Saturday, March 28, 2015

Orbital Focus


Wandering through the days and months I ponder all the discoveries made.  Each day in life is born of our dreams and so many wondrous intangible things.  Would that we could understand there is more to the horizon our eyes might perceive.  This life and all of humanity is perfect even in its seeming imperfection.  We focus so much outside ourselves, decry the misbehavior of others but what does that do in the end?  We have not the power to change another.

As I let my mind drift through my own experiences filtered by my useless perceptions I come to understand a thing or two.  First and foremost, this life has not much to do with how you envision or experience others living it but how you rise and live and lead by example.  We can change the world only to the extent we are willing to change ourselves.

It takes much courage, strength, integrity and honor to open yourself to the world at large.  Humanity can sometimes seem so cruel and if you focus there and only there, you’ll find no shortage of horrors and tragedies.  You can engage in this world of conspiracies and evildoers creating victims and villains in a huge wake of pain.  You can also engage in this world with great faith and knowing that you can choose to stand and walk, live and breathe in your own light, living your own dreams just as you truly intended.

I watch the leaves spring forth from the once bare naked trees.  Their slumber stirred by the changing of our orbit.  They return to yet another state of growth and showing the world their true beauty.  What if we are like that?  What if we each have our seasons of growth and bright beauty and then darkness and nakedness?  We have our moments of moving ahead and our moments of slowing down.  Asking why with any conviction at all is committing yourself to chasing the tail of an illusive dragon.  It is not really our place to question why but to know we intuitively already understand but just haven’t realized it yet.  We will, I think.

© JL Harter (photo:  NASA)

Tired of Toxic People? Time to Get Curious


We see these quotes, concepts and ideas thrown about on social media related to ditching the toxic people, get them out of your life and just flat out do not engage or hang around with them.  You hear about them in the work-place, in family gatherings and even during social interactions with friends.  Believe me, in my life-time I have had my share of people I might perceive as toxic that would lead my ego to completely agree with the idea of ditching toxic people

Here’s the thing and there is a thing, in this world it takes all kinds of people to make the world work, from saints to sinners, sane to crazy and creative to mundane.  This world can seem a crazy place and anyone you hang out with or situations you engage in that create toxic energy for you is not a healthy thing to do until at least, you begin to understand what is really happening.

I can only explain this concept by asking a question.  When people do the crazy things that they do that evoke that toxic feeling reaction from within you, aren’t you at least a little curious about what within you would give those folks permission to slide in right underneath your skin and irritate or hurt you?

In a world where pop-psychology is so mainstream, we all get the basic idea of “People who attack and insult you are telling you about them and not you.”  For the most part, I really think this is true.  But there is something else going on here too.  When you react to toxic people you are giving them permission to get your goat.  If you weren’t giving them permission, it wouldn’t bother you as much as it does.  So, where is your goat tied up and how on Earth was it created?

Let’s face it, we’ve all lived on planet Earth and experienced both the joyful and unsavory aspects of it.  We’ve all taken on some form of malware in the operating system of our psyches whether we are aware of it or not.  In every interaction, it takes two to create the reaction.  There is stimulus recognized and then there is reaction.  But what if we realized we didn’t have to react to begin with?

Lets go back to curious again for a minute.  Consider carefully for just a moment the following question:  What within you would give someone permission to seemingly control your emotions?  I’m not going to dig into anyone’s psychology because that is just none of my business.  What I’d like to do is empower you with some thoughts that might shift your perspective just long enough for you to understand the true intent and purpose of an exchange. 

When someone can so easily “push your buttons,” did you ever wonder about where the buttons came from?  How come you have a button to push?  People go on all day long about this or that and nothing sticks to you that you know with certainty is untrue.  You’ll hear something insanely thrown at you and you won’t react.  But the moment someone pushes your button or you’ve let them under your skin (towards that very tender place where the button was created at some point in your history), you’ve shifted your focus externally in defense when the internal concepts, goats and buttons are really trying to get your attention – not for the guy or gal who seems to be putting you in that position but for you.  You are reacting and that reaction is deserving of some curiosity.

I don’t mean to suggest that we walk this life like zombies, never feeling, never reacting and never acting, well, normal.  I mean to suggest that with some understanding, you may be less perturbed by what you feel is unsavory behavior in others.  You may find that button within you, understand it and heal any wounding beneath it thus eliminating the possibility forever more that someone with ill intent can find it to push it.  And there are always other strategies too – get off the battlefield for starters before you engage in something you may later regret by immersing in the toxicity or the blind reacting stage of having your buttons pushed. 

