You Are Unique

Photograph © 2012 Peggy Kornegger
Photograph © 2012 Peggy Kornegger
There is no other being on this Earth, in this universe, who is just like you. You are entirely unique. Not only in your physical features—your face, hair color, and body shape—but also in your cells, your genes. No part of you is replicated anywhere in the cosmos. Think of that for a moment. Nowhere is there a duplicate of your specific body, mind, and spirit. Just like a snowflake, you are distinctly different from every other person on this planet. If you didn’t exist, your essence would be missing from the fabric of the created world.

Pause. Take that in. To be you is such a gift, an honor really. You came into this life for a reason. You were created to be the essence of who you are in your soul. The overlay of personality traits that you have developed to exist in a world that doesn’t always embrace your uniqueness is just that: a surface layer of coping mechanisms, of past history. Those things do not define you. At the deepest level, within your heart and soul, you are pure light expressing as loving presence in this world. You are a love song, a sonnet, an improvised dance, a spark of fire, here to ignite the collective consciousness of all humanity through the sheer power of your beingness. Each of us is that.

Sounds like a big responsibility, doesn’t it? Actually it’s so much more than that. It’s an entry point to the playground of possibility that is life on Earth. We who have incarnated at this time are here to live out the furthest reaches of expanded awareness and creative expression that human beings can embody. We are doing it together, each of us in our own lives but connected through an invisible network of human/divine energy that makes our planet, too, unique. Earth is a planet of polarities, true, but it is also a place where we can come into harmony and balance in the midst of everything as we create lives based in oneness, love, and ongoing transformation.

How do we do that? Well, it’s a little different for every one of us. For me, it means writing my soul self into the world: sharing my experiences, insights, and visions and expressing my vulnerability and my humanness. It also means being completely present to those who cross my path each day (people, animals, birds, everything). To love and appreciate it all. To make every step, every breath, a prayer or an offering to life. And to continue to be open to the expansion of who I am and who I can become in my lifetime. We are each here to live our unique gifts into the world and constantly stretch ourselves into more. And to remember it is a shared journey, always.

So, every morning, look in the mirror and smile at that beautiful unique reflection before you. There is not another like it anywhere, and you are here to show us all that special something that makes you you. Celebrate your unrepeatability! Express your soul self in the world, and soon you will be surrounded by others doing the same. In multi-part harmony, we will fill the planet with music and song.

“You are becoming
The song of your heart
How beautiful it is….”
—Snatam Kaur

 

New Writing Video at Soul Spring

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My new video “Writing as Soul Expression: Blogs, Books, and Being Yourself” is being featured at Soul Spring from August 30 to September 5. Visit their website to sign up! Also, while you’re at the site, check out Soul Spring University, where I am now part of the faculty. My book Lose Your Mind, Open Your Heart is offered as a free class there. You can read the entire book online. Includes discussion questions for book clubs and two new videos. Link: https://soulspring.org/.

Ride the Current

Photograph © 1999 Lynn Van Gundy
Photograph © 1999 Lynn Van Gundy
There is a river running through Bern, Switzerland, that is used as a kind of moving thoroughfare by local residents and adventurous tourists. Individuals don swimsuits and hike upstream alongside the river and then ride the fast-moving current back into town (without boats or rafts). The Swiss pride themselves on the cleanliness of the water, and a recent PBS travel program showed people of all ages and body types zipping along rapidly, laughing in delight at how fast they are traveling, with no effort whatsoever. They just have to jump in and become one with the current.

If only we could always see life in this way: a beautiful river that will carry us home if we let go and flow with it. Nature gives us so many examples of how life flows if we don’t try to swim against the current: dolphins and porpoises surfing ocean waves, birds and butterflies gliding on airstreams. Surrendering to life’s natural movement allows you to just be instead of striving and struggling. Strenuous effort is so draining, whereas becoming part of something greater energizes you and moves you forward with lightness and grace. Even when the current feels wild and a bit scary. That wildness is life’s pulsation, which is within each of us as well. If you find yourself caught in a small eddy of fear, sadness, or tension, relaxing into feeling it fully often allows you to effortlessly slip back into the main current of life’s events.

