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Michael Chat with
Shepherd Hoodwin


Opening Comments

<ShepherdHoodwin> Let's take a moment and tune in to spirit. Let's each of us also feel our anchoring into the earth, like mighty trees with deep roots. As we relax, let us notice that our breathing is free and full.

<ShepherdHoodwin> MICHAEL: Greetings!

<ShepherdHoodwin> The energy tonight is light and responsive. There is an eagerness for transformation and healing on all levels. Many who participate in teachings such as these are quite intellectually intelligent. It is self-evident that intellectual food appeals to the intellectually oriented. We are not just speaking of those who are intellectually centered. All scholars and sages, in particular, tend to be attracted to knowledge. Beyond that, some people are intellectually calcified and feel that they already know enough; their curiosity has been suppressed if not outright broken. Other people, of all roles and overleaves, retain an avid thirst for knowledge. "Blessed are they who thirst...."

Intellectual orientation, as we are referring to it here, is a double-edge sword, like most things. It can lead to a lack of development of body and emotions. It can lead to living life from the head and not from wholeness. It is an illusion to mistake intellectual understanding with full-self knowing. Still, an avid intellect *can* lead the way toward wholeness.

Whatever one's strengths are, they can lead the way toward wholeness. For example, someone who is artistic but not as well developed intellectually, physically or spiritually, can use her artistry to awaken those other areas. Her creativity might spur her on to research an area of interest, or to "get her hands dirty" in physical exploration, or to find her way into the source of her inspiration. So you may use what you have to find wholeness. This is related to what we call balancing the centers, since usually (but not always), the underdeveloped areas are represented by the least-used centers. However, wholeness includes more aspects than just body, intellect, and emotions, although these aspects can probably be classified under one or two of these headings. Artistry, for example, usually suggests more the emotional center, but there is clearly an intellectual and physical component to it. Some artists use their intellectual center more than others. All use their body to some extent.

Art generally speaks more to the emotions, but some people access it more intellectually or tactilely. We are using artistry as a prime example of wholeness because many of you are feeling an opening into greater artistry. Your society is a bit elitist about art; many won't go near it because they feel they have little talent, and if they can't be "good," let alone great, they don't want to risk the judgment of others. However, in some cultures, art is seen as being for everyone to both enjoy and practice. Perhaps it would be well to approach it as you do with children, encouraging their expression without being too concerned about their technical proficiency.

Artistic expression can balance one's life like almost no other activity. Ask yourself what you would do if you could in the artistic realm. Whatever comes to mind is likely to be something essence is longing to express itself through. If you think you long to be a concert pianist but cannot play piano, you might simply reinterpret the longing as a desire to make music. Ask yourself what forms of expression now available to you call to you. Perhaps singing in a chorus or attending a drumming circle. Perhaps you long to dance but judge your body and/or your skills. Consider putting on music you like and dancing alone, for the time being, in your private place.

Human beings are, by nature, artistic beings. The ability to manipulate the environment implies doing so with maximum choice and flair. That's artistry. There can be artistry in every aspect of life, including business, food preparation, and so forth. Every conversation is a chance to create, to express yourself with originality and vividness. However, the areas normally considered to be artistic focus on creativity as opposed to just getting the job done, so they are ideal for self-expression. There have been great musicians, painters, etc., of all seven roles, so don't think that you are limited if you aren't an artisan or a sage.  If you *are* an artisan or a sage, and you don't have a creative outlet in your life, you are likely to suffer the most for that lack.

We're going to open this up now for comments and questions on this topic. What do our words so far bring up for you?

<LoriS> To look for the opportunity to create everywhere in our lives.
<janie> To create is to bring balance to our lives.
<DaveGregg> It's true about the artisan who lacks a creative outlet. It's like being in prison.
<Fideelia> Art is both fun and hard work. I am angry if I can't draw or paint for longer time. It is unhealthy.
<LoriS> Sages too - I get cranky when I can't paint or draw.
<laurie> Resonance....I've been looking for a creative outlet and considering my options. And I'm an Artisan :-)

<ShepherdHoodwin> For many of you, taking a beginner class at a local school can get the ball rolling.

