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Michael Chat with Shepherd Hoodwin


Michael Channeled by Shepherd Hoodwin
May 3, 2009, BlogTalkRadio chat

Transcribed by Gloria Constantin

Whenever a sentient soul incarnates into any sort of physical form, it is
choosing to experience significantly greater limitations than those that are
the norm in the discarnate state on the astral plane. Many spiritual
teachers emphasize overcoming limitations. There is much merit to this
teaching; however, a certain amount of limitations comes with the territory.
You are not entirely unlimited as a soul to begin with--the core of you,
which is what we have called the spark of the Tao, is unlimited in one
sense, in that it is entirely beyond time and space. However, you chose to
experience time and space, which are limited, as a means to an end.

There is no experience without limitations. In an entirely unlimited state,
you are simply being; you are part of All That Is. Limitations allow the Tao
to expand by having more experience, so limitations themselves are not
necessarily negative. When spiritual teachers speak about transcending
limitations, perhaps it would be useful to more narrowly define limitations
here as unnecessary, overly restrictive, largely self-imposed limitations.
You cannot grow without some limitations, but too many or unnecessary
limitations also thwart growth.

Many creative people say that they find that a certain amount of limitations
spur their creativity. For example, writing a song for particular characters
or circumstances gives you some grist for the mill, something to work with.
It is actually easier than simply trying to address a general topic. If you
just set off to write a song about love, for example, you might come up with
something so general and trite that people can't relate to it; it may end up
as just a series of platitudes. However, if you write about a specific
situation, it can bring your writing to life, and paradoxically, help you
create something that many people relate to.

In a similar way, you as a soul are exploring the energies of love, truth,
and beauty. Were you to somehow just sit on a cloud and contemplate these
grand energies, you would not get very far. Therefore, you take on
limitations by becoming a specific person in specific situations, exploring
how these great energies apply to your particular circumstances.

For instance, what does love look like when something is taken away? This is
not something you are able to explore when your focus is entirely on the All
That Is, because nothing can be taken away from that--you have to set up a
controlled environment. If you are still able to embody the great energy of
love in that limited environment, you learn more about how love behaves;
love has a new experience. The same, of course, applies to truth and beauty.

There are many forms of limitation that you take for granted. The very fact
of having a physical body is a limitation. If your skin did not provide a
limitation, your insides would spill out. Therefore, as a rule, people do
not complain about the limitation imposed by having skin. When the physical
body is healthy, there are usually few complaints about having a body. Of
course, people do judge the shape, color, and so forth of bodies, but the
fact of having a body does not seem like a big problem to most people.
However, when the body is functioning less than optimally, the idea of
limitations comes into play.

There are many things that even a healthy body cannot do. In science
fiction, people fantasize about having super powers, but most people do not
expect their physical body to fly or walk through walls. However, you do
expect your body to be able to walk, run, and otherwise move in the fashion
that is considered normal for human beings. When limitations are increased
from their usual levels, people understandably complain. Similarly, people
usually complain when they do not have enough food, which also limits the
body. Bodies are designed to register pain when their needs are not met; if
this were not the case, many people would forget to eat.

However, the soul looks on all limitations in much the same way. Simply
having a physical body is a challenge for the soul. If your body is hungry
or ill, the difference, you could say, is only one of degree--now it is more
limited, but it's not as if you were unlimited before the hunger or disease.
The soul approaches all limitations with curiosity: What can I learn from
this? How can I manifest the great concepts of truth, beauty, and love in
increased situations of limitation?

The stories that people most love are those in which characters overcome
unusual limitations. You probably haven't seen any good movies about how
someone overcame the simple limitation of having a body. No one writes
stories about a poor person who was saddled with having a human body,
although, in fact, that might be quite interesting, even a bestseller, on
the astral plane, especially among beings who haven't done it! For them,
that could be radical. However, for you, the stories have to be more
specific, and the more specific they are, the more interesting they are.

