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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Living In Truth

By Nancy Rynes, author of Awakenings from the Light 



It's sometime during the summer of 2005. I'm clinging to a granite cliff face in the Colorado mountains, balancing on slivers of rock seventy feet above the ground. The top rope holding me is safe and secure and I trust my belay partner to stop me should I slip and start to fall. But I find myself frozen in place. My mind cannot figure out the next move.This isn't the first time I've climbed but then and there I decide that it is the last.

My knees begin to shake, and I mean an uncontrollable shake to the point where I feel my toes start to lose their grips on the wall. I call out to my belay partner and he tells me just to let go and fall - he will catch me and lower me to the ground. Letting go of that rock face challenges my trust for just a second, but realizing there is no other way out for me at this point, I force my fingers to open and my feet to push off the rock. He catches me with the top rope and lowers me safely to the ground. In that moment with just myself, the rock, and the rope, clarity struck me: I don't actually like rock climbing and never have!


By the time that summer day in 2005 rolled around, I had over 10 years of outdoor rock climbing under my belt. Climbing was not a gift or particular talent of mine. It was more of a habit and a way to spend time with friends. I hit the rock when I could, took classes, and tried to improve, but I had been lying to myself most of that decade. I didn't really enjoy it.

My ego wanted to enjoy it, though. I admired the skill and grace of elite athletes I saw around my home in Colorado and wanted to be like them. They climbed the cliffs like Spiderman scrambled up skyscrapers in the big city. And yes, I also wanted an excuse to hang out with my friends, and later, my boyfriend (a naturally gifted athlete). But climbing wasn't me. I had spent the last ten years lying to myself. 

We are probably all guilty of hiding the truth from ourselves at some time in our lives: 
  • One more doughnut won't hurt me (truth: I need to lose 30 pounds).
  • I deserve my spouse's violent outbursts (truth: No, I don't, and it's time for a big change).
  • I'm not smart/funny/creative (truth: Yes I am, but I am afraid to show my gifts to others). 
  • There is nothing better for me than this dead-end, minimum wage job (truth: I really want to go back to school to study nursing).
I think you get the picture.

Being honest with ourselves, or as I like to say it, "living our truth," is an important step in achieving a life of happiness, joy, creativity, and abundance. We cannot fully live in-Spirit if we constantly lie to ourselves about who we are and what we want. In Awakenings from the Light, I described how the Divine infused each of us with unique talents, abilities, and viewpoints. Honoring our unique light and allowing our talents to shine feels good, and it is a way to say "thank you" for those gifts. But our unique inner lights cannot shine if we blanket them in layers of lies, or stories that other people want us to believe about ourselves. In order to let those inner lights shine, we need to pull back the lies to see who we truly are, know when our inner lights sparkle, when they grow dim, and what feeds them.

Being truthful with yourself is one of the most difficult spiritual paths you can walk. If you choose it, the journey of living from the grace of truth is one that can easily last the rest of your life since there isn't a destination per se. Living in truth is a practice, but in my opinion this practice is the most valuable gift you can give to yourself.


Inner truth calls on us to be open and vulnerable with ourselves and God, and goodness knows our human ego hates to be either open or vulnerable. The ego is afraid of admitting mistakes, making a poor decision, or failing because it doesn't want to look "bad" or "less than." Telling ourselves the truth, though, requires us to admit to everything. God already knows you better than your know yourself so don't think you're hiding anything under your blanket of lies, anyway. Might as well face what is real.

Fears may crop up as you walk this path but know that you can put the fears to rest. Honor and acknowledge them, but don't believe in them.

I'm not sure why on that particular day in 2005, I was able to see my inner truth. Perhaps my soul-self finally had enough of living under a blanket of lies and forced my ego to recognize that it was time to put away the charade. I still enjoy watching rock climbers but am happy to say my feet are still firmly planted on Mother Earth.

Are you ready to walk the path toward inner truth? Next time we'll look at some ways to be more truthful with ourselves.


Love and Blessings to all of you...

Nancy





Posted by Nancy Rynes, author of Awakenings from the Light ( http://NancyRynes.com )
All content copyright Nancy Rynes, 2015-2016
Bio: Nancy Rynes is a speaker, artist, and author of Awakenings from the Light (available from Amazon.com). Nancy's books and workshops teach you how to bring a little bit of Heaven to your life on Earth. She lives near Boulder, Colorado. Check out her website: NancyRynes.com

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

An NDEr's View on Violence

By Nancy Rynes, author of Awakenings from the Light 
I feel sick that I am writing about yet another act of mass violence. Again.

