Week 11-B – The Body’s Role in Awakening (Part 2)

This year, I’m sharing a section each week from THE FRICKEN MAP IS UPSIDE DOWN. From start to finish, from my heart to yours. From the big comfy chair.

Welcome to week eleven-B of this free series. Settle into your own comfy chair, grab a mug of something nice, and read on.

(The following content is excerpted from The Fricken Map is Upside Down: Notes from a spiritual journey, by Carrie Triffet © Copyright 2019.)


The body’s role in awakening (continued)

Here is one other important aspect of the body’s role with-
in awakening consciousness:

In much the same way that the body will not be bypassed
even though it isn’t real, the world itself
(totally ultra-not-real as well!) can’t be bypassed either.

The world and everything in it, including our own body, must
be loved and embraced, welcomed and forgiven. Only after we
forgive it and accept its present-moment imperfect-perfection,
will its illusory nature become clear to us. Only then can we
begin to truly see like the Creator sees, thereby transcending
the world.

But here’s the funny thing: Even when when we’re looking
past the illusion, to see like the Creator sees, the world’s il-
lusory nature still won’t inspire us to ignore it or dismiss it or
bypass it. Anything but.

Yes, we do transcend the world, but that’s because
everywhere in the world we look, we recognize
heaven on Earth. Even though the world may still be behaving
as it always has. And that recognition of the world’s inherent
holiness might very well inspire us to take helpful action.

Or, perhaps more accurately, to BE helpful action.

Gandhi said it, and it’s one of the world’s most brilliant,
bumper-sticker-friendly spiritual quotes of all time. Be the
change you wish to see in the world.

The quote is deservedly famous. It points directly toward
infinite transcendent wisdom, yet still manages to offer
practical advice no matter what our level of consciousness
might happen to be right now. It meets us where we’re at.
And then when our own consciousness deepens, we discover
the quote does too.

Levels upon levels of meaning, all pointing directly toward truth.

On the surface, Be the change you wish to see in the world
is simple and obvious. It means if you hate seeing litter in the
park, go be the one to clean it up. (And it’s okay if you silently
bitch to yourself about the messy habits of others while you’re
doing it. At least you’re inspired to take action. You’re helping
to make your neighborhood a tidier place for all to enjoy.)

The next deeper level of meaning would be, for example, if
you want to see more peace in the world, alter your own per-
sonal behavior and attitude in order to plant the seeds of peace.

Help your neighbors—yes maybe even those same messy ones
who litter in the park. And then take it further. Be patient and
respectful with those of differing opinions. Prioritize coopera-
tion in all you do, rather than competition or conflict.

The next deeper level after that carries an exponentially
greater degree of personal commitment: If you want a peaceful
world, think peaceful thoughts. This one is harder. Because, as
we know, peaceful thoughts are not usually the subterranean
self ’s preferred form of expression. Not all the time, anyway,
because we’re bumping up against the distinctly un-peaceful
thoughts of others (as well as our own) all day long.

It would take a Herculean amount of self-mastery to remain
at peace within the mosh pit of collective human expression.
Yet the aspirational decision not to participate in this collec-
tive tumult, is a profound one.

Thoughts, like everything else in existence, are vibratory in nature.
They matter. They CREATE matter. To only contribute thought-forms
of peaceful intent, therefore, would be a wonderful gift to the planet, indeed.

Yet even that isn’t as deep as the rabbit hole goes. This, to me,
is the true and final meaning of Be the change: If you want to
see a more peaceful world, be peace itself. Embody peace until
peace is your sole identity. You will then, quite naturally, be a
beacon of true peace, radiating it to all others. And because
you are its radiant epicenter, a peaceful world emanates from
your very being.

This is how key the body’s role is, in both the awakening
process and the type of world service one might be inspired
to perform on behalf of all beings. The clue is in the word:
Embodiment. Em-body-ment.

It is only when the Light of divinity is embodied—metabolized by
(and therefore as) the body—that your divine self can start to show up as you.

When Light is embodied, peace can start to walk around as
you. You emanate the vibratory signature of peace itself, which
carries the divine potential to influence the entire collective for
the greater good of all. Therefore, your contribution to world
peace is exponentially greater than it could otherwise be.

Gandhi embodied peace. He was also a social activist. Hence
his suggestion that if we want to engage in some seriously pow-
erful activism, we should take inspired action to pick up the
litter and help our neighbor too. Engage in all the levels of Be
the change
. But for maximum impact, do it from the stand-
point of embodied peace. When we do, he suggests, we’ll see
for ourselves how radically and powerfully our illusory world
changes to reflect us.

It doesn’t just have to be peace, of course. The world is sorely
in need of just about any higher-vibration state you can think of.
I choose to be kindness. I choose to be self-forgiveness. I choose
to be the infinite recognition that cauliflower-loving bugs are di-
vine beings in truth.

Our inner radiance of whatever embodied state we choose, is what gets powerfully transmitted to all. It doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker, but that’s okay.


~ Carrie Triffet, excerpted from The Fricken Map is Upside Down: Notes from a spiritual journey, © Copyright 2019

Find out more about The Fricken Map is Upside Down or buy the book

Week 9 – No Virgins Were Harmed in the Making of This Miracle

This year, I’m sharing a section each week from THE FRICKEN MAP IS UPSIDE DOWN. From start to finish, from my heart to yours. From the big comfy chair.

Welcome to week nine of this free series. Settle into your own comfy chair, grab a mug of something nice, and read on.

(The following content is excerpted from The Fricken Map is Upside Down: Notes from a spiritual journey, by Carrie Triffet © Copyright 2019.)


Along with the revised sense of God and creation, came a new
appreciation of the energetic universe itself. As with God and
creation, I didn’t go looking for new ways of understanding
the cosmos. These puzzle pieces were quietly dropped into my
spiritual worldview on my behalf.

Even though it now embraces physics (meta, quantum and
astro) to some degree, my spiritual worldview is also one of
awe and wonder. I seem to have a newfound appreciation for
the miraculous nature of existence itself. My core definition
of ‘what is a miracle?’ has changed, and the quasi-scientific
framework, for me, only adds to its profound beauty and mys-
tery. So let’s talk about miracles. What they are, what they’re
not, and perhaps have never been.

Modern culture tends to look back on ancient civilizations
with a sort of bemusement at what we consider their child-
like naiveté, or superstitious approach toward spirituality. We
shake our heads at their efforts to appease the Gods Out There,
in order to insure a good harvest, or make a plague go away.

Silly ancients, we tell ourselves. Good thing we’re so much more
sophisticated now.

But it strikes me that our modern approach is really not so
different, minus the odd blood sacrifice here or there. Occur-
rences we interpret as evidence of the spiritual realm in action
(i.e. miracles), are really more like impartial displays of the
structural laws of the universe.

Various branches of science speak of the existence of mul-
tiple dimensions, the first four of which together describe
the recognizable laws of space-time as we experience them
here on Earth. Some scientists cite evidence for six or
seven more dimensions beyond those, or however many
more they can measure with instruments, or postulate as
suggested by mathematical probabilities. Metaphysical
teachings, however, allow for a virtually infinite number
of dimensions, each one related to an equal number of
possible timelines.

You know the virtual reality games we’ve been talking about?
This infinity of dimensional timelines explains the mecha-
nism through which these richly complex illusions of life can
exist. The direction of any given game can never be definitive-
ly known in advance, because endless moment-by-moment
possibilities exist for any outcome. A grand game indeed, and
one befitting the divine beings we are.

I’ve heard the mechanism described the following way. For
what it’s worth, this simplified analogy feels accurate to me in
its basic explanation of how multi-dimensionality works, in
relation to the life experience of any given gamer:

Your individual game of life is like an old-fashioned slide
carousel (ask your parents), which is, in turn, hooked up to
a slide projector. Although there are indeed infinite slides to
choose from, some events (slides) are pre-programmed into
your individual carousel before you start the game. Yet how
you respond to each slide as you see it projected onto your
screen, is entirely up to you. Your choice of responses,
essentially, is the game.

