OCT 2016, SPIRITUAL COURAGE in 21st CENTURY: Heart Centered Living

sand-sunset-ocean-bestphoto-24-copyCourage, spirituality and the 21st century. What do we have when these three collide & morph into coherent engagement? Let’s go back to the beginning of the last century – 1900. In that year – Frank Baum, published The Wizard of Oz. In the OZ story, the famous tin-man, who thinks he is lacking a heart, requests one from the Wizard – (who we eventually know is a fake wizard, but, we might concede, a wise man.)

The wizard says (movie version):“You have a heart, tin man, – where I come from there are men who do nothing all day but good deeds…their hearts are no bigger than yours. They have one thing you do not have, a testimonial. Therefore, in consideration of your kindness, I have the pleasure of awarding you with a- small-token-of-our-affection medal…”and he presents the Tin Man with a ticking- heart-clock-medal.

I love the WIZARD’s message. He reminds us what it is to be human and to value the heart. So, how do we find our courage and our heart and engage in the 21st century with clarity and inspired hope? We are battling such difficult conditions. It is easy to be discouraged.

I believe the way is through the heart. It is that simple. But, to be honest, it is not easy. It requires living your truth from your heart not your head – and living through challenges. Let’s remember Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach for a moment – one of popular cultures most iconic “get-up-and-go” stories. Jonathan was a seagull that wanted to fly higher, faster, more than the prescribed limits of seagulls. In his story he proceeds with his heart’s desire – and gets thrown out of his flock for it. He wanders in the wilderness, lonely and confused. He perseveres and eventually finds a new tribe of gulls, who lead their lives from their hearts, as well. Eventually he returns to his childhood flock to show other gulls the way to live their dreams from their hearts. He was more at peace at the end of the story, than he ever imagined possible.

I am inspired by these fictional stories of the heart-lived life. This intuitive-heart-centered approach to life has always been my way. And, I have searched for people — politicians, scientists and religious leaders — whose vision would resonate with mine.

One is politician and poet Viktor Havel, former Pres. of the Czechoslovakia Republic. In 1990 he addressed a joint session of the US Congress:
“We are still under the sway of the destructive and thoroughly vain belief that man is the pinnacle of creation and not just a part of it, and that therefore everything is permitted to him…We are still destroying the planet that was entrusted to us. We still close our eyes to the growing social, ethnic, and cultural conflicts in the world…the salvation this human world lies nowhere else than the human heart…”

Another is The Dalia Lama, Leader of Tibetan Buddhism, He says,
“Never give up, No matter what is going on, Never give up, Develop the heart, Too much energy on your country is spent developing the mind instead of the heart. Develop the heart. Be compassionate. Not just to your friends but to everyone…Be compassionate! Work for peace in your heart and in the world…NEVER GIVE UP!…”

I agree. We must develop our capacity to live from our heart-wisdom, not from our heads. The new paradigm is – the heart leads. That is what I stand for. I believe that, together, the intelligence of the heart and the intellect of the mind can be the fulcrum to leverage life in this world to its proper balance. The domination of the scientific, rational era must end and the life lived from the spirit-body-heart in accord with the great Source (the interdependent web, God, nature – however you want to say it) must lead the future. Without heart-wisdom, we are doomed.

So, what can this mean for us as individuals? How do we use our heart? So, what can this mean for us as individuals? How do we use our heart? This does not have to be complicated – really, it is as simple as the Wizard of Oz suggests – we must remember that we have a heart and practice using it. This will mean feeling your body and learning how to manage receiving your own wisdom through your heart and then, living it onto the world. Don’t worry – your head will be very helpful at bringing you reasoned thought when you need it.

To practice —
1. Notice your thinking in your head (forehead) – and, or, touch your head with your hands.

2. Find your heart (upper chest) and move your awareness there – touch it with your hands to help yourself do this – You need to feel your body to do this – feel your torso – your arms, your legs – be present in this moment –
Are you expanding or contracting? If you are contracting – you are using your thinking and trying too hard. Release that and place someone or something you love in your heart and feel what happens. To enhance the experience, pretend you can breath with your heart – breathe into and out of your heart — receive the feeling. Do you feel the expansion? Practice going back and forth.

Advanced practicing being heart-centered is a lot of fun. You are ready now!! Advanced practice is in real situations. It can make a difference. Examples of situations are your partner and you are arguing; a work colleague is being frustrating; your child is being difficult. Really – anywhere. I use it in the grocery line, when I have a car accident, (that just happened! The other driver thanked me for being so calm. ), when I take a walk with myself and nature. If you don’t feel ready (except, please believe you are ready – it is a natural state for humans.), you can pretend you are in the situation and practice. Do this with a friend.

