September 20, 1997

Samuel: How about three opportunities for those who would like to request special energy to do so, and those who would like to request a particular blessing that’s come into their life and the opportunity to put that out to do so. So who’s first? Aye.

I’d like some […] energy.

S: Aye. Has it got you?


S: Good. Good. Aye.

I’d like some healing. I have a tendon that is breaking loose on my right foot. The one that was in the accident. So I kind of need it to heal itself back. I need some energy for that.

S: Because it does not?

I’ll have to have surgery to reattach it.

S: And you’re getting tired about it, aren’t you? Aye. Aye. Good. Aye.

I would like energy and having a smooth transition with finding a place to live, and […]

S: Aye. And it’s a fairly radical move out of Atlanta, isn’t it?

Yes it is.

S: Aye. Well, it’s time now not to make a habit of it. Quickly tell what you’re doing in Louisville.

I just started a graduate program in art therapy at the University of Louisville.

S: Aye. And just for any of you who might wonder, that’s not because my friend here was just finishing college and ready now to go to graduate school. What were you doing before?

I was a graphic designer in Atlanta.

S: Aye. But now and again, change happens. Aye. It takes such bravery to be willing to follow that little voice that says, “Now.” Good for you.

Three blessings. Aye? Aye.

It’s been a long time coming, but my house has sold. And the miracle …

S: Oh, how long?

How long?

S: Aye.

Maybe seven life times. [Laughter] A lot longer than the divorce!

S: Aye. Aye.

And the …

S: Oh beloved, good. Aye.

And the blessing truly was that everything went wrong for my birthday this year, and …

S: So […] energy like you did before.

The people next door, their place looks like it was just a pigsty, until the fourth of September, so that everybody who came saw this house next door that looked tumbled down and wasn’t finished, and the thistles were in the field and they didn’t know it because they were having a whole lot of problems with their house.

S: And they’re sacred and they do not want to disturb them.

And the minute that went up [for sale], the perfect people came. They’re so overjoyed and so enthusiastic.

S: Good.

I want to say thank you.

S: Good. Good work. Good work. Aye.


S: Aye.

The person that I asked two years ago to marry me, said yes this week. [Laughter and applause]

S: Well, and you put it so charmingly.

Marry me or else. It was when do you want to get married, actually. Worse than that, and it was an email. I turned his life upside down, and he’s worked through an awful lot of fear to get to this point, and I’m really, really proud of him, and proud of me for working through some of what I worked through, too.

S: Aye.

And it just feels, really, really good, and a major, major portal.

S: Aye. Yes indeed. And it, too, involves remarkable change. Maybe there’s something about the front row here. Maybe the rest of you should start watching out. Very nice. One more. Aye.

This person right here for three years has been working with me, and we’ve now got a contract in, and the Assessment Center is going to be helping the schools change what’s going on. So this is my […]

S: That’s a pretty amazing sort of thing, don’t you think, when a vision that you have, that you know you believe in, that it’ll make changes and provide hope, happens. Aye. And as amazing as that is, it’s not nearly as amazing as when you have an idea that becomes a vision that you know is good, and will provide hope, and you’re willing to do whatever it takes. You’re willing to do it alone, and as you move forward you find that you’re not alone, that there are others. Good.

What is the strangest thing that’s happened to you in the past couple of weeks? Aye. And if you just wait for a moment, I hope you’re getting my point. It’s hard to sit here and think of something else that’s strange, isn’t it? Strange. What’s strange? Let me think. I would say that perhaps it’s quite a statement as to the nature of the openness and the tolerance that you are. Or a statement to the power of your ability to recognize your heart, even when your eyes or maybe your ears tell you otherwise. And tonight I’d like to take a few moments to repeat back to you one of your stories about that very thing.

Now, of course, you know that when I tell your stories, I’m never quite good at it, because I’m going for something that may not be exactly the way it’s written. And so I ask, more often than not, for your help in this process. I’m going to begin this story and ask for your help now and again. All right?

Once upon a time. All right, what’s next?

There was.

In a galaxy.

S: In a galaxy far, far away. Right? Once upon a time there was a beautiful duck. Duck. Aye. Now, let’s do a little bit of audience interplay here. What’s the sound a duck makes?

Quack, quack.