That’s because your response to the projected image is what
determines which new slide will tumble in next from the
vast universe of possible slides, to take the next slot in your
carousel. How divinely aligned (or misaligned) was your re-
action to the last slide you saw projected onto your screen?
How high or low frequency was the nature of your response?

Whatever it was, you will magnetically attract a slide that is
its vibrational match. And your game will move seamlessly
into that new direction.

So a miraculous healing (to swing back around to the topic
of miracles—we do get there eventually), does not occur be-
cause you had an illness, then you prayed, and the next minute
that illness was miraculously healed. Technically speaking,
there’s no such thing as a healing, miraculous or otherwise.

It’s just that your beautiful heartfelt prayer lifted you into a
higher-vibration alternate timeline. One in which that partic-
ular illness doesn’t exist in your body. In some other timeline,
the illness continues unabated.

We’re sliding between timelines all the time, but it’s usually
quite seamless, with only minor changes. Our bodies tend to
age imperceptibly from one day to the next, for example. Each
of the body’s minor physical changes inhabits its own timeline.

We don’t pay much attention to the subtle, seemingly linear
progression from one of these timelines to the next, because
the small changes are considered normal and expected.

Bigger shifts, like the sudden disappearance of an illness,
are noticed and labeled miracles. Out of the ordinary shifts
like these clearly demonstrate in fact, timelines are under no
obligation to behave incrementally or linearly. Dimensional
timelines act like a bunch of random slides, and any one of
them can fall into your carousel at any given moment.

They only seem to create small linear changes most of the
time because that’s what we expect. Large anomalies are called
miracles because they defy our expectations of what is pos-
sible. We therefore tend to attribute them to the intervention
of external deities.

But they are the result of connecting with your own in-
ner deity—the one who has always known its own true divine
identity, and knows perfectly well how multi-dimensional-
ity works, even if you don’t.

The shift to another timeline is not the miracle. You,
gloriously multi-dimensional you, are the miracle.


I’ll give you a couple of my own relatively trivial examples of
timeline shifting, based on high-vibrational responses to ex-
ternal stimuli. I have hundreds of similar examples to draw
from. Suffice it to say I wholeheartedly embraced the above
explanation of malleable timelines and dimensional possibili-
ties when I encountered it, because it so closely matches and
explains phenomena I’ve been experiencing for many years in
my own life.

Here’s the first example. Back in 2005, a few weeks after that
first powerful awakening episode, I was invited to attend a cli-
ent’s annual general meeting and give a presentation to board
members. This annual gathering was a three-day event held
at an all-inclusive luxury resort in Cabo San Lucas. The resort
boasted half a dozen immaculate blue swimming pools, in-
cluding the de rigueur swim-up bar. Because God forbid you’d
have to towel off before refilling your drink order.

I was still kind of buzzing with I-am-the-universe-itself
Awareness after that initial awakening. So after a day or two
of drifting around the various pools inside the resort complex,
I decided it might be nice to wander down to the beach and
have a solo experience of actual Nature.

One could see the beach from the resort but nobody seemed
to go there. It felt oddly forbidden, almost, to leave the perim-
eter walls of the compound. As I stepped beyond the outer
boundary I discovered there was actually good reason for that.
They must’ve been using some kind of invisible electronic
fencing to keep the bugs out.

The moment I stepped past the walls, time seemed to slow
and I sensed the attention of thousands of bugs all turning
to zero in on me. Uh-oh. Half a second later the cumulative
buzzing filled my senses as I felt myself surrounded by raven-
ous airborne creatures, the first few giant welts already starting
to form on my arms and legs.

But then all by itself, a knowing arose from someplace within
me. With complete authority I silently said to the insect hordes,
I am sacred. I am not an appropriate food source for you.

Everything immediately stopped in mid-buzz, and all bugs
disappeared, along with the welts already existing on my body.
At the time I didn’t know whether to be more startled by the
self who rose up out of nowhere to make that proclamation, or
by the bug-free miracle it seemingly caused.

I had no explanation for the miracle at the time. Nowadays,
I would say the divinity-assisted proclamation of my own in-
herent worthiness brought me into closer vibrational align-
ment with divine truth. I was seeing a bit more like the Creator
sees. And this high-vibrational state shifted me into a timeline
where that particular beach held no flying bugs.


Funnily enough my next example is also about bugs. I’m new
to organic gardening, and I wanted to try growing cauliflow-
ers. I knew it wouldn’t be easy because so many different kinds
of critters are incredibly fond of them. To make it even more
interesting I wasn’t content with just going organic; I wanted
to try growing them in accordance with our no-kill/no ene-
mies policy. So there would be no bug murder going on here.

It soon became obvious it would be a small miracle in its
own right if these plants survived long enough to actually pro-
duce a head of cauliflower, because the beautiful blue-green
leaves themselves were so desired by so many. Every day I
would pick off, or spray water off, at least six different kinds of
invasive insect. I didn’t want to hurt them, just remove them
from the plant. I kept infestation at bay, and as long as there
were only a few of each type of bug I found it easy to remain
loving while I did it.

About seven weeks into the process we took one evening
off to go to a music festival, so the cauliflower plants went
forty-eight hours instead of twenty-four without my usual
attentions. I came back the following day to serious infes-
tation—and every gardener knows how hard it is to reverse
an infestation after it’s already established, no matter what
methods you use.

Some creatures eat a multitude of pinprick holes. Others,
given the chance, want to eat the whole plant down to the
stalks. And then there are the ones who simply prefer to suck
the life out of the veins and stems. Still others like to lay their
eggs on the leaf ’s underside, to give the caterpillar hatchlings
a delicious buffet lunch before turning into winged things
themselves and repeating the cycle. Most of the more ma-
ture leaves were hearty and strong enough to withstand the
multi-pronged attacks, but I was dismayed to find many of the
younger, smaller leaves had been decimated.

A number of these vulnerable baby leaves now held eggs,
three or four types of bugs and tiny newborn caterpillars in
addition to having already been eaten down to lacy stalks.
I was surprised to notice myself becoming a little bit angry
and indignant on behalf of these defenseless baby leaves. It
wasn’t fair
, I thought, that the innocent babies were getting
attacked from so many quarters, when they were obviously too
young and tender to defend themselves
. And I noticed I got
a little bit ruthless in my bug and egg removal. They had, in
some small way, become my enemies.

Many weeks earlier I had relinquished my expectation, or
right, to an actual cauliflower harvest. I had been asking very
pointedly for some time, to be shown not only how to correctly
witness ‘enemies out there,’ but also to know how to properly
behave in response to their transgressive actions. Not just in
my garden, but also in the world I perceived outside me.

I had watched the cauliflower leaves attracting transgressors
and (much the same as while losing my lettuce) I realized
right away if forced to choose, I’d far rather learn this lesson
about enemies, than harvest cauliflowers. Even though we
really like cauliflowers.

I was already pretty good at knowing there’s no such thing
as an enemy in truth. But what about taking action at times it’s
clearly needed, whether here in the garden or in more extreme
cases out in the world at large? Was I just supposed to think
spiritual thoughts and look the other way? That answer didn’t
seem quite right, in the chaotically transgressive age we live in.

Was it ever appropriate to take a stand against transgressors, I
wondered? Sometimes action is surely required. Isn’t it?

I knew my cauliflowers and their many devoted admirers
were here, in part, to teach me about this larger issue, surely
one of the most urgent lessons of our time. So my anten-
nae went up immediately when I noticed I was becoming
angry at the unfairness of the relentless attacks upon inno-
cent babies. I correctly identified this interpretation as my
own subterranean ‘enemy generator’ at work. I didn’t buy
the propaganda.

