Karma for Dummies

Karma is something that is really misunderstood. It is usually considered something that we earn – we earn good karma or we earn bad karma. Just how do we earn this karma? It seems like we earn it by either doing something good or doing something bad. However, if karma were a bucket the size of the earth, those explanations would be drops the size of mothballs.

Having done a number of past life regressions for people, I have found a whole new appreciation for and understanding of karma, sort of karma for dummies. Karma is really something that we have to learn – plain and simple. Here is an example of karma for myself, in this life. I have carried over into this life a feeling of extreme vulnerability in the physical world. My father was one of those larger than life characters, someone my husband would call a “Mans’ man”. I grew up feeling completely safe with him around. I did not take into considerations his character flaws, I just saw him as a MAN who was tough and strong and so he could keep the monsters away and insure my safety.

As I began dating, I was attracted to men who could protect me. The type of man that many woman are attracted to – MACHO. I was attracted to dragon slayers. I liked men who kept the masses at bay either through their financial power, or that physical energy that some men just emit. I met these men, and, as was my karma, they were equally attracted to me. We would even fall in love, or, more aptly put when referring to karma, we would fall into obsession. After countless disappointments, and sometimes a little violence, I found that the men I attracted to my life were not strong, at least not when it came to a strength that required more than lifting heavy rocks. In the end it always came back to my own strength. It was my karma to take responsibility for myself. Each time I handed over responsibility for my well-being to someone else, I paid a price, in love, in business, in anyway. Another karma that I had was with my self-worth and my lovability. Each time that I turned to someone else to show me that I was worthy, they challenged my worth. Karma is not necessarily about something that you have done to someone else, or to others in general – sometimes, very often, it is about something that you have to do for yourself.

My grandmother believed that she could not be loved for herself; she believed that she had to buy it, or place herself in a position that others needed her. She couldn’t give, although that is what she thought that she was doing – but there was a debt to pay for her giving and somehow in her mind this exchange was as close as she could come to being loved. My grandmother held on to every penny that she could. She did nothing, went nowhere and only used her money to hold on to the people that she loved. She believed that no one really loved her or could love her so she saved every penny. In her mind, no one would be there for her when she was old so she didn’t want to be in a position to have to depend on anyone, who she believed, would only reject her. After an unfortunate and unforeseen karmic turn of events she lost everything and had no choice but to rely on the kindness of strangers. However, those people that she was so sure would not be there for her when she was in need, turned out with open hearts blessing her with all of the love that she never believed possible in her life. That too was karma. It was the karma of learning. It is all the karma of learning.

I have a friend that I regressed to a number of past lives. In each one she was some kind of slave. Someone who was not given any value, except for one life, in which she did find and relish her own value and her own accomplishments after a childhood of being devalued. However, old habits die hard and she brought that same unworthy mindset into this life and was treated as a lesser being by the same souls who had done it to her in her past lives. However in this life she is learning and beginning step by step to assert her own power. And with each experience in which she does this – she finds that those souls who once intimidated her begin to treat her with greater respect. This is karma also. Perhaps with this karmic reinforcement she will become one with her own power and her own worth and the lesson will not require more lives, the karma will have been released. Most times we return to learn our lessons with the same souls but wearing different costumes in a different set. I believe that we choose to experience these lessons with the same souls not because they owe us, or we them, but because that soul level contact awakens in us those feelings that we need to rise above. We are innately intimidated by those who have left us with scars of feeling less than in past lives. Just as we awaken in them a need to treat us in a way that they may not really understand themselves in this lifetime. It is not so much that they do it to us, and then we do it to them. It is better explained as they do it to us over and over again, lifetime after lifetime until we do not allow it anymore. I have often heard someone say to me, “I don’t understand it, I only act this way with you”. It is because this drama is between us. Generally, this drama, repeated over lifetimes on different stages teaches a lesson to all parties involved, and it is repeated until the lessons are learned.

Of course there are the karmas that involve race, religion, social status, and power. Someone may be very poor in one life, and feel enormous resentment towards those who have more. That person may come back again poor, but in the next life that soul has the opportunity to amass great wealth. The lesson is in how they handle that wealth, just as there is a lesson in how one handles poverty. All roads lead to love, compassion, empathy, understanding, acceptance and brotherhood. All of these things must be learned but not just for the benefit of others but equally for the benefit of ourselves. Karma is ultimately about learning the lessons of unconditional love which inevitably leads us to the knowledge that we are all One, and that the totality of that One of which we all are is God.