<ladybroker> I've always wanted to do belly dancing, so based on the channeling I will look into it.
<fideelia> I can't sing at all but took voice course this fall term and it was fun!
<Kathryn41> Interesting that the messages I am receiving now are about creation and recreation and creative expression in other areas of my life - this ties in very nicely.
<Rainbows> We are all creating every day - our lives, our work, our loves, our joys, our sadness, our families...

<ShepherdHoodwin> Responding to Rainbows, we would say that this is very true, and *knowing* this as you live is a key to enhancing the creative expression in one's life.

<laughingboi> Can Michael speak to the cathartic aspects of art when dealing with tough life situations or the process of burning karmic ribbons?

<ShepherdHoodwin> Laughingboi, re: the cathartic aspects: self-expression, by definition, gets energy moving from within outward. Giving form to what's going on within can be remarkably healing. This is the concept behind art and music therapy.

<Renee> I am Scholar/Artisan cast and it definitely struck a chord as to where I'm neglecting myself in my life to achieve that balance!
<Carol> You have reminded me how healing artistic expression is and I need more of it in my life.
<Ivy> This is so true-I'm a sage and nothing feels as right as when I'm dancing, and I miss it horribly when I don't have the energy to do it.
<susantheoboist> I am always relearning to allow myself to enjoy music, as much as I allow myself to enjoy other artistic outlets.
<ShannonB> So how does an intellectually focused person know if he/she is "living too much in his/her head"?
<mark_townley> This is an area that this scholar tends to neglect!

<ShepherdHoodwin> Shannon asks how one knows if one is too much in one's head. In such a case, life feels too dry, and not as fulfilling as it might be.

<Elisa17> Is there any value to creativity that is mental only? Sometimes it feels pointless to play a violin badly when I can play a string quartet in my head.

<ShepherdHoodwin> Elisa, that can be valid, too, if it isn't just replaying what you already know. Some can have a very rich creative life without expressing it externally. However, you are physical beings, and most do better to externalize their creativity.

<SylviaD> As a scholar warrior cast, I see creativity in all that I do, - making meals, planning, just living.
<Fideelia> You must play violin so badly, that it seems like art you know -- like performance. Many artists have done this. :-)

<ShepherdHoodwin> Fideelia brings up a good point. If you are naturally more intellectual, you will be comfortable with intellectual functions. However, all souls crave balance. The balance for one person is different than for another. For some people, spending one percent of their time expressing artistically is the right balance. For others, it's 75%. We encourage you to find what works for you.

Now, we'll begin the formal questions, starting with one of general interest.

<DaveGregg> Fideelia, you have the first question of the evening...

Q & A

<Fideelia> In our culture many people believe that women are more intuitive than men -- feminine intuition, they claim. Does feminine intuition exist? And if so, how would you describe it? Moreover, what is intuition and how does it differ from female intuition?

<ShepherdHoodwin> Intuition is intuition. It is not solely the domain of souls in female bodies. We might define it as the ability to know more than what the five senses tell you. Intuition is not merely of the emotional center, but emotions carry a great deal of information. Someone cut off from emotions is likely to have trouble receiving intuitive knowledge. However, there are other sources of intuition, such as through a bodily and/or psychic sense of energy.

The most accurate intuition involves all levels of perception. Some males are quite intuitive in your culture, but generally not through their emotions. They often perceive through "gut feelings." The reason women are thought to be more intuitive in your culture is that males are enculturated to deny emotions. This is less true today than in the past, but there is still a cultural imperative for men to be "strong." What that boils down to is that society says, "Men need to be tough and protect us all. If that means killing, so be it."

Of course, in the hunter/gatherer tradition, hunting meant killing animals for food. It also meant killing other men to protect the tribe. It is possible to kill when necessary and still maintain open, healthy emotions, but in general, killing is traumatic, and society has often found it easier to deal with that by teaching males to detach from all emotions. That leaves them without a main source of intuitive information, although, as we say, there can be others. This is the main reason that women are considered to have better intuition. However, there is also a structural reason. The feminine correlates with the inner world, and the masculine, the outer.

