There is a big election coming up in the USA which is of interest to almost everyone around the world. I have been thinking about the voting process, why we vote, how we vote and thought I would share some of my observations and experiences.
Growing up my parents always voted for a certain political party because as farmers, this political party tended to look after their interests. When I was able to vote I automatically kept voting for this same political party because I liked the idea that they had farmers best interests at heart, even though we moved off the farm when I was 16 years of age, I hadn’t formed any other opinion so it seemed easy and felt good to vote this way.
I have noticed that in America there seems to be a trend in the way people vote depending on where they live. People I follow on social media who live in Hollywood or New York seem to be vocal about a certain political party/leader whereas people I follow who live in central America seem to have a liking for the other political party. I may be totally wrong about this in terms of fact, but it is just a general observation from a non-American. I guess this is because they vote for the party/leader who they believe will look after their interests depending on the industry the work in and where they live – much like my parents on the farm. And in my opinion, this is OK. We determine what is important to us, and how we want to live our lives and then vote accordingly.
Last year I worked for the Australian Electoral Commission – for 3 weeks in a pre-polling booth and then for a few weeks after the election counting votes. I made a lot of observations during this time. When it comes time to vote there are quite a few different ways people deal with the experience. I found that new Australian citizens were the most proud and excited to vote. Often they would take selfies or photos of each other at the polling booth looking very proud to be voting in an Australian election for the first time. They seemed to love and treasure having a voice in their new country. This was quite heartwarming to witness.
But overwhelmingly the majority of voters got their names signed off the electoral role and got out of there as quickly as they could. They really didn’t seem to care who they voted for, if they even bothered to vote at all. And you know, I totally get it! Many of us have lost faith in our politicians and it seems overwhelming and a waste of time to vote for anyone. When we count the votes it is interesting to read all the comments on the ballot papers – there are lots of swear words, derogatory comments about the politicians, and lots of penis pictures….. it gives us some light relief at the end of a very long day at the polling booth. And you can feel the frustration from the voters, unfortunately the politicians never get to read these comments or feel what the people are feeling. The best way to send your message is to actually cast a valid vote – but then who do you vote for…. When it all seems so hopeless!
One day when counting votes a few weeks after election day, I was paired up with a man to do a complicated count. We had to carefully look at each ballot paper and put it in a certain pile according to the order of votes. He held on to a vote and made a comment to me “Gee, you wouldn’t want this person picking your lotto numbers”. I didn’t understand what he meant so I asked him to explain himself “Well, this person picked the winners in losing order. They picked the person who came in last place first and the person who came first, last”. I still didn’t really understand what his point was, so I quizzed him a bit more. It turns out that this man likes to vote for the winner!! During the election he looks carefully at the polls and on election day he votes for the party he thinks will win, because he likes to be a winner and on the winning team. I was totally baffled by this strategy as it was one I had never considered for myself. I explained to him how I voted for the party that I felt would represent my interests and concerns and that I never considered voting the way he did. This was an eye opener for both of us and we both learned something new from each other.
First time 18 year old voters always seem totally overwhelmed when in the polling both. As electoral officers we often have to help people vote – we can’t tell them who to vote for of course – but we often help them fill in the ballot papers correctly and explain how to vote. First time voters often ask for help and you can see the fear and confusion in their eyes. They seem to feel the weight of their voting responsibility but are totally baffled about who to vote for. I am sure they often vote for who their parents vote for (as I did) but hopefully over time they can make conscious votes. But it is great to see them turning up and giving it a go, no matter how daunting it feels to be making decisions about their country.
It can be difficult wading through all the political bull shit that is thrown at us during election time, and sorting out the truth from the lies, but if we can take the time to “feel” what we should do with our vote, it can help. I always like to believe that my vote will make the difference, and when counting votes it is often evident that when it is close that every vote certainly does count. Imagine that your vote is going to decide the election – what “feels” best/right for you in that moment. Make an informed thoughtful decision by all means, but also vote with your heart/feel rather than with logic/reason/mind as you may have a much better voting experience. If we can all vote with a good feeling in our heart, rather than with anger, obligation, confusion and fear, we will not only provide ourselves with a more enjoyable voting experience, but we will be investing that good energy towards our country. So even if you are fed up with the politicians, make your vote in a way that makes you feel good, and this feel-good energy will perpetuate through the polling booths and hopefully to our leaders too. But if you vote with the negative energy, then this is what you will be expecting to get back.
A conscious, feel good vote, no matter who you vote for, will be a winner for everyone.