S: Quack, quack, quack, quack. Aye. All right. I want you now, for just a moment, to be a very pleased mother duck, aye, who is very properly sitting upon a nest of four or five beautiful duck eggs. So I want you to be a very contented duck. And those of you who are watching on video or hearing this on audio much later, you’ve got to follow along as well. So that when you’re sitting in your living watching this, oh, two or three months down the road, and somebody passes the room, and they hear you going quack, quack, quack, quack, they’ll be drawn in to see what is going on. So there you are, you’re a mother duck, or an almost-mother duck, you’re sitting on four or five good eggs. You’re waiting, so there’s a bit of anticipation in there too. What do you sound like now? [Audience makes duck noises.] Quack. Quack, quack? And you’ve got yourself a nice spot, sitting on the edge—do you know what story we’re at now? Are you moving along with it so you that you can be more helpful with it? And you’re sitting at the edge of a beautiful lake, and your life is so good. You love your life. You’ve got this lovely lake here for you. You’ve got very nice continuation of your own duckness happening with you. You’re feeling very much as though you’ve got the bugs you need to eat. You’ve got the grasses to chew on when you wish to do that. You’ve got your friends. What might your friends be?

Other ducks.

S: Other ducks, all right. More ducks. [Audience makes quacking noises] Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck. And you might have a few geese as friends, because it is a lake after all, and so you’ve got the geese. [Audience makes honking noises] And sometimes the geese are healthy. And when those geese are healthy, how are they sounding? [Audience makes more geese noises] No, that’s when they’re angry. I gather you don’t get out much into the wild, do you? Aye. City living, isn’t it?

So that made the geese angry, that’s why […]

S: You know that one. And one day your eggs begin to hatch. And you’re surprised. You’re so happy. You start seeing them. You back up off, and you just wiggle your little ducky tail, and you look and you see one little fuzzy yellow head pop, and oh, you’re so happy. [Audience makes duck sounds] Aye. Aye. See what you’ve been missing. And then yet another little egg opens up, and once again a little fuzzy yellow head pops out. [More quacking noises] Oh, you’re so happy that this time you’ve got the little baby duckling just peeping away. [Audience makes peeping noises] Very good. You see, at least you know how to fake it, don’t you. Another one pops out. Another bright, little fuzzy head. Yes another. You’ve got, what, four little yellow ducklings now. You’re so pleased. The next one opens up and, oh, my goodness, what is this? It’s a slightly off-white, grayish sort of thing. And you look at it, and you say …


S: This is my baby. It’s beautiful. I love it. You don’t say a thing. It’s perfectly fine with you that it’s a little different. Right. Oh, don’t you wish? And eventually the other little ducklings [audience peeps] start growing up, and they start noticing that their brother over here is different. That, in fact, this brother is so different. It’s a bit larger, and they were all born at the same time. But not nearly, not nearly as graceful as they are. And it’s falling over its much larger feet. And look at it, it’s color is all wrong. It must be the …

Ugly duckling.

S: Now see, you do know it, don’t you. It must be the ugliest little duckling that those brothers and sisters had ever seen. Well, of course, as brothers and sisters are wont to do, what do you think they did?

Picked on it.

S: They picked on it. Have you ever been picked on by a duck? They teased it. They made fun of it. What’s wrong with you? When’s your color going to change? Why are you so big? You’re not graceful at all that way. Can you even swim? And, of course, you can imagine, can’t you, what began to happen. What do you think?

Low self-esteem.

S: Low self-esteem. Aye. Corner to corner, here it is. Well, that ugly little duckling started to feel badly about itself, because its whole life affirmed the negative. You’re different. Something’s wrong with you because of it. You’re ugly. Look how pretty we are. We know we’re pretty because we’re all alike. This is how it should be. This is what the world is like, and what are you? And they made fun of it.

And when the mother duck, who would do everything that she could to protect it, would be out taking a quick swim or hunting up good, fat, juicy bugs, the other ducklings would peck on it and hurt it. And finally, after so much time, that ugly duckling started to believe that truly it was very ugly and it did not fit anywhere, and so it ran away.

