Monday, December 26, 2011

As One Door Closes Another Opens

As 2011 comes to a close and 2012 begins to open up this week, where are your thoughts?  I typically sit in this week looking back over the year of accomplishments and failures and can find myself "rating" my year based on if there are more checks on the failure or accomplishment side.  What I have learned to be true however, is that the worth of my year is not determined by a tally sheet.  It is determined by my thinking and beliefs.  If I believe I had a crappy year, then I had....a crappy year.  If I believe I had a good year, then I had a....good year.  What is challenging here is the dichotomy of good and bad, as if those are the only two options a year can be.  Where I move my thoughts to now on a more regular basis is that my years, all of them, the one just past to 5 years ago to the one upcoming are years of growth and opportunity for expansion.
So sitting on the cusp of the new year I get excited about one of my favorite spiritual practices, Visioning.  I started Visioning over 8 years ago and make it a regular practice throughout the year, but always make time for it as one year closes and another year begins.
Simply, Visioning is a type of meditation, where one becomes still and surrenders trying to "figure" anything out and ask 4 questions and see what reveals.  These questions are directed more to our heart, soul and spirit than our intellectual mind.  Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith starting teaching this technique decades ago and calls it "reverent listening".  In Visioning our only purpose is to listen with our inner ear to what the voice of our spirit has to share.  Join me this year is Visioning as opposed to resolving.  It is truly a powerful way to move into the New Year.

There are many opportunities to be led in Visioning.  I lead a weekly Visioning group Wednesday mornings at 8:30 a.m., I will be facilitating an evening Visioning and Vision Boarding process on Wednesday, January 11th at Be Optimal Holistic Center.  My colleague and dear friend Sara Connell will be leading a Visioning workshop as well at the Bodhi Spiritual Center on January 8th.

Feel free to contact me with questions.  I can also send you instruction to facilitate your own Visioning process.  Happy New Year!

Love, Light & Laughter,

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The motive power which attracts...

Ahhh, Thanksgiving.  One of my favorite holidays.  If you have ever spent any time with me you know I like to eat and taste all kinds of good foods.  This, however, is not the only reason that I enjoy Thanksgiving.  I so enjoy the reminder of this holiday, to stop, pause and be grateful, grateful for what I have AND just to be grateful in general.  What I know to be true, whether we are grateful for something/someone in our lives or simply in a state of gratitude, thanksgiving or appreciation, we tap into an awesome power and principle that is amazingly generative.
Ernest Holmes writes in a definition of thanksgiving, "When we speak the words of thanksgiving to the God (Spirit, Divine, Love) within, knowing 'before they ask will I answer,' there is something in this attitude of thanksgiving that carries us beyond the field of doubt into one of perfect faith and acceptance, receptivity...realization.  Appreciation, gratitude and thanksgiving--the motive power which attracts and magnifies the hidden potentialities of life."  The motive power which attracts and magnifies the hidden potentialities of life, that is one of my favorite lines.  What I am humbly aware of us that I am always attracting and magnifying my life, but not always from a space of gratitude.  It is amazing to me how different my life experience immediately changes when I shift my attention to gratitude.  Join me and the country, heck the world for that matter in making an immediate shift by moving our collective attention to what we are grateful for and watch our individual and collective experience move into joy, love, creativity, safety and peace.  I am grateful for you!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What else can you see? That is Freedom!

I have been contemplating freedom lately.  The idea of freedom, the feeling of freedom, the philosophy of freedom, the smell of freedom, the taste of freedom, any and all things I associate with freedom.  I wanted to know what I actually believe about freedom personally.  Regardless of what a book says, a class teaches or what a friend, family member or loved one shares, what ultimately matters for any of us is what we actually think, what we actually believe about something.

I was inspired by a quote I came across of Henry David Thoreau's, "It is easier to sail many thousands of miles through cold and storm and cannibals, in a government ship, with five hundred assist one, than it is to explore the private sea, the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean of one's being alone."  I wonder if this is why so many of us find it challenging to sit down and meditate, to simply be still with ourselves for 5 to 10 minutes a day.

In meditation is where we actually commune with what we think and believe.  Meditation is where we see, touch, taste and feel the ingredients of our consciousness.  Sometimes those ingredients, those thoughts and beliefs, are not what we want in the stew we are cooking called our life.  Other times there may be thoughts and beliefs, ingredients, we didn't even know we had but actually like.  Meditation avails us to awareness, awareness of all of who we are, those ingredients we like and those less tasty.  What does all this have to do with freedom you might ask?  Consider this definition of freedom...Freedom: 1. the ability to see/consider possibility beyond what you currently know. 2. the ability to not only see or consider but to actually choose beyond what you currently know.

