Leap of Faith ~ Publishing The Dance
The time has finally come to tell the story of the gigantic leap of faith and incredible miracles that made it possible for me to publish Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. It only really became possible for me to tell this story about a year ago - or to tell it in it's fullest. It finally became possible to fully tell the story because one of the central characters passed on last summer. It was the person who put up the biggest part of the financing, the investor who really made the publishing dream a reality. She had always wanted to stay anonymous - and thus I didn't thank her on the Acknowledgments Page of my book. She will remain anonymous in this telling - that wasn't the reason I couldn't tell the story.
The reason I did not feel comfortable in telling this story while she was alive, is because I had given her a subscription to this Journal, and I could not have told the story honestly and fully knowing that she might possibly read it. It is a sad story in many respects, and would have caused her pain. She was an angel in my path and obviously settled some huge Karmic debt in the way she was led to be instrumental in the publication of The Dance. Unfortunately, she had some blocks in her internal healing process and never really got recovery, never really understood the message of my book.
I have actually been wanting to write this article for months - since at least last December - but the time wasn't available until now. (Which of course turns out to be perfect timing in relationship to my personal process.) So, now it is time to tell the story of astonishing adventure I had in late 1994 and 1995.
"Then I was lead to Taos New Mexico where I started writing the Trilogy and learning how to access the Mystical Truth that I was to be a messenger of in this lifetime. Before I had ever been to Taos I knew that I was going to be there about a year before going someplace "where the mountains and ocean come together." That place was Cambria California where in 1991 I first gave the talk that was to become the book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. (Yes, another issue.)I already told the story of the miracles that led me here to the Central Coast of California. I just reread that story in Miracles (I shared a long excerpt from this installment of my Journal in my October 2005 Update) - the article I wrote about that incredible stage of my journey that had so much to do with laying the foundation for my faith in my path, that led me to this place that is now my home. I wrote it for this Journal in July 1999 - at the time I was without a home. I cried reading it, and the tears come up again now as I write about it. My path has been such an incredible adventure. It is so good for me to look back periodically and remember those days. I was so alone then. After the confrontation in Sedona in the summer of 1988 that I allude to in various places in my book, in the Trilogy, and in this Journal (and something which I will get around to writing about in this Journal one of these days), I was incredibly isolated in so many ways. One of those good news bad news things, because I was forced to form an intimate relationship with my Higher Power during the years that followed.
"In the summer of 1988, I went through an inconceivable experience which was a recreation of some events from a past lifetime. In that lifetime, I had been a coward who did not stand up to evil. In August of 1988 I was given a chance at redemption - an opportunity to stand up to evil. (Definitely a good news - bad news situation, a black cloud - silver lining type of opportunity.) The message I got was that in this lifetime - in order to settle the Karma from that and other lifetimes - I was going to have to be willing to stand up in public and speak my Truth. I needed to be take responsibility and be willing to speak my Truth even if everyone in the world thought I was crazy.The people that I had been working with in Sedona did basically tell me I was crazy - or rather that I had been possessed by some evil. The Truth was reversed, and so I didn't try to confront them or explain to them my perception of the events that had taken place - I was just greatly relieved to get out of their presence and out of Sedona.
I had very few people in my life at that time that I could talk to about any of the things that was happening - and no one who I could really talk to about the messages I felt coming to me. The couple of people that I did talk to a tiny bit about it probably did think I had lost it - that I was crazy.
So, I was very alone when I moved to Taos - where I didn't know anyone. I was alone in my friends ski cabin very high up on Taos mountain. That was where I started writing. What I started writing there was my Trilogy.
"In the summer of 1988 - within a few months after getting the message about being a mystic at the end of my 30 days in treatment - my life got really bizarre. I started writing my book (what I hoped was just going to be one book because I really did not like writing ;-) The Dance of Wounded Souls in a cabin at 11,000 feet elevation on Taos Mountain in the fall of 1988.In that cabin in the mountain, some events occurred that were miraculous enough to give me some more faith in my path. At the time I still didn't really understand this mystical business. As I have mentioned elsewhere, I had gotten flashes in my younger days - I remember specifically getting them as a teenager - that I was going to write a book of Truth some day. Of course then, I had no idea what Truth was. But in that cabin I started to write. It was a very arduous process for me, because writing was such hard work for me. I kept telling my Higher Power that I was willing to write only one book - because it was too hard."When I was told, in April of 1988, that I was a mystic I was not even sure what the word meant. I sure found out in a hurry. From that day until now my life had been a continuous series of mystical revelations and experiences. By the time that the unicorn appeared to me in January of 1989, I had already had revealed to me such interesting items as the history and purpose of Creation, and the True nature of God. I had been given the privilege - a rather dubious and terrifying gift I must say - of being consciously involved in the titanic battle between the forces of good and evil which resulted in the energy field of Collective Human Emotional Consciousness on the planet Earth returning to positive alignment with God after 66,000 years of being reversed. I had been allowed to remember some detail of almost all of my past lives, experienced a month of deep grief about my part in the nefarious events on Atlantis which preceded The Flood, and in some instances had been allowed to know the future." - The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy Book 1 Chapter 1That book evolved into being the first book of a Trilogy, and over the next few years I worked on it intermittently. Meanwhile, I was working on my emotional healing, and started working with others in helping them to access and release their grief.
I didn't really understand what I was writing. And I had no idea how to organize it - until the night of the unicorn.
"I had been asking, demanding, pleading, begging, praying, for it for months - but when it finally happened I was totally shocked. I was so shocked in fact that it has taken me years to gradually remember, and begin to comprehend, what actually happened that night.Many times people have asked me, if the unicorn really appeared - which I have always taken as kind of a compliment to the writing. The Truth of the matter is, I don't know.
I was sitting in my little casita in Taos, on a winter evening with the fireplace (my source of heat) blazing, staring out the window at the falling snow. The next thing I remember was "coming to" - the best description of what it felt like. The fire had burned way down, and I was still sitting in the same place with a period of time passed. It was like I zoned out, or slipped out of time, or something.
