. It is very liberating to be among people and egos and be in the seat of witness, from which I can interact with them with less attachment, emotion, and defensiveness. Things get to me less, traffic is okay because all things unfold as they are meant to, people are more lovable because they are on a journey just as I am, etc. You get the idea. Stuff is just better.

Level 3: Luciwhat?

This Level is where I am not at all lucid. Not even thinking about it. Forgot all about my Self. Totally engrossed in my movie and emotions. What are we even talking about?

This inattention happens most frequently and intensely when I’m at work. Work is busy, busy, busy; I have anxieties that get triggered easily at work; I am almost constantly in someone else’s presence so there is little gratuitous alone time. In a social situation I can step aside and get reentered before entering back into the pool of egos. At work, not so easy.

No guilt though. This level just gives me a challenge, helps me set a goal. What would it be like, after all, to be more Self and less Ego at work?? It probably would be pretty amazing. I probably wouldn’t feel as stressed or nervous.

So those are my levels. What about you? Where is your awareness throughout the day? Is it in your movie, in your emotions? do you remember at different points in your coming and going that you are much, much more than all of that external and internal gunk?

“You will find that you are tremendously expansive.… You realize that your consciousness only appears to be small and limited because you are focusing on small and limited objects. ” Pg. 37

I’m setting a goal. I’m going to try recalling my true identity during my work days. That’s at least 40 hours a week in which I have a chance to be more of who I want to be! To be more free! To be more authentic! What a great opportunity.

Will you join me? If you have already grasped your true identity through reading the previous Untethered posts, now think about when and where you can bring that awareness of awareness into your daily life. I’ll meet you there!

With Love,

~~~S Wave~~~

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Aside

Sacred Present

“Talk happiness; talk faith; talk health. Say you are well, and all is well with you, and God shall hear your words and make them true.” –Ella Wheeler Wilcox

I recently encountered a site called Consciousness Playground, created by Wendy Down, a life coach in Ontario. So far it seems like an interesting place to explore modalities for exploration in consciousness.

One thing that caught my attention as I as perusing the site was Ms. Down’s use of a one-word theme to usher in the New Year. Her 2012 word was GIVE, her 2013 word (okay, 2 words) was THANK YOU, and now for 2014 her word is REINVENT. I love it!

I can confidently say that Ms. Down seems to be one of many who are approaching 2014 with a sense of reinvention, if not a specific driven intention to reinvent themselves. Or, as I would phrase it, allowing reinvention to take place in their lives. This reinvention pattern that I have been seeing is more than New Year resolutions. Many people have crossed my path who seem to be opening themselves up to something inside them that feels like it needs to “express itself.” They have shared a feeling of “bubbling up” in them, of wanting to be more “authentic,” and to speak what they “really want.” They want to embrace whatever that inner calling is!

Ms. Down is also not alone in adopting a word or phrase for the year ahead. A relative of mine recently shared that she had also chosen a word for 2014 based on where she sees her life with her family heading and what she most wishes for that journey.

If there really is a time of reinvention into which we have entered, I welcome it! It resonates with my own life the past few months as I have opened myself up to new paths and possibilities and as those paths and possibilities have begun to materialize.

And my word for the year? SACRED. And…PRESENT. Can I have two? Yes, of course we can! So my phrase for the year is SACRED PRESENT. The year ahead is full of sacred experiences and opportunities and I will remain present to witness and participate in them.

What will your word or phrase be?

Whatever it might be, know that I join you in blessing your year ahead with that idea. 

Post your word in your home. Paint it, sing it, sit with it in silence. Feel it in your soul like it already is and expect to see it begin.

With love,

~~~S Wave~~~

What is Written On Your Banner?

This is going to sound odd, but it will make perfect sense by the time you get to the end of this post:  Sometimes my friend and I place a banner over one another.

This began years ago during our prayer time together. I don’t know exactly how it started except that –knowing us–one of us probably had an intuition to do it and so we went with it. For us, it means that we are claiming something for the other. For example, I might say, “I am placing the banner of ‘I AM COMPLETE’ over you,” when my friend feels a strong sense of lack. She might place a banner of “STRENGTH” over me when I feel scared. You get the idea. It’s not a literal banner (that would be pretty cool though) but it is a spiritual proclamation of allowing, inviting, and claiming that thing to be so.

