Hold On To Your Divinity (part two)

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After six years of continuous spiritual study, not to mention all the years spent earlier in life in meditation and contemplation, I have read the Tao Te Ching at least a thousand times, studied the Buddha Sutra’s, the Bible(mostly the New Testament), read OSHO, Earnest Holmes, Deepak Chopra, A Course In Miracles, Paramahansa Yogananda, …. I have studied hundreds of books. I have had many clients over the last few years, and also have traveled, lead workshops, and spoken to many people in depth. In the end, what I know is that when I get disturbance of any kind, it is because I am feeling insecure.

The funny thing is that the initial response upon hearing this news, is “Me? I’m not insecure! Get out of here with that pansy spirituality stuff!”

Yes, when we are insecure, we put up walls. We put things in front of us to protect us, such as alcohol, drugs, personalities, cigarettes, relationships, and yes, we even take on certain strong belief’s and convictions.

If you are angry or self-righteous, it you are adamant about your belief’s and have a strong need to prove that you are right, as a matter of fact, whatever upset that you may have at all, at any time, and under any condition, would be the result of insecurity.

Any threat to our security blanket causes us agitation. We become divided up into groups, or “pods” as I like to call them. People who drink a lot do not like to hang out with people who do not drink a lot. Southern Baptist ministers do not hang out with New Thought ministers, or Episcopal ministers. People like to hang out with people who are “like-minded”.

The issues arise when after we join a group of like-minded people, our group decides that all the other groups are “wrong” and that we are “right”.

This is a way to measure someone else’s or your own insecurity. The more important it is for a person to be right will show exactly how insecure they are. (I am okay if you don’t believe me)

And this is also the answer to why someone would feel the need to take away your own personal Divinity. (the word “individuality works really well here too, and thanks to my pal Ray Lundy for helping me to discover this).

If I am insecure in what I am doing or with life in general, I need security. My “pod” provides me with that. The more insecure I am, the more my need to be “right”. So any other “pod” or belief system can easily be seen as a threat to my security.

In other words, insecurity needs you to believe what it believes. It needs to find a “pod” to belong to and surround its self with. And it needs for you to join the “pod” too. Of course, if you don’t, then there is obviously something wrong with you and your way of thinking. Right? Right.

The questions now arise; “What are we so insecure about?” “What are we so afraid of?”

You will want to watch for part three of this series, because in part three I will answer these questions and more. We will journey to the very core of our being and find out where fear and insecurity comes from.

And then we will begin to erase it.

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Hold On To Your Divinity (part one)

kyle_ssi_002 3This blog is dedicated to Bishop Carlton Pearson, who refused to let anyone infringe upon his personal Divinity. In the process, he lost his church of about 5,000 weekly attendee’s. Bishop Pearson is a very dynamic and powerful man, while at the same time, as gentle as a man could be. Once I had the honor of standing beside him for a few moments, and his energy was such, that I will never forget those few moments. I hope one day to stand beside him once again, as I know that he and his Divinity are here to stay. (Read about Bishop Pearson HERE)

When two people look at a piece of art, they may have two entirely different perceptions. When people read poetry or when they listen to songs, the very same thing occurs.

This is one reason that I don’t often like to explain my paintings or my songs to people. I rather enjoy allowing a person to have their own unique experience with a painting or a song. More than once I have answered the question honestly, only to watch someone’s face fall into disappointment. They say, “Oh, I thought it was about something else entirely.”

It ruins their experience.

I have written songs that were blatant and simple statements, still to find that just about everyone hear’s something entirely different when they listen with their ears.

The truth is that we have our own personal experience with everything.

A great example that comes to mind is when one night I played the Pink Floyd song called “Wish You Were Here”. A young man came up to me and began to tell me how great I was and how that was his favorite song. Finally he said, “You just don’t know how much I love that song, they played it at my brother’s funeral.”

Wow.

This isn’t about me, and it isn’t even about the song! This is about the fact that it was played at his brother’s funeral. It reminded him of his brother. It stirred his emotions. In all probability, the song was not his favorite song at all, but had been a favorite of his deceased brother. The young man had his own personal experience with the song, that nobody else could have. The song probably has a different meaning to everyone.

When it comes to religion, this very same thing seems to happen. Two people read a scripture, and the scripture has a different meaning to each.

