At the retreat recently, you told us not to forget that we have control of our lives and, if they were not what we wanted, to change them. This involves making different choices than we are currently making, which brings up a number of different questions.
Sometimes our spiritual, emotional/mental and physical needs clash. (For example, “I worked all day and I’m too tired to go to toning.”) How can we be more aware that these various needs are valid and be sure that we are making choices that best serve our ultimate purpose for being here?
It’s important to remember that, when you are aware of something, the lesson itself is almost ended. When you realize that “this was really hard,” or “this is a conflict,” or “I’m too tired to do this,” that indicates an important awareness. That awareness is about what does and does not work for you, which is what I was repeatedly going for at the retreat. So, in a really good way, that very question is saying that you’re right in line with the message at the retreat, and I’m glad of that.
The answer is not going to be new, which will disappoint some people. Nevertheless, what you do every day is based on the priorities you have in your life. And that is true even for minor decisions such as choosing what cereal you are going to eat. What cereal do you eat, Paula?
A gluten-free, low-sugar one.
Why do you make that choice? Because it’s important not to be in pain?
That’s one thing, and sugar is not good for me, so I try to keep it out of my diet.
It’s a choice, and you’re making that choice because your greater vision is to be vibrantly alive and feeling good, keeping your good health and not tearing down your body. And there is fear as well—not wanting the pain and the symptoms that are created with the type of condition [celiac disease] that you’re dealing with.
And really, every decision you make is a version of that. “What cereal are you eating these days?” could just as well be “What work are you choosing?” “Why do you go to work every day?” “What is your occupation?” “What car are you going to get?” It seems as though there must be a hierarchy of choices, but the fact is, all of your choices are based on two things: what you’re getting paid for the choice, and what you’re having to sacrifice to make it.
What in the financial world is called the cost-benefit ratio.
Yes, exactly. That’s what it is. Let’s say that you are unhappy with your car, which is really unable to do more than take you around town, and also gas has become exceedingly expensive, and so you want to get a new car. But you’ve not seen anything you really like, and the old one is still getting you where you want to go. You’re making a choice based on whether it is worth the effort to get something you may not enjoy any more than the one you have now, and you are afraid that you might not be able to pay for it.
Another example has to do with relationships: “I want to get out of this relationship. It’s not feeding me. It’s very hard for me. I’m very stressed all of the time”—all of those negatives, negatives, negatives. “But what it does offer me is financial security, and so I am prostituting my day-to-day happiness, because I am getting something I want much more—the benefit of financial security.” You do that all the time.
You make the choices you make because it’s to your benefit to do so. And always the question is, “How in the world does that benefit me?” Now, that was also a carefully chosen phrase: How in the world does this benefit me? If you think it doesn’t—that it’s harmful and painful, and you’re unhappy and in a rut you can’t get out of—there is something in there that is feeding a belief that is important to you. And, as always, you need to get down to the belief to be able to move on. Being able to recognize that “I have a choice,” being able to recognize that “I’m not happy with what I’m doing”—any level of recognition—is going to open a very needed doorway into the answer, because when you ask the question you have the answer already.
What you want to look at is what’s important to you. If you say that what’s important to you is doing what it is you’re here to do, you need to take a look at that and determine whether that is really true. You need to ask yourself, “Based on where I spend my time and what it is I do, what really is important to me?” People don’t like time journals, but it’s the fastest, easiest way to see where your time is going. When you’re able to see what it is that really takes your time and your focus, you need to ask, “Is this really what I want?” And that leads back to what I was speaking about a few moments ago.
If you find that your time is actually being spent in positive, life-affirming, spiritual-growth activities, and you’ve examined that question and looked at your patterns, if you want to know how to better choose more of those good things, only then does what I’m about to say come into play. This is phase two: why is it you do not believe that everything you do is spiritual? Why are you still dealing with the dichotomy that says there are these things that are in the world, and there are these things that are spiritual?
