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Michael Chat with Shepherd Hoodwin
Changing Your Life

(03/02/2008)



MP3 File

 



Many at this time are feeling uncomfortably restricted by old forms of
consciousness, like a child who is wearing clothes that are a size too
small. To make a different analogy, it is the stress of giving birth--the
pressure building to a sometimes painful level--which is necessary in order
to give birth to the new. You are betwixt and between: you are no longer in
the old, but not yet in the new. Once a baby is moving through the birth
canal, it cannot go backwards into the womb. Once you have moved towards a
new consciousness, you cannot return to the old. In a real sense, it is not
there anymore. There is not much one can do except keep moving ahead.
Otherwise, you risk being stillborn. Your goal on a soul level is to move
past this highly uncomfortable intermediary state and experience yourselves
to be more solidly in the new.

There is a natural resistance to change, especially on the physical plane.
Our experience of that resistance on the causal plane is more subtle. It is
based on the fact that the thought forms that we "inhabit" are established.
There is no resistance to these changes in an emotional sense; it's just
that new ones naturally build on what has been before, so it would not be
useful if these were so fluid that they were suddenly obliterated and we
were starting with something new. Eventually, they will be quite different,
but what is established presents a natural resistance to there being a great
deal of change at once. This is the nature of intellect. On the physical
plane, if your intellect completely morphed from one thing to another, you
would have no way of dealing with it, and you would go insane. So there is
nothing wrong with this resistance; the universe is structured this way for
a good reason.

The medium of the astral plane is emotion. Emotions are like water--they are
fluid. They are designed to change more readily, yet the ocean, for example,
while it is always changing, also has a precise ecosystem that needs to be
maintained as there are changes. Shorelines may erode or expand, and the
bottom of the ocean may shift under water--mountains may become smaller or
larger, for example; the currents move things around. However, the basic
equilibrium must also be maintained.

Oceans are now becoming quite polluted. If humans stop polluting
immediately, it will not eliminate all the pollution that is already there,
but gradually the oceans will heal themselves. So emotions, even though
volatile, are not as truly changeable as they might appear. Your surface
emotions may change on a dime like wave patterns, but they all spring from
the overall "ocean ecology" that you live with emotionally day in and day
out. So the overall body of emotions also organically resists too much
change all at once. Occasionally, there are tidal waves, but they are the
exception rather than the rule. Similarly, with the intellectual body, there
may be earthquakes that break up some of the structures of consciousness,
but they too, are exceptional.

The physical plane also has a built-in resistance to change, and because it
is the densest plane of all, the resistance to change is greater. Although
your fluid emotions and evolving intellect may be willing for there to be
great changes, by necessity they cannot manifest in physical reality as
quickly. The intellect is the container for experience. They say that you
form your reality to some degree based on your beliefs. These are not just
the beliefs that you know about, but all your beliefs, which are the
containers, first, for your emotions, and then, for your physical reality.
Someone whose beliefs are calcified, who refuses to change his or her
intellectual framework, assumptions, and habits, will find it very hard to
shift emotionally and then physically.

A person with a fluidly evolving intellect may then get stuck at the
emotional level. If there are defenses against emotions changing (again,
these are not always consciously recognized), that will prevent evolution on
an emotional level, and therefore in physical experience. Let's say a person
is angry or resentful. If he is determined to hold on to that, even though
the mind understands in a more exalted way, change is restricted. If,
however, your thoughts are evolving and your emotions are fluid without
defenses, then you can focus on what can bring change on a physical level.
There is the saying about the spirit being willing but the flesh being weak.
Perhaps we could think of that as your intellect being flexible and your
emotions being fluid, but you still can't seem to move things in your
physical plane, day-to-day life experience. This is the level where many of
you are working now: You want what is new, but you can't get there yet. It
is like being in a car that is stuck in in mud: you're putting the gas on
but the wheels are spinning; you can't move forward.

If this is your challenge, the first place to look is in the various energy
fields of your life. Your most personal energy field is your aura. Auras can
expand and shrink in size, but for practical purposes, let's think of it as
being about a meter around your skin in all directions, and, of course,
including your physical body as well. As a general rule, your aura reflects
your thoughts and your feelings. However, it also is influenced by your
environment. It's like your home, which collects dust just from the air
moving through it, as well as from the natural biological processes of your
body, and those of others who inhabit the space. In addition, insects may
come into your home even if you keep all the windows and doors closed,
because your home is, after all, part of the larger ecology, no matter how
well sealed it is.

