Dear Seeker

Dear Seeker- clay sculpture holding crystal

Dear Seeker- clay sculpture holding crystal

Dear Seeker

Sit, be still, listen-

The guide you seek is within.

Susan Korsnick 2016

Dear Seeker- view 2

Dear Seeker- view 2

It is natural to look outside ourselves for gurus, guides, and teachers at various stages of our spiritual journey.  The worthy teachers are like the Hermit in the Tarot deck- shining their light to illuminate the path for those who follow.  True masters are humble, trustworthy, and wise.  They recognize that their purpose is for the student to surpass the teacher so each initiate, in turn, can hold their own lantern high and light the way for others.

Dear Seeker from the back

Dear Seeker from the back

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Energy Flows Where The Mind Goes

Sometimes it takes a profound experience to truly understand the simplest of messages.  “The energy flows where the mind goes” is so often quoted that I roll my eyes a bit & mutter, “Yeah, yeah, I get it”.  But surprisingly, it didn’t truly resonate with me until this past Saturday, when I attended a Silent Retreat.

Before we began our walking meditation, we were asked to choose a stone to represent a negative person or situation in our lives.  Then, carry that “burden” as we walked, sending love & healing energy to it.

I chose my stone, immediately knowing what it represents for me.  I pictured the people involved & felt the negativity fill me as my thoughts focused on it.  This would be a challenge!  How am I going to send the “rock” positive energy when I really want to yell, “This situation has potential to be amazing for so many people if you would just act from a place of integrity & love!!!!!”  But, I took a deep breath & told myself to quit judging & put my spiritual beliefs into practice.  I sent loving kindness to them & added some for myself, humbly asking that my actions reflect love & light even in the most challenging situations.

We approached the majestic beech tree on the property in silence, walking round & round under it’s welcoming canopy.  Branches, like arms, embraced us in its sacred space.  We held the stones in our open hands, contemplating the negative while sending out positive energy.  I looked at the trunk of the beech, ancient goddess with feet grounded in the earth & arms stretching up to the cosmos.  I couldn’t resist running my hands along her limbs & gently touching her delicate leaves.  This simple act occupied my thoughts & filled my heart with such joy that I forgot about the rock in my hand.

Epiphany!! It is impossible to give the negative my full attention when I focus on the beauty & blessings all around me.  Opposing energy can’t occupy the same space at the same time.

“Ok, Susan”, I thought, “It’s your choice- focus on the positive or be crushed under the weight of the negative.”  … or as my Dad bluntly stated many times before his death, “Don’t let the bastards get you down.”  🙂  It’s been 14 years since he uttered those memorable words but I still hear his voice & laugh, “I finally get it, Dad.”

The Challenge of Being Present

 “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have.”  Eckhart Tolle

Be present.   Logical.  Makes perfect sense, right?  So why is it so difficult to follow this advice in stressful situations?  In these moments, we revert to our familiar pattern of behavior despite knowing deep down that “now” is all we have.

This topic led to a rich discussion, with friends, about how we handle challenges in our lives.  We seem to fall into two broad categories.  The first group sits & thinks & thinks & thinks… until whatever they are thinking about has grown into something much worse than it really is.  Logic becomes the enemy, creating monsters in the closet.  The other group rushes full speed ahead, doing things to stay preoccupied so they don’t have to face the problem.  I confess, I’m a thinker who plays “what if” with both my past & my future, coming up with multiple scenarios so I have even more to worry about 🙂  I know it’s not helpful yet I do it anyway.  Many of us tend to do the one thing we know doesn’t work for us.

Here’s a possible solution… do the opposite.  When thinking leaves you more confused & anxious, get physical.  Garden, exercise, try a hobby, or play with your dogs.  When running to avoid your problems leaves you saying things like, “I’m so busy that I don’t have time to think”, get quiet & still.  Listen to your heart.

Do the opposite of what you normally do when you are stressed.  Reach for food?  Exercise.  Go shopping?  Clean out a closet, giving unwanted items to charity.  Call everyone you ever met for advice?  Look within yourself for answers by meditating or journal writing.  Get outside your comfort zone & see if the change does you good.

“If it’s not working, stop doing it.”  Unknown

Heightened Sensitivity

By our nature, artists are highly sensitive people.  We feel deeply & it shows in our art, writing, dance, & music.  So, it comes as no surprise when my creative friends & family members express that they are going through a highly emotional time or a time when everything bad seems to be happening at once.  I’m experiencing that, too.  It feels as though I’m the only one noticing body language, picking up on subtle clues, & sensing things in what people say & do that others aren’t picking up on.  If you’ve seen the movie Stepford Wives, you know what I mean.

So what’s a creative spirit to do?  I’ve turned to my dreams for answers as their imagery is full of symbolism that speaks to my soul & often provide insight into what I can’t understand in my awake time.  For example, last night, I dreamed there were a few small black lizards in my backyard.  Every time I looked out the window, there were more, larger jet-black lizards.  I wasn’t frightened at all; they were here to tell me something.  I went outside & walked among them fearlessly.  When I awoke, I referred to Animal Speak by Ted Andrews.  In it, he writes that lizards are symbols of intuition & heightened sensitivity (interesting!!).  Listen to that intuition & honor those feelings in your Self.  He also writes that some lizards have tails that detach when they are attacked.  “Sometimes, it is necessary to separate ourselves, or part of ourselves, from others to be able to do the things we must desire to do.”

What does all this mean for those of us struggling to make sense of insane situations or overwhelming amounts of negativity?  Pause.  Meditate.  Dream.  Listen to your inner voice for guidance.  And, if necessary, physically, emotionally, and/or mentally remove yourself from the situation to see it more clearly.  If nothing else, an appropriate level of detachment could be the healthiest thing you can do right now.  As for snowballing amounts of negativity, counteract that by doing something positive for yourself & someone else.  The only thing that will dispel the darkness is light.  Be a light to others but most of all, be a light to your Self.