If something in your life is currently not working the way you would like it to, work, love, family, health, God even.  If whatever it is, is not working for you at your current place of understanding then you are bound by it, our current understanding of the situation is not serving us to move on.  What would liberate us from this?  Seeing another possibility.  That is freedom, seeing other possibilities, practicing freedom is actually choosing from that new possibility.

This is what meditation, prayer, other spiritual practices and spiritual counseling can offer us.  When I work with clients in a counseling session I always set an intention of awakening our individual and collective inner wisdom.  This intention then pulls us into our session and work together, availing myself and the client to see something else, to see new possibility, to live in freedom!

I challenge myself daily to see something new, to consider something previously outside of my conscious field of vision.  This challenge on a regular basis gives way to freedom, of seeing and choosing something new.  I challenge you to ask yourself "What else can I see?".  What I know is you will see something new and move through life free to be all of who you are!

Don't do it alone!  If you are looking for support living a freer life give me a call or email me for prayer or a counseling session.
Darrell Jones

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What Kingdom Do You Live In?

Last week I had the joy of leading a workshop on the spiritual practice of Visioning.  The practice of Visioning is basically moving into a deep meditative space, connecting with Love and from that heart space asking questions about our lives and listening to what comes to mind.  For this practice to really be powerful, one ideally is in a very receptive space.  One of trust and faith that life is conspiring for our good, not testing us, challenging us or trying to trick or fool us.

As a part of our workshop we looked at the 4 kingdoms of consciousness (this is all originally presented through Rev. Michael Beckwith of Agape International Spiritual Center).
Kingdom 1 - Victim - Life happens to you
Kingdom 2 - Manifestor - We happen to life, we create and "make" life happen
Kingdom 3 - Channel - Life happens through us
Kingdom 4 - Enlightenment - Life happens as us

In Visioning we reside in the 3rd and 4th Kingdoms, where we lose as much of our ego as possible and surrender to the creative life urge that is looking to express through us and as us.

A powerful practice that I constantly engage in on a daily basis is checking to see which kingdom I am "living" in, in a given moment.  Whether I am in a meditation, standing in line at the store or talking on the phone to someone I know, I quietly ask myself "Darrell, where's your head and heart right now?"  Does life feel like it is happening to me, do I feel disempowered, if so I am in the victim mindset, or do I feel at peace and very present to what is going on, if so I am probably in the 3rd or 4th kingdom of life happening through or as me.

This is a very simple practice of checking in on our feelings throughout the day, but it aids us in becoming aware of where we are "living".  As we continue to become aware, we continue to awaken to the present moment, where life truly happens and all the wisdom of the divine dwells.  Continue to awaken your inner wisdom this month, this week, this day by simply becoming aware of what kingdom you live in the most.

Continue the conversation with me one on one or in a small group setting.  Contact me today for details.

Love, Light & Laughter,
Darrell Jones

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What Possibilities Exist That I Am Not Aware Of?

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when it's the only one you have.  - Emile Chartier

I have been contemplating this quote most of the day, going back and forth from thinking this statement is profound to thinking, "hey, I think my thoughts are pretty good, does this mean my thoughts stink?".  I breathe and let both of those thoughts pass and ask in meditation, when I am jogging, as I am doing the laundry, in the shower "what other thoughts could I have than the ones I currently think?"  or another way of asking is "what possibilities exist in my life that I am not aware of?"  At the end of September I am teaching a workshop on Visioning, the practice of asking life, asking God, Spirit, The Universe, what is it that is looking to expand as my life beyond what I currently know.  

This is a humbling practice, for in order to learn something we don't currently know, we must admit we don't know it all.  I don't know about everyone else, but I have a little voice that lives in my head called the Inner Critic, aka the Perfectionist.  And this voice knows everything and in no way shape or form likes to admit that it doesn't know something or know how to figure out the answer to life.  It takes a little time and some deep breathing but I can eventually get into a space where I fully embrace that I do not know it all, and open myself up to be shown possibility.  This is the practice of Visioning, opening ourselves up to infinite possibility.  However, this is not an intellectual exercise of brainstorming as many ideas as possible, rather this is a very intentional practice of listening to our heart's desires without editing.  We embrace possibilities that we are not aware of from a space and consciousness of love and allow these possibilities to imprint our thinking which we experience as thoughts, ideas, feelings, sensations, colors, numbers, specific direction in life and more.

Visioning is not something I just talk about it is something I engage in a few times a year.  Personally this fall I am committing to this practice for myself at least once a month.  I also wish to offer this practice to individuals and groups too, whether you wish to engage in the process for yourself in a private session, a group session or a larger class there are many options I am offering.  Contact me and lets get you engaged in this practice to see what possibilities exist in your life that you are not aware of.