  1. Decide, in the situation, to practice choosing being heart-centered.
  2. Be aware of yourself thinking about the situation in your head…you will find judgments, rational arguments, critical thinking dominating your thought.
  3. Switch your awareness from your head into your body and heart (REMEMBER THE TIPS: touch your heart to help you get there, or breath in and out of your heart, or imagine your loved one in your heart. Be patient – wait for the feeling of expansion. You can feel it through the whole front and back of your upper body – and on through to your whole body.)
  4. Take time to do this – it won’t be fast at first. Your consciousness must feel the body, be in the body, soften. Your mind may want to leap back to your head. That is okay – that is your habit. Gently reconnect with your heart and body. Be patient with yourself.
  5. Now, speak and act from this place of heart-centered consciousness.
  6. Notice the effect and ponder it, write about it, observe how it changes things between you and them, and in you.

Later, anytime you want, practice going back and forth between heart and head until you can make the choice for the transition easily.

Spiritual Courage in the 21st Century is not a luxury. It is necessary. Let your heart lead you – put your thinking, rational mind in service to your heart. The heart will not be linear, and it will seem counter-intuitive sometimes. But, the truth in your heart is set in accord to the universal rhythm and will not lead you astray –

As the great mystic Ralph Waldo Emerson said –
“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”

Love, Jody

by Jody Whelden, website, ww.jodywhelden.com  Oct 2016

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IMG_8630I was on my way to a professional event, already angry at the group’s president. That afternoon, an email had arrived on her decision on a certain issue.  My disagreement with her led to a build-up of tension in my body.  Arriving at the event,  I decided on a heart-centered approach.  As an antidote, whenever a difficult thought came about her, or the issue, I built up loving feelings in my heart. I kept pumping them into my chest. During the program, my body filled with relaxation.  Afterwards, finding her at the refreshment table, I spoke from my love-filled heart.  Speaking about my concerns came with ease.  She was responsive in a positive way.  We found agreement on exploring a different direction. Yeah! Hats off to the awe of the heart-centered approach.  Love, Jody Whelden

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EMBRACING CHAOS: A Tool for Spiritual Courage in the 21st Century, January 2016


Embrace the “chaos” of today’s world.  Consider that it is not a problem or mistake , but that things are exactly as they must be. It is a time for shedding the old ways and finding the new ones. The new ways are grounded in trusting our heart’s capacity for love, our body’s intuition and living in a high state of consciousness.

I want to come speak with your group about embracing these ideas –  especially especially non-profit and profit businesses and professional groups who think of themselves as serving others  – “the lovers” of the world and its people.  I can present historic/scientific/spiritual analysis of a. what is going on, b. what is right about what appears to be “wrong”,  c. how to embrace it, and d. strategies for next steps – from the heart, the body and high consciousness.

For myself, I have concluded that our current chapter of “chaos” began when the atomic bomb was dropped on Japan. Really, it was dropped on us all.  We know that the problems that came from the use of nuclear energy for war cannot be solved at the level of reason – we have tried for decades. That act ended the age of reason.

Each of us has the solution – it is called the human heart.  Embrace the chaos. Trust your heart, your intuition’s communication and risk living your message.  We need your piece/peace to create the next evolutionary leap of consciousness for the world.


Love, Jody


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This is the shepherds on the road to Bethlehem. They are going to see the baby king of truth. The guiding star is so bright they have to shield their eyes. This is the potential of truth in the world – when fully present and fully delivered from the heart – its light will fill the sky. Best to us all in walking on the path of truth and love, whatever our field of influence. Happy winter’s holy days to all. Holidays 2015.  Art by Jody Whelden.IMG_8015

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HEART ATTACK A Jacqueline Long Mystery, Nov 2015

Checking in – November 2015 Blog

This is an interesting time.  I am resettling in Madison and have so many details of creating my new life.  Among them is figuring out what direction I want to take my writing.  So, what is happening is I am trying different things.  Last month I put up a draft section of my spiritual consciousness memoir and 500 words of a story of a detective, Jacqueline Long.  This month I have about 2500 words on another novel, also a Jackie Long mystery, but this month I have shortened her name!  And, she doesn’t even show up in this first chapter.


I have put Matisse’s Bathers by a River, (1909, 1913, 1916) print up in my office. (See here.)  He has been a great inspiration to me. In his painting he experimented right on the canvas – erasing, repainting and redoing the painting many times.  His philosophy was to solve the problem on the canvas.  This was revolutionary for art – and, as we know, he and Picasso are considered perhaps the two greatest Modern artists.  So, I am going ahead and putting drafts up here – they may change many times and they all need editing.  Jackie may or may not live for another chapter.   I kind of like her, though, so she has a good chance.  But, I love sharing the process of my beginning experiments with what direction I will choose. Once I have all my new stuff to make my home–I have two more rugs coming, a couch in a box and a bookshelf,  maybe an artist table, also–serious writing will begin.  Of course, I am beginning my teaching also, BEING-LOVE, DEC 5th, Madison.  See Events for more info.



