We Are Divine Beings

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #60

I know that I put you through the parochial school system since kindergarten. It was with this intent: To envelope a sense of belonging and community that was Christ-centered. It wasn’t to indoctrinate you in any way. I didn’t want you guys to become Holy Rollers. Hopefully, the dogmas of Catholicism didn’t take over your thoughts, as that was not the intent. The more significant objective was to help you observe, develop and grow the spiritual part of you. 

In the Art of Living by Thich Nhat Hahn, he so eloquently stated, “spirituality is not a religion—it is a path for us to generate happiness, understanding, and love.” I don’t mean to imply that organized religion is a bad thing. On the contrary, any form of spiritual development is a good thing. I just wanted to give you the freedom to discern and choose your path. 

I will say that my bias in terms of my spiritual development grows with Christ Consciousness. The term “Christ consciousness” was conceptualized over time because of the way Jesus Christ connected with God. His ascension was of the highest attainment compared to any other mortal who has walked the earth. Christ consciousness focuses on alignment between the material and non-material, you. It points to what I’ve been writing here in these excerpts. To become aware. To let go of your story. To be still and find a quiet place to meditate and be. To observe your thoughts and to banish the ones that don’t serve you. In turn, this helps you to serve yourself and others with compassion, non-judgment, caring, loving, and forgiving. 

It’s not a complicated formula to follow–to observe the self and transmute thoughts. Yet, it can be challenging to allow the time and space to embrace such a practice with life’s distractions. However, isn’t it is so lovely knowing that we are not alone. Isn’t it so comforting knowing that we are not separate from one another? In this recognition, we can see each other through the eyes of Source, Christ consciousness, and observe our Divinity.

How To Be A Listener

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #59

Do you have what it takes to be a good listener? It is one thing to hear what somebody is saying to you and another thing to listen genuinely. When you are listening to someone else’s story, do you interject? Is it possible to keep your mouth shut without inserting your preferences or opinions? Try this some time. It’s a challenging thing to do.

On top of that restraint of reply, observe how you feel when you’re practicing this. I find it a bit easier to listen now because I know how much my ego wants to put its two cents into every conversation. Sometimes, it’s because I want to be heard and recognized. At other times, I want to feel accepted or validated or wish to defend an opinion or argue. These are all the wants and desires of the ego.

In some way, one is looking for attention to feel better or justified. Make listening to others without interjecting a daily practice when you can. It’s challenging to listen to co-workers in the workplace, especially if you’re on a committee or team. These groups lend themselves to providing one’s input or opinion; however, be the conscious listener for more extended periods. Observe yourself. Observe the other players. It’s fascinating to watch “the show.”

Here’s a more complicated element to add to this practice: don’t judge anyone as you listen. Oh, this is tough! In other words, don’t say things in your head such as, “oh, that one is seeking attention, or that one is a brown noser.” Nope! Keep your mouth shut and turn off the cartoon cloud above your head, screaming to add input silently. The next step is to look at each player as a family member or good friend. Maybe even as their childlike self. Send them a blessing. Silently, thank them for their contribution. Observe that we are all one. We are all trying to attain the same thing. And that is to be accepted and loved.

Please, Leave Me Alone

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #58

You’re not unusual because you wish to be alone. Being alone shouldn’t be equated with loneliness. These are two separate concepts. You are not being mean if you ask to be alone. 

What are you doing when you’re alone? I do hope that you are taking the time to be still. I hope you’re shutting down the monkey brain and all its illusions to find your center. Perhaps you’re finding serenity in listening to music or reading a good book. Maybe, you’re chillin’ on your phone. Drawing or painting is always an excellent remedy. Even better is to do absolutely nothing. 

It’s so important to be lazy, though not acceptable in our fast-moving, goal-oriented, deadlines culture. Most people think that be lazy or taking a rest is unproductive, but it truly is not. It’s the exact opposite. 

Observe our dogs. What do they do all day if they’re not outside running around? The vast majority of their day, they’re resting, relaxing, and being. We criticize them for being lazy! Please take a look at their lives. They “be.” They are home alone for quite some time, but they don’t complain of loneliness. 

Animals have a knowing that all is taken care of for them. They get petted, fed, bathed. They have all the essentials of life without having to take action. If you look closely at our human lives, we have the same thing. We were born with everything we need. All the stuff we buy, our jobs, cars, and schedules filling our lives are secondary. If it were all thrown away, we’d still have what we need, which is our being, essence, and life force, our energy, and each other. 

Having alone time helps us recognize that in quiet solitude, we can appreciate all that we are and all we innately have. It brings us back to our center with a focus on our being. So, take the time to be alone without guilt or self-judgment. Quiet time helps you discover what is truly important. It allows us to recognize the “being” part of the human being.

