13 – Shame to Wisdom

— I was frustrated with being depressed and thus decided to see if processing up through the emotional levels might lighten my mood. Not only did this technique work, it articulated things bothering me. It was grand to watch myself grow positive slowly, almost organically (meaning no drugs — other than coffee and sugar — and no harping “must be positive or I will die” histrionics).

The process took an hour, but could be done while driving, walking, exercising, cleaning house, cooking, etc.

Shame is not wearing sandals because your toes aren’t painted.
Shame is apologizing or not going out in public because you don’t have on your makeup.
Shame is avoiding friends and family because you’re not your normal joyful self.
Shame is feeling stupid/mean/ungrateful/panic that you who are an “expert” on joy keeps getting sucked down to depression.
Shame is believing you must be always at your best or you’re letting yourself down.
Shame is wanting to quit, disgusting yourself because you know you have so much yet to live for and contribute to the world.

Guilt – I feel guilty that I have so much and am not happy.
Guilt – I am wasting precious minutes being glum and dispirited.
Guilt – I am letting down those who love, like and trust me, even more those who need me.
Guilt – I am letting down myself.

Apathy – Who gives a fuck?
Apathy – If I can’t have joy I’d rather be dead.
Apathy – You can judge me, I can judge me, but God/Universe/Spirit doesn’t.
Apathy – It really doesn’t matter how much I bounce around spreading joy, negativity will still pervade.

Grief – I miss China and feeling adored, conscious I was making a positive impact on 200 students’ lives every day.
Grief – I miss living an outrageously bold life in a strange world.
Grief – I miss being part of a team of great teachers who also loved working in China.
Grief – I miss Darryl Goodridge living in our home.

Fear – I am afraid I’ll never be that happy and joyful again.
Fear – I’m afraid that my negativity and anger and frustration will undermine this marriage.
Fear – I’m afraid I’ll do desperate acts that I will regret in an effort to pull me up from this funk.
Fear – I’m afraid that I’ll make myself sick with this negativity.
Fear – That I’m missing opportunities due to be negative.

Desire – I want to be happy.
Desire – I want to be happily married.
Desire – I want to live in a house I adore.
Desire – I want to be around positive people.
Desire – I want to spread joy.
Desire – I want to smile and laugh and hug and play games.
Desire – I want to travel and to look forward to returning home.
Desire – I want to make more than I spend.
Desire – I want to be a grandma and see my granddaughter often, really know her and her to know me.
Desire – I want to become a trainer, leading seminars teaching others how to get epiphanies and find joy.
Desire – I want my book JOY IS GENIUS to make a difference in the world.
Desire – I want to be part of a huge positive progressive team that tackles the impossible because they know it is possible, and it’s fun trying.
Desire – I want to live smiling, singing, dancing, joyful which turns working hard into hardly working because it feels like playing.
Desire – I want to feel good about myself.
Desire – I want to lose 20 pounds.
Desire – I want to have vibrantly dreams at night of living in houses I adore filled with friends and family who are laughing and enjoying themselves.
Desire – I want to wake up eager to jump out of bed.

anger – I am so angry that I don’t love my house.
anger – I am so angry that I can’t work in Canada until I get permanent residency.
anger – I am so angry that my husband is not happy living 30 minutes from town.
anger – I am so angry that to remodel the house to what I’d like prices it way above the neighborhood, and my husband balks at the idea of moving.
anger – I am angry that my ideas are questioned especially since I don’t know if they would work until I try them, and frankly, just trying makes me feel better, so to not try frustrates the hell out of me.
anger – I am frustrated that having more than we had in China is not making us happier.
anger – I am frustrated that I can’t solve this dilemma. Maybe I should work in Africa?
anger – I am frustrated that I’m not joyful.
anger – I am frustrated that my frustration upsets others, as though I should shut up and be grateful and accept this is my life, that I’m supposed to fit into their cookie cutter idea of happiness.
anger – I am frustrated that it’s not okay to ask ask ask for what you want, to embarrass my husband for going after my dreams as though he isn’t providing me well enough, isn’t good enough. I’m only unhappy because I feel it’s not okay to bluntly and aggressively work to fix what is not enjoyed.
anger – I’m so angry it’s not okay to be dissatisfied with life and want to make it better even if have a better life than 90% of the world.
anger – I’m so angry that I wasted hours being upset and missed out on enjoying all the beauty of my surroundings.
anger – I’m so angry that I didn’t follow my bliss, and expecting to avoid upset, created upset.

