Host: Sheryl Glick
Guest: TJ Woodward
In today’s episode of “Healing From Within”, your host Sheryl Glick, Reiki /energy practitioner-teacher/medium and author of The Living Spirit, shares intimate stories of spiritual awakenings, spiritual communication healing energies, miracles and ways to go within to access intuition and Self. Sheryl welcomes TJ Woodward author of Conscious Being, a compelling resource for those seeking self-actualization and a connection to a natural condition that many people are now becoming aware actually exists within each of us.
TJ Woodward shows us how the circumstances of our lives and what we call reality are created by our level of consciousness. We will discuss methods for unlearning and releasing self limiting beliefs/ the illusion of ego, so we can come into alignment with an existence overflowing with compassion love and purposes. TJ Woodward is a spiritual author, speaker, awakening coach and addiction counselor and the founder of Awakened Living in San Francisco. He is also the host of Awakened Living TV and Awakened Living Radio.
TJ was very impressed and moved by his friend, Mary Helen.
Mary Helen’s Seven Spiritual Truths are;
- There’s nothing “wrong” with you
- There’s only one of us here
- The only prayer is thank you
- God is within you
- Nothing outside of you needs to change
- Everyone is perfect, just as they are
- We’re not here to get good…only to become real
A beautiful quote which reflects TJ’s journey and wisdom is:
If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself.
If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate
all that is dark and negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift
you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”
— Lao TsuIf
TJ listened to his inner-knowing and set out on a course of spiritual exploration. During those times, his spiritual path took him to the highest highs, and the lowest lows. TJ has been driven from “Darkness
to light; from shame to acceptance; separation to oneness; and ultimately to an indescribable sense of personal freedom. After many years of clinging and aversion, I find myself today resting in a greater reality; a deeper experience of joy than I ever knew possible. It has delivered me to this moment and a profound understanding of my true purpose.”
TJ writes, “When I was in my late 30s, I lost everything I had worked so hard to achieve. Without much warning, everything I had strived for and accumulated was gone. Despite feeling devastated, one of the gifts of this experience was that I no longer had anything left to lose. Therefore I had no reason to fear loss of anything. From this experience, I was able to separate out my true self from my material possessions and from the circumstances of my life. I was aware of the “I” that did not change when everything around me completely changed, I decided that if I were going to rebuild my life, I was going to do it from the inside out, not the outside in. I knew that everything outside of me could be taken away in an instant. I had to find a way of recognizing my true foundation. In his book, The Second Book of the Tao, Stephen Mitchell states, “The master knows that in looking forward there are endless possibilities, but looking backwards, there’s only one.” The truth of this statement became vividly clear to me when I was no longer identified with the things that change in my life.”
Sheryl Says “In terms of loss many people fear change and loss…loss of a loved one, loss of a home loss of a job or ability but in truth there never is loss, only an opportunity to remember yourself, and experiences to refine and enlarge your awareness.”
Oprah wrote… “All of life is energy and we are transmitting every moment. It appears therefore that every experience is a giving or receiving of energy between souls.”
In Sheryl’s book The Living Spirit she wrote…. “Loved ones are never lost, but are still interconnected to us by energetic thread from the heart, allowing us to feel their wisdom and guiding us to discover new paths to happiness on the Earth plane. So TJ Yes we are always on the road forward to create our best and most purposeful experiences.”
TJ reminds us….“As we remember our true identity, that we are more than our physical bodies and the whole of the Universe or the wisdom of the ages is within our soul memory, we realize that all of our experiences have been part of our journey from “unconsciousness to consciousness” and awakening to a reality beyond that of the mind – ego or physical world. Everything physical is subject to change and our thoughts and emotion are subject to change. We are currently experiencing more rapid change in our lives than ever before. Our jobs, relationships, finances, and living situations are all less stable than they once were. It is evident that security cannot be found in external circumstances. But when we shift our focus to what is changeless—awareness itself—we can experience the only true security there is. When we cultivate an awareness of witness consciousness, we are in touch with what is eternal.”
“The new thinking is that, at an energy level, everything is interconnected. Knowing this we can grasp the concept that we have the power within us to shift and control our external reality. However, a possible trap is that we may be still living in an egocentric place. That means that our choices and desires arise from our separate ego self, rather than from a deeper level of connection with others and with the whole of life. At this ego level, we are primarily identified with the mind. We most likely still have some attachments to outcomes and are dependent on filling our inner void with things from the outside in order to be happy. In my own life, I used mind awareness techniques and affirmations to successfully build the life of my dreams.”
Sheryl says ego is then the sense of Being we have internalized as our personality or physical life expression through the socialization process and our view of how we are perceived and how we perceive the world…It is an illusionary state of impressions by others and often ourselves forgetting the inner wisdom of our soul or actual Being.
“The role of the mind is to realize that there is no separation between you and me no right and wrong..etc and to release The Illusion of Separateness from our mind.
