Read an Excerpt
The Golden Light WithinAn intimate collection of stories to inspire the healing of your Creative Spirit
By Marilyn Patterson
Balboa PressCopyright © 2012 Marilyn Deborah Patterson
All right reserved.
the inner landscape
I sat in a forest that was smaller than most,
I visited there with myself ... a stranger to me.
I anguished, I ached ... for what I was not sure.
I longed for ... Cove?
Did I not already know love?
In that tiny forest I lay down my chains,
I surrendered the thoughts that imprisoned me
with their insistent prejudice,
I Laid claim to my space
My space ... where no-one could call me mistaken,
a mistake, trapped within a spiral of mistakes
A place where, maybe, I could be right,
Maybe I could be true ...
Maybe I could just be me ...
The belief that my life was cast in stone, my choices made, fortified and forfeited, stung like a studded whip wrapped tightly around my chest. The feeling that I would rather die than admit to myself that my choices no longer served me relentlessly pierced my soft flesh. The thought of letting go of the scant security familiarity provided petrified me even though familiarity left me choking, gasping for breath.
I believed I was justified in my loyalty to the lies I constantly forced my aching heart to believe. I played my part so weld so dutifully, so glibly that I convinced even myself ... blinded myself to the illusion I had created ...
But, in truth, I was already half dead
I cried in that triangle of Eucalyptus trees. I cried for my dying soul and for the lost part of me, whom I did not know. I cried for the stillborn future and for a past that had seemed so sure. Wrapped in the cold cloak of abandonment, feeling alone and forgotten, I mourned myself.
Golden tears spilt onto sunkissed rocks
and the rough, thirsty earth held my unchartered depths. She trembled not at the enormity of my sorrow, absorbing my emotions with ease, cradling me in her strong, gentle hands of compassion. Slowly, subtly, pain gave way to numbness, and stillness followed surreptitiously behind.
As I sat bathed in the quiet, dappled atmosphere of my little forest, the sun's hazy rays filtered through the tall trees and a fresh awareness began to grow within me. I felt the sun warm upon my cheek as though it were God's hand blessing me with grace and love and acceptance.
I lifted my face toward the light, surrendered
and opened my senses to feeling the gentle caress of the evening breeze. Kissing me. Loving me. Soon my consciousness shifted and I became mindful of the natural vitality within this verdant space. Noticing tiny, silken seedpods and spider webs floating in the air, I listened to the birds and the beetles chirping and humming and drumming their tunes of desire and delight. Every inch of my body prickled with the sensation of life emanating from the waterfall of trees surrounding me.
Cocooned in Mother Earth's bosom my senses
linked into a deep and eternal source of wisdom that expressed, in a manner of compelling calmness, the words go, be, do.
Simple words Confusing words
With trembling hands I picked them up and hid them in my hair. A precious constellation to guide my way. My way toward se-love, self-acceptance. Towards being me, whoever that may be.
to the back and beyond of eternity, I am loved
I am free, I am precious, I am me ...
I am that I am
Spending time with nature is a superb way to quieten the mind, and connect with Creation. However, if you are not able to be in natural surroundings, then find a quiet spot where you can place some natural found objects, a potted plant or an image of trees or the ocean (anything organic that inspires you). Add a thematic fragrant element with oils or incense. Create as private a spot as possible, with somewhere comfortable to sit or lie down.
Guide yourself into your sensory world by touching the found objects, observing how the sun, wind or rain have sculpted them. Feel the weight and texture of each object. Become aware of the point of contact with your skin. Imagine the object being a part of your body, moving it around in your hands as if it were an extension of you. If it has a fragrance, breathe this in. Listen to, or imagine the sounds that would surround you in the object's natural habitat. Breathe deeply and continue journeying into this safe and nurturing inner environment, where your thinking mind surrenders to the soul's truth. Listen with your heart. Visit this space often to reflect, revitalise and rest in love.
Pervading Energetic Resonance
To anchor this resonance begin by closing your eyes and taking a deep breath, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Now begin to imagine an image of the word in your mind's eye. Allow it to take whatever appearance it wishes. It may appear sharp or blurry, colourful or monotone, elusive or shaky. It does not matter, just accept it as it is. If an image of some kind surfaces, allow it to be, without judgement.
