Take Charge of the Swing

It’s so easy to swing, letting our thoughts and emotions take us wherever they want. Up down, back and forth. We seem to be helpless over them. Of course, this is only true because we so completely identify with the thoughts streaming through our heads, because we so completely identify with the emotions triggered by the thoughts that seem to happen totally on their own.

I wake up in the morning and my body feels achy and I think, “Oh, I haven’t been taking care of my body. I shouldn’t have had that second margarita last night or eaten those chips filled with chemicals and gluten.” Instantly I feel upset with myself. Dissatisfied, not only with how my body feels but also now I have confirmed in my own mind that something is “wrong” with me.  It’s my fault my body feels this way. I am lazy and careless, undisciplined and self-indulgent.

Following this chain of feeling/sensing, thought and emotion, within minutes of waking up I am now in a thoroughly unhappy mood. Disgruntled, I stomp to the kitchen and instead of drinking water, I make a cup of coffee to “give myself a little something” to try to shift my mood. I take my coffee to the computer to drink and end up reading a bunch of posts on FaceBook—soaking up the political discontent and social angst of the nation through the perspective of my friends.

Now I’m running late and decide against doing my morning yoga and instead start right to work—a decision that only strengthens the pain in my body. And I wonder, by the end of the day, why I reach for the Tequila bottle once more?

But I am not my thoughts. I am not my emotions. They move through “me,” flavoring the moment. And they have impact only when I let them define me. When I take them seriously. When I adopt the stance that “This is how it is because my mind tells me it is so.”

Here’s how to quickly turn the tide and take charge.

That voice in your head? When it speaks, treat it like an unpleasant, over-opinionated, bigoted neighbor—someone you’d never listen to in a million years. When it yaps at you, “You’re so irresponsible (or some similar clap-trap), ignore it. Take charge. Step in immediately. Notice where the thought is coming from (in this case, dissatisfaction with how the body feels.) Realize it is simply a default position thought—an automatic message from the brain like an auto-respond email into your inbox.

The thought has NOTHING really to do with youIT IS SPAM … unless you accept it.

If you open that mental email and get caught up in the message, you’ve lost control. And the way the mind and body work together,  the way thoughts and emotional reactions get entangled, who knows where that initial SPAM MESSAGE will end up taking you?

WHAT TO DO

  • Notice the incoming message. (By noticing you’ve already moved into the Observer position in your brain and disentangled yourself from the SPAM message and any emotions it might trigger)
  • Realize where it’s coming from and recognize that it is SPAM
  • Then deliberately create a new thought. Something like “Oh, yeah. I bet I feel this way because of that second Margarita and all that gluten last night. I’d better drink a quart of water and do my yoga to clear out the effects.”
  • Act on the new thought.

The trick with thoughts and their concomitant emotions is to TAKE CHARGE and jump on them right at the outset before the juggernaut is set into motion.

But even if you don’t jump on them at first, it’s never too late to step into the Observer position and put your thoughts in their proper place. Don’t let coming late to the party be the excuse to keep drowning!

 

 

The Choice Is Clear

There’s nothing worse than dithering over a decision. Whether it’s which house to buy or what to wear in the morning, which paint color to go with or which lawyer to hire to save your um … bacon, choices can paralyze the best of us.

The MIND wants to take over. It prompts us to makes lists with PROS and CONS on each side of the page. But is this really the best way to make an important decision? NO!

Studies show that the world’s greatest leaders, entrepreneurs and artists go with their gut. Sure, they take the facts into consideration. They do their due diligence. But then they LISTEN to what their body is telling them.

Your body is your greatest ally. It is an energy device—an energy “reader.” It knows what’s what with your subconscious mind, your conscious intention and the information flow of existence all around you. It knows the fastest path to reaching your goals, your hopes and your dreams.

So when you’re up against a tough decision, here’s what to do:

  • Satisfy Your Mind – Do the research necessary, get all the facts, go ahead and weigh your options. If you don’t do this step, your mind will never leave you alone with your decision.
  • Set aside all the facts and ask your body – Take a deep breath. Close your eyes and ASK your body: which path shall I take? Which door should I open?  If it helps, imagine your choices one at a time. As you imagine doing or having one choice, stop and register how you feel. Is your body happy? Does it feel calm? Light? Expansive? If so then you’ve got your answer!

The option that makes you feel lightest and most expansive is always the right choice—even if it looks like it’s taking you in exactly the wrong direction. Trust your feeling sense. The body is part of the universal matrix of information. The energy may be pointing you south when you want to go north because if you go (illogically) south, you’re going to meet someone or discover something that will make your trip north SO much easier/better/quicker/happier.

