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humanity | (h)yoōˈmanitē |
1 the human race; human beings collectively
2 humaneness; benevolence
3 ( humanities) learning or literature concerned with human culture

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dodged the Cancer Bullet Today

During a routine eye exam a few weeks ago my doctor noticed a pigmentation in my right eye which, upon imaging, was determined to be a nevus. In layman's terms, this is a birthmark or mole and they're usually benign. But, as they can become cancerous, I was referred to a specialist in order to have a Retinal Thickness Analysis performed.

As an author on the subject of spirituality and healing, this experience brought me into a real world connection to my beliefs. I firmly believe in the healing power of God and our ability to self-heal, so learning that I might have cancer was truly an awakening. It is one thing to believe and quite another to put it to the proverbial test.

This morning I made my way over to the specialist's office to have the procedure performed. The test itself is non-invasive and only takes a few minutes to perform. And when it is finished you have a color snapshot of your eye. In my case, they took one shot of the direct center of the eye and another centered on the novus itself. I walked out of the office with my report in hand, but couldn't decipher anything conclusive about it. So I drove over to my optometrist.

Waiting in the exam room I prepared myself for the worse. "Whatever is on that piece of paper," I told myself. "It can't be changed now."

And then it dawned on me how I wasn't engaged in my own future. Before me was a door that, upon opening, would usher in a doctor to reveal my future. That voice in my head told me that my future had already been printed in ink and no amount of wishful thinking would change it.

We make countless decisions every day that change the outcome of our future. From life changing events to the seemingly small meaningless choices, we chart our own path down this road called life with our every sensation, thought and feeling. And in this moment, I awoke to the reality of my situation and my ability to chart my own future.

Instead of believing that I had no ability to change the nevus on the backside of my eye, I instead said the following:

  • I choose that door to open and bring me health.
  • I choose that door to open and bring an opportunity for me to grow.
  • I choose that door to open and bring with it the power to make a difference in the world.
  • I choose that door to open and bring healing into my life.
  • I choose that door to open with an opportunity to fulfill my purpose.

And then I sat and watched the door. It seemed an eternity, but within seconds the door opened. The doctor sat down, pulled open my charts and stared intently at them for a long time. I waited.

I don't want you to think that I was sitting in that chair confidant that he was going to tell me everything was going to be OK. And I don't want you to think that I was not scared. But I will tell you that I knew that the door opened in my favor and that was enough for me.

"These look good," he concluded. "It isn't elevated and that's a good sign."

I don't necessarily believe that my awakening to choice changed the results of that test. But, then again, I also believe that time is merely one of the eleven dimensions in our Universe and thus change in the past isn't impossible.

But the lesson remains the same, "We are Divinely inspired creatures who are called to fulfill our purpose."

In choosing my purpose instead of accepting fate, I changed more than my future. In that moment, the entire Universe changed and more life healing energy came my way. Be it for healing cancer or fulfilling my purpose, this Divine energy is what can change the world, fuel our growth and heal the sick.

I struggle to express the peace that brings me. I only hope that you can find the same path to choose your future and join me in fulfilling our purpose.


Darwin Stephenson

in reference to: Nevus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, June 19, 2009

How Cults Rewire the Brain

I like the final quote in this Ted video: "The first step is to realize that we can do this together and there is no us and them."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Thunderbolt of Enlightenment

Over the weekend my family headed up to Sonoma for a quick overnight get away and found ourselves awash in the complexities of life. What we intended to be a relaxing break became a paradoxically stressful experience. The children were perpetually cranky, the schedule surprisingly unaccommodating and the relaxing somehow less than refreshing. This is not to say that the experience wasn't enjoyable for the pool was refreshing, the morning yoga in the sun was beautiful and we enjoyed the time together without an expectation of accomplishment.

It was while perusing a photographer's gallery that I first spotted the dorje. Gracefully being held by a Tibetan nun while in meditation, the elderly hands of this amazing woman grasped the dorje with both reverence and strength. Only occupying a small portion of the scene, the dorje clearly was of immense importance to her.