“Candace?” Mother called me from the downstairs hall, pulling on her favorite Fall red coat. I couldn’t see her, but I know just what she would look like doing that, looking at her reflection in the front hall antique mirror and patting her hair.

“Mother?” I was upstairs throwing my shower towels into the hamper.

“Candance?” Edith came out to the bottom of the staircase. ”Did you hear me? Are you coming? We will be late. “

“Yes, coming now,“ I winced with the partial untruth and threw on my jeans and slid on the loafers I least liked, but could most quickly claim. I certainly had not started to come until the moment she called. I thought it wasn’t quite time. She always liked to be early. I whipped my long blonde hair into a pony tail, sitting high like the models wore them and put on a white T-shirt and a favorite simple necklace.

I ran down the stairs and she met me at the door, pulling on her cherished fall gloves and red light wool coat, “Goodness,” she popped her eyes in mock surprise, “Is that what you are wearing to the exhibit? Most high school seniors might want to dress up little more.”

“Yes, but, today, first, I am an artist.  Artists are artistic events themselves,” I explained. “You must think of yourself as creating-art as you dress. This is it for me, today.”

“Well,” ‘she smiled a minuscule smile she thought I did not see. “All right then, I look forward to all the artist’s art works on themselves as well as on the walls.”

We walked out the door of the classic large, comfortable home in our part of the city, past the shrubbery of the front landscaping – deeply diverse and sporting red leaves, yellow fall flowers and rich evergreens. The winding path got us to the driveway and Charley was there with the Mercedes Benz.

“Hello ladies, “ he called. Charley and been the family staff person since I was a child, and we were all good friends – although, of course, he was an employee. But, even with the standard relationship well in place, a lot of the boxes of formality had been dropped over the years. We all knew where the lines were and that knowledge made it possible for us to be good friends, as well.

“Hello Charley, “ Mother responded. “Candace has just informed me she is an art exhibit herself.” She got into the back seat behind Charley, so she and I could see each other if I turned around, and I climbed in next to Charley, where I and sat as soon as I was big enough to not be in the back seat in a car seat.

“Yes, well that does not surprise us, does it? Congratulations to the artist,“ he winked and smiled at me. “What is the name of this piece?”

I looked down, “Late-for-the-art-exhibit-but-cool,” I burst out laughing. And, we all laughed.

“Well, at least you have a fashionable jacket,” Mother admired the periwinkle blue jacket I had grabbed from the front closet, and now had over my lap. “I like that one quite a bit. Maybe you will be a lawyer like Dad and that kind of jacket would always look good.”

I know my Mom put up with my art, but really wanted me to find practical direction for life. I argued with her about it all the time. “Mom, come on, even on the way to my art exhibit? I wish you wouldn’t keep trying to get me to look at law school.” I kept talking with her, arguing how unfair it was of her to keep pressuring me.

I saw the orange truck speeding just feet away from the car, as I turned to look at her over my shoulder.  My mind went into slow motion and I had one thought – This is going to be bad. I knew it would hit directly into my mother in the back seat.  Myself, I went blank.

I woke up with late afternoon sun shining in a hospital window. I was aware that my body was bandaged all over. I felt the stiffness of a cast on one of my arms; I blinked to adjust to the sun coming in the windows. Then I saw a blurry pair of light blue eyes appear in a male face – which were surrounded by a short greying, hair and golden tanned skin… Richard.

“Hello, dear,” he smiled that loving smile he always had and touched my arm where there were no bandages, apparently, as I could feel his touch. “I am right here darling, You are fine.. I am not going anywhere.” My dear godfather touched me soothingly and pulled up his chair.

“I struggled to keep my eyes on him and then to sort out my condition – just beginning to get oriented. “Ouch, I said, “Oh golly – I hurt.” Then, I rapidly remembered, ‘Where is Mother – is she okay? Charley?” The entire scene fell into my mind.

“Your Mother was badly injured, honey, I am sorry.” Richard smiled sadly, ‘She was too hurt by the crash, honey. They couldn’t save her. I am so sorry,” he began to cry.

“No, “ I cried out, “Oh no,” and my chest heaved and tears began. “Oh no.” Richard stood up and lay on the bed next to me. He wrapped his arms round me and held me as I cried and cried – ceaseless grief which ebbed and flowed as we lay there. In between my crying, Richard quietly answered questions and told me what he knew I would want to know. All around us swirled nurses, a doctor came in. Richard stayed there with me, giving direction to the nurses if needed, taking directions from them when needed, never leaving me.

