And Suddenly…

What is Transformation? For me it is moving from one state of consciousness to another. It doesn’t happen automatically, although when it happens it might seem like a sudden miracle. We suddenly feel awake. We see the world and ourselves differently. Maybe that’s why Buddha said, “I am Awake” when he was asked who he was.

It might seem like all of a sudden you are on a higher plane of ideas, that you are thinking about things or experiences differently. You might be suddenly healed. You might amaze yourself in all that you have become SUDDENLY.

I saw so many of our participants go through transformations on this Sacred Journey. I saw some who stretched their emotional envelope. They were able to express themselves deeply like they never had before. I saw some who stretched their physical envelope to the point that if I looked back to previous journeys, I would think that I was looking at a totally different person now. They had transformed.

But, what I know is that it didn’t happen suddenly. I didn’t suddenly become the thinker that I am today that could be at peace in the midst of chaos. Some of the physically challenged journeyers weren’t suddenly able to meet the physical challenges they did during this journey that they never could have conceived of previously.

Those of us who transform our lives go through moments, days, years of twists and turns, a journey of denials resistances and acceptances. It can be a journey of running away and then running toward; a journey of staying the same and jumping into a new way of being with faith. Each of these twists and turns was and is a choice.  Transformation is a choice.

During the Sacred Journey, I performed my one-woman show about my Italian Family and my relationship with my domineering father. Someone asked me what it was like to perform it after all this time. Was I a different person than when I wrote it in 2003 and how did that affect my performance? I can say that I had transcended my experience and it was like someone else telling a story about the me that was. I was transformed by my own choice.

On the Sacred Journey one of the things that we ask and I think this is good for everyone to consider, is to own our choices.. Do we own the choices we make or do we point outward and blame others? Do we own the choice that we might not be ready to make a certain leap or do we just say it is impossible to change or that’s just the way we are? Are we willing to accept that there might be more than we are experiencing? We are all where we are and we are all God discovering Itself.

Transformation is a choice and it isn’t always easy. In fact, when the Swami at the Hindu Monastery said that the spiritual path was difficult, I finally got this. I understood that he wasn’t talking about struggle, but he was talking about discipline. It is difficult to raise oneself above this world of conditions and refuse to be overcome by race consciousness.  Will we repeat the same mistakes over and over again or will we rise above them and do something different? Are we willing to believe something different? Are we willing to trust the Principle of Life that lives through us? Are we willing to embrace the idea that we have a Power so great that nothing is impossible for us? It is and always will be a choice.

Going back over this week of the Sacred Journey, I am in awe of what transpired, from our moment with imminent death during the Missile Alert, to being healed by horses, to watching people go deep into themselves, to feeling the inspiration and passion of the Sacred Earth Choir, to doing my one woman show in a state of exhaustion when all I could do was to rely on Spirit, to finally taking in the sacredness of the Wailua River and letting go of life as we knew it and being reborn.

I have to say, I am transformed. Not because something happened to me during the ballistic missile strike or any of the activities, but because I met myself during the journey and I realized what I was made of.

Choice is inevitable or we would not be individuals. We get to choose what we believe. We get to choose how much of God we want to embody. We get to choose to have faith when things seem impossible. We get to choose to live in fear or to know that we don’t have to point outward to others for our safety, but only to take care of ourselves and our fellow brothers and sisters when called upon. We get to choose to give up our stories and live as the Divine beings that we are.

I believe that I do not have time anymore to be small or to get caught up in smallness. I do not have time to lament about what I didn’t get from my parents or what kind of health issue I might have or what I did or didn’t get from my divorce or ex-husband. I am a Powerful individual. I am God, and I get to live as much of God as I choose to live. I get to decide to transform my life in every moment – experience by experience.

Do I believe I am God? It all comes down to that one question? If I do then I would know that I live in a perfect Universe. As Ernest Holmes wrote, if it weren’t perfect, it couldn’t exist for one moment. If I am not Perfect God, Perfect Man/Woman, Perfect Being, I couldn’t exist for one moment. I do exist and so do you and we continue to exist at the level at which we believe ourselves to be.

If we are doubting our power or the reality of who we really are, I invite us to take in the words of Swami Sadasivanathaswami when asked if he thought he was God, “If God is everywhere and I am somewhere, then there.”

It is a choice to take that in and contemplate it deeply and with that choice and contemplation I know transformation of a whole life takes place. Fear falls away, Joy is embodied, and nothing is impossible.

Love and Aloha,

Rev. Rita


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