This is an imaginary interview between myself and Archangel Chamuel. It is the first in a "Getting to Know the Archangels" series.
R: I'm sitting here with Archangel Chamuel, the Finding Angel. Welcome! May I call you Chamuel?
C: You may.
R: I understand that each angel and archangel has its own distinct qualities, much like a rainbow. You would symbolize one aspect or colour, as it were.
C: Yes, that is one way to look at it. We are all streams of energy and we do each vibrate just a little differently. With practice, you can actually tune into us individually.
R: How do we do that?
C: Through your quiet or meditative time is one way. Paying attention to your intuitive hits. Noticing synchronicity. Dreams. Oracle cards. Things like that.
R: How do we tune into you, specifically?
C: Once again, there are many ways. My colour is often seen as light green. You may feel me in your heart or chest area. I may come as a symbol, such as I did you.
R: Yes, for me your symbol is a key. You are the key to finding what we are looking for, whether it is a material object or our heart's longing.
C: Shall we talk about your passport?
R: Yes, that is such a great example. As you know, I recently misplaced my passport after I booked an online vacation. I was sitting on my couch with the friend with whom I will be travelling, and that is the last time I remember having my passport. Three weeks later, I realized that it was missing.
C: And what did you do?
R: Hey, I thought I was asking the questions!
C: Turnabout is fair play. What did you do?
R: I asked you and St. Anthony to help me to find it. This is the saint from my old Catholic days who has a similar role to you: finding lost items.
C: Ah, yes, Tony and I go way back. Then what did you do?
R: First of all, I looked in all the obvious places. I wasn't too worried at first; every day I would look a little. I always wanted my husband to help me as I had a feeling he would find it. I also tried my best to give it over to you and to not worry about it.
C: How did that work for you?
R: (pondering) Well, as I said, I did my best but I felt a little panicky at times, knowing I had a trip coming up.
C: Tell me about your dream.
R: I had a dream that I pulled the passport out from between some books or files. But they were not lined up like on a bookshelf. They were lined up going away from me, like a filing cabinet.
C: What did that mean to you?
R: I have a file box, and there is a file called Passports. Naturally, that was the first place I had looked. I looked in the adjacent files, and between the folders, in case it had fallen between or been misfiled. It wasn't there.
C: How were you feeling at this time?
R: I was getting frustrated. I wavered between giving it over to you, and becoming increasingly anxious.
C: And so?
R: One day, I was thinking: I believe in angels and I have training in working with angels. This should be simple! If I am to tell others to trust their angels, then I need to know that they are there to help. I got a little angry, and I commanded you to help! I needed you to be an example of angelic help, so others could trust in you as well.
C: How did that feel?
R: I felt a little guilty, but I was taught that the angels are always around us, just waiting to be asked for their help. I wanted to make sure I was heard. I did a little more searching, not wanting to be obsessive and irrational by searching the same spot several times. Do you know how many times I looked under the couch cushions?
C: (chuckling) Actually, I do.
R: Finally, I realized that if I didn't get a new passport, I wouldn't be able to travel with my friend, as the date was just ten weeks away. In resignation, I went to the government office, explained my situation and received new paperwork. The agent told me that it was more complex since the passport was missing, that I should notify the RCMP and I would now have to get my application notarized. I also would have to go through the main government office rather than this local office. I felt overwhelmed by all the complications.
C: So what did you do?
R: I came home with the paperwork and asked my husband to help me search. We covered the downstairs that night, tore everything apart and put it back together again. We vowed to finish the upstairs the next day; then I would start the process of applying for a new passport.
I asked my husband to search the file box with fresh eyes. I felt discouraged and went downstairs to work on my computer. With my fingers still on the keypad, I fell into some sort of spontaneous meditation. In it, I was told that the passport was in the house; I systematically eliminated different rooms. I also once again commanded angelic help. I woke back up and continued my work. I called up to my husband and he said no, he hadn't found it yet.