On the other hand I didn’t embrace the lesson right away,
either. I didn’t fully dive into the opportunity clearly being of-
fered, even though I’d been asking for this all along. After all,
action was required first, right? The little buggers were every-
where. So I acted.

For two days I used three times as much water as before,
grimly blowing the insects off the leaves over and over. They
hopped right back on, of course. But I made sure I disrupt-
ed their nest building efforts, and slowed down the creation
of colonies. If one or two of them drowned in the process, I
wasn’t all that sorry.

On the third day I sprayed the insect hordes off the first cou-
ple of plants, as I had been doing for the past two days, acutely
aware of the futility of the exercise. It was only then I admit-
ted to myself, I hadn’t bothered to give full consideration to
the lesson at hand. I hadn’t yet taken it seriously enough to
base my actions upon it. Recognizing I had little to lose at this
point, I paused as I approached the next group of cauliflower
beds, sprayer in hand, and chose to view all the living beings
in those beds as being equally of God. I persistently basked
in their Love-Light divinity, keeping at it until I could clearly
feel my own.

I felt the telltale softness, as everything in my world now
became imbued with the gentle glow of divinely illumined
Awareness. And then I lifted the first leaf of the next cauli-
flower plant in line to be sprayed. It held eighty percent fewer
bugs than the plants I’d sprayed a minute ago. The rest of the
plants showed roughly the same degree of reduced infestation.
Somehow I wasn’t surprised.

I suppose it qualifies as a small miracle. Yet I prefer the
metaphysical explanation, which seems to fit better: I brought
the electromagnetic patterns of my thought-forms into more
coherent alignment with the much higher-frequency patterns
of divine truth. I thought a bit more like the Creator thinks, if
you prefer that wording.

As a result, my own overall frequency lifted higher, which
popped me, quite seamlessly, into a dimensional timeline that
was a vibratory match for my own more divinely aligned fre-
quency. A timeline in which the more devastating degree of in-
festation hadn’t ever occurred. Or maybe it was a timeline in
which other predatory bugs had already found the leaf-eating
critters, and had obligingly hoovered up eighty percent of them.

That might be the more logical timeline explanation, be-
cause the plants’ leaves were still every bit as damaged as they’d
been before the timeline shift. If the infestations had never oc-
curred, it would stand to reason the leaves would also reflect
far less damage. That would’ve been awesome, to witness a
garden full of cauliflower plants suddenly restored to their for-
merly pristine blue-green beauty and vitality. It would’ve been
a sparklier miracle for sure, than the somewhat more prosaic
marvel I experienced.

It would have more closely resembled the first example I
gave you, of the already existing mosquito bites on my arms
and legs that disappeared along with the mosquitoes, on that
Mexican beach. In that earlier instance, I received a little tur-
bo-charged boost of divine knowing. Undoubtedly that’s what
helped shift me into a super high-vibrational version of that
beach moment.

Back to the cauliflower leaves, had I been utterly convinced
of the Godliness of all plants, all leaf-eating bugs and myself
alike, my own frequency might have risen to such an extent I
would perhaps have attracted a substantially higher-frequency
slide, or timeline, into my carousel—one in which no harm
had ever been done. As it was, my sincere witness of joint God-
liness fell within the realm of an enthusiastic exercise.

Hey, I’m not complaining about the timeline result I got, by any means.
I’m just saying, there’s always room for improvement.

The next evening I paused before spraying, as I had done
the day before, and felt more deeply into the holiness of all the
bugs and cauliflower plants alike. This time I found the inci-
dence of bugs was nearly nonexistent, lower than it had been
before the infestations ever began.

This example of the cauliflowers may seem trivial (and I sup-
pose it is), but it does point toward a couple of very powerful
clues about the correct response to transgressive actions taken
by ‘enemies out there.’

One: Correctly aligned thought patterns that contain no
trace of enemy consciousness, even while in the midst of taking
physical action to stop aggressors
, bring infinitely more power-
ful results than taking those same actions while perceiving the
other as an enemy.

Herein lies the mystery, or the magic, or the miracle, or whatever
you want to call it, of taking appropriate action while refus-
ing to perceive enemies. Our own higher frequency, stemming
from our more closely aligned action, inevitably must result in
higher frequency outcomes than we could have ever imagined.

Like this one, for instance: As I was finishing with my cauli-
flower chores on that first day of more divinely aligned think-
ing, Steve arrived and remarked that all our tomato plants
seemed to have inexplicably grown about eighteen inches
taller overnight. On closer inspection I noticed they also ap-
peared to be laden with more than twice as many full-size to-
matoes as the day before.

After my second day of divinely aligned cauliflower spray-
ing, the same tomato plants were now heaving with still more
clusters of beautiful plump tomatoes. All told, our tomato har-
vest would now be more than triple the original yields.

In my experience, the knock-on effect of seeing more like
the Creator sees, brings all kinds of exponential, unlooked-
for miracles seemingly out of left field. This was no exception.

Thanks to this higher-frequency timeline, not only did my
cauliflowers thrive, but we would now be enjoying homemade
tomato pasta sauce all throughout the following year.

Which brings us to powerful point Number Two: Maybe this
is how the world gets healed of its many gaping wounds. May-
be this is how climate change is reversed. It seems to me this
lesson can be scaled up to include the world’s most seemingly
intractable issues. If we can take responsibility for the quality
of our own thoughts, mindfully aligning them with divinity
instead, every time we catch ourselves pointing fingers at the
enemies who got us into this mess—who knows.

Maybe that action alone would be enough to pop us into in-
crementally cleaner and healthier timelines. Dimensional pos-
sibilities where ocean plastic, or air pollution, or fracking has
never been a thing. Or at least, far less of a thing. And can you
imagine what other unexpectedly beautiful delights of Nature
might also exist in that somewhat-higher frequency timeline?

Or let’s take it even one step farther. Imagine, if you will,
dozens of people picking up trash on a beach (appropriate ac-
tion) all the while carefully seeing both the trash and those
who discarded it as divinely holy expressions of our shared
Source (appropriate perception). Imagine the potential ripple
effects created by this mindfully intentional combo platter of
divine alignment. Who knows what lovely, life-affirming time-
lines the planet might shift into, if such high-frequency behav-
ior became commonplace among us?

Do you doubt it’s possible? It’s impossible only if you say it
is. You’re a multi-dimensional spark of God-flame, kiddo. You
can do it. We all can.


~ Carrie Triffet, excerpted from The Fricken Map is Upside Down: Notes from a spiritual journey, © Copyright 2019

Find out more about The Fricken Map is Upside Down or buy the book

NEW! True Stories from the Big Chair

week-one-fricken-map

For the rest of this year and most of the next, I’ll be sharing a section each week from THE FRICKEN MAP IS UPSIDE DOWN , my latest book. From start to finish, from my heart to yours. From the big comfy chair.

You’re just in time for week one of this free series. Welcome! So get settled into your own comfy chair, grab a mug of something nice to drink, and read on, for the first two short pieces from the prelude.

(The following content is excerpted from The Fricken Map is Upside Down: Notes from a spiritual journey, by Carrie Triffet © Copyright 2019.)

This is the disclaimer bit

Here is the spot where I declare right up front that I am not a
psychology professional. Nor am I a medical professional. It’s
where I ask you to use your own sovereign wisdom to discern
whether the following book is right for you at this time.

This is also where I ask you to be kind to yourself. To use
common sense. You’re the one who knows you best. The fol-
lowing book contains, among other things, meditation exer-
cises to help you deep-dive into your own emotional, spiritual,
and physical freedom. It offers an approach that is extremely
gentle, yet undeniably badass. Is badass right for you at this
time? Only you can say.

I do know this much: If you’re currently on meds to sup-
press difficult thoughts, feelings or psychological conditions,
this is not the path for you right now. This book champions an
approach that is the opposite of suppression, and the journey
it proposes would therefore not be ideal for you to embark
upon at this time.

If you’re physically ill, see the healing arts professional you
normally would. Follow that practitioner’s advice. And enjoy
this book purely as a window on what can perhaps be. Use
discernment in all cases, please.

