Dr. Julianne Hanson

Psychologist - Chaplain - Intuitive

Ask Dr. Julianne-Evolving Love

Posted by admin - April 7th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

How wonderful to be back with you. I’ve taken time off to learn more of what I need to understand about the heart of love. It’s hard to know where to begin, at what point to bring you into my process of discovery.

I’ve just returned from a Lutheran Church in South Maui, where I attended their Good Friday service. Good Friday is part of Christian Holy Week, retelling the story of Christ’s last days, his death, followed by the celebration of his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

I went back to the Lutheran religion of my childhood tonight, because my beloved Unity Church doesn’t have a Good Friday service.

My former minister, Rev. Mary Omwake, told me that a group of Unity leaders once asked Matthew Fox, revolutionary theologian and defrocked Catholic (now an Episcopalian priest), for his opinion on Unity’s teachings. Matthew Fox’s analysis was that Unity reflected his understanding of the light, really had the positive truth, but that, “new thought,” churches, in general, didn’t know what to do with the dark.

Thus, no Unity service on Jesus’s crucifixion. This is a broad and deep issue for another post. Unity will indeed have a beautiful Easter service. I will be on duty as a chaplain, available to pray with anyone at the program’s close. If you are here on Maui, please come and say aloha on Sunday morning.

What touched me most at the Lutheran Church tonight was how profoundly interconnected I felt with everyone. It felt like my heart was beating in time with each heart, with the heart of the congregation. Amongst the Lutheran regulars, there’s probably a range of beliefs, from fundamentalist to very progressive (this is tolerant Maui, after all). The more conservative members would take issue with my belief that all paths lead to God, perhaps even with my identifying as a Christian.

Yet, what I heard, what I participated in with my Lutheran brothers and sisters this Good Friday, along with being deeply moving, seemed to come from an evolving, more integral perspective. The service focused on the 14 Stations of the Cross, each moments in Christ’s walk, bearing a heavy wooden cross, towards the site of his execution.

The liturgy, the language of each Station, was written in a way that evoked a deep resonance with Jesus as a man, fully human, as well as fully divine–a man who was so surrendered to the Divine, who so fully embodied God’s love, that he was willing to give his life for, as, that love. We were asked how we would have responded, had we been on that walk with the crowd following Jesus to his death. When Jesus fell the second time, under the weight of the cross, would we help him carry it, as did Simon? When, for the third time, Jesus fell, would we have tenderly wiped his brow, as did the woman who pushed through the soldiers to reach him?

We were charged with considering how we show up for God’s love, now, in this life. Can we become so aligned with Divine right action, that, like Christ, we always say, “Not my will, but Thine?” Can our identity shift from an individual self, separate from each other, separate from God, to one inter-related whole, responsible for acting as God’s only hands, only voice, on earth? Can we, like Christ, choose to act as God’s love, no matter what the cost?

Yes, I’m paraphrasing, through the evolutionary, integral lens of consciousness. But tonight, as I sat with my spiritual family (I was going to say extended family, but it conveys something one step removed, which was not the reality), the love in our hearts was separated neither by language, nor dogma. I saw the tears shed by all, and all saw mine. I felt the love of all–and all felt mine. Together, we experienced a quickening (evolutionary impulse/Holy Spirit) of our commitment to show up as God’s love on earth.

Dear ones, we cannot wait for God’s love to be revealed to us. We need to act as God’s love for each other, now, with courage, with humility, through our sorrows and our joys.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 29th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

I want to speak with you in a very personal way about my shift in motivation.

In previous posts, I’ve introduced the concept of awakened motivation, or motivation that has shifted from a preoccupation with individual needs and preferences, to a motivation to act for the greatest good. This can sound quite lofty and abstract. All too often, we hear a noble idea and have an inner resonance with its truth. We believe our lives would be better if we could live that truth, but we have no clue how to change, or even what the change might look like.

The best way I can imagine to give you a practical look into evolving your motivation to live a more meaningful life with more real and satisfying relationships, is to share some of my own struggles with you.

Today was challenging  for me. My physical energy was low, my brain foggy. Meditation was fraught with circular, negative thoughts. An invitation for which I was hoping did not come. A project on which I have been collaborating and in which I’ve invested a great deal of time may not go forward. I feel some fear and self-doubt around these things. Most disturbingly, I had to write a letter to an old friend, holding them responsible for behavior out of integrity, for actions injurious to me. I provided evidence of a truth they have long denied. This needed to be done, but the reality check may end the friendship. I feel both angry and sad.