When we’re emotionally triggered, we can’t think straight and we certainly cannot be curious about anything.  The better cause of valor may be to close your mouth and shut down defensive thoughts and contemplate that urge rising from your core with emotion.  Speak again only when you can respond rather than react.  Find understanding and get curious before you engage in any button pushing attempts you perceive from another.

All of these interactions and human to human verbal skirmishes are designed to get you to look within you and understand the amazing wonder that you are.  That is a bit hard to see when your light is buried under years of debris created by unchallenged beliefs about yourself, your world and the people who have been or are in your life. 

Dealing with toxic people is a challenge but it can also be an opportunity.  But opportunities can be taken advantage of only by those aware enough that they exist and also those who are curious enough to explore for proactive prevention of recurring reactions.  It’s really all up to you and how you most wish to spend your time and energy here in life.   This world is amazing and so is every single aspect of humanity, especially you.  Consider what makes you tick, focus on your own behavior and let the toxic people be as they are.  You can’t change them.  Only they have the power to do that.

I can tell you that as weird as it sounds, I’m really grateful for the toxic people that have crossed my path.  When I got so sick of reacting I began to realize I could learn from my reactions.  I’m a root cause, fix-it kind of person.  I don’t like the feeling of reacting and definitely not because of the psychology of toxic people.  Spoilers: I’ve learned to see that toxic people bring up the toxicity within me.  When I see that, I have a beautiful opportunity to detoxify my own beliefs and thinking.  Sometimes it takes at lot of reflection and courage to look within.  It takes great strength and integrity of character to honor yourself by allowing people to be who they are without your input…even toxic people.

Some food for thought. 

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy some of my books.  Please check them out if you’d like at  If you’re interested in a little help with spiritually exploring your buttons, I am in the business of consulting and would be honored to assist you.  Just visit me at to learn more about me and what I do.

© 2015 J.L. Harter (photo and words)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Book by Jaie Hart: Changing Perspectives

We Start With Ourselves

If we are willing and we desire to make a difference in our lives, the lives of our loved ones and the world at large, we have to start small. We start with ourselves. We have to be willing and open to taking a look at ourselves and contemplating a few questions:

1. What is not working in my life today?
2. What patterns exist in my past that may provide insight into what is at the source of my pain?
3. What is the source of my pain?
4. What can I do with the pain to acknowledge it, accept it, transform it and heal it?
5. What can I watch for in my present behavior that indicates when my defenses are getting in the way of my desires and what do I do when I notice something?

An excerpt from Changing Perspectives by Jaie Hart.

Available at Http://

Book by Jaie Hart: So It's Over. Now What?

One of life's greatest challenges is finding and maintaining a happy and healthy relationship with another. This book is written as a guide book and resource for those going through the end of a romantic relationship. Rev. J.L. Harter provides some alternative points of view to assist those facing this very challenging moment in their lives to understand what they are going through, to consciously engage in the healing process and to use it not as a devastating blow in life but an incredibly amazing and valuable opportunity to get to know and come to understand and love yourself. This book covers the challenges of the beginning of the end and walks you through the thought processes and challenges of the early stages following the ending of a relationship to that point in which one may better understand the lessons learned, find healing and strive for a greater sense of hope, health and well-being. This work is available now at

Friday, March 20, 2015

I and the Moment Are One

Cloudy skies and the sun paints the edges of the clouds in silvery golden light.  My consciousness stretched out wide again, I’m opening to whatever thoughts may come.  I am not disappointed for they do come but not in their usual frenetic cacophony but more of a peaceful swirl of curiosity and questioning.  As I notice the motion of them inside, just one begins to rise to the surface:  What do you believe in?  I let the thought linger in the present and reflect upon it without trying to think too much about it.  From my studies in psychology and consciousness I could tear apart most things I believe.  But I don’t give much credence to my beliefs as I see them for what they are, thousands and thousands of thought forms existing within my head as untested hypotheses or provisional truths stated or derived as fact from the outside world of my own perspectives.

There is a feeling within me growing in response to my own question and I relax and let it culminate into conscious cognition.  It comes then, the response:  I believe in this moment.  For in this moment, there is both nothing and everything from the microcosm to the quantum whole of all of reality.  And then I wonder a little more as I let my thoughts gently float into and out of my awareness.  More questions than answers I presume as a measure of my learning and another becomes more clear:  How do you know that this moment exists at all?  I consider these questions and answers reflect in the form of feeling rather than thinking and the swirling then stops.  The thoughts now still have me reaching with my senses again.  I can only seemingly know a moment by the way I sense the moment, by the way I am present in that moment but that brings me no further certainty that it exists definitively outside the scope of my perception.