So you clean your home from time to time. You remove excess dust and perhaps
you eliminate insects. Many of them are harmless, but some of them can
destroy your food supply. Termites can eat away at the very foundation of
your home if you don't do something about them. It is like that with your
aura. It is the larger home of your body on the physical plane. Your aura is
physical, like the body, but it is at faster vibration in the physical
plane, which is why it is only physically seen in rare circumstances.
Nonetheless, you feel its effect. If your aura is clean and full of light,
it feels very different to be in than if it is dirty and crawling with
metaphorical insects. Just the same as with your home. Even a confirmed slob
feels better in a home once it is cleaned up, even if he or she does not
have the wherewithal to personally make that happen. You may not know how to clean your aura, but you feel it if someone else does it for you, for
example a healer, or during these channelings. We are working with each of
you now to help you clean your aura if that is your wish, if you are willing
to let go of what it contains that doesn't really belong.

Sometimes people become attached to their clutter and debris, and even
though part of them wants it cleaned up, if someone else tries to help, the
person may object--there may be mixed feelings about letting go, not wanting
something to be disturbed. This is extreme inertia, or resistance to change,
when even the dust and garbage must not be touched.

The most direct way to clean your aura is to spend a few minutes and simply
focus your consciousness on this happening. Why don't you, if you wish, do
that now. Some people are visual. If that is the case, you can visualize a
space of about a meter all around you, and ask that it start to look clearer
and lighter. Notice what it looks like now, and hold a vision of what you
want it to look like. Or ask it, what it would ideally be, and hold the
space for that to happen. If you are approaching this visually you may not
know if it should look clear or be full of brilliant colors. The goal here
is that it look and feel clean, and anything else is fine, except that it
should reflect who you really are, just like you would like your home to
reflect who you really are, with your tastes and colors you like. You want
it to be homey and hospitable, first of all, to you. If you are not so
visual, you can take feeling picture of what it would ideally feel like to
be in your space and hold your focus on that for a few minutes. There are
other ways to do this, but these are two that will work for most people.

Feel your aura becoming sparklingly clean. Feel it being a true, comfortable
home for you. Ask now that any energies in your aura that are not a part of
who you are in this moment be released. You may have picked up energies,
negative or not, from all the people you have interacted with recently, and
even in the distant past. You may have deliberately, albeit unconsciously,
saved some energy fragments because you wanted to help the person that they
belonged to or because there was something that interested you and you
wanted to try to figure it out. It can get to be like the shut-ins who have
stacks of hundreds of newspapers that they never get around to reading, and
yet the stacks make it impossible to really live in the home. It blocks
movement within in it. So if you are willing, let everything that is not you
in this moment be cleared out. You will not lose anything that is valuable
to you. If you need to still deal with something, it will come back to you.
Of course, it is the negative or destructive energies, characterized by
resentment, bitterness or sadness that causes the greatest problems. But
even the more neutral or even positive bits of energy that are not yours get
in the way of the changes that you hunger for. So it is good to clear your
personal space of everything. It is not a bad idea to do it a couple times a
day, say, in the morning and in the evening. This does not have to take a
long time. It is more the fact that you are taking ownership of your
personal space, and are issuing your own parameters. It is like taking
charge of your home and saying, all right, in the past I have let things
fall where they may, but now I am making a choice, and this is now how it is
to be.

As with cleaning your physical home, if you keep up with aura cleansing, it
doesn't get too bad. However, if you are just now dealing with it after a
long period, it will take some time to put it all in order. Still, if you
hold the intention, it will be accomplished.

We made the analogy of insects infiltrating your physical home, in addition
to dust and clutter. Let's say that some food starts to spoil in your
cupboard. After a while, it will attract insects that wish to feed on it. If
you don't tend to it quickly, it can turn into quite an ordeal. The
vibrational equivalent of spoiling food in your cupboard is your harbored
negative, destructive emotions as they begin to fester.

In the larger scheme of things, there is nothing wrong with the negative--it
is a necessary part of the whole, just as there is nothing wrong with the
fact that food spoils: when it is not used, the destructive force breaks it
down so that it can go back to the earth. This is perfectly acceptable for
the compost pile; it is less convenient in your kitchen cabinets.

There is a place for anger, for example. It is an energy designed to create
a boundary, and push things away. However, when anger festers in you, it
starts to get rotten and sends an odorous "dinner bell" out to the
vibrational insects or "entities" that feed off anger.

Let's say you left some spoiling food in a kitchen cabinet and went on
vacation. You would likely come back to find much of your house full of
insects. They would have become such a strong presence that they might have
forced their way into other food stores. Similarly, if you let your anger,
bitterness, judgments, or other destructive emotions fester for a long time,
you will have a hard time cleaning out your aura to the point where it is
sparkling. It can be done, but you will have your work cut out for you.

This comes back to the fluid ocean of the emotional body: are you willing to
let go of these festering emotions that are attracting these insects? This
is not say that you have resolved them all. The only question here is, Are
you willing? If you are, you will find a way to heal them. Willingness is
more intellectual; it is the thought form, the intent.

Let's say that humanity makes a collective decision to clean up the oceans,
that it will do what it can to stop polluting them. Eventually, the ocean
would right itself, and you would stop having nasty debris washing up on the
shore.

