WHO'S IN CHARGE?
“When we are living as our unique selves, we find we have a rich creativity available to us…. We love into existence that which we wish to create. I believe that what we create also contains the love that brought us into existence." ~Ruth Schweitzer-Mordecai
When my son Coe was 10 or 11, he had a t-shirt that read, “I’ve decided to put myself in charge.” It was always interesting to see how people reacted to it. Inevitably, some adult would make a remark like, “You better watch out, Mom. Are you sure you want him running the show?”
I have to admit, the first time I saw him wearing it, I was a little taken aback by the implications. But then I began to question why those words had elicited such an emotionally charged response from me. Is there really something inherently wrong with a child being in charge of his or her own being? Would that we, as adults, really subscribed to such an intention.
As I am fascinated with language and its intricacies, I began to ponder this word, charge. I was intrigued by the slogan emblazoned across my son’s chest, as well as my reaction to it. Where was my resistance coming from, when I know conceptually that this is an essential spiritual truth? Each of us is fully in charge of our own experience, our own destiny.
The more I considered this, the clearer it became I was balking because of my own experience as a child. I kept coming back to a particular meaning of the word charge that was nagging me. It relates to one, usually a child, who is commended to the custody of another. Such a child would, most often, have very little control over his or her own destiny, because the child would essentially be the responsibility of a caretaker or guardian, and anything but “in charge.”
As I pondered this, it was clear most children fall into this category. In my case, my parents “knew” what was best for me, and were the arbiters of my life, while I lived “under their roof,” leaving me with very little say in the matter, and even less control.
I was often shuffled off to events for which I had no interest, or required to participate in sports for which I had no passion, because that was what the Naumanns “did”. I was rarely consulted about my wishes or desires, and many times simply ignored, when I asked to be allowed to do what I knew was more in alignment with who I know myself to be. I learned very quickly to suppress my own vision and silence my voice. I learned to simply do as I was told.
As a result, I grew up, to a certain degree, relying on others for guidance to determine what was best for me, deferring to others beliefs about what would make me happy or feel fulfilled. In many ways, I no longer knew what it was that I really wanted, or even how to determine it for myself.
When this is the case, as I believe it is with so many of us, we lose sight of our own ability to create. We forget the fact that each of us is in charge, that we are all ultimately responsible for ourselves, for every thought we conjure, every emotion we elicit, or action we take, and thus for the entirety of our experience.
We might like to think or believe otherwise, but that false premise only serves to dis-empower us. Whatever our belief, we are in full control, whether consciously or not, and we are the creators of our own reality, by virtue of our thoughts, and on what we continually place our focus.
Ultimately it comes down to this: Are we going to create our lives consciously and deliberately, or by default?
The truth is, we began as pure potential, as Source Energy, one single Vibration, united with the One, with God. Through Divine Impulse, we chose to come into this time-space reality, into this body, with all of the given circumstances of our birth environment, and we arrived perfectly well equipped to run our own show.
Imagine for just a moment you are 11 years old. It’s a hot summer evening after dinner, and you’re hanging out with a group of kids from the neighborhood. You’ve finished the popsicles your mom has doled out, when someone says, “Let’s play hide and seek!” You’re the last to yell “Not it!” so you walk over to the big old maple tree in your front yard, lean up against it, cover your eyes tightly with both hands, and begin counting to ten, very slowly. One, two, three…
Now, consider for a moment how you would feel, if after counting ten, and calling out “Apples, peaches, pumpkin pie, who’s not ready holler I,” you turned around, opened your eyes, and all your pals were still standing there in front of you?
It wouldn’t be very much fun, would it? The point of the game- to have fun and take pleasure from playing- is impossible. The primary purpose, that experience of happiness, can only be achieved if all of the kids scatter and hide. And the better the hiding spot, the greater the challenge, and the more fun it is!
