Sunday, April 20, 2014

Beyond Memories

Beyond memories and a disappearing act.  A very curious journey within journeys to share.

The day began with a simple adventure as the impetus for motion.  I had the day off and really wanted to see the beautiful Huntington Gardens in San Marino.  My partner in crime and I had breakfast as per usual on a wonderful day off and headed for the local drug store to pick up a memory chip and batteries for my camera.  Seems like a simple enough task right?  Well, I got into the car and my intuition told me to check the chip and make sure it worked in my camera.  I really wanted to take pictures as I often do when off on my little adventures so it was important to me to capture my memories.  I reached into the bag and pulled out the box the chip was contained in.  I opened it only to discover the chip was not there.  I bought an empty box.  I found that funny on one hand and frustrating on another.  Grateful that I followed my intuition, I grabbed the empty box and my receipt and walked back into the store.  I went back to the checker who had just taken care of my purchase and explained to him my plight.  Without argument he told me to just go grab another and he apologized for the incident.  I checked the box at the register this time to make sure what I purchased was in the box.  With both the checker and I satisfied I had the chip, I went out to the car and snapped a quick picture.  It worked.  We were off on the journey.

Interestingly I discovered the night before that the easiest route to our destination was up Route 19.  This route was one I was intimately familiar with as it ran right through my hometown.  I knew this road and so decided to take it all the way up.  It would be a longer route as it had more lights but my intuition guided me that this was the right route to take.  I found that curious as the night before I had experienced some shadow work.  In fact the post prior to this one was about a scene still well within 24 hours of the moment I began the journey we were currently on.  I’ll share with you that I don’t care for returning to my hometown.  All the people I loved who once lived there are now gone, moved on to the other side of the veil or out of state but there was something important in the journey and the memories they would bring.  Considering my work the night before, I drove.

The journey is the destination is true for me in more ways than one.  For the first time I drove through my hometown without wincing in pain.  I took it as confirmation that my work the night before had not been in vain and it had much deeper purpose than I realized.  A funny thing happens when you let intuition freely be your guide.  The explorations seem to bring about much deeper and infinitely more helpful meaning.  Today was no different passing through my hometown.  I recalled the joys and sorrows associated with the place and I imagined releasing the energy of my own emotion from that place even if I wasn’t feeling it emotionally.  Energetically I was and the weight was heavy.  I didn’t want to leave my hometown adding to the heaviness so as I passed through it I soaked it up, cleaned it up and let it go.

We arrived after a time near our destination and after a few turns, the chills ran up and down my spine, my skin and bounced seemingly between my head and my toes.  I had seen this neighborhood before and I knew it.  You may or may not believe me when I tell you what I recognized and to be honest, I’m not sure I believe anything at all anymore.  But I’ll share anyway just for fun.  When I was 24 years old I had a bit of a nightmare.  It sat me straight up in bed and haunted me relentlessly for weeks.  I wrote about it in my book Expanding Horizons.  It marked the beginning of an aware spiritual journey…simply meaning I began seeking answers on purpose and questioning everything I had previously taken for granted while sleep-living.  I’ll sum this up quickly in that while in the dream I inhabited another body at another time and was in a strange neighborhood.  I pulled into the driveway of a strange house.  In the dream, I peeked into the window to see my ex-husband’s uncle, father and mother watching television.  I knocked on the old screen door and his mother answered.  She told me I shouldn’t be there and I insisted as I had come for my daughter who had been taken from me wrongly and I intended to leave with her.  My ex-in laws were not mean but were not fully compassionate either for reasons I could not recollect.  All I knew as that time was of the essence, freedom was my goal along with the liberation of my child.

After a short time my ex-mother in law took pity on me and told me to hurry because Jack would be home soon from work.  She handed me my near two-year old daughter wrapped in a fuzzy yellow blanket.  Our eyes met and I knew she understood how much I loved my daughter and how I feared her son and with good reason.  From woman to woman she chose to help me right a wrong.  I ran down the steps, jumped into the car and screeched the car in reverse and then down the street.  It had turned stormy and the wind was blowing the blanket my daughter was wrapped up in.  The neighborhood looked like it was somewhere in Los Angeles County but 40 miles northeast of where I grew up in this life.  The year was 1963.  The dream ended with great fear and me standing on the brakes with everything in me to stop the car.  I couldn’t stop the car and we hit another head on in a place where the streets were at odd angles.  My neck broke due to the speed I was traveling, hitting the windshield with such force that it snapped.  I was immediately outside of my body and my child, while injured, was safe.  I watched the scene flow frame after frame and I saw Jack at the hospital with our daughter.  I was angry, so angry.  I just wanted to be free.  With such rage I crossed over into the Meadow and there I sat for the longest time in the sun.  I was soon joined by my guide Jacob whose presence brought me great peace and healing.