About a year ago I started feeling like a place somewhere in the world was calling to me. I didn’t hear this, I felt it. Like a pulling, a yearning or a desire to go somewhere. Some nights I would lay in bed and scan the whole world, piece by piece, searching for the place that was calling out to me. I never found it, and never got any logical answers.
A few months later I was watching a TV show on a Sunday. It was one of those house hunters shows where people are looking to buy a new house, narrow it down to 3 and then decide. The town that the person was looking for a house was Princeville on the island of Kauai, Hawaii. This town is near the coastal mountains called the Na Pali coast. The view of the beach and mountains literally took my breath away. I had never seen anything more beautiful.
The next day I spent many hours researching this town and island, finding out more about this place – it had truly captured my heart and my imagination. That afternoon my husband came home from work and after having another stressful day announced that he was ready for a holiday. “How does Hawaii sound to you?” I asked. “Sounds great!” he said. I made an appointment straight away with our travel agent, and a few days later we were booked in to go to Hawaii in July.
I had tried to book holidays to Hawaii in the past but it always came in over budget and so we never got the chance to go. Our travel agent found us some great deals and we were well under budget! Everything flowed so smoothly and easily. Because my heart was longing to experience that magical mountain I had seen on TV I was adamant that we were to stay in the Princeville area. Unfortunately because we were booking so late at the peak holiday season, everything my travel agent had access to was booked out on the north shore of Kauai, but after a few google searches I found something for 2 nights.
Our first day on Kauai (after over 30 hours of travelling) we were to hike up the mountain that had pulled me to her. It was our only chance. Due to a storm the year before, the road to the mountain had been closed because of a landslide, and had only just re-opened, but they had to do maintenance on the bridge, and were closing access again, and we only had one day to experience this hike.
This hike was one of the most physically taxing and yet most rewarding things I have ever done with my body. I think I got my kilometers and miles a bit mixed up – so what I thought was an easy 2km hike in and out – turned out to be a very steep 2 miles in and out. We didn’t pack enough water for the 4 of us, left the food in the car and underestimated the shock of the heat. Despite that, we wowed at every glimpse of the view and when we descended to the beach, loved exploring the caves and resting on the beach. We hiked back to the carpark and had an amazing swim in Ke’ke beach before driving back along the coast towards Princeville.
We stopped at a few caves and beaches along our drive. I had taken my hiking shoes off and was wearing some sandals. One of the beaches that we wanted to see was accessed by a steep sandy walkway with lots of tree branches underfoot. I twisted my ankle. I heard a loud crack and sat down straight away. While waiting for my family to come back from the beach I sat on the edge of the track and saw my ankle swelling up. First day of our holiday and I had sprained my ankle (luckily it was after the most important hike).
I iced my ankle for a few days and bought a pull-on bandage which I wore for most of the rest of our 2 week holiday. This injury did not stop me from enjoying the rest of the holiday. But what it did do was make me very conscious of every step that I took. I made sure I was stepping firmly and intentionally. It really slowed me down enough to appreciate every step that I was taking on the amazing islands of Hawaii. I felt more connected to the earth with every intentional step.
We spent a week on the island of Kauai. After our 2 nights in Princeville, we moved to the south shore of Kauai and 6 nights at Po’ipu beach. On our last night in Kauai I was lying in bed almost asleep and had a vision. The mountain of the Na Pali coast that had drawn me to her, was present. I thanked her for everything that she had given to me, everything that she had helped me learn about myself. I had a whole list of things that I was thanking her for. Then to my surprise she asked me what I was going to give her in return, to repay her for everything she had given to me. I was shocked! What could I possible have that she would want? I then looked down into my heart centre and noticed that it was full of large sparkly diamonds. I reached in and pulled out one of the diamonds and I offered it to her. She very excitedly and gratefully accepted this diamond and placed it inside of her – I then became her and she became me. It was a truly amazing experience.
I think that when we are drawn to physical places it is because we have something to offer. We become one with the land – we take and we give – in a perfect circle of life experience.
When I told a friend about this experience she commented that surely I would be back to this place again after such a strong connection with the land. I agreed with her at first, but then I wasn’t so sure. Maybe this is all that the mountain and I needed from each other, maybe our connection and our exchange was the purpose and we won’t need to do it again.
I woke this morning with a sense that everything had changed.
Last week I was questioning everything. It was a type of existential crisis…. Wondering what the point of life was, being around people who had a specific view of life and knowing that their view (which is the view of the majority) just wasn’t a good fit for me, but having no idea what was a good fit for me.
