Tag Archives: balance

Infinite Source of Love

Do you find yourself entering into intimate relationships looking for a surrogate mother or father? Do you feel as though your partner plays the role of your child, while you play the role of parent? Do you feel resentment toward your partner for holding power over you, or for not carrying her/his share of the weight and responsibility?

Do these questions make you feel uncomfortable?

Relationships are ideal ways to learn and grow, for your partner acts as a powerful mirror, reflecting a magnified image of your internal world. Struggling with a partner is simply a reflection of struggling within one’s own self… the struggles of the ego. Struggles for power, love, respect.

The mistaken perception at work here is that power, love, and respect are somehow ‘out there’ and must be obtained, captured, and chained up in order to keep them around. The truth is that all the power, love, and respect you could ever want already reside within your heart. All you need do is inquire within.

When you are completely comfortable being alone with yourself, you will find you no longer want anything from others. When you tap into the infinite source of love, located in the heart, you will discover that you no longer experience the urge to throw yourself into the middle of chaos… flashing lights, loud noises, etc. The “fun” you once craved will seem to satisfy less and less.

Go within. For true love, seek intimacy with your own heart. That is the Infinite Source of Love that you’ve been overlooking all along. You’ll find there is no need to look further. You’ve been carrying it around with you the whole time.

For more information, visit www.timbirchard.com.

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The big mistake

“I’m not lovable.” (Also known as, “I’m not good enough.”)

Distill any unhappiness down to its essence, and you will find some variation on this belief. Common stories go something like this: “Someone inflicted trauma, therefore I am unlovable, or not good enough.”

It is understandable how you could draw these conclusions, erroneous though they may be. However, these beliefs (lies) can only be held as long as one perceives through the lens of dualistic (small mind) thinking.

“I’m not lovable” — holding this belief requires the perception that there are two distinct entities, subject and object, and that the subject (the giver of love) refuses to give love to the object (the starving, would-be recipient of love) because the object is not worthy of receiving love.

This is the big mistake.

The truth is not the opposite– “I am lovable” — the truth is “I am LOVE.” How can one not be lovable when one IS the act of LOVE?

“I’m not good enough.” The opposite is not “I am good enough”… the truth is, “I am GOODNESS.”

These misperceptions become habitual thought patterns when you continue to look outside of yourself for validation from external sources; sensory experiences such as relationships, food, clothing, movies, travel… the list goes on.

Your journey of remembering that you are the Source of Love involves healing this misperception.

Instead of looking outward for validation, turn inward. Look to your own heart. That is where you will find the truth that has always been with you: You ARE love. You ARE goodness. You ARE compassion. You ARE hope. You ARE divine wisdom. No matter what behaviors you have or have not exhibited on this plane of existence, your divine nature is unshakable. Unquestionable. Bullet-proof.

Go inward. Turn away from all that you see, hear, touch, taste, smell, and think about. This is known as releasing attachment. It’s perfectly fine to engage in daily life– just do so recognizing that all sensory experience is to be set gently aside… they are not what is important– they are not what matters– they are not what is real. Only the internal world of the heart is real.

Look inward and remember.

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Rain and the Divine Feminine

When is the last time you strolled in the rain, just for the sake of strolling in the rain?

When is the last time you opened your arms wide, threw your head back, face to the sky, and just invited the rain to drench you, inside and out?

Rain is a manifestation of feminine energy. Nurturing. Healing. And yet you hide from it. Scurry for your umbrella. Dodge from taxicab into nearest building to avoid getting wet. Yet “wet” is the source of life.

You are invited to go out into the rain as soon as possible. Walk. Slowly. Allow yourself to get wet. To get drenched. If so inclined, go on a hike. Near a lake, river, stream, or ocean. In the rain. Let it come down to you. Invite it in.

For just a little while, surrender the ego’s need to stay dry. To stay in control. To keep life compartmentalized. For just a little while, let it all be what it is. Recognize that in reality, it’s all running together on the plate. That’s the beauty.

To balance the feminine energies with the masculine, it is helpful to think of recesses. Space. Where can you create and honor more space in your life? More space for compassion for yourself? More space for forgiveness of yourself? More literal space to sit quietly and listen to the breath of the Divine, which breathes through you? More space for loving and honoring the True Self? (Which is never affected, hindered, nor set back by the happenings of your daily life on this plane.)

The energies of the Divine Feminine reside within you. Always. They have always, always, always been there. All you have to do is go within. Call upon them. (It can sound as simple as this: “I call upon the energies of the Divine Feminine that exist within me always.”) There lies forgiveness, compassion, acceptance, understanding, strength, hope, and wisdom. There is where the rain falls on the child’s smiling, upturned face.

