by Sally Burnley, IIT Graduate, 2012
As my hand twirled the Angel Cards around in the pouch, I asked “What do I need to understand today?” The card that sprang into my hand was “Freedom.” Freedom… O.K… The definition of “Freedom” given by the 25th year edition of The Original Angel Cards Book, by Kathy Tyler and Joy Drake is;
“You are free to change your experience by changing the criteria upon which you base your decisions. Let go of all trappings and express your uniqueness.”
In other words, become free who you are meant to be. How can we do that? One good start is by letting go of our past and thoughts of the future. The past, with the “help” of the ego or personality, keeps bringing up our fears, loneliness, hurts, insecurities, and doubts. When I traveled to Bali one of the amazing concepts I discovered was that the Balinese language does not contain past tense words. They regard what is in the past is over. Since you can’t fix what has happened why dwell on it. Release it and move forward. What a beautiful way to live. By recognizing that the present is where our thoughts and actions should be, we focus on what is important in the moment.
How can we release the past and future and focus on what is important in the present? We could start by taking the focus off our needs and wants and start to recognize, as Tanis Helliwell says in her book, Erkenne deine Bestimmung on pages 44-45:
The most important question is not what do I, the little me, want? It is what does the Spirit and the Earth, my divine and natural mothers, want of me? By taking the focus off of ourselves we can shift from what “I want”, to what the universe wants of us, and then we can, as Tanis goes on to say: “Learn to deeply love what is.” Acceptance of our self, others and the situations in which we are placed will help us become free, and help us to not dwell in the past or future. Acceptance of our self as we are right now, that will help us receive and give love and joy. By that change of reference from the past and future to the present, we are ready to change the criteria on which we base our decisions. The “little me” can begin to combine with the “inner self’ or the “authentic self” and become as Tanis calls a “soul- infused personality.”
“Learn to deeply love what is.” Taking that next step on how we can come to know ourselves and then express our uniqueness, I once again refer to Erkenne deine Bestimmung, page 45:
“To love and deeply know ourselves we need a strong personality, not to be egoistic, but to have the courage and will to open our soul in order to serve the world in whatever capacity our gifts and destiny determine. Too much spiritual work takes us out of the body and the world; too much inner work examining ourselves builds narcissism. In the uniqueness of our individuality we discover our higher self, and it is found through our evolutionary development as a human being. This is the path of love, wisdom and will, not in service to ourselves, but to the world and to spirit.”
Our uniqueness is found in our higher self, in service to others and the world. What a shift in consciousness not to focus on our self but to reach out and offer our gifts to others.
Another way to release the past and future, and live in the present and become free who we are meant to be, is to use mindfulness techniques. The definition of mindfulness as stated by Tobin Blake, in The Power of Stillness, “is the practice of being conscious of only one thing at a time without analyzing the experience.” He also states, “the past is our memory, the present is our reality, and the future is our hopes and anticipations.”
In order for us to focus on the present, we can practice by focusing on one thing at a time. If you are singing, concentrate on the words, live the words in that moment. If you are walking in nature, notice each step, listen to each sound, feel the breeze on your face. Become the walk. Don’t worry about the phone call, or text you have to make, or what you are planning for supper, focus on your walk. Become the moment. If your mind wonders from what you are doing, gently remind yourself what you are focused on and go back to that focus point. It is very freeing to realize the past is done, the future is not here yet, but the present is where your heart and mind need to be. Become mindful of each moment. “Learn to deeply love what is.”
Many of us volunteer for worthy causes. We are doing the best we know how to serve others and the world. By freeing our thoughts and embracing each moment as we are working with other people, packing boxes, running or walking for a charity causes, taking care of animals, or what ever we feel we are called to do, will mean more to us and the recipients if our minds are focused on the task at hand and living in the moment. We will find the quality of time spent more worthwhile and joyful if we are more mindful of each moment.
As we venture on the journey on becoming free who we are meant to be, we begin to realize that our past fears, doubts, anger, insecurities, shyness, and disappointments can no longer control our actions or the way we relate to other people. The future is not taking over our actions, because we no longer have to act in a way to make our anticipations or expectations happen. The present is where we can truly become who we are meant to be because we can focus on what we are doing, and doing the best we can in that moment. Our gifts will shine through because an opening will be created where the connection to our inner self and our personality can work together.
What a beautiful gift we have become, now that we are able to share our gifts and our uniqueness to the world and spirit. We are now free to become who we are meant to be.