Destiny or Free Will?

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I believe we come to earth to reach our highest potential and along the way, we find the tools, the gifts, the circumstances, and the people we need to accomplish this.

But the question is: is it already written or do I get a say? Are there really ancient palm leaves in a cave somewhere in India where my past, present, and future is written out and all I have to do is watch my life unfold? Or are we master “manifestors,” great creators with the power to write our own story? Or is it a little bit of both?

When I was a small child, I don’t remember having to consciously do anything to live the life I was meant to live. Meaningful events and inspiration would appear as out of nowhere and I’d confidently take a step toward my joy. Awe seemed to be guiding me, propelling me from one moment to the other, transporting me to explore my innate curiosity. I trusted people and situations, and it made me feel connected to the moment. There was no need for me to “figure things out,” yet huge moments, peak experiences still occurred.

If I think about it now, it seemed like an invisible energy was running the show, and I was naturally being guided along this thread that was my path.

I see this with my children now. They are at an age where they don’t yet worry about time or concern themselves with who they are to others and what they should be doing at any moment. They simply are. If it feels fun, they do it. And there are peak experiences, moments when my husband and I can glimpse into a thread, a mysterious premonition, as if giving hints to the bigger picture. I know they are not consciously manifesting this. They simply are present, here now, to their joy, and their pain too. They know what moves them and what pushes them away.

As I got older, like many of us, I began to measure and strategize more. I stopped spontaneously feeling and being my way through life. I wasn’t sure I loved that emotional and spirited part of me anymore, feeling and being didn’t seem to be a “safe” and smart way to live. It didn’t seem to be helping me with what I thought was important at that time.

As a teenager, although I wasn’t sure I loved “me” anymore and lost sight of that innate self, I realized that if I put in the time, the effort, and the dedication I could accomplish anything I wanted. I began to think and plan with my rational mind, which led to a life that was tightly managed and controlled. I started to make things happen. And on I went into the world determined to do and accomplish.

I “did” a lot. I “accomplished” a lot. Unconsciously, I was doing things mostly to please other people. And then, right around the time I turned 30, I realized that I could only live like this for much longer.

Along the way, I had gradually shut down the part of me that used to be so connected and present to my innate self and my joy. Who I had become was a mental construct and I found myself in a place where I didn’t know who I truly was anymore and what it meant to love myself. Although I could still make things happen, the things I was manifesting didn’t have the excitement or the inner reward I’d hope for. Eventually it was harder and took longer to make anything happen. Everything was hard work and I got really tired and began to lose my “joie de vivre.” And one day, even though I’d worked so hard toward my goal, I just couldn’t make it happen.

I had gone too far off the path, where there is very little magic, very few surprises, and no awe. It was time for me to come back home. And I did.

There is a way that is easy, fun, and that inspires others. There is a way that brings us to a place beyond our wildest dreams. I believe there is a thread that is our destiny. And when we follow this thread, we have help, we have support. When we step onto this path, we embark on the journey of realizing our soul, our highest potential.

I believe we decided on this before we came to earth. We chose to come with the tools and gifts we needed to accomplish our mission. We also choose the people and the challenges that would help us deepen our experience of that mission. In this way, it is all written.

But I also believe we are incredibly powerful creators. We can manifest anything we want, truly. We were born with free will. And what we put out attention on will grow. When we put our attention on our deep inner self, on this thread, and we choose to remember this original choice, the big “why” we came, we can create magic here on earth, and manifest beyond our wildest dreams.

When we are being careful and we act out of fear, we move away from the thread. When we make decisions solely based on our conditioned mind, disconnected from our inspiration and our intuitive stirs, we move away from the path. Things don’t manifest as well over there and we feel like there is something missing.

When we know who we are, and we love and value ourselves just as we are, when we allow ourselves to feel again, to trust in our own brilliance, we enter the flow of the path. There, synchronicities, celestial beings, and Divine Love help us. Things happen faster, bigger. There is more excitement, surprise, and joy. We are guided within to the intelligence of our path. We are supported.

Today the call from within me is stronger then the will to control and manage. My heart nudges me back when I forget who I am. And when I forget for too long, it screams at me. I am human, I forget. But I know now not to ignore the call when it shows up. That is my choice.

Every single moment we get to either remember that mission or forget it. Every single moment we get to decide to live from that connected place, like when we were children, and open our hearts and mind to the guidance and the inspiration of our hearts, or we get to decide if we will compromise on who we know our self to be deep down.

I would probably find my life written on those leaves. At the same time I know it is possible for me to stray and get lost. That’s where my free will comes in. The less we compromise on who we truly are and why we are here, the more creative our life will be and the more our music will inspire others. That is our destiny.

Past Lives and Karma

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Not long after I met him, my husband Paul, mused that we must have been together in past lives. He was only 22 but he shared a sense of knowing and recognition that felt ancient. Not only did he feel that he had known me before, he even felt that a part of him had been missing me his whole life. As I listened to him explain, something inside me awakened. I felt the same way, and I loved this idea of lives beyond this one. It opened up my mind to other possibilities. What else was out there beyond what I already knew, beyond what I could  see, touch, or hear?

Some time later I was in a near fatal car accident. I was badly injured and it would take some time for me to fully heal. For a few years after, as I tried to make sense of why my life and my body had been shaken in such a dramatic way, I came across the concept of karma. What might I have done in a past life to cause that car accident? The more I inquired, the more I saw myself as flawed. I began to believe that my soul needed to pay its debts.

