Living Authentically And Dealing With Your Haters

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Recently, I was reminded of this wonderful talk from Brene Brown about authentic connection and vulnerability and how important it is for every human being to believe they are worthy of love and belonging.

I knew writing a memoir would be challenging, much like graduate school or any large undertaking.  What I didn’t realize is how much I would learn about unconditional love for myself and others.

What does it mean to tell a story or to do anything in life with your whole heart?  It means being authentic and vulnerable.  It means transcending shame and making yourself a priority.  It means being kind to yourself so that you know how to be kind to others.  It means getting out of yourself enough to be of service to others because service may very well be the meaning of life.  At least, the Dali Lama thinks so😉

Checking my intentions:  As I continue to revise my memoir, I’ve thought a lot about how the words that I have written will affect others.

I am aiming for fearless honesty but with the intent to illuminate problems in society. I’ve learned a lot about writing and the art of displaying scenes at various times in a narrative.  Mostly, I’ve learned about forgiveness, letting go, and living from a place of unconditional love for greater numbers of people.

While checking my intentions during revisions, I realized that a few blog posts were most likely written before the pain of an event had been fully processed.  For instance, my post about narcissists might have had a different tone had I waited a month or so to publish the article.  I was disappointed by a friend who became jealous and highly passive aggressive towards me, but that blog post might not have been the right time to process the moment.

In revising this manuscript, I want to be careful that I am not “avenging” all the wrongs that have been done to me by exposing these moments.  I want to show the truth of life and how to transcend pain in healthy ways, often with the insight I learned from the afterlife.

I continue to talk about my near-death experience because the wonder of that moment has returned as a healing force in my life to a variety of events.  My near-death experience taught me how valuable life is and how important each interaction with others can be.  I don’t spend a single moment of my time actively trying to hurt or harm others. People erase their own joy with such behavior, and I don’t want to do anything to dampen my own joy or separate myself from the love of the divine.

Illuminating the Darkness: Sometimes, people leave hateful comments on my YouTube videos, and I wonder what kind of shame, anger, and disgust they must feel for themselves.  I don’t want people to suffer, and when people lash out in unproductive, potentially damaging ways, I send them light, blessings, and healing energy.  I pray for their awakening.

I think thoughts like, “May the author of such hateful comments be healed of sexism and abusive relationships with women.  May he be healed of his own self-loathing and inadequacy.  May he work hard to create something himself instead of rating things negatively. May he learn how to love himself so that he might learn how to give love to others.  May he be healed of deplorableness.  May she know greater peace and security.  May she see herself as worthy of love.  May her frantic agitation be calmed and healed.  May her negativity, passive aggressiveness, and jealousy be turned into real accomplishments.  May she be healed of Stepford Wife tendencies.   And may they all get their instant karma.  (Just Kidding….)”

When I dive into the consciousness of some haters, I feel that they long for an end to their misery.  Sometimes, they even imagine that the only way to end their pain is through suicide.  I pray that through acts of kindness instead of hatred, they might learn to value their own lives and no longer feel suicidal.  Some people spread hate because hate gives them a jolt of energy and distracts them from their hopelessness, like an addiction.  And sometimes, people fear facing the truth of their own lives and beginning to forgive themselves.  Some men may fear the truth of women’s lives because they may not be ready to examine the ways that they have not treated women with dignity. If they have treated women with dignity, they do not fear the voices and perspectives of women.

My book details some creepy, criminal, and abusive behavior from some men because it is the reality of what I have encountered on planet earth.  I want these types of moments to decrease.  April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and according to the CDC, each minute, there are 24 victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking per minute. Despite this horrible statistic, I know there are so many wonderful men and women who will learn more about how to be bystanders and anchor greater peace on this planet, forcing this number to go down drastically.

Happy People Don’t Spend Their Time Being Hateful:  As time goes by, I am learning to take just as much energy from darkness as I do the light.  When confronted with darkness, I work hard to illuminate it.  When confronted with light and blessings, I work hard to spread those blessings.