And I had this idea about the unicorn in the plaque on my desk running out of it. It seemed like a great literary device to organize the story around. Maybe that is all that it is. But I can tell you that many times when I was writing it, I felt as if I was remembering something I had forgotten.
So, did it happen? - I don't know. I just know that it was an experience that was a very important part of my path - and I had clearly learned by that point to surrender to having faith in things unseen and unexplainable, things that no other human being could verify and validate for me. And I can tell you that when an angel masquerading as a graphic designer in Mississippi sent me the graphic of the unicorn - that is the cover of the Trilogy - in gratitude for my web site, I cried and cried. It felt very clear to me that this unicorn was a representation of my Spirit - of the beautiful, magnificent Spiritual Being who I Truly am.
It is that Spiritual essence that I have been working on aligning with ever since. I am still stuck in my wounded human perspective in so many ways in which I live my life - but I have come so far in my recovery process, my life has been so transformed by the path I have felt compelled to follow. It has been surrendering to, and having faith in, my intuitive guidance - no matter how crazy some of the things I was led to do seemed at the time - that has helped me transform my experience of life into one that is primarily defined by peace, Love, and Joy instead of pain, anger, and fear.
The closest I could come at that time, to describing what I was getting as a description of my mission, was that I was a prophet. That is not an accurate description, nor is it a good thing to say to people, but at the time it was the closest term I could come up with. I am not a prophet. I am a mystic - and will address that a bit at the end of this story.
To Cambria and back to Taos
It was while living in that place (the one with the hot tub where I could soak at midnight listening to the seals bark - Journal Premier Issue, Newsletter) that I had my April Fools Day lesson in regard to taking responsibility for falling in love (also in Newsletter of first Issue.)
It was that spring that I started doing some grief facilitating work
with people. I would talk about the grief process and the inner child
healing work and how important it had been to my recovery in CoDA meetings.
People would ask me about it, and eventually a few people offered
to pay me to guide them in the grieving process. . . . . .
. . . . . . Codependence was a big buzz word by that time - and CoDA had exploded in growth across the country.
"CoDA - Co-Dependents Anonymous - began in the fall of 1986 in Phoenix Arizona. By the time I went to Treatment (30 days in the Desert) in spring of 1988 there were between 15 and 20 CoDA meetings in the state of California. (All the meetings were listed on 1 side of one sheet of paper. LA County where I lived at the time, had 3 meetings.) When I moved from the Central Coast back to Taos in the summer of 1992, there were 18 meetings a week in San Luis Obispo county alone - 3 in Cambria which I had started." Dance 4 May 2000The CoDA movement in this county had a central committee and put on events such as picnics, dances, and speaker meetings. I was invited to be the speaker at one of those speaker meetings in San Luis Obispo in February of 1991. This is where I met the woman that I was to become involved with that summer. I had actually seen her once before at a CoDA picnic, and was very attracted to her. I remember thinking that I really hoped that I could be in a relationship one of these days with a woman that had a body like she did - a definite indication that the wounded 15 year old within me (the horn dog I refer to elsewhere including one of my recent articles The Maiden and the Horndog) still had way too much input into what my priorities were when it came to a romantic relationship. It was when I spoke at the meeting that we actually met and started getting to know each other.
In the next month or six weeks, I also spoke publicly at a couple of other places. One was at the County Drug and Alcohol satellite office in Cambria - and the other was at a Speakers meeting for CoDA for Helping Professionals. (This was a short lived version of CoDA for counselors, therapist, and various other helping professionals who thought it would not be okay for them to share honestly in regular CoDA meetings - a manifestation of the codependent programming of keeping up appearances in my opinion, which I shared with them when I spoke.)
It was in those public speaking engagements that the inner child work I was doing merged with the mystical information that I was writing for the Trilogy. I can remember two examples of hearing "myself answering questions with mystical statements" - that I refer to in the quote from my Attack on America book above. One was while speaking here in Cambria - which was not a meeting but an informational event the satellite office was offering for the general public. In it, I shared my view that everything was unfolding perfectly from a cosmic perspective. Someone asked me if that meant that I believed that everyone who died in a plane crash was meant to die that day. I answered that yes that was what I believed.
The other one I remember was in the CoDA Speakers meeting in February. I have a memory of talking about the clinging creatures story I paraphrase from Richard Bach's Illusions in Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. The one where the creature that has learned to let go and go with the flow of the stream is viewed as a messiah by clinging creatures he flies over down stream. . . . .
. . . . . . It was in those talks that the seeds of my book sprouted.
"In the spring of 1991, Robert Burney was asked to speak in several different venues on the subject of Codependence. In the course of those speaking engagements he heard himself making statements to a general audience that he had never considered saying in public because of their controversial nature. To his surprise he found that the practical process level tools and techniques that he utilized in his private therapy practice were merging with mystical and magical knowledge he had acquired writing a book that was an adult fable about the history of the Universe - the first book of a trilogy.That first time I did the talk, at the Pewter Plough Playhouse in Cambria on June 16th 1991 before a crowd of over 50 people, it was literally on yellow legal pages. That night was also the first night I slept with the woman I was getting involved with.
"That relationship - which started the same month I first gave the talk my book was based upon - was the first real relationship in which I had any level of consciousness. I shudder now to think of how ignorant and unconscious I was then relative to now - but it was an incredibly wonderful, and very painful, opportunity for growth. I lived with this woman for close to 2 years - the longest I had ever lived with a woman in a romantic relationship, and the first time I had lived with a woman in a relationship - as opposed to just as a roommate - since 1975." Dance 11 June 2002I had decided that spring to really take a risk and try to start making my living through the counseling I was doing. I had quit my job at a restaurant and rented some office space prior to giving these talks. It ended up being one of those perfect "mistakes" for my path, because when I couldn't bring in enough money to live on, I ended moving in with this woman.
She lived in a town that is about 30 miles in from the coast. In this area, 30 miles inland is over 1000 feet higher in elevation - with a much different climate. Very hot in summer (over 100 regularly) and cold enough to freeze in winter. Not the mild 'in between extremes' type of climate I like so much about Cambria.