Who Am I?

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #57

Who are you? Better yet, address this question to yourself every once in a while, this way: Who am I? What you identify with shouldn’t be your story. For example, “I’m Nettie Vaughan, Inclusion Facilitator…I have 2 kids, I’m married…I like to jump out of planes (just kidding on that one). Your story is not who you really are. 

I’m referring to the essence of your being. If we think about this question in a grander scheme, we can refer to consciousness. We are conscious. As Deepak Chopra puts it in words, so eloquently, we are existence, experience, and awareness. In other words, we are limitless and eternal with no beginning or end. 

There is no such thing as time, in the sense of past or future, when we hone in on who we really are. At some point, you will awaken from the dream, the story you have made, which has formed an identity. Be aware…you are not your story. 

Throw away any illusions about who you think you are now, right down to your name identity. None of that is the real you. Radically refuse to believe any mind stuff that you’ve created about “your life.” It is not your life to live. You, as a material body, are a vehicle for your soul. This is the part of you that moves around. You are not the experiencer; you are the experience. 

This may be difficult to understand. I’m not sure I can find the words to articulate it or translate this more clearly to you. If you genuinely desire to awaken to who you really are, you must deny the story you’re creating about yourself. Some teachers describe this as the drama, the play you write and perform each day about who you think you are. It is all false. 

It is what spiritual teachers call the veil—the veil that masks awareness. To tap into your true essence, you need to be still and quiet. You can try meditation, guided imagery, and other forms of “tapping in;” however, stillness and quietness are what let things naturally unfold. 

You must be thinking, “Mom, you are never still.” Let me clarify, you can move about and also be still at the same time. I often find serenity in movement. My best moments of stillness (tapping into the deep peace within) have been in the company of nature—while hiking, kayaking, etc., with nothing around me but the sites and sounds at the moment. The true treat during these moments is clarity and knowing, a clear understanding that we are so much more than we perceive ourselves to be. To be…being. That is our true essence. 

Deepak Chopra’s advice on awakening to who you really are is to steer away or stop focusing on your story. He stated that by focusing on your story, “you are building up a drawer of dead letters.” I like this analogy because it holds true.

How To Be Grateful

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #56

What are you grateful for? It’s been a common practice to keep a gratitude journal these days to enumerate all the things you’re thankful for. Expressing gratitude envelopes a certain grace that many seem to take for granted. It is so much easier to complain about what we don’t have or would like to have. 

As soon as an issue arises, we can quickly complain or create more drama around it. It is common to forget the little things that surround us each day that make our lives easy. For example, waking up each day. Even if you wake up in a lousy mood, shouldn’t you at least be grateful that you woke up? It means that the involuntary actions of your fantastic body were all in check and kept you alive. 

Each morning, regardless of my mood, I express the gratitude of waking to Source, God, the Universe…whichever you prefer to name it. There will come a day when this will no longer happen, you know. Why not be grateful and joyous that you get to spend another day here? 

Deepak Chopra said during one of his daily meditations, “All good things bring gratitude.” I agree with this statement; however, I’d restate it as “All good things and all seemingly bad things, bring forth gratitude.” 

I say “seemingly bad things” because even the difficult situations in our lives have a lesson linked to them to bring us to higher consciousness and awareness. So, we should express gratitude towards those experiences, even though it seems counterintuitive and clearly uncomfortable when we’re in the moment. 

Thich Nhat Hanh, the great Tibetan Monk, expresses it this way, “Hello, fear, what have you to teach me?” or something to that effect. In other words, with acceptance of our current feelings, even if they seem scary or impossible to face, comes a certain grace, and with that grace comes deep gratitude within. One does not have to keep a journal of gratitude statements or use someone else’s canned gratitude statements to be thankful. 

If you can be the awareness of gratitude, then you are living in a state of grace. I make it my daily practice to be aware of all the wonderous things I see before me and express gratitude right in the moment. Sometimes it doesn’t even come through as a visual conceptualization, like a puffy cloud or light on the birch tree during sunrise. Sometimes, I feel an exhilaration within. 

I feel such a feeling right now because I’m going to pick you guys up from school and college, and we’re going to have a great meal at our favorite restaurant tonight. “Thank you, God, for my beautiful children and the abundant meal you bless us with tonight.” I couldn’t be any more grateful!

Give With Your Whole Heart

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #55

Are you a giving person? If not, you should be. Meema and Papa always gave me this mindset: Give to others, always be generous, and expect nothing in return. Here is another excellent practice to start; silently bless others as much as you can throughout the day. Do this to friends or those you consider foes. Imagine their reaction in your giving this blessing to them. 