I’m not the first to wonder of such things and I certainly won’t be the last.  But I like this mental meandering of sorts and its accompanying ever-expanding feeling and so stay with it a bit more wondering where it will lead me.  I trace with a glance, a bank of clouds moving a little faster and lower on the horizon than the larger and darker ones nearer the sun.  I watch the city come fully awake and am wandering amongst a concrete jungle.  So many thoughts beg for attention and I quell them focused on one breath in this moment.  This moment to me is very much like a wave on a sea.  When we are in the midst of a moment there is no before or after, there is no past or future and there is no worry or care.  I like how that feels but it doesn’t answer my question or address my seeming belief in the validity of a moment.  Perhaps a moment isn’t a moment at all but a collective of moments woven by chains in hours and minutes or days and years.  I cannot say with any definitive certainty, for who am I to say anything definitive or certain about anything even my own measure of consciousness? I think I am awake and driving my car down the busy highway.  I see that there are buildings and people walking.  I see there are other drivers driving and still I can’t decide so with certainty that they exist.  I perceive something but a perception, like belief, is not a fact.  It seems so, both – perception and belief.  They seem like truth but time and time again are we proven wrong by science, experience or our own first hand observation from a much higher level of consciousness we may find ourselves momentarily engaged in.

I think the moment is as others have described and being fully present within it is like a surfer on top of a wave, there is no more waiting for it to come or considering it after, there is only the ride in the moment it has become manifest.  To think about those moments awakens a part of our experience that takes the pure and pristine beauty of a moment away.  Every moment is precious whether here, gone or yet to come.  All of time is an expression of our own perception and I’ve had these experiences where time has stopped or sped by extraordinarily fast.  Does it stand on its own outside of my experience?  I could easily argue both yes and no.  Did yesterday exist?  In my perception it did at least as my perception of my own memories tell me.  Will tomorrow exist?  Maybe. I don’t know if it will.  Does today exist?  I think that it does as I hear the wind chimes outside playing a wind facilitated beautiful tune, while the leaves shiver and shake in the sea breeze and I hear the birds singing as well.  But I must admit that each of these things is filtered through the perception that is the way I see the world.  Who is to say that I am right?  What if I’m wrong?

How does one master true understanding then of anything when all we think we know is based only on perception or belief?  I believe in this moment, I thought only moments ago.  But there are other moments I believed in too and now they are gone except in the confines of my conscious memory.  What is more real in my consciousness, that which stands before me or that recalled from memory?  If I go with feeling alone there is no answer and my feelings seem to react the same to memory or “real-time.”  But what is real-time but a moment in motion?  I cannot say even what a moment is or whether it truly exists or doesn’t but I exist as I observe it.  Am I separate at all then, in my consciousness from this moment?  Am I separate at all then in my consciousness from my perceptions or beliefs?  Again, I could answer both yes and no.  But something doesn’t sit right with the feeling within me.

If I throw out all of my thoughts and just be, I am content, sensing an ever expanding existence of consciousness of the big “C” kind.  Is that the Moment?  Are we creating them, the moments?  Do they exist in our memory, our souls or our Spirits or are we sitting in some etheric movie theatre somewhere…Elsewhere watching some form of educational movie we call life?  From a momentary experience I suppose it doesn’t matter whether when I am asleep I dream or I perceive myself awake even if by other standards I am still very much asleep.  My logical mind grasps for the themes, the patterns and the constants and there is only one and that one is most easily expressed as “I.”  Anything in this world or the next may follow that one tiny little letter in our very short alphabet that has meaning beyond that which 100,000 dictionaries, encyclopedias or academics of all sorts could define.  We can all describe a piece from our learning and from our respective perspectives but how much closer does that bring us to understanding a Moment?  I think the Moment is aligned with I.  I and the Moment are one in a way that may make no sense at all.

But it’s fun to toy with my thoughts as the leaves glow brilliant green on the trees and the clouds give way to cerulean blue skies and every single line and angle in my perspective is etched in both dark and light.  Now, in this moment, I have found yet again a tiny little space of peace in having no answers but questions, curiosity with coming knowledge and feeling.  What would a moment be without a feeling?  That, I suppose is a question for another time. 

May you find joy in your life’s moments for all are truly precious in whatever manner you perceive them to be.  May the light brilliantly shine upon the dark shadows of all of your perceptions and beliefs.  In time illumination comes for those who know it will and already has.