We have all been conditioned to divide our experiences into “good and bad,” or “right and wrong,” as illustrated in the following analogy. Say I am rowing a boat down a river and another boat hits mine. If I look over and see that nobody is in the other boat, nobody is to blame for what happened. But if my boat is hit by another boat and I look over and see someone in that boat, my conditioned mind immediately blames that person for my experience. My ego wants to make the other person responsible for “what they did to me.” However, from a different perspective—a perspective of oneness—that other person is part of the natural world, part of the oneness of life. He is no guiltier than nature itself. When we stop dividing the world into “us and them,” there is no longer anyone to blame for our uncomfortable experiences. We take full responsibility for how we respond to life. If we take an honest look at our lives, right now, we can allow ourselves to see where we divide our world into “us and them” or “right and wrong.” In other words we can see where we hold prejudice or judgment about others. It then becomes clear how we create every single division or separation in the world we inhabit.”
An awakened life is recognizing your duality and knowing yourself on all levels emotionally physically spiritually and as a multi-dimensional soul of energy and eternal life. The goal of awakened living is ….Awakened Living recognizes we are one with source, one with God, one with light, and one with love. That fundamental understanding revolutionarily changes our lives, in dramatic ways.
A quote TJ gives, expresses this truth beautifully:
“Knowing yourself goes far deeper than the adoption of
a set of ideas or beliefs. Spiritual ideas and beliefs may
at best be helpful pointers. But in themselves, they rarely
have the power to dislodge the more firmly established core
concepts of who you think you are, which are part of the
conditioning of the human mind. Knowing yourself deeply
has nothing to do with whatever ideas are floating around
in your mind. Knowing yourself is to be rooted in Being,
instead of lost in your mind.”
— Excerpt from A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle
TJ goes on to tell us that the birthright of each and every one of us is to live an awakened life. Most religions and spiritual traditions teach us that we need to adopt a certain belief system or follow some prescribed steps in order to attain a state of enlightenment. We are now living in an era of rapid acceleration of a phenomenon being called a spiritual awakening. The truth is that awakening is absolutely available to every single human being on the planet right here, right now. Enlightenment is our most natural state. When we strip away all the concepts and ideas we have learned over our lifetime—about ourselves, and how we view the world— we uncover the simple truth. We discover who we have always been—pure consciousness. Before the accumulation of ideas, we were pure awareness. We are still pure awareness.
Clear Signs of Un-Awakened Living
– blaming others for our unwanted experiences
– judging people or situations as “right/wrong,” or “good/bad”
– wanting to control others
– feeling superior or inferior
– experiencing resistance to what is
– getting emotionally triggered by what others are saying or doing
– needing to express opinions
Clear Signs of Awakened Living
– experiencing oneness and connection
– choosing acceptance and understanding
– feeling comfortable in our “skin”
– understanding a deep sense of belonging
– expressing authenticity and vulnerability
– being unattached to outcomes
– knowing a deep sense of purpose
TJ says that experiencing ourselves as love is the most natural thing in the world. The path to remembering ourselves as love is one of dismantling or unlearning everything we have been taught that contradicts this truth. Self-realization is nothing more than coming into alignment with what we already inherently are.
“Often at a young age, we come to the conclusion that we are less than whole and perfect, that we are less than love. For the most part, children believe the messages they hear. That is because their minds have not yet developed the analytical ability to question them. Even though some messages don’t feel right intuitively, a young, undeveloped mind cannot help but believe what it is told, especially when it is a repeated message.”
The messages that often created a false self-image might have come from family members, friends, school teachers, or other authority figures that we assumed were wiser than us. These messages continue as we grow into adulthood, getting layered upon, and often reinforcing those messages we received as children. However, when we wake up to the reality of who we are, we see that we were given those messages by people who were themselves living in a state of forgetfulness about their true identity. They were not capable of always mirroring an accurate reflection to us.
We can raise our own consciousness by flowing in alignment with Unity, Oneness and Spirit and recognizing our own magnificent soul potential. TJ wrote, ”The world in which we live is a world of our own making. The world does not actually exist “out there.” The relationship we have with our world is the relationship we have created in our minds. No other world exists. The world we perpetuate is the world we perpetuate in our minds. It is also the world we model for others who live within our field of influence. When we choose to step into the reality of oneness, we immediately inhabit that world of connectedness with all things, based on love. That world already exists, within us, and it is available to us at any given moment. We choose it—or not—moment to moment. We show love by being conscious of the words and actions we use to respond to life, in the present moment. If we are not awake enough to consciously choose our response, an unconscious or automatic response, based on our past conditioning, will emerge and dictate the conditions of our lives. By “Shining Our Light.”
Un-Awakened Living or living unconsciously is…When we have forgotten the truth of who and what we are, we are living unconsciously. Our thoughts and behaviors are taken over by the old habits, patterns, and conditioning of our past. We lose our freedom of choice in how to respond to life.