One thing I know with certainty—happy people with lots of internal bliss and freedom don’t sit around posting hateful comments on YouTube. 

True happiness and joy comes from a connection to source and a deep connection to others.  To have those connections, we must feel worthy of them and come from an authentic place.  It took a while for me to learn how to feel worthy, but the memory of God’s love during my NDE was the first major step in that direction.  Today, I am blessed by the love in my life, the love of my life, and surprised by the beauty of life.

My deepest wish is that everyone might be healed. There is so much light available to us all.  However, you have freewill.  You can do as you wish, but you’ll probably regret it during your life review. You will see all the good you could have done in this world.  You will see all the ways you could have brought more love into the world with your thoughts, words, and actions.  You will see that you were not living at all when you spent your time hating others.

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Meditation & Out-Of-Body-Experiences

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I’m happy to include another guest post about a beautiful out-of-body-experience.  Personally, I know that meditation practices can make us more open to these experiences.  Enjoy this story from across the pond.

On the River by Will H.

I started meditation in my late teens and in my twenties attended a number of silent mindfulness retreats, which I very much enjoyed.  By nature, I’m a morning person and find that the early morning is the best time to practice meditation at home; the mind is usually quieter and well rested after a good night’s sleep.    Years ago, however, I would also meditate at night just before going to bed.  Somewhat to my surprise, I noticed that this had an unexpected effect on my dreams.

As a general rule, I found that practicing mindfulness for 30-40 minutes or so before going to sleep made dreams easier to recollect, deeper and more vivid…. a bit like tuning an old fuzzy TV so the picture quality improves.   I once had dream of a roe deer on the farm, which then turned into what appeared to be an old shaman.  The shaman tried his best to communicate deep and important personal truths that I strained to hear but frustratingly couldn’t quite grasp. Earlier still, another memorable dream foretold the future sale of the family farm some 7 years later when the full symbolic meaning came to pass.  Interestingly, I later read a wonderful book by Piers Vitebsky called ‘Reindeer People’ about the nomadic reindeer herders of Siberia who it turns out have a name for just this sort of pre-cognitive dream that is only later fully understood with the passage of time.

All these deeper dreams as a result of pre-bed meditation seemed to involve the local countryside and tended to have what I thought of as shamanic rather than Buddhist motifs.  I found this surprising at the time as mindfulness is really an Asian Buddhist practice.   It’s only more recently that Burmese Buddhist elements have appeared in my dreams and even then quite infrequently.

The particular dream happened about 17 years ago and was an out-of-body dream.  I lived at the time by a beautiful river in Southern England and the historical birthplace of fly-fishing.   Rivers are mostly privately owned in Britain and my family had a farm that had diversified, so we sold fly-fishing days as a way to keep the farm viable.   My home was a mill cottage, well over 100 year old with two braids of the river flowing on either side, quite something in the summer!  In the off-season winter months, we would look after the river, doing habitat and riverbank restoration work with a small team of men.  I had big plans for improving both the fishing and the in-stream ecology.

One night around this time I woke up to find myself looking down at my own body asleep in bed from a vantage point on the ceiling.  I guess you could call this a lucid dream where you wake up and yet simultaneously remain firmly in the dream state.

No sooner had I registered this most unusual out-of-body experience looking at my own body, than a luminous oval sphere of light then came in through the window – sliver blue in colour it paused by my bed.   As I looked down I could see that this ball of light exerted a suction on my left side about level with my ribcage and out popped another blue-silver ball of light.  “Ah, this must be my one,” I immediately thought to myself.

My visitor spoke to me telepathically although seemed a little uncertain of how to address me, “Come on Will, come on William – we have to go and look at the river”.

So, I left my bedroom as a ball of light following another ball of light up and out of the window.  We flew low to the river like a pair of brilliant blue kingfishers to a place upstream where the real-life team had been working that same week on riverbank repairs.  We paused and looked at the work though no further words were exchanged.