For much of my life I was a “trier,” believing that nothing would happen without my own efforts. Of course, I was taught this, at school and in the world at large. Only later did I come to realize that it was in moments of being rather than striving that I always found a connection to life’s flowing essence, which is spirit. As a child, when I climbed trees, ran through open fields, or lay in the grass watching the ever-changing sky, I was most relaxed, alive, inspirited. The natural world held me in its arms and nurtured the evolution of my young soul. Today, it is gardening in my backyard, hiking in the mountains, or swimming in the ocean that fills me with that sense of oneness with all things. As a writer, I tap into this ever-present life energy in order to express my soul’s voice.

Aligning with the pulse of the universe, inside us and all around us, brings liberation and deep connection. When I allow life to flow through me, I am not forcing anything. The current carries me easily. I let go of judgments about people, events, or my own feelings and see them all as part of life’s river, alive with motion and possibility. Every moment is a new opportunity to release expectation and just experience everything openheartedly: “Oh, this is happening now…” Living with all the doors and windows open, no barriers to what is showing up, is the perfect way to expand your inner being. Every river you jump into wholeheartedly will carry you to magical and undreamed of places that will feed your soul. Ride the current of your own heart’s desire, and you will come home to yourself, again and again.

“…flowing like a river,
the changer and the changed.”—Cris Williamson

 

Amma’s Hug

Photograph © 2016 Peggy Kornegger
Photograph © 2016 Peggy Kornegger
For years I’ve wanted to see Amma, the “hugging saint,” considered to be an embodiment of the Divine Mother. Her appearances in the Boston area, however, have conflicted with Panache Desai’s summer programs at Omega Institute, so I’ve always chosen to go there instead. Ironically, it was Panache who recently provided me with the opportunity to see Amma in person. So often, life’s completely unanticipated events are filled with more magic than anything we could have planned. Therein lies a tale….

In early July, I flew to Washington DC for an Initiation weekend with Panache, which included a vibrational activation connecting participants to their essential divine self and life purpose. Those of us in attendance found ourselves immersed in profound divine connection and soul awareness, an experience that seems to expand exponentially at every one of his events. Within the larger group of 70, there were about 18 of us who have been taking part in an ongoing accelerated program (OAP) with him. On Saturday evening, after the Initiation finished for the day, Panache asked our OAP group if we would like to see Amma, whose weekend events were taking place not far from ours. And the adventure began.

Arriving in several cars, we gathered outside the main hall where the Atma Puja ceremony for world peace was soon to begin. Mind you, people arrive hours early for Amma’s events in order to get a seat and also to stand in line to receive a token that will allow them to stand in line again to receive a hug and blessing (darshan) from her. The hall was already filled to capacity, and we were redirected to the overflow hall, where the main-hall events could be seen on a large screen. We sat in one long row holding hands as the ceremony began. In both halls, hundreds of voices chanting in Sanskrit filled the air. I felt as if I were hearing all of India, all of humanity, calling for peace in those ancient sacred sounds that reverberated in my heart. Afterward, small cups of water blessed by Amma were passed out to everyone, and she herself spoke to the gathering, with a translator. More chanting, and then the ceremony ended, lasting about an hour and a half.

At this point we were going to leave. Panache, however, had something else in mind. He led us to the front entrance to the main hall, closest to the stage. We saw him consulting with several different Amma volunteers. Apparently, the protocol is that spiritual teachers who come to see other teachers are welcomed as honored guests, as are those with them. It seemed that we were going to be given tokens so that we could join the front of the line to receive darshan. We took off our shoes in preparation. Not so fast. One of the volunteers (who evidently did not know of this protocol) said that we were not allowed to be there and should leave. After much discussion, Panache told us that we were going to leave. Shoes back on, leaving. But wait. One of Amma’s assistants came up to Panache and told him not to leave, that everything could be arranged, that we just had to wait a half hour or so.

Over the next 2–3 hours of uncertain waiting, every time we decided to leave, this sweet assistant appeared and asked Panache to please stay, that all would be arranged. As a group, we surrendered the outcome again and again—yes, no, yes, no, yes…. Finally, five us were sent with tokens to join the line. Excitement! More than five would be too many, so the rest of us were just happy to hug the other five as they came back from being hugged by Amma. Okay, time to leave. Wait, no, the assistant appeared again: “Please stay, I think I can get more tokens for you.” We stayed. More time. Maybe we should leave. Then magically, the assistant brought back enough tokens for everyone who wanted to receive darshan. Not only that but they were “fast-track” tokens with tiny red circles on them.

