Articles, Caroline Sutherland

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Taking the Leap of Faith and Reaching for the Higher Octave

By: Caroline Sutherland

It’s spring time – time to spring into action. Take the leap of faith and follow your heart. What do you really want to do? When it is time and the soul prompts us to move on or to move forward, we must be ready to take the ultimate leap of faith. We need to align with the universe that has something bigger in mind for us. This takes courage.

The healing journey, like the life process, can be unbearable and challenging at times. To stay in gratitude when life is falling apart, to develop trust in the unknown, to be positive when in pain and to stay calm and present when there is nowhere to turn, takes great discipline and mastery. The rewards for this discipline are great.

When we release great chunks of anger, resentment, and bitterness, the real gift is that our meditations become deeper, sweeter, and more revealing, and we develop more compassion and understanding in our hearts. As a result, the facets of our individual diamond personalities are finely polished - emitting light, radiance, energy, and love that have far reaching effects.

I feel blessed to have many inspirational role models who have showed me by their writings and teachings, how to stand firm and to persevere in the face of challenge.

For me (and for many) the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibetan people and Buddhists worldwide, is one such role model. In his book The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World (Doubleday 2009) the Dalai Lama points out that all human suffering is the result of our expectations and consequent disappointments when we realize that life is beyond our control. The pursuit of gain to avoid loss, pursuit of pleasure to avoid pain, focus on praise in order to avoid criticism, or the seeking of acceptance rather than experiencing obscurity, keeps us in this wheel of struggle.

The Dalai Lama explains that discipline, spiritual practice, and a compassionate heart are the only ways to liberate us from this cycle. Surely if this man, whose people (and himself) have suffered so much adversity, can look at things positively, we, who have suffered so little by comparison, can do the same.

It is not just the legendary role models who motivate me. Just when I am dwelling on a certain difficulty, I see a person in a wheelchair, or someone with far greater challenges than I would ever have to face, and this brings me back to the realization that I have so much to be thankful for.

It’s hard to be perfect. Like you, I have my moments when I am at my worst. At such times I draw on the inspiration of Mother Teresa and the way that she was able to look at each sick or dying person with eyes of compassion and the soul of a saint. That’s quite a tall order, but surely I can look at someone or a situation with new eyes if I can reach for the higher octave. Mother Mary, the divine mother, is also an inspiration to me. Often the image and the presence of Mother Mary will be there to comfort me when I feel alone or confused.  I just imagine her beautiful, soft, steady, loving presence and her blue robe surrounding me. That image alone can settle me right down.

The master Jesus can also be a powerful inspiration. When looking for answers and direction, this presence, which is felt by people worldwide, can be a life-changing model.

Who were these people that they could be so loving and so compassionate and so spiritually aware, despite their own personal circumstances?  What role models for the rest of us who are still so self-possessed?

A friend of mine, who was having a particularly stressful time in his life, went into a small church to pray. This place had always felt peaceful and comforting to him and after he had knelt at the altar for a while, he turned to walk out of the church. On his way, in the dim light, he noticed two homeless men curled up asleep on the pews. He thought about waking them up and sending them out. But something made him stop and consider what Jesus would have done in this situation. Jesus, he felt, would have let the men sleep. My friend walked out of the church knowing that he had done the right thing.

When we draw on the strength, wisdom, and guidance of these spiritual masters, this helps to elevate our own level of personal self-mastery. Through this process we find our own inner voice.

Several years ago, I had the unique opportunity of working in a beautiful heritage church. It was set in a little cove at the edge of the ocean, surrounded by trees and a lovely garden. Inside the church there were dark wood beams, red carpets, and ornate stained-glass windows. It was a very popular location for weddings; but for as many brides that walked up the aisle, there were just as many coffins that were carried down. Working at a church gave me the opportunity to witness the very dramatic and transient nature of life. As I saw these important chapters unfolding before my eyes, I realized that life is too short to waste. This experience continually forced me to reset my inner compass and focus on what mattered.

As we take the true journey – the journey within from the ego to the soul, there are many hills and valleys.

The day I finished writing my first “The Body Knows” book I received word that a friend of mine had died. She was not an elderly person but for many years she had disregarded her body’s signals.

I cannot profess to know the mysteries of life but in my opinion, there are three kinds of death. One is the timely death, where the person passes naturally on to the next realm after living a full life on this plane. Another is what I would term a catalytic death where the person is plucked before their time and placed in the hands of the Creator with no advanced warning, leaving those behind to ponder the meaning of such an event. The catalytic death, if it is to have value, is to push or motivate someone who has been impacted by this loss, to make a significant contribution to the world.

A needless death is the slow, chronic, crippling, cell-by-cell demise of so many people who choose not to heed the wisdom of the body. Like a tree in the forest, my friend fell long before her time.

To all of you who wish to see the fruition of your own dreams, keep yourselves healthy. Call upon your intuition, your inner guidance, and your body’s wisdom to keep you on track. Let this instinctive part of you show the way to all the right choices that will help you to shine and spring into action as you give your “whole spirit to life.” 

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