Even the most direct and blatant statements can mean one thing to you, and something entirely different to me. But when it comes to religion, there are many people in the world who will insist that the scripture must mean the exact same thing to me, as it does to them.

As a result of this, we have a whole bunch of confused and disturbed people in the world. People get disillusioned, they get angry and defensive, and many people have just simply abandoned organized religion. People turn away from God because of this. When I was a boy I felt, “Maybe something is wrong with me?” When I read the scriptures and the Bible stories, they meant something entirely different to me than to my Sunday school teacher and my minister.

And it wasn’t okay.

They told me I would go straight to hell if I didn’t believe. They told me that I had better believe what they believed. I better see the way they saw. They offered me what they called “salvation”, but I had to see things their way.

No wonder there are so many people who have been turned off by church. No wonder there are so many people who say that they don’t understand. No wonder that there are so many people who have thrown up their hands and said, “I am an atheist!”

And it is all because one person or a group of people decide that a scripture must mean the same exact thing to everyone else.

This is the craziest phenomenon that I know of.

How dare you insult and question someone’s intelligence. How dare you question someone in this manner? How dare you deny someone their own personal experience? And how dare you tell someone how much God loves them and how Jesus “died on the cross for you” in one breath, and threaten “eternity in hell” in the next?

I am curious, have you ever read something, and then read it again at a later time in your life, only to find that now it means something entirely different than it did the first time you read it? Is it the words you read that have changed? Or is it you?

Do you understand the idea that you have your own personal relationship with your favorite song, and that nobody else on the planet can have that same relationship? A song or a painting, or even a scripture from any sacred religious text, means exactly what it means to you. 

I did not tell the young man what the song “Wish You Were Here” was about and who it had actually been written for. The circumstances were different. The writer of the song wrote the song about a specific person and a specific situation.

And I think everyone should be allowed to have their own personal relationship with the song. I also think that people should be allowed to have their own personal relationship with scriptures.

For me to tell you that you must have a particular understanding and a particular experience with a song, a painting, a poem, a novel, or a scripture, is for me to take your Divinity away. 

And I want you to think about that. Who has the right to take away someone’s Divinity? It is perfectly fine for me to share with you what something means to me, but it is far from okay for me to insist that it has the same meaning for you. As a matter of fact, this would be an impossibility.

One day after many years in exile from the Bible, I decided to read it again, and this time, I would read it for my self. I spent years studying the Tao Te Ching and Buddhism, and had found great meaning in these religion’s from the east. Now I felt led to have my own experience with the west.

Soon my life began to change drastically, and this is not an over-statement. After thirty years of cursing western religion and their Bible, I found myself at a church. Then I found myself playing music at the church. Before I knew it, yes… I found myself standing in front of a congregation with a microphone in hand, delivering the Sunday message.

I had decided to reclaim my Divinity, and to reclaim my own understanding. I had decided to respect myself and my intelligence. I had decided that whatever the scripture meant to me, was what it meant to me. Before I knew it, I was cast into a brand new world that was full of many others who had found similar meaning in the scriptures.

But what is different about my church is that we want you to have your own personal experience with scripture, no matter what it may be. We hope that you have your own experience, rather than someone else’s experience, or rather than trying to have an experience that someone tells you that you should have. Read it for yourself and let it mean to you what it means. (I should probably speak for myself rather than for “my church”, but this is the experience that I am having)

Don’t take away someone’s Divinity.

One last thing is that when you have a dream, the best person to interpret it is YOU. It is the same when you listen to music, look at a painting, read a poem or a book, or a scripture. Have your own experience and know that this is your own personal experience that nobody else in the world can have. Know that this is your Divinity. This is the Divine that you are. If you encounter someone who finds different meaning in something than you do, don’t be surprised. See that this is their Divinity. (hopefully not someone else’s, but you can never be too sure.)

In part two on this topic, we are going to explore why someone would want to insist on taking away someone’s Divinity. We will explore why a person would insist that you believe and find the same meaning in something that they do. 

You might just be surprised. 

 

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What You Know, Already Is

IMG_2569Cutting to the chase, if you are using positive affirmations or tying positive thinking, then we already know that you don’t believe what you are saying.

Someone who believe’s that they are worthy of success does not go around repeating, “I am worthy of success, I am worthy of success…” there is no point in this.

I have red hair, and the subject almost never comes up, and there is no reason for it to come up. I know I have red hair and there is no need to convince anyone or myself of this. Therefore there is no need to walk around affirming, “I have red hair, I have red hair”.