Your body is an energy system that reads the energetic messages (information) from the universe. Not your mind. Your mind can later interpret the energies. But it’s the body that is the most trustworthy guide.

Holy Moly Maui!!!

Just booked my ticket back to Maui—a one-way ticket I might add.  And nobody in the world is more shocked about it than I am.

Sure, I’ve  always espoused “follow your heart” as the only way to go in life. And I’m not backing down from that well-earned truth now! But really? I’m moving to the most isolated land mass on the planet?

Visiting a dear friend on the island this spring was a “why not?” decision. I’d never been to Hawaii. I’d always figured, “If I’m going to get on a plane and fly across 2600 miles of ocean, why go see more of the US? I should go somewhere really cool—like Finland.”

Europe, South America, Asia, India, Africa, Russia—they all called me to come visit. But Hawaii?

Nope.

And now, after four weeks living in what most people would call “paradise,” I’m selling all my worldly mainland possessions and headed back there to live. And it’s not because Maui is paradise.

Frankly, I’m not even sure it is.

It rains. A LOT. And after 25 years living in the soggy Puget Sound region of Washington State, rain is something I’m looking to avoid. I detest high humidity and Maui is hot and muggy in the lowlands and cool and muggy upcountry. There are mosquitos. The tourist traffic is horrible. The roads are … interesting. And Costco and Walmart are my best bets for affordable shopping.

Then there’s the small fact that the island is smaller than the COUNTY I currently live in. Will I get “Island fever?” Who knows??? I rarely leave my county of residence, after all—unless it’s to get on a plane to go someplace else. And I can readily do that on Maui.

So, if Maui has so many apparent drawbacks, why go live there?????

The island is an energetic match. I’ve been looking for this energy space for years.

All the driving and house-hopping I’ve done through California, Arizona and New Mexico this last 15 months looking for the next place to live has drawn an energetic  blank. And then POWEY—Maui has the delicious sweet gentle powerful magnetic spacious untethered Earthy Goddess energy I’ve been looking for.

I want to incorporate this energy. In-corpor‑ate it. Embody. I want to roll around in it. Eat it. Bathe in it. Luxuriate in it and see where it takes me. I haven’t a clue about anything else. But this is the clue for the NEXT STEP.

And that’s all that’s necessary

ADVENTURE!

Life is first and foremost an adventure. Even the word’s ancient Latin roots reveal the excitement it portends: Advenire—”to come into” …

Come into what? That’s the question! What have we come into here on Planet Earth?

We think we know. Never mind (as Alice discovered upon piercing the Looking Glass) we really haven’t a clue. Alas—our educated minds make this extraordinary place called LIFE so very very boring—a humdrum “I know what’s going to happen” event down to our coffee choices and what the receptionist at the front desk says every morning.

… missing the whole point of this place.

At the moment I’m on the island of Maui. A true paradise. Even the Costco here is an adventure filled with unexpected things! The early morning catch of local fishermen goes straight to the back loading docks. Exotic foods (to my mainland eyes) grace the shelves—Poi, Luao Luao pork, Ono—people’s tanned smiling faces everywhere behind their booty-laden carts.

The island is saturated with individuals like Jack Fischer—a little wizened gnome of a man in khaki shorts and muck boots, pruning back the Costus Comosis (Red Tower Ginger) bordering the property he lives on.

“Came here in ’71 with two guitars and a knapsack,” he cackles. “Walked away from a fancy corporate job and a big house filled with art and furniture, swimming pool, two cars … the works.”

For 47 years he’s adventured his way through life on this one tiny island in the middle of the ocean—the most isolated land mass on the whole planet. And he’s anything but bored.

“Started one of Maui’s first newspapers, I did,” he says proudly, blue eyes sparkling. “Ran it for years.”

Then he got into real estate. Then he got into farming. Then he became an Ashtanga Yoga instructor. Then he built a house for some investor high in the hills of Kula, living on the guy’s property overlooking the south shore in a tiny shack he renovated—the place he lives in today—all the while playing his guitars in a surf-rock band called the Sound Waves.

Collecting adventures.

It’s what he does for a living.

What about you?

 

What Comes After Driven?

Check out the charioteers!

That’s exactly how I’ve felt the past few years … In fact, this picture shows how I’ve felt most of my adult life. Driven. Driving. Racing. Going …

Nowhere apparently.

I thought I was going somewhere. Especially last year when The E Word came out. Yes! I’m on a mission! Feel the wind in my hair! Feel the whip! Feel the burn!  Yessssss!

Ouch.