Perhaps this book can act as a jumping off point to help
you find great compassion and respect for the uniquely quirky,
massively inconvenient you that you know yourself to be.
Maybe the information contained in these pages will help you
relax into the gift of wholeness. My intention is that this trans-
mission (both energetic and written) will help spark within
you a firsthand knowing of the divine self within.

Disclaimers aside, please enjoy this book. May the adven-
ture of discovery be as wonderfully eye-opening and liberat-
ing for you as it has been for me.

Carrie Triffet
August 12, 2019

————————————————–

Between you and me

I would describe my spiritual evolution over the past three
decades as an ever-expanding (and occasionally contracting)
roller derby of living awareness: Messy. Circular. Highly enter-
taining, yet overall a bit brutal.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe now and then you, too, have
found yourself sidelined on the bench, nursing an injury dished
up with glee by one of your own inner self-saboteurs. And won-
dering why the evolutionary process seems so damn hard.

The short answer is, it doesn’t have to be. The long answer is,
it’s taken me thirty-three years to find the short answer.

As the title and cover suggest, I speak throughout this book
of a spiritual journey. As if we’re actually going from one
place to another, evolving from one state of consciousness
to another over a span of time, in order to reach spiritual
freedom. It isn’t true. The truth of spiritual freedom is always
right here-right now.

But realistically that’s not how most of us experience it. For
most of us, myself included, a certain amount of journeying
from here to there seems essential, before we can know eter-
nally timeless truth firsthand. For most of us there seems to be
stuff in the way that blocks this ‘right here-right now’ know-
ing. And even though it’s pretend stuff, it’s still in the way.

So although a time-based journey doesn’t actually lead to
true spiritual freedom, I’ve personally found the trip necessary
anyway. I wrote this book because my own recent explorations
not only fast-tracked my spiritual journey—they profoundly
cleared the way. As a result, that knowing of right here-right now
truth has sprung to life, and is starting to flourish within me.

This book is, among other things, a real-time chronicle
of my own rather astonishing journey of accelerated transfor-
mation and liberation. Like my other books, it also contains
a number of related teachings interspersed throughout.
Unlike any of my previous books, these teachings adhere
to no established spiritual dogma or philosophy. I’m a free
agent these days.

The transition away from established teachings wasn’t an
easy one. At the time, this process was slow, confusing and
awkward. Some pieces of the established teachings remained
radiantly relevant for me (and do to this day), but try as I
might, I simply could not seem to arrange those individual
puzzle pieces into a coherent picture; I couldn’t seem to expe-
rience for myself the living truth these teachings spoke of. And
yet I could be satisfied with nothing less.

The established teachings are brilliant, of course. And
some people undoubtedly find spiritual freedom by follow-
ing exactly where they lead. Ten years in, I had to admit I
wasn’t one of them.

Eventually I learned to keep only the puzzle pieces I found
helpful and resonant, along the way picking up other, seem-
ingly random pieces presented to me through divine in-
spiration. And thus gradually, piece by piece, I allowed the
(magnificently non-random) jigsaw puzzle of my spiritual
worldview—along with everything I thought I knew about my
self—to be radically reconfigured by a divinely Loving hand.

And funnily enough, I now find myself gazing out upon
the same magnificent vistas described so eloquently by those
established teachings. It’s only the route of travel I took that
seems different.


~ Carrie Triffet, excerpted from The Fricken Map is Upside Down: notes from a spiritual journey, © Copyright 2019

Don’t want to wait a whole year? Pre-order The Fricken Map is Upside Down on Amazon.

THE MIRACULOUS GIFT OF GROUCHINESS

grumpyI used to be addicted to the opinions of others. I took my cue on how to feel about myself or what to think about my day, based on the reactions I got from everybody around me. If someone smiled at me first, I smiled back. (Nice person, upbeat day.)

If they frowned I took it personally, because I was sure it meant that either they were an asshole, or I was—depending on the situation. (Maybe you know what I’m talking about. Maybe you’ve responded to life in this same way once or twice.)

This despite a kick-ass spiritual life in which great wisdom and deep compassion flow quite naturally through me. I know people suffer. I know their responses to life say very little about me, and a great deal about how they perceive their own difficult circumstances. And I genuinely want to help ease that pain somehow.

But. Despite glorious light-filled meditation exercises in which I could feel all these things so clearly…go ahead and cut in front of me in the Starbucks checkout line and watch me go to that lightning-quick place of silent outraged judgment. I’m a jerk, you’re a jerk. Or vice versa.

But this approach to life has become too painful and too pointless to continue.

So lately I’ve been kicking the habit of looking to the behavior of others, to tell me how I should feel about myself, or my day. I decided I want to be truly confident about myself, exactly as I am. I don’t want to wait for anybody else’s approval in order to approve of myself.

Because actually that’s nuts. We all do it, we all take our cue from the responses of others—but it makes no sense at all to do that. Others are all wrapped up in their own forms of self-hatred and pain, and guess what: They are just as preoccupied with looking to the outside world on how to feel about themselves. Why would you want to base your own self-worth and happiness on that?

So I’ve taken serious steps to end my addiction to the reflections I get from others. I’ve checked myself into the most private clinic in the world, you might say—only one doctor, only one patient—and the therapy is to wear a Self-Love patch.

This is not some sort of self-esteem/affirmation thing. I’ve never found that kind of thing to truly work, have you? Not way down deep where it counts.

This Self-Love ‘patch’ goes beyond all that stuff. It releases little reminders of my own stupendously beautiful divinity into my bloodstream every so often throughout the day. Whenever I remember to do it, I pause in what I’m doing, and choose to feel my true identity as God’s love. I witness myself as being composed entirely of the sweetness of holy light. And I feel how fantastically right that feels.

I started doing this because I recognized it’s time for me to stand up confidently strong in my own being. It’s time for me to be of truly loving service to others, in the way my soul yearns to be. I want to be a beacon of strength and light for all.

And yet I know I can’t offer authentic love to others if I’m not feeling it for myself first. Because I can’t give it if I don’t have it—not really.

So I’m pausing to feel my own divine radiance a bunch of times a day.

And as my body-mind slowly gets used to this more truthful self-image, I’m noticing an interesting, unlooked-for side effect: The obsessive need to calculate my worth based on the random reactions of others is becoming far less powerful.

Like, far less powerful.

When somebody smiles at me first, I still smile back and automatically go to that same old happy-place: This is a good day. Nothing much has changed there yet. But here’s what is noticeably different:

Anytime somebody frowns, or is snippy, or in any way harshes my happy-buzz…I seem to bypass my usual reaction and go straight to the recognition that this person is composed entirely of God’s love. They are made of sweetly holy light.

This is not an exercise. It just happens.

(Well, sometimes I react first, and then it happens a few seconds later.)

But then the most heartfelt THANK YOU wells up in me. Thank you for reminding me of who you are in truth. It’s such an honor to hold this reminder for you…until you can remember it for yourself.

And that’s the part that blows me away. I’m totally touched and honored that this person entrusts me with the memory of their divinity on their behalf.

Think of it: Every asshole, every brusquely preoccupied person, everybody who treats you poorly…each one of them is only doing it to offer you the supreme honor of remembering their light for them.

In truth they don’t need the help. In truth, their light is self-evident and known by all. They’re just here to help you (and me) practice holding the reminder of it, so that our own light can shine ever more consciously and beautifully throughout the universe.

What a rich and joyous world this is.

So that’s today’s realization.

I can’t guarantee nobody will just plain piss me off, of course. That could happen. But for all the ones who spark this gorgeous recognition of holy light instead…my gratitude knows no bounds. Thank you.

NOTE TO SELF

secret doorNote to self: There isn’t a single thing I would change about you
Even if I could.

Everybody talks about unconditional love. And it sounds awesome.
It also sounds like nothing we actually know how to do.