With affirmations, we are trying to convince ourselves. We are trying to change our own minds. We reason, we talk to ourselves, we come to the full understanding that we already know how to “manifest”. We come to the understanding that it has been us who has made all the decisions. We have created our lives to be just the way they are.

The key lies in our deep inner knowing.

What you know to be true, you have created. So if we have created things or situations in our lives that we don’t like, we have to ask ourselves the question; “Why do I think that I am not worthy of success? happiness? healthy vibrant relationships?”

You know that you aren’t “good enough” or “worthy enough”, and that is why you haven’t created it. Somewhere inside of you is this deep sense, this deep knowing, that you for some reason just aren’t deserving, worthy, or capable. And it is our own “inner knowing” that either pushes us forward, or holds us back in life. It isn’t circumstances, or other people, or what someone said or did. In fact, nobody can do anything against you or take anything from you or get anything that you are supposed to get. That is impossible.

This isn’t a “maybe if you are lucky” kind of idea. This is Universal Law and there is no other possibility. What you know, you know, and what you know, already is. 

So the obvious thing that we need to know is, “Why do I feel like I am not worthy?” “Why do I feel that this is impossible and could never happen in my life?”

It isn’t my mind that you have to change, it is yours. This is what affirmations do for us. They lead us in to changing our own minds, our own deep inner knowing, and ultimately, our lives. Affirmations lead us to question ourselves. We want to be very clear about not what we think, not what we believe, but very clear about what we know.

I have a very deep inner knowing that the Universe created you specifically as you are. I have a deep inner knowing that you are of the highest good, that you are absolute Divine Perfection. I have a deep inner knowing that all the answers are within you and easily accessible. Once you understand fully that you have created your life to be the way it is, you immediately understand that if this is so, YOU CAN CREATE SOMETHING DIFFERENT!  God is all that You are. You are all that God is. God is good, you are good. I have such a deep unquestionable knowing about you, because I can see your light with my own eyes. I can sense it without effort of any kind. You don’t have to go and get it, or do anything to get it. All you have to do is to know, as I know, that you already are it. God is All and All is God. I see God in all things, animals, and people. I see God in my self, and I see God in you. Know that you are the blessing.

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How To Be “Nicely Confrontational”

IMG_2374Webster’s online dictionary offer’s this definition for the word “confrontation”:  a situation in which people, groups, etc., fight, oppose, or challenge each other in an angry way. 

So the first thing we need to do is to get rid of this word.

The idea isn’t to never get angry, the idea is to take positive constructive action with my anger, instead of negative destructive action. Anger is a normal feeling and most natural, but it is imperative that we learn how to use it properly. ( and then finally, rid ourselves of it)

Here is a fact that you can take to the bank: “When you “pit” yourself against another person, you ARE NOT going to change their mind.” You might get someone to consent to defeat, but you are not going to change their mind. It’s not going to happen. Can you recall a time when you’ve seen this happen?

Perhaps you have seen someone “switch sides”, but… from my vantage point, both sides are pretty much the same.

When dealing with someone who has a made up mind, I allow them to have their made up mind. I know that a confrontation would lead nowhere, so I don’t bother. People who fight and oppose each other in an angry way, …. they just want to fight. People get addicted to this kind of behavior. Politics, religion, any kind of group can decide that “Our way is the only way”, and you can try all you want to, but you cannot change their minds.

But this doesn’t mean that I cannot say anything at all.

In one of my books from the Yogananda Institute, there is a story that Swami Kryananda tells about Paramahansa Yogananda;

Yogananda is in a shop, and the clerk is really nasty acting. He doesn’t greet people, he is frowning, and basically acting like the world is against him because he has to be there. (We’ve all seen this guy) Yogananda pleasantly walks up to the man and says, “It is a real shame that you are missing all of this. You have it made, working here in this nice store, and people come in and out all day every day from all over the world. You could do a lot of good, but instead you sulk and frown. And who knows who you could meet here?”

A year later, Yogananda walks in to the same store and the clerk rushes to greet him and thank him for the “little talk”. He exclaimed that Yogananda had been correct and that ever since that day a year ago, he had held a new outlook on life.