pride – I am an American.
pride – I worked for eight years in China.
pride – I am married.
pride – I have two wonderful daughters.
pride – I am soon to become a grandma.
pride – I am a college graduate.
pride – I have self-published 12 children’s picture books.
pride – I have written a book teaching joy.
pride – When happy, I look younger than I am.
pride – I live in Nova Scotia.
pride – I did a 5-day retreat with Jack Canfield.
pride – I don’t give up.
pride – I have lived 60 years.
pride – That I’m intelligent, well-read, well-traveled and studied many paradigms.
pride – That I’m an amazing speaker, writer, visionary.
pride – That I love learning, growing, being positive.

courage – I was courageous to go to China.
courage – I was courageous to stay 8 years in China.
courage – I was courageous to divorce twice and create lives which brought me more joy.
courage – I was courageous to marry again.
courage – I was courageous to move to Nova Scotia.
courage – I was courageous to get out of bed this morning.
courage – I am courageous to return home when it’s not a place of joy.
courage – I am courageous to search for ways to bring myself up from gloom and doom.
courage – I am courageous to meet up for lunch with a childhood friend who adored my mom, meaning it will bring up bittersweet memories of missing her and times long past when I was happier and had life better than most anyone I knew.
courage – I am courageous to not give up and shut down but to keep asking and searching for ways to turn our house into a home I adore and feel safe in, where I can write and thrive.
courage – I am courageous to smile and be determined to make this marriage be fun, playful, and full of laughter, joy and travel.
courage – I am courageous to keep on going.

neutrality – I am safe even when challenged.
neutrality – I am safe even when upset.
neutrality – I am a good person even when upset.
neutrality – Neither my husband nor I are right or wrong, we just have different points of view.
neutrality – I am safe even if don’t get what I want.
neutrality – I don’t have to have all the answers or vision of what path I am to be on.
neutrality – I am calm regardless of circumstances, the news, my husband not understanding or agreeing with me.
neutrality – Just because I don’t understand or agree doesn’t mean it isn’t perfect; and I don’t need to waste time getting upset.
neutrality – “God grant me the courage to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can’t, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

willingness – I’m willing to reassess every aspect of my life and clean up what isn’t working.
willingness – I’m willing to look at all options.
willingness – I’m willing to have this transformation be fast, easy, and painless.
willingness – I’m willing to manifest a home I adore; a marriage that is fun, playful and full of laughter and joy.
willingness – I’m willing to create a business teaching joy seminars; manifest that my upcoming book JOY IS GENIUS is a New York Bestseller meaning it is effective in bringing joy to millions around the world; my children’s picture books are Amazon bestsellers and read all over the world; my body is strong, flexible and feels good; I am a grandma and see my granddaughter every other month.
willingness – I’m willing to learn how to manifest my dreams, meaning working more effectively rather than harder.
willingness – I’m willing to smile.
willingness – I’m willing to enjoy today.
willingness – I’m willing to return home.
willingness – I’m willing to manifest cheap, easy, fun ways to add curb appeal to my home.
willingness – I’m willing to open my heart to joy even when not liking the situation.