© J.L. Harter (photo/words)

Saturday, March 14, 2015

And We

Darkened landscape silhouettes
7 Silver Birds sent speeding skyward
One each minute that passes
The rising sun lighting their bellies
Making them appear as sparkling stars in an early morning sky
The rays of light begin reaching
Into a new day only just begun
And I find I’m reaching too
For what I cannot say
The golden pink sunrise
Takes my breath away
It matters not the road I’m on
Still I drive
Something within me stirs
As the silhouettes dissolve
In glowing orange shadows
More metal birds now in flight
And with them my thoughts soar
Let them get to where they are going, I think
Let us all arrive safely
After this amazing journey in life
With our hearts full of laughter
And blessed lessons learned
So the dream continues
Unfolding as it will
And we, with it

© 2015 Jaie Hart (photo/words)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Toxicity of Gossip: A Heavy and Dark Path From Which to Learn


We don’t think about it very much but perhaps we should.  Engaging in or propagating gossip is toxic for both the bearer of it and the receiver.  I hear gossip constantly and while I understand it deeply at a psychological level, I have to tell you that there is something within me that sinks and cringes whenever I hear it.  Now, having said that, I think there is a difference between momentarily venting when you’ve missed those Nano seconds to seek true understanding and have taken something into self and engaging in something wholly unhealthy due to pure psychology.  The Oz Principle, by Roger Conners talks about giving yourselves a moment to vent below the line, realize you are just venting and then bring yourself back above the line.  With Senn-Delaney (the culture shaping firm) concepts, which I also love, they acknowledge that as humans we react at a certain level in the negative when under stress but can bring ourselves back up to a level of curious which is neutral.

I wish more of the populace had exposure to these principles and guides so they would better understand why we operate the way we do.  I have to admit that I love these two specific sources of understanding that I’ve mentioned.  I also have to say that we can go deeper with our understanding by just cutting straight to the heart of a few things about life:

1.     No matter what we go through, we are going to experience something only from our ego’s very limited perspective.  That limited perspective is formed by our environmental psychology and its resulting conditioning.
2.     The ego seeks to protect itself first and foremost so will deny it’s part in any wrong doing, make assumptions and seek revenge if it feels in any way threatened by its conditioning even if passive-aggressively.
3.     The level to which you are affected by or engage in any of these things depends upon your own personal growth and development.  Everyone operates at a different level, please understand.
4.     We seek these experiences on purpose to learn from and hopefully some day, transcend.

At some point when we tire of the toxic engagement and stop doing the same things we’ve always done just to receive the same result, we may seek understanding instead.  Once you understand that your perspectives and assumptions are not truth, you’ve just lost half of anything there is to gossip about or become ensnared with.  When you reach for understanding and take the next step, setting boundaries for your own level of engagement, you realize you neither have to engage in the toxicity of gossip or take it in to you (as Mooji might say) when someone brings it to you.

Please understand, that gossip, assumption from skewed perception, victimizing thoughts and revenge all come from a wounded space of the armor that is our own egos as well as the ego's conditioning.  Just understand that and realize you don’t have to do anything about it.  The ego judges its safety and security by the level at which everyone else is perceived to reside within.  The ego does not, however, perceive the truth.  Thankfully within you there is the alternate experiencer who bears witness to all you see, hear, feel and engage in and seems quite separate, the observer (as Eckart Tolle and many other luminaries write about).  From that watcher or observer, if you will, stems true feeling once you learn to tune in and listen to it.  Your own inner voice is no voice at all…but is rather a very wonderful inner guide in the form of feelings (sometimes physical ones if need be) that exists as part of your being.

The next time you engage in gossip or receive it, I want you to pay very close attention to your solar plexus area or your heart area…does it feel a bit tight?  Does it feel like it’s sinking?  Does it feel like there is something not quite right like fear, dread, anxiety, or even a faster heart beat? Provided you do not suffer some form of sociopathic tendencies, you’ll notice that feeling and that feeling is a message.  That message is trying to tell you something – that something is either to stop blaming, victimizing, comparing, contrasting or trying to make yourself better at the expense of someone else you have most likely inaccurately perceived, or you are sensing what someone else is bringing you is just truly toxic and no good for you.

I dislike gossip.  I do not like how it feels.  I am a human being also and if I miss that Nano second to grab understanding instead of the ego’s perception, I’m going to need to vent my emotion just like the next person.  The only difference is that I find even as I begin to speak, my own body starts to tell me I’m wrong.  It starts to tell me through feeling that I’m not seeing the whole picture and so what I have judged may be inaccurate and that I may be missing an opportunity to get calm and centered and seek truth through real understanding rather than assuming my own assumptions are facts.  What I begin to understand is that my emotion is based on an illusion and so, may not be necessary.  That emotion must be understood better before acted upon.  Emotion based on assumption cannot be fact until validated.  Assumption, if left unchecked forms belief. Belief engages egoic emotion.  Before long this process leaves you with a mess of anxiety, anger and hurt feelings.  Understanding that belief is untested hypothesis, assumption is only deduction from information without the facts validated and that you can free yourself from generating or taking in toxicity is one of the key modes of self-actualization.  When we face these egoic emotions, the better cause of valor is to stop all action and go for a walk, breathe in and breathe out – repeat until the egoic emotion stops and we recenter ourselves in normal reality whatever that is for each of us.  Then, with a calm and cool head, go validate the facts and respond accordingly with  a compassion for self and understanding for others (this does not mean be a doormat - this means seek the truth and respond in a healthy way for you and others).