I stayed low under the covers and clung to Richard – crying – resting – asking questions. And then going through the cycle again. The sun set and the darkness at the windows matched the darkness inside of me. Eventually, I fell asleep, still embedded in his arms. I thought they probably gave me a drug for sleeping – I slept and woke to morning light. Richard was still there, next to the bed, back in his chair.

“I was here all night sweetheart. I am right here,” he reassured me like he had the day before.

Then I remembered. “Oh golly, is it really true Richard? “ I asked, hoping a night sleep might have changed things, knowing it hadn’t.

“Yes, sweetheart, she has gone.”

I started crying again. Then, I thought of Charley. “How about Charley? What happened to him?” I braced myself for more horrible news.

“Actually, Charley is fine, “Richard said, “He wants to see you as soon as you want to see him.”

“Right away,” I exclaimed, ”Of course, right away! Can he come now?”

Richard smiled. “He is right, here, too, sweetheart. He hasn’t left either.”

Immediately, I felt him before I saw him and then he spoke, “I am right here Candy. I am right here. I am so sorry.” Charley came around the bed and lay one hand on Richard’s shoulder and took my hand. “I have been here all night , too, as soon as I heard you were awake.”

“Oh Charley, I can’t believe she is gone.”

“I know kitten – it is unbelievable.” He used the old childhood endearment he and my parents had used for me.

“Oh golly, but you are okay?” I looked him over. I was now looking at my whole family – neither of whom, were related to me by blood. I was an only child and my father had died years ago, when I was very young. His sister, her husband and her two children lived-in California, but we had lost touch since my father’s death. My grandparents, had died young, also. There are pictures of my Mother’s parents, but my father’s working class family had only snapshots which had been lost years ago.  Mother had romances since my father’s death, but never settled on one. When I asked her if she ever wanted to marry again, she said, “Your dad was my true love – I doubt there will ever be another.”

Charley answered, “Yes, I am fine – just got some bruises. That truck just went straight for the back seat. I don’t know if your mother even saw it.

Richard had told me she died in the ambulance – which had gotten there in five minutes, but there was a massive blow to her body which took her too fast for anyone to be able to help. I let go of Charley’s hand and felt very tired, again. I fell asleep almost instantly.

The night before I left the hospital, to go home, Richard and I had talked about my Dad and Mom and then about my future. He was my legal guardian now. We made already made the decision for him to move in with me until things got cleared up. That was an easy decision. Charley would be there everyday, also.

The talk about Mom and Dad had been rehashing memories we had shared and adding some new ones I had never heard. Richard and my Dad had gone to college together and were best friends. He knew a lot about my Dad that my Mom had never told me. He told funny stories about their college life and what good friends they were. They had graduated and Richard was excited to be a lawyer and started right away. Dad wanted to be a writer and they has shared an apartment in Boston while Dad wrote, and Richard went to law school.

“You know,” Richard said, “Your Dad had really loved living in Boston when he was a writer…before he met your mother. He had been published in a couple magazines.”

“Really?” I was perplexed. I know my parents had decided for my father to go to law school when they got married, and then to move to the suburbs to start a family. “Mom told me he had realized that he really wanted to be a lawyer.”

“Well, I think more that that, he wanted to make a stable financial future for the family – and, I think your Mom wanted to move out of the city.”

I had never heard that. It made me think differently about wonder about what my Mom had always told me – that Dad wanted to be a lawyer, the most. I wondered which was true?

“Were you there when he died? “I suddenly asked Richard. I had never heard him talk about it. I had heard my Mom tell the story many times that my Dad had a heart attack while riding his bike. Someone had seen him and called the police and they came and got my Mom and taken her to the hospital. Then, they had brought her home. He had lasted many days in the ICU, with a head injury and heart damage, but he never regained consciousness.

“No, I was still living in the city, he said. “Your Mom let me know that same night. They had not expected him to go yet. She was still deciding about taking him off life support, and then he had just went ahead and decided it for her – he had another heart attack and died in the ICU. Winnie and I were just married. She came, too.” Richard’s voice got wistful as he told the story. Winnie had divorced him five years earlier, and moved to Chicago with their three kids. He saw them pretty often, but even I knew, he missed them all. I never quite know what had happened.

“Okay, Candace, “ he changed the topic, “So, what else have you been thinking about?”

I had been lying there for several days and I had come to a decision. “Richard, I want to go to art school. That is what I would most like to do.”

Richard looked a little uneasy. “Yes I am not surprised that is what you are thinking. Your Mom and I discussed this quite a bit. She told me how much you loved art. Do you know what she would say to me?”

“Yes, she wanted me to be a lawyer.”

Richard leaned forward, “Yes, she wanted the best for you. She wanted you to do something practical with your life, and let the art be a second thing – something you could enjoy. But, it cannot be depended on, you know. There is no guarantee with art.”