While living with her I went to work in a Boys Home - which brought in much more income (since I worked lots of double shifts) and caused me a great deal of pain. Something I mentioned in the online book I have been writing.
"Behavior modification techniques are used extensively in institutions - prisons, mental hospitals, juvenile facilities - to control behavior and attempt to change behavior patterns.(We bought that first computer together and later shared custody of it when the relationship ended - me having it for the first year, and then shipping it to her.)
At some point in that first summer together we made a trip to Taos which she had always wanted to visit. Some time during that winter, she decided that she really wanted to move to Taos - and since I was no longer living on the coast where I wanted to live, and had a lot of friends in Taos, it was not a problem for me. I expected the relationship to last forever basically, so was willing to go along with moving away - although I think Taos was probably about the only place I would have moved very willingly.
We moved to Taos in the summer of 1992. The relationship was pretty codependent from the beginning - and was where I learned a lot about myself and relationships.
"I can look back at the two year relationship that ended over 8 years ago, and see how very immature I was in that relationship. I had a great deal of theoretical knowledge, but very little practical experience in applying it in a relationship. The lessons I learned in that relationship were an incredible gift. The growth that was possible because I was involved in that relationship - growth in terms of understanding myself and understanding the dynamics of romantic relationship, of intimately relating to another person on the deepest levels - were lessons that I could only learn by being emotionally involved in a relationship." - May 23, 2001 Update Newsletter 3I wrote about this relationship in the processing I did last fall.
"On the fourth Question and Answer page of my original web site ( http://silcom.com/~joy2meu/ ) which I posted on September 9, 1998 (the Newsletters and Q & A page of my original site which were not transferred to Joy2MeU can be found on the Joy to You & Me page) a section I wrote about anger included this short paragraph.One of the things I realized in retrospect was that because of my lack of experience in relationships I was fully expecting the relationship to last. I focused on the good things (which were crumbs by the end) and denied the parts of the relationship that weren't working. She expected it to fail because of her history - so focused on the negative. In the beginning however, she was actively in recovery and things were pretty good and moving forward because she was willing to work through issues. We were able to get past the symptoms to the cause in many instances in the early months of our relationship."The first long term relationship (for me 2 years was very long term because of my particular terror of intimacy) I got into in recovery I realized that for me to set boundaries or get angry in an intimate relationship felt to my inner child like I was being a perpetrator - which was the thing (being like my father) that I had hated so much and vowed I would never be - so I had to learn to let my inner child know that it was ok to say no and have boundaries in an intimate relationship and that it didn't mean I was being a perpetrator." Q & A 4I did not want to be like my father - and because my mother reacted to any attempt to set a boundary with her as if she had been mortally wounded - I felt saying no, or speaking my truth in an intimate relationship made me a perpetrator. It was very difficult for me to gradually convince my inner children that it was not only okay to set boundaries - but that it was necessary and good. One of the difficult things to do in recovery, is to learn to not give power to the guilt and shame that we feel when we start choosing to behave in healthier ways." Dance 16 - November 2002
"Two people who are working through their issues and are willing to do the grief work, can turn an argument about some stupid, mundane life event into some mutual deep grieving. That is True emotional intimacy. . . . .She was still looking for self worth externally much more than I was by that point - which was part of her reason for wanting to move to Taos. I can see now - and probably had a good idea even then - that the move was an attempt at a geographic cure for an emptiness she felt inside. Once we got to Taos, where we were no longer living in her house in her town, the dynamics of the relationship changed in a way she was not at all comfortable with. She stopped doing her recovery work, and if I had not been in denial I would have seen that the relationship was doomed. (Seven years after the relationship ended, she thanked me for all that she had learned in the relationship and made an amend for her inability to stay active in her recovery while we were together. She was a recovering codependent - not an alcoholic/addict who had been forced to work a 12 step program - so resigning from recovery wasn't life threatening for her in any short term kind of way. In my observation, many recovering codependents who do not have some addiction issue that is life threatening, end up quitting recovery - sometimes for periods of time, sometimes for good - because it can be such hard work.)
For the first six months we lived in Taos, she was looking for a house to buy - and then she decided she wanted to leave. She announced to me that she wanted to move back to her house on the Central Coast a week or two after I had rented an office for my growing counseling practice. That kind of set me up to be the one to end the relationship, because she announced it to me as a reality that I could go along with or not. I had a bunch of clients and a number of groups going by that time that I felt some responsibility to - but the bigger reality was that her ultimatum forced me to look at the situation more clearly. My denial got stripped away, and I saw how little my needs were getting met in the relationship. I made a decision for myself that I was not willing to move on her time table.
When she left after school was out (she had a daughter that was 8 by that time) in late May or early June 1993, it shattered my heart. I was in incredible pain during that summer and fall. The place I found to live was about 30 miles up in the mountains and very isolated. I saw bears regularly, and elk - and it was beautiful. However, I was very isolated and I used food to nurture myself. I put on about 30 pounds that summer that I am still working on taking off. I talked in my October 2000 Update about how my fear of intimacy has made taking this extra weight off difficult because it was a defense against getting involved and having my heart shattered like that again.
My counseling practice kept growing however, and I did the talk regularly to spread the word and attract new clients. Taos proved to be a very good place for me to be able to do the work I Loved and be able to start making a living from it - at least enough to pay my basic bills.
"This area of the Central Coast of California, which is my preferred place to live, is also - as I have mentioned previously - a hard place to make a living. It is hard for most anybody that lives in this area (as is pretty normal, really desirable places to live are often the places where it is hardest to make a living) but is especially hard for me.I can look back now and see how perfect it was that I jumped right into that relationship - and moved back to Taos. Except for the grieving I was doing for the end of the relationship - mostly for my illusion of what I thought the relationship was more than the reality of it, once I started looking at it clearly - that period of time in Taos was a very good time in my life.
