You Are a Vortex

Most people are familiar with the word vortex in relation to energy centers at Sedona, Arizona, associated with various points in the physical landscape there, such as Cathedral Rock. These are believed to be places where powerful spiritual connections can take place. Other well-known energy spots, or sacred sites, are at Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, Haleakala Crater, the Great Pyramid, and the ancient Maya cities of Tulum and Tikal, as well as the underwater Atlantis Road near Bimini.

Not all vortexes are famous though. You may live close to one or more, as I do (I believe nearby Mt. Auburn Cemetery is a sacred energy vortex). Vortexes can take many forms and spark a variety of experiences, physical and nonphysical. At Mt. Auburn (and other places like Machu Picchu and Tikal), I have felt connected to something greater than my physical body, beyond time and space. Each sacred site I have visited unfolds into an interdimensional journey; the very quality of the light is extraordinary, heavenly. And this is how I have come to perceive vortexes: places where an intense flow of energy back and forth links the two dimensions of Heaven and Earth.

Many say the sacred sites around the world are all energetically connected to one another via ley lines, or meridians, that form a grid upon the Earth. My sense is that this energetic network stretches out from Earth to include the entire cosmos. And we as human beings who inhabit this planet are part of that network. We too are connected energetically to the cosmic grid and to one another. What is called psychic awareness, or second sight, is a manifestation of this connection. We all know things that defy rational explanation, that seem to have no basis in fact. Yet they are true at a deeper level. We are not just our bodies; we are much more. And our inner senses stretch far beyond the physical. We have so much to learn about ourselves and the universe during this time of planetary shifts in consciousness.

What we are discovering is that we too are vortexes. We channel cosmic energy, as do the trees, the mountains, the whales, the birds, and all of Nature. Our Earth is alive with energy, and our physical bodies are conduits for connecting that energy to the higher dimensions and receiving divine energy in turn. We are not alone on this planet. The energy of God, or Source, flows through us in every moment. And now is the time in history when we come to realize our great potential as human conduits and angels upon the Earth. We did not just come here to live a one-dimensional life and die. Collectively and individually we are coming into fully embodying human/divine presence in the world. We are evolving not only for ourselves but for the entire universe. Did you think you were alone in your life and in the cosmos? Far from it. We are part of a multiverse of energy that is continuously pulsing light codes. Every one of us is a transmitter and a receiver.

I often feel that vibrant energy when I walk in Nature or gaze up at the sky. I also feel it meditating in my living room or looking in the eyes of another human soul. We are souls above all else. Our physical bodies are temples that house our souls, and these temples are the vortexes that connect all of us to the vortexes of the Earth and to one another. The infinite universe is within us as well as outside. I can’t give you “proof” that this is true, but I know it deep within me. My mind can know physical reality, but my soul knows the music of the spheres to which we all dance within our lifetimes on this planet. We are points of awareness, we are radiant lights, stardust. We came here to shine the light of love in our hearts and to connect with one another and God at the deepest possible level. Stop for a moment in your busy life, take a deep breath, and remember who you are.

The Birds!

“This kind of spring day, with the beautiful myriads of colorful sprites just arrived from tropical shores, has to be one of the greatest gifts on Earth.”—Kenn Kaufman

Inevitably, people ask me why I moved from Florida back to Massachusetts after only two and a half years. I answer a little differently each time, usually something about missing friends/family and the change of seasons. However, as spring begins to flower in New England, there is one answer that rises to the top: the birds! Meaning the spring bird migration that brings thousands of birds from Central and South America northward through Massachusetts. And right down the street from me to Mt. Auburn Cemetery, which is heaven on Earth for birdwatchers from April to June, especially the first three weeks in May. With the exception of the last two years, this is where I could be found early in the morning to mid-afternoon on most spring days over the past 30 years.