How to give love unconditionally to others?
This is how.

When you can sit in the presence of your own darkest shadow
And see all the stuff about yourself that you hate,
Or fear,
All those things you find ugly,
Everything you’re secretly ashamed of…

When you can embrace your own shadow self
Including all its cringe-worthy elements,
When you can say to your darkest self—and really mean it:

‘There isn’t a single thing I’d change about you
Even if I could…
(Yes, I still don’t like the things I don’t like about you. That hasn’t changed.)
But my love for you is way bigger than any of your limiting beliefs,
Way more constant than any of your dreadful behaviors.
My love is bigger than those extra 15 pounds you refuse to lose,
Bigger than the way you snort when you laugh
Bigger than the scars you insist on carrying
From way back when you were little.
My love for you is completely unaffected by all that stuff.
I’m here for you, no matter what.’

This is unconditional love.
And the moment you feel it authentically for yourself, you will instantly recognize
This is the only kind of love that actually exists.
The rest of it is shadow-puppet love.
Placeholder love.
Something to kill time (and relationships) with
Until the real thing comes along.

Be the real thing for your own beautiful self.
This is not a selfish act.
Once you feel the real kind of love for yourself
It becomes clear how to give this gift to others, too:

Feel absolutely no need to change a thing about them.
Let them remain as flawed, as blind or annoying as they want to.
And love them anyway.
It opens you up to a world of joy.

ALL ROADS LEAD TO HOME

compass-roseA couple of years ago while strolling through the walled city of Old Jerusalem, I had a sudden realization:

“I” didn’t exist. I was not the busy person immersed in highly important doings, who I had always assumed myself to be. Surrounded by this noisy tourist throng, I suddenly experienced myself as a vast empty hole, an impartial and impersonal gap through which oceans of stunningly trivial stuff—past lives, present lives—poured forth.

It made me cry.

I’d been a seeker of enlightenment for a very long time. This shift in perception was exactly what I’d been aiming for, hoping for, all along. But the actual experience of sudden identity loss, coupled with the recognition that none of the things I cared about had any meaning at all…well it was more uncomfortable, more disturbing than I’d bargained for.

Part of me knew this realization would lead to the liberation I’d been craving—if I could only manage to hang onto it as a permanent state of awareness. But most of me wanted nothing to do with it. And so the recognition faded as quickly as it came.

I’ve really only ever dabbled in the Advaita Vedanta stream of enlightenment. I’ve watched videos and read books by a handful of excellent teachers, and tried to do as they suggested. Tried to look in the direction they pointed. Tried to figure out who was the “I” who was doing all that looking and trying. But in the end I really wasn’t particularly drawn by the promise of emptiness, or detachment: Too harsh. Too depressing. I wanted some other kind of peace.

And so life led me to the version of nonduality taught by the Everything-Is-One crowd: God Is. Nothing else is real.

It seemed, on the surface, to be an entirely different stream. A completely different road to freedom. It allowed for the existence of divine intelligence, and for unconditional love.

Sure, I would still have to render the world meaningless, and shed the personal identity—but I could do it in a way that seemed a little more happy-clappy. A bit more Kumbaya.

*          *          *

Over the past 10 years I’ve made my home in these more God-centric teachings, and they’ve been wonderful. They do indeed offer a slightly cozier and more comfortable place from which to pursue enlightenment. But I’ve also wandered freely onto other resonant paths, some related and some not. It’s been the combination of all these diverse teachings that seem to have collectively done the trick.

Case in point: In the weeks since divine love has taken up partial residence within (as described in the last post), the most amazing sort of full-circle Advaita-like thing has occurred: Suddenly I recognize the true eternal nature of everything. Without working at it. Without hunting for the “I” who is, or isn’t, busily searching for itself.

I seem to effortlessly see that everything in existence, including my own body-mind, is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Insubstantial puffs of steam—each looking unique and different and utterly believable on the surface—yet so obviously arising out of the one undifferentiated sea of existence from which everything springs.

Yep, that’s the same sea of existence that I previously identified as an empty gaping hole, devoid of identity or meaning. Which seemed so disturbingly freaky two years ago. Two years ago it had all seemed so…unloving.

Because I was so unloving in my witnessing of it. Funny how that works.

Back then, I experienced emptiness through a very startled and reluctant human mind. Yet seen through the gentle eyes of divine love instead, the experience of that empty hole is quite different now than it was the first time around. This time around I like it. The sea of existence, it turns out, is actually pretty cool.

That may sound kind of hard to believe. But trust me, it’s way more fun to bask in that, than to stew in the raggedy old identity I’d always previously thought of as me. I find it both comfortable and comforting now, to enjoy brief visits into my own pristine, limitless nature, where my only identity is that of the eternally holy now moment.

The antics of the personal identity are still here to be enjoyed (or endured) like a rambunctious puppy—but formless awareness is my undeniable home. I haven’t yet brought my overnight bag with me, but I have no doubt where my home lies. Even if I’m only currently staying in it for brief periods at a time. The truth is always true, even in extremely short snippets.

There’s plenty I don’t know. Tons I haven’t realized. Loads of misperceptions that have not yet been released and transformed into light. I certainly don’t claim any special state of being. And if you have any question at all in your mind about whether or not I’m wafting around in an abiding state of rainbow-unicorn-transcendent-awareness…talk to my husband. He’ll set you straight.

But there are some definite things I now know to be true. Beyond any doubt.

*          *          *

Advaita Vedanta is a wonderful path. So is Buddhism, which I practiced for 20 years before that.

And. Speaking only for my own highly subjective self, it wasn’t until I let divine love come and take up residence within, (an effect of following the Everything-Is-One path taught by A Course In Miracles and others) that I was somehow freed up to recognize formless emptiness as the one true underpinning of all existence. I have no opinion on the comparative merits of each of these teachings I mention. I’m not playing favorites here. I’m just pointing out that I haven’t really seemed able to get to those realizations by following any one single path or teaching. I seem to need that blend.

These differing streams have all worked for me in beautiful harmony, like the threads of a tapestry. Squiggly on the backside, but—surprise!—coming together into a cohesive picture on the front.

Maybe that’s just me.

But if my strange and wiggly path rings a bell for you too, then I would offer this advice:

Try not to be insistent about what your path is supposed to look like. Trust in the wisdom of your higher Self, which is always ultimately in charge of the journey.

No matter how random the roadtrip might seem at times…no doubt the universe—and your own experience of its divine perfection—is unfolding as it should.

(Hum uplifting Desiderata choir music here.)

Sooner or later every road leads home, is what I’m saying. Of that much I’m certain.

YOUR BODY IS PERFECT

chakra-expandedThis morning, as is often my habit, in between the tooth brushing and the hot shower, I had a shit. It was an unremarkable shit, really. Hardly worth blogging about. I only bring it up because Steve opened the door unannounced and wandered into the bathroom mere moments after the flush. And as I stood in the shower, I noticed my own reaction. I felt slightly…responsible. Like I’d encroached a little bit on his right to a stink-free existence.

For me, the shower is always a juicy place of divine inspiration. So I went inward and investigated that slightly nonsensical feeling of shame. And then I turned my face toward divine Source for further illumination.

The message that came in response was immediate and direct—and although some of the details pertain to me, it’s clearly addressed to humanity as a whole. So here it is, without added commentary, in its somewhat startling entirety. Enjoy.

Your body is perfect. Your body is an indivisible part of a perfect system of creation, chosen by you. It is not an accidental byproduct of blasphemy.

 You are a unique individuation of the one Creator. At the inception of the soul, each human is gifted with a vertical column of light originating from divine Source. It is part of the non-physical aspect of the human body; the light runs vertically up the center of the physical body structure. This stream of light goes constantly with you, it is yours. It contains the full knowledge of your own individual aspect of divinity, your own true identity, and all the love that heaven holds for you. You couldn’t lose it if you tried—and you have indeed tried. Very hard.