We write our karma as we go along. We write the plot for our next life in this one. Reincarnation is about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. Karma is the path that we walk that mile on so that we may learn the true love of God, of other and of self and know that there is not differentiation between the three. That is the trinity that has existed since the beginning of time and before. Karma is not complicated. It contains no judgment, no punishment and no reward, except perhaps the reward of becoming the Love that we so desperately seek.

Success and Failure

What we consider failure is merely a rehearsal for success

Belief is the greatest factor in whether or not we succeed in reaching our goals. Whether we believe that we are able to reach them or whether we believe that the tools that we have will bring us to our goals is the determining factor. There is a story about a German troop during World War II that was out of guns. The commander handed each soldier an imaginary weapon and told him that this weapon was superior to any other. He told them that they only had to point it at their enemy and say, “Bang bang” and the enemy would drop down dead. One day the soldier, as he was fighting in the field of battle saw an enemy soldier, pointed his imaginary weapon and said, “Bang bang” and enemy fell down dead. He was so excited that he charged after each enemy soldier that he could find pointing his imaginary weapon and yelling, “Bang bang” and they all dropped like flies.

Soon after he heard the Star Spangled Banner playing in the air, and he knew that the Americans were coming. He was ready, he pointed his imaginary gun at the first American soldier that he saw and yelled, “Bang Bang”, and nothing happened, the soldier kept advancing. He did it again and still the American soldier kept advancing. Soon the German soldier found himself on the ground dying, and as he slowly faded out of consciousness he heard the American soldier saying, “I’m in a Tank I’m in a tank, I’m in a tank I’m in a tank, I’m in a tank, I’m in a tank…”

One way to succeed at reaching our goals is to go forward with the belief that we ourselves are fully capable of reaching that goal. Another way is to believe that we have the tools, the abilities that are needed to reach that goal. A third way is to be so focused on our goals that we do not even consider that we cannot reach them. In this way we do not even acknowledge any obstacles and therefore they are not given the life that they need in order to be obstacles in the first place. This is how many people who do not have any great amount of belief in themselves reach their goals.

The main thing that each of the above ways of succeeding has in common is the fact that they are all moving in the direction of their goal. So long as we move, the Universe will assist us in getting anywhere that we need to go. That forward movement is in itself an act of believing whether or not we are aware of it. We are all given the same keys to success at birth. However we are all given different things to succeed at. There are, as many people who were born with money who do not make anything of their lives in the world, as there are people who are born without money and do.

What we need to achieve, and whatever it is that we want, are not things that come to us from the world it is what we bring from ourselves out to the world. Everyone has a talent. Everyone has that specific talent that is required to achieve whatever it is that they came here to achieve. Sometimes we must know exactly what it is that we want in order to find that particular talent that we each have. Sometimes we have a talent that we do not know what to do with. That may not even be the talent that is immediately connected with our hearts desire. Yet once we connect with our hearts desire, we will find where our talents fit in.
Pope John Paul II wanted to be an entertainer; I recently watched a movie based upon a story that he had written. To creatively enrich the lives of others was his heart’s desire. Through following his desires he was led to the Church. He has now as the Pope, written a book and produced a CD. He did not end up where he planned as a child to be, or even as a young man to be, but it was from following his own plan that fate was able to guide his success in the Master Plan. He certainly was not a failure, yet he is on a much different stage than he had dreamed of.

Success and failure are both part of a process, failure is the means to success, but succeeding is something that does not end with reaching one goal. It is only after reaching one goal that we are able to see the next one. Once we are in sight of our next goal we will fail and fail until we succeed. Again the process will begin.

The fact is that we cannot succeed without failing. Failure is actually nothing but practice. Failure is rehearsal. How would we ever learn to walk if we were afraid of falling? What would happen if we accepted falling down the first time that we tried to walk as a failure? If that were the case we would all be crawling failures. As children there was never any doubt that in order to accomplish whatever it was that we wanted to do be it sitting crawling walking or riding a bike we would have to fall. Falling was not an issue. And we did not stop and count how many times we fell, our eyes were on our goal and we knew that we would reach it.

The sense of failure is really a byproduct of living in comparison to others or to the standards set by others. We were taken from being the best that we could be to being better than someone else is. The thing that impresses me when I hear successful athletes speak is that they usually say that they are not competing with others they are competing with themselves. They seek to better their best. It is this going outside of ourselves, living in comparison to others that causes us to judge ourselves as failures. What we consider as a failure could merely be a redirection. It could be a turn in our path that the Universe intends for us to take. With each step, regardless of where we seem to be, we are gathering what we need for the next. We are gathering the strengths, the tools, and the abilities that we need to go on. The heavier the weight that we lift, the stronger our muscles will become, physically, as well as emotionally. Yet, we never lift it on the first try, it takes time, that is not failure, that is work.