The version I’ve told is part memory and part discovery with help.  I’ve condensed it for the sake of my little story and journey with memories.  So, suffice it to say that I found the neighborhood where the accident took place.  So much had changed but some not at all.  I noticed the feeling, the shivers in my spine and understanding that we’re more than just what we think in this life.  I let the thoughts go and found our present destination.  The accident in the dream took place in 1963 when I was approximately 27 years old.  I was born in 1966 in this life.  I cannot help but wonder now if it was my own selfishness and rage that brought me right back.  I realized it didn’t really matter.  A part of me wanted confirmation and I got it at so many levels if I consider what I had experienced within the last 24 hours.  But the confirmation didn't stop there.

The gardens had me mesmerized for hours as my partner and I were carried away by the beautiful scent of roses, watching humming birds and blue jays play, listening to waterfalls while walking through mini bamboo jungles on perfectly maintained and angled pathways.  The bridges and colors, contrasts and completion of beauty had me feeling as if I was back in heaven, in the Meadow…that same feeling of peace stayed with me all day.  My partner and I took turns snapping pictures of each other.  For some reason, I recalled every picture he took, two by the fountain, one just outside a beautiful building, one near a jade pond, another just outside the Japanese gardens with my hand on the head of a lion statue.  I saw the shutter open and close because that’s how I know it is okay to move again.  I was fortunate to gather a great number of shots.  Well over a hundred did we take that day.  Finally tired from hill climbing, we decided to return home going back the same way but with a detour running yet again through the middle of my home town.

It’s a long drive when you decide to go 40 miles down city streets.  But the memories came again.  I saw new buildings and old buildings in my home town and on the main drag where I had worked, walked and explored as a young woman, I noticed something.  The stores were all gone.  The shells were left only with no life left in them.  It was nearly an entire block of nothing but closed stores.  Oh the memories flooded of a different time in this life when this street was busy teaming with life.  The being there and gone stuck with me as a thought and a feeling too.  I detached from it knowing that here time marches on, things change, things decline and then disappear.

We had driven on our journey near almost every single place I had ever lived in this life.  That was not the intent but that is how intuition had me play it out and I don’t regret it living a day of a beautiful journey with superimposed memories happening at the same time and then disappearing the moment we hit Pacific Coast Highway, the road that would take me to my current and most favorite home.  My partner and I spoke about the concept of home and how perhaps it never really is a place after all.  We live here and think that Heaven is home and maybe it is.  But what if it isn’t?  What if heaven is merely the heart of us as we live and breathe consciously or don’t live but are conscious?  Home is inside of us all which means Heaven or the concept of it is too.

We stopped and grabbed some fast food as I was craving root beer (a common indulgence that’s been with me since I was a little girl).  Waiting in line another memory returned, one of being on the other side and wanting to be here.  Why would I want to be here and where is here anyway?  If my memories had taught me anything at all on this journey today it is that my brain can’t really tell the difference between a memory in time, a dream or physical reality from a feeling standpoint.  All evoke feelings in just the same way.  Fantasy and reality or memories and dreams, they all evoke feeling.  I let the thought trail away as I grabbed our order and we made our way the final block home.

I grabbed my root beer and my camera.  I opened it up and grabbed the chip.  I wanted to see the pictures we had taken.  I went through all 132 of them and not one of me existed even though several were taken where I saw the shutter open and close.  Simple explanations abound but so do others.  A metaphor in a day lived in my memory of memories within memories, confounded or facilitated through time or at least one common faculty…my consciousness.  I found all of the feelings of the day intriguing.  I was not happy or sad but curious.  So many whys I had floating through my brain all day and now, this final message of me disappearing from a place I thought I should be.  A part of me understands and a part of me doesn’t.  Perhaps its just more confirmation.  In another meditation I suddenly recalled a beautiful woman who came to me.  When I asked her who she was, she spoke in Japanese and said she was my memories.  Kiyoku (sp?) was her name.  But there is a world beyond memories that I can’t comprehend and I cannot hold.  I can learn, however, to just be even more present as these feelings collide and I ponder what an interesting journey this has been.

