Pondering the Pavement

February 12, 2016

Speak It, Teach It

AlgebraI helm a weekly mediumship development circle every Sunday in Signal Hill. Some of you are, in all probability, scratching your head over this one. If you know me, you also know that teaching is not one of my favorite pastimes. Teaching ranks right down there with holiday family dinners, raisins and Country Caterwauling that some insist is music. I’ve always assumed my dislike for teaching stems from my lifelong loathing of school in general. I often feel like the character in the Far Side cartoon asking his teacher, “Mr. Osborne, may I be excused? My brain is full.” I was bored to tears the vast majority of the time back in my school days. And it wasn’t because I was some unearthly genius, either. Good heavens, no. I just resented anyone telling me what to do. (A delightful quirk that I clutch onto with a stubborn death grip to this very day.) Even then I knew the path my life would be taking. I was going to be a cartoonist and that journey would not involve algebra or geometry. I guess you could say, upon reflection, that little snippet was one of my earliest psychic predictions. Move over, Psychic Twins, there’s a new Criswell on the block.

I’ll let you know if Terry and Linda ever speak to me again after that comment…

So, why on earth (or any other plane of existence you prefer) did I decide to take on this class? That’s a damn fine question. Honestly, I did it out of sheer boredom. I was looking to shake things up, do something different, so I put that desire out there to my Guides. When will I ever learn? Once again, Robert and the Gang opted to take me at my word and toss me in head first. Way to go, Guys and Gals. The class had originally been taught by someone else, but he moved out of the area. A couple of his students approached me and asked if I would be interested in stepping in as their new teacher. Great Googly Moogly, what were they thinking? SERIOUSLY? That’s like putting me in charge of the dessert cart. You just know nothing good is going to come from it.

When I teach, I like to push the envelope, test new ideas, take students down unfamiliar pathways. It’s fun to dive into the deep end of the pool without an inflatable clown-character raft. Not knowing what will happen is a great spiritual aphrodisiac.

My personal theory is that your connection with your own Spirit Guides is singularly the most important aspect of this work. The stronger the communication, the personal connection, the clearer the corridor. This connection can take you to uncharted places with unbridled passion. The more I discover, the more I want to know. The more I know, the more I want to share with anyone within a somewhat interested earshot. I’m not one for rambling lectures. The learning—the excitement—is in the doing, not in the humdrum listening and waiting.

So, to keep things lively, I’ve opened the door to channeling for my band of students. I’ve shown them exercises in meeting with their Spirit Guides—hobnobbing with them if you will—and even their Higher Selves. I’ve taken them to the next stage of conversing with them through Automatic Writing (a true passion for me). Channeling seemed like the logical next step along the way. This builds trust as well as comfort in your connection to your Spiritual Peeps, your Crew. I assure you that channeling is NOT for everyone. But it will allow you to better feel, and understand, the energy of your own Guides. This comes in especially handy for those times when you think, “I can’t feel my Guides around me! Where are they?” We all do it from time to time. Trust me on this. You will, by merely raising your own sensitivity and awareness, find that statement will all but completely vanish from your daily diatribe. And how cool would THAT be?

I know what you’re saying… “Hey, Charles, it sure sounds like you’re teaching right now!” Yeah, whatEVER. I’m doing it at two in the morning while nibbling on a cold frosted strawberry Pop-Tart and sipping an ice-cold glass of milk. My class, my rules.

The class had some major breakthroughs this past week. I was extremely proud of my students and their accomplishments (Pop-Tarts would have improved the experience but, hey, you can’t have everything). Some very intense messages, emotionally as well as philosophically, came through each student. There’s nothing like a good dose of self awareness to wake you up in the middle of the afternoon. Normally, I will go into channel first in order to set the tone of the exercise. It is also good for students who have never experienced anything like this to see a bit of the possibilities lying ahead for them. Last week, however, I was told in no uncertain terms, I had to wait until the end. While unhappy about being told what to do, I begrudgingly admitted that They are always right. Just like my editor, but I digress… So, like a good whipping boy, I waited.