More than anything else, I missed this exciting yearly event.  Even though Florida has incredible birds of its own (herons, egrets, ibises, gallinules, pelicans, parrots, woodpeckers), it was the excitement of seeing warblers, tanagers, orioles, grosbeaks, and thrushes passing through Massachusetts (some nesting here) annually that tugged at my heartstrings and called me home. The thrill of encountering these beautiful songbirds each spring is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. Through long snowy winters, northern birders anticipate their arrival.

When the male cardinal begins to rehearse his spring song in late January or early February, even with snow on the ground and freezing temperatures, it is the first hint that indeed spring is not far away. Soon I hear house finches, song sparrows, and mourning doves singing, as the days lengthen and the changing light cues the birds for their seasonal roles. For me, robins turn the tide. Some of them overwinter in Massachusetts, but it is the arrival of flocks of migrating robins in March that lift my heart: I know that spring is right on our doorstep now. The trees and lawns fill up with robins, and they can be heard calling and singing in the mornings and often throughout the day. This is what I missed most in Florida: robins, with their red breasts, bright eyes, and cheery songs. They sing spring into being, and soon all the other amazing migrating birds follow.

Mt. Auburn is a green gem of woodsy wildness in the midst of the busy streets of Cambridge, Massachusetts. When I walk through its gates, I step out of the city and into the country, or the closest thing to it in a metropolitan area. Tree elders of all kinds, as well as native plantings, flowers, ponds, hills, and dells, are a striking visual invitation to birds who have flown all night on their thousands-of-miles marathon journey from Central and South America. They drop down out of the sky at dawn into this oasis and begin to replenish their life force by eating the insects that come to the flowering spring trees. And we bird-lovers are there to welcome them.

In April, the first warblers appear: yellow-rumped, palm, pine. Then as May begins, the rest begin to fly in: black-throated blue, black-throated green, black-and-white, yellow, northern parula, magnolia, chestnut-sided, bay-breasted, common yellowthroat, ovenbird, American redstart, and so many others. I especially anticipate seeing the Blackburnian with its fiery orange iridescent throat and the Canada with its delicate black necklace. Each warbler has distinctive markings and color patterns that can evoke audible gasps among birders when the sun lights their feathers and their varied songs fill the air.

Around the same time, Baltimore orioles, scarlet tanagers, flycatchers, vireos, and rose-breasted grosbeaks arrive, and the rainbow of bird colors expands. There is nothing to compare to the sight of flashy orange-and-black orioles swirling through the trees chattering at one another and whistling melodically. The scarlet tanager is another showstopper, brilliant red and black among the green leaves, singing its hoarsely sweet song. Then there are the thrushes, whose songs are ethereal flute-like trills in the quiet woods. The veery and wood thrush, in particular, always fill my heart with joy and my eyes with tears as I listen in silence, motionless. Listening as much as watching is the delight of being with birds.

In its simplicity, birdwatching teaches silent presence as well as immersion in the moment. Within that is also surrender to a powerful invisible life force that flows through the universe and carries humans and birds alike. Great spiritual wisdom is embodied in the lives of these tiny feathered beings and awakened in our own hearts. As Kenn Kaufman writes, “They live the briefest of lives, but they are bound to eternal things.” So many birds, so many wonders that play out each spring in a passing parade of color and sound like no other. We are incredibly blessed to share the Earth with birds, who fly so far to light up our souls with their songs and presence. Living miracles each one of them. Who would want to miss this once-a-year magic show? Not me. And that’s why I moved back to Massachusetts.

Life Review: A Preview

When you reach the end of your life, you won’t look back and wish you had made more money, owned a condo in Aspen, or won a Pulitzer prize. None of that will matter. What you will see is all the people you interacted with in your lifetime and how you affected them. In a split second of life review, you will experience yourself as others experienced you and how they felt in being with you. You will know firsthand the love, caring, hurt, or thoughtlessness you energetically transmitted through your words, thoughts, and actions. Your lifetime effect on everyone and everything (including animals, plants, etc.) will be God’s gift to you at the moment of your transition out of the Earth dimension. Instant karma.

