Disease or health?             Which do you attempt to deal with?  Do you worry how to not get the flu? Or how to express the dangers of this or that? Do you talk about winter colds, upper repository issues and other traditionally revealed seasonal issues? OR do you come from a perspective of designing and creating health? No, they are not the same thing.

I entered ministry & healing through the doorway of holistic health.  Growing up in an alcoholic home with lots of medications, I knew from a very early age; that did not work.  Whenever anyone asks me how I got to where I am today, what started it for me, I share a story about a pre-cervical cancer diagnosis, saying no to my doctor to cut me open, and taking a totally holistic path to absolute freedom of any signs of such imbalance. Other than my gynecologist moving from New England to New Mexico to learn how I did it, the rest of the story is vague history. 

Following that diagnosis, I left a plushy public relations job, volunteered for hospice, opened an art gallery which became a healing center, studied energy, spiritual, Shamanic healing, entered the ministry studying Christian, New Thought, Interfaith, Buddhism and more……….to now. The gallery was in 1992. It has been and continues to be a truly incredible journey.  

I have learned that I am a cheerleader of the inner life. I have learned through experience, that my non physical Shamanic and non physical communicating experiences are of much more value to me than earth endeavors. I have learned that what lies in my heart promotes interior health in loving self and others; and in this, my faith roots and lives. I choose to create health. I choose to not  fear disease.

I have learned that there is SO much more. More than whatever we think. I have learned that we are limitless, and that whatever we need is within us. I have learned that joy is a gift of immense capacity for filling us up and pouring through us, and in that experience; health lives. I have learned that if we believe in God, for that to be fully embodied; we must believe in ourselves, too. (A daily practice!) We can see people who believe in God, and many have very tough lives. We can see folks who believe in their ego self alone and we see that is so brutal a path. Then, to witness a person who lives from the inside out through faith in the non physical Presence of something greater AND are ALSO empowered to believe in themselves………well, some special kind of greatness comes from that balance.

I call that pure health, that yin/yang balance. I strive to exemplify that, as I believe that is the path to mental, emotional & spiritual balance, (all cylinders a go!) ; which personifies health.

A path of interior living requires self inquiry of each belief. This requires faith in what is greater than I, as well as knowing we have choice. So, tonight in bed, long after the plumber had left, long after the firetrucks left, after a day long venture of our flooded cellar, my gerbil wheel began spinning with what else could go wrong in the cellar……..i rose from my bed to sit and be with the greater truth – “all is well. This is getting fixed. I handled it all very well. People were kind and helpful. Peace lies with in me”.…………………and all visions scattered. 

Going to the greater Truths quells the ego, silences the fear and promotes balance = health. 

 

shared with love,

Deborah

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www.amethystlight.org

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DOING or BEING?

Many mornings I sit down to write and my heart is so boggled with feelings to express I can hardly seek the words I most want to share. In these moments I am critically aware of how written words are not the most helpful or deepest or highest or loving way to express – yet they have made such an impact on my journey, I can only hope my words put together in thoughts and ideas, will make a positive impact on another’s….and somehow always convey my sense of loving.

The older and wiser I grow, my preferred manner of communication is silence – with another. Perhaps a hug goodbye, like the one I cherish from yesterday, as this  stubborn and headstrong 80 something year old woman bid me good bye from her home after a visit of tea and cake, and she snuggled up so close in my arms I felt like a mama bear. She found the perfect spot to nestle her head below my chin, and placed her entire long lived frail being around me. Feeling privileged doesn’t even come close to my gratitude for that moment. 

One of my daily prayers is that others learn to be where they are. As humans we seem to run on automatic in a rush of hurry, or lets get away, or do not stop here, or hurry up and get to work and do not feel it or fill your day with busy-ness so there is no time to feel, to express or to simply be. My heart aches when I observe this. 

I know two women right now who are grieving the deaths of their spouse. One is allowing the waves of grief to pour through her. She welcomes it, allows it and lets herself be in it – and then it passes. We have discussed how grief comes in waves, how it will surprise her in the most unexpected places, how like any wave, it comes in, and goes out; waves never stay, they dissipate. These will too. So, she rides them, she says; and then gets on with her day. The other woman is keeping busy. This is her remedy. Perhaps it will work for her, I do not know what she needs – but when we keep busy this usually also means we do not talk about, we do not sit and be with our feelings, we fill each moment with something else. This also means the discomfort we are running from will one day catch up with us and it will grow inside of us, blocking us from joy. In being with our grief, we allow and honor the experience – and hopefully have friends or other we can wrap ourselves up in, who will hold our hands, sit with us in silence, make us tea, hand us tissues and laugh with us in the midst of this new way of being. 