When I channel, privately or in public demonstrations, I discover there is a protocol. Robert always opens and closes the session. He has a ritual that he has gone through since day one. Then he will move onto whatever topic he deems necessary for those in attendance. Once he takes care of his agenda others may, from time to time, pop in for more commentary. It is interesting to hear the view points of the others. They merely offer their take, their spin, on Robert’s initial message. Once they are finished Robert will pop back in with a quick summation or message and then off they go. Robert, and Robert alone, always opens the floor for a Q&A when I am giving a public channeling demonstration. He doesn’t bother with personal questions (“Should I move to another town,” etc). He is looking for questions of a Universal, a more spiritual, nature. “If you broaden your mind you will surely enhance your intentions,” Robert says, “Imagine the possibilities within THAT!” The ONLY time this protocol was broken was during a demo at The Owl’s Lantern in Fullerton, CA, a few years ago. Robert had taken a couple of inquiries from those in attendance, as is his custom. Then one woman asked a question and, much to everyone’s surprise, Robert stepped aside and allowed Dondi to speak! This was the first and, as of this date, the only time that has occurred.

A little background on Dondi. He is a three-dimensional version of the comic strip character by Irwin Hasen. He is about 5 or 6 years of age. His love of life is contagious. It’s really fitting because I am a cartoonist, as you know, AND I’m an adoptee. The whole package is once again wrapped up neatly and beautifully. Realizing that my Joy Guide is a 5 year old REALLY explains a lot about me, doesn’t it?

Anyway… Dondi answered her question and then Robert returned to continue. I later discovered that the woman who asked the question had a daughter whose name is Dondi AND she was named after the comic strip character! So, once again, proof that the interaction is never random. There’s always a reason. ALWAYS. We may not get it at the time but, trust me, one day it will all come together.

You’re wondering what Robert had to say this past Sunday, aren’t you? Well, speculate no more, for here are Their words. Happy mulling!

 

ROBERT

“I am here, Charles. I am Robert. I will answer your questions at this time. I am here, on your right, as always.

“Lovely to see you. More lovely to see your experiences today. Intoxicating, isn’t it? This is to be understandable. For some, it is very new. And, with the newness, comes intensity, fascination, sadness. But not [sadness] in a sorrowful way. Perhaps a sadness of what you may have missed by not pursuing this communiqué sooner. A sadness for missing emotion of the heart. Sadness of not really believing… not mentioning any names. (Whispers) Is Kevin listening? (loudly) HAHA!

[FYI: Kevin and I are both life-long members of The Bull-Headed Skeptics Club. We have a secret handshake and everything.]

“Your ways are not foreign to us [Kevin]. If you had to work with this (pointing to self) you would understand. HAHA! It is true. He HAS driven me to drink. HAHA!

“Right now, the levity felt in your hearts, in your consciousness… do you feel that? (Snaps fingers 5 times) The guards come down so you may see. And what you see, my friends, is but merely the beginning. If you never do this again you will always have this experience. But, since you have touched it, taken it, you want to try it again, don’t you? Again… intoxicating. Allow the excitement, the wonder, the curiosity to lead you, entice you and, most importantly, BE you.

“Your soul craves the connection of ‘home’. The body knows it is home but you understand, now, the duality. What you see is not always what you get. For what you are seeing is always a little more complicated. Look beyond what SEEMS in order to see what IS.”

 

PAMELA

“Oh, he’s not going to be happy that I’m here. (Long sigh, as if exhaling smoke)

“Hello, my friends. I… am… Pamela. I am, as my host would say, a bit of a smart ass. But would you expect anything else? (Whispers) I don’t think so.

“Robert speaks of what is seen, what is felt, what is processed (she pronounced it as PRO-cessed). *I* understand the individual versions of what your eyes, what your mind, tells you. Rebeka, Love, first word that comes to your mind when I say the word, ‘Radio’?”

Rebeka: Frequency.

“Shawn… same question.”

Shawn: Transmission.

“Two different answers! Which is correct? Both! ‘Frequency’ for Rebeka, ‘Transmission’ for Shawn. Each of you has a set of, shall we say, encyclopedias in one’s mind, in one’s heart. Rely on these. Rely on these.

“One continually asks for a sign. We are not in the billboard business! But… but… beyond the billboards you seek—or THINK you should see—that is where the signs ARE. That is where the signs are. If you do not understand what you are feeling, focus on what you are seeing. How does THAT make you FEEL? And your answers can be there. It will not always be black and white. WHY? Because you have to work through it. THROUGH IT.