Since emotions are content and thoughts are form, males are considered more intellectual and women, more emotional. Of course, you each know of exceptions to this, but it generally holds. A soul in a female body will naturally be more attuned to inner realities; in a male body, the same soul will be more attuned to outer realities.

Among souls, some naturally attune more to one than the other, but the body's sex will emphasize inner or outer, and will move the soul's focus to the "left" or the "right." That's the main reason there are exceptions to the generalities about men and women. Imprinting is another. All souls evolve toward greater intuition, even if some people's personalities block it more in some lifetimes. Even those who refuse to acknowledge any truths beyond the intellectual have intuitions--they just don't fully engage with them. You, no doubt, have heard many people say that they wished they'd followed a particular impulse or feeling. At the time, they dismissed it. You have also no doubt heard of people who were not normally all that intuitive who trusted an impulse that saved their lives. Oftentimes, the impulse was one of their spiritual guides "yelling" at them to avoid an accident or a doomed airplane. Your guides work with you to help you complete your life tasks.

Would you like to follow up on this question?

<Fideelia> I wonder if male/female ratio means outer/inner ratio?

<ShepherdHoodwin> Yes, to a certain degree. Not entirely, though. It more refers to the level of goal-orientation of the soul, but that's roughly equivalent, since goals are generally outwardly focused (not always, though).

The role matters here, too. Warriors and kings are especially outer-focused, no matter what the individual ratio. Scholars are, too, to a lesser degree. They are more influenced by the ratio in this regard, and also the body's sex. Priests are probably the role most inwardly directed, but they can still externalize their goals, obviously. Servers probably best balance the two: they can work diligently (outer) but bring much caring (inner) into the work. Sages tend to be more inner than is obvious to others. They are sometimes the "life of the party" or are otherwise holding forth, but in the positive pole, they are more inner-focused, as they maintain a keen eye for insights. They monitor inner dynamics and then report them externally. It's similar for artisans; although they may be caught up in the form they are crafting, in the positive pole, their creation springs from an internal process. In fact, in the positive poles, there's a better balance between inner and outer; in the negative poles, there tend to be extremes. A negative-pole priest ignores the outer. A negative-pole warrior ignores the inner. It is usually appropriate for warriors to be outer-dominant, but there's a right balance with the inner for everyone. Extremes of any kind indicate negative poles.

<Fideelia> Thank you.
<DaveGregg> Sabrina, you're next...

<Sabrina_> For a long time I have had a feeling that I “should” be doing something, such as helping others or following an unrealistic dream, instead of pursuing a regular career. This could be because I’m a priest, but I’m wondering if Michael can put perspective on it. I don’t get any specifics on the feeling and very recently this feeling has become more fearful and internally consuming. I feel that I’m in conflict with myself

<ShepherdHoodwin> As a server-cast priest, you obviously have a great need to serve in an exalted manner. This is not your imagination or just false personality. What is your training and current work?

<Sabrina_> I'm an engineer. Degree in Applied Science.

<ShepherdHoodwin> You chose this because it provides you with stability. There is nothing wrong with this work for you. Perhaps you can inspire others with whom you work and interact by maintaining as high a self-awareness as you can. A regular spiritual practice can help with this. However, this work will not be enough to nourish your need to have an inspirational impact. So it falls to your after-work activities to fill this need.

Perhaps some volunteer tutoring would fit the bill. One example might be teaching English as a second language (ESL). Another avenue might be some kind of peer or lay counseling. Or some form of healing work such as Reiki or hypnotherapy. There are many ways you could satisfy this need. The first step is to explore various options and see which ones call you.

<Sabrina_> Thank you very much
<DaveGregg> Beryl, you're next...

<beryl> I've wondered why fragments often come here for such seemingly trivial reasons, as channeled as one's Life Task, that is. I'm sure they're not at all trivial from an essence perspective, but it's like, "Um, I came all this way for THAT?" I'm talking about cases where fragments do not have more than one Life Task in a particular lifetime, and this "centerpiece" of their Life Plan seems totally underwhelming from the perspective of the physical plane.

