Kevin B. Burk, author of The Relationship Handbook: How to
Understand and Improve Every Relationship in Your Life.
I no longer watch the news.
I stopped watching CNN years ago, and I was never interested in local or broadcast news, so thatís not really a change for me. When I discovered Air America radio, I listened to it extensively in my car and at home, but about nine months ago or so, my car radio (and my home radios, too, interestingly enough) stopped getting a clear signal for my local AM station and I considered that this was an indication from the Universe that perhaps I didnít need to be immersed in that energy any longer.
Iíll still watch ďThe Daily ShowĒ once in a while, but interestingly enough, I always seem to miss the first segments that deal with the headlines.
When I was in high-school and college (and even many years after I graduated college) I did not watch the news. I didnít know what was going on in the world for the most part; I wasnít interested in politics, I didnít have a cause, and I didnít particularly care.
This is different.
I no longer watch the news because I do know whatís going on in the world (itís impossible to avoid the news entirely, I simply choose not to seek it out and immerse myself in it any more), and I do care.
I arrived at this place of choosing not to watch the news by passing through being a news junkie. I spent a year or so mainlining Air America radio--the only news source that dared to openly question the lies and crimes of this government (or so I believed). I skipped right over Michael Moore and Fahrenheit 911 and went right to the films and sites that asked the real questions about what happened on September 11, 2001.
And I got angry.
My anger, righteous as it was, energized me for some time. So often we judge anger to be undesirable, but thereís a power to anger that can be quite a rush--and while the vibration of anger is certainly not at the top of the scale of vibrational choices, itís also not at the bottom of the scale. Anger is an elegant, empowering and supportive choice when one is coming from a place of fear, apathy or victimhood. Anger is an empowering wake-up call, and itís something that I freely embraced and hope that the vast majority of individuals in this country (and in the world) begin to embrace anger, too, because itís the next, critical step to becoming fully conscious and reclaiming oneís personal power.
However powerful and healing anger can be, itís not the best choice; itís simply sometimes the best available choice. Once weíre comfortable with anger, once weíve tapped into the energy and drive and focus that the fire of anger gives us, we can choose to move even higher up the vibrational scale.
I sat with anger for about eighteen months, and was energized and purified by the heat of my anger. And now I want to take that energy and that power and channel it consciously. To do that, I need to move beyond anger, which means that I no longer choose to watch the news.
I havenít lost any of my resolve. I am still acutely aware of how much the world needs to change. Iíve simply discovered that while my anger could make a positive contribution, calling more people to rise up to the vibration of anger, that my choosing to embrace the vibration of love makes an even greater contribution to the world.
Iíve been doing a great deal of work with my heart chakra over the past few years. (Chakras are energy centers in the body; they regulate our life force and allow us to interact with other individuals). I visualize my heart chakra opening, and radiating out a lovely, healing green light (green being the color of the heart chakra). Expressing love energy in this way was an expansive, supportive, wonderful experience, and it greatly accelerated my own personal spiritual growth.
But recently, I seemed to hit a wall. Expressing love wasnít enough. Or perhaps, it was just that I had reached the limit of the amount of love I could express. In order to be able to express more love, I realized that I first had to expand my ability to receive love. And while our chakras both give and receive energy, the green energy of the heart chakra is entirely expressive. It only flows out, not in.
So I meditated on this for a while, and discovered that each chakra has two colors associated with it. The chromatic progression of colors from red (root chakra) to violet (crown chakra) are the expressive energies. Each chakra also has a complementary color associated with it that represents the receptive energies of that chakra. I donít yet have a full understanding of all of the receptive colors; however, I do know for certain about the heart chakra, the energy of love. The expressive color of the heart chakra is green; this is the color of love being expressed. The receptive color of the heart chakra, the color and vibration of love being received is magenta.
Magenta, for those of you who donít watch ďQueer Eye for the Straight GuyĒ is a deep and vibrant pink. When I started to visualize this energy surrounding me, the experience was quite remarkable. I started to feel positively giddy. I could feel my heart chakra opening up, but this time, it was receiving love energy, drinking it in from everywhere. My body felt lighter--I almost felt like I was floating--and all in all, the experience was what I imagine one experiences after ingesting certain highly toxic (or at least highly illegal) chemicals, but without the unpleasant side effects.