Once in a while, you find yourself in a situation that seems to be beyond
your ability to overcome. Your growth can then come from simply enduring the
situation and not suffering too much damage. If you do suffer damage--let's
say emotional trauma from a limitation that is more than you can figure out
what to do with; for example, being tortured--that experience will provide
you with a lot of grist for the mill, in future lifetimes if not in this

This is why we so often state that no experience is ultimately wasted,
although you can choose to waste an experience up to a point. You can resist
and resist and try hard not to learn anything from a situation you don't
want. However, that then turns out to be a lesson, ultimately, about
resistance; perhaps it is not the most efficient way to have a lesson, but
it is an experience, nevertheless, one that is more productive toward
expanding the All That Is than no experience at all.

In some religions, there is the idea that the more you suffer on the
physical plane, the greater your reward will be in heaven, so some people go
out of their way to suffer a little more. The opposite of that is a belief
held by many in the New Age movement that you should have all your rewards
here and now, such as being rich, healthy and being in your dream love
affair all at once. In both cases, the soul has a different point of view
than the personality: As a soul, your strategy is to make the best of
whatever you've got. If you can manage to create heaven on earth with what
you've got, then that's terrific. However, you've probably noticed that most
people haven't yet accomplished that, if they ever will, and that doesn't
bother the soul; that is not your expectation in incarnating. The soul
simply likes to see the personality making an effort to deal with whatever
is on its plate in the most creative and constructive positive way possible.
When people who have a severely limited body still find a way to create art
or science, or just connect with the joy of being, that is very satisfying
to the soul.

If every person in every lifetime were able to have everything be just the
way he or she wants, that would be a little bit like staying in the All That
Is, without experiencing differentiation. For example, if you always had a
sexual partner who behaved according to your fantasies, you would not be
confronted with conundrums that require you to make choices, and therefore
seek new facets of love, truth, and beauty. When everything is going
completely smoothly, there is not much growth to be had. If you are
fortunate enough to have a sexual partner who comes pretty close to your
ideal--most people do not--it probably reveals that your soul is getting its
lessons elsewhere, and this love relationship provides a platform for having
your challenges in different departments of your life.

Human beings have a tendency to compare their own situations to those of
others, and to think that just about everyone else has it better than they
do. Part of the problem here is that you may not know that much about other
people's lives; the public version may be airbrushed. You may not know the
problems that couples idealized in the media are really having. You know
what your own challenges are, but you don't know theirs, so you assume they
have it better than you do.

Most people feel that, no matter how much they have, they do not have
enough, so almost everyone can compare themselves to someone richer and feel
envy. Of course, it is wonderful to have enough resources so that you don't
have to continually struggle to get your needs met. However, it is worth
noting that those who are considered poor in one country may look rich in

Obviously, some people have much more money than others, but most human
beings feel some financial stress; there is rarely so much money (or mastery
of it) that people don't worry about it. Being ultra-rich once in a while
might be a nice change of pace for the soul, but a lack of challenges in any
facet of life can lead to boredom, which itself can then become the
limitation to overcome.

In some Eastern religions, the differences in people's bank accounts are
explained in terms of karma, that if you were "bad" in past lives, you will
be poor in this one, and that if you are rich in this lifetime, you behaved
yourself previously. That is not the way it works.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, whether you judge it to be good or
bad, it is not an indication of your worth, and it is not necessarily a
reflection of your past behavior. You had good reasons for choosing whatever
circumstances you were born into, and karma is only one factor. Not
everything that happens in your life is something that you chose--everyone
has free will, and there are people making random choices all the time, some
of which affect you. However, you most certainly chose your basic birth
situation: your parents' circumstances at the time of your birth, the kind
of body you were taking on, the social environment, and so on. You deemed it
an appropriate combination of limitations for what you wanted to achieve.