Truth be told, the same energy applied even during the decades of meditation and spiritual pursuit, granted in a less manic form. Man, I wanted to GET THERE! I wanted enlightenment and Truth practically as much as I wanted air to breath. And by damn, I was going to find them. Ahead of everybody else I knew, if possible!

Now, having flipped completely out of all these sweaty, exhausting, demented delusions (attaining enlightenment, saving the world with my books and amazing insights), it’s like, “Now what?” What do I do now that I’m not driven by my own self-importance anymore? Sure—I want to eat and live nicely. But after the simple basics are handled, what then?

I haven’t got a flipping clue. Maybe just handling the simple basics and taking deep satisfaction with every moment granted me by life, making choices that make me, the world and others a little happier and wiser, is enough.

Ha! Maybe it is. Maybe it is.

Angels on acid

The Great Being of Light that came to me all those decades ago in my condo in Atlanta – she’s been waiting. The Angel of Glory that I AM whose light has always been and always will be, has been patiently waiting to be consciously expressed on this “material” plane.

Not waiting to be channeled through Cate Montana.

Not waiting to be embraced as my “higher self.”

Not waiting to express Herself “through me.”

Waiting to express Herself on this material plane.

To hear a human being write this or say this sounds like pure madness. Like a human running amok, filled with the grandiosity of her own existence and where she thinks she can go and what she can be.

But I am not human.

Sigh.

Another statement that sounds quite mad.

 

NEWS FLASH: We’re all angels tripping our asses off

The thing we’re tripping on is the belief that we are human. The next thing that trips us up is the belief that this human structure can “get it.” That Cate can somehow learn to be great enough and big enough and PURE and HOLY enough to facilitate SPIRIT. That once I accomplish all this purification stuff I can then “download” and “channel” higher dimensions and angels and ascended beings.

Talk about going around your elbow to get to your own ass. Why bother being an “I” who can channel higher dimensions and beings when the higher dimensional being I already am … um … well, I already am?

OMG – It’s SO freaking subtle and so freaking omnipresent: this belief in our humanity. Our belief that our humanity somehow has to rise to the challenge of being everything it already is and yet is not.

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Answers versus liberation

Wow! I entered 2017 on a tidal wave of answers. I know who I am! I know what I’m doing! I know where I’m going! Simon & Schuster just published my book about the ego and enlightenment. I know what I’m talking about! Follow me!

If you have followed me (as in social media), you’ve had a front row seat watching the whole thing implode. Yeah, I do know who/what I AM. And it’s NOT Cate Montana! But so what? What good is the knowledge if it doesn’t translate into a better all-round life in the body for the illusionary yet still around, all-too-prone-to-suffering persona that’s left holding onto the flesh bag?

I thought I was going to sell books, stand on stage, talk and teach classes. I thought I was going to be amazing and inspirational and make money. I didn’t anticipate living in an RV in the desert, cleaning toilets, changing sheets and watering plants in exchange for accommodations.

Sure, I stood on stage, gave some talks and sold some books. I was probably even inspirational a few times. But life knew that wasn’t the real gig this year. Hell, even I knew there was more afoot than that.

You see, underneath all my dreams of being a published author and grand spiritual teacher helping uplift the planet is the bigger, deeper, more pressing dream: LIBERATION

Freedom from suffering. Freedom from worry and all concerns … freedom from the illusion that people and the planet require saving … HA! The kind of freedom that doesn’t arrive just because you’ve got a book, a great sales funnel, a “Spiritual Teacher” bio and a nice house with mortgage payments you can afford.

I haven’t walked into that kind of liberation yet. (Or even the other kind!) And “I – Cate” never will. Hmmm. At least I don’t think the Cate persona can be that free. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the persona can thin until it’s as transparent as glass—maybe it can stretch to become as all-inclusive as forever—all-encompassing in Oneness.

Isn’t that what entering the transpersonal realm of consciousness is all about? Isn’t that what I said in my book?

Isn’t it time I discovered the answer?

If there’s one thing I’ve gotten in touch with this year, it’s the vast distance between having answers and having questions and where the difference will take me. Answers are great. They’re comfortable as hell. But they’re just temporary stepping stones.

It’s the questions that set me free.

 

I Have Not Arrived

I conducted an interview with a friend and well-known author/teacher the other day on my FB Live show, Egotrippia (www.facebook.com/egotrippia). He’s written an intriguing new book and I wanted to talk with him about it.

The interview went smoothly except for one thing: It wasn’t an interview.

Let me preface what I’m about to say by saying this: When I’m being interviewed about my book The E Word (or anything else for that matter) I have an agenda. I have a message I want to convey and deliver. The show host interviewing me can rarely get a word in edgewise as I do so.

Having the tables turned on me was a revealing experience.