© 2014 Jaie Hart (photo and words)  A fun fact is that this is one of the places my picture was taken, I saw the camera shutter open and close as I touched the statue and when we got home, not a single picture of me was on the chip.  "Curiouser and curiouser," to quote Alice.



There was something I needed to do, my inspiration told me.  It wouldn’t be difficult technically speaking but would require great courage and a strong will to change the status quo that had become my world of late.  So, I lit the white candle at the alter and I sat down, took a deep breath and closed my eyes.  In moments, I saw two of my guardian angels, Jacob and Aaron.  Jacob asked me if I was ready and I said, “Yes, let’s do this.”   Just then, my beautiful friend white owl showed up.  We climbed on her back and we were off then to soaring through the night sky and then into the mouth of a cave at the bottom of a mountain in the desert.  We were headed to the underworld. 

The underworld is often greatly misunderstood and so let me clarify that by underworld, I do not mean Hell or Purgatory or anything biblical by any stretch.  The underworld is a different plane all-together and is most convenient for inter-dimensional travel when one is properly prepared and guided.  I’ve traveled the underworld a good number of times when called by my intuition to go within and begin “seeking” for answers.  This time, it wasn’t an answer I sought but an aspect.  An aspect of my own existence I could feel living and breathing inside of me…a creation of sorts.  I had created an inter-dimensional being, a monster you might say, one called rage.  She came to see me many years ago and has wreaked havoc with my sanity a time or two over the last ten years but I didn’t know what she was entirely or where she came from.  All I knew was that she was one very powerful creation who captured my attention so completely at times.  When we first met she hit me with energy so hard in my heart I was unable to move.  I faced her briefly but all I held was fear and bewilderment.  I didn’t have the wherewithal at the time to understand.

The last time I saw her I was in meditation and she leaped at me in my mind’s eye and in that moment I both saw and felt the strength of her power.  She was hideous, terrifying, flaming matted red hair, yellow orange eyes, shrieking, long dirty nails, pale bloodless skin and dark stripes that were similar to tribal tattoos.  This was many years ago and I was in no way prepared for that encounter.  I shut down my meditative practice not understanding that I had only just met an aspect of me, a representation of repressed pain, anger and hurt that was left to flounder on its own unrecognized.   When you get closer to peeling away the layers of the beliefs and lies you’ve been handed or created about your own life, sometimes your own shadow sides will call to you.  Mine did and I answered that call.  I understood the hows, the whys and what was that I had to do.

We traveled through the underworld fast but I caught glimpses of the beautiful light, crystals and different worlds carved into the sides of the cave walls that acted much like live picture frames that you could step into.  With my intuition I guided the owl straight ahead to a tiny perfectly round tunnel where I saw moonlight.  Snowy climbed the tunnel for miles until we arrived on a plane that appeared to be not unlike the Earth but it was some place a little different.  The scene was serene but the energy was not at all so I knew we were close.  Up above a night time sky appeared as it would have on Earth and before us a large black glassy lake that reflected the light of twinkling stars now and again.  A great oak tree rose large and looming across a short field of flat grass and I knew somehow that was the meeting place.  We gathered twigs and rocks large enough to make a safe fire ring.  We lit the flame and we waited.  I held hands with my guides and said a prayer that I be given the strength and the courage to hold nothing but love and compassion for the being I needed to meet.  No sooner had I finished the prayer and felt the pure peace of it washing over us when my guest arrived.

She was animal like, lithe like a cat and she suddenly sprang animal like from the darkness to the far side of the campfire’s light.  I spoke to her then, “Come, please, I will not hurt you.”  I could see her eyes glowing in the darkness and I felt her anger hit the space of peace we had created.  Knowing her heart as I did, since it was the one beating inside me, I put more force and focus into expressing love non-verbally from the center of my heart.  I spoke to her again and asked, “Would you like to join us and sit for a time?”  She seemed to bristle a bit but then stood upright taking slow and deliberate steps closer.  She was strong and fearless in her power and Jacob and Aaron both gripped my hands a little tighter no doubt for reassurance.  I spoke to them intuitively to ask them to let go of my hands and just hold a space of love while I worked.

