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Beyond Illusion Part II: A Return to Me...and You

Sharing a Moment another painting by Julia Fehrenbacher
So, how do we begin this journey back to our hearts?

Every journey is different, but all paths lead to peace. I can only tell you mine, and hope that it will speak to the truth within you, and that you will find your way, or confirm it within your own experience.

My journey begins with a little protection from the outside. This might sound rather harsh, but the first thing that I did, that would have a significant impact on my life, was to turn the tv/media off.

Your Soul has to speak loudly to compete with the myriad of voices and interpretations of reality, and it often isn't heard above the noise, not to mention that when we are engaged in watching most of what is on tv, we spend our time in an altered state, no longer aware of our surroundings and our relationships.

Yes, completely off. Oh, I didn't go cold turkey. I eased out of it. This was many years ago now. I remember the days of waiting for the titillating next installment of a show, and of looking forward to the buzz that would follow with friends and family. I remember following the news in all of its sensationalism, and feeling scared and depressed afterwards, sometimes taking days to recover.

Little by little, I felt the desire to find the magic in my own experience, rather than to wait for it each week to be performed by others. I felt the desire to make up my own mind about what kind of world I lived in.

(Don't worry if you can't turn the tv off yet, it is probably providing you with something that your soul needs, even if it is just to escape. Just love yourself when you watch).

It isn't that I don't watch any kind of image projected onto a screen. I do watch movies every once in a while. I love them, and I can still get excited about any period drama on Masterpiece Theatre, if I think about looking up the schedule, but it is my only channel, so, I don't find myself sitting in space flipping. Moments at the movies have become part of my sacred space, part of my falling in love with myself and doing things for myself that feel good, when I need them; that bring me more clarity and insight into my Self. I allow the use of tv/media to do this, and only this. The rest of the time is reserved for my own participation.

What I do my best to avoid, is tuning into mass consciousness, when what I am watching feels like it is edging me out by taking up all my time, or feels limiting and constrictive with perpetuated myths, or fearful mass thought and exploitation; when I find myself questioning the validity of sources and can't help but see all the red flags that shoot up as world themes become cut and dry, about polls, about one-sided interpretations, about entertaining for the sake of entertaining.

When the world becomes a fearful and unjust place, just waiting outside to capsize-- that is when I know that the message isn't for me. How media feels energetically to me is the test. Does it uplift or does it stress me out? If it stresses me out, it is no longer something that I allow into my sacred space. If it feels fearful, I question the validity of it. Yes, even something like swine flu. How could I possibly question that?

I don't deny that it exists (at this point), but rather I question if I need to be afraid of it. I like to take a Byron Katie approach to this one. After a woman in Israel expressed her deep fear of being bombed, considering the tensions with her Palestinian neighbors, Katie asked the woman if she was being bombed right then and there. Of course the woman said no. She proceeded to point out to the woman, that if she was perfectly safe in that moment, then why fear? She pointed out that it was her thoughts that were bombing her as they made her miss the moment at hand, and kept her afraid of the future, far from peace, and fearful of something that hadn't, and might not ever happen to her.

Yes, this might sound silly. How could you possibly not be afraid of something you had seen or heard happen to others so close to you, even to people you knew? However, it is only a small shift in perception, to let your thoughts linger in the beauty of the moment, away from the fear that may or may not be lurking around the corner. It is a shift that takes you from a feeling of powerlessness to empowerment, when you get to decide what reality you embrace, when you decide that it hurts to much to live in fear. It is a moment when you embrace that there are no guarantees. There is no ultimate protection that will save you from living in the flesh, so you strip down all of the armour with which you have been weighing yourself down, and run free letting the loving universe carry you, until you don't even need it anymore. And you open your mind to the possibility that part of you has been flying all along, and you join yourself in flight, powered from Source that has always been there, but obscured by your perception.