acceptance – I accept that no one is perfect, including me, and that that was never the goal.
acceptance – I accept that the only clues I have are now and feelings, that I can’t change what happened but I can my feelings, and that I am 100% responsible for finding my own joy.
acceptance – I accept that much of life makes no sense to me and that that is okay, it keeps me curious and exploring and it’s not my job to change anyone or anything.
acceptance – I accept that often it takes years to see that what happened was necessary and important as part of my journey this lifetime.
acceptance – I accept that I cannot control most anything and in fact have a hard time controlling my thoughts and habits, yet just by striving to become a better person, I am enriching my life and thriving.
acceptance – I accept that joy is a state of mind, not a reflection external events.
acceptance – I accept that daydreams and imagination are the playground of joy.
acceptance – I accept that I must vigilantly and constantly give myself permission to go there alone by disconnecting from the mayhem and upset of the common life.
acceptance – I accept that while joy is everyone’s birthright, it is not the goal of the majority.
acceptance – I accept that I can find joy anytime, anywhere, for it spawns from the depths of my core.
acceptance – I accept that while anger and pride are warrior actions, warriors are in constant battle for otherwise they are not warriors.
acceptance – I accept that I am bored and tired of killing and being killed, if only metaphorically.
acceptance – I accept that transitioning from warrior to wise is uncomfortable and that I will make many mistakes in my journey.
acceptance – I accept that living life at less than joy doesn’t interest me.
acceptance – I accept that I may drift away from friends and family who do not share my goal.
acceptance – I accept that being alone with joy is more fulfilling and kinder to my mind and body than being with others who are not at courage or above.
acceptance – I accept that I am the only one who can choose where I go.

wisdom – Wise is aloof. It hears all, sees all, judges none, yet has clarity of vision and fortitude.
wisdom – Wisdom is above emotional mayhem. It sees eventualities based on trajectories.
wisdom – Wisdom is in the present tense.
wisdom – Courage, neutrality, willingness and acceptance are usually in the present tense, too.
wisdom – Wisdom is knowing that to be calm, I must make calm more important than being right.
wisdom – Wisdom is guided by the heart.
wisdom – Wisdom is above conflict.
wisdom – Wisdom is when everyone wins.
wisdom – Wisdom is not making wrong those who would rather be right, and not to be sad that they rather be right than have joy, that they have a choice and made one different than me.
wisdom – Wisdom is a child-like view of adult things.
wisdom – Wisdom is stopping and getting through security and to my gate without worrying or rushing.

Hugs and joy, Kathryn
Friday the 13th – April 2018

7 – Levels of Consciousness

This is a re-posting of Steve Pavlina’s blog with his permission as he generously gifts these writings to the public domain. [https://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/04/levels-of-consciousness/]

It is the best summation of David R. Hawkins’ theories about the levels of human consciousness as detailed in Hawkins’ groundbreaking and world-renown book that I’ve listened to literally over 100 times, learning or hearing something I swear was not there before, but obviously I was ready to finally understand and assimilate.

In the book Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins, there’s a hierarchy of levels of human consciousness. It’s an interesting paradigm. If you read the book, it’s also fairly easy to figure out where you fall on this hierarchy based on your current life situation.

From low to high, the levels of consciousness are: shame, guilt, apathy, grief, fear, desire, anger, pride, courage, neutrality, willingness, acceptance, reason, love, joy, peace, enlightenment.

While we can pop in and out of different levels at various times, usually there’s a predominant “normal” state for us. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re at least at the level of courage because if you were at a lower level, you’d likely have no conscious interest in personal growth.

I’ll go over these levels in order, mostly focusing on the ones between courage and reason, since that’s the range where you’re most likely to land. The labels are Hawkins’. The descriptions of each level are based on Hawkins’ descriptions but blended with my own thoughts. Hawkins defines this as a logarithmic scale, so there are far fewer people at the higher levels than at the lower ones. An increase from one level to another will result in enormous change in your life.

Shame – Just a step above death. You’re probably contemplating suicide at this level. Either that or you’re a serial killer. Think of this as self-directed hatred.

Guilt – A step above shame, but you still may be having thoughts of suicide. You think of yourself as a sinner, unable to forgive yourself for past transgressions.

Apathy – Feeling hopeless or victimized. The state of learned helplessness. Many homeless people are stuck here.

Grief – A state of perpetual sadness and loss. You might drop down here after losing a loved one. Depression. Still higher than apathy, since you’re beginning to escape the numbness.

Fear – Seeing the world as dangerous and unsafe. Paranoia. Usually you’ll need help to rise above this level, or you’ll remain trapped for a long time, such as in an abusive relationship.

Desire – Not to be confused with setting and achieving goals, this is the level of addiction, craving, and lust — for money, approval, power, fame, etc. Consumerism. Materialism. This is the level of smoking and drinking and doing drugs.

Anger – the level of frustration, often from not having your desires met at the lower level. This level can spur you to action at higher levels, or it can keep you stuck in hatred. In an abusive relationship, you’ll often see an anger person coupled with a fear person.