It ran away, but not too far away. It found a barnyard. [Audience makes barnyard noises] Presided over by a very big pig. Right Bonnie? [Bonnie makes pig noises] And our good little duckling went up to that very big pig and, it said, “One more question, Samuel …” No, it did not say that. And it said, “There’s no place for me. I’m not like anybody in my family. I’m very alone. They don’t like me. They don’t understand me. Can I live here with you?” And the pig said …

“Oink, oink.”

S: Which translates into, “Well the problem with your living here is that you’ll never be able to swim. You might even get stuck in some of the dirt around here. The kind of food that we eat’s not going to be too much of a help for you. You’d actually be better if you went on and found some of your own.” And the little duckling was really sad, because it knew that its own rejected it, but it did not say that out loud. It just said, “So I cannot stay here with you?” And the pig said, “Well, of course you could, but you’d not be as happy.” And the little duckling said, “It’s all right, I’ll go.”

And it managed to find its way into the barn, and it found the cows. [Audience makes mooing noises] You’re getting better at this. Good, good. And this cow had lots of very big spots. And the little duckling had never seen anything like that before. And it waddled its little self up, right up to that curious face looking down at it. Now, you know what a cow would do looking down at that little duck face, don’t you?

Lick it.

S: That’s right. It would stick out that big cow tongue. Now who here wants to demonstrate that? Oh sure, you’ll moo, you just won’t go any further with it, will you. Gave it a big lick and said, “How are you doing?” Sort of. “And why aren’t you off with your family? You might get stepped on here. I’d hate for that to happen to you. You’ve got such a good, fine life in front of you.” And that little ugly duckling said, “Oh no, that’s not true. My family has rejected me. I am here all by myself. Nobody wants me. I don’t have a good fine life in front of me, I’ve a lot of loneliness.” And the cow said, “Oh no, not so.” [To a member of the audience] Are you looking forward to transcribing this one? “You’ve got plenty of friends, even if you don’t have your family,” because of course the cow thought that something must have happened to the family. But it was very clear to that little ugly duckling that, once again, this was a creature that did not understand. And it just waddled its way out until it found itself on the very far side of the lake. And there it made itself a little nest in the reeds, and it let itself just cuddle up, and watch time pass.

The weather got cold. Pretty soon the weather got absolutely icy, and the poor little duckling almost froze to death. And everything that it believed about itself, how truly ugly and unnecessary and absolutely alone it was, it knew to be true. And that the only thing for it was to stay in that comfortable little grassy cave of sorts, and just do whatever it could to simply survive.

Much to its delight, every now and again, it would look up overhead and it would see beautiful white birds flying overhead. And something in that little ugly duckling just, heart to heart, called out, but they would go on their way, leaving that little duckling feeling that much more alone.

Slowly, very slowly, the weather began changing again, and the population in the lake that that little duck was looking out through began to get more and more populated—or duckulated, or something like that. And overhead the little duckling looked up, because it heard that noise that just called to its heart, and there were those gorgeous, beautiful white birds in the sky again. And this time that little ugly duckling, it could not resist, it had to just call out, “Here. Come here.” And into that lake settled three of the most gorgeous creatures that said, “Come on. Come on. Get out of the nest over there. Get into the water will you?” And he thought he heard them sort of talking amongst themselves. He thought he heard things like, “Silly young thing.”

And he felt really bad, because he knew what was going to happen, just like happened every time. They’d call him over and he’d try to be friends with them, and then they’d start making fun of him, because he knew what he was, he was different. He was ugly. He had not family. He had no friends. He was not deserving of any better.

But once again there was something in that heart that, almost like a magnet, pulled him into the water and toward those three swimming, beautiful, white … ducks? And as he swam over, they said, “We thought when we left during the winter that you might try to follow, but then we realized you were just too little. But we’re so glad to see you. It’s good to be together with you.” And the duck did this [Looks behind him] “Are you talking to me?” And they said, “Yes, of course.” And the little duckling was just so overwhelmed that it just put its little head down in embarrassment, and happened to notice in the water the reflection of the three, beautiful white ducks. And it said, “Oh my goodness. Look there’s a fourth one there.” And it looked up very quickly, and it said, “One, two, three. One, two, three, four. One, two, three.”