After moving back into town from the mountains - with a few brief sputtering attempts to find a good place to live, which included some periods of living in my office - I did find a place I really liked. My work with the inner child healing process was evolving and so was the talk as I gave it periodically. There was/is a strong recovery community in Taos and the town itself had only fairly recently started to transform from a small town into a very different type of community. (What people there called the Californication of Taos - the soaring costs brought on by people fleeing from big cities that occurred in so many attractive smaller communities across the country in those years.)
I really learned to live out of my faith during those years - and was starting to find a lot of Joy and peace in my life. I was still, of course working through issues and making progress in recovery with a long way to go (as is still true today) - but I think I got much more comfortable with myself and my path in those couple of years.
"In my recovery I did find Joy and happiness and became a person who smiles a lot. An incident that brings up really warm feelings occurred in 1994 when I was living in Taos. I was living in a condominium that had a large room below and loft above. I lived in the loft and used the large room for my therapy groups and talks. I also started 3 CoDA meetings a week that met at my place. (I am very happy that those CoDA meetings are still happening in Taos.)
The Great Leap of Faith
I did work on waiting tables part time during the holidays of 1993, because my counseling practice always fell off greatly between Thanksgiving and January. At some point, I contacted, went for an interview, and considered going to work at a treatment center in Arizona.
". . . . Later, when I turned down the opportunity to work at the Meadows, it was for the most part because I didn't agree with their approach. They were basing their treatment on Pia Melody's book from the mid 80s in which she identifies five primary facets of codependence as the focus in recovery. I believe that what she identifies as the basic issues are in fact symptoms and decided that I couldn't work with her system - and that instead I would focus on getting my book published." - 30 Days in the Desert - Falling Apart and Breaking Through IVIt was a retired Episcopal minister from Kansas who planted the seed of the idea of self publishing in my mind. Someone in Taos had sent him a tape of my talk - actually only one tape of a two tape set. I taped my talk live in those days, and had some tapes for sale - though they were pretty poor in terms of recording quality.
He contacted me after listening to the tape and decided to come to Taos for a period of time to work with me. He drove over in a big mobile home and stayed doing groups for 4 or 5 months.
One day, he suggested that I publish the book myself - something I had never considered. I started gathering information on the process and allowed the idea to grow. He made the first investment / donation to the cause of $500 just before he left town to return to Kansas.
I had started to put out information at my talks on the "investment opportunity" for the publishing company that I was trying to form. I wasn't having any real luck getting anyone in Taos interested - or rather getting anyone that had money interested. In the fall of 1994, as the Holiday period approached, I didn't really want to start waiting tables again - but if I didn't, I had no idea where my rent was going to come from for January. That was when the idea of making a trip to California to try to raise the money came to me.
I started getting the message in various forms that I should in fact make this trip to California. My reaction was the usual one I had back then to intuitive messages that I needed to take some huge risk - "No way!"
"This is a pattern with me and the Universe - I get a message and I say "Are you crazy - no way!" But eventually, as a message keeps getting repeated over and over, eventually I surrender and say, "OK, but you'd better take care of me." - Miracles (lower half of October 2005 Update)It was an absolutely insane idea. One of those real "Empty handed leaps into the void" that I talk about in other places in my writing. I couldn't have had much more than about $500 when I left, and I think I had one credit card with about a $500 limit (and if I remember correctly, got a new one with a $250 limit right before leaving town) - which is not rationally and logically a basis to give up my comfortable condo and head off on an open ended trip.
The messages kept coming and I reluctantly started to do the footwork. I set up some dates at places on the Central Coast to do my talk - and contacted people who I had worked with before to see if they would be interested in doing some of my inner child healing groups after the first of the year. I ran into someone in Taos who lived in Cambria - who I knew slightly from AA there - and he offered me a bunk that was built into the wall in his garage to crash for awhile.
I gave notice on my apartment, arranged to have the CoDA meetings moved to the Library down the street, and just before Christmas 1994 - with great fear and trepidation - set out for California.
It rained for the first 30 days I was in California. Then after stopping for a few days, it really started to rain.
One of the first places I had arranged to do my talk was the Unity Church in San Luis Obispo. I got a decent crowd there - over 50 I think - which was pretty amazing because of all the rain. The talk there led to several others being scheduled.
The place that I had scheduled to do the talk here in Cambria was a Presbyterian Church. When I got here, and took some flyers for the talk to them, they were appalled and told me I could not do my talk in their church.
The first line on the flyer was a quote from my talk (later my book) that "We are not sinful, shameful creatures . . . ." - and this is what was so shocking and unacceptable to them. So I had to scramble to find another venue for my talk in Cambria. Someone suggested the Unity Church in Cambria.
"There used to be a Unity Church here in town. And they had a pretty little chapel right across from Moonstone Beach. Sometime before I even became aware of them, there was a split in the group and the church was sold. In 1995, on my expedition to raise funds for publishing my book, I got involved with one of the Unity groups. I had not been aware that there was even such a thing as metaphysical New Thought churches until then. One of the really amazing things that happened that year was involved with that Unity group - something I will save for another time when I tell that story. " Dance 18 November 2002When I said in this quote, that I had not been aware that there "such a thing as metaphysical New Thought churches until then" - I meant until that trip. There was a Unity Church in Taos that I never attended and was not even aware of. Someone must have suggested the Unity in San Luis Obispo to me as a possible venue - I don't remember. But I had never been to a service at a Unity Church until January of 1995.
Because of the change in place, the earliest time I could do that talk in Cambria was in March that year. I was scheduled to give it on a Sunday evening in the Veterans building here in town - which was where that congregation met.
On the Friday night before my talk the Big Cambria Flood hit. When I say it had been really raining, I was not kidding. By that weekend the ground was so saturated that a huge rain fall resulted in a flash flood in what is called the West Village of Cambria. The stores there - art galleries, real estate offices, etc., were filled with as much as 8 feet of water in some places. A story went around that may have been true, but rather it was true or not, gives some insight to what happened. The story was that the owner of a bar in the West Village had just closed up his bar and gotten into his car when the flood hit. Supposedly he had to climb out through the sun roof of his car because the water hit so fast, and was so deep, that he couldn't get out the door.