After more experimentation with this energy, I discovered two things:
1. I can experience a powerful, overwhelming, indescribably enjoyable sensation of being loved, supported, cherished, nurtured, appreciated and celebrated, along with the attendant silly grin and complete and utter loss of care, worry, or other unpleasant emotion any time I want, simply by visualizing the Magenta Ray surrounding me and surrendering to the joy.
2. I donít do this very often.
As you might imagine, this is rather an uncomfortable awareness for me. I never considered myself to be a masochist, and yet Iím acutely aware that I chose pain over pleasure most of the time. I know with absolute certainty that I can experience this joyous, fulfilling, spiritual energy at any time--not to mention, that itís a higher vibration, it has absolutely no undesirable or negative side-effects, and it can only improve my life in every possible way, not to mention the contribution my higher vibration makes to the world at large--and yet I limit how often or how deeply Iím willing to choose it.
In other words, Iím offered the choice of how I want to experience my life--I can either struggle with the ego-based fears of lack and limitation, or I can float through my life in a pink cloud, knowing I am completely loved and supported, attracting only incredible experiences, and still be fully present and able to fulfill all of my responsibilities, albeit with more joy and greater ease--and I choose to stay with the fear and limitations.
To be fair, this seems to be an incredibly popular choice. In fact, I donít personally know a single person who doesnít choose the fear option nine times out of ten. The difference is that until very recently, I wasnít consciously aware that thatís what I was doing.
Iíve reached the limit of how much love I can express, because of the limit on how much love Iím willing to receive. If I want to continue to grow, to raise my vibration (and thereby raise the vibration of the world), I have to allow myself to receive more love. The more love I can receive the more love I can express.
I also realize that itís my ego thatís encouraging me to choose the fear and to limit how much time I spend in the magenta fog of love. The ego doesnít like the magenta fog because it canít survive there. The more time we spend aware of and breathing in the Magenta Ray, the more conscious we become of the truth that there is no separation, that our experience of an individual identity is an illusion, and the truth is that we are all connected and all eternal, integral aspects of All That Is. Since this means the death of the ego, the ego is rather invested in making sure we donít ever remember this truth.
As I sit with these thoughts and experiences, I begin to become aware of some of the thoughts and beliefs that cause me to limit how much time I am willing to spend receiving love, and how deeply Iím willing to surrender to the experience. The most interesting (and obvious) thought that comes up is that viewing the world through ďrose colored glassesĒ is, at least to me, synonymous with being irresponsibly optimistic, with ignoring the truth, with refusing to deal with reality, and with being generally foolish. Since thereís little difference between ďroseĒ and ďmagentaĒ I find this clichť and all of its implications fascinating.
Then, I have some judgments about how ďresponsibleĒ it is to, well, frankly, to go around incredibly high, with a stupid grin on my face, loving everything and everyone that I encounter. For one thing, Iíd be concerned that people would assume I was on drugs. Itís a reasonable assumption: most people who walk around looking like I feel when I open myself to this energy are on drugs.
Of course, I do choose to believe that what other people think of me is none of my business, so thatís only a minor deterrent. A more prominent concern is that feeling that giddy all of the time would be irresponsible. But when I investigate this belief, I also find that itís unfounded. Quite the contrary, when I allow myself to experience this joy and love, while I may float through my day, Iíve always accomplished everything I needed to accomplish, usually with greater ease and less stress than normally.
Underneath all of this is the conviction that experiencing this kind of pleasure is fundamentally selfish. This belief is actually entirely accurate. However, I have some residual judgment hidden behind it that tells me that being selfish is irresponsible and generally wrong. Selfish people only do things that please them. Selfish people always put themselves first and never think of others. What kind of world would it be if everyone went around being completely selfish?