Several minutes later, I called again, "I don't hear any triumphant shouts!" "Not yet", he replied. Then, seconds later, he yelled, "I found it!" I couldn't believe my ears! I said, No! I ran upstairs, knowing he would never tease me about something like that. Sure enough, he was holding my passport in his hands.
He had methodically taken out each file. At the back of the box, there were some old books and pamphlets, empty files and warranties. Among those was my passport!
C: I bet that felt good!
R: We did a little dance of joy and my heart filled with gratitude. I felt a piano weight lifted off my back.
C: How could have this been easier?
R: (thinking) By trusting more. I had two huge signs, one, the dream that the passport was in the file box, and two, the feeling that my husband would find it. I could have eliminated all the excessive searching and worrying, and gone with my hunch earlier. The hunch and the dream were angelic guidance, weren't they?
C: (with a Mona Lisa smile) Perhaps.
R: I want to thank you for taking this time with me today and for always being available to help. Can you remind the folks out there how to reach you?
C: Just ask. We are here to serve but we cannot do so without permission. We are waiting for you to call us into action.
R: Thanks so much. Please give my warmest regards to St. Anthony.
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My mother sewed most of my clothes when I was a child. We may have been "poor farmers" but I never realized it or felt it because I always had food on the table and nice, new clothes for special occasions. My clothes were original and unique, and I actually think about certain items quite often.
There was my white shift. It had a beautiful texture to it, and it had a large embroidered blush pink rose on one side of the lap area. It had a matching pink lace short-sleeved jacket that buttoned at the back. Absolutely gorgeous.
Another favourite was a soft blue, grey and cream plaid dress with - get this - large, blue fur-covered buttons below the throat area. So cute!
One of the prettiest was a pantsuit made of lined turquoise lace with long sheer-lace sleeves, elasticized at the wrists. The top was a shift, mini-dress length, with matching bell-bottoms. I wore this to my grandparents' fiftieth wedding anniversary party. I loved all these outfits.
Unfortunately, there are after-effects. Often when I shop, I go into an unconscious nostalgic trance, and buy clothes that are reminiscent of my childhood. It might be the colour, pattern or texture that speaks to my unconscious mind, and I forget to consider the cut, fit and appropriateness of the piece.
One day several years ago, I was visiting my sister in Vancouver and saw a new tv show called What Not to Wear. I found it amusing, as they took a witchy-looking woman dressed in huge black layers and with a frizzy mop for hair and transformed her. I eventually ended up watching the show at home and I began to see what it was really about. Under the layers of "I don't care what people think", "This is comfortable", and "People should like me for me, not my clothes", I saw that it was really about self-esteem, hiding, putting a distance between self and the rest of the world, and deservability.
It's not about high-fashion; it's about accepting our exterior as a valuable part of the whole package. How I present myself to the world says something about how I see myself. On the tv show, time after time I see women cry over their past self-criticism, break through their walls, and take new-found pride in themselves on all levels.
Yes, of course we want people to accept us for our inner beauty. But you know that we all make snap judgments as well; it's part of the human process. Let's stop making excuses for neglecting ourselves and instead, embrace our outer beauty as well.
It's been said our body is our temple; it houses our spirit. Therefore, the body is sacred and must be treated as such. That is why it is time to go within, find the hurt places that need acceptance and healing, and then shine our glorious light to the world.
No need to jump on the bandwagon of trends. We can all find a personal style by paying attention to what makes us feel good and also to these warning signs: keeping a collection of "fat" clothes, having ill-fitting hand-me-downs as a staple in our wardrobe, hanging onto our youth by wearing "young" or outdated favourites from twenty-five years ago. What does your outward appearance say about you and how you value yourself? What would you like it to say?
Some of us have already made decisions on how to express our personal style, and some of us have not given it any thought. Some of us have given up. Take some time this week to consider this topic. Pay attention to the bristly objections that come up! Justifications. Excuses. Good old-fashioned denial.