So, we are human in form at the moment.  We seek out interactions from which to learn.  We grow when we understand the life lesson presented over and over again.  Gossip is an opportunity to learn.  You can hear it and not let it in.  You can stop yourself from engaging in it by being accountable and honest with yourself about assumption and perception.  If you can do this, you can learn to operate from a healthy space of compassion.  This is an optimal state from which to learn and live positively in a way that helps you create and learn differently.  It takes change to learn and grow. Why not shift your own perspectives into a higher gear and steer clear of the one thing that will drag you down like cement shoes?  One more thought I’ll leave you with, if you, like me – tend to be the receiver of gossip, instead of taking it in, ask questions about the assumptions others are making.  The payoff of gossip is not worth anything the ego might think it will gain.  Just food for thought.

Blessings of higher love, compassion, healing and understanding beautiful dreamers!

©  2015 Jaie Hart


Squander not away the hours
The minutes or seconds of this life
Seeking egoic gratification

The secret to life
Or one of them actually
Is that the ego is like a puzzle
That once put together can be understood
And then ultimately, transcended

Like a rocket then, you’ll soar
To ever higher and higher sights as yet unseen
Visions and dreams never imagined
Then have the potential to become your reality

Find you not an ounce of solace
In any equality seeking endeavors
Know in your heart that equality exists
At a level most cannot even comprehend

Find the kindness within the heart of you
Let that be your one and only true guide
And with that beautifully dawning wisdom
Will you find the Source

Your Source

Of Truth

©  2015 Jaie Hart

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Old Country (St. Patrick's Day)

I dream of the old country,
Not with nostalgia, but in fear of the grip it had on me while I was there;
Always the traveler, always lost-always looking for directions...
I surrendered myself to you and your ways.

And it was always you, not them, not us but you,
Not as a host but as a jailer, holding me against my will,
Drowning in your hospitality and your rain,
Soaked to the bones with your desire,
Tricked again by your magic..

In the half light, under the cracked fanlight and street lamp,
Whipped by the wind and enveloped by the fog,
Is that the sunrise over the hills? Barely discernible like a ghost by the grave,
Or my soul, the departed, faithfully leaving me behind in the dark?

I dream of you now, won't you please let me go..
Loosen your grip, you loveless hag, barren countryside
and naked trees, no love no comfort, no way home.

I dream of the old country, and hope I awake,
I was born far from here, my dreams have been stolen,
The soft rain, thank God, is washing my soul clean,
The clouds form and close in over me,
Free from my memories, I slip quietly away.

The Old Country, no country, no land of mine, no return, no...

© 2015 Dr. Liam Leonard  (photo copyright as noted).

Shinning the Light on an Often Misunderstood Kind of Personal Confession


A wonderful soul set off a series of thoughts within me some time ago that everything within me railed against.  Several years and life lessons later, I think I only begin to understand.

As I was driving into the storm clouds this morning looking for the rays of light spilling out in every direction, the words came to me once again.  Only this time with them understanding came as pure inspiration from appreciating life just as it is.  

The concept is simply this:

When another person cites to you each of your failings and shortcomings, arrest any need you may have for a defensive reaction or action.

Instead, stop all thought and endeavor to listen very carefully with an open mind and heart.  For in such a moment thou art in fact receiving the Holy confession of the other person either in whole or in part.

Hold a space of loving compassion and give them the gift of having their voice heard.  This act takes nothing from you but can give you everything if you seize the opportunity.

With loving compassion and kindness, thank them for their courage and their honest expression.

Now, look deeply within your own being and see the truth for within your rising feelings towards the other person are you in fact giving also your own Holy confession.

Hold a space now of compassion and love for self in true appreciation for your own courage in feeling the layers of lies and false belief being freed from your soul.  Realize you both are being given an opportunity to be free.

Within every encounter and every exchange - both teacher and student are perfectly and beautifully born.  Teach and learn.  Learn and love.  Be silent and feel and you will begin to understand.  Blessings.

© 2015 Rev. JL Harter (photo and words)