<ShepherdHoodwin> Words fail when voicing the life task(s). Summarizing them is like summarizing a great work of art--one can never fully do them justice. When we look at the thrust that brings a soul into physical manifestation, we see a magnificent matrix of threads and desires. They always come down to a soul seeking to overcome limitations and experience bliss. Of course, there can be great pain on the physical plane, and we don't downplay this, but ultimately, it is all in service to the growth in one's ability to better experience the greatness of love. It takes a challenging "school" to call forth your inner greatness.

The life task is never truly trivial. If it appears to be, then we suggest that one feel into it more intuitively and sense its possibilities. Follow-up?

<beryl> Ah, LOVE. I don't know my Life Task but I now understand the complexities a little better, especially the limitations of language in channeling. Thank you!

<ShepherdHoodwin> You're welcome. Whatever your task, it is what you are called to do in your deepest knowing.  Dave?

<DaveGregg> Renee, you're next...

<Renee> I'd like to ask a question about a friend of mine. His name is Gunnar. Can you tell me anything about his condition and if there is a reason or purpose for this in this life? Can you also tell me if there is any possibility of healing and if yes, what that might be?

<ShepherdHoodwin> What exactly is his condition as you know it?

<Renee>  He has cancer.

<ShepherdHoodwin> If we are tuning accurately into Gunnar, we get a sense that he has mostly given up and resigned himself. Is that correct?

<Renee> Absolutely correct!

<ShepherdHoodwin> His cancer is largely physical, with genetic influences but aggravated by less-than-ideal personal choices. It would, of course, help if he had a more positive attitude, but there is good news, in our view: We think he would be quite responsive to herbal treatments. If he could be persuaded to see a gifted herbalist, he could correct his situation. Practitioners of Chinese medicine are often well trained in this, but an intuitive Western naturopath could also work. He seems parched, dehydrated. We suggest that he drink about half a gallon of fresh lemonade each day, with light sweetening.

<ShepherdHoodwin> Is there a follow-up?

<Renee> I wondered if it was part of prearranged agreement or anything?

<ShepherdHoodwin> No. This was a blip, a hazard of the physical plane. But, as we implied, we get the impression that he has not taken good care of himself. Is that correct?

<Renee> Somewhat. He is a smoker but he was also pretty physically fit -- like an avid exerciser, etc.

<ShepherdHoodwin> Perhaps it is the toxicity of the smoking we're picking up.

<Renee> I should also add he is a recovering alcoholic.

<ShepherdHoodwin> Obviously, that is another example of not taking good care of himself. Some people are better equipped than others to get away with such things. With a strong genetic constitution, cancer and other maladies might be slower to manifest.

<Renee> Thank you very much. I will pass your suggestions on!
<DaveGregg> TzM, you're next...

<TzM> What is my connection to Michael and the Michael teachings (past-life connections, agreements in this life)? Am I meant to channel them at some point directly in words as Shepherd does so artfully here, or in some other way (ie, just learning about them by reading, etc., and then talking with others about my understandings?) I find myself insatiably curious to learn about their teaching (my scholar side?) even though I don’t feel particularly emotionally connected or “inspired” by them (my priest role?), and I find it has become almost impossible for me not to talk about these understandings with others, even where such talk might seem radical/heretical. What is this all about?

<ShepherdHoodwin> You have always been a "good student." By this, we mean that over many lifetimes, you have maintain the avid intellect we spoke of earlier, and since you're a priest, you have particularly sought out inspirational teachings and have applied them in your life. This has accelerated your progress, the depth and breadth of your lessons. Even as a school student, you would not be satisfied, generally, to just do what is necessary for the grade--you want to really learn.

You have been our student in two previous lifetimes, once in a toga and once in the Asian monk's robes. Most others here have also been our students previously both on the physical and astral plane.

You could channel us if you wished but we suspect that you won't be drawn to the work involved for perhaps another ten years or so, if you choose to do it at all. Just as you have a passion to learn, you have a passion for others to know. This can sometimes lead to priestly zeal, but behind it is a deeply held belief that knowledge is a light out of the darkness, and you want to share that with others. A key to balancing this is to also live in the awareness that you already *are* the light and so is everyone else. That will keep you in compassion towards both yourself and others. Follow-up?