Some people want it both ways; they want to hang on to their bitterness, but
they want to stop feeling the bad feelings that result from being bitter.
You can't have it both ways. Many people turn to substance abuse of various
kinds because they are seeking to run away from feeling bad, but they aren't
willing yet to let go of what is making them feel bad.

We don't mean to generalize too much, because everyone's story is unique.
Sometimes people wish to escape not their own negative emotions, but things
they are picking up from their own environment. In any case, if there is a
solid intent, the change will come.

If you discover a bad infestation of insects in your house, and you begin to
clean it out, you may be battling this for some time, but if you keep it up,
eventually you will gain the upper hand. You may discover other food sources
that have gone rotten that you didn't think to examine before. Similarly,
with your evolution as a person, you may think you have thrown away all your
rotting anger only to later unearth some more in a different cupboard, so
you clean that out, disinfect it, and just keep working at it.

Eventually, you will have gotten things under control. You've done a
thorough cleaning of your home; there are still a few stray insects, but you
are staying on top of it. Now your effort is directed toward making it a
more homey and pleasant environment. Maybe you add some houseplants, or you redecorate a little; perhaps, you paint.

The equivalent of this in your aura is working to radiate love in your
day-to-day interactions, choosing to be a little more cheerful, for example.
We're not speaking of something artificial here, but you are always making
choices, and you can deliberately find what is already within you that is
more cheerful. Most people would like their homes to be cheerful. You would
not take that to an extreme--you would not put pictures of clowns in orange
and red on every wall. However, you would probably enjoy having some bright
touches in your environment. If your house were all black and white, you
might find that having some dashes of color here and there could be quite a
relief. The same with your personality. People do vary in their natural
capacity for cheer; some prefer it more than others. If you would prefer
more than you have, then it is up to you to provide it. Maybe you can
influence others around to add to your efforts.

One of the great spiritual principles is cultivating gratitude. Like
cheerfulness, this is a choice that is available for anyone to make. The
reason gratitude is so useful is that it is the natural state of all things.
If you, for example, commune with nature, standing alone in a dense, rich
forest, the reason that feels so good is that each tree, plant, and animal
naturally exists in a state of gratitude, "breathing" it in and out.
Gratitude doesn't always come so easily to human beings because the more
advanced intellect, triggered by fear, comes up with a litany of reasons not
to feel grateful. Probably the majority of human beings do not breathe in
and out with freedom, whereas most plants and animals have no choice in the
matter; they are constantly experiencing their oneness with all things. A
plant cannot stop photosynthesis even if it somehow wanted to.

Some spiritual practices focus on the breath. When you liberate your breath,
when your body is breathing as it naturally wants to, it experiences
gratitude. It is fully receptive to the oxygen in the air that would feed
it, and then contributes back into the air what the air needs from it.

Gratitude is not talking yourself into thinking you are happy with things
that you are not happy about; it is viscerally feeling the goodness of life
because you are connected with it. Notice your breathing now. If it is not
as free as you would like it to be, ask your body to show you how it would
like to breathe. When you are not breathing freely, some part of you is
hanging on too hard. If you notice that you are not breathing easily, you
might ask yourself, What am I holding on to? And then, Am I willing to let
it go? It doesn't mean that you will let it go immediately, but if you are
willing, you will eventually.

Those of you who have animal companions have probably benefited from
observing their relative lack of neurosis. They can pick up some from the
humans around them, but they have less of an ability to get in their own
way. However, being sentient does bring with it a higher consciousness,
potentially, and a wider range of choices. If you choose to be in harmony
with the universe in the way that particularly wild animals and everything
else in nature are, while still developing your uniquely human intellect and
emotions, you will demonstrate a magnificence greater than what is possible
to those beings with a narrower range of choice. It is not easily
accomplished, which is why you have so many lifetimes and such difficult
challenges. However, that is the point of coming as you do to the physical
plane, and as we once did: to learn how to be natural *and* more conscious.
By confronting all of the things that hamper evolution while in the body,
you are challenged to draw from your deepest resources.

The body itself is designed to resist too much physical change because its
number one need is to feel safe. As a conscious soul incarnate in a human
animal body, you can alleviate your own body's resistance to change and move
your life forward by providing for your body and reassuring its safety. The
better you take care of your physical body, the more willing it will be to
allow change in your life.

All of these steps come before you are able to do anything about the larger
world. If you clean house for yourself, and start to practice cheerfulness
and thankfulness, then you may be able to be a positive force for change
with other people, and with society in general. When you get good at
cleaning your own aura, you can start to clean the auras of those with whom
you are connected: your family members, your friends, and your co-workers.
If they don't want it clean, your work will not stick, but you can at least
do your part in your bond with them. It may give them options, too; they may
move from stasis by your reminding them that they could feel better.