I knew without doubt who the other blue ball of light was – It was Leslie, a river-keeper who had tended the river before I was born.    What I know is that he had a heart condition, forgot to take his medication and died suddenly around the time my mother was pregnant with me in the early 1970’s.

I subsequently learned that Leslie was one of the great old-school river keepers.  A man devoted to the care of the river, he would cut the riverweed by hand wading in the water with a scythe in the days before mechanical cutting.   They told me Leslie would start work on the river at 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. on summer mornings, unthinkable to our more lazy generation!

Whilst it was many years ago that I had this dream and the family farm was sold not long after, it has stayed with me all this time.  I well remember waking up and feeling this great inner conviction regards two things following that dream.

Firstly, I felt a certainty that physical death was not the end. How could it be?  I’d just met a dead person!  Secondly, I was really struck by how someone could still care about a river over 30 years after their own death; it was emotionally humbling and made me wonder again what exactly happens after we pass on.

A final strange twist was that a few weeks after having this dream, I was distributing some pamphlets advertising our fishing business; I went into the local village Post-Office and asked if I could leave some there.  An attractive woman behind the counter took a glance and then said with a smile “Oh my grandfather used to work there as a river-keeper – his name was Leslie.”   I felt close to mentioning the extraordinary dream experience but I held back, something that I perhaps regret now.  I’d never met any of Leslie’s family before (or since) so maybe I should have said something.

In my own defense, out-of-body mystical experiences involving the dead are not topics that we Brits normally talk about on first meeting!  What was I really going to say?  “Oh yes, I met your long-dead Grandpa two weeks ago, he got me out of bed to look at the river work we’re doing!”

I find it encouraging that thanks to the internet, we can now share these sorts of unusual experiences, and I hope with time all will be more accepting of them in everyday life.

Will H, England. April 2017.

 

 

 

Just Remember Compassion

 

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Go ahead and work hard to manifest every single one of your dreams.  Build the company you wanted to build.  Start the non-profit.  Win the awards you dreamed of winning, but don’t forget compassion.

Go ahead and marry the guy or girl many others wanted.  Travel to Cozumel, Tahiti, and Rome.  Get a new home every decade and move up in your company, but don’t forget compassion.

Go ahead and train for your first race.  Win and keep training.  Take your efforts to their maximum and beyond. Smile for the cameras as everyone watches as you blast into fame in those blessed 500 meters of your life, but don’t forget compassion.

Go ahead and write the novel that gets a big publishing contract.  Get the movie deal and the house in Encinitas, but don’t forget compassion.

Because…the business can fail, the non-profit can flounder, and awards can be a thing of the past.  Divorce, sickness, and disaster is the rain that falls into many lives, and athletes whose faces were known around the world in their twenties sometimes have trouble getting out of bed in their forties or fifties, their bodies wracked with pain.  The writer who was the envy of all his or her peers sometimes dies alone with a television or a cat, so extend compassion to everyone like it is breath.

When you judge another’s weaknesses, you judge yourself because we will all succumb to frailty.  The flower blooms, but even when we are green, we are also dying.  Even when we are dying though, we are sometimes simply learning what it means to live with compassion for all beings.

So, why not learn the lesson now?  Why not live as if you are already home?  Have compassion for everyone on God’s green earth and everyone who has come before you and everyone who will come after you.

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During my near-death experience, one of the aspects of the divine love of God was compassion.  There were many aspects to this megadose of love, but compassion was one of the feelings.  To simply feel God’s acceptance and love as I was without judgment seemed way out of the ordinary for me.  In my life before my NDE, I encountered people who were often judgmental, and I didn’t always extend compassion myself.

The longer I live, the more I realize that one of the most important things we can do is to extend compassion both to ourselves and others in all moments of life, even in small moments when we are frustrated in traffic or unable to sleep.  Try showing yourself a bit more compassion.  The very act of showing compassion for yourself seems to free up space and allows things to shift.