If you see that someone is down, bring them up if someone is in need, help. Being a giving person at every chance you have, raises the vibration on Earth and creates miracles in your own life and others. Don’t forget–it is also important to be giving to oneself. I know that may sound silly, but it is the greatest form of self-care to give to oneself. Some people call this feeding their soul or nourishing their heart space. I call it well-being. 

In giving, these two aspects of life will fill your life with the most beautiful abundance. I like this quote from Earl Nightingale, “No man can be rich himself unless he enriches others.” Do you want to feel peaceful? Then, spread peace. Do you want to be joyful? Then, spread joyfulness. Are you poor? Act as though you are rich. Be as you desire. 

What you get back in life is what you have put out there. It is law, just as the ocean ebbs and flows. Therefore, be of service, be in touch with the collective consciousness of this Earth. Create beautiful experiences all around you. I will leave you with this quote that I read today from another author: “I only do what gives me joy, follow my flow as much as possible, I do work hard, and I trust life’s abundance fully.” –Lucien Lecarme 

How To Get In Sync

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #54

Do you believe in synchronicities? Some people say that these experiences are just random; however, I don’t think that’s the case! I believe that certain things happen at precise moments for precise reasons. On my journey, I’ve noticed that certain books, information, conversations, or even experiences fall into my lap at the exact moment that I need them most. Indeed, there is a miraculous connection going on.

If I pay close attention and not let the world of form take over me, along with these “happenings,” there is often a quiet message that comes across with them. One has to be still to capture the message. It’s internal, and it’s a knowing; it is one step closer to peace.

I’ve read many books written by spiritual writers of ancient times as well as modern. Every once in a while, I’ll come across one that I’ve seemingly never heard. One such person was Earl Nightingale. He was a radio talk show host in the 1950’s well known for his speech titled “The Strangest Secret in the World.” It’s worth listening to it.

From a synchronistic point of view, what he claims to be true has been an iteration of the many spiritual teachers, past and present, who have also claimed this to be true; “We become what we think about.” I feel that I’m getting this message drilled into my head from various perspectives, albeit the same overall message: we create our reality.

Nightingale poses a 30-day challenge to transmute your thoughts and become more aligned in your approach to life. First, he suggests that you ask yourself the question, “What do you want?” He refers to a goal that you wish to achieve and that this goal will become “infallibly real” should you have the genuine desire and belief that you’ve already obtained it.

I, myself, immediately deferred to a somewhat abstract goal–to have peace in my life. I put it out there, “I ask for peace, and so it is.” It’s essential not to have any apprehension about not accomplishing your goal. Therefore, if this is the case, the first thing to do is to transmute your thoughts about it. I know I’ve mentioned this before. To do this, Nightingale says to refer back to the Sermon on the Mount— “Ask and it will be given you,” “Seek, and ye shall find,” “Knock, and it will open.” His added advice is always to remain “Calm and cheerful.”

I like this added note because it assumes non-attachment to the outcome of your goal. You put it out there, ask for what you want, know that you already have it. It sounds so simple because it truly is. As George Bernard Shaw puts it, “Look for circumstances that you want, and if you can’t find them, make them.”

You Are Not Crazy

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #53

You are not going mental! I’m going to share a text message that I passed on to my friend who always thinks she’s going crazy, but she is not. She is the total polar opposite of crazy. When I speak to her, all I see and hear through my sense perceptions are the most peaceful human being. 

Here is the text message: Sher, you may think you’re going crazy, but you’re not. There is a beautiful stillness within you that draws me to you. That is your true essence. You need to tap into it! You give it away to everyone, including me, and leave yourself with what I call the “hamster on the wheel” brain, or the monkey brain. It would help if you had a stillness moment, like looking at the clouds you so adore. 

It’s hard to think of “no-thing” when our mind is spinning. I’ve been there, too. It also takes a long time to untangle it, but you can do it. I can tell you that you won’t find peace externally; however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek help. Helping yourself is the best form of self-love and care. It helps to think about what Jesus once said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” That means we have the means to heal ourselves because we are of God. We are divine beings having a human experience! 

My aunt always told me to keep myself distracted—this way, thoughts won’t drive us nuts. I tried to do that, but I did it in the wrong way. I turned my distraction towards addiction which I thought could numb or alleviate all the spinning thoughts and emotions–not a good choice. It set me back so far, and it took a long time to heal from all the crap. We are all cut from the same bolt, Sher. We have the ultimate freedom to choose our path. As Abraham Hicks said, “We are so free, we can choose bondage.” Often, we do. 