I didn’t realize they would have talked about this. I guess it made sense. It had just been Richard helping my Mom since my Dad’s death. She probably depended on him a lot to talk things over.

“Well, I know what she thought – but, she was wrong.” I was seventeen, almost an adult, but still young and unformed in terms of knowing I could decide and just go ahead with my choice. I wavered a little in my voice as I asserted myself, with Richard, who was like an uncle.

“Well, okay, “ he said. “There is a lot of time for this decision. It is good for us to be talking about it.” He let the discussion end.

I let the discussion drop, too. Tomorrow would be hard enough , going home to the empty house. I didn’t want to leave an argument between us. But, deep in my heart, I vowed in an even louder voice to myself, “I will follow my heart, I will.”

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Hi Folks-

Golly – I am a few days late on this month’s blog.  Really, I am just getting settled back in Madison, Wi and I have been overtaken with moving and setting up my work here.  Loving being back in the Wisconsin Fall.

My deep thinking during all this has been about consciousness and my next two books.  They are the memoir on my own growth into high consciousness and a murder mystery!!  Here are a couple opening draft paragraphs from both.



JDW SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS MEMOIR…  First Draft, partial First Chapter

That storm began a few weeks earlier. It was a Sunday afternoon. I had come home after being at a friend’s house and my father was rushing towards me, across the living room blue and red Persian carpet. I could feel his urgency, but also his inherent kindness. He was not abrupt, but he was clear.

“Jody, call your sisters,” he told me where they were. “Tell them they must come home.” Did he tell me then what was going on? Did he wait till the ambulance came to tell me? I do not remember. But, soon I had both of my younger sisters on their way home. He turned to me, the oldest at 12 yrs old, and gave information and direction.

“Your mother is ill. We are taking her to the hospital. Pete is coming,” Pete was one of my mother’s good woman friends. “Don’t go in our bedroom while I am gone. Wait for Pete.” Did he tell me why Pete was coming? Did he tell Meg and Beth the same things? Did I? Did he tell me to take them to the large children’s bedroom which I shared with Meg? Was that my idea? Over 50 years later, I still don’t have these answers.

I know Pete came, but I don’t remember her being there.  I remember sitting on the window seat in the children’s bedroom with my two sisters, 10 and 5. I remember watching the ambulance drive down the long dirt driveway and seeing my father follow in his car. I remember we were 3 children alone in the house. I knew I was in charge.

“What do we do?“ one of the girls asked me.

I said, “We should pray.” And with that, three sisters bowed their heads and prayed. Blessedly, we were surrounded by a beautiful pine and birch woods and at the end of the lawn and dirt road was the mile-around small clear spring-fed lake. The peacefulness of the setting soothed me. I remember the comfort I found in the decision and in praying. I remember the three of us on that window seat — guarding our emotions, but, gathering support from each other. It was 1961 in the country. Three children alone in a house was not risky or dangerous. We knew Dad would return soon. My job was to be responsible, and I think we all assumed I could handle it….


JDW –  Ocean Murder Mystery a Jacqueline Long Mystery..DRAFT, partial CHAPTER 1 –  COPYRIGHT 2015


Jacqueline stood on the rocks near the ocean. She had left her pickup truck about a 1/2 mile away, and walked here from her motel unit. After three days in the truck, she had decided to go for a bed and a roof. She thought she was well ahead of Rick, for now. Tomorrow, she would drive several hours to her friend Maria, sell the truck and think about what the next step would be.

Her walk had brought her to this long private road into this enclave of large million dollar houses circled around a vast shared lawn. In the middle of the lawn was a tall flag pole.  The wide and long grass expanse lead down to the rocky shore of the ocean, where she stood. Far out at sea, the sun was near the water edge. The colors were changing from bright yellow to deep orange as the circle of fire began to disappear.

Jacqueline pulled her arms closer as she pushed her fists into her jacket pockets. The muscles in her chest relaxed as she filled her lungs, allowing her to absorb the life force of the waves and the moist air on her skin. She breathed in the ocean and felt it’s freedom. She had so wanted to fall onto the motel bed and sleep – but her intuition had told her to first walk to the ocean.

Suddenly, behind her, there was a large explosion — sound first and then billowing snaky smoke over the trees. It came from the direction of the motel.  Jacqueline knew it was Rick. He had found the truck and blown it up.  She looked around at the vast open space of lawn, shore and ocean. She ran towards the only cover, the nearest house.  In the house’s driveway, with a glance backwards, she saw dust kick it’s way above the houses on the curve of the long drive into the enclave. Rick was headed her way.  She pulled at the fence gate to the house’s back yard and it opened. Inside, she felt a hedge on her left and stepped onto the stone paved walk.

“Hey, who are you?” a 50ish year old solid and muscled man holding a dog leash stepped onto the walk from near the house. The dog was near by – a Royal Spaniel. They both look at her.