As a soul, you do not generally seek "perfect" genes, rich and enlightened
parents, an ideal soul mate, and so forth. For one thing, souls could wait a
long time to find such circumstances! Instead, you seek what will help you
develop, and sometimes you take on severe limitations in order to challenge
yourself to overcome something that has been particularly difficult for you
in past lives.

You are probably familiar with vinyl long playing records (LPs). Sometimes,
they develop a skip, and you have to push the needle to make it get past it.
Similarly, souls sometimes get into ruts where they keep repeating the same
mistakes. With the advice of their guides, they may decide to take on a
difficult situation that could help them break through to a higher level of

It can be interesting to get specifics about why you chose the life
circumstances that you did. You can obtain that information through
channeling or through your own reflection, including in meditation. It can
be a relief to more clearly understand that there were good reasons, that
your circumstances do not reflect some intrinsic defect in you but are
simply your curriculum. However, whether you know the specifics or not, know
that whatever is on your plate right now is your opportunity to grow. By
making the best of it, you are fulfilling your destiny. It is really that
simple. And if you feel a strong impulse in a certain direction, that may be
your curriculum calling you.

No matter how successful you are at making the best of the limitations in
your life, it is unlikely that your life will ever conform to some idealized
conception of how it should be; in other words, you probably won't get
everything you want. If you did, there's a good chance you would become
restless and start wanting new things; people need at least some challenges
to feel alive. The problems of your life are the raw materials of your
spirit. Achieving perfection in form is to become spiritually unemployed;
that is why it does not happen.

If you are a card-carrying New Ager and have been beating yourself up for
not yet having attained the perfect life, perhaps the more productive
approach would be to see the perfection in your life as it is--it is a
perfect opportunity to exercise your creativity and make the best of the raw
material you have at hand.

Every person can find joy in life as it is. You may never have the waistline
that you believe would be ideal for you, and certainly everything in the
physical universe is aging. We were saying at the beginning that you, as a
spark of the Tao, chose to experience time and space, and, as they say, time
marches on. If you think that the perfect body is twenty years old, and if
you are older than twenty, then you are out of luck--you will never have
that illusion of perfection again. However, if you are making the best of
what you have right now, to the best of your current ability, then that is
perfect, in the sense that it is exactly what you are here to do.

Many people have less money now than they did a few years ago. By some
definitions, the world has become farther away from perfection. Yet, from
the soul's point of view, there are many new lessons available in what has
been occurring. Much emphasis has been on blaming the government and Wall
Street, yet people are also looking at their own illusions and unwise
choices. And now there are whole new sets of choices to be made in light of
changed circumstances. There can be joy even in this. There can be joy in
all things, including in some places you would not expect to find it.

If finances are much in your consciousness, it may be your path to learn how
to overcome financial limitations and see how truth, love, and beauty
manifest in your financial circumstances. If you feel forlorn because you do
not have the mate relationship you want, that may be your path of
growth--solving your problem may entail becoming more creative, changing
some of your energies, or putting yourself in situations that you otherwise
wouldn't. What you lack can be a catalyst to awaken in new ways.


Ask your inner self to show you a challenge that you have in your life that
you have seen as a problem you wish would just go away. Ask yourself to
think of one new thing you could do to either make the best of this
situation or overcome it, and thereby grow.

Q. Every time I think of a creative solution to any problem I have, I am
happy. It's all about that.

Q. I can imagine many solutions to my problems; the problem is applying

A. That's a good point. For example, if you have some health challenges, you
can probably imagine changes to your diet and an exercise regimen that may
be a challenge to carry out because your habits pull you in different
directions. Our suggestion is not to expect perfection of yourself, but to
narrow your focus to perhaps one or two actions at a time that you feel you
can maintain. If you try to change too many habits at once, you will not be
successful, and then you will tend to beat yourself up for your failure. A
good technique is to plan before you go to bed at night one thing, or one
series of simple steps, you will do the next day to make the best of your
situation or improve it. Then remind yourself of it when you wake up.