The Veterans building was on the very edge of this flood - and was not damaged. However, the electricity was out. The power company people were working on getting the power restored when I arrived for the talk that evening. Surprisingly over 30 people turned out. I did the talk to candle light and flashlights. The room was rimmed with candles - and it gave the talk a very interesting ambiance, a kind of magical, flickering, dancing, shimmering effect.
When I came to the big climax at the end of the talk - with perfect cosmic timing - the lights came on. Pretty weird and awesome experience.
Raging at God
By the later part of March I was in dire financial straights and very discouraged. My credit cards were maxed out, my car needed some work, and I had borrowed money from a few people. One Friday morning I woke from a dream seeing the image of a check in my hand. I didn't remember the dream - just the image of a check. It was for $5,104.68 or some such odd number. I don't remember exactly. I guess by that time I had figured out that I needed about $5000 to get even, get back to Taos, and get started back up there - with a place to live and all.
That afternoon I snapped. I raged and cussed at God. I yelled something to the affect, "You promised you would take care of me. You blankety blank blank blank, how could you betray me like this. I am just doing your will - doing what you told me to do. Now I need $5000 just to get even and I still need $20,000 to publish the book." And I cried quite a bit because I was really hurting - feeling abandoned and betrayed - and feeling like I had made a huge mistake.
The next afternoon there was a CoDA meeting - and one of the people who was doing a group with me called to ask if she could talk to me after the meeting. I said sure - and then was hoping and praying that she would at least consider the time I would spend with her counseling and pay me the $25 I charged for a session in those days so I would be able to eat over the weekend. That was how bad it was by then.
After the meeting we stepped outside into a little patio / smoking area, and she handed me an envelope. I opened the envelope and was confused by what was in it. It was a cashiers check and I had never seen one before. It took me a few seconds just to figure out what it was. As it started to sink in, I looked at the figure on the check - it was for $5,000.
The first thing I said was, "It's not for the right amount." - because it didn't match my dream. Can you imagine being destitute, having someone hand you a cashiers check made out to you, and saying "it's not the right amount." I think, it is safe to say, I was in shock.
She said that in the inner child healing group earlier that week, when I had said something to someone else in the group about asking someone for help - mentioning several sums, including $5000 - she had gotten a clear intuitive message that some money she had inherited from her mother, that was sitting in a savings account while she decided on something worthy to do with it, should go to me.
Color me shocked and surprised and awestruck. Then several months later it happened again.
I was back in Taos and having a hard time finding a place to live that was decent - and having trouble getting some income coming in again. Once again I snapped and started raging at God. This time I raged, "Now I need $2000 just to get even, and I still need $20,000 to publish the book."
Two hours later the phone rang. It was the woman in California. She said, "I am getting the message that I should send you $2000. Does that sound right to you?"
I get goose bumps and little shivers though out my body just thinking about it again. Talk about magic. Talk about miracles.
I told her that yes it did sound right to me - but that this time I wouldn't just accept it as a gift, that I would consider it an investment in my book.
In July of that year, I got $40,000 to publish the book. I guess the Universe considered my two requests for $20,000 to be separate and added them together. :-) Or more likely, just gave me enough, because $20,000 would not have done the job.
"It was 4 years ago in Taos that I was first starting the process of publishing my book. I received the money from an investor right at the end of July and suddenly had to start making all these decisions about publishing which I didn't know anything about. Talk about an opportunity for growth - and to deal with my wounded inner child's fear of making mistakes. The book came out wonderfully and I am really proud of it - but there was also grief that came up about what a long hard journey it has been since then. Like any good human I fell into the trap of thinking that a milestone on the Path was the destination and that once the book was published it would be recognized immediately for the unique and remarkable work that it is - and so I had all these expectations and hopes about the success of the book that haven't unfolded on my time schedule. So, there was also grief about how excited and hopeful I was then and how hard my path has proven to be." - Mini Newsletter 2 September 9,1999And no, I do not get money every time I rage at God. Just those two times. I was reacting out of such a pure innocent level of faith back then, that the Universe responded almost immediately with a very powerful demonstration that I was right to have that faith. It was - to me - a validation of my path, of my interpretation of the Truth I was accessing through my intuition. It wasn't quite as dramatic as a unicorn galloping off of a picture on my desk, but it was a pretty huge and dramatic validation for sure.
After that - since I am human - it was not possible for me to rage at God without it being an attempt at manipulation. Once I got the idea that raging at God might get me what I wanted, then I was not capable of exploding in rage at the Universe without having the thought that maybe I would get what I want by doing that. Expressing my feelings in an attempt to get the outcome I desire is manipulation.
It is the same kind of metaphysical principle as surrendering / letting go. It is, in fact, about letting go of the outcome.
"It keeps getting different. As we change and grow, we need to let go of: old ways of doing things; tools that used to work that no longer do; people in our life who we have completed our business with; the dreams we had about what was going to happen.Also, I no longer rage at God. That has been part of the progress in my path in recent years - which I talked about in some recent Update. It has been some years now since I reacted to some twist or turn in my path with rage - irritation yes, but no rage anymore.
Leap of Faith ~ Publishing The Dance part 2
Opening to Receive
In recent years, angels in human form - who have found my book and message valuable and transformational in their lives - have made donations to the cause / Love offerings / what some called spiritual tithing. Included in that is the two people who sent me a total of $3000 last summer to do a second printing of the book - and the amazing gift of $5000 in September 2000 (Dance 6) from someone that allowed me to get the place I am living in now in Cambria. (My eternal gratitude to all these angels - and a special thank you to the rising Spirit in Minnesota that made it possible for me to have been in Cambria all this time!)
