To (not) kill a hummingbird

 

Can you hear it when the universe speaks to you?

Can you hear it when the universe speaks to you?

The mid-air collision looked fatal.

I was watching one of the most spectacular air shows I’ve ever seen and it was taking place just several feet from me on my back deck. These weren’t antique airplanes, dazzling spectators with aerial acrobatics. Instead, I was watching two male hummingbirds, fiercely fighting each other with such bravado that I had to move out of the way several times to keep from getting hit.

I grew up around hummingbirds; they are seasonal visitors to Colorado. On occasion, I’ve seen the birds tangle with each other, scaring each other off of the little plastic feeder that hangs under the eaves. With immense speed, they can quickly turn in almost any direction and buzz out of the way or right into each other.

These two were a different story. They were after each other and it looked serious. The two would speed toward each other with such force that you could actually hear the impact of their bodies colliding even from inside the house. At times they’d even bounce against the screen door with such force it would rattle the frame.

After watching for a while, I went inside to concentrate on some affirmation work when I heard the two causing a ruckus again. I looked up and saw them squared off from about 10 feet apart. They accelerated and headed straight for each other. The impact was instantaneous and the thud was loud as both birds fell to the ground.

I ran outside in horror and looked out from the deck. Within seconds, the two emerged from the wildflowers below the window and resumed their fight. I exhaled, feeling good that there were no fatalities. But then my attention was drawn to another scuffle, this one between two squirrels about 15 feet away.

The ground assault was as unrelenting as the air attack overhead. The squirrels would tangle, jump at each other in mid-air and wrestle each other to the ground. Their chirping and squeaking was so loud you could hear it throughout the mountain valley below. I watched the two in amazement, stopping only to get out of the way of the fighting birds as they zipped around my head.

That’s when I sensed that the universe was trying to tell me something–I just couldn’t understand what.

My momentary revelation about the universe quickly vanished when two of my favorite friends stopped by. Right ahead of me in the Aspen tree were four Grey Jays, each looking at me eagerly for a handout of day-old bread. The birds visit me whenever I’m at the mountain retreat and are so well trained I can hold a piece of bread in my hand and they’ll land confidently to pick it up.

It’s a small treat for me, which equals a lot of treats for the birds. I look forward to their visits, even if it means frequent trips to the kitchen to get more bread. They circle the house in waves, each waiting for a handout. They’re always pleasant if not persistent but today things were different.

A pair of the birds landed on either side of me on the deck railing. As I held out my hand, they both hopped toward me as they always do. But this time, they lunged at each other, signaling that they each wanted the bread for their own. The two flew off and badgered each other in-flight, just as the hummingbirds had done all day.

I sat back in my chair and closed my eyes to continue reciting affirmations when I was aware of someone staring at me. I opened my eyes to see the other pair of Jays looking for a handout. Once again, I stood up and extended my hand as one bird flew from the branch above me. Quickly, the other intercepted and fought him off, snatching the bread at the same time.

“What the hell is going on today?” I wondered aloud.

Once more, I sat down and closed my eyes, determined to get five minutes of affirmation work done without interruption. As soon as I began reciting affirmations in my head, I quickly became aware of all of the fighting going on around me once more. The hummers were at it, the squirrels were at it, and the Jays were at it—everything in the forest seemed to be at odds with each other.

The feeling that the universe was speaking to me directly filled my awareness. The events were out of place for a relaxing day in the hills. Taken individually, I wouldn’t have thought twice about the occurrences, but when looking at them wholly, I felt something significant was trying to break through to my consciousness.

I slumped down in the chair, feeling frustrated over the affirmation work. This “work” involves purposely giving yourself positive suggestions in areas of your life that you’d like to see some kind of change, however slight. I’ve done affirmation work before and had limited success. The overall goal is to help you change your thoughts by chipping away at negative, ineffective or outdated beliefs. It takes an open mind, concentration and persistence. I had none of the above.