How do I know this? Well, of course, nothing is completely “knowable,” but I feel the truth of it in my soul. Those who have had near-death experiences describe life review, as do great wisdom-keepers in many traditions. As the years go by, I am also starting to experience moments of this kind of intense feedback about the effect I have in my life. I often feel inside me the reaction of another to my words or actions. My energetic presence bounces back to me in every moment. I can either deflect and ignore it, or I can receive it as a divine GPS system which guides me to greater kindness and compassion.

This is what life is all about. We have a vast number of experiences, individually and interpersonally, which help us to evolve into deeper alignment with who we are at the soul level: pure loving awareness. We—meaning our souls and God—designed our lives for this purpose. The evolution of humanity and a planet, foretold for millennia. And the end-of-life-review is part of that evolution. A life review that is now edging backward into our lives before the moment of death to show us that the wisdom and perspective that come at death can also inform our lives now, if we are open to it and fully allow it.

It’s like climbing to the top of a mountain or flying in a plane at 35,000 feet. The Earth is spread out below you and you see that you are only a tiny part of something so huge it is beyond imagination. Infinity presents itself to your consciousness. Indeed, your consciousness is infinite. When you open the door to that expansive awareness, you begin to see with the eyes of the soul, as God sees. At the center of everything, including you, is pure love. When you can see that clearly and live as that, you have fulfilled your human purpose. Every one of us here on the planet now is on that journey of remembering and fully embodying who we are. Our hearts are guiding us.

As each day passes, I feel a greater sense of the impeccable timing of our Earth journey and our human evolution. We are awakening more and more, and as we awaken, “life review” becomes not solely a final look at a life before dying but also a moment-to-moment feedback loop that shows each of us how closely we are aligned with the love within us. The things that don’t matter fall away, and we live life knowing that what you feel, I feel, and vice versa. At the deepest level, there is no separation. There is only oneness. And as far as you can see, a rainbow of light.

See the Good

Every morning we have a choice: to see the world as full of blessings or full of problems. The polarities of human perception. It is we who apply the labels, the filtering process. And in doing so, we set ourselves up for either contentment or suffering. Often it is a choice between living from the head or the heart. The mind’s function is to look for problems to solve, so it sees them everywhere. The heart’s purpose is to love, so it sees beauty everywhere. It is of course possible for these two to live in balance, but only if the overall perspective is positive. Then the heart can expand its love to include the mind. Within love, the mind relaxes and looks for peace instead of discord. The two work together to bring about human harmony.

But, you may ask, what about injustice and inequality in the world? How can we ignore those? Well, the idea is not to ignore them, but to open to a larger perspective of the times we are living in: to see everything as a process of evolving through extremes to a more compassionate consciousness as a species. This is an extraordinary era. Each of us is playing a role in the evolution of awareness and human relationships on a global scale. It is part of a planetary shift that has been foretold for thousands of years. If we live our lives with love and kindness rather than fear or mistrust, the transition will be experienced more smoothly within us. Inner harmony will be reflected in outer balance. The love and peace that live at our core will rise to the surface and radiate outward. Separation and “otherness” will fall away.

This inner awakening is happening individually and collectively now. It may not be obvious because the mainstream media only reports problems and fear-based drama, not “good news” about people working together for peaceful coexistence with one another and with Nature. Look for these positive stories; listen closely to the voices that speak of unity and oneness. This too exists on our planet, and we are part of it. When you see this evolution clearly, you become one with it. When you see the good, your heart expands, and that energy can be felt by all those around you. And most especially by you.