“Why? Why not? Think about that. WHY NOT? To desire knowledge, to crave knowledge, you must first dive into it. Play with it. And let it be whatever it needs to be for you. Each of you.”

 

ROBERT

“I am Robert. With our collective hearts, our collective thoughts, our collective intentions, and, of course, our collective love, you are thanked, you are appreciated. And, until next time, I am done.”

 

With those three little words—I AM DONE—Robert was “gone”. I know he wasn’t truly gone but his focus, his energy, was hurled back from hence it came. I always feel an odd emptiness when he has stepped back. I mean I’m plugged into this intense generator when, all of a sudden, the power source is shut off faster than he can snap my fingers. What never ceases to amaze me is the depth of Their brevity. The messages are always deceivingly short. But, if you re-read them, over and over, you’ll discover such complexity and influence within the few sentences that have been given. I’m always left in a state of awe. I know my own words. I know the pattern and rhythm of my own speech. I stare at the messages given and my first thought is always, “That is NOT me!”

If They can provide words through me that are not my own, then they can just as easily push, poke and prod me into other things that are not necessarily my own preferred actions, such as teaching. It isn’t fully me at the podium. I know that. But, if I truly did not want to teach, I would not be doing it (as much as I hate to admit it). I have had, from the onset, this simple philosophy regarding mediumship: I will quit the instant it stops being fun. The same can be said about teaching, too, I suppose. I like to push my students out of their comfort zone because I know they’ll learn from the experience. My Guides enjoy doing the exact same thing to me. What a friggin’ shock.

The lesson here? You need to embrace each and every part of yourself. The dark and the light, the cozy and the discomfort, the chocolate and the broccoli. It’s all there for a reason. As Pamela asked, “How does THAT make you FEEL?” Mull it over, kids. Class dismissed.

Copyright © 2016, Charles A Filius, All Rights Reserved

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October 3, 2015

It’s All in the Cards

Copyright Thomas Coyle

Copyright Thomas Coyle

* * *

“A deck of cards fans out. You do the same, you know?
Your aura, your energy, fans out to others.
The people will reach in and pull out what they need from you.
But always remember this: what they take is only what YOU freely give.”
– Pamela

* * *

Of all of the inquiries I receive, I have to say that the topic of Spirit Guides is in the top three. I have a very strong, and obvious, working relationship (or on-going feud, depending on the day) with my ensemble of enlightened ectoplasm. I’ve been fortunate enough to have connected clearly with them from the very beginning. While it seemed like a grand idea at the time, I’m willing to bet they’re kicking themselves now. Some of my Guides tend to be more prominent than the others. You know this just by skimming over my Facebook page or thumbing through my book, DAILIES. Some just seem more talkative. So I thought I would begin writing about some of my ‘lesser known’ Guides. They all assist me in my readings, meditations, writings—not to mention that daily routine you hear so much about—so I don’t want to give the impression that some are more important than others. There’s no Warren G. Harding or Chester Alan Arthur in my line up. Each stands out in their own way with their own Divine Purpose. The one common denominator is they have all improved on their golf swing whacking their clubs up against my cement abutment of a skull. God love ‘em.

In April, 1909, Pamela Coleman Smith was commissioned by A.E. Waite to design arguably the most recognizable tarot deck in history: The Rider-Waite-Smith Deck (now known as The Rider-Waite Deck). At the time it consisted of 80 drawings and by 1911 black and white prints would appear with Waite’s book entitled The Pictorial Key to the Tarot. Thus ends the lesson.

IN MY EARLY DAYS OF DEVELOPMENT, I was introduced to a new Spirit Guide by the name of Pamela. She was my fifth spiritual sidekick right after Christopher, my Tibetan Monk with ADHD (Ya can’t make this stuff up, people). Pamela gave me a swift glimpse of her physical appearance, like Christopher, in the very beginning. I saw a young woman with olive skin, dark eyes & hair, with full lips. She was dressed, in my best description, like a gypsy. I almost expected her to conjure up Larry Talbot (note the seasonal, nerdy reference). I’m also convinced she is an avid smoker but she denies it. She insists she is a reformed smoker. Oh, c’mon, Pamie. You can’t be helped until you’re honest with yourself first. Ahem.

She informed me that her role was to help me learn the Tarot. I knew nothing of the cards at the time and just accepted it for what it was. Our relationship began as a shipwreck beaten on the rocks and escalated rapidly downhill at a heart-skipping pace. Tarot and I did NOT get along from the git-go. The deck and I just didn’t mesh. I would stare at the cards and they simply stared right back at me. It was about as uncomfortable as an obligatory holiday family dinner.

Poor Pamela’s pet project was pretty much a pratfall. Of course, in those early days of my development, Pamela was still a wide-eyed entity chock full of determination and hope. Now, thanks to me, she’s bitter, broken and buzzing about bygone days of bliss. But she stays because she either has no place else to go or she’s a masochist. Probably a little bit of both.

Yeaaaaa… she’s gonna slap me down a rabbit hole for that one.

At one point along the way I found out about the artist of the Tarot, Pamela Coleman Smith. Needless to say, my jaw came crashing down on the tile. Could MY Spirit Guide be THE Pamela? I have to admit I was both impressed and intimidated. It seemed for a moment that Spirit had brought out the Big Guns. I had a sudden feeling I needed to really toe the line. And nothing creeps me out more than obligation. I put it out there and, in an automatic writing session, she answered my question. In her already familiar, snarky tone she wrote, “No, but I had you going there for a minute, didn’t I?” It was at that point that I proposed marriage, as is my custom in such situations.

Her moniker provided me with an amazing validation. Of all the names I could have been given, I receive the very name of THE illustrator of THE Tarot Deck. Coincidence? Not by a long shot. The odds are just too high for that to even be considered.

She is brutally direct and she refuses to put up with my crap. She calls me on it all the time and, honestly, I’m grateful that she does. I can’t get away with anything with her. Excuses are unacceptable, end of story. I recall, once upon a time, when I attempted to take a beginners Tarot class in Anaheim. The class description boasted it was for fledgling amateurs who didn’t know squat about the Tarot. LIES! ALL LIES! It seemed to me that everyone in that class, minus myself of course, had been reading the Tarot prior to leaving the womb. While I was only comfortable with knowing which side of the card to have face-up, everyone else was tapping into the deep corners of the Universe and revealing the secrets of life to any and all.

“I got a rock.” – Charlie Brown

It was a four week class and I lasted two of them. After that first night I was enraged. I stormed out of the building like a rabid dog. I was storming down the street toward my car, ranting and raving the whole time. I went on and on about what a joke this was, how I was too stupid to understand this undecipherable language, and on and on and on. When I FINALLY had to pause to take a breath, I heard Pamela oh-so-very-clearly ask, “Are you through?”

I hate when a woman asks me that.

Undeterred in my own lavish self-pity, I screamed, “How can I expect to see anything hidden in a damn card when I can’t even see YOU?”

Keep in mind this conversation was out-loud on a busy, bustling street around nine o’clock at night. Of course, it IS Southern California so passers-by were assuming I was either talking on a hands-free phone or I was schizophrenic. Both are equally common out here and, for the record, I lean more toward the latter of the two.

Pamela, in her already familiar Angelic tone oozing with love, replied, “Don’t give me that whinny ‘I can’t see you’ shit. Do you want to do this or not?”

Yes, dear.

Pamela realized that this relationship was just not working. I’m no stranger to that, but that’s beside the point. So, like any adaptable enlightened being, she switched gears. She began working with my understanding of symbolism in general. My readings are often a rapid-fire bombardment of images, one after another, like psychic flashcards. It’s a quick form of shorthand that is designed to keep my physical mind happy to have a puzzle to solve while my connection to Spirit gets to jump over the fence of so-called reality in order to ‘hear’ the true message. After that slap in the back of my noggin, the clarity of the symbols has been staggering. It was as if I had learned a new language almost overnight. I don’t know how she did it—what wires she crossed—but, by gum by golly, it worked. I find myself connecting dots that don’t seem to be related…until I discover that missing key. Once that key turns in the lock a whole new level of understanding is revealed to all parties involved. And, honestly, it’s a trip.

She has also helped greatly with my seemingly natural connection to oracle cards. Why I can’t relate to the Tarot is beyond me. I’m sure it’s my own mental block at this point (a polite expression for ‘bull-headed flibbertigibbet’). I’ve just accepted it for whatever it is. I suppose I should give Pamela credit for the Oracle Connection, but the last thing I want to do is to give my Entourage a reason to feel good about Themselves.

Pamela is the one who prompted me to officially offer Oracle Card readings in addition to my regular sessions. Prompted, by the by, is a refined euphemism for ‘bullying’, in case you’re wondering. She is also the Mastermind behind my occasional “Card of the Day” postings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (for the 9 of you who follow all three venues). On occasion, whenever she is feeling like banging her head against a cement barrier, she attempts to sneak a Tarot lesson or two in the mix. And, as expected, it’s never really met with great verve.

I bought a Rider-Waite deck several years ago. Even after discovering my ineptitude with the cards, I kept them around like that odd uncle that no one really understands but, yet, you find comforting to invite to Christmas dinner, even if only for comedic relief. That’s MY goal in life, BTW. I placed the deck of cards in a wooden box and kept it on my altar. A photo of Pamela Coleman Smith stands guard on top of it. I like to have little trinkets, if you will, to represent my Guides on my altar. I don’t have items for all of them—yet—but I’ve found things for a little over half. It helps, in my mind’s eye, to solidify their presence in a physical sense.

Over the years, and throughout a handful of relocations crisscrossing the country, they ended up packed away in a box in my storage unit. It’s a wonder Pamela even continued speaking to me after that shun. A few months ago, while rummaging through my mountains of yard sale fodder, I unearthed the deck. Something told me to bring them home. So, after a hiatus, they’re residing once more on the altar, hopefully collecting more energy than dust.

September 18th of this year marked the 64th anniversary of the passing of Pamela Coleman Smith. I wanted to post something on my Facebook page about her. So, I simply did some snooping on line and found an intriguing illustration that was part of an art exhibit in New York in 1907.

She inscribed it to Alfred Stieglitz, the owner of the museum where her exhibit was held. She wrote:

“To one who appreciates what this means.”
With good wishes from Pamela Coleman Smith.
January 24, 1907.

She wrote it on MY birth date in 1907. It was written 54 years to the day before I was born and I “coincidentally” found it 54 years later. There I am, smack-dab in the middle of things. Again, “To one who appreciates what this means.” Those words vibrated more deeply within me than a tuning fork in an earthquake. When my peeps want to make their presence known they don’t hold back.

A couple of days later, I was preparing to post one of my CARD OF THE DAY messages.  I couldn’t quite decide which deck to use. I picked up a couple and my energy flat lined. Nothing there. Then I was drawn to the Daily Guidance from your Angels Oracle Deck. I shuffled for quite awhile. Finally, a card flew out…

“PERFECT TIMING. Now is the perfect moment for you to act on your inspirations. The doors are open, while you walk through them with us by your side. Don’t delay or procrastinate, as all of the ingredients are ripe for your success. Everything and everyone is on your side, supporting your positive outcome.”

That resonated strongly within me and, by the response to it, several felt the same way. Excellent! Time to clock out early and grab a Corona! Of course, it didn’t quite go that way. It never does.

Craig, a friend in Florida, emailed me:

Okay, so I pulled a card, too. Just because you did.  MOM, CRAIG IS COPYING ME AGAIN! (Note: You can clearly see why we get along)

The Six of Wands. Generally speaking, when the Six of Wands appears in a reading, the querent will find that obstacles will be overcome with ease and advancement in their life will occur quickly. They seem blessed at this time, with people praising them and offering them golden opportunities.

This reminds us that when we believe in ourselves and have confidence in our own abilities and character, we have already won the hardest part of the battle.

The message goes hand in hand with the Oracle Card I had drawn as well as what is going on within my own life at the moment. Once I saw his email I was “told” to draw a card from MY Rider-Waite deck. Again, I have not touched this deck in YEARS. That deck was boxed up when I left Arizona in 2009, untouched and nearly forgotten. So, I pushed Pamela’s picture aside, blew dust off the box (my maid hasn’t shown up to work since I politely pointed out the fact that she just doesn’t exist) and opened it. I slid the deck out of its cardboard packaging and into the palm of my hand. Care to take a guess as to what card was facing me when I slipped the deck out of the box?

The real kicker? I’m a six in Numerology.

Then IT happened. My beloved cohort, my partner in crime, my twin from another mother popped in for a visit: DOUBT. Seriously, people, what is wrong with me? If They club me over the head any harder my dome will pop like a ripe gourd on a hot summer day. (My apologies if you happen to be eating right now) Whenever I teach I always pound TRUST into the brains of my students. I all but beat them with the word. (Hurt me, beat me, teach me trust!) Trust what you get, what you feel, what you hear and sense. Then I turn around and pull this stupid stunt?