“I said, who are you?” he repeated.   “And, what was that noise?  Is that your explosion?”

Out of the corner of her eye, through the slatted fence, Sandra glimpsed Rick’s blue Jeep swing down the open drive past the first million dollar house.  He would be in front of this house in seconds.

“I need the cover of your house,” her voice was insistent. Sandra tensed her muscles for flight, in case she needed to escape from this man. She thought about options. The high fence behind her still protected her from being seen from the road. She might need to run around the house and look for a way away from the house. She could not go back through the gate – Rick was on the other side, now. She heard the door to the Jeep open. She looked straight into this man’s eyes, evaluating him for danger and plotting her next move, if he would not shelter her.

Ben looked back at the 40 something, tallish bleached blonde, dressed in jeans and yellow T-shirt, encased in a wrinkled cotton jacket. He heard the strong voice. In a matter of seconds, he decided.

“Lady, you picked the right house. Molly,” he called out.  A petite brunette in her late 30’s came out of the sliding doors.  “Hide her inside. I am going to take care of this guy.”

“Give him a little room, and no explanation,” Jacqueline coached as she entered the house. “He’ll want you to be on his side – and he can be fooled.” She disappeared with Molly.

Detective Benjamin Slade of the Bourbon Beach police sat down in his chair facing the gate and looked around his yard.  He was annoyed at her advice. He didn’t need any. He picked up the book on the table and pretended to read, his eyes lifted just above the pages. Angel lay under the table, her head on her paws, but her eyes open.

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HAVING – DOING – BEING (adapted from Lester Levenson) August 2015


Having-Doing-Being, drawing by Jody Whelden.  

The Human Consciousness Movement is a contemporary field of  study which began with the spiritual revolution of the 1960’s. There are diverse teachings, ranging from the scientific/academic to the religious to the very playful. They each make their contribution and appeal to different people and different needs.

One consciousness teacher I have benefited from is Lester Levenson, the founder of The Sedona Method. This method is a pragmatic system for releasing yourself from limiting beliefs to live in the natural freedom of your true self. My drawing this month is my interpretation of his three levels of consciousness – having, doing and being. (see his audio tape for full lectures.*)  He says that about 95% of all people live in “Having Consciousness”, about 4-5% live in “Doing Consciousness” and up to 1% live in “Being Consciousness”. He teaches how to embrace “Being Consciousness.”

Summarized, these is my synopsis of his teachings from the lessons I have heard:
1. BEING – Living in intuition and your center; you have stopped identifying with your body or mind as yourself and you know you are all knowing in your intuition, with no attachments and no aversions; you are imperturbable. You are free.

2. DOING – Being master of world – moving out of being a victim. You are still wanting & that means you are in a sense of lack. If you are mastering the physical world, it is mastering you.

3. HAVING – Most common – your bank book and possessions. The more you have the more you are anxious and you are looking for security in what you have, but feeling less secure because others want to take it from them.

*Private Lessons with Lester Levenson-mp3, at sedona.com/programs/private-lessons.asp.

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The man entered the quiet room. I tensed my shoulders and thought dark thoughts about him. What was he doing in MY room? He handled several books on the shelves, he picked one and sat at my table, only two chairs away from me. I raged inside.

There were other seats he could have chosen. Besides my table, there were six other chairs, three of soft leather in reddish-brown with arms and deep seats. Scattered in other parts of the room were three wooden reading chairs with wide arms and spindled backs. Then there was an over sized long mustard leather couch. Five tables were settled next to all these seating options, some low and some chest high, some long, some round, depending on the need of the seat nearby. My table had eight armed chairs – all light wood. The matching table created an anchor at my end of the room. Under it was a soft nondescript gold carpet and the walls held local art subjects – the town schoolhouse, the village green, the neighborhood swimming hole were all represented.  There were lots of places for him to sit – instead he crowded me. I wanted to bolt.

Relax. I said to myself. My ego would have rather raged. Relax, I coached myself again and I switched to the inner calm option. I managed an agitated truce with myself. I dropped my shoulder muscles, looked down at my keyboard and started to write, again. I bit off one more annoyed thought, He is too close. He could have sat at the other end, at least.

My intuition spoke, He’s only going to be here a short time. Tough it out. Then it added, Say hello. Claim your space. Don’t let his actions make you invisible.  I have an unbeatable faith in following my own wisdom. The days of second guessing myself were behind me.

“Hello,” I said – with unspoken expectation.

He looked up, his slack white skin hanging on a narrow face under white hair. His small tight mouth barely moved.

“Hello,” he said. He looked back to his book. Poorly done by him, but perfectly executed by me! I congratulated myself. I bent my head to work.