I took a deep breath and visually embraced the fullness of my own creation.  She was terrifying in appearance just like something from a horror movie but I was not afraid.  I'm not exactly sure why.  Maybe it was that  I could feel the heart of her because it was my heart.  I knew she would not hurt me somehow even though she was angry enough to destroy me.  I stood my ground, looked her in the eyes and let loose nothing but the energy of compassion and then I broke the silent tension between us.  I asked her if I could come sit beside her.  She didn’t speak but made it clear by her demeanor she cared not one bit for me.  I knew better but didn't let on.  Bolstered by strength and sheer determination I walked carefully and slowly around the campfire and I sat down next to her.  With everything in me I focused all of the love in my heart on her, surrounding her, supporting her and fully feeling and ultimately knowing her.  I asked her to look at me sensing her great discomfort.  She looked at me with eyes glazed over still angry, still in the fullness of her emotional rage but nonplussed I pushed forward anyway.  I saw the black stripes on her arms and legs, her back, her body and I reached out slowly and touched one on her left shoulder.  It was not a stripe but a scar.  When I touched it and sent it love, it disappeared and the scars in her arm returned to normal looking skin.  She was shocked but felt the healing.

I paused a moment to let her consider the thought I sent her…I can bring you great healing if you would but let me.  She snarled, “Why should I?  You were the one that created me.  You were the one who ignored me, my needs, my desires and left me behind without a single thought or care.  Why in all of God’s creation should I trust you to bring me anything but misery?”  I answered, “Because I created you and I have nothing but love to offer you if you would be willing to explore and to understand all that has truly transpired.  I reached then for her right shoulder and where the scars were I touched them with my hands bright with pink light and her other arm returned to normal.  I did the same when I touched her back and all the scars disappeared replaced by normal looking skin.  When I felt the back of her heart, I knew she wanted nothing but freedom, just like me.  Seizing the opportunity in her moment of doubt, I moved quickly before her and knelt in front of her face to face, surrendering and yet completely in control.

We stared at each other eye to eye for long moments.  I reached out and touched the black mark scars on her forehead and where I gently traced with the intent to heal and ease her pain, they too disappeared just like the others.  She let me then hold her face in my hands and I whispered, “I love you” over and over again until her pale skin changed to pink and scar-less.  I smoothed back the wild flaming hair and at my touch it turned smooth as silk.  She released into me the anger she held and she sat there in the fire as I clothed her and spoke to her softly words of understanding, words of apology, words of honesty and understanding compassion.  She looked me in the eyes completely transformed and she wrapped her arms around my neck and she cried.  She cried for what seemed an eternity and her tears filled the lake behind her and I knew that she created that lake with angry dark tears.  I told her that there was no need to be angry any more.  We talked of specifics, of scenes from the past and in lives past.  I asked her to let me know when she was ready to join with me and become whole once again.  She said she was ready now on one condition.  I agreed and then asked her to state her condition.  She then said, “You must always stand in your own light.”  She held out her hands then and took both of them in mine and we were instantly transported to a place in time I spent as a child.

Outside of a small church located in a local amusement park I had been to many times we materialized.  We sat there in the sunlight under a tree near a lake.  She had transformed the former scene where I had originally found her.  We spoke then of happier times and she relayed to me the things that hurt her, the things that made her angry that later turned to rage.  I helped her understand the truth of things beyond what she perceived as a child, young woman and then later an adult.  In that moment another aspect arrived and then another.  With each we joined together after spending time to understand, cry, laugh in the sunlight and release the smoky untruths we held as perception unquestioned.  We merged then into one being, one heart beat in peace and in love.

The next scene carried an intensely powerful moment with my own mother, of love, of words, of truths in a long line of angry and troubling relations passed from mother to daughter and daughter to mother.  I felt so much love for my own mother, the same love I felt for my daughters and I whispered “The path to healing you mom is to return to your own mother’s love and so on and so on back through time for time is meaningless and proximity is not as important as you think.  I told her I absolved her, loved her and wished her every success in her journey.”  I was pulled then back to my present reality.  With eyes closed still and feeling nothing but peace and love, I thanked the Divine Mother for such a healing journey.  After a moment of silent pure gratitude I opened my eyes. The lone candle burned still flickering in the darkness on the alter, seeing Snowy, Jacob and Aaron fading from my mind’s eye at peace.  Stunned by my own courage, stunned by the depth of my own love I knew the healing of my own shadows had begun and in that healing the real work had begun.

