I tried to begin writing this week’s From My Heart over the weekend, but the ideas that were coming felt forced. When it flows, I know I’m writing exactly what I’m meant to be sharing. So, I set it aside and trusted that when it was ready to flow, it would.
Yesterday morning when I sat down to write I asked myself: what do I most need to hear right now? One theme came forward: Trust. And then the awareness and words started flowing . . .
I walk for four miles in the middle of every day. Sometimes I start as early as mid-morning, some of the time it’s early afternoon before I get started.
On Monday I scheduled my frequently asked spiritual questions live stream for 10 a.m. Colorado time. All morning, I kept having this thought: As soon as you’re done, start your walk.
I got done at about 10:45, but I sat for 30 minutes before starting my walk. On my way out the door I looked at my wide brimmed hat and thought maybe I should wear that in case it rains, but I ignored the thought and grabbed my baseball cap and went on my way.
The sky was dark to the north, and I wondered: is that why I kept getting a prompt to start 30 minutes ago? Above me was blue sky, and in Colorado what could be bad weather could also just be an ominous looking storm that never delivers, so I kept walking.
A mile in, the sky was entirely dark and the clouds right in front of me were quite low, with almost a movie-like quality. Perhaps you remember those 1980’s movies where something scary was going on, and the clouds were so horrible looking, they didn’t seem real? That’s what it looked like.
The thought kept coming to me: turn around, avoid this storm – and finish your walk later. But I like structure and I wanted to finish what I started. Being done with my walk earlier in the day would make room for some things on my to-do list that felt important.
1.5 miles in big drops of rain were falling – one every 10 seconds or so. Still I pressed on. Why turn around now, and leave an extra mile for my evening walk?
Short of the turnaround point, the sky started opening up with sheets of rain. The temperature had been falling, and the rain was cold. I picked up my pace and started laughing at how clear my guidance had been: Start your walk by 10:45 a.m.!
By the time I made the turn at 2 miles, the storm was unleashing its full force, and hail was beginning to fall. I started to run, all the while marveling at how spot on my guidance had been. Had I started when guided, I would have been home before the storm.
It’s OK to trust … everything is of the Divine.
It’s challenging for me to remember a time when I was nervous going into a session with a client, or into a class with a group of students, worried about whether what was needed would in fact happen. You might think this is the result of personal confidence, but it’s a function of trust. Every time I go into session, exactly what is needed shows up for the individual or group I’m working with, and the origin of this dynamic is the Divine.
It’s reasonable to assume this profound trust I have in God in session extends beyond this context, but that’s not always the case. I think I’m still in charge of certain aspects of my life, and as a result, it can be very hard for me to let go of control completely. Even though I know that the only way God will fully express in, through, and as me in every aspect of my life is if I completely surrender.
How powerful and beautiful the separate self, doing exactly what it needs to, to integrate. For in separation is suffering. And in surrender (and the wholeness that follows) is Divine Resonance.
It’s OK to Trust . . . Everything is the Divine.
This tension between who we really are, and who we think we are is playing out on more levels than I can count or begin to name, in your life and in mine. With each new person I have the opportunity to witness and support, I see the same tension originating in their life in its own special way.
On the one hand are the rules for living live and succeeding. And on the other are the things we’re guided to do, but which often don’t make any rational sense, follow the rules, or conform to the way things are “supposed to be.” More often than not, we would break all the rules by following guidance.
Years ago, I was driving up to the monastery in the Colorado mountains where I have been blessed to be able to take personal retreat time each summer since 2011 or 2012.
I was on the phone with a friend, sharing how I was feeling called to start a YouTube channel. She said: “you don’t want to do that – how would that fit with the business you’ve built?”
I thought about that for a while and realized this was my precise fear with starting a channel. How would it fit together with what I was building? I couldn’t come up with an answer so I didn’t launch my channel … until earlier this year, when the guidance was so strong, I simply couldn’t ignore it anymore.
When the current health crisis erupted into my awareness in mid-March, I felt called to engage in a much deeper way and move beyond simply answering questions to teaching and facilitating as if I were on a permanent book tour. Instead of talking at bookstores or local venues during the week and conducting workshops on the weekend, I could do all of that virtually.
I began doing exactly as guided, ignoring all of my rational concerns about how all of this would come together and whether anyone would be inspired to engage in any of what I was offering.
Despite a strong desire to know how it will all turn out, to be comforted that each step further into the Mystery will result in some form of comfort or predictability or whatever it is that soothes my separate self, each step instead has enlivened my remaining fears and amplified what remains held in separation. What an extraordinary journey and gift! And with no payoff from the perspective of my separate self (laughing out loud)!!
It’s OK to Trust . . . EVERYTHING is Divine.
This morning as I was coming downstairs to sit with my letter to you before sending it off, I heard a question in response to what I have written: That’s all fine and well, Ken – you’re sharing examples where it’s clear how things will turn out for the best. What about guidance that doesn’t deliver the best outcome?
It’s an interesting and important question.