In living my life with an eye to the positive, my entire experience of daily life has shifted. Recently, I became aware of ways in which I sometimes make offhand negative comments or complaints. For instance, commenting on the paint color of a house as unpleasant or the behavior of someone as inconsiderate. Why choose those things to point out? Why not instead comment on what is beautiful in the house or on kindness in a stranger? It’s there; I just have to see it. Sometimes we think we are being honest in pointing out the “flaws” in things or people or life itself. But honesty is relative: you can be positively honest or negatively honest. Why not choose the former and break the habit of negativity? Your inner vibration reflects that positivity to everyone you encounter; your words, and your feelings and thoughts, have an impact. The world is experienced within first.

As I feel the truth of this dynamic more deeply, I live more from a place of seeing what is good in the world instead of what is lacking. Life becomes a daily blessing because that’s what I hold in my heart. I notice so many others holding that in their hearts now too. Thus is global transformation and unity revealed to us—and lived fully in our lives. With each positive vision shared and each hand extended in love, you and I help to evolve not only ourselves and our planet but the entire vibrational universe as well. See how good you are?!

Becoming a Vessel

“In order for me to become a vessel, to be used, I had to have my attachments broken. You can’t be a true vessel if you’re attached. You have to be emptied out.”
—Julia Butterfly Hill

The idea of becoming a vessel, or conduit, for selfless love to flow through you into the world is part of many spiritual teachings. To be of service in this way can become one of the highest aspirations for those on a deeply committed spiritual path. Julia Butterfly Hill, who spent two years living in the branches of a 1500-year-old redwood tree to prevent it from being cut down, has described her own preparation for this dedicated act of service. She let go of all physical attachments in terms of possessions, but then Mother Nature emptied her of everything else in a fierce wind/rain storm that brought her face to face with the possibility of her own death. She was “emptied out” for the task ahead.

We may not all be called to such courageous actions, but more and more I believe we are called to be fully present in our lives in the most loving way possible. When your heart is open, you can touch the hearts of all those around you. Love is the greatest act of service imaginable. It doesn’t necessarily take physical stamina or facing death, but it may require you to let go of attachments that keep the energy of love from flowing freely. Ones you may not even be conscious of. Like attachments to particular outcomes or to controlling how things occur. This requires letting go at the deepest level. And often the letting go itself is beyond your control. Perfectly designed that way.

I have written previously about my move to Florida and my expectations about how it would unfold in terms of being of spiritual service there. God presented me with a framework, and then proceeded to take it apart piece by piece. Nothing I had planned on came to pass. And as things fell away, I felt at times lost and abandoned by spirit. Yet that same spirit kept me going, showed me light in the midst of my inner darkness—and the beauty of Nature everywhere. At the end of more than a year of being emptied out, I finally saw that this was exactly what was meant to happen. I had asked to be of service, to be a vessel, over and over in my prayers. I couldn’t be that when I was full of expectations and ideas about what that meant. Surrender means completely letting go and just being peacefully present, without attachments, for whatever arises.

Then the “storm” of COVID arrived, within which we each encountered our own possible death (like Julia). At that point, I could see that all I had just been through had prepared me for emptying out and letting go even further into acceptance and peace. There was nothing I could do about stopping this pandemic. I saw that what I could do was remain peaceful and loving every day, through meditation, writing, and connections with individuals around the world online or in my own neighborhood who were holding this same space of peace and love. The “invisible” network that the Internet provides has helped many of us find support when feeling isolated and alone during this time. It has shown us how we are always connected in our hearts.

We all do what we can in our lives—and the greatest gift we can offer is in being who we are deep inside: compassionate, peaceful human beings. COVID has compelled us to look inward, to meet our own souls, maybe for the first time. From the soul’s perspective, there is no necessity for trying to control what happens or doesn’t happen. Within the soul, there is only loving-awareness. When life empties you out of all external activities and aspirations, you come home to that wisdom within you. The wisdom that shows you that in emptiness is peace and space for the love in your heart to flow freely to all those who cross your path. This is what it means to become a vessel, a conduit, in the world. Perhaps yet another of COVID’s hidden blessings.