I had to do a lot of work over the years in opening up to receive - as I talk about in different places in this journal, and in the Help page (that page evolved into Working the Third Step page) I have posted presently on Joy2MeU. I talk about how much I learned about opening to receive in treatment in 1998 in 30 Days in the Desert - Falling Apart and Breaking Through IV and have mentioned it in various Update newsletters - most especially the one that lit the fuse on so much growth in relationship to my fear of intimacy issues, October 20, 2000. (I just realized the connection between the gift that allowed me a comfortable place to live in September 2000 and diving into my fear of intimacy issues in October 2000. Some cause and effect at play there.)
"I got clear on my mission, and dedicated myself to my path after direct encounter I had with some past life Karma, and the revelations that resulted, in August of 1988. Since then I have been committed passionately to learning about Truth, Love, and Joy - and serving as a channel to remind others of the abundance of Love and Joy that is available to us all.I am going to include a long quote from the Update part of that October 2000 launching pad, because it is tied so much into what happened in the Spring and Summer of 1995 to make it possible to publish my book.
"I learned to give power to the positive feedback - not as proof of my worth - but rather as messages of encouragement from my Higher Power.Since that October 2000 Update, I have had great abundance flow into my life in so many of the areas mentioned, including: the ability to relax and enjoy life; a safe and comfortable space to live in along with, what for me is, a certain level of material comfort; opening up to more Love from other people; success for the book and my work in terms of the wonderful testimonials that demonstrate how many people have benefited from it; recently a newer car and computer; etc. The financial flow has not increased greatly - although I have been able to pay my rent every month since then, so that is abundance. Just recently, because of - as I mentioned in part 1 of this article - the "bring it on" challenge I threw out to the Universe in my November Update, and the processing I did in this Journal in October and November (something I mention in the second Newsletter page to my June 2003 Update) I have had the incredible experience of being able to start giving and receiving Love in a romantic relationship. (Which ironically enough, has caused me to shift back into seeing those codependent romantic songs as being about her.;-)
The inner child healing group
In those groups (which I haven't done for a few years - something I talk about in my recently updated Biographical information page) each person would get a chance to sit on the "hot seat" and process while I facilitated that processing. Usually there were 3 people in a group so each person got an hour (the size of the groups is something I talked about in - and the other factor in the quote I used on the last page from - Dance 4 May 2000.) This group had 3 women in it. (I have had both men's and women's groups as well as mixed groups. One of the most interesting ones included a mother and her two daughters. Others have included all Wiccans or people who have had UFO experiences, among other things.)
The other people in the group would witness the persons processing - but would not give feedback. I found this the best ways to do these groups, because often when the witnesses give feedback their black and white thinking will come out - they may project some of their issues onto the person who has just finished doing the work. Also, if the witnesses knew they weren't going to give feedback, their critical parent voice couldn't get them obsessing about what they were going to say - but rather they were left sitting with their own process.
This witnessing had the effect of pushing buttons for the other people, and bringing up insights for them.
One other reason it worked so well to have witnesses share in the process, was that it was in alignment with metaphysical law about the power of two or more - which I talk about when discussing the fifth step in The Miracle of The Twelve Step Process: 4 thru 9 "The Clean Up Steps."
"Whenever two or more are gathered in the name of Love and Truth, in the name of healing, there is incredible power.When I was working with one of the women in the group that night, the issue of her ex came up. I don't remember all the details any more, but I believe she was a single mother and we were dealing with someone whom she had been in a relationship with, who was not the father of her children.
She was talking about how he was trying to worm his way back into her life by using money to try to manipulate her. That he would say that he just wants to help her out because he cares for her - and that he hated seeing her go through such a financial struggle in her life.
She did not want to let him back into her life, but was getting worn out by the financial struggle. She was also afraid that taking any money from him obligated her - that she then owed him. She had taken small sums of money from him on several occasions, and felt guilty about it. He was giving her a little money here, and a little there, while telling her that he didn't want anything in return, just to help her.
We all learned to manipulate in childhood, because our parents were wounded, emotionally dishonest, and codependent. It was not okay to communicate in a direct and emotionally honest manner. It was not okay to be "selfish" and ask for our needs to be met. It was not okay to have boundaries with our parents.
Learning to get honest with my self about my expectations was so vital to me in learning how to be emotionally honest with myself. As long as I was reacting out of my codependent programming and emotional wounds, I was incapable of being honest. I was incapable of asking for what I needed - so I tried to manipulate people, but had no idea that is what I was doing. This is something I talk about many places in my work - including in the latest Update Newsletters - so I am not going into that here. I just want to make a point, that if someone is not honest with themselves and doesn't know how to be direct and honest, then it is not possible to have a healthy interaction with them. We can keep our end of things as healthy as possible, but we cannot communicate with them because they aren't capable of being honest with themselves - so they will rationalize and defend themselves, plead their innocence and good intentions.
What was happening with the woman in the group is that she was feeling guilty because she felt that in accepting the money from her ex, she was obligated to him - that she had to buy into the hidden strings attached to his "generosity." She repeatedly told him that the relationship was over, that there was no chance of them getting back together - and he kept denying that he had any other motive except caring for her and wanting to help her.
I told this woman that it was her childhood programming that was causing her to feel guilty for both needing and accepting help - and also causing her to feel guilty for not meeting his hidden agenda when he was being so "nice" to her. I told her that she was not responsible for his feelings, and in taking money from him she was not tacitly agreeing to conditions that he had not stated - that any hidden strings attached to his "gift" were not her responsibility. That in fact, by not giving him what he really wanted she was being True to her self - that part of what she was feeling guilty for, was actually, being unwilling to betray herself.
I said something like: "Tell him if he really cares about you and wants to help you, to give you some real money. Tell him to give you $2500 if he means it - no, tell him to give you $5000. That will be proof that what he is saying is real and honest."
I told her that she was not responsible for the motives or hidden agenda of someone who wasn't being direct and honest. That she should consider the money a gift from her Higher Power and recognize the the guilt was unhealthy, codependent guilt - not legitimate guilt.