You are the child. You are the rain. You are the Divine.

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The river

A massive, powerful, majestic river flows unimpeded… unblinking…

A leaf falls from the branch of an overhanging tree onto the surface of the water, and is swept downstream. The river, noticing this leaf, admires its beauty and begins to identify itself with it.

“What a wonder of beauty is this leaf,” says the river. “It is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.”

After a few days, the river says, “This is my leaf. I must carry it with great care. I must ensure that it never gets lost. Or stolen. It would break my heart to see it go!”

A few days later, the river says, “I am a leaf! I am the most beautiful leaf EVER! Those ;leaves up in the trees are no match for my beauty! My color… my curves… everything about me is perfect! I am the perfect leaf! To protect my beauty, I must be very careful. I must avoid getting wet!”

Just then, a crow swoops down over the water and plucks the out the leaf, carrying it away, into the sunset.

The river sobs. “I have died! I am no longer! Who AM I if not the most beautiful leaf in the world?”

Meanwhile, all the animals, trees, clouds, mountains… all of creation kneels with reverence, bowing to the limitless power of the life-giving river.

Remember: You are the river. Always. You are not the physical body. You are the limitless Source of all love and life.

Remember.

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Waiting for inspiration

You keep waiting for your mind to tell you what to do. We see your wisdom does not come from your mind. It is everything we see in you. Intellect is not helpful when seeking your life’s purpose. Your mind cannot tell you your purpose; only your heart can. You keep listening with your ears and trying to see with your eyes, and then you wonder why you think you are not arriving anywhere. What could it be like to not try to see with the mind?

You sit with pen and paper in hand, waiting for inspiration. That inspiration is already there. We invite you to tune in to what you feel instead of what you think. What flows from that place of quiet mind, full heart is all the answers that you could never even think of the questions for– answers without questions. Forget thinking there is a quest for something. This idea of seeking something creates a path for the small mind/ego to take you down the rabbit hole of fear and doubt. The deeper you go, the less free you become.

Your ego seems to think that you are the one who creates by doing things. It is the Divine working through you that creates. Everything you need is provided for you; you need only sweep out the house to clear the way for all the Divine inspiration you can possibly express. It will be so clear that there can be no argument to be made from the small mind to dissolve inspiration.

It is clear to us that you are at a crossroad. You may choose the path that is known or unknown. No matter what the path, you must be open to all without fear and without having to know anything. Just do what you love and we download all means of bringing forth the You that is being called upon to aspire and inspire. Life without borders. Living without borders. Limitlessness. Overflowing constantly, with no worry from the Source of the flow, because it is indeed limitless.

You are limitless because Source is limitless. Be an open channel for all goodness to flow through and all will be made pure and sweet and full — full of joy. Full of boundless energy, harmony and ripeness. It is all your Higher Self is seeking to teach you. Open that channel that there will be no further need to seek or be sought.

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Love: Seeing Through the Lens of the Heart

In my dream I’m walking through various corridors. I look down and realize that I am carrying a gun in my hand. A loaded gun, cocked and ready to fire. As I walk through a maze of people, I keep trying to de-cock the gun and put it on safety, keenly aware of how important it is to keep the barrel pointed at the ground and away from all the people I kept randomly encountering.

I wake up with the understanding that any new-found power and awareness calls for increased responsibility and self-discipline. The more power we have to manifest our thought forms into fruition here in the physical realm, the more careful we need to be about the kinds of thought forms we choose to cultivate.

Today’s topic is Love.
Not romantic ‘Valentine’s Day’ love. Not ‘sexy-time’ love. Not country-song ‘you broke my heart’ love. Not ‘ice cream’ love. These are all misnomers; the small mind’s attempts to capture in a word what it means to desire.

The small mind, associated with the self-preservation of the ego, is a trickster. When we see love through the lens of the small mind, it feels as though there’s much at stake. This so-called ‘love’ is actually a form of grasping and attachment. (The “coin” of attachment has two sides: desire/grasping, which is the memory of pleasure; and fear/aversion, which is the memory of pain.)

This path is characterized by a fear of losing arguments, fear of looking bad, feelings of self-sacrifice, feelings of loss, and an attitude of martyrdom. Sadness, anger, frustration, self-righteous indignation, and a desire to ‘keep score’ are also road signs along this path, signalling that we are seeing the world through the lens of the small mind. Any claim to be acting from a place of ‘love’ on this path is misperception.
Actual love involves seeing the world through the lens of the Heart. This path is characterized by the relaxed understanding that there’s nothing to lose; nothing at stake. Nothing being sacrificed. Even the grittiest moments of apparent conflict, when seen through the lens of the Heart, are couched in gentleness, calm, and a desire to understand and communicate with compassion.