It is the effort you make to do your best that counts more than the absolute
result. You are not going to get any kind of conceptual perfection on the
physical plane. No matter what you do, your body is going to grow older and
die at some point, even with the most ideal diet and exercise regimen.
However, your focus on identifying your challenges and choosing a way to
make the best of them will bring growth, and it will be satisfying--your
soul is fed by such choices.

Q. If one's talent is limited, is it still worthy of pursuit, or is that
just stroking the ego?

A. There are many mediocre talents in all fields, and relatively few
sterling ones. However, you can become more skilled through making the best
of the talent you have.

It is a cliché but true that it is wise to follow your heart. The fact that
you are drawn to something suggests that your soul is interested in pursuing
it and it has some worth to you. If that's the case, you will probably have
the motivation to become at least a little better at it; that will then
likely show up as having more talent for it in future lifetimes. If you
don't have the motivation, it may just be a fantasy.

In a person's Michael Reading chart, astrological chart, and so forth, you
can see proclivities. For example, sage souls have a proclivity for the
performing arts. That is not to say that every sage has great talent, but
there is often a fundamental interest in the performing arts and probably a
certain comfort level in them.

Doing something that you are not very talented or skillful at may still be
providing useful experiences. The point may not actually be what you're
doing, but, for example, the relationships you are having while doing it
that you wouldn't otherwise have.

The soul is not as invested as the personality in the accolades of others.
If you demonstrate great talent for something, you may impress other people,
but it might be something you already accomplished in other lifetimes;
therefore, it may become less interesting after a while. On the other hand,
if you are not quite at the top in terms of skill and are struggling to get
better, that might hold your interest to a greater extent.

We don't want to generalize too much about this because circumstances vary.
However, the personality tends to think that being good at something is the
most important thing, whereas, for the soul, being good itself is not as
important as what it took to get you to that point; being good is more a
result than a cause. Of course, you can always get better at something no
matter how good you are at it, but the soul may feel at a certain point that
it is treading water and needs to go get better at something entirely
different before it can go further again in this field.

Q. Isn't the intent to manifest the soul as fully as possible?

A. What you manifest of your soul through a body that, for example, is
healthy and mentally acute is different from what you manifest in more
limited circumstances. The effort to manifest as much as possible within
whatever limitations you have will make the best of that circumstance and
will take it further than it is. The effort to overcome greater limitations
can be thrilling to the soul even if it does not result in as an impressive
display of talent as might manifest through a more capable body and

At the beginning of tonight's talk, we pointed out that every physical body
is limited. Therefore, there is never a full display of the soul's
capabilities in physical form. How limited is a matter of degree.

Q. You seem to be implying a high degree of separation between the soul and

A. Anyone can awaken to soul awareness, no matter the limitations of form.
When one becomes more spiritually conscious, the goals of soul and
personality become more aligned. However, although they are different
aspects of the one self, their agendas are not identical. In true
personality, you balance the needs of both.

Q. There sometimes seems to be a disparity between what is intended in your
life plan and what actually plays out.

A. Yes, the soul may envision a better result than what proves to be
possible in the life, yet there can be surprising gifts in lifetimes that
don't go according to plan when there is still an effort to make the best of
the circumstances.

Q. You said that if you feel a strong impulse in a certain direction, maybe
that's your curriculum calling to you. What if you don't feel a strong
pull--why don't you?

A. Not feeling a strong pull may suggest that it is not high on your soul's
agenda. However, if it is something that you need to deal with--for example,
making a living at a job that would not be your first choice but that is
your best option for now--your making the best of that is also spiritual

Let's make an analogy to meditation: Many people find meditation to be
uncomfortable. Your mind wanders and your body aches. Basically, meditation
is an artificial circumstance; however, in making the best of it, eventually
you have more stillness and focus.