My thoughts kept wandering into dangerous territory. I repeatedly found myself thinking, “why isn’t this working?” only to realize that in itself was a limiting statement. I immediately replaced it with another, more positive counterpart. The whole process felt exhausting—and that’s when I finally “heard” what the universe was telling me.

Symbolism was all around me, focused into the pairs of animals that were fighting each other. Each of the animals were equals—two hummingbirds, two squirrels and two sets of Grey Jays. Looking at each pair, you’d be hard pressed to tell each of them apart. I realized then the connection to beliefs. Beliefs in and of themselves are neither negative nor positive. It’s only the value we place on them that make them productive or counter-productive to our own development.

I spent the better part of the day in a battle with myself, pitting opposing ideas against each other for a place in my deeper consciousness. Every 20 minutes or so, I was purposely “trying” to do affirmations and I realized then—when the universe revealed it to me—that I was trying too hard. I was trying so forcefully to imbue new beliefs into my psyche that I was actually pushing them away with the effort. The animals helped me see it clearly.

A smile appeared on my face and I caught myself making it. It was a smile of “knowing” that the universe was on my side and it was telling me to take it easy. Once I relaxed and let the information come to me, it was hard to dismiss. There’s nothing quite as reassuring as the understanding of your own connection to the divine.

So I relaxed and sat in appreciation of my new awareness. I dropped the affirmation work for the day and instead turned my attention to the sound of the Aspen leaves rustling above my head. I soaked in the atmosphere of the mountain air and breathed deeply and assuredly.

One of the Jays plopped out of the sky and landed on the railing in front of me. I grabbed some bread from the table and reached my hand out in a peaceful offering. He flew to my hand and sat on my thumb for several seconds, staring at me deeply before grabbing the food and flying away. As I watched him soar above the meadow, I noticed there were no more fighting squirrels. They were each quietly foraging the ground for their own food, unaware of each other or of the human watching them from above.

As I turned to go inside, I glanced at the hummingbird feeder. Each of the males was perched on a separate plastic flower, sipping on the sugary nectar inside. Their differences settled, the two sat and peacefully coexisted. They weren’t fighting anymore and neither was I.

 

 

 

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OS:You

Now is the right time to upgrade your personal operating system

Every few years, the big guns in the computer world (read: Microsoft, Apple, Droid), come out with new operating systems (OS)—the software that runs your computer, phone, tablet, or mobile device. As technology advances, changes to the operating system are necessary to help your computer work better and more efficiently. Running primarily in the background, the operating system is the “brains” of your computer or device—processing information and directing all the pieces of the computer, hardware and software, to communicate efficiently.

You, personally, have an operating system, too—albeit a bit more complicated and sophisticated than anything you can buy in the store. Your operating system allows you to operate in the physical world. It controls a large part of your existence, everything from helping you digest food to make the decision to buy a new home. Your personal operating system works within the larger framework of the universe’s operating system—an even bigger and more complicated mechanism that creates life as we know it.

Your personal operating system is built and maintained by you, not by some really smart computer programmer in an office in silicone valley. Your system is tailor-designed for your hardware (your body) and for the software you use every day (your daily choices). Your personal OS feeds information to both your conscious mind and body as well as to that giant universal computer that generates the results you seek.

Computer programming 101

Operating systems are designed primarily around a simple concept: the “if: then” principle. If a certain outcome or action is desired, the OS directs the various parts of the computer to make it happen. If you want to open your email program, then the computer executes the request and finds the computer code that opens the program. The same applies to your own system.

Let’s use an example: if you want to find a new job, then your operating system begins to execute a series of operations. It helps activate your brain to begin thinking of ways to look for a job, reminding you to look in the want ads or to update your resume. It also activates your emotional network. How do you feel about looking for a new job? Are you scared? Excited? Dreadful? Beyond the self that you know, your operating system is also sending information out into the universe that lines up all of the chance encounters and incomprehensible actions that put you in a position to see announcement for that new job.