Pride – The first level where you start to feel good, but it’s a false feeling. It’s dependent on external circumstances (money, prestige, etc), so it’s vulnerable. Pride can lead to nationalism, racism, and religious wars. Think Nazis. A state of irrational denial and defensiveness. Religious fundamentalism is also stuck at this level. You become so closely enmeshed in your beliefs that you see an attack on your beliefs as an attack on you.

Courage – The first level of true strength. I’ve made a previous post about this level: Courage is the Gateway. This is where you start to see life as challenging and exciting instead of overwhelming. You begin to have an inkling of interest in personal growth, although at this level you’ll probably call it something else like skill-building, career advancement, education, etc. You start to see your future as an improvement upon your past, rather than a continuation of the same.

Neutrality – This level is epitomized by the phrase, “live and let live.” It’s flexible, relaxed, and unattached. Whatever happens, you roll with the punches. You don’t have anything to prove. You feel safe and get along well with other people. A lot of self-employed people are at this level. A very comfortable place. The level of complacency and laziness. You’re taking care of your needs, but you don’t push yourself too hard.

Willingness – Now that you’re basically safe and comfortable, you start using your energy more effectively. Just getting by isn’t good enough anymore. You begin caring about doing a good job — perhaps even your best. You think about time management and productivity and getting organized, things that weren’t so important to you at the level of neutrality. Think of this level as the development of willpower and self-discipline. These people are the “troopers” of society; they get things done well and don’t complain much. If you’re in school, then you’re a really good student; you take your studies seriously and put in the time to do a good job. This is the point where your consciousness becomes more organized and disciplined.

Acceptance – Now a powerful shift happens, and you awaken to the possibilities of living proactively. At the level of willingness you’ve become competent, and now you want to put your abilities to good use. This is the level of setting and achieving goals. I don’t like the label “acceptance” that Hawkins uses here, but it basically means that you begin accepting responsibility for your role in the world. If something isn’t right about your life (your career, your health, your relationship), you define your desired outcome and change it. You start to see the big picture of your life more clearly. This level drives many people to switch careers, start a new business, or change their diets.

Reason – At this level you transcend the emotional aspects of the lower levels and begin to think clearly and rationally. Hawkins defines this as the level of medicine and science. The way I see it, when you reach this level, you become capable of using your reasoning abilities to their fullest extent. You now have the discipline and the proactivity to fully exploit your natural abilities. You’ve reached the point where you say, “Wow. I can do all this stuff, and I know I must put it to good use. So what’s the best use of my talents?” You take a look around the world and start making meaningful contributions. At the very high end, this is the level of Einstein and Freud. It’s probably obvious that most people never reach this level in their entire lives.

Love – I don’t like Hawkins’ label “love” here because this isn’t the emotion of love. It’s unconditional love, a permanent understanding of your connectedness with all that exists. Think compassion. At the level of reason, you live in service to your head. But that eventually becomes a dead end where you fall into the trap of over-intellectualizing. You see that you need a bigger context than just thinking for its own sake. At the level of love, you now place your head and all your other talents and abilities in service to your heart (not your emotions, but your greater sense of right and wrong — your conscience). I see this as the level of awakening to your true purpose. Your motives at this level are pure and uncorrupted by the desires of the ego. This is the level of lifetime service to humanity. Think Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Dr. Albert Schweitzer. At this level you also begin to be guided by a force greater than yourself. It’s a feeling of letting go. Your intuition becomes extremely strong. Hawkins claims this level is reached only by 1 in 250 people during their entire lifetimes.

Joy – A state of pervasive, unshakable happiness. Eckhart Tolle describes this state in The Power of Now. The level of saints and advanced spiritual teachers. Just being around people at this level makes you feel incredible. At this level life is fully guided by synchronicity and intuition. There’s no more need to set goals and make detailed plans — the expansion of your consciousness allows you to operate at a much higher level. A near-death experience can temporarily bump you to this level.

Peace – Total transcendence. Hawkins claims this level is reached only by one person in 10 million.

Enlightenment – The highest level of human consciousness, where humanity blends with divinity. Extremely rare. Even just thinking about this level can raise your consciousness.