This type of self reflection and enquiry is not new for me, but it took on a new perspective, coupled with lower back pain which I have not experienced for many years, I knew my foundations were being rocked and challenged and a new way would become clear for me soon.
I connected to the flow of my life this morning. I usually see this as doors opening wide, and a stream or flow of energy that is MY life force, coming from MY soul and from MY source energy (which originates from the one source/flow that we all come from). Normally I feel this flow strongly and just work on opening the doors as wide as they can go so I am open to every opportunity that comes my way.
This morning was different. The doors opened wide but there was no flow of energy, no movement, just an empty space. I stayed in this space, watching and waiting, and after awhile a new “flow” or energy came from my heart space and started to flow into the space.
Everything has changed.
The way we thought our lives were playing out may no longer be the case. There were so many new “things” ahead (I can’t make out any details, just a sense that this is all brand new, and my mind won’t be able to comprehend or make any sense or have a frame of reference to the details), and there was a very powerful new flow, slow and strong. Just like Aladdin entering the Cave of Wonders for the first time, we could feel overwhelmed at what is presenting itself to us as it is the first time we have ever seen or felt anything like this before. But we will be guided to what we need to pick up and experience in this new world.
I feel that we just need to step onto our life raft that is floating in our flow, and let it carry us to the opportunities that await us. It is no use forcing or pushing or controlling anything in our life anymore. This might still work for some people but for many others who have opened their hearts to the higher energies and processed their denser vibrations/past events/emotions etc, there is a newness that we won’t be able to get our little logical minds around.
Maybe the last few weeks have been challenging for you as more past emotions came up to be processed, or maybe your goals just aren’t working out like you had planned, or maybe you just feel like you don’t fit in your current life anymore. This could be because this new energy or your life flow was starting to build.
I don’t know what happens next, but I feel comfortable knowing that we just have to have faith and trust in our OWN inner knowing to guide us through this change and into the next step.
It also feels exciting. Change can be scary, but this feels like the type of change we have all been waiting for (maybe even praying for). The type of change that is going to rewrite our futures and give our hearts everything they have every desired (note: this may be very different from what your minds have desired, feel the difference – the heart usually doesn’t want new cars, bigger houses or more money!). The heart usually wants peace, belonging, fulfillment, service, empowerment, freedom, flow, ease, joy etc. I think this will be easier for us to obtain now.
As with every change there will be steps forward and steps backwards, confusion, and some angst. Spend as much time as you can with your inner wisdom (meditate, deep breaths, relax, have fun, laugh and play) and you will feel that you are being guided to exactly where you need to be, when you need to be there in this new energy, new life flow, and new world.
We create our own realities. Every moment of every day our experiences, emotions, thoughts and actions are all based on our beliefs/truths. What we see in the world around us and how we interpret this is all based on the choices we make about how we want to view the truth of this.
Each person will have a different viewpoint and perspective about events, although there are collective similarities that are influenced by the media and social constructs/norms.
When working with clients I often introduce different viewpoints or meanings to what they are experiencing. By taking a wider/higher viewpoint of what they are going through I can offer a perspective that they may not have considered. When we are stressed or in the thick of something it can be very difficult to move our consciousness out of the cycles or energy loops of grief/anger/suffering to see a different viewpoint. And it can often be challenging for people to accept that there may be a different reality to the one that they are participating in.
Sometimes I will suggest something that totally challenges everything a person holds true. I might suggest that the physical pain they are feeling is actually their body evolving, changing, moving and growing into a new vibrational space. And they may ask me - but how do you know that is true? How can you convince me that that is correct? They want concrete "proof" before they will believe and therefore shift their reality. This can be really tricky and not something I can convince someone of, but I suggest what I see is a viable alternative, and for those people that maybe humour me and go along with it just to see what happens, they do shift their reality and exciting, interesting things seem to happen.
But when we get stuck in thinking about real, correct, right/wrong, absolute realities, then we don't evolve.
I enjoy reading teenage fantasy fiction books because they let my mind explore other realities. I don't read them and analyse the content for "realness" or "correctness" I simply enjoy considering these as possible realities and relating the concepts to what could be possible in my own life and my own understanding of universal truth. Some books that I enjoyed recently include "A corner of white" series by Jaclyn Moriarty; "The night circus" by Erin Morgenstern; "Circe" by Madeline Miller. We can read books like these to "escape" our reality, but we can also use them to ignite new realities within us and therefore create them outside of us as well. I am not saying that I consider my life to be exactly how these books describe, but I do take inspiration for what might be possible, and I don't settle for the absolute reality that others seem to want to insist on (via the media and social norms) as I am determined to create a new reality and therefore a new world that I can fully live in and participate in.