You don’t need to take a computer-programming class to upgrade your own operating system. You simply need to become aware of how your operating system is created. Then, you can make changes that allow it to work better and better for you and your goals.

Your operating system, because it is so unique and developed just for you, is built upon your personal beliefs and assumptions. Some of these assumptions you acquired during your youth, most likely from your parents. Other beliefs and assumptions you have made yourself based on your life experience. The tricky part with these assumptions is that once they’re initially made and subsequently reinforced daily, they begin to operate in the background (we aren’t aware that the operating system is responsible for directing other parts of our lives).

These assumptions are also strengthened with the addition of emotions. Strong emotion quickly solidifies beliefs.

I’ll give a personal example. I grew up never playing card games; it was something we just didn’t do in my family. When I was a teenager, some friends asked if I wanted to play poker (you can already see where this is going). I listened as they explained how to play the game as well as the rules. I didn’t quite intellectually get it, but played anyway. I lost big. In fact, I lost so badly that they made fun of me for weeks afterword. I felt humiliated.

In that moment reinforced with emotion, I developed a belief about my poker playing ability. Since I didn’t examine the belief, it has since become an even bigger assumption. The belief (I’m a bad poker player) is now an assumption (I’m bad at all card games).

This example should show you why it’s important to identify and know your beliefs, assumptions and expectations. Your beliefs program your personal operating system and thusly, run the show. Your assumptions about yourself and the world affect the way the universe responds to you and helps form the life that you experience.

Why some software doesn’t work with your OS

Many people, when faced with a less-than-desirable situation, whether it’s a chronic health condition, bad finances, unfulfilling relationships or personal dissatisfaction, attempt to change conditions by adding what we could call “new software.”

This software, using computer terminology, comes in the form of the many methods available to help you change your life: things like “Affirmations 2.0” software or the ever-popular “Positive Thinking App.” These additions are great in and of themselves, but unless you address the underlying directions you give to yourself and the universe, they aren’t as effective.

These methods are a great adjunct to—and reinforcement of—the work of the personal operating system. Positive thinking and affirmations work so much better when you address the underlying mechanisms that allow them to work and that happens through re-programming your personal operating system.

How to program your operating system

Unfortunately, you can’t just go to the store and buy a new personal operating system. To upgrade your OS, you need to think like a computer programmer and consciously choose a new set of directives that will govern your life and the “if: then” instructions to the universe.

In other words, you must consciously choose a new set of assumptions that allow you get more out of your life and the universe. The new conscious directives you desire come about through a change in your conscious beliefs, which over time will become unconscious and work in the background on your behalf.

This is no quick task. It does require some soul-searching and conscious evaluation of your life. To upgrade your life experience, you need to become aware of the things that are working and the things that aren’t working and recognize the beliefs and assumptions that make those things possible. While this is an intensely personal process, there are some basic assumptions that you can start to include in your “OS:You” upgrade.

New assumptions to consider

If you find dissatisfaction in your experience (in whatever areas you identify: money, relationships, health, overall life), try consciously inserting some of these new assumptions about yourself and the universe:

You program your life through your active thoughts. If you accept this premise, then you are already starting a fulfilling journey. Once you accept the fact that your thoughts direct your experience, you can begin to purposely change your thoughts to better suit your desired outcomes. This simple act gives you power. It puts you in charge. One note to keep in mind: some people argue that it’s our “subconscious” thoughts that cause experience. But for purposes of this reprogramming exercise, realize that “subconscious” simply means you haven’t actively and knowingly analyzed your thoughts. Those thoughts are there and available if you look for them.

When you take responsibility for your thinking, you can no longer blame others or the universe for delivering unwanted experiences.