“Idiot.” – Michelle

I can talk myself out of nearly anything. It’s a gift, really. A useless one, like an alarm clock for an insomniac, but a gift just the same. I can easily accept the many amazing experiences of other people. But, when it comes to my own, I have to chew that jerky just a little too much, beat that dead horse long after its drawn its final breath. I actually spent more time than I’m willing to admit trying to convince myself that the chances of two people across the country from one another drawing the exact same card is an hourly occurrence. Keep in mind I consider watching reruns of The Love Boat to be quality time so I’m not much of a gauge. My favorite expressions with my Guides seem to be, “This can’t be real” and “What does all of this mean?”

My Guides have a couple favorite expressions for me, too. But it contains far too many expletives to share here.

On my way home from running errands the next morning, all snugly wrapped up in my big, ol’ burrito of doubt, a car zipped out in front of me as if driven by Speed Racer. Once the driver secured his place at the head of the line, he then felt compelled to drive at a speed that can only be represented as a negative number. I’m grumbling the whole time, of course. We were coasting along through the streets of Long Beach at a rate that would make The Poky Little Puppy seem like The Flash. As I shot death rays out of my eyes, I realized the car had a vanity tag. I had to blink a time or two in disbelief as my jaw began swaying in the breeze.

Want a good laugh? PAMIE C, in Numerology, is an 11. A big “thumbs up” from my Guides.

“Holy—” was all I managed to say before I burst out laughing. Staring back at me from the back-end of a car—in big, bold, DMV lettering—was a license plate boasting the name, ‘PAMIE C’. Whenever I’m pissed at Pamela I always call her “Pamie.” And “C”… well, that’s so self-explanatory that even I get it. Once the realization slapped the doubt outta me, the damn car sped up. “Oh, that’s just great!” I screamed to no one in particular. “He decides to run amok NOW?” I chased it down, like a deranged stalker, in order to snap a quick shot. The car went off in a different direction at the very next intersection after I took the picture. I have to admit I don’t blame the guy. If I saw a man in my rearview mirror laughing like a maniac and snapping pictures, I’d drive like a bat outta hell, too.

Keep that little tidbit in mind the next time you’re stuck behind a slow driver.

It looks like I need to rethink my expressions. ‘This can’t be real’ has become, ‘This IS real.’ As to what it all means… well, that’s the juicy one. It means several things. First of all, it means I need to practice what I preach and teach: TRUST. My Guides always let me know they are there, working in the background, just doing what they do. I know they are—I can feel them—but the physical reminders are always the ones that truly blow me away. It’s the same for you, you know? Trust that your Guides are right there, by your side, supporting you at every turn. You don’t really need to know their names. I know, in my heart of hearts, that the names they give me are just to appease my silly mortal mind. Call them what you will. If a name pops into your head out of allegedly nowhere, then go with it. Or just call ‘em, ‘Hey, You!’ They’ll still answer.

You must understand that they cannot make your decisions for you. We’re here living a physical life for a variety of reasons. Actually living that life is in the forefront. We make choices and we live through them the best we can. For example, I choose to be a blockhead. I do that of my own free to reasonably priced will. But my Entourage continues strengthening Their connection with me and They do their best to chisel away at my cement-lined stubbornness…and thank God they do. Thanks to Them, I have been blessed to be a part of something for the past 14 years that can only be described as miraculous.

What is Pamela up to? What message is she sending me? I honestly do not know. First and foremost, she is making her presence and participation in my life blatantly obvious. Perhaps my wanting to bring attention to her namesake on the anniversary of her passing brought it all on. Or maybe I was supposed to honor Miss Smith in my own way so Pamela could wave me down with her semaphore flags. The chicken or the egg? Who knows? I have to TRUST that it’s OK that I do not know. There’s always a reason. Always. So, again, what does all of this mean? It also means that despite my faults and flaws, my peeps won’t give up on me, my destiny, my path, my work… my very being. If THEY aren’t about to give up on me then it would be rude if I did not return the favor. I will simply continue through the clouded confusion of, as the Guide of a client of mine says, ‘this glorious life.’

Thank you, Pamela, may I have another?