Recently, I recognized an opportunity for this very practice, as it unfolded. Someone asked me a question in a professional setting. Having just completed a brief report on the subject and e-mailed it out only moments earlier, I answered the question very quickly, with joy and excitement in my heart for my accomplishment. The questioner stood there a moment, then walked in and closed the door, sharing with me a very powerful emotional response of pain, sadness and suffering at the hands of my verbal attack.

Attack?

I felt surprised. Confused. But clearly, regardless of the message I felt I had sent, the message received had been very different.

In that moment, I noticed my heart was racing. Okay, that’s fine, I thought. I reached over to a glass of water sitting on my desk and took a drink, focusing on my breath. Though tempted to fall into my usual routine of shifting to the lens of the small mind and playing the game of competing victimization, somehow I was able to turn away from that and see the person before me through the lens of the Heart. This person clearly felt angry (which can always be traced back to fear; fear of losing something or of not getting something), this person felt sad, this person felt disrespected and not valued. This person felt not loved.

While recognizing and empathizing with the other person’s emotional states, those thought forms, I was careful not to take them on as my own. Somehow, I remained lovingly detached, observing them through the lens of the Heart. Only from this place of loving detachment could I maintain my “balance” and my ability to respond calmly and with compassion. (I can only help a drowning person if I, myself, am not drowning.)

And even as this person chose to remain standing while I sat, and even as they pointed a finger at me and raised their voice, I could see the tears in their eyes. I could hear and feel the underlying sadness and pain. In that moment, I realized that I didn’t WANT to ‘win’. Through the lens of the small mind, if my attention is on identifying attackers, then any little thing I perceive can feel like an attack. In this rare and precious moment, I did not feel attacked. I honestly felt no desire to ‘calculate’ my way out of being ‘in trouble’. (And I knew I could not be ‘in trouble’: I had expressed myself from a place of joy. I had nothing to be ashamed of.) No one was right or wrong. There were simply two people in a room, and one was sharing their perceived pain.

Big realizations happened for me in that moment. I realized that I truly appreciated this new information that was being shared. I had no desire to come across as harsh or uncaring, yet somehow that’s exactly how I had come across to this person. This was extremely valuable information that was being shared. This person was actually helping me to become more aware of the unintended messages that I sometimes send through my words and actions.

And it was being shared with a bold sense of honesty. In the moment. In all its rawness. No matter what judgments I might have about it, I could appreciate that this person was being authentic. This kind of authenticity is courageous, in my book. What a beautiful example for me to follow.

After focusing on really hearing this person and checking for confirmation that I truly understood what they were feeling, I thanked them for their honesty, authenticity and courage. I noticed internally that my heart rate had slowed. Though we were “standing close to the emotional fire”, I felt calm and relaxed. Even joyful. I realized I was not ‘losing face’ through the act of apologizing to this person for how I’d come across, or by sharing with them that I admired and respected them and never, ever wished to cause them suffering. There was no crushing blow to my ego. I did not feel like I was losing any sort of fight, or giving up any sort of position of power.

In fact, the only feeling I experienced was a calm sense of joy as the gulf of our misunderstanding closed, bringing us closer to one another.

In the end, we hugged. The next day, instead of falling back into a sense of discomfort and embarrassment, I walked up at an opportune moment with a smile and asked how they were doing. “Are you feeling okay after yesterday?” People can tell when we mean it; when we’re speaking from a place of love, through the lens of the heart.
How do I know when I’m seeing through the lens of the heart? Simple. Just look for these tell-tale signs: Experience of joy. Smile on your face. Laughter. Lightness. A sense of effortlessness.

The story doesn’t end here.

The Ascended Masters know that new-found power and awareness call for a new sense of responsibility and self-discipline. After we hugged and the other person went about their business, I felt a joy and sense of connection I’ve rarely ever known. And suddenly, I wasn’t sure what to ‘do’ with all that joy.

Again I found myself temped to shift back to the lens of the small mind. The joy coursing through my heart and chest, as well as the sensation of feeling relaxed, happy, and powerful, was a new and almost unsettling feeling. My small mind tried to get me to doubt it… to start replaying the entire scene and figure out what I could have said or should have said… to find holes in the other person’s argument. “If you’re feeling THIS good,” the small mind whispered in my ear, “then you MUST have missed something!”