This little story, paraphrased from Rabbi Yehuda Berg’s book on the Kabbalah, called The 72 Names of God: Technology for the Soul, is an analogy of what happened prior to the creation of the physical world, human beings included.
The teachings of the Kabbalah, as with many other wisdom traditions, explain that before the birth of the Universe, all that existed was infinite, non-physical energy that expanded endlessly.
The Kabbalah calls this vastness Limitless Light. In the Chinese philosophy, it is known as Tao, and to the Hindu practitioner, or yogi, like myself, it is called Parusha. Abraham-Hicks calls it Source. Still many more refer to it as God.
Regardless of the name, every possible form of pleasure was included in this Light, in this pulsating, vibrating, highly charged, pure, positive energy. Everything a person could possibly conceive of, yearn for, need, or desire was included in this Light of happiness. This was Reality, the domain of the Creator. There was no concept of time, no sense of space, no awareness of separateness, or duality.
According to Berg, the Kabbalah teaches that this Infinite Source Energy then created all the souls of humanity for one express purpose: to further know Itself. By endowing us with this Infinite Light of happiness, and bestowing upon us our birthright, the Creator would expand, and we, as sparks of that divinity, would experience bliss, the grace of immeasurable Joy.
This Limitless Light was handed to us freely, unconditionally. But, just as in the story with the game of hide and seek, it wasn’t much fun, because everything was offered up so easily. In other words, we were created, we opened our eyes, in a manner of speaking, and all that happiness was just sitting there right in front of us.
Berg goes on to say there was still something missing: the thrill of the hunt, the quest, the game.
It quickly became clear, that our newly created existence would have been even more fulfilling and enjoyable if we, ourselves, could create this Light of happiness, this joy, instead of just being handed it on a silver platter.
So we said to God, “Let’s play hide and seek! You hide your Light and we will find it.”
Picture this Light, if you will, as a vast mirror containing All and reflecting All, and in one cataclysmic event, the Big Bang, one might say, this mirror was shattered into an infinite number of pieces. Our Universe in its present incarnation was born.
Each of us is one of those mirrored pieces, like a hologram, containing the entirety of the original Source within us. How ingenious! God found the best hiding place of all. Who would have ever thought that the light would be found right where we stand? Who would have suspected it would be hidden within each of us? Let the game begin…
Unfortunately, many of us have simply forgotten we came here to play, to enjoy the experience of sifting through all of the contrast that exists in our world, to uncover our inner essence of Light, and to let it radiate through the infinite expressions of our creation.
That’s not entirely true, we haven’t so much forgotten our original intention, as we have been conditioned into believing we do not possess this power to create. We believe, many of us, that it only exists outside of us, that we are at the mercy of forces beyond our control. We so very often hand our power over to others, to our parents, our teachers, our lovers, our clergy, politicians, and institutions to dictate what it is we should want to be, do and have.
It didn’t happen all at once either. In fact, as infants and in the early years of childhood, before we had been too terribly tainted by those around us, who had lost sight of this original awareness, we were as close as we could get to our Creator.
Infants have no awareness of separation; they are perfect and whole, completely in tune and connected with the All That Is. Young children still see through the eyes of Source. They experience the world openly and honestly. They have not yet learned to disbelieve, to doubt, to judge or to fear. Poet Kurtis Lamkin expresses this so eloquently. He says, “Believing is all a child does for a living.”
A child’s imagination is a glorious thing to behold; it knows no bounds. It is full of all possibility. Children are blessed with the ability to create worlds that conjure wonder and delight. They divine stories that defy reality, and immerse themselves in scenarios completely unaware and unruffled by our notions of time and space.
Why is it that we relegate this world of the imagination only to children? And why do we allow them to be trained away from it so easily? All too quickly we begin to impose the strictures of “reality” upon them, conditioning them to mistrust the innate impulse to create.