Similarly, if you are in a job that is not very much in essence for you--it
doesn't display your strengths--yet it seems necessary, then by going to
work every day with the most positive possible attitude and finding good
things in it, that becomes your spiritual practice. It is like meditation in
that is it a somewhat artificial construct for you--it is not up your alley,
but by being in it with as much gratitude and joy as possible, by overcoming
the challenges that make it less pleasant for you, you have turned it into a
worthwhile spiritual practice. At the same time, you might also research
some other options that, in the long term, might be more in alignment for

Q. Why does the din outside my window drive me so insane, and what's the
message in that?

A. You're not very grounded to begin with, and the noise seems to be
throwing off your grounding, so we suggest that you connect with nature and
the earth. If you do that, it will not bother you so much.

Q. What specific actions can I take to help to heal or stop the progression
of arthritis in my feet?

A. Bring your attention to your feet. We are working with you to break up
some energies there that are limitations that you have carried from other
lifetimes. As you focus on your feet, ask to see a picture of what is
causing your problems. Tell us the first thing that comes to your mind.

Q. This is a weird image; I'm not sure if it makes any sense or not. When
you were talking, I saw a picture of myself as a leper, and what came to me
was rigidity, some pattern of rigidity.

A. As you maintain your awareness of your feet, see your world as becoming a
safe place for you to move about in. Being a leper is to be an outcast, to
not be included in the mainstream world but be shunted aside. Get in touch
with that emotion in you. Ask yourself if you are ready to release that
limitation. What do you feel in response about your readiness to release

Q. I'd like to think that I'm almost ready. I'd like to say that I'm
completely ready, but I don't think that I'm completely ready. I want to be
ready. Maybe you can you help me figure out how I can get--do I have to be
100% ready?

A. Ask now to release every part of that limitation that you are now ready
to let go of. Then we would suggest that over the next few days, you journal
about this topic, about the ways in which you have felt unacceptable. The
image of having been a leper works for you on both a literal and a symbolic
level. Explore how that has played out in this lifetime, and ask yourself
how you might come to feel entirely acceptable to yourself in this world.
There's already been a change in the energy of your feet. What do you feel

Q. I don't feel that discomfortŠthey just feel lighter. You know, I really
love my feet because I love to walk. I love to walk and I want to be able to
keep walking. I love to walk and I love to exercise my body by walking. I
think I've made some progress and maybe this is a big push, a big catalyst
to really put some closure on it.

A. If you did not have the arthritis in your feet, you would not have this
issue arising so clearly.

Q. Something else would have come up.

A. There needed to be something to bring it to your attention, and this was
it--this is your gift. It is an opportunity for healing not just your feet
but your life. So ponder the issue of your acceptability to yourself and
your safety in moving about in the world as your self. Ask what this
limitation has taught you. Perhaps, for one thing, it has given you extra
compassion for others. Then meditate on whether you're ready to entirely let
it go. Keep checking back with yourself to see if you honestly feel that you
are. Our guess is that this process might take you about a week. If your own
ruminations do not bring a total release here, another approach you could
try would be to have someone gently massage your feet with oil and ask to be
with the emotions that are stirred up.

Q. I am willing to do those things and see what happens. Does that mean that
I will have physical healing, with the joints regenerated?

A. It seems likely that that would be the outcome. There are some mineral
deposits in your feet that are getting in the way. They might dissolve and
be carried out on their own. If not, massage might also assist with that; in
addition, you might drink more water with lemon juice or raw apple cider
vinegar added to it. Your question has been valuable for many others
tonight, so we thank you for it.


Experience yourself as an eternal soul delightedly taking on a limited body.
Feel the contrast between you as a highly expansive soul and you as a
physical person who is not as expansive but still somewhat so. Remember your
delight in all the opportunities of coming here, of being a person. Whatever
problems you have that you have not yet figured out how to make the best of,
know that as long as you are alive, you will have more opportunities to
figure that out. Feel the joy of being who you are, where you are, with the
specific combination of challenges that you have taken on and that have come
to you. As the saying goes, "It's all good."

Love and blessings to all. Good night.




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