I think you’ll find this model worthy of reflection. Not only people but also objects, events, and whole societies can be ranked at these levels. Within your own life, you’ll see that some parts of your life are at different levels than others, but you should be able to identify your current overall level. You might be at the level of neutrality overall but still be addicted to smoking (level of desire). The lower levels you find within yourself will serve as a drag that holds the rest of you back. But you’ll also find higher levels in your life.

Think about the strongest influences in your life right now. Which ones raise your consciousness? Which ones lower it?

Look at this hierarchy with an open mind and see if it leads you to new insights that may help you take the next leap in your own life.

6 – Writing this book scared me.

The world sees me as happy and successful. However, only my daughters and spouse and ex’s know that almost daily I blinked through tears of panic with warrior strength and in weaker moments raced to the bathroom to scream silently to control the furies that threatened to unravel me, that often I fought to keep from exploding into oblivion and putting an end to the misery I called myself.

In truth, I have gotten my great-big-huge-wonderful life, but every day since age fourteen I have been scared, sometimes forsaken with only God as my friend, for there were many hours and years that I loathed myself.

Only in joy is there no pain.

It took me sixty years to learn that love wasn’t enough, that the more I loved, the more I hurt. Joy is an oasis of calm and safety. We have no word such as “unjoy.” There is joy and merely the absence of joy. Finding joy is a journey that takes one beneath the lies, the false beliefs, the confusion and the horrors of everyday life.

Happiness cannot be taught because it is a fickle emotion. Joy can be taught because it is merely unveiling what is already within you. Joy is finding the essence of yourself, stripped clean of misconceptions, when you once again meet the real you. We were born knowing joy but soon learned to hide it. The journey to reclaim joy is easy, yet requires surrendering one’s identities, the veneers of vanity, pride, shame, anger, etc. Joy is living without illusion.

Writing this book made me a calmer and stronger person.

Publishing this book challenges me to grow even more.

Much of it was written in quasi confidence for an editor who inspired courage to tell the truth.  Publishing it scares me for I will shatter illusions, meaning my world will never be the same. People who never liked me will suddenly become friends.  People who liked me will no longer trust me, for I’m not the happy-go-lucky-sprite they admired; I am flawed and struggling like them.  Worse than that, I breached the code of a warrior and show my weaknesses.

Coming clean of the nightmare that has been my life, of revealing my shadow self that my bright smile kept all but empaths from seeing, is to turn my world upside down. But vulnerable is the new brave.   Astonishingly, my life is finally the calm wonder and joy I’d yearned for.  Only in joy is there healing.

Only in joy is there joy.





5 – Ask for Help!

Why do we pretend to be brave when we are barely holding together?

Why do we smile when our world has crumbled?

Why do we rarely ask for help when help would alleviate our pain, struggle, grief, confusion, hardship,  flagging self-esteem, money troubles, etc.?

  1. PRIDE is a gremlin that hog-ties our feet and wire shuts our mouths.
  2. SHAME is a bigger beast that swallows us up until we hope to become invisible.  Or dead.

SHAME is the cancer of pride.  Toppling from being right to finding out you’re wrong can be a devastating belly-flop.  Not willing or not able to be wrong can lead to a lifetime of denial, being defensive, blaming others, shaming others, and causing volcanoes of anger.

What if SHAME is the root of all problems?

  1. Always keep an ace for emergencies.
  • For many years that was a beloved therapist.  Just making an appointment buoyed me to where I felt calmer and stronger.  In essence, I’d been thrown a life raft to hang onto until I could get help in person meaning I no longer felt overwhelmed and incapacitated by life.
  • Life coaches are a great resource.  They don’t focus on why you are the way you, they focus on getting you where you want to go.  They are positive, encouraging, usually knowledgeable about things you don’t know or will give suggestions where or who to reach out to.
  • Audio books that build confidence, including but not limited to this list.  Listen to them working around the house, exercising and even sleeping especially if wake a lot at night.  Resting with eyes closed, and mind and body still, is almost as restful as REM sleep.  Plus, hearing encouragement bolsters confidence helping you to sleep more soundly.  Soothing words lull us back to sleep.
    • The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
    • The Astonishing Power by Esther Hicks, Jerry Hicks
    • Ask and It Is Given by Esther Hicks, Jerry Hicks
    • Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins
  • FREE YouTube videos by Abraham-Hicks
  • Friends, family, mentors are often struggling with their own life issues, so don’t take it that they don’t like you or that they don’t care if they can’t or refuse to help.