Me? When someone has an attitude or acts like a jerk towards me, I can instantly become a jerk too. That is just my first reaction. It has taken me years to learn how not to react that way, but I still have to watch myself. While growing up, I learned that I’d better meet attitude with an attitude of my own, and it has been a lot of work, changing that about myself. Just because someone else has a nasty attitude does not mean that I need to have one too. Why should I feel nasty, just because you do? That doesn’t really make any sense.

The thing to notice about the Yogananda story, is that he met a hostile attitude with a loving attitude. If you have an instant angry reaction, you just can’t do that. What Yogananda did was not “confrontation” as described by Webster’s, it was communication!

The first step for me was simply to not meet anger with anger. I say “simply” because it is a pretty simple concept, but it took me years to reach this stage. What I did in the meantime was to keep my mouth shut.

Do not meet anger with anger. Even if it means just being quiet and turning away. Even if it means ejecting yourself from a situation. In the early days of our marriage, my wife and I would sometimes have “discussions”, as many couples do, and sometimes I would just walk out of the house. This of course served to upset her even more, until I explained to her what I was doing. Two angry people are going to make nothing but more anger. I would eject myself from our discussion and go somewhere and calm down and get my bearings. Then I could return calmly, and progress could be made between us.

In daily life, things happen so fast, that often I would just not say anything to people. I learned to just “let it go”. If you are angry, if you have an attitude, or if you have some sort of belief or agenda, you are welcome to it as far as I’m concerned. No skin off my back.

My three rules are
1) I don’t fight.
2) I don’t argue.
3) I am not going to try and talk you into anything or convince you of anything.

If you follow these rules, people who like to argue and debate and try to convince other people, will soon depart from your life, and you won’t miss them a bit. It is actually quite relaxing!

Now in life, I am much different than I used to be. I did finally reach a place in which I don’t meet your anger with mine. As soon as I reached this place, I saw that I could now make big differences in other people’s lives.

One lady sat and told me of her troubles, her worries, and all the things that were going wrong for her. I leaned back in my chair and said, “You know, I saw you on CNN this morning!” She glared at me for a moment, and then burst in to laughter. She still thanks me for that every time we see one another. Instead of patting her on the back and agreeing with her misery, I found a way to humorously point out that what was going on with her was small stuff. She got it, and this simple moment made a big impact on her life.

Sometimes people don’t get it. There are people who get rubbed the wrong way by me, though that is never my intention. The clerk in the Yogananda story could have easily “not gotten it”, but he did. We do not control what other people do or how they feel, or what they “get” and “don’t get”. All we can control is ourselves.

So forget the idea of meeting anger with anger. Forget the idea that we can control other people. The people that I see who make the most noise about politics and religion and how we need to change the world, seem to be the people with no inner peace. This is because they are “confronting”. This is because they are meeting negative with negative.

Let us first and foremost, before we start in on the government or the church, or anyone else for that matter, cultivate peace within ourselves. Let us cultivate peaceful compassionate communication. This is how you can be “Nicely Confrontational”.

kyle_ssi_002 3Kyle Shiver has a bachelor’s degree in Spiritual Healing from the Yogananda Institute, and is also a Holistic Health Practitioner. Kyle is a Reiki master, energy worker, meditation guide, and uses several other different healing modalities in his work with others. To make an appointment call 912-495-8520 or e-mail kyle@thespiritcenter.us

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Overcoming Depression

IMG_2356First off, let me say that the word “depression” gets tossed around a lot. Though we may say, “I’m depressed”, or hear someone else say it, we do need to keep in mind that the word can mean, “I am bummed because I lost my job and haven’t found another one”, OR it can mean something a lot more serious than that.

Searching around on the internet I found a lot of information about symptoms of depression, and while searching, I came across an article called “The Five Symptoms of Depression” (see the article HERE)

1) Depressed mood (feelings of sadness or being blue)
2) Lack of interest (in activities that you previously enjoyed)
3) Feelings of worthlessness
4) Poor concentration
5) Thoughts of death

I felt that this was a good overall list, and along with these, I frequently saw, fatigue, and over or under-eating. You can also look for shortness of temper, nail biting, or drinking or smoking more than usual.

What was most surprising to me was that I didn’t see the word “isolation” listed anywhere. I’ve always thought that isolation was the biggest indicator of depression. It is for me.

As an only child, I am very much okay all by myself. As a matter of fact, “alone time” is necessary for me. There have been times when living by myself that I would find myself in a serious funk of depression, only to discover that it had been days since I’d seen or spoke with anyone. I might have just started playing guitar or watching movies and sleeping, and not even purposely isolated myself, but after a few days go by, I am a mess. Once I figured out this pattern though, I could watch for it. If I found myself in this situation, I would simply get out of the house. Go see a friend, go to church, go see your parents or do something, but get out of the house.