© 2014 Jaie Hart (photo and words)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Breaking Free From the Frame

I’ve been unable to write for a little while.  I’ve been focused on finishing some things that I started.  In the finishing, I begin to understand what I have truly been trying to learn the whole time.   I go back now to the moment of questioning. In all of my questioning and states of misunderstanding. I realized the question contains also the answer.  This is not my concept but one spoken by many a great teacher.  I just didn't understand it or how it works.

Life seems full of one paradox after another.  The thing you rail against the most is the thing a part of you wishes to embrace.  In other thinking, the things that revolt us in others are the very things that we judge as revolting within us.  The beauty and magic we see in this world can be seen only because those things are within us; a part of us all.   The acts of injustice we cry out the loudest against are acts we too have committed unnoticed perhaps by anyone but our quietest most inner selves in one form or another.  Multiple disciplines can explain to you why.  We can argue semantics into oblivion and it will not change the fact of truth beyond the limits of our manufactured perceptions.  Perception itself is an illusion.

My focus of late has been disentangling myself from the images that others held of me and what it is that I should be to them and for them.  Breaking free from the picture others hold of you and the way you should be in the opinion of others deeply internalized into unconscious belief is no easy thing.  But, I'll tell you something...I love it...the act of breaking free and then knowing that freedom always was and is all there is.  Feeling the truth may be uncomfortable.  So then shall discomfort be the thing I endeavor to embrace always for therein lies my deepest of dreams.  Deconstructing self-manufactured illusion in the absence of understanding is no simple matter.  That is the only thing I know and nothing more but I cannot help but observe the results and how the ego lurks at near every turn to judge this or that as wrong or right; my own very quick to judge me in kind.

I imagined one of my most difficult challenges in all of my existence within this frame very recently.  All of the things I thought it meant in reality turned out to be nothing but smoke and mirrors.  The message, in truth, was created by me for me in an attempt to get me to wake up and see the divine order of things.  Source bless all great teachers recognized and not for the part they played in this most difficult of lessons.  The thing of it is unimportant but the Source of it is perfect as are all things if we could but see with a clear heart and spirit.  I’ve learned that I know nothing about a good number of things and one might think this would be a painful thing but as it turns out, there is a freedom in knowing there isn’t a thing you can be certain of in the outside world.  What we see is merely a projection of what we expect there to be.  But there is more, so much more.   

The pain of shattering illusions is thin and the pressure then builds to shatter some more until there is nothing left but a tiny light in the darkness.  And knowing that tiny light and the darkness are one and the same as are we all-- one and the same.  We just don’t clearly understand how and so fight in our separation, grieve it unconsciously and deliberately until we drain ourselves of precious energy.  Then we may be blessed with a feeling…a feeling so true more than any other and that feeling is a powerful desire to surrender.  To surrender self to Self is an amazing, frightening, exhilarating and terrifying thing all at once.  You’d think it was painful the way we fearfully fight it but it isn’t painful at all.

The process is so liberating, so freeing and when you can find a way to wrestle joyously through the difficulty a subtle shift occurs.  It is so subtle you cannot pin point it easily but then those things that have hidden the truth and blocked the flow of pure love floods the mind, the heart, the spirit and soul.  Again without understanding what’s happening we revert to the familiar fears and controls that got us into the mess we've made of our lives and we stop and start and then stop again.  We reset by questioning what happened and then again that beautiful feeling flows in and says, “Shh, don’t be afraid, trust, go, you know what to do and so go and just Be.”

Our questions tell us the answers.  Our doubts can point to our truth.  We each must find our way there in our own time and know, we have lifetimes.  My most prevalent thought as I consider it all is, “Why wait?”  But take my thoughts with a grain of salt and instead consider your own on any given subject.  What is the subject?  What drew your focus to it to create it?  What did you want to get from it?  What are you getting from it?  Are you getting what you want or need?  Are you satisfied, happy, mad or sad?  Step back and get out of your head for a moment.  Shut down the mind and let the heart find the way.  It knows the way.  Trust that.  Don’t “believe” it.  Belief is nothing.  Knowing is everything.

I’m off to explore now free of the frame.  Blessings of great love, tenderness and strength for your journey beloved souls.  Just remember that everything matters and you are important.  Not in a narcissistic way but in a spiritual way as a blessed part of the Heart of this beautiful, infinite and amazing Whole.

© 2014 Jaie Hart (photo is not mine but a very fortunate internet find: