As you read this, the US is still mired in wars in the Middle East and the question still remains for me, Peace? What are you giving and receiving? It has long been a belief, and a point of inquiry of mine, that what goes on within us is a microcosm of the greater reality reflected out into the world. And so, along with activism, I continue to look within to discover, embrace and heal those places within myself that are at war. It is my intention, inside and out, to do what I can to embody, give and receive peace in the world. In the ancient text, The Essence Gospel of Peace, it states “ Peace is the key to all knowledge, all mystery, all life.”
21 years ago I was living in a small Northern California coastal town. My neighborhood reminded me of the powerful novel SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION, by Ken Kesey. As I’d take my daily walks through the fogged in neighborhood, I ‘d pass sign after sign impaled in the yards stating, “We support the timber industry”. The small communities lining the coast embodied the timber/environmental clash so vividly described in that novel.
Months before, I had been asked to be interviewed on a local women’s radio show. The topic I chose was “Inner Healing and how it relates to Global Healing”. At the time, I was working as a massage therapist in a chiropractor’s office. One of my clients was a young man who had moved out from the south to make peace buttons for a local company. Although his job and his political activism spoke of peace, the extreme tension I felt in his body spoke of an ongoing inner war. I began to observe this dichotomy in myself and other clients, along with the already divided community. The day we declared war on Iraq ended up being the day of my interview.
As war broke out in that country, war broke out in my town as the local mayor and city council declared the town a draft free zone. Opponents stormed the town hall, an enormous American flag was erected upon the approach to town, and all the yard signs were replaced with new ones stating “We support America”…and…. we’re on the air, welcome Katelon to discuss “Inner Healing and how it relates to Global Healing.”
I felt like I was in the twilight zone and all the mayhem further underscored this study of mine. There I was witnessing war in the body of this young man, opposing views and near riots in our town hall, SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION in my neighborhood and bombs dropping across the seas as a TV reporter stood next to a board drawing little x’s and o’s like a football play to explain the loss of life many countries away.
Over the years I have continued to explore this theme as I work to release old limiting patterns of lack, illnesses, and aloneness in myself. Sometimes I am able to love what is here, or what I perceive to be lacking, embrace the lessons and provide the gift of peace to myself, as I open the space for healing to happen. Other times I am in the ring, working on my left hook, ready to punch out the offending lack of fruition, career struggle or another Saturday night spent alone. A few years ago this occasional fighting position was literally put in my face as I took a detour to work. I ended up driving past a 7th grade fistfight in the middle of the road. Because I haven’t seen a fist fight since my 7th grade year, I was left to ponder again Where am I at war in my own being, what am I fighting? Peace? What am I giving and receiving? As I examine this wrestling with my psyche I am seeing it on the outside again, too, as my neighbors, fellow countrymen/women and world members draw the lines and continue wars.
One of the therapies I do is called, Spiritual Response Therapy (SRT). In this therapy, I work with a person’s high self to research and clear negative programs, conditioning, beliefs, etc. that are limiting the person and restricting the flow of good through their bodies, relationships and lives. This work is done using a pendulum, dowsing various charts and connecting with the person’s high self to research the soul’s records. Whatever needs to be cleared is then identified and with the assistance of the high self and spirit, it is cleared. The limiting energies are then replaced with positive ones, moving a person out of self-punishment and self-limitation. Relationships can be researched as well, clearing destructive patterns that can be limiting the relationship and the individuals. Christ referred to this high self as “the father within”. Hawaiian Huna refers to it as Aumakua or higher consciousness. What is seen so often in this work is how much people limit themselves through their thoughts and judgments brought forth from (depending upon your belief system), past lives, genetic codes, world energies, childhood experiences and the entire creative process in itself.
A few years ago, a man called to ask me to use SRT to “GET RID” of a woman he is in business with. He explained how this woman was attempting to take over his business and he wanted her gone. I explained that I’m not a hit man but that I could work with his high self and spirit to clear them and their relationship, allowing for a new resolution. The work succeeded and the woman called him, with positive news and wanted to get together to find a healthy resolution they could both be comfortable with. Instead of rejoicing in this turn of events, he was so attached to his anger that he chided me for not getting rid of her. I felt saddened by his response, yet I was led to look at what I was just wanting to get rid of in my life, rather than be willing to negotiate with, forgive, and create a space for something new to appear? I had to look at where was I limiting myself? I inquired again, “Peace? What am I giving and receiving?”