Once you have the vision in place take three deep Appreciation Breaths as follows: Breathe in through the forehead (where the imaginary word or vision is being held). Suck the air deep down into the belly, as deep as it can go, allowing the belly to expand with fullness. Slowly express the air through the heart centre. Now expand this resonance by feeling it flowing freely throughout your body, feeling every cell of your being tingling with the activation. Practice anchoring and expanding this energy every time you feel gratitude for its presence or experience lack of it in your life.
the path of gentleness
And I hunger for the free spirit ...
the 'me' that emerges from within my heart-space,
from that eternal and awesome place of unfettered
and unconditional love ...
free of ego and expectation,
where shame and inhibition are thrown aside
by light, sensuality, serenity love energy
Embracing all that I am, I fly into my truth
living as a child of God,
impassioned by my connection to all of life ...
for I am love in motion, fluid and frivolous
Emancipated I follow my heart and find
that I am followed by gentleness
And so, I begin my search for freedom, digging a little here, a little there. Gathering tidbits of information, trying to piece it all together to form a definitive vision by which to live an inspired life. I learn that I am creating my experiences as I go along - repeating patterns I have been unaware of. I learn too, that these patterns flow from my conscious and sub-conscious beliefs. And beliefs, I am told, are simply habitual thoughts that I have adopted because they serve me in some way. Apparently, the things I do and say, I choose to do in order to maintain an identity that I have created and hold as true, but that this identity does not define me. Everything I am used to relying upon has been turned on its head. It's a bit overwhelming, really.
If I am not true, not solid and I cannot trust what I have assumed to be reliable, then what is true, solid and reliable? And where does my freedom lie?
If every day, my continuous, practised thoughts shape the reality I live in, but I remain unconscious of many of them, then how can I control my life? How do I become conscious and determine which thoughts need adjusting in order for me to create the joyful life I imagine for myself and my family?
As always, awareness remains the key. Life teaches us lessons on a daily basis, through symbolic pattern, interactions and experiences. Although it may sound strange, I used to be quite oblivious as to how disparaging my attitude towards life was. Looking back now, it is quite clear that I was acting defensively, sub-consciously blocking out any threat before it had a chance to hurt me.
For instance, my feelings of vulnerability and frustration showed up repetitively with men: the aggressors, who were always 'right', and even if they weren't, it didn't really matter, because I felt forced to do whatever they said. No amount of sulking or passive aggression on my side seemed to have any significant effect on the status quo of my thinking model, apart from making life every bit more miserable to tolerate. My perception of life remained: men were in control and women suffered not-so-silently. The anger I projected towards men, I was somewhat aware of, but what was hidden from me was the fact that I tried to dominate others, using the very tools I despised. I feigned inner-strength by joining in combat, using a tenacious and sarcastic wit to protect myself, and to wound and silence others. I was hurt and competitive, believing that in order to feel more confident, I had to put someone else down first.
Sadly, the fact that I was battling myself more than anybody else, never occurred to me. The external scuffle for autonomy aptly reflected the war that raged within. Considering the low regard I held for myself, part of me felt that I deserved to be dominated and bullied, repeatedly placing myself in situations where I was neither heard nor listened to. Ironically, this was the perfect foil for my stubborn refusal to listen to my inner voice.
Turning the themes of my internal skirmishes into the scripts for my physical experiences, I continually created relationships where dynamic and opposing forces fought for power. Utilising the weapons of victim-hood, suffering, feigned-indifference and subtle-intimidation, I repeatedly tried to force a 'peaceful' life upon myself and whomever I was with. Needless to say, caught in this circuitous expression of internal and external aggression, my circumstances changed, but my conditions did not. I was stranded on an internal battlefield, unable to see through the billowing dust and the clash of swords, to a truly peaceful horizon beyond.
Then, one day, Life graced me with a powerful lesson. I was attending a course and posed some questions which the lecturer was unable to get the gist of. She called a colleague over to assist me. I had seen the man before, in passing, and remembered someone mentioning that he was engaged to be married. To my own chagrin, my reactive and judgemental thought had been: 'Who would want to marry him! He looks weak and boring.' The critic within me did not even flinch at the mean and derisive nature of the thought.
As it turned out, he completely understood what information I was searching for and explained at length how I could achieve the effect I wanted. Even though it was not his job to help the students, he took his time, ensuring that I understood what he was explaining. Throughout, he treated me with immense respect, patience and kindness, gently instructing me with an attitude that presumed my own intelligence and autonomy. I listened intently as he continued speaking and sat, transfixed, absorbed in his light and gentle manner.
He looked me straight in the eye as he spoke, and in returning his gaze, something amazing started to happen. I noticed how his hazel eyes sparkled with a quietness that was completely unassuming. Golden flecks parted as shutters dropped from my perception, and I glimpsed through to his loving soul. For the first time since meeting him, I saw not the metallic reflection of my own mask of inadequacy, but beheld the honourable, kind and utterly beautiful person that stood before me.
With awe, I thought: 'What a lucky woman, to be sharing her life with this gentle and sincere man!'