I will tell you why it is you’re doing that. You’re doing that because of sabotage and fear—although not necessarily in that order. Fear often comes before sabotage, because sometimes sabotage is a subconscious reaction to the fear that’s unrealized, so it works in both directions. I don’t often speak about laziness, but it’s a vitality-sucking disease. It’s a symptom of fear and it’s a function of sabotage. Why?
We retreat into laziness as an avoidance behavior.
And laziness way too often, in this work anyway, shows up as justification: “I’m taking care of myself. I’m giving myself what I need.” If you are giving yourself what you need but don’t like to think that you need it, then you should work on that too, and change what you’re doing with that.
So sabotage and fear are connected to just pure laziness. I don’t particularly like to dwell on that, but the fact of it is there are going to be some who read this who sort of tuck their little tails between their legs, because they realize that I’m speaking directly to them, because it really is a problem. And that is connected to a whole other set of things, which is the way you’re taking care of your physical health and your energy levels, and what you can do to help raise your energy, what you can be doing to have better health. A lot of laziness is because you don’t have the energy you need to do something, because you have spent it all on things that you don’t really care about all that much, or because you haven’t given it to your physical being that needs some attention. So it can flow that way as well.
You make the point that everything we do is spiritual.
Let me clarify before you go on. It’s that everything is spiritual, and as a result everything you do is. Now, that’s a very large view; it’s sort of like saying everything is energy.
At the retreat you encouraged us to get ourselves in gear and apply ourselves more to the work. And the question that might come up here is, “Well, yes, but how do I draw the line? I have my own needs to take care of in order to be up to do the work.”
Do you want me to answer for a Guardian, or do you want me to answer for somebody spiritually awake, or somebody who’s not awake at all? You see, there’s a different answer for each of those.
For a Guardian.
I know you think that as a Guardian you’re supposed to live a normal life, but I can guarantee that you have never had a normal life. You see things, think things, do things differently. You are here to bring about this change. That is what your life is about, and the risk you’ve agreed to take is getting mired in the human stuff. When that happens, it is understandable, but not truly acceptable.
Now, do you know what the problem is with what I’ve just said? That answer is based on what looks like your future, and accommodating the patterns of the past. Those patterns are that ego disempowers; free will wins. In looking at the future, by any standards, your world is standing at the edge of making decisions that—big picture—that will literally eradicate life as you know it, or—small picture—will bring about profound changes that cause even greater loss than is going on right now—and to such an extent that your planet’s life force might not last as long as your allotted time here. Now, I’m being dramatic, but not inaccurate. And I’m not talking about things like global warming, which is profound, or the human contribution to the loss of species of plants and animals and all other manner of energy. I’m talking about powerful human beings choosing to misuse power.
That means that if you’re going to talk to me about “I’m having so much difficulty with the people I work with!” I’m going to say, “Figure out how it feeds you to keep doing that, realize you’re sabotaging yourself with these situations, and get over it!” Don’t rely on what your brain tells you. Try relying more on what your heart tells you. Try not to get caught in the trap of the dramatic human experience. Try to separate yourself, see yourself not so much as a part of the team, but more as an administrator of the team. Guardians are examples, way-showers, explorers, not particularly happy doing what everyone else is doing. Guardians are leaders (hopefully) not followers (hopefully); are a part of mass consciousness but not of mass consciousness.
I often say to somebody, or a group, that they are being too human, that everything they do in the world is spiritual, and that you’re going to look different—even sort of odd maybe—to the rest of the world. You’ve got to realize that your spiritual perspective or function within something as simple as driving down the road and going to buy groceries separates you. Get used to that. It’s all right that your spiritual perspective or function separates you. To function in this world, you’ve got to buy groceries, and you’ve got to get from one place to another in one way or another, so stop trying so hard to fit in so that you can be a good example in all of the low places, as opposed to all of the high ones. Realize that you’re not here to be the best “good ol’ boy” there is. You’re here to lead, to be an example—to open doors—and sometimes that means slashing through the jungle to get there. You’re not a Sherpa; you’re an explorer! And when you judge how you’re doing by what everyone else in the world is doing, well, that’s being lazy. It’s not being what you are.
