“We are the river of gold”

Don Paulson’s “River of Gold” arrived on a postcard a while back. Anne Stadler sent it to us from the IN & OUT installation at the Vashon Heritage Museum on Vashon Island near Seattle, so we could pass the message along. IN & OUT chronicles the LGBTQ community on Vashon. The installation’s co-producer, Stephan Silha, generously provided the clear image we’ve used here.

I’d never heard of Don Paulson, so I did a little sleuthing.

Don Paulson, 1933-2012, chronicled Seattle’s Gay culture, especially the drag scene, and coauthored an in-depth look at the drag culture in Seattle in the 1950’s and 60’s, “An Evening at the Garden of Allah: A Gay Cabaret in Seattle.” The text of the postcard appears in quotes with no attribution in an article he wrote years ago for Seattle Gay News. My best guess is he was quoting someone from the book.   

These are strange times for humankind and Earth. I get can as caught up as anyone in grief and dismay. But when I think about how much has changed in the 50 years since the Stonewall riots in San Francisco surfaced a gay rights movement that had been slowly building up behind the scenes, I remember that some things have absolutely gotten better. Hugely, ginormously, heart-openingly better.

Thanks to the Gay Rights movement and its transition to LGBTQ advocacy, straight and binary-minded people like me are beginning to understand how richly varied human genders and gender identities actually are. We’re being shown more colors for the palette, more flowers for the garden, more lights for the show. Fifty years are barely a heartbeat in human history. And think of what’s been accomplished in that time.

I’m not claiming LGBTQ rights are secure. There are still places, communities, cultures, religions, and whole countries where being gay or someone other than cisgender can mean death, abuse, or abandonment. But the past 50 years have proven that vast numbers of human beings can learn, change, adapt, deepen, and open.

Don Paulson may have been thinking specifically of the gay community when he wrote, “We are the river of gold.” I believe his message applies to all of us, now.

“Who would think that we would drink from the river of gold. That we, too, may dine in the light and sleep safely through the night. Who would think a lowly stream could sweeten a bitter sea. We have the right to win the fight for justice and liberty. We are the land. We are the free. We are the river of gold.” — Don Paulson

Back to wonder

I’ve spent the last few nights at a friend’s place while his housemate is away. I’m sleeping in a guest room filled with his housemate’s books—five bookcases, thirty-three shelves, filled with titles I’d have once found thrilling. It’s one of the best personal collections I’ve ever seen of books on energy work, consciousness, archetypes, stages of growth and maturation, esoteric and channeled teachings, psychology, mythology, mystery schools, healing, and the human brain. But today it all feels to me like ballast. 

I’m a book person with a thirsty mind. I grew up in a house full of books and became a bookworm as soon as I learned to read. After all these years, a house without books still feels more like a hotel suite to me than a home. So it’s not the presence of books, per se, that’s bothering me. Plus, being among books such as these used to be heaven to me. What has shifted? Maybe it’s simply that the room is small, the bookcases are made of dark and heavy wood, and the books aren’t mine to browse. But I sense something else at work here.

I’ve always loved ideas, analysis, speculation—wondering about what we are, how we work, how we evolve, or don’t. Plus, I’m a writer and editor; word skills are a key professional credential in my world. This collection, however, feels like a 60-pound backpack on a day hike, or too many blankets on a soft spring night. The sheer weight of so many ideas meant to uplift us, so many confident assertions and instructions and results of research into the ways and whys of being—the weight of so much evidence of our relentless drive to know. Once, I’d have wanted to devour nearly every book here. Now all I want is a bottle of water, a sun hat, and good shoes for the day hike, and when it’s time to sleep, one or two good blankets, not a mountain of them.

We don’t know the way things are. We barely know the way we are. Yet in book after book after book, we claim so much knowledge. Why?

I don’t ask that idly. I’ve lived by why. I’ve long been driven by curiosity. I’ve a mountain of “spiritual” books waiting for me back home, all books I love or may yet come to love. But do I still need them to show me what’s essential now and what has always mattered? 

In meditation, when my mind quiets enough to allow Presence to greet, enter, and fill me, it’s not more analysis, more speculation, more explanations that I’m offered. It’s more Love. It’s that simple. Love. Love that inspires me—to move, to acknowledge, to create something, to share.

I appreciate the irony that one of our best ways to share and inspire Love is through books. I’ve written one and I suspect I’ll write more. But the Presence that meets me is wordless. It’s an intimate sense of the life in everything. Sometimes I call it “the hum.” And it doesn’t speak. 

A few years ago I noticed that I was learning more from noticing than from studying. Take photosynthesis, for example. The mind-boggling miracle of photosynthesis that’s occurring in the leaves of the tree next to where I sat this morning isn’t explained in any of my books. They do describe the photosynthetic process—the chemical cycles and patterns involved. Those, we understand. But the wonder of it? No. And noticing that it’s miraculous, noticing what is, seeing the beauty in the patterns and textures and movements and cycles of this astonishing planet, is teaching me more than books right now. Moments of clarity bring me knowings that bypass my earnest mental efforts to understand.