<TzM> How am I meant to be using the teachings now (if not channeling for another 10 yrs if ever)? Just learning and then being?

<ShepherdHoodwin> In whatever ways you find useful, but recognizing the patterns is a great tool for learning to be nonjudgmental. For example, when you spot a warrior doing what warriors naturally do, it's easier to let go of the idea that she should be more like you. That is mainly the purpose of the Michael teachings.

<TzM> Right on! Yes, I see this. Thank you very much! :-)
<DaveGregg> Ivy, you're next...

<Ivy> I was wondering about past lives or agreements with Noah [last name omitted]. And why he keeps showing up in my dreams?

<ShepherdHoodwin> What is your relationship with Noah?

<Ivy> Friends, but we had a falling out recently, of sorts.

<ShepherdHoodwin> MICHAEL: You and Noah have no agreements, but have had some interesting past lives together. One of your favorites was as petty thieves together, which you both mostly enjoyed thoroughly until being hung in a public square. Even that you didn't mind too much, since you both enjoyed the minor celebrity you received. You felt yourselves to be quite clever at having eluded capture for so long. Alcohol eased your passages into the astral. In another lifetime together, you were expert embezzlers, similar to the other lifetime but white collar--in fact, you were priests who lived quite well.

You are quite connected telepathically, and we suspect that your falling out will be temporary. Follow-up?

<Ivy> So he was my partner in crime?

<ShepherdHoodwin> Yes, happily so.

<Ivy> is he aware of this himself? The connection, I mean, not the past lives

<ShepherdHoodwin> Somewhat, we'd say.

<Ivy> Wow, shocking, thank you!

Closing Comments

<ShepherdHoodwin> We invite you each to tune in to the group energy, and report what you're experiencing relative to it.

<mark_townley> Quiet energy tonight I think.
<Kathryn41> Yes, calm, clear, comfortable - easy energy.
<ladybroker> I feel the energy circulating through me
<susantheoboist> I feel it from my heart through the top of my head.
<TzM> The group energy feels elastic, spacious (even though I'm quite exhausted personally).
<Ivy> Feels low key and relaxed tonight.

<ShepherdHoodwin> The energy is now expanding. As you relax into it, see where it takes you.

<cynzim> I feel a lifting pull.
<Ivy> Same here.
<Rainbows> Delightful, energetic and fun energy - somewhat playful and fluid.
<Kathryn41> There is the same feeling as standing outside on a hill looking out over the fields to the far horizon with billions of stars and a bright moon shining overhead - expansive, light, responsive. And very clean.

<ShepherdHoodwin> Tonight's energy, as it continues to move in your lives, is available to help you transform your inner landscape in ways that you've felt ready for but couldn't quite reach. Although no one can really predict, we would think that 2007 will be a more comfortable year than the past two has been for many of you. There's a readiness not to struggle so much and allow life to flow more easily.

<DaveGregg> Thank Tao! ;-)
<susantheoboist> Yay!
<beryl> Joy! Hope I'm included in that.
<Ivy> I hope so!
<Cricket> Certainly hope so!
<TzM> Expansive, delightful, playful and fun would be great! :-)
<beryl> Yes.
<Jyoti_Shah> Nice prediction for all of us! I believe so, too.
<susantheoboist> Yay!

<ShepherdHoodwin> We will conclude here. Love and blessings to you all.

<mark_townley> Thank you Michael.
<susantheoboist> Shepherd, as usual, you rock! Thank you so much!
<DaveGregg> Great session tonight, Shepherd! The hills are alive with the sound of "Michael." ;-)
<ladybroker> Thank you.
<Jyoti_Shah> Thanks, Shepherd.
<Kathryn41> Thank you Michael and Shepherd.
<Cricket> Thank you.
<LoriS> Thank you!
<laughingboi> Thank you!
<Robinette> Thank you.
<Ivy> Thank you, Shepherd and Michael.
<Rainbows> Thank you Shepherd and Michaels :)
<cynzim> Thank you and big love!
<JohnRoth> Thank you Shepherd!

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