Of course though, you can be around other people and going to work and going through the motions of your life, and become just as isolated. Your mind can be on something else, you are bothered by something, and you just close up inside. The only real cure for this is to have someone that you can confide in, someone you can “let in”. Is there someone who knows how you truly feel about things? If not, you need a person like that, because even if just one other person knows, it feels so much better.

But there is a deeper kind of depression that talking to other people and being around other’s doesn’t seem to help. This is when you cannot get out of bed and go to school or work. Functioning is beyond you. This is when depression is getting a little too serious, because if you cannot take care of yourself, you now need to either see a doctor, or you need to be hospitalized.

I’ve been hospitalized twice, and I have taken psychotropic medications too. Fortunately for me, a spiritual program and working with doctors and my spiritual advisor, has allowed me to come off of all medications, and I haven’t been hospitalized in quite some time.

So if you are having a lot of trouble just functioning, there is no harm in asking for help. A doctor, a hospital stay, or taking a medication may very well make a huge positive difference in your life. Doctors and hospitals and medicines truly helped me, and I don’t hesitate to suggest these methods if I see that they are needed. Some times we need help, and if help is available, why not take it? Now I live a pretty normal life, and I don’t have so much trouble functioning.

You wanna hear a funny story? Once I went to my psychiatrist and he asked me if I’d been taking my medicine as prescribed. (which was morning, noon, and night) I said, “I don’t know, how should I know?” I explained to him that often I would go to take my medicine only to stop and think, “Did I just take this ten minutes ago?” I often couldn’t remember, so sometimes I would take it and sometimes I would wait till time for the next dose.

He suggested that I get a piece of paper and make a little graph and make a check mark when I took my medicine, and this did work better for me. Now when I took my meds I had to check it off the list. This meant I had to pay a little more attention, be a little more alert.

And it was things like that that showed me exactly how little attention I ever payed to anything. It was things like this that let me see exactly how lost I was, how unawake I was, and how often my mind was somewhere else.

What does the funny story have to do with depression? EVERYTHING. Here is a list of things that you can do to help you if you are depressed:

1) Look at your self and what you are doing. Check your routine.
2) Routine routine routine. The body and mind need routine. Food, sleep, exercise, etc…
3) Start examining yourself and keep track of things. Make a schedule for yourself
4) Socialize. Church, join a club, go somewhere and do something with other people. Volunteering is the best because it will get you to thinking about something other than your self.
5) Make sure you have at least one person in the world, with whom you share your feelings and concerns with.
6) Exercise has been mentioned already, but there have been hundreds of studies done at this point, and they basically all say that “people who exercise don’t get depressed”. Yes, there are exceptions to this rule, but they are in the extreme minority.

Don’t take yourself lightly. Don’t take your life lightly. You are here on earth for a reason and you have a purpose that is important, or you wouldn’t be here. Nothing in the Universe is without purpose and reason. Nothing. And if you or someone you know is suffering from depression, don’t be afraid to speak up. You may be the one who this person can talk to and share their feelings with. You may find the help that you need for yourself if you ask or look for it, or let someone know that you need help.

I am always here for you.

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What Would It Be Like to Never Worry Again?

kyle_ssi_007Someone came up to me at a retreat in North Carolina last year, took my hands, looked me in the eye, and asked, “What would you think if I told you that you never need to worry again?”

“What???” I thought. “Is this lady crazy?”

You see, when she asked me that question, it showed me exactly how much worry I was carrying around. These thoughts of, “What do you mean I don’t have to worry?” showed me that I was insisting on worrying. I was holding on to my worrying. I was offended that she had insinuated that I might be able to let it go. After all, I have to find gigs, I have to figure out how to find clients, I’ve got to make money, and more of it! I’ve got plenty to worry about.

And here I thought that I had let go of worry, and I had to an extent. But there was more worry, this lady had plainly seen it, and then made me aware of it. The idea of “peeling the layers of the onion” became so clear to me, and here was yet another layer uncovered.

No matter what layer you are on, worry is worry.

We know that when we worry, we are playing God. When we worry, we are questioning God.  I am learning that it is entirely too easy for me to unintentionally forget all about God, and take the reigns. And this is where the worry begins.