People have commented on the irony of people fighting for peace. Obviously,
there is no peace when you are fighting. We don't want to be nit-picky about
semantics. Perhaps you could say that a lot of these people were
"campaigning" for peace, but if a peace demonstration erupts in violence,
you certainly do not have peace.

Like anger, there is a place for violence--violence breaks things down.
Sometimes nature is violent; we mentioned tidal waves and earthquakes.
However, violence in nature is relatively rare. If you want peace in the
world, you have to be peaceful. If you are waiting for everyone else to
become peaceful first, you will no doubt die before that happens. You cannot
do a great deal about the rest of the world. However, you can be an example
and inspiration.

No positive act is ever wasted. There are people in your life who may
harvest the understanding and benefit from an act of generosity on your part
lifetimes from now. Most of you are doing a lot more good in the world than
you have any way of knowing. You will not often get a letter, say, from
someone who was difficult in your life saying that she appreciates your
example, and that it has helped her. Obviously, you will not get a letter
from her to that effect if your good work was in another lifetime. However,
you can rest assured that when you bring light, it has some positive effect
somewhere, somehow. And even if it didn't, it is of benefit to you, for your
own growth, because that is precisely what you are practicing by being a
physical human being. You don't have anything better to do on the physical
plane or anywhere else than to shine your light to the best of your ability.
As you practice that, your ability grows.

The manifestations of the Infinite Soul through Lao Tzu, Jesus, Buddha, and
Krishna are striking examples of how an impact of light continues to
reverberate through time. This is true of negative acts also, but positive
ones reverberate much more.

Q: How does one work with others who have messy auras without accepting the
mess for oneself in the process of trying to work with them?

A. That is a great question, and there is no one simple answer. When other
people join your aura, you can work with the combined aura much the same way
that you work with your own personal aura, because now there is, you could
say, an extension of yourself: you combined with that other person. So if
you notice that your combined aura is not what you would like it to be, then
you can do the same type of work starting with your intention to clean out
the aura that you share with that other person.

As you raise your personal vibration, you will either attract people who
want to be at that higher place, maybe with less anger, for example, or you
will repel them because they don't want to change. If the latter is the
case, you are wise to let them go.

If it is someone you are required to interact with, a co-worker, perhaps,
you can allow there to be more distance between you. Let's say there is
someone you used to bond with in mutual negativity (you both hated the same
people, for example), and now you no longer wish to harbor those kinds of
energies that weigh you down; the other person will either choose to change
or not to change. If the other person chooses to stay in his heavier,
stickier energies of hating this other person, you may need to let go of
that relationship. So when you raise your vibration, it reconfigures
everything in your life, and it will bring up issues for you that will, if
you use them to your advantage, accelerate your own growth. It may not be
easy, but it is infinitely worthwhile.

Perhaps all this sounds like a great deal of work. The physical plane itself
is a lot of work, but the work of raising your vibration is rewarding, to
say the least. It gives you immediate benefits and long term benefits. It is
well worth the trouble.

Q: I live in a dense city. Would you address how to deal with that?

A. When you live in a big city, it is more challenging to maintain your
personal clarity that you may have worked hard to attain within your own
apartment once you go out in public. We recommend that you practice, before
you go out the door, compacting your aura. Bring it in say within six inches
of your skin rather than three feet. If you just visualize and feel that a
few times you can quickly get a feel for how to do it with just the
intention. For some people this is a little uncomfortable, but it is
temporary until you reach a destination, where you can bring it out a little
bit, and then we would suggest that you clear yourself of anything you have
picked up along the way. After a while, this gets to be second nature. You
will probably not completely eliminate the influence of the city; it is
simply not as easy as living in the wide open spaces. However, you can at
least manage it better with techniques like this. Also, as you go out and
about, ask for your guides to offer some added protection to your energy. A
golden color can be especially useful to visualize protection when you go
out into a crowded place.

Q. I have a major project of cleaning, sorting and compacting belongings in
my own apartment that cannot be done in a day or a week. I am trying to work
with balancing my energy so to that I don't get dragged down and stuck. How
can I not be overwhelmed with the task at hand, especially when I wake up in
the midst of it every day?

A. We would suggest you start with your own aura because if your own aura is
not clear, you won't be able to accomplish anything in your space, and that
only needs to take a couple of minutes. A good discipline would be to limit
yourself to one corner at a time; don't try to do it all at once. If you can
make a small area the way you want it to be, it will give you the confidence
and the momentum to move on to the next. You might also see if you have a
friend who can help you who has good skills with that.
 

 Closing Meditation

 
Surround yourself with the most beautiful energy you can imagine, as if you
were in bliss, full of gratitude and peace. If you can imagine this, you can
start to create that in your life.

Love and blessings to each of you. We are available to help you on your
path. Good night.

 

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