 Your body is also gifted with a system of energy centers, a sacred octave, each one vibrating at its own unique frequency. Everything in your world, your universe, is composed of energy in motion. The body is no exception. Everything is vibration, operating at various frequencies from very low to very high.

 Unconditional love is a vibrational frequency—a very high one. If you want to embody the state of unconditional love (and you say that you do) it is merely a matter of raising your own energetic frequencies high enough to be compatible with it.

 You’ve been rapidly “climbing the ladders” from one frequency level to the next, of late. As a result, you fleetingly experience yourself as an undifferentiated field of unconditional love, indivisibly one with all that is.

 And you are asking: What holds me back from fully embodying the state of unconditional love? What holds me back from releasing the small self and choosing divinity as my true expression on this plane?

 This is it. This is what holds you back.

The body is a vehicle of divinity. It was always designed to be so.

Yes, it has uncomfortable urges, inconvenient needs. It shits, it farts. It ages and breaks down in various ways. It demands sexual or other forms of gratification at inopportune moments. Even so. The body is an intrinsic part of the package. It is your divine vehicle. Your gateway.

 But humanity has never seen it that way. It has instead overlaid a complex system of collective agreements onto the body: The body is dirty. Its requirements of elimination are shameful. Menstrual blood, which is nothing more than the neutral shedding of the uterine lining, is especially taboo in virtually every culture.

 And then there are the agreed upon ideals of physical beauty, and the immense pain of self-abnegation that comes with falling short of that ideal.

 Shame and hatred for your own physical vehicle is deeply woven into the human psyche—and therefore into the cells of the body as well as the vibratory field you emit. If you could only see the eternal magnificence of the body’s true energetic potential, you would clearly recognize the enormity of your error.

 The light of heaven can only be metabolized and brought to earth through a body that has been wholly forgiven by the self, a body that is cherished and recognized as a sacred part of all that is. Even though its shit may continue to stink. Even though it may sprout gray hairs in increasingly unlikely places.

 World religions and cultures have promoted the idea of body shame and hatred, in part as a way of keeping you from discovering your own divinity. Make no mistake: There is no more surefire way of blocking full expression of the divine AS you, than by refusing to witness the body in the truth of its perfection. It is the gateway to heaven on earth. To lock the gate and bar the door is to simply never experience that holy union.

 Do you wish to free yourself of your history, dear one, and unburden yourself of all your negative beliefs about the body?

(Yes.)

Then rest now, in the divine light that I Am. And release every belief you’ve ever held about your own body, positive or negative. Empty out all the misinformation from your cellular memory. Let there be no interpretation at all, of what your body is. You have no idea of what your body is. Remain empty, and let yourself be shown.

(I did this. It felt…very unusual.)

Thank you, dear one. This is a process of letting go, and you have begun it. Your One Self rejoices.

THE TERRORIST IS WITHIN

jailbird-withinThese days I can’t help but notice the vast number of unconscious agreements we all make with each other throughout our lives. We make them between individuals, between families, between nations. Not all of these agreements are bad things, of course; some of them are meant to keep the world running smoothly.

It’s just that these agreements we make are…well…unconscious. Nobody is reading the fine print before signing these contracts. And because we unknowingly sign up for these agreements, we’re unaware we have other options. It all feels like it’s out of our hands. A done deal.

And of course, many of these unconscious agreements are not intended to provide harmony or stability for the good of all mankind. Quite the opposite.

Which brings me to the topic of terrorism. It’s on my radar screen right now because I leave for Bali in a couple of weeks—just as Indonesia is heating up once again as a potential terror target.

The point of terrorism is revealed in the name; no secrets there. A few people can create a very large effect in the world, by carrying out acts designed to shock and traumatize its citizenry. The point of their effort, obviously, is to instill terror.

Except nobody is forced to feel terrified in response. Nobody is forced to feel unsafe, outraged, horrified or angry.

It’s only the unconscious agreement we all signed that says you should respond in this way. That guy over there did something horrifying; therefore I have no choice but to respond with horror. But is that really true? Are there no other options? And is horror really the most appropriate or useful response to a horrifying act?

There are any number of large public institutions and corporations throughout the world today that profit greatly from mass fear. Too many to name, really. (No point in getting angry about that, by the way—we’ve all signed the contracts that allow for it.)

What do you suppose would happen if, one by one, we all sat up, rubbed our sleepy eyes, and then erased our name from those contracts that agree to uphold mass fear? There’s nothing preventing it, you know.

Terror is a two-part agreement: One – Somebody does awful, shocking things.

And Two – You agree to feel terrified. The actual terror happens within you.

This was a pact made innocently, of course. You were sound asleep when you agreed to it. Nevertheless, this is the two-part structure that allows terrorism to work. It’s only through your participation and mine that terrorism is able to make a complete circuit. So when enough of us start withdrawing our consent from that arrangement, the whole structure soon collapses.

You can choose to withdraw your participation and unplug from the terror machine any time you want. Well, that’s what I’ve chosen to do, anyway. I look at the work of ISIS, and I’m not responding to it with fear anymore. So now there’s one less person completing that circuit.

I’m not immune to the invitation to fearfulness that ISIS is sending out. I recognize they’re doing plenty of things I can be afraid of, if I want to be. But I’ve consciously decided not to attend that party. How quickly do you suppose terrorism would fade as a viable tool for world manipulation, if more and more people simply refused to RSVP to that fear invitation?

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Draining terrorism of its primary food is an important start, but it’s not an actual solution. It still implies that there’s an enemy that must be vanquished. So I’m personally going way beyond simply unplugging, because I know how energetic intention and vibration work.

Energetically speaking, the action of unplugging alone still contains the vibration of Us versus Them. It means I’ve found an efficient way of bringing terrorism to its knees—but this vibratory Us versus Them intention is the very thing that keeps the whole unhappy dance of terrorism locked in that same old perpetual motion machine of victim and victimizer, of revenge and one-upmanship.

So for a change, I’m quitting that, and instead trying what truly works: I’m standing up to squarely face the terrorists responsible for the many acts of terrible violence all over the world. And I’m refusing to judge. I simply stand firm as I hold them in my unflinching gaze. And as I face them I consciously radiate the love that I am.

The love I radiate is agenda-free. It doesn’t seek to annihilate any structures or institutions. It doesn’t seek any outcomes at all—if it did it wouldn’t be authentic love. Love sees only the perfection that it knows itself to be. It doesn’t insist that anybody has to change. And that’s a good thing, because trying to force anybody to change never works. Not really.

Authentic love is the technology of the spiritual badass: By seeing no enemies anywhere, love works to unravel fearful mass agreement, and detangles the energetic bonds that hold things like terrorism in place. Don’t ask me how. I just know that it does.

What?!, shouts the mind. No judgment for such terrible acts? Unthinkable!

Yes, I know. The mind doesn’t get it, and it never will. The mind wants you to believe that non-judgment of terrible things makes you a co-conspirator. The mind believes refusal to engage on the same old battleground means you’ve turned your back on the victims, and now you condone, or even applaud the terrible things that terrible people do.

But that just isn’t true. It’s time to put the arguments of the mind aside, because frankly they don’t work. Fighting enemies just brings on more of the same. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Contracts that call for fighting fire with fire can easily be broken.

So forget the arguments of the mind. It’s time for something different. This is a job for the ultimate superhero: The heart. The limitless transformational power of unconditional love is one of those paradoxical things that the mind can’t seem to figure out. But the heart, the very seat of spiritual bad-assery…well it just knows.

So I’m grateful to ISIS, in a way, for this beautiful opportunity that has arisen on my personal radar screen. It gives me the chance to discover more of who I am in truth. More chance to experience the unconditional love that I am, in action.

If spiritual bad-assery is a technology that appeals to you too, I invite you to respond to ISIS with open-hearted, agenda-free love instead of fear. If you’re inspired to join my party of one, feel free to RSVP to this invitation instead of theirs. You know where to find me.