All of creation—all of it—happens in the “now.” This is a hard concept to understand and certainly there are some great teachers on the subject, such as the Seth Material/Jane Roberts and Eckhart Tolle. So for this quick tutorial, take the statement as truth and realize that the present moment is the only time you have to make changes in your life. Your thinking is always in the present moment even if you’re thinking about your past or imagining your future. Once you realize that thought and creation happens in the “now,” you can see the importance of addressing any sloppy thinking right here, right now. There’s no time like the present because there isn’t any other time. Stop telling yourself, “I’ll work on my thoughts tomorrow,” because that’s the situation you’ll keep recreating for yourself.

The physical world always gives you the chance to evaluate your programming. This statement is based on the first point above, that you form your world with your thoughts and assumptions. When you accept the truth of that statement, the world becomes one giant mirror, reflecting your thoughts and assumptions back to you. This is one of the best features of your new OS, because it allows you to shift and change your thinking at any time. It’s like hitting “spell check” on your word processor and seeing if there are any details you need to correct.

If you like what the physical world reflects to you, congratulations! You’re on the right track. But if you’re not pleased with the reflection of the world, you now know that you have the ability to change your experience by adjusting your thoughts and expectations. Since this process is constant, you always have the ability to check your results.

Change is a constant and necessary part of existence. No matter what we think to the contrary, things don’t really ever stay the same. They may, at times, appear the same to us, but nothing in this world is static. Because creation happens in the “now,” our universe is in a constant state of change. That constant change is what drives the universe; it is the ingredient that allows for expansion and growth. Why should you care? Because when you realize that nothing stays the same, you always have a new opportunity to change things as you see fit. Even if you like the direction your life is headed, change allows you the chance to make it even better. Conversely, that constant change means you don’t have to stay stuck in an existence that isn’t fulfilling.

You are always safe. This is a hard pill to swallow, I admit. It’s only been through a thorough education in the concept by teachers such as Seth and Lynda Madden Dahl* that I’ve come to believe and appreciate this idea. In terms of your personal operating system, this is a new, necessary component to install. Remember, your personal operating system is giving directives to the universe and to yourself in the way you want to experience physical reality. So if you take it on faith that you are always safe and always protected, then that is what the universe will respond to. Decisions based on the assumption of safety yield much more beneficial results than those based on fear. It may take some time to change this belief/assumption about the universe, but it’s imperative that you try.

Everything is always working out for you. “Yeah, right.” I can hear your response to this one. “Tell that to my spouse who just lost her job,” you tell me. “Or to my friend who was just diagnosed with cancer.” I understand this is another one of those New Age concepts that only seems truthful to the chronically happy. But there is truth to the statement. The universe, God, your inner self…all of these forces are working on your behalf. These forces are always leading you to your greatest development. So when you base your thoughts and actions on the assumption that everything is always working out for you, you are able to see your growth clearly. It’s only when you assume that things aren’t working out for you that growth and fulfillment seem like a pipedream.

When things aren’t to your liking, or when life seems to deal you a tough blow, it’s there to lead you in a new direction. If you’ve integrated the assumptions above, you’ll remember that (a) you direct your experience and (b) creation happens in the present moment and (c) the world will reflect your thoughts/actions back to you. Don’t beat yourself up for having created something unwanted. Instead, see it as a signpost, one that reminds you to change course. Then realize you have the option of adjusting your thoughts and beliefs to form new assumptions that are more fulfilling.

Personalize it

Your personal operating system is just that—personal. It took time for you to develop the old version and it will take some time to write your new and improved version. And as noted above, it is always in a state of change. So as you learn to work on and with your operating system, be on the lookout for assumptions that need addressing. If you’re not happy with your finances, look to the underlying assumptions you have about money and then write some new ones. If you aren’t lucky in love, check your thoughts and beliefs about love and your ability to attract a partner and write some new, positive assumptive beliefs.

The more you work on your personal operating system, the better it performs. Upgrade now.