Well now, you know what we’re talking about here. And it realized that it was one of those gorgeous white birds. And just as that thought was beginning to filter into its little not-so-ducky heart, out along the side of the lake, the little ugly duckling heard a voice, a little child’s voice, say, “Look, the swans. They’re back! They’re back! And they’ve brought a friend. And it’s the most beautiful ever.”

And, of course, you know how that story ends, don’t you? They all swam off, happily ever after, you think?

And what’s that story about? Let me give it a slightly different twist. Aye. Once upon a time there was a very proud mother-type person, who had beautiful children that she truly loved, but one of those children was slightly different, did not quite play by the rules all the time. Did not necessarily see things the way it’s always done in this family. Was not quite so willing to settle. And yet, it tried. It tried so hard to fit in. It wanted to fit in. It wanted to be accepted by all the other ducks. By all its friends. But even growing up, that child recognized that somehow it was different. He, she, did not quite seem to fit in, and its parents loved it just fine, but even there that child knew that it was loved “in spite of,” don’t you know.

Until finally that child went off on his own, to make her own way in the world, and it met other people who seemed to try to say somehow, “Oh, don’t worry, you’ll be fine. This might be a little difficult for a while, but don’t worry about it.” But he knew he did not quite fit, and presumed that that meant that something was wrong. Grew up with some very difficult patterns as a result of it, believing things such as, I’m not special enough. What everybody else does, counts more than what I do. I don’t deserve to be happy. How I feel about things is not as important as how other people feel about things. And learned all sorts of techniques as a way of trying to fit in. Such techniques as learning how to make other people happy in hopes that you’d become indispensible, and they would not shoo you off. Or becoming the playful, ever-happy playmate, or the ever-ready lover. Or the Eveready bunny—stop that! A totally none-duck picture there.

It was a time of desperately seeking how you could fit—not Susan—how you could be a part, how you could join. And as a result, you learned to try to even maybe color your feathers—put on a mask—that would make you look like the others. And it might have made it just a little bit hard to exactly walk and talk, but you managed somehow. And maybe you even reached a point where you allowed yourself to believe it was enough. Enough to either be alone—you’d figured out how and you were willing to deal with it—or how to make yourself so needed that you could fit in. You could play the games better than anybody else. You’d give more than anyone else. You’d do whatever was needed. You wore the mask so well, you got to forgetting it was even a mask. You’re used to seeing your feathers painted that way, and you’re perfectly willing to believe that your life was designed to be right there in that little pond with the rest of your ducky breed. And that’s what you could make your whole world.

Until that day came that, overhead in the sky, you heard a call that tugged your heart. That said, “Hello, who are you?” Until the day came that you looked above and you saw the most beautiful beings of white. That was supposed to be light, but swans are white after all, so I thought I would just sort of work it that way. You did not laugh, so I thought I’d have to explain it. And something in you said, Go see. Go. Go see. But you were so comfortable where you were, and you weren’t sure that you wanted to shake things up too much, and you’d just been giving all that time getting your feathers painted and your mask on. And so you’d just wait until the point that it was so cold out there and you were so alone that you almost died.

And just when you thought it might be better if you did, once again you heard that call. That call. And much to your surprise, right in front of you, the very thing your heart was seeking was there, in front of you, wanting you. Saying, “Come, join us.” How much courage it takes to move into the unknown, to follow the heart instead of the head, because the head says, Familiar and comfortable is much better than the risk of not fitting in one more time. Don’t do it. You know what’s happened in the past. If you step out of your cozy little routine, goodness knows you might get pecked to death by the ducks. And you’ve had that very thing happen often enough in your life that you know to avoid those situations, that [when] you hear a bit of quacking. Well, you see, I’m sitting here thinking I’m making all of these jokes, and you’re just staring at me there.

And that child did not know that it was one of those graceful and beautiful monarchs of the water, until it did step forth out of that nest and say, “Hello.” By risking, it allowed itself to find out what it truly was. That it had grown, and even though its head said, Ugly, ugly duck; stupid child; pitiful person. What are the other labels that so many of you grew up with? To risk, to follow the heart and find out what was truly, truly home.

