Monday, June 4, 2018

Opening Channels

Have you ever purchased a new car and suddenly, out on the road, you see many others of the same make and model? They were always there; you didn't notice before. What about when you look up the definition of a word you’ve never been quite sure of (or a completely new word); soon, you’re seeing that word everywhere, wondering how many times you lazily passed it by, missing out on a nuance, a broader understanding.
The universe is like that. What I mean is, the universe is full of infinite information, endless frequencies. And being open to the channels the universe offers can be a matter of free will, of choice. It’s what spiritual leaders talk about when they talk about presence (“It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.” --Eckhart Tolle); it’s what Christians might mean when they say "Let go, let God." You may have heard someone talk about “putting a problem out into the universe,” or about positive and negative energy. So which is it: energy? God? Space? The power of our own minds? Why can’t it be all of those, or something else altogether, if it means something to you?
It’s been a surreal time for me, for a variety of reasons. A matter of getting through day by day, week by week. The main event: I lost my mother, the rock of our family. My rock. I woke up the other morning with a problem, having slept too little, and my desire to talk to her was so strong, it took my breath away. I have felt grief in the weeks since she’s been gone, but this was primal, adrenaline-filled, intense. It was like wanting water, food, safety.
To me, the universe is atoms and molecules, carbon and nitrogen, the air we breathe, everything that goes in and out of our bodies, humanity and every other living and non-living thing. No new matter is being created; we’re all in the same stew and have been from the very beginning. To me, the universe is God and His essence, love: “God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4:16)” To me, the universe (and particularly, our individual, immediate orbit) is the energy we give and receive, and there’s choice in that too. And now, to me, the universe is also my mother, her physical form distilled around me in the air I breathe, the thoughts I choose to think. She is present now, everywhere. Her strength. Her advice, which is still there if I become still and listen.
We can open our channels by choosing to absorb what’s around us with our senses, with our minds. Watch, listen, smell, taste. Notice and make associations. I believe the universe operates on some basic principles of balance, so if you make the effort, the universe will show up for you. Every time. And so I put my problem out there, let go, opened up. I heard my mom telling me to breathe, to give myself time, to consider calmly, as she did. I had my tea. I calmed down. The day continued. A passage in a book struck chords. Something arrived in the mail, like a signal. A friend called. I remembered something I had forgotten, useful information. I went out for a run and noticed everything: the jacaranda leaving purple pathways, the strong muscles in my legs, holding me up and propelling me forward. My iPod knew exactly which songs I needed to hear. When I reached my street, I noticed a man sitting in his car, praying with his hands folded against his chest, like a child.
Your universe is your own business. Call it what you will. But never doubt the power of a calm, focused mind, the resonance of a wise loved one, the charge you can get from positivity, from love. My universe is telling me all sorts of things these days, when I choose to notice, if I’m smart enough to tune in.


  1. I like the way you put this ... the universe is also my mother, her physical form distilled around me in the air I breathe ...
    I feel that way, even though my mother has been dead for 30 years.

    And yes, if we tune in, we notice all sorts of things.


"As soon as we express something, we devalue it strangely. We believe ourselves to have dived down into the depths of the abyss, and when we once again reach the surface, the drops of water on our pale fingertips no longer resemble the ocean from which they came...Nevertheless, the treasure shimmers in the darkness unchanged." ---Franz Kafka