Working for myself for all these years has given me an interesting view of the ways of the Universe, and lots of experience with taking the reigns, and then letting them go, and then picking them back up again.

There are a million different ways you can go about things, a million different places to go, people to speak with or call, and then a million different things you can say. It feels at times like a puzzle. I know there is a way to work it out, but I am just not sure of the way. And there are so may options. How am I to know what to do or where to go or who to talk to or what to say to them?

There have been times when it was as if I had stepped in front of a tidal wave that was filled with work and money. I happen to be somewhere and someone comes up or the phone rings, and the good times are on. Suddenly I’ve got more work than I can get to. Everything I touch turns to gold.

Then there have been times when it all just goes away. A business closes and I lose out, a place comes under new management, or things can just run their course and it can be time for a change. Where is that tidal wave of work and money? Where are the good times? Then it seems that the wave is going back to sea, away from me. I am left standing there on the beach with bills that I can’t pay, empty calendar spaces, and everything I touch seems to droop.

It honestly feels like I don’t have anything to do with it. As if I couldn’t stop the wave of work and money from washing over me, and I cannot stop it from going back to sea. To me it seems as if I am just standing here, and sometimes the wave is coming in, and sometimes it’s going out.

But this gets complicated really quickly because I teach people that we are not the victim. I teach that the outer world is a reflection of our inner world. So the thing to remember is that I also teach that we are not the wave!  

How is that? Well, on one side we are the inner/outer or cause/effect, but in the big picture, we are the observer. We observe the wave coming in and going out. We observe the cause and effect. We observe our outer world as well as the inner world.

Of course it is easy to not worry when the wave is coming at you. Somehow though, we make it through those times when the wave goes out to sea and away from us.

We come to realize that when the wave moves in one direction, it is merely gaining momentum to swing back in the other direction. So that we know the wave only goes out so that it can come back in and vice-versa.

I’ve somewhere along the line, lost that desperate clawing or hanging on for dear life feeling. I’ve quit worrying about where “it” is going to come from and begun to just know that it will come. I’ve given up my ideas of how “it” should come and come to the understanding that “all is as all should be”.

Today, as long as and as much as I can remember that “God is the doer”, I don’t have to worry anymore.

Kyle Shiver is a spiritual and energy healer, and a life coach. Call 912-495-8520 or e-mail kyle@thespiritcenter.us for your session today!

 

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Why Me???

1507897_611893802193481_994967802_nIt has always greatly resonated with me, that life is about learning and lessons. Life seems like a classroom, and nothing else really makes sense to me. The way I see it, we are supposed to blossom and bloom just like a flower does. Everything in the Universe is being born, going through a transitional state of “life”, and then transitioning in to its next realm.

At the spiritual level of “Mastery”, all of these lessons are met with pure joy. Everything is pure joy.

But most of us do not operate on this level of mastery. Thus things that happen in our lives are seen as challenges, tests, or obstacle’s. We feel pain. We struggle. We find what is wrong with ourselves and those around us. We resist. We stress out. We feel guilty, as if we should be better than we are.

I see some people who seem to have greater challenges than others. Everybody is dealt a different hand in life. But I observe that when a person feels greatly challenged, that is how they feel. It could be something that appears to me as a great challenge, or maybe not. The challenges and tests don’t actually lie in the outer circumstances, but in how we perceive them.

So someone could be facing something that the rest of the world might consider small, but to them it isn’t small at all. Our challenges are things that are inside of us, not outside.

Personally, I have challenges. Some of them I’ve had most all my life and they won’t seem to go away no matter what I do. At this stage of my life I don’t speak of them, not because of shame, but because I don’t want to give them life anymore. To speak of them gives them air. But I have challenges. You have challenges. Everybody has challenges.

“Why me???” “Why can’t I break this pattern?” “What did I do to cause this?” “What can I do to stop it or change it?” “Why do bad things keep happening?” “Why can’t this happen to someone else?” Sometimes I get really frustrated and ask the sky, “What do you want from me???” I feel like I have given, sacrificed, offered service, and that I have a regular prayer and meditation routine. I feel that I’m a pretty good person. So why do I still have challenges?

This doesn’t happen to me so much anymore, because I have come to understand that the only “challenge” lives in my perception of the situation. I have come to understand that often I can only see “me” in a situation and I don’t see that other people are also involved, and that we are all somehow intertwined.