Many people are afraid of failure, so in order to avoid it they do not try. They do not realize that once we take the first step the possibilities before us are endless, but if we do not take a step we will go nowhere. We do not have to know where we are going in order to get there. We are here to find our way. Even if we do not exactly know our destination we can be still certain that we won’t end up on the wrong place. In life anywhere we end up will be right. Sometimes we are guided by a light that we do not even know that we see. The only way to fail is to quit. So long as we keep going the road will lead us to success.
In actuality we are all in the process of succeeding. Some of us have a longer road than others have. If my goal is ten miles away and I am competing with someone whose goal is five miles away, logic says that he will reach his goal before I will. Yet there are two separate things going on here. If the object is to reach ones goal, the winner is the one who reaches his goal. Therefore the only way to win is to keep striving until the goal is reached.

If the object is to beat someone else, there is no winning because competition can never be fair. There will always be another someone else. Someone will always have an advantage and someone else will always have a disadvantage. There are no equal playing fields, yet the ultimate playing field is always equal. We can all reach our goals. We can use competition to help push ourselves, or to help keep ourselves motivated. We should not use it to compare or to judge our success or failure.

Living in comparison is not living. Sometimes as an astrologer, I will look at a chart and thank God that it is not mine. Yet I know how many astrologers look at my chart and feel the same way. Nothing is one size fits all. Each life is tailor made for only the person who is living it. I could no more handle what someone else endures as I could find happiness in what makes someone else happy. My life would be empty for anyone else who tried to live it, for it is my reality and everyone’s illusion. There is no point in comparison.
If something makes you happy I cannot assume that it will make me happy. It does not mean that there is something wrong with me. If your shoes are not comfortable on my feet it does not mean that there is something wrong with my feet.

We need to find within ourselves what makes us happy. We need to find within ourselves what it is that we want. Somehow, we need to start with our childhood and filter out what others told us was right for us and seek deep inside for what we know feels right. The guarantee is that if we seek we shall find. If we intend to find what our hearts desire is, it will be shown to us. Our task, our journey is to find our way to that hearts desire. We just have to accept the fact that it is out there for us. We will reach it if we sincerely desire it.
The greatest guarantee of success is to find ones road and to travel it. We each have a road and a destination, and each road leads to that destination. Success is promised to us. It is there, we just have to keep going and not give up. More than anything we must not compare ourselves to others. We should find hope in the successes of others not lose our hope because of them. The Universe gave us each exactly what we need. All we have to do is find a way to activate it.

What is the measure of success after all? It is not what we have but what we feel about what we have. Success is not measured in the things that we own but in the life that we live. Success is not in our pockets but in our hearts. More than anything else, the person with the greatest success is one who has the most to take with him when he leaves.

Understanding That Choice And Destiny Work Together

There is no reason to feel robbed of choice by destiny, or to worry that the wrong choice will ruin our destiny. All choices accomplish our destiny. It is through the choices that we learn, and it is because of the ability to make choices that we come to this particular planet. It is our journey that sets up the situations in which we must make the choices and it is through making the choices that we reach our destiny.

One thing that we cannot deny is that there are many synchronicities in our lives. These synchronicities show us that there is a plan. There is destiny, which is a destination. However there are many ways to reach it. There are many rivers that empty into the same ocean. Those many rivers in our lives represent our choices. In every moment of our lives there are choices that we make, those choices determine the experiences that we will encounter on our way to our destination, but they do not change the destination.

Those synchronistic moments are destined points. Each path that we take, each choice that we make takes us on a journey towards our destination, however no one way is longer or shorter although some may be easier than others. This is where our free will comes in. We come here with certain karma and certain things that we must learn. We can learn them the hard way or we can learn them the easy way, each way represents a path that we take, but neither path changes the destination. If, for example one has to learn patience, one would be in such a hurry that corners would constantly be cut and experiences rushed through. One would be faced constantly with choices that would give the impression that there is always a way to cut corners and skip steps to get ahead. Each fork in the road would provide all that would be needed in order to take the easy way out. It would always be the most apparent option. That choice will always seem so tempting and so obvious.

Along that path if one takes the easy way there will always be traps, which will begin to appear as soon as one is too far in to turn back. Always ending up working twice as hard as would have been the case had the task been handled slowly and with patience from the beginning. One would notice at one point that this scenario exists and perhaps choose to do it the slow cautious way from the beginning, therefore changing the path from one that is difficult to one that is smooth. Thus now creating a path in which everything falls into place.