The fear that causes all that to come about is that you’re not going to perfectly live up to what you are, so it’s better to keep the standard low. The fact is, there are times in which you are not going to live up to what you are, but the idea is that you keep adding to your storehouse of information so that you don’t keep having constant resistance to what you are. And as you do that, you have longer times of that—forgive me, it’s a risky word—”perfect” behavior—no division, no question as to what your vision is, no question as to what feeds you—because you’re not here to feed out of the troughs with everyone else, you’re here to be fed by stardust. You’re here to be energized by light, and if by now in your life you’re not, get over it. Retrain yourself.
You have a beautiful dog—well, you have a couple of beautiful dogs—but one of them is a tripod, right?
Kind of, yes. Now he’s a one-eyed tripod.
He’s got that hip that really gives him trouble, and there’s only so much that he can do, and yes, he just had an eye removed as well. So here’s a one-eyed, bum-hipped dog, and it’s just so heart-breaking to be around him, isn’t it, because he just sits and stares in the corner and wishes that he had his body back together, and you can tell that he’s just so miserable: Life ended for him when he lost the eye, and when he did not have a hip that functioned properly.
Very wrong, because he retrained. Angus says, “Well, I can’t do it this way, so what can I do? All right, I can do this, so let’s start working at it.” Is he still bumping into walls?
No, actually he isn’t. Every once in a while we’ll hear a little clunk, but for the most part he’s adjusted to not having an eye on one side.
Does he still put himself into situations that hurt his bad hip?
No, and when he’s gone far enough on a walk, somehow he recognizes that he’s reached his limit, and instead of continuing on with us, he turns around and he goes home.
Now, you see, that’s a beautiful example of retraining yourself to do what works. You’ve got a lifetime of trying so hard to be one of the boys, or girls, or dogs, and it’s not working. Do something else. Retrain.
What it brings up for me is what I call my “yes but” routine.
[Laughing] I hear a lot of the “yes buts.” “But I’m different! My circumstances are unique, and you don’t know about this part.”
There’s a couple of things that strike me about that. One is that sometimes people don’t think that they have choices, or they don’t even look for the choices. Why would someone who was, for example, in a job that doesn’t have a lot of financial rewards, but working very hard and consequently feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, why would they stay there? What would be the payoff in a situation like that?
Yes, there are situations in which people don’t even think they have choices. They don’t even see the options in their lives, or that they made choices that got them where they are. And the key word in there isn’t choices, it’s people. That’s a mass-consciousness response, and an understandable one, and when a Guardian comes out with a response like that, there’s an earthquake somewhere in Indonesia—that’s a joke, meaning that it’s earth-shaking—because Guardians are not “people.” Don’t believe in the costume, even though it’s a good one and the work that is being done in it is very important.
The very first thing I said was that you have the answer when you ask the specific question. When somebody says to me, particularly in a one-to-one session, “Why is—and fill in the blank—not working?” my reply always, always is “You tell me. Tell me why.” If you can train yourself to look, recognize and mentally—or verbally, if it helps—specify the choice that you have in front of you, you are going to give yourself a very important doorway to information.
This is going to sound like I’m shifting off the subject, but I’m not. You know that I have said that if you are not sure what you need to do, flip a coin. And when you flip the coin and find that you want to say, “All right, two out of three,” you’re telling yourself what it is you really want. When you know that there is action that must be taken—and in case someone doesn’t realize it, that means a choice—even something as outrageously simple and yet effective as flipping the coin gives you the technology that will help you see what you really want. From there you can go to “What’s the payoff? What’s behind it? What’s the cost-benefit ratio?”
You know the story of the ugly duckling, that the duckling was different but it did everything it could to fit in. It tried as hard as it could, yet all of the other ducklings caught on and said, “You are not like us. We should separate from you. You’re just odd.”
That duckling had a choice: do absolutely everything it could to behave like a duck, and begin making more duck friends, and focus on being the best duck it could, or recognize that “being made fun of all of the time isn’t something I want to keep on doing. I’d rather not be with these ducks than be with them.”