It sucks to have to sit in our shit, but we have to in order to rise above it! Every day, I make it a practice to accept “what is;” to truly surrender to the ego and all its antics. The ego is “mind stuff” that makes us feel like we’re going nuts, such as fear, hate, anxiety, depression, sadness, jealousy. When this stuff arises, be the witness of it. In other words, don’t say, “I am sad.” Instead, say, “I’m experiencing sadness…it’s okay; this is fleeting and will pass.” That is why you often quote, “This, too, shall pass.” Turn to meditation always and thank the Universe for the mundane things in life that we so often neglect to recognize. 

You are so beautiful, and I love you. Now, for God’s sake, be silly and laugh! Life is too short. We forget about all this eventually! You are not losing your marbles; besides, who cares! Enjoy this moment–as it is all you have.

Life Is Good

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #52

Doesn’t it feel good knowing that you don’t have to plan anything out in life? You don’t. I think that people spend too much time micromanaging theirs lives. I, for one, am very guilty of that. How important is it to constantly track your habits, set goals and objectives, and plan? The more I stop and become still, the more aware I am that life unfolds in divine order. In other words, no matter what you say or do, or ask for, it happens when it is supposed to happen if it’s supposed to happen.

When things don’t work out “in our favor,” we often say, “it wasn’t meant to be.” Or, “if it was meant to be, it would have happened.” I always believe that the Creator holds the ultimate blueprint of life. It is not “my” life or “your” life. It is just life. Our bodies provide the vehicle necessary to navigate the blueprint. 

In our humanness, we sometimes navigate it correctly, and other times, not so much. It is, as it is. We all have different experiences, which I refuse to label as good or bad. They are just experiences by which we can gather information and learn to expand our awareness. 

As humans, we often read into everything way too much with our thoughts. Those thoughts end up turning into beliefs. Many of us are rigid in our ideas and beliefs. We remain unconscious in the refusal to see things from a different viewpoint. It is good to listen to those around us and not judge. If we defer to what is right and what is wrong, we remain disharmonic. 

As long as humans feel the need to be right, there will always be someone viewed as wrong. It’s a cyclical thing, and when you look at it closely, it’s pretty looney. Wouldn’t it be nice to listen with openness and without making judgments? Without planning an argument or defense? Wouldn’t it be nice to put out a positive feeling or a request without having a plan or an attachment to its probable outcome? And, wouldn’t it be nice to have confidence knowing that everything is working out for you regardless of what you do to “get there?” 

Indeed, this is how we should live our lives—by knowing (faith) that life (not your life as the ego doesn’t have a life) is unfolding in divine order. It is already chosen. “It’s not what you want that you attract; you attract what you believe to be true.” –N. Goddard. In other words, if you believe in Source Energy that you already have everything you need, regardless of your current situation, it is yours. Without a doubt, you are divinely guided, in divine order by the divinity within you—that which is God.

The True You Has No Name

The following piece is an excerpt from my book, “Word, From Your Mother,” a daily guidance journal written for my children, Liv and Pierce-Gabriel. 

Excerpt #51

What is your purpose in life? They say that living your purpose or your passion is conducive to happiness and joy. What if you don’t know what your purpose is? If there’s one thing I’d like to pass along to you guys: whatever your purpose is, or whatever title you go by, for example, lawyer, doctor, teacher, mother, father, etc. Those words don’t define you. 

In other words, it shouldn’t be a part of what you consider as your “identity.” They are just words and concepts–mind-stuff made from the ego. What is left of you if you strip away your titles and labels? It is the true you, that which is timeless and nameless. It is not associated with a labeled identity. 

For a very long time, I tried all my might to figure out my life purpose. I kept thinking, “Even though I have this title (teacher), I’m not a teacher. I’m not a this or a that. Who the hell am I?” I kept searching for an appropriate label with which I could identify. 

I discovered that my self-worth depended on my title and what I was doing or not doing. As you’ve heard me complain countless times, I never identified as a teacher or inclusion facilitator, a writer, or an artist, though these are my labels. “Who am I? What am I doing here?” I’ve spent many years pondering these questions in my head, along with the feelings of self-defeat. Then, I heard something so simple yet so profound from Eckart Tolle. 

He said, “Your purpose in life is to be conscious.” Now, this may seem a bit weird but focus on what he said. It doesn’t matter what you do or what concept you have of yourself in life. What matters is that you should always be aware and conscious of the present moment and the evolution of your consciousness with all that you do here on Earth. 

In other words, make whatever you choose to do in life your spiritual practice, and that will serve as your purpose on Earth. Grant it; it may not feel wholly satisfying but trust me, it will be enough. Embrace each day with a positive outlook, no matter the situation. Leave time out of the equation and surrender to now. If you lead with your heart, you are guaranteed to be living with purpose. And know that all spiritual paths lead to God.