Now having given you the duck version, and the human version, let’s move it to one final level altogether. Survival in this world depends upon keeping the pack of ducks happy, doesn’t it? Whether that be the pack of ducks at work, and that’s what a pecking order’s all about, right? Or whether it be the pack of friends you grew up with, who always tended to make fun of you for being different, but still let you play. Now that’s another story altogether, isn’t it? Reindeer games. Stop that! And yet, the heart that constantly says, Don’t give up. Don’t give up. There’s more out there if you can just make it past this time. Go ahead, go off, if that’s what’ll help, and let yourself be different.

Or maybe the other version of it was, you learned instead to play the game, to become as much of a duck as you could. And you were a good duck, weren’t you? A really good duck, because that’s how it worked for you. What you set your mind to happens; it works. When you decide you’re going to succeed at this, you do. That’s how it works. When you decide what it is you’re going to do, whether it be fit in at this job or fit in with this group or … you do. You just take a good deep breath and move forward, and you’ve learned how to be satisfied with less than enough. And no one would ever know, because you’re so good at it.

And it’s not the outer world that freezes you out, because the other version here is the inner one, because you’ve gotten so good at being a good duck that the frozen lake is the one inside. The ice is on the heart, and you’ve learned how to stay safe. And you’ve learned that it’s enough. And pretty soon, it’s the Ice Age in there.

And yet, at the very heart of it all, off in the distance, probably heard only by that ice-encased heart, there comes a time where once again it hears a call, because the Universe will not let up on you. And if you did not hear it the first time because you were so involved in your duckiness, it’s all right, you’ll hear it again and you’ll look up, and there will be the majestic rulers of those waters so far beyond anything you ever thought was possible saying, “Join us, join us.” And you say, “Oh no, not me, I’m not worthy.” And the Universe will not give up, and again you will hear that call, and again you will hear that call until finally it gets you up out of that cozy little cave where you’ve been doing nothing but waiting to die for how long now? And you’re willing to paddle toward what your heart is seeking, even if it means rejection. At this point you don’t care. What could be worse? My heart is ice. I don’t feel connected to anything here. It’s all a mask. Everyone believes it, but me. I know better. I’m just putting in time. And why not? And you reach toward those that your heart has called to, and you find that you belong, that you belong.

All right, now let’s move it one more level. Let’s talk reality here. You move forward. You see that you belong. You see it, your heart has absolutely connected, and your head is saying, Ugly duckling. Ugly duckling. You can’t be there with them. You don’t deserve it. You should probably just get yourself back into the reeds and stop trying to be more than you should be. You remember your roots. Will you eat those worms? And don’t you forget what you really are, and what you are is an ugly duckling. Now that’s the real-world version, isn’t it? There you go, you meet what your heart’s connected to, and your head keeps saying, No, no, no. Don’t, don’t, don’t.

So what to do? What to do? I would recommend that you take the advice of that little duck. With modesty, you say, Oh shucks, and allow yourself to take a really good look at what’s there.

What did the duck do that would be worthy for you to follow? Well, it sort of said, “Oh shucks,” and it happened to glance and notice that there was an extra swan there, a majestic creature of beauty and light that it had no idea was there. It noticed when it looked up in surprise that all it could really see is three of them, and so very naturally it determined that it was a haunted lake. Right? But there had to be some explanation. It must be holographic energies being sent from the space ship; that could be the only answer. Or maybe it was a government conspiracy trying to make people think that there was more abundant, fluffy, beautiful, light, heart-felt creatures all about them. There really were, and they were sending a hologram from this secret air base nearby. Aye. No that’s not exactly how it happened.

It started noticing, Hmm, that looks like me. It allows itself to see what was the same, and therefore recognize that it fit in. It did not spend all of its time looking at the differences, even though that’s what had made it so miserable growing up. Look how different you are. You’re not this beautiful, golden yellow which—as Frank would be quick to tell you—is at least a color. Something’s wrong with you, because you’re not like all of us. I don’t suppose you’ve ever found yourself doing that, have you? Judging what’s going on around you by what you know. Making everything in your world right or wrong, because it’s what goes on in your world, and anything that does not go on in your world obviously is wrong. And everything that’s just like your world is obviously right. Of course, you were never one of those ducks that ever judged others by the color of their feathers, were you. Or how tall they were, Stuart. Or how well they waddled in a row.