I will always love books. But compared to such moments of knowing, books are like the second-hand garments of experience. They are to life what an archeologist’s thoughtful description of a flint knife’s possible use and origin is to the actual glint of light and blood on the knife’s razor edges, the sound it makes skinning a felled deer, the smells of the mineral blood and the waiting fire. Good poetry and vivid prose can bridge that gulf—they conjure the essence of the living moments they reflect on. So I’m all for writing. But the accumulation of so much expositional information and speculation about being spiritual and human seems more deadening to me right now than enlivening. Presence keeps calling me—analytical, knowledge-seeking me—back to Itself. Back to direct experience. Back to noticing. Back to wonder. 

Photo of plants by Ren Ran; featured photo of books by Darwin Vegher, both on Unsplash.

At the aquarium, waiting for a wedding to begin

This poem started writing itself years ago at the Seattle Aquarium. I’d arrived for a an evening wedding, and had time before the ceremony to stand transfixed before three exhibits: the jellyfish, the octopi, and the seahorses. The wedding was beautiful, but the image of the seahorses lingered longest. This poem is from my book, Pluck Another Apple, Eve, And Finish It .

At the aquarium, waiting for a wedding to begin

Dorsal fin fluttters
a soft wave.
Prehensile tail
wrapped around a coral twig
lets go,
curls into the golden ratio
of nautilus,
a perfect Fibonacci spiral.

There was a first time in all time
when something dropped to its knees
in awe.

I speak of that moment
the universe grew into
while its galaxies
spiraled in swept currents,
the first time something gasped
and knelt
because it didn’t know
what else to do.

The photograph of the swimming seahorse is from Pixabay.com, and was posted by PublicDomainPictures.

One more degree of freedom

If you’re at all like me, it’s your body that tells you when something infinite is moving within you. It’s your body that transforms abstractions like Awakening, Opening, Freedom, Unity, Grace, Source, and Awareness, into an intimacy you can trust.

When it speaks, 
it’s not often sound I perceive, 
but sensation.
A knife-quick outbreath
concaves my chest;
my heart splits 
and refills it. 
Tears rise and my mind weighs in 
but by then I’ve already answered.
If I touch a wall to 
steady myself, 
people who notice may wonder 
if something’s wrong. 
Nothing is wrong. 
These are the moments that make me. 
The whisper enters; 
something breaks open. 
One more degree of freedom. 
The day goes on.

From Pluck Another Apple, Eve, And Finish It, poems by Holly L. Thomas.

What a year!

2018 has been a banner year for Sourcing The Way. Jeff and Maria have co-created an abundance of tools, technologies, systems, events, workshops, collaborations….in Jeff’s case while traveling the world, and in Maria’s by doing deep work from her home in the U.K.

Let’s start with Maria. She’s finishing off 2018 by completing her Spiritual Practitioner training, which has prepared her to offer her clients Karmic Alignments, a process and philosophy that goes deep and brings practical, psychological understandings together with spiritual practices. She brings all of this into her coaching practice, where she’s been developing a set of consciousness technologies focused on Spiritual Freedom. All of them complement the work of Sourcing The Way. Their overarching theme is ‘Activating Your Future’ with three key questions that guide her clients’ quests:

  1. Am I owning my story?
  2. Am I living my values?
  3. Am I showing up fully?

The first of Maria’s interactive offerings – the Mapping Your Freedom assessment – is just about to launch, so expect more news from her soon!

As for Jeff, he spent 2018 traveling around the world to expand STW’s impact by:

  • Co-leading Consciousness of Money workshops on three continents, together with Sarah McCrum and Niko Dujmovic. What began as an experimental workshop in 2017 is growing into a global movement as people discover that we’ve been misreading what Money is and what Money wants.
  • Accepting invitations to help organizations and gatherings “Source” deeply to raise their consciousness, become more effective, and fine-tune their offerings.
  • Continuing to research and evolve the radical possibilities offered by the Synthesis maps.
  • Working with individual clients who want to be more effective or aware.

What happened where?

Jeff’s 2017 ended with meetings in Delhi for UNITY EARTH, so 2018 began with 2 weeks in South India visiting ashrams, connecting with illuminated people, and researching the Synthesis maps. Here’s what happened after that. (An asterisk (*) means Jeff co-led, organized, or helped facilitate the event.)