Small twinges of fear tried to creep in: What if you’re in trouble tomorrow? What if you can’t actually handle this pressure of happiness? What if you were wrong?

I had to remind myself simply to stay in the heart and trust my joy. I literally used my right hand to physically tap the heart area of my chest and said the word “love” out loud to myself repeatedly in order to bring my focus out of my head and back to my heart. Turning my attention AWAY from the thought-forms of fear and shifting focus back to the heart helped to extinguish those thoughts, and put an easy smile back on my face.
The Ascended Masters urge us to strengthen our practice of disciplining the mind. Our minds are tools of creation, in a very real sense. We’re here on earth to practice learning to control our minds and to create with them. This is a training ground for us to practice: the less practice we have, the longer it takes for a thought-form to manifest in the physical realm. The benefit of this is the opportunity to cancel out negative thought-forms before they manifest by generating and cultivating loving thought-forms.
But the more power we attain, the more mastery is needed because LESS time passes between having a thought and the physical manifestation of that thought. If we don’t have mastery over our thoughts, then we set up conditions for manifesting what may NOT be for the highest good.
Fortunately, we get to practice with the wooden sword before we get the steel one. By shifting our attention back to the heart, from moment to moment throughout the day, we purify our minds and generate loving thought-forms, helping to raise the vibration of the planet. Only the slightest fraction of an increase will make a tremendous positive difference, transmuting fear and aggression into love and compassion for all beings. Best to start right this moment!
Ascended Master Djwhal Khul is currently holding lectures on this topic for souls who wish to visit his ashram on the inner planes. His lectures are to assist all of us who visit in truly understanding why mastery is needed and how it can be gained. He invites us to simply ask aloud before falling asleep at night to be taken to Master Djwhal Khul’s ashram to attend his Mastery Lectures. Whether we remember anything consciously the next morning, wisdom will be retained and will help us gain mastery over the thought-forms we cultivate.

Tim Birchard, M.Ed. is a recording musician, Reiki master-teacher in the Usui tradition, and adult educator. He is a founding member of Blue Lotus Feet, an improvisational kirtan group based in Durango, Colorado dedicated to raising spiritual awareness and nurturing inner connection in the Four Corners region and around the world. For more information, contact Tim at timbirchard@gmail.com or visit www.bluelotusfeet.com .

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Guitars, amplifiers, and soup

Why on earth am I writing about soup on my music blog?

Mainly, because I want to live a balanced life. Music is part of my daily existence. But it doesn’t make up 100% of my day. Or week. Or year.

The more balance I maintain, the better my music’s going to be. And the more deeply I’ll be able to appreciate the process of creating it.

I play guitar. Write lyrics. Record, edit, mix down. Upload. Publicize. Market. Perform.

But I do other things, too. Talk with students about academic plans and financial aid; life struggles and barriers to success. Write letters of recommendation. Visit various schools to meet with colleagues, parents, and students. Sometimes, I go to funerals. Grieve. Work on my blog. Take hikes. Watch movies. Look at art. Meet new friends. Cook. Write letters. Take photographs. Read books. [Just finished Bruce Feiler’s Learning to Bow (1991). It was okay. I prefer Will Ferguson’s Hitching Rides With The Buddha, originally titled Hokkaido Highway Blues: Hitchiking Japan (1998). Ferguson’s biting tone and razor-sharp wit bring me to my knees and leave me begging for more.]

One thing is clear: healthy, delicious, homemade food makes you play guitar better. It’s a proven, scientific fact.

Here’s a recipe for a soup that Cheryl made yesterday.

WARNING: For best results, this recipe should be followed while listening to Miles Davis: “Relaxin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet” and The Winton Kelly Trio/Wes Montgomery: “Smokin’ At The Half Note”. Extra delicious flavor will be imparted to the soup if you’re listening to these recordings on vinyl.

Garlicky tortellini, spinach and tomato soup with Italian sausage

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

6-8 garlic cloves (we use 20)

1 quart chicken broth

14 oz dried tomato

6 oz fresh or frozen cheese tortellini

10 oz fresh spinach (stemmed and chopped)

8-10 chopped basil leaves

parmesan cheese

  1. Brown the ground italian sausage or links.
  2. Saute garlic in butter for 2 minutes.
  3. Add broth and bring to a boil.
  4. Add Italian sausage.
  5. Add tortellini and cook 5 minues.
  6. Add tomato w/juice.
  7. Cook until the pasta is tender.
  8. Add spinach and basil. Cook until wilted. (1-2 minutes)
  9. Serve with fresh grated parmesan.

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