Not being with the other ducks meant it had more time by itself, and it realized that maybe it had some skills that were worthwhile. One of them was nice, long walks in nature, and on one of those walks, the little duckling came to a pond and saw two of the most incredibly beautiful white ducks it had ever seen. It leapt into the water and paddled over as quickly as it could, and those two beautiful ducks looked at it, and said, “Well, how did you get lost?” And the little duck said, “Lost? I’m not lost. I know just where I am. The farm’s over that way, and the other ducks are over there.” And they said, “Ducks? You’re not a duck. You’re a swan. You are one of us. Don’t go back there. Come with us.” Your spirit asks you to let go of everything familiar, comfortable, safe—maybe you’re not miserable, maybe you’re perfectly happy—and it asks you not to be a duck, to find what you really are instead. Now, when that duck made the determination “I’m not a duck,” and swam off with the swans, in what ways did his life change?
He was able to align himself with a whole different purpose.
He could start being good at what he was instead of trying to be good at what he wasn’t.
Well, he also fit in so he had examples of how a swan behaves.
Now don’t you just know that that little swanling . . .
Cygnet. What a nice word. That cygnet wandered off into nature, looking around on its own, having been rejected or made uncomfortable by the duck world. He said to himself, “How am I going to eat? Where can I safely swim and still be me?” and all of the things that ducks think they’re going to have to do to make it in the world. The key for this particular cygnet was to keep going until it found its own.
Hint: that’s why Phoenix is here, so you can find your own with activities and socials and education. It teaches you how to be that swan you really are.
But in trying so hard to fit in and be a duck, that duck may have acquired a little duck wife, and a little duck mortgage, and all of these things that accumulated while it attempted to fit in. It might realize it’s a swan, but it still has all these attachments to the duck world that it’s responsible for. How does it deal with that?
It must ask, “What is worth the most to me?” You see, the ducks have been saying, “If you go wandering off on your own, you’re not going to be able to eat, not be able to play. You’re going to lose all these important things in your life. If you aren’t going to be one of us, you’re going to be left out and alone and unhappy.” You’re going to be caught in a cycle of financial problems and health problems—all of the things that the world dumps on you so that everybody can be the same, because not standing out is safe. Don’t think about it, just do it. This should make you happy. Don’t expect more, because nobody else has ever had that.
That cygnet realized—and this is the important part—that a duck life is not fulfilling. It is acceptable and even workable, but not fulfilling. There must be more. And that awareness allows it to look at itself from the inside out—just like at the retreat—allows itself to, slowly but surely, strengthen by releasing what is not needed and doesn’t feed it, and focusing on what is needed and does feed it. So when the time comes that it is faced with the most beautiful opportunity anyone could ever imagine, that opportunity is recognized and it is not stuck—mired—and it can actually take advantage of it.
So what about that cygnet that had so bought into being a duck that it had a duck marriage and a duck mortgage and duck children? Am I suggesting that it is responsible, it is wise, to just simply drop it all, turn around, and march off?
Is there duck karma?
Exactly! Don’t you have a compact with duckdom? And that’s where a disentangling needs to happen. At the retreat, I also spoke about simplifying: “Don’t live your life having your stuff make all of your decisions for you.”
I am sitting here in this living room that is lovely—it’s really lovely. There are all kinds of things that need care. There is a very old vase over there, very fine Chinese porcelain. There once were two of them, but one of them broke. If the stuff ran the people, that would be an irritation, a heartbreak, an opportunity to be angry. If you run the stuff, you’ll miss it, but it’s just stuff.
A little aside here: It amazes me how secure so many people feel because they have a lot of stuff. The fact of it is, if you’re spending so much of your life caring for all of that investment, all of that beauty, you may well miss some of the most fulfilling opportunities that come by. “Sorry. I’m off here polishing silver today. I’ve got to polish all day.” You’ve got to ask yourself why? Why?