So no matter what happens, I know that all things are in Divine Order. Even the things that I don’t like. Even the things that are the most horrible things. My lessons are my lessons, as are yours. These are the lessons that I need. Learning these lesson means giving up my idea of “self”  and gaining an idea of God.

God is All
All is God
I see God in all people
I see God in you
I see God in me
God is Love

And that is what each of us is at our most inner core. Pure love. Sometimes we people make some messes that are unimaginable. Sometimes things get very confused. Sometimes we seek love and don’t get it, and our anger and self doubt arises. Sometimes we don’t feel loved. We reach out in all directions for anything that will help us to feel okay. But all the while, we are unaware that what we are reaching for is already inside of us. It IS US. You ARE Love!

“Why me?” Because it is this great Love that is within that we must discover. As I discover this Love that is already inside of me, things that used to be seen as challenges are no longer seen that way.

“Why me?” Because this is me.

kyle_ssi_002My name is Kyle, and I have a Bachelor’s degree in Spiritual Healing from the Yogananda Institute, as well as certification as Holistic Health Practitioner. I incorporate various healing modalities, such as Reiki and chakra work, as well as using crystals and sound tones, guided meditations and essential oils. If you need to speak with someone, please call 912-495-8520 or e-mail kyle@thespiritcenter.us to schedule your in-office or Skype session with me. I offer a free consultation, and feel that this is important. This way, each of us feels like the work will be helpful and we will have success, before we proceed. 

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Welcome to America

at Kanuga 2013

at Kanuga 2013

I go to Starbucks fairly often, and so I chat with the barista’s a lot. One of them today told me that she had gone to Jacksonville this past weekend to the big country music festival.

“That looked really cool!” I replied, telling her I’d seen a lot of Facebook pictures and such. I asked her, “Did you have fun?”

She kind of surprised me with her reply. She told me that she is twenty years old and had never really been anywhere like that. She said, “I really like to have a drink and I understand that and all, but people were falling down all over the place and just drunk out of their minds.” Then she said, “If I go to a concert, I want to actually see the concert!”

There were other customers, so upon my departing, I said, “Welcome to being an adult in America!”

Oh trust me, I’ve done it myself. Heck, I was in drug and alcohol rehab at the age of seventeen and have had my share of battles with alcohol in this lifetime. So why should I judge another? How could I?

While not being judgmental, I still don’t like it. I still wish that people in general didn’t have to go through all that. The truth is that if you are drinking like that, you are doing it in the name of fun. However, those of us who have been there know better.

It ain’t fun. The typical conversation is concerning how much we drank last night and how badly we messed things up. I used to wear my battle scars like badges of honor of some sort. That was all I had.

The really crazy thing is that it is all in the name of fun. I used to go fishing, or go to a football game, or like the barista, I’d go to concerts.

Trouble with me was that I never remembered any of it. Trouble with me was that it was all a lie. It was a cover up. What I was really doing was drinking.

So when I see you, I’m not judging you. I am grateful to be one who has been granted escape, who has been given a “daily reprieve” from alcoholism.

But part of having a “daily reprieve” means that I can use my good judgement. Today I use my good judgement when I say, “You don’t have to live like this any longer.”

Now I go kayaking, I go to football games, I go to concerts, I go anywhere I choose, and I can remember it. It isn’t unusual to see other people who probably won’t remember it, but that is okay. That is life.

If you are this person who is suffering, who goes fishing and to concerts, but doesn’t really remember, or if you have another addiction or problem that you are suffering from, all I can say is that there is a lot of life out there just waiting for you.

And let me clarify that people in other countries have the same issues with alcohol, so I don’t want to single out America. I just thought it sounded like a snazzy title and it was what I’d thought to say to the barista.

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Please Remember That You Are Human

IMG_1837It is true that many things which used to bother me a great deal, are no longer of concern to me. It is true that I don’t worry like I used to. It is true that I don’t spend a lot of time in anger or resentment anymore. Heck, I actually feel pretty okay most of the time now. The extreme “highs” and “lows” of the past are just not a part of my life anymore. My attempt is to remain in “Presence”, and to remain in the middle.

But I need to say that I am human. I go through an array of emotions every day. Last week, Heather and I spent time with my mom and dad, and I had all kinds of feelings going on. We went to the lake near where my grandparents lived for years, and the memories flooded back. I miss them and am sorry that they didn’t get to experience my daughter Lily Belle.