*If you’re interested in learning more about the safe universe concept, I highly recommend two books. First, “A Seth Book, The Personal Sessions, Book Three of the Deleted Seth Material,” by Seth/Jane Roberts and “Living a Safe Universe Vol. I and II” by Lynda Madden Dahl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re so impressive

Chances are, I’ve never met you and yet I can still stay with 100 percent certainty that you are impressive. Really, you are.

Actually, all of us here on Earth are impressive but probably not in the way you’re used to thinking about the word. In conscious creation terms, you impress the universe with your vibrational signature, that unique combination of thoughts, emotions and beliefs that are uniquely yours.

What you think matters; what you feel matters; what you believe matters. And when you get a hold of that concept fully, you can start to take conscious control over your day-to-day existence in a much more meaningful way.

So what does this mean to you, personally?

It means that you’re never at the mercy of an uncaring universe. It signifies that others don’t have the control over you that you think they do. It means you have control over your experience in ways you’re not even aware of. Most of all, it means you have a choice in the way you steer yourself through this thing we call “life.”

Without going all quantum physics on you, think about your existence in some simple terms. You are consciousness. Consciousness is energy. You come from and are a part of that great energy. Some people call this energy “God,” others call it “source.” The terms aren’t important. But what is important is understanding that you are a part of all existence because you are made of it and you help it grow with every thought and action you perform. You are co-creating the universe right now.

Your thoughts are made up of electrified, coded information. They literally send out “imprinted” information into the universe, stamped with your intent. As those thoughts go forth into the universe, they seek out similar vibrational patterns that eventually form the “real,” physical world you experience. You’ve heard this referred to as Law of Attraction or Law of Creation. The important part to remember, however, is that your imprint—your imprint—is what forms your reality.

That’s some pretty trippy stuff, I understand. But if you agree to it—whether or not you understand the mechanics of it—you begin to get a sense of why it’s important to direct your conscious thoughts in constructive ways.

You are impressing the universe in every moment of the day and night, literally. So you can understand why taking a hold of your unwanted, negative or distrustful—even sloppy—thoughts is important. Your beliefs and expectations are formed through habitual thought patterns and those beliefs and expectations are the biggest driving force of the reality that you know.

What does all this mean in practical terms?

It means “waking up” to yourself. It means becoming aware of your thoughts when you can catch them. If your thoughts and beliefs are serving you well and you’re happy with the life you’re living—keep at it! But in those areas where you’re unhappy, dissatisfied or simply want change, you must become acutely aware of what you’re doing. What are you thinking? What do you tell others? What do you daydream about? What do you believe? What outcome do you really expect? If you catch yourself focused in negativity, judgment, and criticism or if you’re holding onto bad memories of the past, make an effort to change. Change the thought, rearrange the picture, choose a different word, walk a different path. Do something to interrupt your habitual imprint.

This isn’t easy work. In fact, it seems to fly in the face of what we’ve been conditioned to believe about the way the world works. We’ve been taught that if you have a problem, you should concentrate on it, keep a hold of it and analyze it to death. In the world of conscious creation, you become aware of a problem, realize it’s the result of your past thinking and then make a conscious choice to move your thoughts in a new direction.

Sounds simple on the surface, doesn’t it? I admit, it does take effort to become aware of your thoughts. It takes courage to face those thoughts directly and it takes willpower to change them. It does get easier as you go along.

The goal is not to be Polly. Or Anna.

I’m not suggesting that you become one of those people who won’t say a bad word about anyone or anything or that you deny your experience. You must allow your creations their due. What I am suggesting is that you familiarize yourself with your vibrational signature. Remember that your signature imprints itself on the universe and returns to you the physical world you experience.

When you consciously understand your role in creation—the point that you mold your physical experience through the action of your thoughts, beliefs and expectations—you become more aware of your choices. You come to believe that it’s important to direct yourself in carefully chosen directions. You also then come to experience the world in a new way, one that is more fulfilling, creative and exuberant.

That is pretty impressive.