After my introduction and initial question, my friend took the reins—which was fine. What he had to say was fascinating, and several points he made raised some interesting questions. But I couldn’t get into a dialogue with him. After the show was over, I even received a critical comment online from one of his fans about even trying.

This experience comes hard on the heels of the death of a dear friend, public speaking coach and fellow spiritual teacher, Robert Rabbin.

Robert was one of the fiercest advocates of questioning the spiritual status quo—especially the status quo of ones’ personal spiritual beliefs—I’ve ever met.

His life’s motto might well have been Onwards! Keep going! Don’t stop inquiring! If you’ve reached the point where you absolutely know what God is, what reality is, who YOU are, and what THE Truth is, stick some dynamite up your ass and light it.

Keep going.

The juxtaposition of Robert’s fluid spiritual example and my friend’s message-driven (and thus static) interview, has reverberated through my own message-driven (and thus static) life.

We all want answers … desperately we want answers. So, we turn to gurus and books, YouTube videos and spirit guides for inspiration, insight and guidance.

But …

Outside answers from outside sources—I don’t care how credible—are the fingers pointing at the moon and not the moon itself. They’re out there in the Storyland of Our Humanity. They aren’t deep enough, resonant enough, transformative enough, fluid enough, glorious enough, outrageous enough. Real enough.

When Truth finally reveals itself from within, it’s unspeakable. Universal. Unbelievably obvious and ever so humbling. When Truth finally reveals itself, all we can do is laugh … at the world, at teachers, at StoryLand philosophies, fingers, moons, and most especially, ourselves.

When Truth finally reveals itself from within, wonder of wonders, we realize there is even more to know and to discover. And more and more and more.

My own guru, Sadhguru, founder of Isha Yoga, after three Awakened lifetimes admits he has maybe understood 1/billionth of what’s going on in this Creation. One billionth!

 So, tally ho seekers of Truth! Let’s keep marching on.

New (Age) Dirty Word(s)

Language is limited at the best of times and downright crippled when it comes to certain topics—like God, existence, and Truth. If there were 10,000 times more words in the English language, we still wouldn’t be able to explain those “things.”

See what I mean?

Words, just can’t hack it. The finger pointing at the moon is not the moon.  Unspeakable is unwordable.

Which doesn’t keep us from trying. A lot of words have been used to explain God, existence, and Truth. Hell, I’ve used most of them. In the process, I’ve discovered that some words work better than others. And some don’t work very well at all.

Take the word, “spiritual.” Nowadays, if I say, “I am a spiritual person,” everybody I know nods in agreement. And yet they also nod when I say, “Everything is spirit.”

But if we really believed (or better yet, understood) what the statement “Everything is spirit” actually implies, we would never say things like “I am a spiritual person.” Why? Because, if everything and everyone is understood to be made of spirit, the word “spiritual” can no longer be used to qualify and distinguish one thing or person over another. It can’t be used to indicate that someone is better or more evolved than another.

It can no longer be used to divide us into separate camps. (Ahem)

And light. Ahhhhh yes … Light.

Going to the Light. Dancing in the Light. Praying to the Light. Beseeching the Light … it’s like taking a sword and cutting ourselves in half. And it doesn’t just cripple us. Bowing down to the Light is the ultimate in sexism!

The Light has long been associated with the yang, masculine element of Creation. Lauding the Light and spurning the Dark sets up the yin/feminine/Earthly aspect of life as the fall guy—the enemy keeping us from knowing God and walking through the Pearly Gates of Heaven.

It divides our Holy selves, pitting one aspect of God against another aspect of God, setting up and perpetuating the whole good/evil game: The Greatest Story on Earth. Now playing everywhere at a theater near you.

And then there’s the word “quantum.” Jeez … let’s not even go there!

You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Here I am, merrily tripping along on the coattails of 36 years of intense introspection, thinking I know where all the buttons and dead bodies lie.

Writing a definitive text about the ego, (and having a great agent and publisher to go with it) everything in my life was sewn up tight. What else was left to do?

Sell.

Get out there and SELL THE BOOK.

And yet I’d put everything I had into The E Word. What else did I have to give people?

I refused to simply regurgitate the material. BOR-ing. And I was revolted by all the frantic New Age sales hype surrounding the apparently endless flow of well-meaning-but-derivative vanilla pudding “teachings” that pass for wisdom being shoveled out to women and men desperate for substance and real change.

Which is why I’ve been on the road for over seven months, following the sometimes vague sometimes definite inner impulses opening me up to new ways of thinking and being re: my life and books, delving deep to see what I actually have to offer people other than, “Please, buy my book. I promise you’ll be glad you did.” Read More