But guess what? That is not the way things happened. My parents however, have gotten to spend a lot of time with her. I know that to dwell on the past and on what didn’t happen is simply a waste of time. So I readjust to NOW. I enjoy what is happening right now.

Then immediately I am faced with the fact that my dad was pretty ill last year and underwent a serious series of treatments, which he is still recovering from. He and my mom are doing what people do, we age. I know full well what is coming in the future, so again, I remember to enjoy the NOW.

Is it wrong of me to have these feelings? Since I believe so much in God, then maybe I should just be “okay” in any circumstance?

This is not so. Feelings are feelings and they are neither “good” nor “bad”. It is totally normal to miss people. It is totally normal to feel pain when someone is sick or when someone dies. It is totally normal to feel frustration with life. It is all totally normal.

What is different in my life now, is my reaction to my feelings. Spiritual growth is not necessarily about changing your feelings as much as it is changing your actions.

For instance, when I was remembering my grandparents and feeling sad that they never saw my daughter, I could have just drifted off and stayed in that sad emotional state, being unavailable for the people I was with. In the past, I would have said, “We are all dying and this hurts, so I’m going to get drunk so I won’t know what is happening.”

But that didn’t help. I always knew, and I could never get drunk enough.

Now I just say to myself, “It really would have been awesome if they could have seen Lily. They would have loved her like crazy.” I hope that they do somehow see her. I know that they are her. She carries their blood line. Then I look at her and my parents, who are still here, and standing right there. Now I move in to the moment of NOW.

Don’t ever beat yourself up because you have a feeling or feelings. Allow them, acknowledge them. Welcome them, even if it means you cry. Then keep your focus on “positive constructive action”. Keep your focus on NOW.

The best thing I can tell you about feelings or emotions, is that they move. Emotions are e- motion… in motion. So however you are feeling right now will probably change in the very near future. Know that your feelings will move. Know that they are okay. And pay attention to NOW and what you are doing.

That is what matters.

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The Really Big Question

IMG_2569The Creator made it all. The sky, the sun and moon, the clouds and stars, the grass, the ocean and mountains, it was all the work of Creator.

The Creator made all of us too. Mean, friendly, abusive, troubled, compassionate, kind, black, asian, white, tall, short… This is just something that I have always felt, even as a child. My readers already know that I don’t view the Creator/God as a man in a robe, sitting on a throne in Heaven somewhere up in the sky. So, I do really think of it as “we were created”, as much as I think of it as “we all come from the same place.”

We are all Spirits, who live in bodies. It all comes from the same place. We all come from the same place. We are all made of the same stuff.

For years the big question for me was, “Why did God make all of this bad stuff?”

Wars, abusive people, tragic accidents, just the general idea of people getting old and dying. Then again, it is even more bothersome when death comes too soon. Or when you see a sick child who will never reach puberty. I had to know why. I couldn’t take not knowing any longer. It was killing me.

So I found out the answer.

Life and death are one in the same. To be born is to die, for there is no “one without the other”. Every Spirit, or soul, or person, is born here and is at a different stage of awakening. Some are at a lower vibrational level than others. But we are, even the worst among us, “all on the same ladder” so to speak. Everyone is awakening spiritually. Everyone.

Do you remember before you were born? Did you choose your hair color? Probably not. I didn’t choose my hair color, nor do I remember choosing anything. I just woke up here. Just like you did. And I woke up here as “me”, just like you did.

One day it occurred to me, and somebody actually said this to me tonight; “We are all just trying to get back to where we came from.”

But…… the day I realized that there is no separation between me and Creator, or between you and Creator, was the day of days.

The reason and purpose for everything, even the things that hurt us immensely, is our growth. It is all for our journey. But the journey isn’t outside of us, it is within. I have come to understand that when something happens, no matter what it is, it is needed. I have come to understand that when it is your time, it is your time. Likewise, if it isn’t your time, you aren’t going anywhere.

I have also come to understand that, “If you want to change the world, you must first change yourself.” This is the key that so many of us are searching for and never find. Stop looking at other people!!! 

Learn about your own self, and then you will understand everyone else a lot better.

Now I don’t wonder anymore. I don’t question anymore. This doesn’t mean that I’m not human and that I don’t have feelings just like you do. It does mean though, that no matter what happens, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that all is Perfect and Divine in God’s world.

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