"Healthy guilt is what we feel when we violate our own value system. It is an important intuitive component in maintaining a healthy, honest relationship with ourselves. Guilt helps us to be aware of areas that needs some more healing - behavior that is a reaction to old wounds and old tapes. It is generated by our Spirit when we have acted in ways which we need to make amends for, when our humanness has caused us to act in a way that does not respect and honor that we are ONE with everyone and everything.I also told her that as long as she allowed him to remain in her life and accepted money from him, she was setting herself up to try to relate to someone that wasn't being honest with her - someone who was trying to manipulate her. That she was buying into a codependent dance by continuing to engage in interaction with him.
This was a classic codependent dance. He was trying to manipulate his way back into her bedroom by using money to try to buy what he wanted indirectly and dishonestly. He had expectations, a hidden agenda, which would lead eventually to him feeling like a victim and developing a resentment - whether he was aware of those expectations or not. (It could have been he was really unconscious to it, like when I thought I was just being a "nice guy" before I became aware of my dishonesty, or he could have been conscious about what he was doing and just thought that was the way to relate to women.)
She was taking the little bits of money that he was giving her out of feelings of desperation and then feeling guilty for needing - and for not being willing to betray herself. As I have said in other places, as long as we are shaming and judging ourselves for something we are doing, we usually keep doing it. She needed to see what was happening more clearly and realize that as long as she was buying into this codependent dance she was also being manipulative. She needed to not just tell him there was no chance while continuing to engage in interaction with him, she needed to clearly set her boundaries and be willing to defend them.
"A key difference between healthy behavior and codependent behavior - as I talk about in my article about setting boundaries (Setting Personal Boundaries) - is that we let go of the outcome. If I am setting a boundary to try to get a certain outcome - that is being controlling and manipulative. If I am nice to another person to get something in return without owning my selfish motive - that is codependent. I set a boundary to protect myself and let go of the outcome. I treat people with dignity and respect because it feels good. I am being True to my Self by doing so - and I let go of taking how they treat me in return personally. (This means not allowing the external to define us - rather it is positive or negative. If they affirm and validate me, that does not prove my worth - just as, if they abandon and abuse me that does not prove my defectiveness.)What I suggested she consider doing is something to the effect of stating very clearly that there was no chance at the present time that they were going to become romantically involved again, and that she wanted him to accept that and give her some space. That maybe they could be friends at some time in the future but to please not contact her for X amount of time. And that if he really just cared about her and wanted to help her, she would be willing and grateful to accept a substantial financial gift from him.
The chances were very slim that he would actually give her the money - more likely he would go into the "after all I have done for you" codependent slam dance - but by stating her boundaries and her needs, she was cleaning up her side of the street so that she could stop feeling like a victim of her self.
The angel / investor
I believed her when she said she had gotten an intuitive hit to use this money from her mother to support my work - I had been aware that my talk had moved her greatly. I didn't believe that the real reason she was dropping out of group was because she had feelings for me.
In my mind the scene from the group was replaying. I saw and heard myself saying to the woman in group that she wasn't responsible for the hidden motives of an unconscious person. The investor had shown great resistance to doing the inner child work in the few groups she had attended - and I wasn't surprised that she was dropping out of the group. I didn't really think it had much to do with the feelings she said she had for me, instead I thought it was more about her fear of the grief work. I didn't tell her that because I didn't think she was ready to hear it. What I did tell her is that I was flattered that she had feelings for me, but that I did not feel that kind of attraction for her.
I had already by that time experienced the phenomena of people Loving my message so much that they thought they were in love with the messenger. This increased when the book was published and greatly increased with the web site - and afforded me lots of opportunities to practice setting boundaries with women (and a few men) who wanted to cast me in the role of the prince in their fairy tale.
In as kind and gentle a manner as possible, I tried to communicate to her that there was no chance for us to be in a romantic relationship - because I could feel that very clearly.
She said that was fine, that she just felt the need to tell me, but that it had nothing to do with the money she had just given me.
I have no idea what my reaction would have been to her gift if I had not said out loud in the group earlier in the week the words that I needed to hear. As I reference in the quote above, my old programming was to "feel obligated to them because they are being kind to worthless, shameful me."
The memory that comes to mind about that programming - which I am not sure if I have written about anywhere - is when I went to treatment to get sober. My parents did an intervention on me and got me to agree to go to an evaluation at a treatment center. I, of course, lied like crazy to the intake person about my drinking - but still it was very obvious I was an alcoholic. After my interview with him, my parents came into the room. During the course of that conversation, my father - who to this day has never been able to say "I love you." directly to me - said "we love him a lot and want what is best for him." My immediate reaction was, "Oh crap, now I have to do this."
It was like my father using the word love in association with me was the ultimate trump card - that now I had no choice but to go into treatment. It was like some valuable and rare commodity had been brought out of the vault and now I was obligated to go along with whatever they wanted.
The way the events of that week in the Spring of 1995 had been revealed to me - from the group to the dream to my raging to being handed the check - was so clear and clean, had unfolded so perfectly, that it was clear to me that I was meant to take the money. The irony of her getting the intuitive hit to give me $5000 because I mentioned that figure to the woman I was trying to help understand that she was not responsible for the unspoken motives of others, is right up there with my Higher Power having me meet the woman on April Fools Day. So obvious, so literal. So clear the message was to me.
When she called to offer the $2000, I did tell her I would not accept it as a gift but as an investment - and though I didn't tell her my motivation, it was in part because she had told me about the feelings she had. It was a way of setting a boundary and trying to communicate with her that I had not changed my mind in regard to her.
A few weeks later she sent me a long letter telling me that she had been to a psychic who had told her that we were twin souls. She shared what the psychic had told her and how it matched what she was feeling, and that she was sure it was the truth. She probably said something to the effect that maybe I didn't realize it yet, but that was okay, she hoped I would some day.
Sometimes when we try to communicate, or set boundaries, with other people, they are incapable of hearing us for one reason or another. It is necessary to get down right rude sometimes to get through to people who are invested in staying in denial in some specific area. I wrote her a very firm and forceful letter - not really rude, but very strong - telling her that my reality was that I did not have feelings of connection or attraction to her. That it was really important for her to let go of this fantasy because it was not going to happen - something to that effect.