Oh, you know what I’m saying here. When you finally learned to follow your heart, the great challenge then was to continue following your heart, because your head all of a sudden had to do everything it could to survive. It had to remind you what an ugly duck you truly are. How little you fit in. It had to do everything it could to keep you the same so that its ugly little world would be justified. Until you heard the call, and you heard the call, and you heard the call, and you moved forward. And you found that they don’t have yellow feathers, and they are really big, and yet they seemed to fit very beautifully and very well. And look, I have many of those same qualities. My feathers look like this, and I have this long, long neck in the very same way, and it’s not so strange; it really fits the whole view. And look how fast I can move on this water. And look how special I am, just like they.

Darlings, how long have you been spending in the wrong duck yard. How long have you been allowing the voices in your head to tell you who you were, so that you cannot even hear the harmony in the heart that leads you to what your true potential is. Do you have any idea what you are? Every ugly duckling in the room would say, I’m a human. Right? And every ugly duckling on the planet does everything they can to make sure that they are absolutely that in order to be able to say that great human call, “Hey, I’m only human!”

We never say that.

S: Not really. Because what you are is spirit. Pure. And your heart knows it. It knows it, that’s why it recognized it did not quite look the same, or act the same. It’s spirit. Pure, powerful energy trying desperately to be human, not human trying desperately to be spiritual. Humans trying desperately to be spiritual are led by the ugly duckling gang, and they’re mean, cruel. Spirits trying to be human tend to go off on their own and pout a little too much, that’s true. But when they finally get up the nerve to follow their hearts, they find that they are not alone, and that there are others out there with a great heart behind great, strong wings that are beautiful and graceful and absolutely willing to share what they know with one coming along.

And in this great lake of life I would wish for you, beloveds, a place where you can learn to grow into the beauty you are. Oh, it would be wonderful were it Phoenix right here—that’s a different bird all together. Very much what the Sunday Night Task Force is putting together in the Enrichment Program. The opportunity to come together early on for support and discussion and teaching. [It] is an opportunity to find the swans among the ducks—Phoenix could be a place your heart calls you to, but there are others. Maybe you don’t live in this area.

It’s letting yourself hear your heart and allowing yourself to find what is like that’s the positive and the good. To risk taking off the mask just long enough to take a really good look at yourself and say, “Wait a minutes here, one, two, three … four!” That can teach you how to hear your heart, and what to do when your head keeps saying, Ugly duckling. Ugly duckling. Ugly duckling. Or maybe worse still, give you support when you come back from visiting the nest, and you’ve heard, Ugly duckling. Duckly Ugling. Now that should be the title of this tape, don’t you think? “The Duckly Ugling.”

If you say so.

S: You have in front of you some of the most important choices you’ve ever had. And you know it. You have in front of you a very big lake. And you have been surrounded by a lot of quacks whose job is to peck you and hurt you so that—what is it the world teaches you?—you’ll either die or get stronger. And over the last couple of months the ice around your heart has been breaking. I know you think it’s your heart that’s been breaking, but it’s the ice. And over the next couple of months you’re going to become very aware of the kind of power you have in this lake. The effect you have will not happen in this lake if you choose to be an ugly duckling. Handy, but not satisfying. Only when you choose to claim your true heritage, your true heritage, to be able to recognize, All right, I’m not short, I’m not squat. I’m tall. I have a very long neck. I’m too strong for my own good, but there is a place where this fits. All right, I’m too smart for my own good. I’m very creative. I’m strong in ways I’m only beginning to recognize. I am a survivor. That must count for something. That’s the only way.

You are here right now, hearing this, because this is not a universe with coincidences. And as much as I’m making a playful story out of it, you recognize it for what it is.

Beauty, my friends, is not in the eye of the beholder. It’s not, because the beholder’s eye is based on its tribe, its like. Beauty is something that comes from the courage built from stepping out and saying, My heart says yes, I want to try. You are the monarch of the waters. Water, of course, being always, ever the symbol for spirit. You are a ruler of spirit, a guardian of the lake, and you know it.

You have a choice. Find a place where your heart says, I’ll try. That satisfies. That touches. Learn how to turn off the ugly duckling squeal and how to take your rightful place on the water.

Or not. Believe me, it can only get worse. And that’s your choice.

I encourage you, beloved ones, be a swan.

Glochanumora. Be well. And swim for your life.