Ask the beautiful feminine Archangel Jophiel to surround you and bring beauty to you on all levels. I know from personal experience that when I am dressed well, I feel better, smile more and walk with more confidence, and by watching What Not to Wear, I know that this is a common if not universal experience. This is not being "unspiritual" or "superficial". It is acknowledging the value of our own temple, and taking exquisite care of it.
I think the following quote addresses our beauty on all levels, and our insecurity in expressing it. Today, dear angels, choose to shine!
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
-Marianne Williamson (erroneously attributed to Nelson Mandela)
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This blog is dedicated to the Beauty is Soul Deep group, September 2011
Mirror, mirror on the wall... what do you see when you look into a mirror? If it's a full length mirror, do your eyes jump to your "trouble" spots? Do you judge your shape as being too fat or too skinny? Maybe it's all about the fruit: you are an apple or a pear, maybe even a pineapple if you didn't shave your legs!
Too tall or too short? Not bad but the thunder thighs get in the way? Are you asymmetrical? Do you have an illness or a disability that affects your appearance, and in fact, filters your view of yourself?
Now let's move to a bathroom mirror, or better yet, one of those magnifying make-up mirrors. Now let the judgments flow! Certainly you are too old, or pale, or dark, or freckly. You must have crooked teeth, gigantic pores, wrinkles upon wrinkles, eye bags, or those nasty age spots! Unibrow? Check. Zits? Check.
Are you starting to feel that this is ridiculous? It would be if it weren't so true. We tend to look at ourselves with criticism, judgment and maybe even rejection. This is sad.
How did it get to this? Imagine a little child, two or three, with no concept of negative self-image and see how free she is! She delights in her movements, spinning and laughing and dancing with no self-consciousness. What happened?
Did our parents tease us? Did we become the "chubby one"? Did our peers find nicknames such as Beanpole, Giraffe, Roly-Poly? Did our teachers or clergy or neighbours make comments about our shape, our developing femininity or anything about our bodies? School kids aside, most people don't mean to hurt us with their thoughtless comments.
I will tell you a little story about my childhood. I was a tall, thin child with pale skin, pale blue eyes and black hair. I was less than two years old when my mother was fully pregnant with my sister. Mom went into the hospital, either for false labour or high blood pressure; I'm not sure. But she came out without the new baby I'd been anticipating. I went into a depression. I refused to eat. I was bribed with ice cream and candy but I would have none of it.
Finally the baby came. It was a tiny baby girl. My mother told me that when she came home from the hospital, I was waiting on the front step of our farmhouse and I looked so tall and gangly next to her tiny pink bundle. I also looked so serious, as I had taken the baby's arrival to heart. I was nicknamed "Sad Sack", after a 1960s cartoon soldier.
So I was the pale reed of a girl while the baby grew into a rosy-cheeked cherub with curly blond hair and a cuddly round shape. This imprinted upon me at a deep level. I was too young to even have memories of this time, but it shaped my self-image, both my body and my temperament, for the next thirty years.
Think back to your own story. What seemingly harmless comments shaped your view of yourself? What cruel and hurtful things were said on the playground that made you wish you were a different person?
It's time to claim back our power. It's time to protect the little girl who was hurt, but it's also time to realize that most likely, no one is hurting us now. We internalize all those messages, put them on a tape, and then play them over and over and over until they seem like truth. Let's stop hurting ourselves!
Instead, let's change the tape. Let's rip out the old, archaic, toxic tape and replace it with a new one, filled with love and acceptance. It's bad enough that our innocent, angelic ears ever had to hear those hurtful words, but it's a tragedy that we keep repeating them unconsciously!
Today, let's embrace ourselves from the inside out. Let's be grateful for the body we have. What if, what if, we actually chose this body ahead of time, before we were even born? What if this is the perfect body for us to have at this time, with the perfect imperfections to help us learn important lessons such as compassion, gratitude, acceptance and deep self-love?
I have heard people say their body betrayed them by getting sick, getting fat, getting pregnant, or any number of things, but I don't agree. I think it's the other way around. We betray our body by exposing it to thought patterns or situations so that it can only respond to in the way that it did.