She was the only one who had indicated any possibility of investing enough money for me to publish my book as a result of my California trip. She had said that due to some factors the money wasn't available to her at the time but would be some months in the future. In writing her that letter I was completely letting go of the idea that she might be a help in getting my book published. I held onto the letter for a few days after I wrote it to make sure it is what I needed to do for me. When I mailed it, I was quite consciously - and reluctantly - letting go of the only possibility that I was aware of for getting my book published. My ego was quite unhappy but I could not by that point in my recovery even consider continuing to interact with her just to try to get money from her. I fully expected that I would never hear from her again.
It seems to me that I mailed it on Friday before a long weekend, so it was probably the 4th of July weekend in 1995. As I said, I really didn't think I would hear from her again, so was real surprised when she called me on the next Tuesday - I didn't even think she would have gotten my letter by then.
She said, "I think you are full of shit about us, but I am sending you $40,000 to publish the book because I believe in it."
A few weeks later, a few days after my birthday towards the end of July, I got the money. The publishing of The Dance was off and running.
The sad part of this story, is that she was never able to let go of her belief that I was her twin soul. She felt that she was being blocked from completing her life's mission because I would not wake up to the connection between us.
She was not willing to do the inner child healing work and could not accept my Spiritual belief system - but kept relying on the message of this psychic as justification for holding onto her belief. I don't remember if she just kept seeing the same psychic, or got the message from several different psychics, but it doesn't really matter. There are enough people posing as psychics out there who are very good at reading people and telling them what they want to hear.
There are of course, legitimate psychics - and one had a great impact on my recovery as I share in The Story of Joy to You & Me. The psychic who intervened in my path was a vital milestone in my process - but often people keep looking to psychics, or someone / thing outside of Self for validation and to help them make decisions, and that is codependency.
"Anyone who is serving as a channel for information is limited by their own intellectual/experiential paradigm. Whether the person is psychic, or an astrologer, or channeling information from "beyond," whatever, it is always important to not give too much power to the details of what they say. Listen for any emotional messages that resonate - but be discerning about giving too much power to their interpretations in regard to details. What one person attributes to an angel another might attribute to an alien presence. Whether something is written in the stars or a theme from a past life doesn't really matter. What matters are questions like: How does this information apply to my healing process today?; How can this message help me see myself more clearly?; Can the information help me to forgive myself and be more Loving to myself?; Is the information and the way it is being presented about Love - does it support Love or is it empowering separation?" - The True Nature of Love - part 6, Twin Souls, Souls Mates, and Kindred SpiritsI do not, and did not, feel like I had a strong Karmic connection with this woman. It was very sad to me that she was so invested in her belief that she felt I was blocking her spiritual evolution. I can only be me, and be True to me - and it makes me very sad when people such as this woman have beliefs that there is a connection between us which I do not feel. I already knew then, that any belief that was causing me to feel like a victim was one that I needed to let go of - that I had to be willing to surrender to the Universe's Plan and let go of anything and everything that was making me feel trapped, including feeling like someone was my twin soul or soul mate.
One of the factors involved in the events that had unfolded in Sedona, was that the spiritual leaders of the group I got involved with there believed they were twin souls. They felt they did not have a choice other than to settle their karma together in this lifetime - which caused them to feel trapped and victimized by each other, a dance of codependency. Their codependent victim behavior led directly to creating the situation where I got the opportunity to stand up to evil.
"Sometimes a person is both a Kindred Spirit/Soul Mate and abusive/unavailable in alignment with our patterns. We do, after all, have a lot of Karma to settle with people from our past lives - and the patterns from our past lives are the reason we have the patterns we do in our present life. Our Kindred Spirits/Soul Mates, other Spiritual Beings who Love us, come into our life to help us remember to protect and take care of our self - by setting boundaries and enforcing them, by breaking off a relationship after two weeks instead of holding on, by standing up for our self and our Truth. (The "jerk" that you are holding a resentment against is on a Spiritual Truth level a teacher who came into your life out of Love to help you learn and grow.)Maybe in my next lifetime - or wherever we go in between - I will discover she was right, but I am also very sure that I did what I needed to do in this lifetime.
Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls
"The terrorist attack on September 11th, was a blatant and straightforward manifestation of the dynamics of codependence that I explained in Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls. The subtitle of that book is A Cosmic Perspective of Codependence and the Human Condition. That book is a work of mystical Spirituality. I believe it is a Divinely inspired message to remind all wounded souls of the Truth of Love and ONENESS. As I mentioned in my last Update, I am just now starting to live at the level of consciousness that I was guided to access while writing The Dance of Wounded Souls.As I mention above, I had a lot of expectations when the book was published - expectations that set me up to feel like things were not unfolding perfectly. I often felt battered and abused by life in the years after the book came out - often felt that my Higher Power had abandoned me."One of the things that I am realizing in the processing that was set off by this latest breakthrough in my process, is that I seem to just now be reaching - on a personal level - the level of consciousness that my book was written out of. It has been over 10 years now, since I wrote the core of what was to become Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls - over a period of 48 frenzied hours of writing, to be able to give a talk that I had scheduled months before.The official publication date of The Dance of Wounded Souls was January 1996, but I actually received the books from the printer on November 30, 1995. The book is perfect. There are maybe two or three places in the book that I might change a word or phrase, but other than that, it is perfect - which is not something I could have done by myself. I was guided to write that book. I was led to access the information. I was able to be open to remembering Truth and being used as an instrument to share the message." - Attack on America - Chapter 6
But I also intuitively felt the Truth, because I had been guided
to start developing internal boundaries. I was separating
the feelings of abandonment and betrayal that were being triggered,
and the messages from the critical parent programming, from the intuitive
messages coming from my Soul. I had accessed a place of Knowing
that helped me to keep affirming my beliefs and living with faith.
I did not buy into the illusions of deprivation and scarcity that my ego
programming kept trying to present as proof of my defectiveness.
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