I truly hope you find time today to be with yourself. It does not matter where you are in your life; if you cannot be with yourself, (alone, in silence, with your own self) you cannot be there for others either. For it is in that space of quiet and vulnerability we find our connection to our Inner Being, our True Identity, our God self….and we get filled up, renewed and prepared for the world, ready for another day on planet earth.

shared with love, RevDeb 

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www.amethystlight.org

WE CAN DO BETTER

As is often stated, these days are challenging times. And in truth, there are and always have been challenging times in life – somewhere. I acknowledge that when your life and or our world or politics or the weather or a terrible unexpected painful day has taken place in your individual life – that hearing spiritual truths, turning to prayer or living by what is easier to do on a day when life is smooth feels like an almost irrational and impossible calling; I promise you, it is not.

Metaphysics 101 is the teaching that we are creative beings. We are born of the Creator, of God, of the energy which creates worlds!  At the ALM we acknowledge we are always creating, through our contemplation, thoughts and where we CHOOSE to place our energy. We are, as is all, pure energy – and wherever we place our energy, we add to the increase of said item – whether it be a person, experience, place or idea.  

What this means to those who live by this spiritual Truth is we practice at becoming very aware of whatever we are dancing with, merging with, speaking about, reading, looking at, desiring, writing, being with; we become deliberate creators of our experiences, recognizing we are the creative Presence, more powerful than we can possibly imagine. We know this through our FAITH in God – or the Creator, or Great Isness; the label/name is not as important, as the Truth Itself. 

In our simple daily lives, this is interpreted as; whatever you post on FB, you are adding to the existence of. In each of your conversations, you are giving a platform for whatever the topic is. I know, this one is tough, i get it.  BUT, our universe is based on yes, we are walking radio antennas, giving out and bringing to. Every time you post being against anything, or walking against anything, or marching against a cause; my friend, you give it more life. Going against is not positive or helpful; going FOR something you WANT is.  You are always going FOR – so go FOR what you want. 

In Romans 12:21. ‘Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.’  Without a faith practiced on spiritual laws, one is not able to go to the good, even though it is always present. When one does not believe in a higher power, a non physical Presence; one believes a human can hold all the power and by believing this, gives it to them. We give it to them by allowing them to intimidate,we give it to them by thinking they hold all the cards; when only God does.

It is mandatory that for those who are able, to now, continue to know that a Power Greater than the ego exists and it exists for good. It is imperative, that we continue to rise & express that love overcomes all fear. We can do this, we can be this, we can do better.

What sparked me to write this is; ‘me too’. I ask you, what good does it do for thousands upon perhaps millions of women to write ‘me too’? Of course there will be millions  of woman; this behavior ranges from inappropriate winks  to sex addicts and rapists. It exploits the ignorance, the lack of values, integrity, self respect and faith that can be present; when we forget, there is a Higher Power. 

Let’s talk about every single person standing for fairness, tolerance, kindness, rightness and integrity. Let’s each do OUR OWN WORK – to exemplify goodness. …….and in exemplifying goodness, respect and an acknowledgement of the kinship of humanity, we stand upon something stronger, deeper and eternally more satisfying  and  substantial than our human ego.  Our human ego is meek – and the proof of this is the reason it needs to be so loud to be seen. (EGO = edging God out) Stop giving it a platform, please. Like the whining three year old; tell it no, and stop engaging. Or simply ignore it. But whatever you do, the ego always wants MORE attention – and you fall right into its nest when you engage with its expression through fear, talk or other. Stand tall, state what you have to say and walk away; having faith in, right is right.

We can be better.

Rev. Deborah Evans Hogan

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www.amethystlight.org

“OKAY, WOMAN, CAN YOU BE HERE NOW?”