Pablo Picasso once said, “Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel....” He passionately believed that “Every child is an artist. He said, “The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
And yet, when we look around us in our daily lives, do we not often marvel at the wonders of creation that are in our midst? I am not speaking of the creations of the natural world, which emanated from Source, but rather of the dynamic feats of engineering, the intricacies of computer technology, the beauty of Art and Architecture, just to name a few.
Who is responsible for these? From whence did they come? They sprang from the imagination of individuals like you and me.
This concept dawned on me one misty evening when I was driving through the damp streets of downtown Syracuse. As I looked around me I had this flash of insight. Every building, every lamppost, every vehicle, all of it began in the mind of an individual.
We were able to send a man to the moon, because one man believed it possible. And a belief is just a thought we keep thinking. We bring into being that which we believe. Consider the power in that statement. Thought, then, is the source of all creation. The imagination is the fount of all manifestation. The conscious mind plants a seed in the subconscious, where it takes root and grows, ultimately breaking forth into physical form. Conceive it, Believe it, Achieve it.
When we have grasped the “CBA” process, it is easier to work with another, more powerful, means of manifesting that is based on our knowing. Most people would say they know something to be true because they have experienced it. They work from the “I’ll believe it, when I see it” mentality. However, at its most basic level, the process of creation works in reverse. “I’ll see it, when I believe it”. More to the point, when I know it, I’ll experience it. There is one very important caveat in this equation. There can be no doubt. No doubt.
Without being aware of it, many people work with this principle when they pray. Prayer is an act of creation, or it can be. We have heard of people being cured “miraculously” by means of prayer. When faith in the vehicle of prayer is so strong, it is the very knowing it works that empowers the prayer for a friend or loved one’s recovery. Still, just as many of us have lost that friend or beloved.
So, as Picasso said, each of us began our lives as an artist. How then, if we have lost this understanding, do we reclaim our birthright? How do we recover our innate desire for play and our ability to mold and sculpt the clay of our lives into all that we desire? How do we return to our childlike state of innocence that believes anything is possible?
First, it is important to remember that our connection to Source, that fluid, undiluted, stream of pure potential has always been there at our disposal. We have never been cut off from it. We have only hardened the walls, and clogged this “arterial” pathway with the plaque of our negative beliefs, habits of thought, and behavior. We have obstructed the free flow of Divine Inspiration from consistently and continually coming through us.
This Light of Awareness, this Source Energy has always been there, it has merely been hidden from our view, hidden inside us. Our challenge, in this game we call life, is to seek it out, to uncover it, and to let it shine. This illumination of our awareness will, then, allow us to tap the pure potential of the creative impulse from which all things in the Universe are born. From this vantage point, we can manifest the deepest stirrings of our souls, brought forth in the imagery of our imaginations.
Yet, as we are these mirrors, we are not able to see our own reflections. As we look out from this place of wholeness, unaware of our perfection, we see ourselves reflected back to us only in relation to others, and always in reverse. We carry within ourselves all that we ascribe to others.
When we view someone through the eyes of love, through the eyes of our inner being, with the innocence of a child, we are actually seeing the best of ourselves, our God-Self. We then only see reflected in the other those attributes that we admire, or to which we aspire. Conversely, when we look through the eyes of hate, fear, and separation, from the perception of the ego or false self, we see those aspects of ourselves we deem less than worthy also reflected in the other.
In order to become the deliberate creators we chose to incarnate as, we must realign with our God Self, the Inner Being that emanates a vibration of pure positive energy. When we are open channels, receiving the flow of Source Energy, we can then finally take responsibility for our lives and our own happiness.
So how do we do this?
We are aware that many cars, these days, come with guidance systems hard wired into the main frame. We have been given a similar means of moving swiftly and easily in our desired direction, which allows us to gain control of our experience, ultimately to achieve the joy that is our purpose for being here. It is our intuition.
This ingenious system comes standard on every make and model. When in proper working order, it will never steer us wrong. When we are tapped into it, we will consistently make choices that without doubt will serve our greater good.