I think one example you gave at the retreat was “I don’t just want clothes to keep me dry and warm, I want designer clothes that are beautiful.” But those come with a price, and the price is that sometimes you spend all of your time making the money to buy those things and take care of them.
And you justify it by saying, “Well, in my business, I must have . . .” So have a specific number of good suits or good shoes, but you don’t need forty if four will do. And if you do need the forty, then it’s very important that you realize that you’re giving something up in order to have that forty. Is it worth the exchange?
Can you be giving up being the Guardian you came here to be?
You can. And, you see, that’s what left some people at the retreat rather shaken, some a bit irritated, aware of a resistance. But the resistance came from the idea that “My investment in this belief, or this vase, or this person, or this dog, is so high, I cannot just give it away. I cannot just get rid of it. I’ve got to hold on to it.” However, I do have to say that the majority of retreat participants felt prodded into saying “I’m going to take action and it’s going to help.”
You’re talking about attachment to stuff, but there are things that consume us that have to do with compacts and making choices with those compacts. How do you deal with that?
I will promise you that you do not have in your life—you, as a Guardian who has made a choice to come into this world—you do not have a compact that holds you back. You may have made personal choices, you may have made lifestyle choices, you have made “I like to be needed so I will make you need me” choices that cause you to believe that you are held back by that compact, but as a Guardian you do not have a compact in your life that was set up to hold on to your leg and not let you go.
They’re commitments rather than compacts?
Yes. You have made karmic decisions that probably need to be cleaned up. Is your question about how you clean them up?
Yes, is there general advice about doing that?
The general advice is all in the first hour of this interview.
Let’s say you’ve got this huge house, and you have these choices in front of you. It’s not unusual, when people retire, to move into a smaller place—isn’t that correct? They don’t want the responsibilities of that big investment, and they don’t have growing children, so now they just need a couple of guest rooms. That’s pretty typical.
Why do some people find that decision so hard? One reason is that they don’t think of themselves as retired and ready to simplify. Another one is that they have invested so much in a huge mortgage and got such a relief from finally paying it off that the idea of letting it go is unappealing. Another reason can be that there is a large sentimental investment in it, or because they believe they will be judged harshly by their family for doing so. Another reason might be that they want to keep it for their children, whether their children want it or not.
There is a multitude of reasons for not making a change that in any other circumstance would be considered freeing and good, but, you see, it’s not about selling the house. It’s about letting go in order to have what you really want. If what you really want is that house, in spite of the problems, then you’re going to have to give up other things in order to keep it.
I know of people who have given up the idea of being married. I know people who have given up what looked to be well-paying, challenging jobs. I know people who have given up . . . and that list can continue. Is giving up the house going to be what makes you happy? No, but being without the weight will. But if you don’t mind the burden because you’ve got to keep your clutches in that house for any one of a hundred reasons that really have nothing to do with what you’re here to do, that have nothing to do with honoring compacts, or whatever, and have everything to do with what you think you should have—sometimes because of expectations; sometimes because of a sense of entitlement; sometimes just not really thinking it through—you’re making sure that you have what you really want.
As a Guardian, when you are able to look at your life and see what it tells you that you really want, but what you really want isn’t allowing you to do and be what you’re here to do with ease, you are going to have a lot of self-judgment, disappointment, frustration in life, and you’re going to feel overburdened and in pain. Your physical world, your mental, your emotional worlds are all going to reflect that decision. You’re not going to be able to trust yourself, so of course that means you’re not going to be able to trust others. It just goes on and on and on.
Your responsibility as a Guardian is to do what you are here to do. Now, here is where I’m going to throw in a big wrench. Who says that what you’re here to do cannot be accomplished in that house? If it can, stay there. But if it can’t, you’re making a big mistake to stay there. And that goes right back to the beginning: What are your priorities? What are the choices you’re making? What are they connected to? And even when it comes to the duck wife, love does not say, “Here is the financial statement. You must stay in this life that is killing you because it is making me happy.” Love says, “How can we negotiate so that we’re both able to get what we want?” A lot of amazingly strong and good relationships are amongst Guardians that are coupled with non-Guardians, and they function because of that negotiated compromise.