I thank God eternally for that human angel's appearance in my life. From that short interaction, I gained an expanded awareness, which inspired me to continue dropping my inhibiting ideas and continue the work of creating the emotionally free life I craved. I hoped that I could become as open and forthright as the hazel-eyed gentleman. He inspired me to examine the exclusive and restrictive thought-forms that showed up so glaringly against his kind and gentle nature. I re-worked assumptions and conclusions that had been drawn from the narrow perspective of my war-torn world. I prayed for greater insight and understanding, humbly asking for the sensitivity to learn more such valuable lessons.
I played with my imagination, juxtaposing fresh ideas with ingrained habits, just to see what would happen. I started appreciating my independent and original thoughts. Albert Einstein valued im agination greatly. He believed in the free mind; the mind that soars beyond the parameters of what we studiously regard as 'educated thinking'; the mind that moves beyond borders and restrictions. By reaching for the truth within myself, I broke down borders and created a paradigm shift that changed the landscape of my world-view forever.
of trained thought forms, and
alights with the boundless imagination of the sour
perceivedfrontiers dissolve effortlessly,
revealing a natural and un-chartered space
that is completely malleable and responsive to our
thoughts, words, actions and feelings.
Gaining diverse vantage points necessitated, for a period of time, the distancing of myself from all that was familiar. Sometimes this space was physical, and where it could not be, I created it within my mind by stepping into the role of observer.
As I began to identify stagnant concepts or blocks-of-thought, separate from my integral being, the inner dimension of my life started to calm down and order began to prevail. My spirit needed time to clear out past indoctrination and prepare fresh soil where novel ideas could germinate and flourish.
Upon opening my mind to the possibility of creating my life anew, I began asking questions that had not previously occurred to me. Facets of life that I had been blinded to before now begged observation. I wondered, for example, what I really wanted from a relationship, and whether I wanted one at all. I also asked what I wished to give and experience in a close partnership. What was I really looking for and how did that compare with what I expected to find? Many things surfaced for me during that time of exploration, but one thing that came up strongly, was the wish to experience being cherished.
Through all of this learning, I had slowly been awakening to my inner freedom. I had started to cherish myself. The ripple effect of this action, is that I began to cherish life. And by cherishing life, I could start cherishing others. I swapped the energetic sign that hung on my forehead saying: 'I am helpless, please abuse me' for one that read: 'I am learning to value myself and welcome loving and gentle interactions'.
In other words, I discarded the need to learn through aggression and began to wonder if I could gain the insights I sought through gentleness, kindness, grace ... loving relations.
Quite soon, after shifting my perception of life, I became open enough to take notice of someone gentle and kind, who continues to bless my life. He cherishes me as I am, seeing all of me without judgement. His acceptance teaches me to cherish myself. From this loving interaction I grow further, gaining more nurturing tools, and I then teach him how to cherish himself more in return!
Over time my harsh judgement of gentleness has been curbed. Now, Gentleness and I work together, building my courage and sculpting an empowered life. It occurs to me, that the human angel I encountered whilst studying, symbolised the gentle and compassionate side of me that I had considered unworthy and weak for so long; that aspect that I tried to hide behind my ego and passive aggression. Perhaps, in that moment I glimpsed my soul mirrored in his. Perhaps, it was through the clear windows of his sparkling eyes that I first came to value the beauty, serenity and love energy that exists within us all.
With this newfound appreciation of the grace that emanates from my heart-space I've come to run various experiments, all of which have shown me that my creative light shines and flows far more easily and smoothly, when I simply allow it the space to do so. When I am fighting or trying to control it, ease of expression stifles and disappears. When I dictate the creative spark's exact course inflexibly, it retreats and my life feels empty and I feel impotent.
My truth emerges when I connect with my soul, allowing my mind to soar and alight with boundless imagination. Then I flow organically, being gently coaxed and steered by Spirit, towards a life of gentleness, emerging as a free being, embracing life with joy.
Learn to cherish yourself with gentleness, by accepting yourself as you are. Drop judgement (of yourself and others) and pay attention to the thoughts that flow through your mind. Identify which thoughts are belittling and which are discerning. By practising this awareness you become mindful of thoughts that originate from your heart and those that serve to preserve an identity that is no longer yours.
A graceful and inspired life, begins in your heart. Sit or lie in peacefulness. Close your eyes. Take three deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Listen to the sounds all around you. Focus firstly, on those in the distance, reaching for the furthest sound. Visualise what is making the sound. Then come in a little closer, repeating the visualisation with each sound as you move slowly back towards your immediate surroundings.
Excerpted from The Golden Light Within by Marilyn Patterson Copyright © 2012 by Marilyn Deborah Patterson. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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