In Song of Solomon, the lovesick maiden coos, “He led me to the banquet hall and his banner over me is love.” Moses built an alter and named it, “The Lord is my Banner.” We wave our literal banners to demonstrate our allegiances and our pride. In a spiritual sense, the banners we place over ourselves, our days, our friends, or our homes do the same. We can either be intentional in placing our banners, or we can be unintentional. If we are filling our homes with stress and worry, then our banner unintentionally reads, well, STRESS and WORRY. Or maybe FEAR, because isn’t that the root of stress and worry anyway?

Today, I had a moment in which I asked myself: What does my banner read today? If I had to be honest, it would have read IMPATIENCE in that moment. After all, there I was stuck in L.A. traffic running 30 minutes late already. Luckily I remembered the power of my intention. I took down that banner and unfurled the one that reads: TRANSCENDENCE. Today—heck, maybe for the rest of the month!—my banner will read TRANSCENDENCE. I claim transcendence at all levels. Transcendence above my immediate circumstances and the emotions they trigger. Transcendence above my ego. Transcendence above my physical urges. Transcendence above my mortality. Transcendence closer and closer to God.

So I want to know!…What is on your banner today??

What are you connecting with and claiming? Can you think of someone who doesn’t have the strength to lift their own banner right now? Can you lift one for them? Let’s connect not just in love, and not just through energy, but also in power and for strength.

Have a beautiful, transcendent day!!

Month 4: Rise & Whine Becomes Rise & Shine

“The alarm in the morning? Well, I have an old tape of Carlo Maria Giulini conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in a perfectly transcendent version in Shubert’s seventh symphony. And I’ve rigged it up so that at exactly 7:30 every morning it falls from the ceiling onto my face.”
― Stephen Fry

I asked a friend who is searching for a passion-producing career the obvious question, “Well what do you love doing?” One of the first things on his list was: Sleeping.

Fair enough.

I love sleeping too! I wish I could get 9 hours of sleep a night while also being able to be a night owl since I’m so productive in the evenings and be able to rise early to enjoy the dawning of a new day without the pressure to rush into it. Alas, that hasn’t worked out for me. I inevitable and invariably snooze and burrow under the covers until the very last minute possible.

So, dear readers, this new month brings me to a new intention on my Here I Am journey. I don’t believe in the myth of the early bird, but I do know that I will be closer to my best me if I begin my day with some calm, centering activities instead of rushing off to work. And don’t forget, approaching your best you means the betterment of your life, of the lives of those in your sphere, and of the world at large. That is not hyperbole! It is true! After this past month of amazing spiritual growth and elevation which continues and will remain, I am eager to bring healing and balance to every part of my life where malaise or imbalance exist. I want to get in there and get it worked out!  So for this month I’m letting “rise and whine” become “rise and shine!”

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Getting out of bed earlier than I have to…this is a monumental feat of will and focus!! That is also not hyperbole! Okay, maybe a little. It is HARD for me though. Like my friend, I LOVE sleep. But let’s not be naive…it isn’t just that I love sleep. There are other reasons I have a hard time getting up. Most of them related to stress, anxiety, and worry that I allow to live in me. It takes me a while to fall asleep because of thinking about the next day. I have very vivid and VERY stressful dreams that leave me feeling like I’ve been working overtime by the time I wake up. Then I arise and almost instantly feel stressed about something awaiting me in my day. That all sounds awful doesn’t it?! It’s hard for me to even believe that is me when I see it written.

The good news is that for the last month, I have politely escorted stress and worry out of my mind and soul one room at a time. It feels amazing to fall asleep soundly and to wake up with more joy and excitement for the day than I am used to. I still have very stressful dreams and I’m not sure what to do about that yet, but two out of three isn’t bad!

Despite these great changes, I STILL have a hard time opening my eyes when that alarm goes off. I still feel like I need a nap after all those frenetic dreams. So, knowing how hard this month would be, I decided that I better make a calendar for myself to help me along. Remember, there is no guilt in Here I Am…just curiosity, compassion, attention, and intention. This is NOT a calendar for gold stars; it IS a “calendar of perspective” to help me see and grasp how few days really make up a month, how far I’ve come, and that the world won’t end if one day passes without a perfect performance. The next day and its fresh start will dawn.