I, myself, would rather be living, than living in fear of something that may or may not happen. It isn't that you can't make preparations to your comfort level, to be prepared for a calamity, but you make them from a place of peace, knowing that no matter what you do, you will never know if you are prepared enough, or if you have taken enough precautions to avoid it. Your mind will never be satisfied. NEVER. So, in the the not knowing, can you see that letting go of control over this, brings you peace, how it releases the fear to retreat its ugly little self out of your life? Then you can't see calamity the same way, because you can't control it. You are ready to meet it head on, if it ever comes, but not with the greatest armies or the most powerful machines, but with the openness of a heart that fears it not, and therefore, can see it for what it is, and accept it for what it is. Let that one sink in. From this point of freedom, divine wisdom is allowed to intervene, no matter what the outcome, and this is more powerful than anything manufactured outside of ourselves made to combat fear.

If something bad happens to me, I hope that I will be right there on the front lines, ready to understand what this has to say to the bigger part of myself. I will be there smiling with my children in hand, in my last moments, and God forbid, their last moments, helping them to question their fear, so, even, in the face of death, they can see the joy that is, and always has been there. It feels something like surrender. It feels something like pure love. Like a rainbow in your heart, I say to my daughter, and this makes her giggle.

Because I can't avoid hearing all media, when I do come across something, I ask myself what it is about what I am hearing that I can learn. Maybe it is news about the chaos in Iran, and I remind myself, that I am only hearing a small part of what is going on.

And I allow myself to call up my meaningful experience, to interpret from the heart. It brings to mind the opportunity I had many years ago to experience the loving contours of an Iranian family, who had been forced to flee Iran for their lives, who settled in France, with some uncertainty for a good while, as to their safety. I remind myself that in the era I began to spend time with them, I had never experienced such pure love and goodness from anyone, as I did from these people-- not even from my own family. (Not because my family wasn't loving, but because they weren't capable of loving in this way, struggling with too many things within themselves).

In fact, I could say that my time with this family was the beginning of a profound awakening for me, when my spiritual journey expanded to encompass all--and I mean all. I was able to see how these people, supposed to be different from myself, contained more love and more energy to love, than anyone I'd ever known. It was as if their make up was just naturally flowing with a loving curiosity, an endless desire to be with and accept those from the outside, and to love them and laugh with them. It wasn't that they weren't bothered by things on the outside, but they were too busy loving and living to have it zap their energy.

I remember moments sitting around the table with these people feeling like I had come home. I realized that my life had felt very two-dimensional in many ways until I met these people. I remember the father talking about his friends who had been shot in the streets of Iran, how everyone became quiet, how the tears flowed. I remember how close they were as a family, how much love there was between the sister and brother, how much they wanted the best for one another. I also remember how I came to understand that speaking to one of them was like speaking to all of them, because they shared their interactions with me in my absence, with each other, making me feel as if I were very special to them indeed.

They laughed at my naivete as a young student, and embraced me, giving me gifts, showing me the beauty of the world they had come to love there in France, and always showed me loving acceptance. They joked with me. My favorite was when the father would say to his wife, Brooke is hungry! when it was time to eat. And everyone would laugh, and assemble at the table for the most splendid, lovingly prepared meals. It was like living in a fairy tale, not because there was anything out of the ordinary, but because these people were tuned into what really mattered, seeing as how they had had everything taken away. They chose to see beauty. It is a choice!

The year I spent with them is perhaps one of my greatest gifts, because I can never see the world the same way. I can't see the people villainized in the media the same way. I know that the entire human race is a beautiful, that they all love as deeply, that they all wish for peace, that they all feel pain and suffering equally. The only separations are in the way of form: language, culture, rituals, and of course, thought. But it boils down to this, we all want the same things--even if our minds have become a breeding ground for fear and separation.

So, when I hear on the news, overarching statements, that separate or create fear within, I question, and I let the truth of it come to the surface from a peaceful place.

And I hear, there is always enough. There is abundance beyond our wildest imaginings. There is hope. There is peace. There is freedom. There is perfect love and understanding. And I wait for the ways in which this will be shown to me. And I always find, even if it is searching back into my own experience, and into the magic that has always been; even if it takes me a while to see another perspective of it.

Always, I search for another angle.


  1. What a powerful and "unconventional" method to choose. I am a very rare tv watcher and reading this reminded me why. Eliminating tv is unheard of in many circles, especially the news, but that's the easiest one to drop for me. Tuning into the mass consciousness of fear and drama just doesn't resonate. I'd much rather tune into Wild Road. Thank you once again, Brooke, for your truth. You are living the blessed life!


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