Tag Archives: joy

Best day of your life?

What’s the best day of your life?
Is it a birthday? A wedding? First love? Special vacation?

Often, we associate the best day of our lives with some seemingly special occasion that appears to stand out from all the others. But actually, there is only one correct answer: Today. The best day of my life is today. The best moment of my life is right now. Because right now is all that exists. Right now is all we have. Today… this very moment, as you read these words, is all you have.

Anything else, birthdays, anniversaries, funerals, celebrations, dances… special events… all of those are nothing more than memories. Memories are habitual thought patterns creating the illusion of a solid story and an actual identity. But remove those thought patterns and the past disappears. The future disappears. They are revealed to be what they truly are: empty concepts. Mentations.

The best practice you can ever have is to recognize and embrace truth. The truth is, the only day of your life is today. The only contact you make with reality is in the present moment– like a needle making contact with an album on a record player.

Therefore the best day of your life could only be one possible day: today. Embrace it.

Want more? www.timbirchard.com

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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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There Is No “Other”

Angel Board reading: July 6, 2014

Blessings, Brother. We come as the trio of Osiris, Ra, and Thoth.

There is no more playing small, Brother. Your brothers and sisters require your assistance. How shall we serve you, that you may then serve them?

There is no ‘other’ to vilify any longer; it is gone from your perception as we speak.

angelboard image

(Participant: In past angel board readings, I have undergone energetic work such as ‘quickenings’. I am ready for whatever transformation is next.)

And so we have responded to your invitation. We only lend the spark, Brother; know that we exist already as energies within you. There is true power in you already, Brother; we step forward to set it free.

There is an ownership issue that haunts you as part of this life’s history, as well as stories from other dimensional realities. True spiritual power is the ability to lead not through coercion, but by example. It is time. And any remnants of false humility no longer serve neither yourself nor those awaiting your arrival on the Inner Throne.

Do not block us, Brother. Feel us as we enter through the spot at the back of your neck. Use this infusion to integrate all of the energies we and other masters have provided in the last two years.

(Participant: How can I best be of service?)

How to serve, you ask. To thine own self be true. You may wish to pretend you know not of what we speak, but we all are aware that you are beyond that. Leaders move consciousness by example. There is no agenda other than service to the One. Yes, there may still exist doubt created by the ego, and yet we say the illusion of “other” is dissolved. Where does the leader in you wish to go?

There is a need to teach by example the art of balancing feminine energy, and to dispel the many myths your brothers and sisters hold regarding such balance.

(Participant: What is the next right thing for me to do?)

Go left. Just kidding. Ha ha ha ha.

Hmmm… How about taking an inventory of your gifts, including writing and speaking? It is only the ego that would have you believe this is too big. But you did not come to this incarnation to be a follower, Brother. How big is too big?

Your soul light is brighter than you could possibly imagine. Hide from it no longer. We shall counsel you. In fact, you may be our channel through which we address the imbalances of your dimension. When one asks ‘what is next,’ our inevitable answer is: Listen and Follow. Listen and Follow.

That is the mark of a spiritual leader.

(Participant: At this time, no one from my family of origin is speaking to me. This troubles me.)

Worry not, Brother. Your journey needs no approval from a family that has done its part to bring forth what they merely appear to lack. Your new mantra is there is no ‘other’. Sometimes it is families of origin that have the most seemingly difficult tasks and from where we are, we can confidently say they have served you well, and as spiritual family they have crafted their actions from love, regardless of appearances in your dimension, where spiritual sight is limited.

(Participant: Should I try to talk to them, or just leave them alone?)

You will discern when they may be receptive. For now, we say concentrate on those willing to hear spiritual truth. And Brother, we say your strength is to lead by example. Now we shall temper that with a warning, for we know your ego well: This does not mean that you procrastinate because the ego demands perfection before taking a single step. Do you hear us, Brother? You are needed now, and with our counsel you are ready to lead.

(Participant: Recently I participated in a reiki share, and the phrase “supreme confidence, supreme humility” came to mind.)

You hear us, then.

(Participant: Yes! I hear you. Do I need to sit in meditation to receive your counsel?)

Remember, we are part of you. You may actively travel to us and with us in all dimensions. Let go of outworn concepts of meditation. It is more than what you have perceived up until this point. Practice lucid meditation now, Brother. Simply allow. It is natural for you to be multidimensional; there is no secret formula. Only your own mastery, which has never been adversely affected on the inner planes by your current dimensional experiences.

 

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Miles Davis: “So What” trumpet solo on guitar

All my life I’ve been mesmerized and intimidated by jazz guitar. I’ve wanted to play jazz so badly, but didn’t believe that it would ever be within my grasp.

Until now.

Turns out the only thing that had to change was my thinking. My beliefs. “I AM a thriving, talented, successful jazz guitarist.” “I AM able to learn jazz guitar.” “I AM someone who enjoys the challenges involved in learning new things.”

Over the past week or so I assigned myself a new challenge: to learn the first solo (Miles Davis on trumpet) of Miles Davis’ “So What” on the guitar. Note for note.