One may on the other hand continue choosing the apparent easy way believing that just changing one thing will make it right. However, each time there is one different thing that will go wrong because the destination is to learn patience. I always believed that I had to find the perfect job. I went from job to job never staying more than one year in any place. Each time I was disappointed to find that I was no further ahead than I was at the job before that one. Finally it dawned on me that it was not being in the right place that was the problem; not staying in one place long enough for growth to happen was my problem. When I committed to staying in the next place that I landed regardless of how much I wanted to move on, my life changed. This was a part of my process.

There are many lessons in our lives that we must learn and the paths that our lives take depend upon our learning those lessons. An easy life is not the birthright of the majority of souls here at this time.
We learn our lessons regardless of what choice we make. We teach what we are here to teach no matter what we do. We are each the student, the teacher, and the lesson. In spite of how we react to our lives on earth, our souls are learning. All of the lessons are predestined. It is through the soul’s journey that we meet each lesson. The journey is the lesson and each lesson is the adventure. We always get where we are supposed to go, even though many times it is not exactly where we planned to go. It is however exactly where we agreed to go before we incarnated.

The clock that we are on here is not a clock marked by seconds, minutes and hours; it is a clock marked by lessons, agreements and destiny. It does not matter how long it takes us to reach a certain point, all of the things that we consider wrong turns and dead ends are merely the places we had to go to get the tools and the emotional strength that we needed to move to the next destination.

There are special relationships that we are here to have. Most of them are not to be permanent, but all of them have a specific lesson within them for us to learn. We are never with the wrong person, each person allows us to perfect some part of ourselves. Each person in our lives reflects those things in us that we need to focus on. We come from one Source and we journey towards returning to that Source. While we are here on earth, we are learning that we are one. All of the souls that we meet, and all of the souls that inhabit the planet with us along with the ones who have left us here, are one.

People risk destroying themselves and their lives in order to “fix” their bodies to make them more attractive to others. They change their faces, blow up their lips, and vacuum out their stomachs to attract someone who will love them. But if they are attracted by the things that we do to change ourselves – it is the change and not us that matters to the other person. So the feeling of being unloved remains. If there is something about ourselves that we want to change for ourselves this is fine. Yet if we are changing our bodies in order to attract that special someone who will love us, we are missing the point. When we meet someone special we feel a sense of fate around the meeting and this is because it is a fated meeting. been a feeling of fatedness about the meeting. We can fix our bodies to attract other bodies, but it will never attract someone’s heart or soul. What I see around me are a million lonely Barbies looking for their Kens. When we work on the inside, on who we are, we will attract to us someone interested in who we are. That special someone will love us, that love will be love soul to soul. Even more importantly, that person is destined to be with us when we are ready, not ready on the outside but ready on the inside. There are many superficial experiences that we have and learn from. Yet what affects us on the inside, those things that touch our souls are the things that are in our destiny. We do not make them happen we can only grow to meet them, and make sure that we are prepared for them when we do.

Living in the Flow

The awakened sages call a person wise when all his undertakings are free from anxiety about results; all his selfish desires have been consumed in the fire of knowledge. The wise, ever satisfied, have abandoned all external supports. Their security is unaffected by the results of their action; even while acting, they really do nothing at all [i.e., nothing producing karma]. Free from expectations and from all sense of possession, with mind and body firmly controlled by the Self, they do not incur sin by the performance of physical action.

Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 4.19-21

I have a friend who is constantly in an uproar. She had the most difficult time dealing with change, in spite of the fact that life is nothing but change. She always felt that somehow she was in the wrong place, either physically or in life. She was either angry at life, or angry with herself most of the time. She was convinced that she had landed in the wrong place and was unable to accept her life. One day, a woman, from whom she would never normally have accepted advice, told her that the reason her life seemed so miserable and mine did not was because I was able to flow. That statement hit her like a ton of bricks. I think that, at that moment, she realized that the quality of our lives has nothing to do with life itself, but how we approach it. However my life was going and wherever I happened to be, it was my belief that everything was as it should be. I felt, that if I am here, here is where I am meant to be.

I frustrated her every time that I said it. I have always considered myself to be very lazy and really averse to suffering. So, it always seemed simpler and less painful to accept my life as it is rather than to suffer, by resisting the circumstances that obviously exist. It has always just seemed logical to me to play the cards that I have been dealt rather than wasting time and energy, especially emotional energy, fighting what is, because I don’t like it. That, in my opinion, is like beating an impenetrable wall because it is in my way, rather than just looking for a way around it. My philosophy is to acknowledge its existence, and then seek a way around it, and if one cannot be found, then I accept that there is a good purpose for it being there. I prefer to use my time and energy rather than waste it. I am lazy!