Maybe we do live in parallel lives; maybe past, present and future are all happening at once; maybe we can merge with our higher selves; maybe we can evolve and change our bodies and reverse ageing; maybe we can perform miracles. Being open to all possibilities and being OK with changing our realities and our truths constantly helps us evolve away from suffering.
I know I don't want to live in a reality where old fashioned sayings such as "no rest for the wicked"; "good things come to those that wait"; "you must make sacrifices"; etc are what drives reality. This doesn't sound like a life that is fun and fulfilling for me and so I choose to create something different.
Shifting our reality means letting go of the old reality. We can't sit on the fence and live in the old at the same time as the new. At some point we have to choose what reality we want to live in, we create it, and then we live in it. This means saying goodbye to what was in the old reality - sometimes this can mean moving on from friendships, partnerships, work places or old habits and past-times. For most people this is a gradual process of trial and error and experimentation until they are ready to fully embrace the reality of their choosing - and if it is a very different reality to the people around them - then relationships can change - quite often those close to them will also move to a new reality and sometimes they will choose not to - this is OK. You can still co-exist but often in different ways.
It is time to decide what kind of world we want to live in, create those possibilities within our consciousness and then create our outer reality in the physical world that matches this. This can be done and it all starts with our individual willingness to experiment and give some new realities a try.
Back to normal.....
It is a phrase that we use often. When things start going crazy, a bit unexpected, or we are enduring an event or issue, then we seem to crave and hope and wish for the time that "everything goes back to normal". But this is actually an impossible wish - we can never go "back", and there isn't such as thing as "normal" in a healthy multi-dimensional life.
Instead, what we are really craving is a feeling of balance.
However, we confuse balance with control. We feel that in the "normal" way of life, we have control over our lives. When something large or unexpected happens we feel out of control and don't like the direction we are headed because it is full of the unknown and most of us fear the unknown because we don't know if we will have control over the outcome.
Normal = known = control = a feeling of balance
But we should be aiming for a change in perception to:
Trust in our life's flow and trust in the unknown (without controlling anything) = a feeling of balance
There is a part of us that likes to protect ourselves from perceived harm (some might call this the ego part of us). When a situation with an unknown outcome comes into our lives, our protector/ego parts get very distressed, because it can't do its job as well as it normally does. This causes stress as we fight with our life's flow to tighten the reigns and force life to give us more of what we already know works for us. To be faced with the unknown is very tricky for most people.
When we fight with (try to control) our life's flow then we cause our own suffering. It is like trying to row a boat upstream; exhausting and pointless.
Everything happens FOR us and not TO us - this is what flow means - we are guided to/given situations in our life from our higher self aspects to expand our awareness of ourselves, to help us make new choices that we may never have made before, and this creates a new reality of our lives and of ourselves. This is a life well lived.
It is why the unexpected events with the unknown outcomes make life so fulfilling. We find out more about who we are through these events and this is the blessing of life.
The unexpected/unknown give us an opportunity to grow, learn, evolve, transform and embrace life in way that we have never been able to do before.
Most people will tell you that the most difficult and unexpected/unwanted events in their lives turned out to be turning points that ended up bringing them a future full of joy that they couldn't have imagined previously. But the suffering through these unexpected/unwanted events (illness, divorce, retrenchment etc) is just that the unknown is not embraced as a wonderfully creative part of life. If we work with the unknown we will find balance at every moment. If we fight with the unknown then life will end up being a hot tricky and uncomfortable mess!
To work with the unknown requires a pretty big shift in mindset. We have to let go of a logical way of thinking, stop thinking about what should or should not happen, stop labelling events as right or wrong. This can challenge everything we previously believed about ourselves and our lives. The past needs to stay in the past and we are given the opportunity to wipe the slate clean and make new choices in every moment - not based on previous outcomes - but based on how we feel inside in each and every moment. We can then guide ourselves through the unknown by working with the unknown, embracing the unknown and recognising it for the creative force that it is in our lives.
It is not easy to change all of this over night, but if you are going through an unexpected life change or any kind of challenge, letting go of control and letting the unknown carry you forward can alter your experience of the event and lead you to the creative outcome that was waiting for you all along.
I believe that knowing who we are at our unique soul level holds the key to living an authentic and joyful life. Once we know who we are, we can begin to BE who we are, and then BECOME who we were always destined to be.
Thank you for your support of this work....
Copyright 2020 Paula Vanderzon