~ dedicated to the life of Alan LaPointe

Whew – quite a month. 9/8/17-10/8/17 is one for my own personal books.  Alert: This is a very intimate writing; and those who do write, create art, allow  music to move through them or other, we know, this expression is many times our only way, our innate vehicle of exposing and moving our emotions. One may say sharing the discomfort, but I do not see it as a deliberate intention of sharing pain; but a joint venture in witnessing.

i consider when Jesus was riding into Jerusalem for the last supper, knowing his contractual fate, being witnessed. 

i consider Jesus at the crucifixion, being judged, adored and witnessed.

i consider when Jesus was seen by Saul/Paul on the road to Damascucs – being witnessed from the tomb. 

All these witnessing’s involved being RAISED up. Saul became Paul in his Holy Instant journey from one who hated and was willing to kill against Jesus to a believer, a devotee; having seen  and witnessed such radiant Light of the Christ.

There are moments where the simple awareness that this story is each of our journeys makes PERFECT amazing sense to me. Comforting, perfect, elegant sense. We travel through our humanness, from our fears, our rigidness; to being broken open by the Light, fractured through Love; as we are in the witnessing of ones body dying, making the transition home.

I see how each one of us, in our raw humanness, from those living a monastic intentional or not life to those in so much emotional pain they choose toting guns in the streets and seeing that shooting & killing is the only answer they can feel in that moment; how each of us are ‘attempting’ to ‘deal’ with our perceptions of life.

The way I ‘deal” is through my faith. Some days I have to dig deeper than usual, but I gratefully admit, my faith always gets me there, that space of whatever it is I am seeking relief from.

It may not seem fair, on one hand, to knowingly verbally express, what some may see as whining, to the public view. As a minister & counselor, I certainly do encourage others to not hold it in, do not let it pile up inside, let’s support you to express. Okay, i am taking my turn, my turn to be witnessed.

First off, I am shutting myself off from the outside world, the best I am able today. ( A friend arrives this afternoon for the night…but I trust I have enough time, to find that space...) In all vulnerability, I am not good at this, this shutting down just for my own benefit. I will always answer a call. First message on my phone this day was of another acquaintance making their transition. I should not have looked. He was a very good man, beloved my family, church & friends, lived a full life, a blessing to everyone he met, and now with his beloved wife who we all have no doubt was waiting for him. But, for me, i should not have looked. For me, it was one more in a month of so many souls going home, my heart is fractured open, now into pieces. So, I shut my phone off, to try to encourage some sense of solitude and interior traveling. A way to set boundaries and see my way back to myself. Thankfully it is a rainy morning here in our neck of the woods. Perfect for sitting on our back porch, windows open and allowing the rain, the wet trees and the birds to serenade me. ….while i write. This space brings me immense comfort. I am certainly in need of some, so this is good.

Clergy interact with death & dying. It is part of the package. It is a part I have always felt deeply privileged to be invited to.  Families allowing an outsider to guide them, support them, and celebrate with them. It is when our hearts are most vulnerable, when our rawness allows for more opening, when the veil is so thin, the radiance of Holy Spirit so bright – and love, so palpable. After 30 years of being welcomed to witnessing this journey with families, friends & beloveds; I remain in awe of the indwelling gratitude I carry.

The most excruciating facet of being with death & dying is each person remains with you. They become a part of me, a speck of my beingness. A piece of their story, the gratitude in their spouses eyes, the pain on their children’s faces, the joy their friends expressed at the feast – and the stories shared at a wake. And last night, when i left a friends home, and the final view i was privileged to witness; was his wife, his daughter, her fiancee, his son, his wife; all sitting around him, pouring love & prayer on him, as he lay in his hospice bed, in the twilight silence of their home, their life and his journey.

So, my month began on the anniversary of my father’s death twenty one years ago, 9/8, with three people I know being murdered. The feelings I had around this knowledge is absolutely nothing compared to what their family is dealing with. Nothing. But and yet, at one time in my life; I knew them, loved them and cared for them. They were a speck of my journey. They were a part of my tapestry. And I felt it. I had a tribe of folks who knew I knew them, who needed to express, to talk, to ask and futally attempt to see sense in the senseless.