Today I choose to see myself differently. Today I choose to forgive, accept and love myself on all levels, and treat my temple with gentleness. Join me?
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Loneliness appears to be a universal human state of being at one time or another. It is also one of the most painful things to experience. Let's distinguish between "being alone" and "feeling alone". Sometimes being alone is freeing and wonderfully refreshing, but feeling alone is not. It is draining and discouraging, and that is what I am focusing on in this blog.
I recall the most devastating experiences of loneliness when I was in a relationship, and could not connect to the other person. I felt isolated and alone, and this was made worse by the fact that there was another person next to me, and there was an uncrossable chasm between us. How many times did I tell myself that I'd rather live alone on the moon than be in a relationship where I felt so desperately lonely?
I think of all of us living in cities and communities, feeling isolated from each other. It seems almost impossible that we could feel this way, but we do. We're alone in an ocean of people who also feel alone. It is one of the many paradoxes of life. At these times, we may as well live alone on the moon or in a cave on a remote mountain.
So who will be there for me when I am alone and lonely? I have three answers.
The first is, it is important to build a support system, even if it only consists of one or two reliable people. For some, it may even include a counsellor, a paid support worker, a 12-step sponsor or a social worker. Ideally, we need to have someone who loves and cares about us and can be there for us, and the bigger the network, the better.
But what if they let us down? What if they are busy with their own life and problems, or they don't answer the phone or they are just plain grumpy or emotionally unavailable? That leads us to the second answer. We must learn how to be there for ourselves. In fact, I believe there is a direct correlation between really taking care of ourselves, and the ability or instance of others being there for us.
Who knows our needs better than us? Who is more responsible for me than me? How often do we get angry at others for not being there for us when we refuse to be there for ourselves? It is time to learn how to meet that need in ourselves. There are times we are called on to be our own best company.
Answer number three is this: the unseen realm. Examine your beliefs and see who is there for you. Is it the angels? the ascended masters? God? universal energy? the power of nature? It is that something that we intuitively know is out there, and therefore within us, that will never let us down. Our friends may not show up to our parties and we may abandon ourselves over and over, but the realm of the energy of love will never falter.
So when you are experiencing the pain of loneliness, take the time to honour this feeling. Acknowledge it, feel it, check it for any messages it may be bringing, then let it go. Let it flow out of you like a stream of water. Breathe deeply and release, release. Then remember that you are never really alone. You are connected to all of humanity, and all our brothers and sisters share in this pain. That in itself may make you feel a little less isolated.
Call on your guardian angels, or the Archangels, for comfort. Michael is there to protect you; Jophiel is there to bring beauty to your thoughts and your life; Raguel's role is to balance and strengthen relationships. Access the amazing unseen energetic world to help you through this difficult time.
Take good care of yourself. Ask yourself if you have abandoned yourself, and what could be done to nurture or pamper yourself. Sometimes giving yourself a footrub, making a nice cup of tea or even having a good cry might be just what you need.
And reach out to your friends! Don't phone to complain; phone to tell them you miss them and value them! Set up a coffee date or Skype with a long-distance pal; plan a movie night. Shoot off an email telling a friend something that will brighten his/her day. Send a cute animal picture or funny joke that is meaningful to the recipient. Feel grateful that there are these people in your life. By adding gratitude to the mix, you begin to pop out of loneliness and desperation.
Here's a secret: be of service in as many ways possible, and you will find your loneliness vapourizing and disappearing. It is our ego's self-centred tendencies that make us feel lonely in the first place. It encourages us to disconnect from the matrix of life and dwell on our isolation and separateness. Once we put ego in its place, we open back up and truly understand that we are never really alone.
Reaching back to the seventeenth century, we find John Donne's timeless words about the web of life, and how we affect each other. They still ring true today.
No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.
I am a Mystic Angel with some Fairy energy whose Life Purpose is to learn, teach and share the esoteric and mysterious.