This inspired a healing adventure that was very much focused on fixing what was broken in me. My identity was tied to that limited self, tied to a law outside of my control and awareness, subject to the cosmic forces that controlled my destiny. I knew I had a certain power to influence my healing, but I also felt I couldn’t change the hand I was dealt. I was healing, quite rapidly as I was tapping into my body’s ability to move old stuff at quantum speed, but it was hard and, most of the time, not super joyful.

Fast forward to my first shamanic experience. One day, out of the blue, I had an experience where I lost all sense of time and space and found myself on the other side of the veil that separates the world of spirit from what we commonly call reality. I didn’t will it to happen; the experience found me. I felt how incredibly fearless and powerful I actually was. I realized that I was not witnessing an external god, but that I was god. In this one eternal moment, with no past nor future, I realized I didn’t have to do anything to be safe. I was immortal. Just being me was enough. On top of that, just being me was all I had to do to experience the peace and the fulfillment I longed for. I was already perfect. I was the creator.

My understanding of past lives and karma changed. I realized that beyond our temporary human lives exists our true essence, and it remains intact through everything. I realized that my true self was neither flawed nor incomplete, and I did not have to suffer for any past sins or deeds. Importantly, I realized that holding this limiting belief was keeping me from knowing my true essence, my divinity, here on earth. Energetically, my beliefs had kept me separate from this intelligence, when in fact I was that very intelligence.

Unexamined beliefs can keep us small, no matter what they are. Even an expansive  spiritual belief, like the concept of karma. A spiritual belief can be a box, if we allow it to take some of our power away.

Once in a while, what I call a past life memory comes to my awareness. Either in a dream, in a meditation, or in a deep conversation with spirit. Instead of trying to identify the lesson, I simply witness the memory. That is enough. There is only this moment so my job right now is to simply be present with the memory and to any experiences and feelings within myself. What I have noticed is that they are often tied to memories in this lifetime, reflecting an energetic pattern that has carried into this life. Once I bear witness to them and invite them to move freely inside my body, I heal, I find more peace. But I don’t need to work at it, I don’t need to find the reason, or figure anything out.

We don’t need more reasons to be tough on ourselves or to keep ourselves smaller than we truly are. Society and culture give us plenty of opportunities for that and we tend to shrink and compromise without much convincing. Spiritual concepts can do the same if they separate us from that divine intelligence that we are.

We are so much more magnificent than we know, but it’s up to us to know this truth within ourselves. Once in a while we get glimpses, tastes, and hints of this magnificence. Our job is to lean into that knowing, feel it, and engage it – especially on those days when the world doesn’t mirror it back to us and it feels like we are alone in what we know. Discovering who you truly are is the spiritual path. And when you find yourself, never compromise. Make it a priority. That deep inner knowing will invite your true essence to express and manifest through your being. And when it does, you know you have come home, right here, right now.

It’s Been One Year

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“Can we get some?”

How can you say no to Wayne Dyer? We pull the car over on the Trans Canada Highway. I’m concerned, this is too risky. I tell Paul to stay where he is, we can find another way.

“Nothing bad can happen Anne, I am with Wayne Dyer!”

“That’s right,” Wayne’s says, “and anyway, you are eternal!”

As transport trucks wiz by, Paul dodges four lanes of speeding traffic, gets into the bushes, climbs up a lilac tree, and brings back an arm full of lilac branches for Wayne.

It’s late May 2015 and Paul and I have picked Wayne and Maya in Ottawa to drive them back to Montreal and then on to Moncton for what would be our last two events together.

As we were driving, Wayne noticed lilac bushes in full bloom on the side of the highway. He shared with us how special they were to him, how they used to grow on his street where he grew up in Detroit and they reminded him of his mother. He even recited a few lines of the poem by Walt Whitman When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d.

 

When lilacs last in the dooryard bloom’d, 

And the great star early droop’d in the western sky in the night, 

I mourn’d, and yet shall mourn with ever-returning spring. 

 

Ever-returning spring, trinity sure to me you bring, 

Lilac blooming perennial and drooping star in the west, 

And thought of him I love.   

 

They would be the first and the last lilacs we would see on this long trip. An oasis of flowers in a sea of poplar and pine.

Needless to say the car smelled amazing, and Wayne was so happy. He kept them in his room for his entire stay in Montreal. That fragrance that powerfully filled the car that day symbolizes to me so vividly the Divine love that emanated from this man.

 

Today is the one-year anniversary of Wayne’s passing. He has been in my awareness everyday single day since. Although I miss him a lot, every time I tell him how much I miss him I can hear him say, almost annoyed: “why do you miss me, I’m right here!” And I know it’s true. He is more present to me now than when he was in his physical body. His ability to guide me is beyond time and space. And I know I am far from being the only one who feels this way, who he interacts with, who feels his love. He is accessible to all who desire his guidance. His capacity and his reach have magnified. The world is a difference place now that he is doing his magic from the other side of the veil. Only after enough time has passed can I know that his transition was a great gift, the ultimate selfless act.

My thoughts and my heart are with Wayne’s family and friends on this day. A warm loving hug to Skye, Saje, and Serena, to Reid and Maya, to Anita, Colette, Nancy, and Kate. A warm loving hug to my friends who also miss him: Celine, Chrissy, Lisa, Paul, Maman, Suzanne, Joshua, Rachel, and Shauna.

I am excited for what is ahead, for how his love will continue to manifest in this world. Good things are going to happen!

Wayne, I Love You xo

Anne