April Calendar

I won’t lie. The first two days of the month I slept right through that snooze button and right through my intention to get up early to have Me time. But yesterday came, April the 3rd, and TA-DA! I was up. I was meditating. I was stretching out. I was sipping a cup of coffee. It felt marvelous. (Interestingly, the night before I did an energy clearing meditation with mudras which is supposed to help you sleep.) Now I’m looking forward to discovering what lies ahead for me in these morning hours. I feel like I’ve discovered a whole new part of the day that I had forgotten even existed. Good morning, sunshine!

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I don’t know if any of you are still doing your Here I Am intentions, but if you are then I connect with you now…from my heart to yours…and send you positivity and energy to propel you onward.

Connect with us on Facebook to get more food for thought on connection and personal growth. See you there!

Month 3: The G Word

Has it really been a month since I’ve added a new post?? I’ve missed it here! If you recall, my last month of Here I Am was devoted to “putting down the crutch” (i.e., trying to break an addiction, for those of you who are just tuning in.) Well, I did…for two weeks. Honestly, I just wasn’t as vigilant as I could have been. But in the true spirit of Here I Am, I am not dwelling on excuses or failures, nor am I miring myself in guilt. The infamous lockbox remains on my list. I will tackle it again another month, with greater vigilance.

The good news is that I refuse to leave without a lesson. I’m not a huge Mraz fan, but I do like his line: “I reckon it’s again my turn to win some or learn some.” No losing, just learning. The first lesson I learned from Month 2 is that simply writing a mantra ain’t gonna cut it! I looked back and read my post from last month and realized that I had totally forgotten the beautiful and sincere mantra I had written. Next time, that mantra needs to be taped to my mirror, carried in my purse, used as my screensaver. I need to wrap myself daily in the encouraging thoughts that come from IN ME! (P.s., thank you so much to the people that encouraged my along the way last month. Don’t loose faith! I’ll be back for some more soon!)

The second lesson I learned is that I hold my crutch the tightest when I feel like there is less to rejoice for, when hopelessness begins to creep in. On those days, I am convinced by the inner voice saying, “Meh, what does it matter?” Some days I wonder how I could possibly think like that!! Others it seems to make so much sense. I realized that the times in my life when I have most easily put down my crutch are the times when I am the most connected to God. This leads me to Month 3. (Yes, the “month” is supposed to begin on the 12th. Ideally it would have. But, I am reinventing the Here I Am calendar in the freedom I have to do so and saying, “So begins Month 3 on this wonderful day, February 23rd!!”)

Now, if the big G word makes you nervous, don’t fear; I won’t be preaching to you on Life As a Wave. I know what I mean when I say, “connecting to God.” What you mean by that may look, sound, feel different than my experience. Maybe you don’t use the word “God.” The result should be the same though, right?  A sense of peace, love, hope, freedom, purpose. What I am emphasizing is an intentional, daily practice of pursuing this connection. For me that involves prayer, music, meditation, being in the moment, study and community. That is what this month is for. I cannot wait!! From my experience, there is literally nothing that can compare to connecting with that which is the highest, grandest, wisest, loveliest, mightiest, most gracious, and most boundless thing that exists. Once you invite that, and recognize that it lives within you….forget about it! You’re hooked! Now that is a kind of addiction I can get behind. You might ask why something so beautiful and empowering would need to be on my list? Wouldn’t I just want to float around in that all day every day?? What a good question. I will just quote St. John to explain the trappings of the day-to-day life on Earth that can so easily distract us from the things that are eternal:

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

There you have it. I’m human. But here’s to Month 3! A devotion to the superhuman. I hope to include more frequent updates with all of you along the way. Stay tuned and as always, thank you for your being part of Life As a Wave.