In America and around the world, violence happens every day. Humans kill each other, beat their children or spouses or parents, act like a bully, physically intimidate, or lob hate-filled words to those who are somehow "different."

I've often been asked, "How does someone who has had an NDE react to violence like this?"

Honestly, I feel extreme horror and grief so deeply that I can't put words to it. Violence has always bothered me but since my NDE I feel myself reacting to it very, very deeply. It rips me apart some days. There really aren't any words that can express my deep sorrow for how we humans treat each other.


It rips me apart because I know that we are so much more than these heinous acts. And we are so much more than the bigoted rhetoric I hear and see every day.

It tears me apart because I know the beauty and brilliance of the light we each carry inside of us, and I know without a doubt that we are all connected to each other.  We are all brothers and sisters. I don't remember much from religion class in grade school, but I remember these:

Amen, I say to you, as much as you have done to one of these my little brothers, you have done that to me. (Matthew 25:40)

Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

Yes, what we do to someone we don't like, we do to all of us, and God too. And it's not just Christianity that teaches this. Most of the world's major religions have a version of the Golden Rule. (More on this in other religions, here (http://www.teachingvalues.com/goldenrule.html) )

When I died on the operating table in January of 2014, I died an atheist and skeptic. I did not believe in God, nor did I believe in any way that my consciousness would continue after the death of my physical body. I thought the Creator and the afterlife were both quaint stories, but just stories with no truth to them. But in an instant, God, Spirit, the Divine, or whatever you want to call that Supreme Entity, called me home and embraced me with a love so profound that it still makes me weep. Me, an atheist. I didn't believe, yet He welcomed me back home.

And He made it clear through my Guide that He loves ALL OF US. There is not one of us that He does not love. There is not one of us who is not part of His creation. And he asked me and you to love everyone as part of that creation, everyone, because we are all connected to each other through Divine Love and Presence.

It's time to stop saying "how terrible" and "how sad" and start doing something to change who we are on this planet. No, you can't change the world tomorrow, but you CAN begin to change yourself and the world around you. You can vow to bring Heaven to your life on Earth.

Start at home.

Start with yourself.

It's time for all of us to get real.

Do you harbor any hate or compassion toward yourself, even a tiny bit? Are you secretly prejudiced against another "race," religion, nationality, or ethnic group, or do you truly feel kindness and respect for everyone? How are you raising your kids...to be compassionate and kind, or to hate? Are you violent toward anyone, or only loving and gentle?

It's time that we all take a good, long, compassionate look at who we are inside. If we see something we don't like, now is the time to start changing it. Let's not simply condemn the violence or bigotry of others if there is any shred of violence or bigotry in our own hearts. This latest creep may be just the mirror we all need in order to take an honest look at how we are living on this planet.

We can all be loving, compassionate humans. I have seen it for myself. In Heaven, and every time I give a talk or meet with people, I can literally see the spark of the Divine at the core of each person. But we hide that light behind human ego and fear, and that ego and fear manifests as hate, bigotry, and violence.

What are some ways we can begin to transform our society?
  • If you are in a country that votes, vote for officials who tend to be more compassionate, kind, and non-violent.
  • Treat your kids well. Kids are born to love. They learn mistrust and hate from adults, violent peers, and society.
  • Clean up your life. If you're harboring any amount of anger, hate, violence, or bigotry toward yourself or others, start working on transforming it to love, compassion, and kindness. Get help from a therapist if it seems too overwhelming to handle on your own.
  • If you want to be surrounded by love and loving people, start by being a source of love for others. It's easier to change how we are in the world than it is to transform the whole world to our liking.
I'll leave you with this moving tribute from CNN's Anderson Cooper, here: (http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/13/us/anderson-cooper-reads-orlando-shooting-victims-names/)

Next week we'll go back to another post in my "Truth" series.

Love and Blessings to all of you...

Nancy


Posted by Nancy Rynes, author of Awakenings from the Light ( http://NancyRynes.com )
All content copyright Nancy Rynes, 2015-2016
Bio: Nancy Rynes is a speaker, artist, and author of Awakenings from the Light (available from Amazon.com). Nancy's books and workshops teach you how to bring a little bit of Heaven to your life on Earth. She lives near Boulder, Colorado. Check out her website: NancyRynes.com