In the Disney version of the story Pinocchio, the diminutive cricket, Jiminy, cautioned the wooden boy to “let your conscience be your guide.” This conscience of which he speaks is not the guilt inducing angel and devil on our shoulder. It is an amalgam of emotion and feeling, a visceral response, or “gut reaction.”
We can know what is serving our greater good, what is bringing us closer to that which we truly are and desire, by becoming aware of how we feel. Our emotions are the best indicators of where we stand in relationship to our highest Self at any given moment.
Yet many of us, like Pinocchio, can get confused and easily led astray by the allure of the ego, drawn toward those things that seem to be of benefit or pleasurable at first glance, but that often wind up entrapping us in the end.
Pinocchio knew when he was lying to himself because his nose began to grow. We are not so fortunate. We don’t have such an obvious indicator. We must quiet ourselves long enough to feel our way to the truth of what is best for us. The better we feel, the more in line we are with our Source. The worse we feel, the farther we have strayed from the path.
If we lack awareness of this guidance system, then we will allow marketing and media moguls, pundits and politicians to tell us what they feel is best for us, what it is we really want and need. We can find ourselves following the masses, just as Pinocchio trails behind the other little boys straight to the Isle of Pleasure. Then we wind up feeling like an ass, when we realize we have been swindled and duped. Just like these sorry little donkeys, we can frequently lose sight of our intuition, our Inner Being, and get caught in the trap of ego mind. And so, our perfect mirror that reflects the Wholeness of our Creator becomes fractured.
Zen Master, Osho, teaches, “Man is Split. Schizophrenia is a normal condition of man – at least now. It may not have been so in the primitive world, but centuries of conditioning, civilization, culture and religion have made man a crowd – divided, split, contradictory… But because the soul of man is one, all the conditionings, at most, destroy the periphery of man. But the center remains untouched – that’s how man continues to live. But life has become a hell.”
He goes on to offer, “The way that you are, you cannot say that you are. You don’t have a being. You are a marketplace – many voices. If you want to say ‘yes’, immediately the ‘no’ is there. You cannot even utter the simple word ‘yes’ with totality…. In this way happiness is not possible; unhappiness is a natural consequence of a split personality.”
How then do we cure this schizophrenia, how do we become undivided, integrated, centered, crystallized? Jesus said, “When you make the two one, when you make the inner as outer and the outer as inner---then shall you enter the kingdom.”
So we begin by cleaning up our vibration, in order to realign ourselves. We start stripping away that which no longer serves us. We release the resistances we have accumulated in our bodies, hearts and minds, we shed the outmoded beliefs, the false premises, the chronic habits of thinking and being that limit our ability to create the lives we so deeply desire to live.
And then again, with this Divine Light, we ignite the spark of our imagination, we dream; we fantasize; we tell the story, with all the embellishments, of what we desire to create. We move from powerlessness toward a place of hope, of expectation, and belief that what it is we intend to manifest is within our power. Remember, all beliefs are merely chronic or habitual patterns of thought. As we progress from belief to knowing, we will begin to witness the manifestation of our desires, which will reinforce our knowing. Ultimately, our knowing will evolve into being, and we will have reclaimed our birthright as genius creators.
From this place of expansion, liberation and clarity, we will then consistently take inspired action. We will know when something feels right, and we will do it. We must let our conscience be our guide. As we do, we begin again to take charge of our lives, and we become the artist who crafts the masterpiece we call life.
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Katrin Naumann worked for 20 years as a Theatre Artist, both behind the scenes as a Costume and Scenic Designer, and on stage, film and TV, as an Actor. She has been a lifelong adventurer on the path of Self discovery, which has led to her current role as Director of Inner Balance Life Works. Her holistic healing practice focuses on offering pathways toward (R)evolutionary Self Transformation. Katrin serves the community as an Energy Healer, Intuitive Spiritual Guide, Qigong & Yoga Instructor, Author, Public Speaker, and Workshop Creatrix.