* * *

“You cannot take the hand of another without extending yours as well.
In order to be a part of the chain—the link—you must take part in the chain.”

– Pamela

* * *

Copyright © 2015, Charles A. Filius. All Rights Reserved.

February 5, 2015

Intention Intervention

“Be your own face value, the living embodiment of your word. Your actions are not merely a reflection of your intentions—they ARE part of you, no different than a limb or muscle. Every move, every reaction, every intention speaks volumes. Do your part to ensure that what you are saying is indeed what you want heard.”

– The Collective

  * * *

I don’t make many demands in my life. I just have a small handful of requirements in order to make various experiences more enjoyable, tolerable. Never serve me a sandwich with mayonnaise on or near it. Never put lemon in my tea for any reason because no good will come of it. Never, under any circumstance, sing along with the radio if you’re in my home or car. And, finally, just leave me the hell alone when I’m traveling. Don’t talk to me, approach me or, if possible, even exhale in my direction. I have a particularly deep intolerance of chatty taxi drivers. Drive, don’t speak, and we’ll get along famously. I have no idea why I’m this way. I’m completely fine with Joe Shmoe Stranger striking up a conversation with me if I’m standing in line at my local post office. But if I’m in an airport just get away from me as if I haven’t bathed in a fortnight.

My Guides are always nudging me to get out of my routine, to shake things up a bit. Nudge, in this case, is an all-too-polite euphemism for treating me like their own personal Whack-A-Mole. So, against my better judgment and instinct, I gave their advice a shot when a moment of so-called opportunity presented itself.

I was dragging my sleepy self onto the commuter tram in the Pittsburgh Airport after enduring a redeye flight from LA last December. The sparse pedestrian population in the terminal told me that my flight was probably one of the first to come in that morning. I made my way to the tram quickly and quietly with absolutely no interaction. When I boarded I was most pleased to see that there was only one other person on the train. There’s nothing like open space after being stuffed in an overly populated flying sardine can for several hours. My fellow traveler looked up at me from her newspaper as I stepped on the train. She simply said, “Good morning.”

HateXmasI responded in kind. Then, after a moment, I thought I’d push that envelope Robert & Crew are constantly throwing up at me. So I added, “Merry Christmas.”

Boy, was that a mistake. She whipped her head up from her newspaper as her eyes widened. “I don’t celebrate Christmas!” she hissed.

Without missing a beat I replied, “And Christmas is the better for it.”

She turned her self-righteous nose back into her periodical as I rolled my eyes. Bonding ceased at that very instant.

So what was the point of this delightful experience with this human Care Bear? Well, for one thing, it’s given me a great story. But it is also a damn fine lesson in the simple power of intent.

OK, so she doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Big fat hairy deal. No one will ever accuse me of being Father Christmas. Scrooge’s philosophy of the holiday being a poor excuse to pick a man’s pocket every twenty-fifth day of December resonates deeply within me. However, I do understand the sincerity of passing along to another the simple, heartfelt wish for a Merry Christmas. I have Jewish friends who wish me a Happy Hanukah every year. I’m not Jewish—my covered dish encased Methodist upbringing proves that—but I am quite happy to receive their sincere wish. I can pass a Merry Christmas on to them and they, too, are good with it. Why? Because it’s the intent, the sincerity, that rings true.

I understand that our opinions and beliefs are sacred to each of us. But why does one feel compelled to throw them in someone else’s face in the most inopportune times? Why attempt to fill the big scheme of things with something so selfishly and insignificantly small? The woman doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Fine. But what’s the harm of replying with a simple ‘thank you’ instead of an impassioned stance atop a portable soapbox? How can a simple seasonal salutation be regarded as offensive? What’s next, people? Saying ‘hi’ to someone to only have them pummel you as they scream how they only accept ‘hello’ as an appropriate greeting?

Pick your battles, plan your platforms, and stop sweating the small stuff. We’ve taken ourselves far too seriously. We keep our heads buried in our own backyard and cringe at the idea of the different perspective of another. Think before you speak, before you act and react. Your intent will go farther than you may realize.

 * * *

“Words may seem like feathers, virtually weightless as they blow along your way. But, when accumulated, the feathers can soar to the heavens… or they can blow apart and plummet. Where do your words and intent go? That, dear child, is up to you.”

– The One Who Soars with Eagles

Copyright © 2015, Charles A. Filius

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