My first day at the public library I had found this quiet room. Tall windows let in unhurried light. A warm-toned watercolor of mountains  complemented an oil painting of a rushing river near a mill house. The room’s peaceful feeling eased one into work. Today I had dressed for the work and to accomodate the outdoor heat and indoor air conditioning. I wore my town-friendly dark coral capris, black V-neck tee, and cotton hoodie. The outfit was presentable, comfortable and – most important, perhaps –  resistant to the inevitable ink stain. My beloved backpack from theological school days held every pocket one could want – including a laptop slot. My water bottle sat near by. My greying hair was in utilitarian mode – clip on top and pulled back in a covered elastic. I gave homage to female dress with my favorite solid silver earrings. I wore my Swiss watch  –  a reliable companion of beauty and practicality – would that lovers be so perfect.

On this day, I worked on a healing tale. In the story, I had just brought an older-wiser-me to visit my ten-year-old’s side, to help her with a problem, at the family holiday table  –  when the “real time” man had arrived at the library table (ok, maybe not my table), ironically, also close to me.

In the story, my 10 years old self faced a common problem in my childhood – being afraid to be myself with the family at a holiday meal. We sat together, now. Some family members had levels of emotional pain and illness from alcohol problems to smoking addiction to mental illness. Their sensitive natures were buried under layers of suffering and pain. Some had escaped these family ailments by being highly contained and involved in formulaic, rule dominated conversation. They were also living under layers of suffering. I had begun to absorb the family legacy on the containment side of the available choices. There were 10 people at the table – including grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins.

My 10-year-old-self turned and looked at my older-self with her mouth hung and her beautiful blue eyes wide. Her tight French braids were pulled back into a ponytail and she wore a purple and red checked dress Mother had made. I put my finger to my lips and made the quiet sign. She kept her alert gaze on me.

Silently we talked. I said, “You can be here with them and not give yourself up.”

She asked, “Are you sure? I can just start talking? I am not any good at talking in a group, I never have been.”

“Yes, “ I said continuing our silent dialogue, “You have just accepted a story that you aren’t good at talking. The whole complete you has always been with you, underneath that tired old belief.”

Her head turned back to the dining room table. As she thought, I saw waves of colored energy, floating around the room begin to travel towards her. Thru the top of her head, the waves began filling her body.

She felt the changes as tingling and liked them. Also, the 10 year old began to feel and see the tracks of the old belief in dark sentences which were seemed imprinted in her body.  Then she looked at me.

“You can let that old belief go,” I said.  “I will help you. Would you like that?” She nodded, yes. My older self began using her hands, filled with light, to lift the dark layered old story out of the little girl’s body. Soon, the child’s inner light was clear and glowing. She was like a lighthouse, whose light was shining thru freshly cleaned windows.

She beamed. Soon, she saw me and we smiled to each other. She looked down, her eyes pinched together, then looked up, turned back to the table and spoke out loud.

“I am reading a cool mystery right now,” she said to no one particular. Many did not hear her and kept clanking and eating.

But, her mother tilted her head and smiled. “Which one are you reading, now?”

“It’s about a mystery in a cave. Things are a mess right now. Christine and her friend are going to go into the cave at night. I think they are going to get in trouble. They aren’t supposed to be there. I think there is going to be a lot of blood and hands cut off, “ she laughed, ”Sounds cool, huh?”


To herself she said, Wow – I always wanted to say something like that! She had made up the bloody hands, but she didn’t think it mattered. She wiggled with glee.

People were listening now.

She paused, “I think we should do a play about it after dinner. Who else wants to do it with me? I want to be Christine.”

No one volunteered.

Then, my 2 year-younger sister said. “Okay – I’ll do it with you, “But – I want to be Christine.”

“Ok – maybe. I will write it and then we’ll figure it out,” the 10 year old child started planning out loud, “And, someone has to make bloody hands.” And she laughed. Her mother frowned.

“Ok, Jody. That’s enough,” said Mother.

The 10-year-old child giggled inwardly. She looked around the table, her mother turned to help her sister. Her grandmother drank her third glass of whiskey and her grandfather snored. Her great aunt has taken off for the kitchen and her boy cousins, younger, hit each other. The 10 year old felt a glow in her heart and dug into her favorite holiday dish – dressing.

Then, she saw her father, the writer, looking at her. He smiled at her. Her heart fluttered with sweet warmth.

Back at my library table, I jolted alert; I was aware of my body – in real time –  filling with a tingling feeling – and, I swear, I saw waves of colored light moving towards me. I stopped typing. I sat back and just experienced the great tingling feeling. Writing the story had helped me do just what the child found the courage to do – claim her own space and energy!  I marveled. The man was still sitting two seats away, but I was neutral to his presence, now. And, then, as my intuition predicted, he soon left.