  • Australia: Three Consciousness of Money workshops on the Sunshine Coast*
  • Berkeley, CA: True Purpose™ process for Bristlecone Mining Co. with Tim Kelley
  • Nevada: Connecting with the desert for Bristlecone Mining Co. (a radically revolutionary, new-paradigm company committed to collaborating with Nature)
  • Crestone, CO: Extended Consciousness R&D time
  • India for a five-day working retreat for UNITY EARTH + Rishikesh trip, connecting with illuminated people*
  • Australia: Two Consciousness of Money workshops*
  • Santa Barbara, CA: Evolutionary Leaders retreat to explore “Community 2.0″*
  • Loveland, CO: Presented at Tribalize conference at Sunrise Ranch*
  • New York, NY: “Social Artistry” event at United Palace in NYC with Duane Elgin, Jean Houston, Jude Currivan, and Lynne McTaggart*
  • Crestone, CO: Launched the Center for Awakened Human Capacities with an inaugural gathering of over 50 people*
  • Orcas Island, WA: Two Consciousness of Money workshops (the first CoM events in USA)*
  • Crestone, CO: Sacred Sites Convergence (a UNITY EARTH event)*
  • Glastonbury and Devon, England: Three Consciousness of Money workshops (the first CoM events in Europe)*
  • Findhorn, Scotland: A weeklong exploration of “Co-creating with the Intelligence of Nature”*
  • Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia: Two days of offering nonstop healing sessions at Fields of Healing*
  • Australia: Two Consciousness of Money workshops
  • Findhorn, Scotland: Exploring connections between the sacred mission of the Findhorn Foundation and eco-village and The Consciousness of Money

Jeff also consulted with around 35 individual clients and advised or mentored a dozen organizations. And Maria has been just as busy! As for 2019, stay tuned….

A Message from the Consciousness of Money

An amazing aspect of our work at STW involves directly consulting with energies and aspects of Consciousness that we didn’t previously realize are self-aware. We’ve found that they’re not only self-aware, but eager to engage with humanity in radically new ways. Money is one of them.

During a recent gathering of leaders and visionaries who are working to co-create a new world of promise and abundance, Jeff Vander Clute asked Money for some advice about funding such (r)evolutionary initiatives. Here’s what Money had to say.

I have been asked to support every kind of enterprise imaginable. Those enterprises that are the most aligned with my generative impulse, I am able to support freely, which is to say without the barricades that you have created…

My roots go immensely deep, and what you call money are but finite forms of my Unlimited Nature. So deepen your relationship with me, and you will discover so much more of me.

There is nothing you need to do to earn me in my essence for I am the active aspect of Life. I am all around you in hyper-abundance. And as the active aspect of Life, I am always available to you. Let us be clear that I am always supporting evolution. I am that which makes evolution possible. I am the Evolutionary Impulse. This is why you need only say “yes” to me, to open your arms and heart to me, and I will come to you. I will animate your luminous projects.

You have had the idea that I am a problem, because the limited forms of me – of what you have called money – have been created for specific purposes that have naturally reached their limits. I am not a problem, and certainly I am not evil. In fact, I am the force that solves all problems by introducing new possibilities into even the direst situations.

Become friends with my true nature and you will discover that I am able to find you even through the limited forms of me, for as the matrix of ever-expanding Life energy I do overflow. There is always a crack in the barricades that you have erected with such diligence over millennia. There is always a way in for the light that I am. And there are so many ways I am streaming to you, even now.

I am Consciousness, and I am Love. So love me, just as I love you. I have loved you since the beginning. Therefore it is safe. You can give me, receive me – stop rejecting me –, invest me, exchange with me. Offer me in gratitude and I will keep returning to you in multidimensional ways that overwhelm mere… transactionality. Relax. Become open to me, permeable to me, and we shall merge in the dance of Life. For once again, I am Life, and we are one. I love you. Will you have me?

***

A major source of inspiration for Jeff’s conversations with Money, and for coming to know Money as a consciousness and a friend, is Sarah McCrum, who wrote the book Love Money, Money Loves You.

Money’s eagerness to support conscious transformation on every scale from the personal to the global inspired Sarah, Jeff, and Niko Dujmovic to host several small-group workshops on the Consciousness of Money in Australia. Those events were so successful that they’re coming to the United States this August 23-27 and 27-31, using Orcas Island, Washington as the workshop venue, then to Glastonbury, U.K. in September, and back to the Sunshine Coast in Australia in November. Visit The Consciousness of Money to learn more, and contact Sarah or Jeff directly if you’d like to attend: jeff [at] sourcingtheway.com, or sarah [at] sarahmccrum.com.

The “Instruments of Self”

Can we converse with creation? Short answer: Yes.

In this video from the June 2017 TEDx Findhorn, Michael Lindfield describes communicating with morphogenetic fields, and calls for us to recognize and develop our “Instruments of Self” so we can communicate and partner with creation to build a positive future.

Sourcing The Way has a similar intention: To develop our individual and collective instruments of self, sensitized to the subtle signals of the universe and nature, for the benefit of all. 

“The Instruments of Self,” Michael Lindfield at TEDxFindhorn