My ego often asks this question, but until recently, Iíve never actually taken the time to come up with a considered and thoughtful answer. What kind of world would it be if everyone went around being completely selfish? Quite a wonderful and productive one, actually. The ego assumes that if people only did things that they enjoyed that essential tasks would be left undone and society would fall apart. This is simply not the case. The truth is that every job and every role has someone who is called to complete it. Just because I donít like performing certain tasks doesnít mean that no one enjoys them. If everyone followed his or her bliss and was entirely selfish, we might actually experience a world that works for everyone.
Difficult as it may be for me to understand this personally, there are people in the world for whom dusting is the single most fulfilling experience in the world. Anyone who has visited my apartment knows that I am most certainly not one of those people, but the perfection of the Universe means that if we just let things happen the way they want to happen, there will always be enough dust in the world to keep the people who love to dust fulfilled and supported, and the fact that much of that dust is in my apartment means that I get to be fulfilled and supported by the Universe (and the people who love to dust) as well.
It occurs to me that we may have things backwards. We donít put on rose (or magenta) colored glasses; we take off the glasses that weíre wearing that prevent us from seeing the truth of the Love that surrounds us. When I visualize the Magenta Ray, itís a release. Iím not doing something; Iím stopping something Iím already doing. I surrender, I relax, and I simply let myself receive and experience what is already and always there. I let go, at least a little bit, of the illusion of my (little ďrĒ) reality, and allow myself a glimpse of the (big ďRĒ) Reality.
It also occurs to me that itís almost impossible to make a quantum leap in oneís vibration and sustain that higher vibration for any length of time. Speaking for myself, I know from experience that I have the greatest success when I take incremental steps to raise my vibration and my level of awareness.
I have a new objective now, which is to spend the vast majority of my time surrounded by the Magenta Ray, seeing the truth of love everywhere, and more importantly, experiencing how that love supports, nurtures and energizes me in every possible way. I intend to become increasingly selfish in my choices, doing only what pleases me, and knowing that every time I follow my own call, Iím making a significant contribution to the world.
While I also appreciate that my choosing to live my life at this increasingly high and powerful vibration of love makes an immeasurable difference in the world because higher vibrations always win out over lower vibrations, and my choosing to vibrate at the frequency of Love lifts thousands of people out of the vibrations of hate and violence, thatís nothing but a pleasant side-effect. Iím not doing this for the world, Iím doing this for me.
Of course, I also do this with a full appreciation of the paradox that in order to do this for the world, I have to be entirely selfish about it. If I attempt to choose Love for anything other then completely selfish reasons, I will inevitably miss the mark because altruism is simply a mask for the belief that I donít deserve all of the Good in the Universe for myself. And until I can claim all of the Good in the Universe for myself, I will not be able to sustain my consciousness and my vibration at a level that will also help heal the world.
This is not looking to be an easy task for me. Even as I write this, Iím aware of how my ego is fighting against me. I just spent an entire paragraph justifying why I have to be entirely selfish about this process because I still have judgment around being entirely selfish. If I could truly embrace the value of being selfish, I wouldnít worry (or even consider) that other people might judge me for being selfish. Itís not enough for me to simply be happy in my life; I have to justify my happiness with the fact that my being happy is an essential component of world peace. While this may in fact be an accurate statement of Truth, the fact that it matters to me is enough to prevent it from happening.
I also need to practice forgiveness of myself because my ego has unleashed a storm of self-judgment and self-criticism now that Iíve become aware that I almost always choose pain and fear over joy and pleasure. Mind you, the irony that the ego is punishing me for choosing the ego, and the punishment is designed to insure that I continue to choose the ego is not lost on me.
It will be a gradual process for me, but the more I choose to shift my awareness and let myself experience Love, the easier it will become for me to make that choice more often. Eventually, that choice will become automatic and my awareness and perspective will naturally vibrate at the energy of Love.
This process is challenging on so many levels, as I become aware of my fears, my false beliefs and my ego judgments. The key for me, is to become conscious of where I direct my attention, because Iím cultivating an awareness that everywhere I look I see and experience Love. I know that this is the truth, and I simply need to practice seeing the truth instead of the illusions.
Iíve taken the first step on this process: I no longer watch the news.
Kevin B. Burk is the author of
Relationship Handbook: How to Understand and Improve Every
Relationship in Your Life.
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