I sat thinking – so, what are the chances that my story and my synchronistic experience with the man were totally random experiences? How are experiences and persons we encounter a mirror of what we are learning? Is it just once in a while — or, is it all the time? What if we perceived every moment from this consciousness? What if we asked what is this moment helping us to do differently with our mind? How would it change our lives?


Note: This event in the library really happened, this piece of energy healing really happened to me (this includes a lot of body experience, not only intellectual processing) and the childhood event pretty much happened. I have taken some lisence with that, but energetic healing processes are metaphoric, archetypal and symbolic. The story is in essence true, although there may be some embellishments or elements that fade into story telling rather than fact reporting. The editing is cosponsored by myself and the website – it seems to have a say in some formatting, which I have yet to master correction for! 🙂  The art is mine, in mixed art pens and pencil.  Warmly,  Jody

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TRANS-FORM-ING, June 2015 Blog

IMG_7027I moved four times this month–out of my lake-house-sitting gig; into a storage locker; to a motel for a workshop in Arizona; and finally, into my car to drive to New Hampshire for my summer writing retreat.  This situation reflected my decision to live through higher wisdom, to trust my intuition, to work on the expansion of my consciousness and to be of use in the universe.

The four moves culminated on a Saturday morning. My friend Jean came to the lake house and followed me, in my packed car, to park the car in friend Dayle’s driveway for the week. I’d pick it up after the workshop. Then, Jean delivered me to the airport to fly to the workshop. I dressed in my light colored pants and summer turquoise tank top – defying the instinct to wear stain-proof traveling black. Black clothing demand an allegiance which is hard to break. Truth told, though, black has never flattered me and I was feeling newly liberated from its utilitarianism. Stains be damned – the light colors clothing had been the victor for the day. At the airport, Jean unloaded my suitcase from her car trunk, hugged me and said, “Have a great adventure – I know it will be amazing.”

All my friends were not quite so enthusiastic about my latest plans. A few days earlier, Edith heard my itinerary, We were in her living room which is anchored with a deep blue and royal red Persian rug and velvet cushioned chairs. Fine wooden furniture accents the room and the long slate blue lake could be seen through the expanse of windows in the dining room, beyond.

“If it had your plans I would be very confused.” she spoke in that soft musical voice that could never offend. Her forehead wrinkled and she looked right at me.

I listened. I tried to acknowledge her feelings. “Yes, I know,” I answered and added, “But, it feel right. It will all work out.”  I felt my confidence. But, also, I could hear my constant companion Old Scared Voice.

Old Scared Voice had a familiar theme. She repeated it now,“Hmm – I wonder if she is right? Maybe I have gone too far, this time.” The voice ricocheted inside me, finally losing its balance and falling down my mind’s back stairs onto the dirt floor of my inner basement.

Back in my mind’s kitchen, Soul-Self was making tea and watching the sunlight pour in the clear windows. Soul-Self thought, Old Scared Voice never can handle the light in the kitchen, or my Soul-Self clarity. Soul-Self sipped tea, smiled at my choices and chuckled at Old Scared Voice’s tumble.

Additionally, a few days earlier, I heard from another friend, Merle. We hadn’t talked in a long time. She listened to my update and summarized what she heard,” So, you are bouncing around.”

I almost corrected her. I knew it might look like bouncing from the outside … I think several would have agreed with Merle. But, did I want to explain the exacting precision and deep intuitions that had gone into every step of the last two years in this brief phone call? Probably not.

“Oh, “ I stalled, looking for the response that felt right. “Oh,” I said, and found my answer, “I need a high quotient of creativity in my life.” I closed the topic saying, “It will all work out well, I am certain.”

And, finally, there was my friend Carolyn, who had also expressed her doubts.

“So,” she twirled her coffee mug and looked sideways, “So, how much are you spending on this workshop?”

“Oh,” I hesitated. Initially, I wasn’t sure whether to feel affronted, or cared for! We are getting more and more frank with each other in deepening our friendship – so she wasn’t out-of-line – really. I decided she asked out of concern – not rudeness.

“Oh,” I stalled this time, also. I decided on transparency with her. “Oh, I got a deal on a motel rate,” I quoted numbers. “I got a flight on the lower-priced website.” I painted my purchases as economical as possible, which was mostly true. “The workshop was $1200.00,” I did shade that a couple hundred dollars low.

“I did pretty well,” I finished with an emphasis on my own satisfaction, which was completely true. I pretended I thought she was just interested, when I think she might have had some point to make that I shouldn’t be spending money on expensive workshops with low income coming in. But, she didn’t say that, or follow-up with anything else.

I love my friends and goodness knows we all need a mirror to reflect ourselves, especially if we are about to do something stupid. However, even with no obvious income stream, no definite apartment to return to in the Fall and my summer life packed into my car – I feel a spark in my bones. I know my Soul-Self and I are on the right track.

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