The month evolved from there, with one of my husbands best friends in hospice. Then, old friends, acquaintances, dying. Many times two a day. Yes, multiple. Expected and not. A dear friends husband making his way home, and they welcomed me to be supportive of them with hugs, tears, presence and prayers.  Then there were the clients in my practice who came for grief support. Many. It has been an every single day occurrence; for one month. (In these moments, I FULLY understand why priests in  movies (yes, and life) had a housekeeper & kept a perfectly aged bottle in the desk.)

But, what IS IT exactly that is fracturing us? I believe in life eternal. What is it that is overflowing and breaking open the mold I was immediately before I heard yet another announcement? The love. It is the LOVE we witness. Only love can create such craters of emptiness within our hearts. And yes, only love can fill them.

Can you contemplate that the tears one sheds when by a hospice bed are not about the dying; but are our hearts overflowing with the LOVE we are aware of?

In addition there is the collective grief we are each feeling in our world, in this time of horrific and unfathomable natural events and outward fear expressed in each and made commercially newsworthy through the lack of integrity – in some.

I am not whining, I think I am just saying, it has been a doozie! Too many coincidences of dates, happenings, to list here.  My own personal belief system being challenged, my own faith starring me in the face saying; okay, can you be HERE now? (I hear the ole black church ladies from my tapestry looking at me in their Sunday hats, wagging fingers at me; You can do this, Deborah, YOU can do this, stomp the devil down girl, dance and get on, you can do this! Come on, they say……. follow us.)

No, today i cannot my loves. Today i will wallow. Today I will light candles in my home, play my CD from my friend ‘Shelia from Ireland’…….in her enchanting brouge and song, pulling the tears up from my gut — so i CAN get on with it. And I will get on with it, I always do; as my husband logically reminds me.

I will think about my faith. I think about how it is my belief that only our bodies die and our souls thrive and live on. For me, this is a fact. Yet, in that moment that a loved one or a loved one of a loved one transitions home to God, being an empath & sensitive – i feel all their feelings. I am aware of their pain, anguish & grief. I can be in the room or have the photo and announcement cross my Facebook page; but the feelings and awareness of love are the same for me. At this same time, i am hearing their loved ones speak to me, or show themselves to me….and I know, they are here. That critical awareness that Love is all we have, all we are and all we ever will be. The loss of our bodies is immense – but the raw love is more immense. The love is ALWAYS greater. It is my faith and gut wrenching hope that I stand in the rightness of this path of life, seeing it as eternal & knowing we remain with each other vibration-ally and WILL see one  another again, getting the full story this time – raised in our wakefulness to the heavens. I will spend the day stomping, as my ole’ friends call it, catching my self at moments of discord, looking to Jesus to harmonize my heart and set my mind back on track. And i will cry, buckets and buckets; for our friends children, for my friend who lost her best friend of 40  years  – together since she was 16!!! They met in high school. What do you do with that kind of love? I will cry and rejoice for lives lived into 80’s and 90’s! I will cry and dance for love. What to do? You remain in awe of the journey, the joys, the differences, the coming together and the pulling apart that makes it whole, that make US whole.

I know it to be so, that in the witnessing, we heal. In witnessing and being witnessed we get put back together again, like a sacred Humpty Dumpty. Being witnessed in love is the most profound and life altering experience; it turns Saul’s to Paul’s and fear to strength.

I will share with you, I do feel better. Now. Writing, reading & rereading; this has helped. Now, onto the laundry, onto figuring out how does one go to this many funerals, onto cards, letters, notes of encouragement & hope.  The stuckness of any lack has moved through me. Put back together again through sharing. My own sacred Humpty Dumpty moment. An aged old concept, sharing, witnessing.

The good stuff remains; always. 

with my love, RevDeb

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HELLO…..HELLO…..ARE YOU LISTENING?

Your Highest expression of beingness is calling you, are you responding?

When another being touches a wound in you and anger, resentment or  hurt shows itself; can you hear Love calling you? Are you able to see that you feel so awful in that moment because you are going against, or not listening to YOUR TRUE IDENTITY

Your GodSelf is saying, be centered and focused on me. You can still walk away, that is okay, and realize we each have a journey to walk, experiences to have, ground to cover; forgive due to OUR humanness & ignorance – and realize that attacking back is only lowering your own frequency to pain; and their pain is NOT your story. …but you make it your story when you choose to engage. You are being offered an opportunity to listen, raise the frequency, and be still and know your True Identity.