You know, we have a question about buying into the illusion, because when you’re a Guardian, having something in your head that keeps pushing on you seems to be a sure fire signal that it’s time to sit down and say, “What’s going on? What’s behind this?”
Doing that means that you’re functioning in a way that honors what you are. The problem is, so many aren’t.
You mentioned at the retreat that the world is holding its breath and that fire is purifying the planet, and that over the next six months we’re looking at the building of tomorrow.
Guardians initiate and become examples by putting their actions into mass consciousness’s Lake of the Known. The world is in chaos right now, but that energy can go two ways. It can be used for creation or it can cause havoc. The Law of Extremes is profoundly in action, so much so that even children are realizing things are not right. They might be experiencing it—depending upon their age—as feeling dissatisfied. The world is waiting for an answer to be dropped in its lap, for God to intervene and make things right, for any big outside power to intervene. Your churches in America are preaching that these are the end times because of this and this and this, and the Islamic fundamentalists, who are violently pushing for reform, are saying, “These are the times the prophet referred to. This is the time in the world in which those who are godly take action.” In many different cultures this time is being interpreted as “We need a savior.”
And they’re waiting, and they are looking for those who every day—or maybe only once a week, or maybe only once a month—say with meaning, “I am a function of Christ Consciousness in this world, ready to become the savior of the world.” The world is waiting. It has been going through a trial. It has been going through purification. It has seared out of their lives so much of life’s frivolous activities and brought them to the basic day-to-day survival, and the nine-tenths of the world that are not you—western culture—realize that something big has to happen to make things change. And you are the model for that change. And that’s the scary part.
So at a practical level, as a Guardian, I should look at my life and say, “Well, my job’s running pretty well, but this whole thing with my family is really chaotic and really stressful, so what can I do to make it better?” Is that the kind of leadership that’s needed?
Yes. The way that you function in your day-to-day experience is the only thing that’s going to change the day-to-day experience for the rest of the world. It’s not raising your hands up above your head and shooting flames of power out into the universe, and burning off the smog and pollution and giving the planet another chance. It’s not that. Remember, I have said that this is not the time of miracles. That’s not to say they don’t happen, but where you are right now, they can always be written off. In your heart you know this was an absolute miracle, but the person right next to you says, “No, that’s the consequence of . . . “ It’s not the miracles. It’s not creating stardust to make people change; it’s when you become that stardust that you show the change is possible.
And that is what you were focusing on at the retreat?
So find those places of havoc in your life and take care of them.
Absolutely. The retreat was turning on a light in a dark room, and if you remember my illustration, there were people there who say, “I prefer the darkness. I don’t want to see this. I don’t want to know this. It’s too hard. It’s too much. No.”
Do we literally, as you said, only have six months?
Right now, there are some frightening directions mankind can go; some highly destructive consequences can come out of specifically planned actions. It’s premeditated destruction, not only with weapons, but with assaults on belief structures, which is, by the way, how Guardians are going to feel it most. But along with the apparent breakdown of things such as the definition of governmental power, the way that one society sees another—genocide is what I’m referring to there—or biological warfare by terrorists, there will also be the breakdown of long-standing, even if not trusted, alliances. The next six months, physically, mentally, and spiritually, are either going to be how things end—or maybe I should say why things end—or they’re going to raise up some pivotal examples of getting that ass into Jerusalem. [Samuel is making reference to his teaching at the April first-Sunday meeting in Lexington.]
At what point in all of this can Guardians best apply energy?
Any time, the sooner the better. It’s not one of those “let’s get together and have a Harmonic Convergence and have everyone thinking together.” It’s right now make changes in your life that can get that ball rolling, because what you do changes your world in ways that, very obviously, not a whole lot of Guardians recognize occur on a global scale. But you’ve got to start recognizing it on a global scale. It’s the only reason you should bother watching the news or reading the newspaper: to see how what you’re thinking shows up in the world.