Love, Light & Laughter,

Darrell Jones

Friday, August 12, 2011

A state of being...

Food for thought came to me this week out of "Practicing the Presence" by Joel Goldsmith, "All through the ages, duality has separated us from our good, but it is a sense of duality, not duality, because there is no duality. The secret of life is oneness, and oneness is not something that we bring about. Oneness is a state of being."

What caught my attention was "...oneness is not something that we bring about. Oneness is a state of being." I immediately became aware of areas in my life where I am attempting to make oneness happen, where I attempting to make abundance, love, peace and freedom more apparent. If I need to make something happen then there is a part of my thought or belief that says, I am separate from it. If I need to make love come about then that means it is not already here...right? If I need to bring about oneness in my career, then it is not here then! Whoa, whoa, whoa, I tell myself and take a deep breath and reread the Joel Goldsmith passage. Afterwards I am reminded of a spiritual phrase that has been shared with me numerous times by many of my teachers "you are that which you seek".

Dangit! I've done it again. I am looking outside of myself for love, truth, reality, support and validation...shoot, I thought I was done with that! So once again I breath, and I am reminded to practice, sit in the stillness and cultivate the love, wisdom, truth, abundance and support within and move from that which I am into the world, drawing unto me that which I am. Vibrationally, energetically and consciously drawing into my experience a divine match of who I am, the Love, Wholeness, Peace & Joy of the divine.

We are mighty attractors, if we are attracting into our experience that which we do not desire, all we need do is shift our attention. Join me this week in giving yourself the gift of aligning with that which you desire for 5 minutes everyday in quiet, intentional meditation. This is not an exercise in figuring out how to be one with what you desire, this is an exercise of being one with your desires. See it in your minds eye, feel it in your emotions and body how it would be to be one with it. That is it, nothing else to do or make happen. Yes we still live our life and make decisions and choices, but as we continue to truly align with that which we desire, we begin to live our lives and make choices and decisions from a place of oneness as opposed to being separate and removed from our good. It may sound oversimplified but I am giving it a go, how about you?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Expect a Miracle?

This past July I spoke at the Bodhi Spiritual Center in Chicago on the importance of being aware of what we think, recognizing what thoughts we conform ourselves to. (click here for the YouTube Video) If we embrace the idea that our thoughts create our life, it is crucial that we constantly strive to remain aware of our internal dialogue. Henry Ford is attributed with the following quote: "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right." The title of my talk at Bodhi was "Who's Right Anyway?", and the point I iterated like Henry Ford, is that you are always right. Remove all other people, rules, obligations, agreements etc from the picture and whatever you think is right. Whatever you think is what you think period...and what we think effects how we see, interact, love, share and grow in our very life! Just last night my attention was drawn to the word miracle, from drawing an oracle card (angel cards they are sometimes called). I pull these from time to time as food for thought, as guidance for my spiritual practice. The card I pulled read "Expect a Miracle". I immediately became aware of all the doubt thoughts that ran through my head, "yeah, right a miracle", "show me then I'll believe it", "miracles are magic." Intellectually and mentally I say I believe in everyday miracles, yet when I pulled this card, with no effort on my part, these thoughts jumped to the surface of my mind. So if whatever I think is right, then on some level I don't believe in miracles. How humbling the spiritual journey, to be made aware of that which doesn't serve us. If I truly desire to experience miracles in my life, then I must expect them to happen, however, I have been made aware that my thinking is contrary to that which I desire. What do I do now? I return to my spiritual practice of prayer, meditation and working with my spiritual counselors. I begin today, by simply meditating in the willingness to accept a miracle. "I am open and willing to accept a miracle" better than that, "I am open and willing to expect miracles!" What are or aren't you willing to expect and accept in your life, be really honest with yourself and you may be surprised like I was.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sweet Freedom - Happy Fourth of July

"We have thought that outside things controlled us, when all the time we have had that within that could have changed everything and given us freedom from bondage." - Ernest Holmes

As I meditated this morning and did some reading I was drawn to this thought by Ernest Holmes. All the time I have had within that which could have changed everything and allowed myself freedom from bondage. It is easy to reflect on the past choices and decisions I could have made that would have been more beneficial or freeing, to see the truth in the above statement from Ernest Holmes. The real place of power is to know this today, that I, that we have the power, wisdom, creativity and ability to change everything from within and free ourselves from whatever bondage may be present in our lives.

Affirmation: Today I recommit to my freedom, allowing the practice of prayer and meditation to open my mind, heart and soul to a greater understanding of that which impedes my freedom and that which fosters my freedom. I am free and empowered to create a life that is abundantly expanding all of my heart's desires!