When you read, watch or see something that causes you emotional discomfort; can you hear God calling you?  “This is okay – this is life – stay focused on Me – choose what you listen to – choose what you read – choose what you watch – I gave you choice.”  This, that you are engaging with does not feel good to you because THIS is NOT part of your True Identity.  

Our True Identity is calling each of us, everyday, to be more than we presently realize. Are you responding to the call? 

shared with love, Rev Deb

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Anne Lamott & Where’s My Place? 

“I do not at all understand the mystery of grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.” Anne Lamott

I am in the midst of being swept up and in through Anne Lamott’s latest; Hallelujah Anyway.  (  https://www.amazon.com/Hallelujah-Anyway-Rediscovering-Anne-Lamott/dp/0735213585  ) I highly recommend it. I sent the text of this recommendation to a  friend yesterday, even though I was only on the 12th page, I knew, her ‘open heart which runs on overtime each second to life’s love and failures’ – would adore it, relate with it and succumb to the mystically raw Lamott prose. It is physically such a small book – a total misconception is revealed once you read one line, knowing this book will fill you up with thoughts, contemplation’s and emotions you never knew you had; yet. For me, this read is not saturated with her usual humor, but with depth and rawness; I think she turned inside out for this one. Or perhaps I am being turned inside out by it and I am only assuming she had to do the same to give birth to it. My bad. 

I am able to only read a few pages at a time. My heart starts aching and my belly begins to talk. Small distractions. If I make it through those without stopping, then my ah-ha moment arises and I see what is mine to experience. Thank God I stayed.

The book is about Mercy – but where I landed is this: are we all simply seeking ‘our place’? Where is my place? Is this what we each want to find? Is this what the whole search; love, loneliness, depression, joy, sex, work, addiction, laughter till we wet our pants, anger, talking, meditating, caring about – for – and with….is this all about – finding my place?

My place, no matter where i am, i am always the same in it. I may be holding a dying friends hand, or i may be laughing uproariously with a client about our insane humanness. If i am having tea by myself or sitting with a group; i am still in my place – and that is where my security lies. My place fuels me, offers me roots, feeds me. I cannot lie, i get knocked off my place when another does not recognize it – i can pretty much stay there no matter what is happening in the outside world at the moment, but if i am not seen by a loved one; splat. (right now, only two folks have this affect on me, it’s a small crowd) – I loose my place……. and for a moment, or a few low flying thoughts get hold of my gerbil wheel, or at most a monkey mind driven rant out loud to my husband is humanly expressed; i loose my grip, get tripped up, loose my balance. I mean, if you cannot see MY place, (and maybe you cannot because you cannot see your own…), then how can you truly love me? I realized as I contemplated this notion of my place deeper and deeper; few know theirs. 

Your place is how you ‘be’ in life – and when you find it, you know. It is home. It is right. Your place is really what you care about. For me, I care about how a humans inner life is going for them. Because of this, I care nothing for what an activist likes, or what the news says or what reporters report. I care about you realizing how incredibly amazing you are, through the eyes of the Creator, the Birther of all life, and that you realize this. That’s it. 

This puts me in a precarious position with daily conversation, practical things like budgets, world happenings, and if you are my relative who only cares about the stock market. I mean, I want to know how your heart is seeking joy, and you only want to talk politics or recession or banks. BUT, what i do respect is; that is their place. And one being fully in their place tops you and I being in the same place. (Previous line worth rereading.) When you know your place, the idea of someone having to agree or come over to your way of thinking no longer exists – we know, each being has their place. I have deep reverence for this. Whatever your place is; do it well.

This brings me to mercy; the point of Lamott’s latest book. My stream of mercy stems through my faith that we are each made of the Creator and as we seek a more loving and unconditional perception of others; mercy flows and forgiveness or need disperses. Mercy, for me, is the door handle to Grace. 

But, to find out what this incredibly prolific and heart wrenching writer says about mercy, you will have get the book. In repeating myself; I highly recommend it.

with love, RevDeb

head shot looking down  Deborah Evans Hogan

Healer, Master Energy Practitioner, Teacher, & Member of the Clergy

www.amethystlight.org

YouTube: Deborah Evans Hogan of the ALM

FaceBook:   www.amethyst light ministry@revdeb444