Through understanding Karma which is often just repeated behaviors and by using the power of our thoughts we can reevaluate what we wish to create in our lives and chose different visions and actions.
“Karma is not an outside force. It is repetitively thinking the same idea about ourselves and about the world and getting the same results. It feels like it’s coming from outside us. In actuality, we are imprinting our thoughts, attitudes, intentions, and beliefs—whether they are conscious or unconscious—upon the world, and receiving them back in return. If we believe that we are fundamentally flawed or inferior, then life will seem to reflect that reality back to us. We will see it in our circumstances, and in the people we encounter and what they choose to say to us. If we are convinced that we don’t deserve, or are not capable, life will seem to confirm that to be true. That will happen again and again until we change the program or the lens through which we are looking. It is like Albert Einstein said “What is insanity but doing the same thing and achieving the same results…..”
TJ tells us that language plays an important role in our awakening. “Certain words immediately take us out of an awakened state, or prevent us from finding it in the first place. I have found the following practice to be helpful: Make a list of 5-10 words that do not support your awakened state or that seem to separate you from your consciousness. Make a commitment to become aware of using these words and eliminate them from your vocabulary. The intention of the practice is to stop using them altogether. I have attended workshops where it is suggested you wear a rubber band on your wrist and “flick” it when you hear yourself saying the words. Personally, I suggest a softer, gentler approach. Use a heightened level of awareness to recognize these words, and their effect on you and your world. My current chosen words are: should, must, good, bad, right, and wrong. When you use words like these, believing them to be true, the result is black-and-white thinking. We create a world divided into rigid compartments, excluding parts of the whole. And, it is always possible to find replacement words that support your spiritual awakening and support a more loving way of being in the world. Those words can help you live the life you want. Bringing awareness to how we create our reality with our thoughts and words is a vital step in transforming our perspective of the world. When I hear myself using the words listed above, I think to myself, “Oh, there I go again.””
TJ mentions in his book “…Yoga is essentially about the inward journey. It is a path or vehicle that enables us to find our inner alignment with source. It is a way to bring awareness to the places where there is spiritual or physical resistance. It is an excellent metaphor for our spiritual lives. Discovering where we are resisting and unwilling to move toward discomfort. However, here in the United States, yoga has become a technique and a measure of achievement. We are into “power yoga” and comparing and competing. I recently heard that yoga might become an Olympic sport. How would judges measure yoga, as a competitive sport? Would it be “This person is more at one with source than that person over here”? More likely, contestants would be judged by how perfect the asana or pose appears, from the outside, or how long a person can hold a pose. “Her ankle needs to be one degree over to the right,” or “He wins because he held the pose for 30 seconds longer.”
“Although this sounds a bit absurd, it is a good analogy for what I used to believe spirituality was all about. I once thought that I could measure my success by how much I had managed to manifest in my outer life. I judged spiritual “success” on whether I had obtained the things I wanted. This now seems equally absurd to me. I have come to realize that true abundance is about inner alignment with source. It is about knowing who and what we truly are, in our connection and oneness with source and therefore, knowing our connectedness and oneness with the whole of life.”
“Most religions and spiritual traditions teach us that we need to adopt a certain belief system or follow some prescribed steps in order to attain a state of enlightenment.”
The world’s religions and spiritual traditions might point us in the right direction and provide us with some preliminary steps. Nevertheless, at a certain point, we must all realize that we are essentially on our own unique path toward awakening. In order to fully individuate, we must let go of absolutely everything we have ever learned or believed to be true. We must trust our inner direction.”
Sheryl said “Spirituality is an inner awareness or connection to all that is and a dedication to personal self-growth and self-actualization from an intuitive inner connection to Spirit and all of life whereas Religion is a set of beliefs rituals and community gathering of like minded people honoring ancient stories and practices passed down through generations of family and community traditions.”
In regards to what TJ wrote, “Until I recognized my life was being created 100 percent by what I was projecting, I could not experience true freedom. Releasing our false notions about ourselves and about life in general is how we uncover the deeper, essential truth that will set us free. Spiritual psychology recognizes the existence of the transcendent aspect of human beings, as well as the separate, physical self. It encompasses the full range of our existence, rather than merely the visible, human aspect. This enables us to integrate the different aspects of ourselves into a whole. Just like two sides of the same coin, our transcendent or spiritual self and our earthly, human self—although apparently diametrically opposed to each other—are intrinsically one and the same. They are the two ends of the whole spectrum of our existence, as human beings.”
TJ and Sheryl would have you recognize that the world might be in greater turmoil than ever before as we grow and develop as spiritual beings learning to find the divine spark of God within our essence…it is the only way to recognize that we are all one life force under one Creative Evolving Energy and our differences are not nearly as important as our similarities. We must all move forward overcoming our beliefs that separate us to find the heartfelt energy of love and its vulnerabilities that make us REAL.