The last three bars on this page took me on a two-hour journey of exploration and discovery. (This is not my transcription.)

This solo is about 2 minutes and 5 seconds long. When I woke up this morning, I could play all the way through 1 minute and 19 seconds of it. After about an hour and a half of practice, I can now play through 1 minute and 23 seconds of it. An important lesson for me here: it took me nearly two hours to move forward 4 seconds. The cool thing is, I ENJOY that challenge. It’s fun and exciting to think that almost 2 hours of work is needed for me to gain only 4 seconds of the solo… when I’m able to do the whole thing, it’ll mean a lot more than simply 2:05 of guitar playing… It will represent my energy, my love, and my passion… my willingness to change my mind about how I see the world… about how I view myself and my abilities. 

Another interesting point: As I was learning that new 4 seconds of material, I found myself spending a lot of time on one 6-note phrase. I played it over and over. I explored different ways of playing that same phrase, and found THREE different places to play it on the neck. Now I had an interesting decision to make: WHICH way should I focus on? As I explored deeper, I found that one way seemed the most simple because I could base the entire phrase on two adjacent strings, but there was quite a horizontal reach with my pinky involved. This option kept me well within my comfort zone.

The second path took me farther down the neck, utilized three strings, and involved a whole-step upward slide with my index finger on the high “e” string. A little more challenging, but all movement was on adjacent strings, so this was still within my comfort zone.

The third path involved string skipping; reaching up with the pinky from the 2nd string to the 4th string, up 5 frets. This took me well outside my comfort zone and even made me stop a minute and wonder, “can I even DO this??” I can’t recall purposely skipping strings during a solo. Then I thought of Steve Vai. Steve Lukather. Larry Carlton. All of my heroes. What would they do? Do they skip strings while soloing? Or do they only move across adjacent strings? These guys don’t practice to success; they practice to failure. That is, they don’t simply practice something until they can do it right… they keep practicing beyond that, until it’s second nature… until the rare occasion of goofing up happens… then they practice it even more.

When I realized this was a limitation that was holding me back, I decided to practice it some more. I quickly ditched the first path. Decided the second path on the high “e” string sounded too whiny/trebley. Went with the third path. Worked on it for awhile… not sure how long, lost track of time.

Then, following my intuition, I backed up and practiced the approach and entry into this new phrase. Of course that felt completely foreign at first, but after a few tries, I began to see how the phrases connected. As I became more comfortable, I realized I was creating new neural pathways in my brain.

I’m not in a hurry. I’m not trying to get this solo down before Tuesday, or by any sort of deadline. At the same time, I do feel motivated to learn the whole thing and get it into my fingers… into my bones, so that it becomes mine. I’m practicing at least a little bit every day, even if that means just running through what I know once or twice to make sure it’s still there. When I was a young teenager at the local public swimming pool, I remember challenging myself to learn how to do a gainer off the high diving board. Not having any sort of lessons, I didn’t know how to go forward with any sort of formal process for learning this new skill. So I just ran off the end of the low diving board and threw myself into the air, trying as best I could to approximate that backwards flipping motion without cracking my head on the diving board.

After many false starts, I finally did it. Sloppy. Dangerous. But I did it. After doing that a hundred times or so, I decided to try it from the high dive. After facing down a terror that made me want to vomit, I finally did it. The interesting thing was that I was never satisfied with doing it only once. There was no victory in that for me. No. I had to prove to myself that I could do it repeatedly. So only after doing it dozens of times over the course of an entire summer would I allow myself to say, with any sort of confidence, “I can do a gainer off the high dive.”

This is sort of the same. It’s one thing to patch together the phrases of this solo and to execute them all in a row one time without making a mistake. It’s an entirely different thing to be able to visualize where my fingers will land and hear the notes in my head as I’m lying in bed. A whole different animal to be able to play it without analysis, without thinking about where the next notes will come from. Without counting beats.

Of course, this is simply one step along the path. Since everything in this realm is temporary, my ability to play this solo will diminish and disappear. The guitar I call ‘mine’, as much as I love it, will change hands. Disintegrate. Be destroyed, sooner or later. This body I call ‘mine’ will collapse and return to ashes. There’s no trophy here to be claimed with any sort of finality. Like everything we can see, hear, taste, touch, feel, or think, this experience is temporary. Finite. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The joy for me is that, in the midst of this understanding, I can fully embrace the spirit and passion of learning this solo. Even as we know leaves on a tree will end up on the ground come autumn, in this moment they can blow wildly in the sunshine, glinting sunlight and brilliance. And understanding that we can’t make them shimmer forever, we can still appreciate their beauty in this moment.

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Regarding today’s outdoor gig: An open letter to the Universe

Dear Universe,

Thank you for today’s gig. Playing my bass and singing at an outdoor venue with my dear friends today offered lots of opportunities for growth for me. Here are some of your lessons that I recognize, just off the top of my head (I know this list is not exhaustive, by any means):

1) There will be windy days. Sometimes, when I’m stepping out and doing something new, something I believe in, something that requires working together as part of a team, it may be windy. The wind may start blowing wildly, out of nowhere. At it may blow so hard that I have to close my eyes and just hold on and do my best in the moment. I don’t get to be in charge of the wind. I’m only in charge of my response to the wind. Conditions are such: windy.