I watch in childlike awe each year as the days get shorter and shorter and darkness descends, leaving sunshine, that I so love, a memory. And yet, I attune to the surrender of the trees as they gently release their leaves, plants die and seeds are deposited deep in the soil to wait and rest until the light comes again. Most of the world religions celebrate this return of the light. I think of Mary, in the Christian tradition, as she gestated a child within, holding that immaculate concept for him as she faced many outer challenges. Certainly, she must have felt the urge to fight, the call to struggle or defend. I certainly did as I carried my son, and then went on to raise him alone through all the challenges we faced. Don’t we all, whether we are carrying a child, a dream or concept? And, yet, each of us can carry this immaculate concept for our children, our dreams and desires. Each of us can carry that seed of peace and continue to hold it in our hearts for the world and ourselves.
The days may be dark, the world may talk of war and torture and try to keep us focused on fear and our desires/dreams/challenges may threaten to pull us into an inner or outer war and yet there are methods and therapies that we can use to release this inner negativity and replace it with harmony. I do believe that we have the power within us to return to love, just as yearly the days grow longer and the light returns. I do feel that each step we take toward negotiation, dialogue, healing and bridge building within ourselves, our families, our communities, does reach out and effect global change. So, I encourage you to ask yourselves, “Peace? What are you giving and receiving?”
I grew up as an activist, always fighting to protect those I felt were being treated unfairly, fighting unjust political wars, racism, unjust rules and authority. I’m glad that I was awake and aware enough to take this path, although, I am ready to adjust this fighting nature.
I once dated a man who considered himself a Marxist. He often talked of revolution as the solution, and I talked of spiritual revolution because along with my long time activist path, I have always walked a spiritual path, inquiring deeper and deeper to find the truth. I argued that in order to truly change our world, and provide a lasting change, change would need to take place within each person or else it would just be changing who ruled over whom. He didn’t talk to me for three days as he said my politics stank.
But did they?
Right now, there are revolutions seeming to take place all over the world, as people rise up to end the reign of vicious dictators and end oppressive governments. I celebrate these revolutions but mostly because I feel it is the spiritual revolution within each person that is rising up to say “no more” to being ruled by power over, greed and unjust policies.
I recently attended a socialist meeting, a first for me. The people there were kind, dedicated, intelligent people. It was an interesting experience, because although I have worked with Central American refugees during the US’s oppressive covert wars in Central America, in order to provide them shelter, help with jumping through all the legal loopholes to get documented, education and care; picketed against wars and the School of Americas, I seem to now be led to a more inner path of spiritual revolution. So although I admired these people there, I knew it wasn’t my path anymore.
I also support all the Occupy movements going on now around the world, as people come together in peaceful protest to wake up the world to the need to end this long reign of power over, greed and exploitation that has brought so much poverty, violence and destruction to the people, creatures, water, land and air around the world. I believe that each person needs to listen within and decide how best he or she can contribute to this transformation that is taking place.
For some, it may be taking part in a protest, for others it may be quietly meditating and focusing on a healthy, peaceful planet, and heart. Each time we face that unjust nature within ourselves, that desire to condemn, to judge, and replace it instead with self-love, peace and love directed to others, that ripples out and effects the entire planet.
I think about the words to describe this movement…revolution, reconciliation, reformation, rebirth and transformation. I believe we are in the process of truly re-claiming that which we truly are, which is One…. one with all that is, one with the divine, one within and all around us.
I recently read the wonderful book THE SHACK. Many fundamentalist Christians denounced it as going against the bible, as not being dogmatic enough. I loved the book for those very reasons as it rose above dogma and pictured a very human, loving and transformational experience for the main character through his interaction with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The author created these very tender scenes of God, Jesus and the Holy spirit being in relationship with each other with love, gentleness, honor and respect and invited the main character to participate with them and his life this way as well. Ok, so God was personified as a sassy big African American woman, Jesus as a plain looking carpenter and the Holy Spirit as a rather ethereal woman, but for me, it made these interactions more real and understandable. I feel this is what spirituality is really all about; transformation is really all about… loving ourselves, interacting with our world in this loving, honoring manner.
So this is my path now as an activist, to occupy my heart and body with love, respect, and honor and to carry this into every interaction I may have in the world. I may or may not pick up a protest sign again, but I’d like to have the biggest “sign” I carry to be my love for the world shining out brightly, to light my way and the way for others. This is what I strive to do in the healing work, coaching and workshops I offer for others, too.
Each person has to find their own path, their own way to contribute to their own transformation and that of the world around them. I have found my way now. If I can help you in any way, please let me know.
I am sending out much love and healing energy through these words. Thank you for taking the time to read them.
Katelon T. Jeffereys
Seattle Life Coach