A symbol of enlightenment, the dorje represents the sudden form of enlightenment that comes upon us. In combination with the accompanying bell, the imparted meaning conveys both wisdom and method. Far from being symology unique to Eastern cultures, the dorje symbol appears in early Christian artifacts. The lightning bolt flash of enlightening light is even clearly described in Acts where Saul suddenly realizes his purpose.

We should take particular notice of enlightenment being described as a combination of wisdom and method. One could describe much of religious rituals as a means to come into union with God. Our ritualistic methods aim to remind us of our role to play, our relationship to God and the importance of remembering God in our lives. But in combination with wisdom, the pursuit of enlightenment positions our actions in line with purpose as opposed to mindlessly following our religious methods without direction.

Unfortunately many interact with God's intent as a down payment on the after life. The prevailing habit is for us to approach life as a reckoning series of credits and debits towards a singularity of judgment. In this cosmic accounting farse, our crimes against ourselves and our fellow man will be reconciled against those times we followed God's laws. In the end, we fool ourselves into believing that our credits will exceed our debits to our advantage. Somehow we believe we will be walking single file past the pearly gates of heaven while those that didn't have enough credits will descend into the fire pits of hell.

Enlightenment postulates that our reckoning is not only not temporally in the future but also not judged according to a standard. Divine wisdom makes a life fulfilled in purpose attainable in the present moment without aspiring for future bliss. The thunderbolt of enlightenment cracks into our consciousness all the time, but as we are lost in the delusional reality of our Minds, the flash of wisdom flows by us like the wind blows through the leaves.

In the distance, we can hear the rustling of the branches and the rifling of the leaves but we struggle to here the message contained in the wind itself. We turn to doctrine to guide us to the divine but find that glimpses of enlightenment are all that are available to us. In time, we conclude that the messages aren't there, God doesn't talk to us and we are not intended to live like the prophets of the past.

The dorje reminds us that enlightenment comes in an instant but the attainment of wisdom comes through method. The method we choose is neither important nor mandated despite our Mind's desire for absolutes. God's wisdom is available to all and will not be limited to those that adhere to ritual, doctrine or even method.

The pursuit is in purpose and, in purpose, enlightenment is available to us all.

In my forsaken weekend get-a-way, I was reminded that enlightenment is available to us not only during times of calming focus but in the midst of life unfolding. My cranky children demand that I recognize that enlightenment doesn't come to those that retreat to a cave for ten years of meditative reflection but rather that life, in glory and pain, is alive with messages from God. We struggle to hear but, through method, we can hear the wisdom blowing through the trees of our life.

Grab your dorje and hold it with reverence and strength.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Love vs. Hate

Fresh on the heels of debuting the Inspiration Workshop, I'm again drawn to this ongoing reflection of LOVE and HATE in the world. While these two states are so uniquely hard to boil down to a simple definition, I find it revealing how much they're used in language.

Of course, just because someone uses the word HATE or LOVE in their tweet (post on Twitter) this doesn't necessarily mean that they are conveying their absolute support for either of these concepts. Saying "I hate French class!" doesn't mean that you are making a stand for HATE.

Or does it? Could it be possible that our language is in fact a reflection of what is in our heart? If so, our choice of language might be indicative to how much room we allow in our heart for just about anything. Somewhere between an individual tweet on LOVE and a summary of how often people tweet LOVE each day exists a representation of Humanity.

How often in our lives do we evoke the words LOVE and HATE without truly understanding the impact of what comes out of our mouth? If our language has meaning, then the words we choose to use to express oursleves during our lifetime have meaning too. Our choice of how we choose to live in the world affects others even if we're not necessarily aware of the impact.

When I express my HATE to others I'm enabling HATE to live in the world. In my tiny contribution to Humanity, my evoking the words HATE or LOVE justifies their existence. So too if I choose not to allow HATE to live within my being I can commit myself to this cause by not allowing myself to be so loose with my language. If we all embarked on such a cause I'd wager the world would be a better place.

As the Trendrr chart depicts, we are making a difference. Love is rising and has a more prominant place in our culture than we might realize. More people choose to express themselves using the word LOVE than those that choose HATE.

What do you choose?