A Tree Grows in Dorset

tree wingsActually, lots of trees grow in Dorset—England is a very green and beautiful place. But this particular tree sprouted only a few nights ago, and it may well be the first of its kind. This is a tree of freedom. A tree of safety for all.

••

Here’s one way of describing the human condition: Each of us lives in our own little fairytale cottage, and all of these cottages are set in a beautiful forest. We all deeply love the forest. Our ancient family roots are there.

But we’re each sealed up in our own little house. There’s no door to the outside. And the windows are coated with the grime of 10,000 years, so no light gets in. We long for a view of the forest, our true ancestral home—but we can’t see a damn thing out those windows.

So we spend all our time looking through magazines, tearing out beautiful pictures of forests instead. And then we tape them up over the windows and pretend the view is real. When those images yellow with age, we tape new ones over top.

It’s just what we do.

And yet it doesn’t satisfy. Magazine pictures don’t smell like a forest. Birds don’t make their home in them. Putting up pictures (an activity designed to alleviate the ache of homesickness) actually makes the pain worse.

I got bored with putting up pictures long ago. I wanted to be able to see the forest outside my window. So over the past few decades I’ve been persistently clawing away at the crackly, yellowed scotch tape that holds those magazine pictures in place. Layer after layer, the old faded pictures were removed. Every so often I would take a break from this activity, and run to a different window—the one in my office, say—and put a new picture up.

It’s a habit that’s very deeply ingrained. It took some concentration and effort to learn how to stop doing it.

In recent years, most of my windows were now no longer covered with magazine images. There was still sticky goo from mountains of ancient Scotch tape around the edges, and a few torn corner fragments still remained here and there. But the false pictures themselves had mostly been taken down.

This didn’t mean I was then able to see the forest outside. All I saw was the impenetrable grime that caused me to put up pretty pictures to cover it up in the first place.

So now I was severely bummed out by the view. Poor me. All that hard work for nothing. My windows were so dark and ugly, and I was no nearer my goal of seeing what was outside. Seemingly.

But of course that wasn’t true. The decision to stop wallpapering over the grime is itself a huge step in the right direction. Taking down old pictures is a necessary start. But what now? I looked around at all my grimy windows and sat down on the floor in a puddle of tears. After I stopped sobbing (a year or two later) I looked up to notice a beautiful, luminous, heavenly gift had been quietly placed by my side.

It was a mop and a bucket.

The window grime was my own. I put it there, and I was the only one who—with divine help—could remove it. It was time, clearly, to get busy and clean my own damn windows.

A funny thing happens when you start to clean your own windows. Even though you’re focused on washing the window glass, the outlines of a door start to automatically appear all by themselves, over there where only a blank wall had been before.

The door was always there. You just couldn’t see it, for all the shmutz on the windows. The light was just too dim.

••

So all this talk about grimy windows (and reappearing doors) is all well and good…but what does that actually mean, to clean your own windows? What does that look like in practical terms, and why bother doing it?

First off, this is why it’s important to attend to one’s own grimy windows before doing anything else: If the world outside my window seems to fall off its collective bicycle—yep we’re introducing yet another metaphor into the mix—gashing its knee and howling with shock and pain, it’s my own wound that actually needs attention first.

I won’t be able to correctly perceive anything about the world’s so-called knee injury unless I’m willing to address my own throbbing knee, right where I am. Because in truth I wouldn’t be seeing a bike wreck in the first place, if I hadn’t first pasted a picture of it on my grimy window. It’s me who needs the paramedics.

Those of us who want a clear window view, bless our hearts, we tend to try and scrub down the outsides of the windows first. Fix the problems we see ‘out there.’ But we’re not on the outside, so we can’t get at them. Besides, in truth the outsides of the windows are sparkling clean. They just look dirty from in here.

Everything depends on cleared perception. Because as long as my windows are grimy and covered with magazine pages, all I’m actually looking at is a picture of a bike accident.

But as my own injured knee responds to my loving attention and care, I’ll be better able to recognize what (if any) action should be taken to help heal the ongoing bicycle mishap that seems to be happening out there. Until my own knee is attended to, outward efforts to fix the pain of others don’t mean a damn thing. Not really.

So I’ve been patiently cleaning my own windows first. Taking responsibility for the distorted lens through which I view myself and my world. And here’s what that means:

I’ve been welcoming in my own stuff, my own uncomfortable baggage. Not necessarily to try and fix it. I invite it in so I can accept it, just as it is right now. All that stuff I dislike about myself—the stuff I judge, the stuff that brings me pain, fear and frustration—I’m not suppressing it, or wallpapering over it anymore.

I’m not fighting with it or denying it. I’m letting all those discarded, rejected bits of myself come back and be seamlessly reintegrated as newly remembered, newly loved and respected parts of my one indivisible self.

I’m cleaning and kissing that infected gash on my own knee, as it were, before even trying to bandage the giant, collectively wounded knee I seem to see out the window. And ever since I started doing that—instead of focusing my attention on the wreck outside—the changes have been profound.

••

It dawned on me not long ago, in one of those spectacularly mundane DUH moments, that instead of working hard to get my own needs met first, and only then helping all others—my spiritual and worldly method of operation up until this point—I could simply focus on meeting the needs of all beings, for the highest good of all.

Why? Because ‘all beings’ includes me. (DUH.)

When the highest good of all is my firm intention, my own highest and best needs for safety, survival, love and all the rest of it, are automatically met—just as everybody else’s are. Not only that… my own life is bound to be that much safer and more beautiful if everybody in it is happy and released from pain, too. Right?

So why wouldn’t I choose to live in this way? What the hell took me so long?

••

A few nights ago I was reflecting on the whole idea of fear. Recognizing that it all boils down to a simple desire for safety. All those terrible things we do, all the awful effects out in the world, are really just cries in the dark. We all just want to feel safe. I just want to feel safe.

And all of a sudden, a shaft of very clear light shone through one of my less grimy windows. And I realized: I can do something about that. For the highest good of all—and therefore for myself.

On behalf of all beings, I open myself to receive the fearful anxieties and terrified emotions of the entire world. All of the pain and misperception, all of the naked hunger for peace and safe harbor—including my own. Bring it. I welcome it all gladly. And let a heavenly recycling plant operate as me, through me, allowing all universal pain and fear to be dissolved, transformed and purified within. And let my smokestacks belch infinite pristine peace and healing back out into the world, for all eternity.

And you know what? When I set that intention, when I agreed to stop screwing around inside the cottage, and finally try my hand at stepping out the door to take on my true job description…my own remaining fears and anxieties melted away. And for that moment at least, I experienced myself as not only being outside in the forest—I was the forest itself.

I am the forest.

Or at least, in practical terms, I’m a single tree—quietly absorbing the world’s pain and fear, and allowing heaven’s divine essence to perfume the atmosphere via my branches, leaves and flowers.

Imagine what the world might be like if lots of people were doing that same thing.

I’m not actually ‘doing’ anything, by the way. It’s all done for me, through me. As me. My only job is to let the process take place. And that’s amazingly easy to do. It’s only the decision to do it, that seems so ridiculously hard.

The world can use a few million-billion more of this kind of tree. Don’t you think?

So let every day be Arbor Day. And if you feel inspired, consider this your invitation to come on outside and rediscover the forest. Smell the fresh air. Dance in the sunlight. And maybe decide to be the fantastically beautiful tree of divinity you were always born to be. For everybody’s sake. For the highest good of all—which definitely includes your own.

— Carrie is the author of 3 books. Her latest, Tastes Like God, will be released July 30, 2015.

A Year without Fear: (IM)PRISONER

open-cageI thought I was done with the war between the sexes. For me, that battle was so, like, 1975.

I am woman, hear me roar, and all that.

I’m not making light of the very serious and ongoing worldwide challenges women face at the hands of men, mind you. I’m just saying that, by and large, it hasn’t been my fight.