I was among the last group of four to go. Within minutes, I went from no to yes to then following a volunteer around the back of the small stage where Amma sat, surrounded by helpers, and immediately up onto the stage to within a few yards of her. At this point, I entered a slightly dazed state, in which I stepped forward and did everything I was directed to do by the helpers: take off glasses, kneel, move forward inch by inch. Panache was ahead of me, so I was able to see him being hugged by Amma and the expression on his face afterward: sort of, well, dazed. Then I was immediately in front of Amma, and she drew me to her in a hug and said something that sounded like “my daughter, my daughter” in my ear. Her beautiful smiling gaze rested briefly on my face afterward, and light shone from her being. She radiated light, like the sun. I turned and slowly made my way back to the others on the opposite side of the hall, a rose petal gift in my hand.

The energy of the entire evening was so powerful that it raised us to a higher vibration—we could feel it. I can’t even say how much was Amma, how much Panache (who also embodies loving divine presence), how much the Atma Puja, and how much our group, which was so cohesive, so completely joined in oneness. The gestalt of it all taken together was mind-boggling. I learned something about destiny and synchronicity that night. We kept being shown over and over that we were meant to be there, having the experience that we were having. We surrendered, together, and were carried by that surrender. Right through the whole incredible weekend and back into our lives, changed.

As I look at people now, I see reflections of that radiant light-filled energy in every single face. We are the radiance we have sought so long outside our selves. Increasingly, at this amazing time of huge shifts in human awareness, we are realizing that we too carry within us a light that shines from our souls and moves us to live openheartedly, with absolute love for all beings, everywhere. Like a saint, like a smiling hugging saint.

 

Freedom, Justice & Radical Love, 2016

Photograph © 2016 Peggy Kornegger
Photograph © 2016 Peggy Kornegger
“We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”—Bernice Johnson Reagon, Sweet Honey in the Rock

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, was shot and killed by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The grand jury decided not to indict the officer. It’s a story that has repeated itself again and again, with variations, in the two years since then, and indeed throughout this nation’s history. The daily lives of people of color continue to be defined by racism, violence, and injustice, and the dream of an equal, just society has not been realized. When will black lives matter enough that the killing stops? In the past week, the violence has been escalating: Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Then five police officers shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. Guns everywhere that divide us even more. Anger, fear, hatred, grief. How do we bridge this huge chasm that separates us from one another?

Yes, we have evolved and grown in many ways, but the tipping point that would shift momentum toward completely ending separation and “otherness” has yet to be reached. It gets down to the fact that people carry silent preconceptions about other people based on race, sex, age, and gender all the time, even if they don’t believe they do. Racism and all the other “isms” have permeated our collective unconscious mindset and inform how people see and act in the world. What we need is a radical awakening and heart opening into conscious awareness that at the level of our souls, there is no difference between any of us. We are one. Our hearts and souls need to supersede the collective mindset.

How does this happen? Can it happen? If ever there was a time in which it could occur, it is now, when global change and transformation are rocking our planet. It’s up to us to remember the dream of freedom and justice for all and live it. To speak up, reach out, and fill our lives with radical love for all people everywhere. The truth is that there is no “other.” We are one consciousness living the illusion that we are separate. Our minds tell us we are individuals, alone, pitted against everyone else for survival. Our hearts and souls see only oneness, only Being that takes a multiplicity of physical forms.

The “costumes” we wear in our lifetimes are temporary. Beneath our transient skin color, gender, and physicality is an unbroken stream of consciousness that fills all living creatures equally. Whether you call it Spirit, Source, God, or Infinite Intelligence, something beyond physical form ties us all together on this Earth. It is this living spirit within that moves us to march in the streets for human rights and to join together in compassion and caring. When our hearts are fully open, it becomes impossible to see another human being as separate from us. The world becomes a mirror, and we see our soul’s reflection in everyone we encounter.

It is way beyond time to put down all weapons and at last be grateful for the miraculous gift of sharing this world with so many other extraordinarily diverse yet infinitely similar human reflections. Let’s end all Fergusons and Dallases by making “love your neighbor as yourself” a reality in our lives. Love everyone, even those you think you disagree with. Sound impossible? Think you can’t do anything to change the status quo? Don’t think, just love, radically, one person at a time. True lasting freedom and justice arises from the love that connects every human heart.