aaOldmanIf you take a quick look at my site, read any of the blogs or any of my books, you will quickly discover that my underlying message for the world is self empowerment. I see so many people struggling or stressing about their lives and for the most part it is because they are looking for answers in all the wrong places. One of the worst places to look for inspiration is main-steam media, and regular television where there is an emphasis of materialism and seeking happiness outside of oneself. -- Yet so many believe this is the only way to live but there is another gentler way to be in this world.. and yet not "be of this world." 

 There is a way of living that remains ever peaceful, centred and loving...and I have seen it in action.

Years ago, I lived and worked with some of the most impoverished people on the planet, Native American Indian people, and yet I never felt so accepted, loved and embraced as I did during those years. They didn't have much, but what they had they shared without fear. Some of them lived in little shacks with no running water (See my book: Wolf Trail!) and we would have to crack the ice in the barrel to get drinking water. Yet I never met so many happy people in my life. 

Yet here in the west we have so much.. and yet we are so unhappy! Most of us are utterly obsessed by accumulating wealth and losing ourselves in various distractions such as shopping, eating out, drinking with friends, etc. There is something very wrong with people who don't feel fully alive unless they are accumulating, distracting themselves, or getting lost in meaningless persuits. Of course if you are struggling to feed or house yourself, you may not feel empowered but there are millions of exceptions. I have met many empowered people who are materially impoverished and my Native American Indian Elders and teachers are a prime example of that. Those of you who have read any of my three books on the Native Indian teachings (Wolf Trail * Kachina * Ghost Mountain) will quickly understand that these amazing shamans put little to no energy into accumulating any kind of material wealth. Instead they counted their wealth by love, friendship and by living and supporting their tribal traditions. They always told me that they were very wealthy! 

The true elders also turned their back on any kind of “fame” or notoriety. This is one of the reasons it is so hard to find genuine elders, because they shun fame, live humbly and ask their followers not to spread the word.  When I lived and worked on the reservation I had to use all my research skills to actually track these people down! They certainly didn’t have business cards, fliers or posters nailed up anywhere!

Because I have been fortunate enough to spend time with genuinely empowered people who lived in humble conditions, I learned to see and appreciate this truth very early in my own journey. Therefore the many traps, ploys and general B/S employed by many western “teachers” to sell more materialism rather than offer genuine spiritual wealth were easy for me to spot.

Sadly, these days, I see a lot of people falling into these traps and believing in a new kind of authority figure -- the “new age” super-star! Very often this person has produced many books and is supported by a large publishing conglomerate, which has professional spin-doctors to groom them for fame. They are really good at promotion and the cult of personality and so know all the right catch phrases that promise you the world... at a price! While many of these books have genuine spiritual insights and the “self help” gurus can assist you to find confidence and self appreciation, there is no substitute for actually doing your inner work. Only by your focus on your inner realm can you, or any of us, become self empowered.

What self empowerment really means is that you are fully aware of how your mind works, your inner foibles and fears; your spiritual lessons or karmic pathway. If, for example, one of your inner lessons is to develop patience, it doesn’t mean that you can just write a few affirmations, a Vision Board and do a weekend workshop and it is all done and dusted. It means it will be something you have to work with all your life and as you do, you will become stronger. Impatience is one aspect (there are many others!!!) of the lower ego mind. Every person has an ego, particularly those who say they do not! Anyone without an ego cannot manifest a body into this world. When you acknowledge this, get over yourself, and work on it; it no longer has control over the eternal you. 

One of the ways the ego pulls you off track is to distract you with other goals and often other more trendy obsessions! Therefore, you might suddenly get the idea that if you had a better car / house / job you wouldn’t be so impatient anymore. This sounds very logical, but it is a big fib that will pull you away from your genuine inner work. The ego loves to distract you and offer you yet another dead-end, pointless, exhausting journey to keep you well and truly entrenched in the huge lie that is this world. 

Instead of all this pointless struggle, just allow your life to be as it is. Celebrate the wealth you have and know that if having more money or more fame would help and support your spiritual journey, it would simply manifest. If it isn’t already there, it means that you have everything you need to achieve the true wealth of self empowerment.

One of my huge karmic challenges is the desire to rescue others. Even as a child I brought home dozens of lost kittens and stray dogs. Later I became a journalist to write about and uncover political lies and corruption. This led to the spiritual movement where I offered Indian gathering circles to share with others the essence of loving Mother Earth and Father Sky. More recently that evolved into offering spiritual readings and drawings. During this long journey, I have learned, slowly, that everyone is on their journey. Much as I want to help, some people prefer the gloss and magic of "get enlightened fast" promises and unscrupulous people. I know this, but the lies, deception and at times, blatant cruelty, still gets under my skin. 

I could run away from it all (and I do, every so often). Yet I know that by observing my inner-self, my emotions and thoughts at a “new age” festival, as some people lie and mislead others is my inner test! Even more annoyingly, it is my place of growth! (gosh-darn it!!!) Every so often, I slip and make some acerbic comment, and as an ex-journalist, I am good at it, but I know that this is a backwards step. It is not always easy, but the fact that it is not easy indicates that it is definitely a place of huge growth. (again... darn it!!!)

Yet we must all remember that this world is not easy. Love your challenges  -- the key is to see the lesson and rise above the petty nonsense. In addition, remember that everyone is on their journey. You have no idea what journey they need to take, so lovingly allow.  ***Forgive, let go, and let everyone be as they are *** As you do this, you are empowered.