Over the decades of spiritual practice, my early gender rage and frustration have slowly given way to genuine empathy for the other half, the hairier half of the human race. Sure, as a global group, they make some seriously appalling blunders based in fear and anger. And the consequences of those actions are never pretty. But let’s face it—the stonefaced and steel-balled ideal of masculinity (as the world defines it) is a nasty bit of business altogether. And trying to live up, or down, to that code of behavior can’t be easy. Most guys, in my estimation, are honestly doing the best they can.

•          •          •

These days, I’m all about the attempt to go home to God with empty hands. And that’s an interesting process. You look down and notice all the useless baggage you’re carrying. The old grudges. The phobias, the various beliefs in limitation.

And as each one comes up for examination, you ask yourself: Would I rather remain scared of this spider, or hang out with God?

Or maybe it’s: Would I rather be disgusted with the banking system/oil companies/government corruption/insert your pet peeve here? Or would I rather spend quality time resting in God?

Because of course you can’t have both, you know. You always have to choose.

So I’ve been agreeing to drop the mismatched set of luggage, piece by piece. Because I’m starting to finally recognize that all the juice, all the peace I crave can only be found in God. And the peace of God is way better than any baggage I currently own, no matter how much I might enjoy carrying it around.

But after the hands are empty of readily visible suitcases…well, that’s when it really gets interesting. Because the other stuff—the bigger stuff—has to go, too. The opinions and behaviors that run so deep, they form your worldview. The ones that are so automatic, so unquestioned as truth that you can’t imagine who you’d be, or what your life would be like without them.

•          •          •

So I was surprised to find myself triggered a bit by all that old gender stuff again recently. Only this time, I was seeing it from completely outside my own frame of reference, as if my spaceship had just landed and I was viewing this aspect of humanity for the first time.

I saw and felt the vast scope of the world’s rage and hatred toward women. And it kind of took my breath away to notice how we, as a species, have all collectively agreed upon the idea that women, simply because we exist, are so scorned, so feared, that we are therefore legitimate targets of violence anytime the opportunity arises. That this is an unfortunate, yet unavoidable fact of life.

By ‘collective agreement,’ I don’t mean to imply that we all approve of this concept, by any means. I would guess that most men, and virtually all women, are appalled by it. But when we fight an idea—when we take karate classes, or choose a jogging buddy, or helpfully offer to walk a woman to her car, we reinforce the solidity of the very structure we rail against. We accept this hatred and control of women as a real and permanent condition, and we plan for it by fighting fear with fear. Rage with rage. And in doing so, we guarantee it will persist as a fact of this world.

I don’t really know why I found all this enmity so astonishing. It certainly isn’t news.

I guess I just personally noticed in full enormity for the first time, that I am not welcome on this planet. And in age-old response, I seem to have been sporting some hella thick emotional armor all this time. I also noticed I never go out walking by myself, and never, ever alone after dark, if I can help it.

So here’s the truly interesting thing about all this: I absorbed that hateful message way back when, without even knowing it. And only now have I suddenly recognized that, in response to this collectively agreed-upon belief in my own vulnerability as a target, I’ve chosen to live my entire life in a self-made prison. The armor keeps me in, a whole lot more effectively than it keeps anything out.

And I don’t go to the park by myself. I rarely walk alone at night. Hell, I rarely do much of anything alone at night, really. Because you never know who might be out there hating me tonight.

Why have I agreed to live this way? Why do so many women choose to live this way?

For every actual attack that takes place, ten thousand other women attack themselves every day by not going where they want to go. Not doing what they want to do. Not feeling free to simply exist, just as they are. Without airbrushing or apology.

We clip our own damn wings.

I suddenly noticed I’ve chosen to live my entire life in a cage that’s no wider than my shoulders. Clipped or not, I’ve never even bothered to raise my wings and try to fly. I don’t even know if I can.

•          •          •

So who might I be without this shoulder-width cage? No idea. It’s very hard to imagine a “me” who is unbound by these constraints. And honestly, it’s even harder to imagine a me who is free of the old, calcified fear and rage that make up the bars of that cage.

But really, who is there to be angry with? The jailer is me.

Nobody in the world has the power to do to me what I freely chose to do to myself. Men are certainly not to blame. And I’m not mad at myself for choosing the cage—not really. I know I did the best I could with the choices I thought I had at the time.

So…am I willing to open my hands and drop this rage I feel at nobody in particular, in order to hang out with God?

Yes, definitely.

Ok, then. Am I also willing to know myself in a completely different way—as somebody who is unconstrained and unafraid to walk the world in safety and confidence in my right to exist?

Ummm…sure?

Yeah. That one’s a little bit easier said than done. Because it’s hard to imagine that which is hard to imagine.

Meaning, the mind can only grasp what it knows from experience. And that kind of fundamental change in worldview is beyond anything this particular mind has ever known.

But I’m willing. And I’m pretty sure willingness is all it takes.

So. How to go about taking a leap beyond where the mind can go? The first step is to believe that you can.

No, seriously. I’m not launching into a song about ants and rubber trees, here. This is important. Significant change comes only when we allow the possibility for it. Prayer without believing that what you’re asking for is possible…is just aimless wishing.

Luckily, I’ve already learned that anything is possible IF I SAY IT IS. This world of dreams is infinitely malleable—and as the collective architects of this dream, we can change the rules on it anytime we choose to. I, as an infinite creator, have that power. And so do you.

So if I can manage to authentically believe it’s possible for me to experience myself as being free of fear, free of rage…hell, just plain free… then it is possible. Even if I have no idea what that freedom actually feels like, or how to go about it, I recognize that it’s possible.

So I’ve been choosing that possibility all week. Feeling it fully, believing in it completely. Claiming it as my own.

Step two: I’ve been stating clearly to the universe that it’s my choice to start walking this earth in confidence, safety and trust. Open and un-armored. And just by claiming the possibility and stating this intention, I seem to have broken free of the collective agreement for fear-based gender control.

(This doesn’t mean all worldly precautions should be ignored now. I still probably won’t lounge around in Central Park alone at midnight, festooned in my most ostentatious diamond jewelry. That would be foolish. But it does mean willingness to learn how to walk in trust and open-hearted forgiveness, seeing the world—and my place in it—with fresh, loving eyes.)

So the collectively agreed-upon structure of gender-based hatred has lost one pillar. I’ve stepped outside the building. Actually, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t me who did the stepping. My job was just to recognize that it’s possible to see another way…and then to make good on that recognition by choosing to release all crusty old fear and blame. That’s where the empty hands come in.

Step three:  Yes, I recognize that it’s possible to release my grip on fear, hate and rage. Because anything is possible. EVERYTHING is possible, including this. I can know myself without fear, without hate for my so-called oppressors, even though I can’t yet picture what that’s like. So I open my hands now, and because it’s possible to do, I agree to let these old beliefs and old protections slip through my fingers and be gone forever.

And once I’ve let my attachments to the old hatred slip away…hello, Step Four: I can then ask to be airlifted higher than my current perception would allow.

As far as I can tell, this method seems to be working. The view seems a bit different up here.

•          •          •

Yes, sometimes major shifts really can be that easy. Airlifting is my new preferred mode of travel.

But be warned: This method of release is accomplished without drama. Without plumbing the depths to revisit old pain. I let it all go without examining every injustice I suffered, every wound inflicted, in an attempt to find resolution and healing.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when that kind of excavation is very appropriate. But take it from me, because I’ve done it both ways: Hard work and pain take a whole lot longer than simply letting yourself be lifted. And they’re way less fun.

WAY. Less fun.

So this is my heartfelt advice, if it interests you: Take the quick and scenic route. Let your liberation unfold in a way that’s free of agony. Stop rolling boulders uphill, and let yourself be lifted instead. Four easy steps. Really. That’s all it takes.

If you’re anything like me, and your wings don’t work so good yet…divine helicopters are standing by.