With love,

~~~S Wave~~~

Month 2: Putting Down the Crutch


pain of change

I’ve been stalling on writing a new post because this newest month of Here I Am! is both personal and challenging. Even on this blog that offers some anonymity I hesitate to share the part of my life that will be receiving my attention and intention this month.

But before I dive into that, I want to share that month 1 went swimmingly! If you recall, my first month was focused on my body, my physical health, and my appreciation of this beautiful tent that I have been given. And what a month it was! Yes, I set up an exercise routine that I am still in. Yes, I began to educate myself about calories (boring!). Yes, I feel stronger, more confident, and more in control. I learned that my entire daily exercise regiment could be beaten to a pulp and tossed into the ditch by the number of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups that I like to consume every night. So we had to break up.

It's not you, peanut butter cup, it's me.

It’s not you, peanut butter cup, it’s me.

But the most important thing that came from this first month was a reinforcement of my sense of empowerment. I was reminded that “we have the power to choose moment by moment who and how we want to be in the world.” (See our facebook page for the source of that magnificent quote!) It was this self-assurance in month 1 that has led me to take on a much bigger intention in month 2. On my Here I Am! list there is a lockbox, number 7.

My list of intentions

My list of intentions

This intention is private and locked away for only my consideration. It is an intention to break a dependency, to drop an unhealthy crutch on which I have leaned on for a long time. For this month, I will allow myself to spread my arms and stretch in the freedom that I can have without that crutch. I will stir up the power that is inside me and all around me that tells me to have courage, put down my crutch and , “Walk!” If any of you have tried to do this before—let go of an addiction which, by the way, can come in all shapes and sizes—then you know that even day 1 can seem like torture!

So now more than ever it is important for me to reiterate to myself and to you, dear readers, that making a change like this requires grace…not just the grace of God but your own grace toward yourself. Therefore, this is my mantra, my prayer, for this month:

I am thankful for this month of thoughtfulness.

I embrace the challenge, knowing that I am surrounded by love.

In me is all the strength and love that is needed to walk freely and without addiction.

I do not judge myself for weakness but simply notice the thoughts and desires in my body and mind. Always with love.

A new vision and calling awaits me as I decide, moment by moment, who and how I am in this world.

Lastly, I want to leave you with this thought, lest you feel that this journey I have been writing about is unrelated to our theme of connectedness. I believe that there are times in life when we must grasp the reins of our own choices, actions, words, habits and redirect ourselves once again in order to be prepared to step into the next opportunity for giving, sharing, healing. When we are our better self then we spread that betterment to others. The connections we make in the visible and invisible realms are then blessed with more authenticity and grace. There must be a beautiful quote about that somewhere out there! If you find it, let me know. 🙂

As always, thank you for reading.

With love inside and out,

~~~S Wave~~~

Month 1: Loving My Body!!!

My list of intentions

My list of intentions

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Okay, I promise not to send a daily update, but I do want to write briefly about the kick-off to the HERE I AM! experience that we’ve just started. Last night I spent the evening with my sister and brother-in-law, sitting by a fire and writing out our intentions for the month-by-month, change-welcoming, gratitude-buliding, growth-sparking, connection-forming journey that is HERE I AM! We shared our ideas with each other until finally we each had a list that we felt reflected our most pressing inner desires.

My sister receiving some help with her list.

My sister receiving some help with her list.

And so today begins day one of month one. My first intention is exercise. The universe gave me a nudge to make this my first intention through an innocent comment made by an acquaintance yesterday. In what might be the most horrifying social moment (for both the speaker and the receiver) one can find oneself in, a woman I know paused her cell phone conversation, looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Oh! Are you expecting?” After I recovered from the complete brain combustion that followed, I politely laughed with her about the whole misunderstanding and we both tried to bounce back by profusely explaining that it must have been due to the flowing, baby-doll cut blouse that I was wearing that day (which I have now gladly donated to my sister, who is expecting.) That’s all I needed, universe. Got it. Exercise it is!

Behind this intention of Exercise is a desire to love my body and to honor this temple that I have been given. These are the only feet that I have to walk me through this life; the only hands I have to embrace others, to clap with the beat, and to raise in joy; the only lungs I have to bring me the breath of life; the only muscles I have to allow me to work, explore, and be helpful; the only throat I have to speak. I want to be fit, spry, flexible, ready to go. I specifically intend to not base my judgement of my progress on what I might look like to other people, but how I feel about my strength, power and health. As the process takes place, I will be patient and I will send positive, appreciative thoughts to my soft tummy and my dimpled thighs. I will love love love what I have while giving it more of what it needs.

I will explain the other intentions as their times come.  But before I go, I want to express my support to anyone who is also doing a list of their own. Remember to be gentle and loving. Keep your eyes open for the signs and wonders that might just be shown to you as you set your intention on the good and worthy things of life. To celebrate this first day of HERE I AM!, here is a little something to encourage you onward (wink):