The saddest thing about mankind is that we suffer our greatest pain because we won’t face, and accept the inevitable. We waste so much of our time and energy fighting against the inevitable seasons of life, that we leave little time or energy for living. We spend forty-five percent of our time regretting the past and forty five percent of our lives worrying about the future and only ten percent of our time living in the present. It’s hard to imagine what the quality of our lives would be, if only we realized that now is our life.

Each moment evaporates as soon as we experience it. Each “Now” is at once the past, present, and the future. Life is a series of beginnings and endings, some causing joy and some causing pain. Always, as long as we are on the earth, we can look forward to both joys and sorrows, hellos and goodbyes, successes and failures, rising up and falling down, and births and deaths. This will go on as long as the sun rises and the sun sets. A friend is made a friend is lost, an enemy is defeated while a new enemy is making his way to our door. A nation will rise and that same nation will fall. A race of people will rule, and that same race will serve, all in its season. A race will flourish for a time, and then it will be wiped out. Just as each species will flourish for a time and in time become extinct. And what happens has nothing to do with how wise one is, nor how righteous one is, it has only to do with their season. Here on earth, there is no justice, no fairness, but we will, in the end be judged fairly by God. There is no righteous man who has never sinned and no sinner who has never acted righteously, therefore man cannot judge man.

So, what we can do, while living under the sun, is follow the advice in Ecclesiastes 7:13-14:

13. Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight which he hath made crooked? 14. In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; yea, God hath made the one side by side with the other, to the end that man should not find out anything that shall be after him.

Life is a rainbow of colors, some are our favorites and some we don’t particularly like, but we are here to try them all. God creates all of life for us. However many yesterdays we have had, they have mostly been forgotten. However many tomorrows we will have, they are impossible to know. Yet, what we do have is life. We have its flow, with all of the beginnings and all of the endings-all of the seasons. We do not mourn summer when winter comes, and we do not mourn spring when summer comes. This is because we are certain that they will come again. We do not mourn the sun when it sets because we are certain that it will rise, but the truth is that we cannot be certain that it will rise for us. If we believe in God, then we must know that God has no favorites. There is no life in the universe that is more or less important to God than ours. So, whatever happens in our lives is a gift from the one who loves us unconditionally. We must live with the knowledge that first: everything is good, and second: nothing dies, nothing ends, and nothing is born, except form. Spirit is everlasting. Believing this lessens pain, it lessens the sense of loss because that sense of loss is immediately replaced with the anticipation of what will be born in place of what has outworn its usefulness. Life contains no vacuums. Even a circle only appears to be solid. In fact, under a microscope it would be seen as many tiny connected dots, beginnings and endings. And whether or not we choose to accept what happens in our lives will have absolutely no effect on whether or not it happens. If we hate rain, it will still rain.

Life is meant to be lived, and living is experiencing life. Experiencing life with the firm belief that it is only real in this moment. Love with all of your heart, every moment and every experience that it contains. So often we look back at times in our past, when we were so distracted by the things that upset us that we lost those precious moments with those whom we have loved-moments that we can never recapture. Other times we look back and find that those things we were so upset about turned out to be gifts of immeasurable magnitude. We should accept the life that we have been given as being perfect, not because we are perfect, perfect implies a state of completion; and we are not required to be perfect. We are, in each moment, in the process of becoming. We should accept our lives as perfect because the Creator, who gave them to us to live -is perfect.

There are many things in our lives that we can’t change, but those things that we can’t change are meant as gifts from which to learn. Sometimes our lessons come from overcoming, and in those times we will be shown the way to overcome, other times our lessons come from simply enduring and during those times we will be prevented from finding any way to overcome. Yet, whichever way it is meant to be, in the end we will find that it is good. Each life is a puzzle, and we have to put the pieces together. What is important to remember is that life is a puzzle that comes with all the pieces, no matter how difficult the puzzle is that we have been given, we have been given all of the pieces and they will all fit. Life consists of putting the pieces together, and examining and understanding the picture as it grows with each piece. When we have finally put all of the pieces together, it is time for this life to end, so that we may be given a new life with a whole new set of pieces to put together. Each puzzle is a perfect work of art, our creation. We need to have the faith in God and in His work to flow with life and pour our joy into it without counting what we get back in return. Because what we get, is the chance to live it.