What if my guidance had been to leave when I did on Monday – and that delivered me to the middle of the storm?
What if guidance told me outcomes are what is needed in session, but I was regularly confronted with people who were displeased by our work together?
What if this latest round of guidance doesn’t deliver anything meaningful in terms of deeper engagement with our community or people new to this work? What if the virtual workshops don’t end up with enough people enrolled to make the investment of time and resources worthwhile?
What if following guidance leads to disaster after disaster, rather than rewarding and fulfilling experiences and opportunities for service?
On many occasions guidance has actually delivered me to the middle of a storm (internally and externally). When it does, I accept I am there because God has called me there. Sometimes I know or later become aware of why, but often I don’t. I have become comfortable with not knowing.
I’ve had many people over the years – and recently – who have been agitated by what has taken place during their session, class, or workshop with me. When we encounter who we really are as undistorted expressions and extensions of the Divine, it stands in sharp contrast to who we think we are and how we have been. It’s disorienting. Integration is essential. I’ve learned that each time someone is agitated, I’m being presented with an opportunity to learn more about how God uniquely expresses in each of us, and how to support the process of integration (where inevitably, more guidance floods in and I have another opportunity to trust). I’ve learned a one-time encounter could be very challenging without further support. I’ve learned that to engage with this work is to do some very deep work. for many it’s the deepest ever attempted. I try to do a good job of setting expectations. And not everyone is ready to do this depth of work, and that’s OK. I can’t and don’t want to try to control how God expresses through me, and so I trust. I trust God, and I trust the people who are drawn to this work. I trust we’re together for a reason.
The other questions are an open issue for me. I don’t know if the things I’m doing on YouTube are meaningful yet. I may not know for years, if ever. How would I ever really know if it’s meaningful anyway? Is it about how many people subscribe to the channel, or watch a particular video? Will I know if what I have shared in the seventy-eighth minute of a particular video ever really helps anyone? I doubt it. I have to trust.
The workshops don’t have enough people currently enrolled for it to make sense to keep doing them, yet I trust that I have been called to offer them for a reason. I also trust that my sense of whether they make sense isn’t the most important factor.
For me, Divine guidance isn’t about delivering answers that provide reassurance to sooth the fears of my separate self. More often, following guidance stirs me up and illuminates what is as yet unintegrated. It can leave me feeling disempowered or wanting turn something that is unknown into a known by exerting control. I have a long history of turning things around and making them successful by working harder, of taking control when everything seems to be falling apart and delivering a success.
But that’s not the real invitation of a closer walk with God. That’s not what I’m being called to. I believe I’m being invited to integrate those aspects of me that feel disempowered, who are identified in a story of victimization that goes back decades. I’m being invited to integrate those aspects of me that feel empowered, who believe if only I work hard enough, I can resolve anything and make it a “success” whatever that might mean to my separate self.
The separate aspects of me are in direct conflict with the experiences I have when I’m in session, for which there is only one explanation: Get out of the way, and God floods in.
I have learned that the noise that gets stirred up in session illuminates the difference between what is held in control – and who we really are. When there are challenges for a private session client or a student, it’s a sign that the deeper work has begun and is being engaged.
And so it is with me as I follow guidance further into the Mystery.
We are all walking the same path. Doing exactly what’s needed to ensure what remains held in separation may be integrated. All being invited to trust more fully. In the process, opening to a deeper experience of who we really are, the aspects still held in separation highlighted, having engaged in a deeper dive with what is actually real.
The new world we think we can create with our thoughts and efforts of control will never appear as long as we hold onto control. And once we let go of control, all that remains is Divine Presence.
Trust. Everything is Divine.
In gratitude for the opportunity to walk and explore, reflect and celebrate, the Divine within, with you . . . From My Heart.
Always in God’s Love and Presence, Further Into the Mystery—All the More Extraordinary with You!
PS – Here are some of the resources available to support you in your spiritual work this week:
Monday’s frequently asked spiritual question approached the stages of consciousness from an entirely different perspective: a series of computers which in turn, have a series of viruses that are eventually removed as we discover what is actually real by fully living our lives: https://youtu.be/o_mJK0ZKFV0
Last Friday I started a new series focused on exploring questions and themes that are important to spiritual messengers, with a short video focused on how to amplify the innate healing power you have (while also exploring why the modalities you’re currently using are running into limits and effectiveness): https://youtu.be/o8g73NpxNoc
Later today (at 5p Eastern – US) I’ll be live with you and the rest of the community for a virtual group session and community circle on YouTube: https://youtu.be/I3Qtpq1866Q
And Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ken.stone.spiritual.teacher/videos/692870748135393/
Our focus: experience the Divine within, and exploring your questions about trust – or whatever else is top of mind for you right now. I’m changing the format of the session a bit today. We’ll open with meditation, then transmission, and then Q&A.
If you’re interested in doing some deeper work, I invite you to participate in Deep Dive IV – the virtual workshop taking place tomorrow. More details and registration: https://kenwstone.com/deep-dive/