HELP is only a phone call or an audio book away.

3 – Stripped Identity

We landed in Nova Scotia (Canada) on July 4th, and I left three days later for California to visit my daughters and to attend a Feldenkrais class.  Yet for the first time I didn’t enjoy myself; I didn’t smile, didn’t participate in class, went turtle and avoided classmates.

That last day, I sobbed.  It meant returning to Canada.  I had hoped that because classmates had their eyes closed during the ATM (floor exercise) and that if I didn’t make any noise, and because I was at the back of the room that maybe even the teacher wouldn’t notice me.

I felt bereft, like my identity had been stripped away.  Without China, I was no longer cool or interesting.  I was a has-been.  My future loomed as endless days of cooking, cleaning and watching TV.  I had hoped love would be enough, but once again it wasn’t.

My teacher asked what was wrong, and I darted to the bathroom in a panic to get hidden before tears broke like a dam.  As soon as I was composed enough to return to the classroom, an assistant asked if I was okay, and I gave him a double thumbs up with a huge smile, as in LEAVE ME ALONE.

The next week, back in Nova Scotia, crying was my sport and hobby.  I was dashing to bathrooms like battling Montezuma’s Revenge for it’s always worked best for me to grieve alone.  And it was grieving.  I LOVED teaching in China.  Now I was in a country that wouldn’t even allow me to work until I had permanent residency.

I applied for volunteer jobs, but even they wanted a police criminal check, letters of recommendation, a resume, pages of paperwork like for a real job, and three interviews … all to clean cat litter boxes in an animal resort!

Hot showers became my best friend to calm and cover up the noise of the sobbing.  I felt a bit desperate, confused and surprised at my disintegration.  I thought I’d prepared myself well for this new chapter of my life; I’d researched and listed three pages of activities and clubs to get involved with and yet the tears hit like a tsunami that wouldn’t end.

Was it only three days?  It felt like three weeks since I’d been back from California, but in truth that was how long I’d been intermittently sobbing.  But that third night getting into bed, feeling the tears swelling, I resolved:  “No, I will give it one year.”  Meaning I wouldn’t cry anymore for it takes time to make new friends and settle into a new place.  The tears evaporated.

It was like that decision shifted my focus to stop bemoaning the past and start living in the present. However, the next day, I had an epiphany:  I had to make Canada be more wonderful and outrageous than China or else I would resent my husband forever.

He was ready to retire; I wasn’t.  It chaffed to call myself unemployed, but that beat using the word retired.  Canada has strict laws that if caught doing any infractions, permanent residency (PR) will be permanently denied.  I wanted PR because from the moment you apply, you have medical coverage.  I’d been covered in China through my job, and the cost for coverage in the States was a lot, especially for a girl who wasn’t working.

I decided to hire an editor to help me finish my book, Joy for Dummies, for it would make use of the time I couldn’t be gainfully employed, but hopefully would eventually make money and give me a new career.   I’d started the book eleven years earlier, long before going to China.

An editor would keep me accountable for I have a history of moving onto new projects when get bored or overwhelmed.  Best of all, I would have a reader.  It truly sucks to write thousands of pages which no one reads.  I literally have boxes and computer files full of  vignettes, poems and two novels, all of which I’ve never taken the time to submit for publication.

The book morphed into something grander than it began.  Alisia Leavitt was a sensitive editor who culled out the best of me.  She inspired me to reveal my shame, sharing feelings I’d never articulated.  It was heady praise to have quoted back words I’d penned; she called some of the pieces like poetry.

Now I had a new identity:  I was an author writing a book about joy.

Now I had a future that excited me, that loomed greater, bigger, even more huge and wonderful than China!  Especially since I presumed that I could and would become a motivational speaker.  Teaching joy brought me tremendous joy, so the prospect of going on the road teaching it thrilled me to the core.  I began to thrive and embrace my new life.  I’d always loved the forests and lakes of Nova Scotia, but now it felt like HOME.