Photo by Jeremy Booth.

2) Sometimes I may not be able to hear myself. No monitor speakers means that I may not get immediate feedback about what I’m playing. What I’m singing. It may be difficult for me to tell just exactly what message is being perceived, regardless of what I feel like I’m sending. I may just have to focus on my heart and set my intention to be a channel for love; an amplifier for love.
3) Sometimes I may not be able to hear my band mates. No monitor speakers plus high winds may mean that I can’t always hear what my family, friends, and loved ones are saying, or playing. I may need to pause before responding to what I think I hear. I may need to give it just a moment and remain receptive to further incoming information. Drawing my attention down from my head and into my heart can help to reestablish my heart connection with them. My heart can hear better than my ears.

Photo by Jeremy Booth.

4) Sometimes I may not be able to tell what the audience is hearing. While I may desire complete control over the overall levels and mix of the music, the overall wind speed and direction; the overall temperature; the overall rate of the flow of time, actually there’s only a certain amount that I’m in charge of. I can work to establish and maintain open lines of communication with those who can offer feedback; I can ask questions. “Welcome, folks! Say, I need your help. Please tell me, can you hear us okay?” I can ask questions, welcome feedback, and make adjustments accordingly. Beyond that, I can turn the volume up on my heart.
5) Sometimes I may not be able to tell what the audience is feeling. They may be physically distant in such a way that I can’t see their faces or read their body language. I may need to return my focus back to my heart, again and again. “Was that a smile, or a grimace?”, I may wonder. In this instance, once again, loving detachment is my best course of action. While I may wish to affect people by causing them to smile, laugh, and feel happy, I need to be careful not to use these responses to gauge my success. The wind may be blowing for them, too. They may be thinking about other things. Or they may be experiencing a sense of inner peace and calm. They may feel happy; they may feel sad. They may feel indifferent. My best plan of action: return my focus to my heart. Play my bass. Step up to the microphone. Open up my heart and let the love flow through.

The whirlpools of Naruto.

And as I’m loading out and walking to my car, it’s entirely possible that I may hear someone call my name. I may look to see someone smiling and saying ‘thank you’. It may be someone I don’t recognize. Perhaps even someone I’ve never met. In this moment, I’m reminded that I often do not know the impact of my actions. By centering my attention in my heart and opening my channels as wide as I can, I increase the chances of vibrating as a broadcast antenna for love. In the face of many apparent roadblocks and hurdles, I make the active choice to pluck these bass strings with love in my heart, and a small pebble hits the surface of the atmosphere. The ripples spread outward. I refuse to become discouraged. Someone says ‘thank you’.
Today, in the face of these perceived challenges, I am blessed once again.
Thanks for the lessons, Universe.
Love, Tim

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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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Van of forgiveness

We break out the board.

Two $500’s. Two $100’s. Two $50’s. Six $20’s. Five $10’s. Five $5’s. And five $1’s.

Take a few spins around the board. Then… what’s this? Hidden money appears magically from beneath a certain corner of the board. “I was just saving it.”

Tension mounting. Temperatures rising. Just a game? In and of itself, yes… But moreover, a game that serves as a doorway into Pandora’s Box of stuffed emotions. Anger. Fear. Frustration. Pain. Sadness. Grief.

Why these changes? Why a different world? Ask at your own peril.

Soon, board pieces will fly. The little hat will be lost forever, and the statue of the guy on the horse will end up beneath the refrigerator. The game will be rendered ‘off limits’ for one week, relegated to the top shelf of the parental closet.

But what of the broken hearts? (The broken hearts, they sing… the broken hearts, they sing.) Innocent children pulled the game out. They are not to blame.

And it was innocent children who pulled the game out forty years ago. Lost, confused, surrounded by parents who drank. Parents who shot out the street lights with handguns, laughing all the way to the front door. Parents who disappeared. Parents who died with the engine running and the garage door closed.

Innocent children sent overseas to live with a sister. Scarred for life, at the hands of a brother-in-law.

Innocent children who found one another and did the best they could in a frightening world.

Innocent children who pulled out the game EIGHTY years ago. Doubled over with pain, gripping one’s stomach… flying into the night. Coming to a very abrupt stop.

Innocent children. Looking back across the generations, nothing but innocent children, as far as the eye can see. Aching for love, acceptance, compassion.

My brother stands up. Turning around, he spreads his arms wide. Generations of innocent children straighten up in their folding chairs, leaning forward to hear.

My brother clears his throat and speaks: “Only one remedy: Love.” he says.

“Love fills the tank of my van of forgiveness.”

He walks around the van, kicking the tires of understanding. Carefully washing the windshield of hope.

“This van doesn’t stop til the end of the line,” he says. “Hop in. There’s room for all of us.”

And as I turn from the pots and pans to look out the back door, scouring pad in hand, I see my brother, Johnny Boy, escorting a crowd of souls; helping them as they file, one by one, into his van.

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