It’s human nature to feel sad, scared, to create a story of victimization, when things don’t go our way, when we feel let down by another. Spiritual development can lessen our attachment to negative thoughts and feelings. We coach ourselves to see the bigger picture, to identify with a grander compassion. Sometimes, if our practice takes a confused turn, we learn to distance ourselves from realities that offer us the very information we need to heal and grow. Some people far along the path of consciousness find themselves needing a therapist to tell them how important it is to get back in touch with their feelings.

On one hand, we can’t allow ourselves to be at the mercy of our thoughts and feelings, or be defined by them. Yet, we need to tell the truth about our experiences to be authentic and fully alive. What do we do when our truth is painful, when what we want to do is run and hide, when the last thing we feel like doing is keeping our commitments, to ourselves or anyone else?

If we have had glimpses, openings about the truth of our nature, about our inter-relatedness as spirit in form, if we have allowed an awareness of our essential unity to become more real than our illusory separateness, an answer emerges. We show up, feeling how we feel, and do the right thing. More than an answer, we experience a call, a deep shift in our motivation for action. We feel how we feel. We may need more or less time to sort through it. Nothing about that keeps us from honoring our commitment to life.

Whatever the story of our experience is, life still needs us. We may not be feeling the strength, we may not have the courage to boldly go forward for ourselves alone. But we are not alone. We have an emerging identity as the breath that breathes those around us. Our motivation is no longer bound up in our own benefit. Our motivation is the well being of our family, our community, our world. Because they are counting on me, as a crucial part of their own hearts, I can do what I need to do.

Today, I felt scared, angry, sad. I had reason to experience those feelings. Some of the situations will take a while to resolve. I’m still responsible to life. Knowing that I’m going to keep my commitment to you, my readers, makes my heart lighter. Being able to trust that I’ll show up for chaplain duty tomorrow morning, at Unity’s Sunday service, releases me from being defined by my challenges. Sunday night, my core motivation will be facilitating my spiritual practice circle.

I won’t do these things because I have to do them. I certainly won’t be doing them as a perfect human, free of doubts or personal issues. In all my imperfection, I will do these right things because I am only alive in you. We are God’s only hands. Our motivation is shifting to That.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 19th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

Maui is a diverse island, and I tend to be in circles that include a wide range of cultures, religions, interests and ages.  Living close to many different types of  people has become a delightful norm for me.  I really don’t think I would feel as at home in a more homogenous community.

This week I had the fascinating experience of sharing some introductory material on evolutionary relationship with two very different students.

One man was in his late sixties, from Eastern Europe.  He began practicing Buddhism 30 years ago, and spent many years traveling and studying with teachers in Malaysia and Japan. He was a very sophisticated man, and an experienced seeker of truth.

This gentleman was familiar with the basic philosophical and metaphysical concepts that come forth in a discussion based on evolutionary spirituality. He interrupted me after five minutes, stating in a dismissive fashion, “There isn’t anything new in that–they’re just calling it something different.”  His cynicism seemed to prevent him from being able to consider anything from the, “beginner’s mind,” considered so important by many schools of Buddhist thought.  He spoke of feeling stuck in some key relationships, and didn’t see any way to move forward.

The second man was in his early twenties, a mix of local cultures, Hawaiian, Filipino, and Chinese.  His parents had not regularly practiced any religion when he was growing up, and he had not felt any particular call to explore spirituality on his own.  This young man was very forthright in sharing that he had never felt an emotionally intimate connection with another human being.  He was truly naive, without an understanding or experience of the quality of relationship possible between people.

I began to realize I was verbalizing integral concepts that must have sounded like a foreign language to this student.  Yet, words such as, “deeper, more real, authentic care, discovering how inter-related we truly are, waking up together,” resonate, on some level, with all souls.  I watched this young man’s face as I described the evolutionary impulse urging us to move forward into genuinely mutual, sacred relationship.  His eyes filled with longing–I could tell he was seeing with the eye of the heart, hearing with the ear of the heart.

Which of these two students, both divine embodiments of Spirit in form, one with a lifetime of spiritual practice, determined to see the future through the lens of the past, one just learning of the possibility of feeling deeply connected with others and longing to feel more, do you think will have an easier time evolving their relationships?

It’s never too early, it’s never too late.  In this now moment, becoming, we can choose a more real life, a holy life, a life deeply connected to those with whom we share this earth.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 9th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

I’ve just discovered many wonderful comments in the WordPress spam folder!  Will begin responding to them tomorrow–I’m grateful to each soul who resonated with the deeper message in my blog, and who reached out from around the world to connect with me, and with each other.

A friend has been talking with me about his recent breakup with a girlfriend whom he adored. One of the areas of relationship I promised to write about is when to let go, and how to consciously uncouple. There are some people in the world who fall in love with their first date and stay with that person until one of them transitions to the next life (yes, there really are:). For most of us, there has been a parting of the ways with someone for whom we cared.

Whether or not we initiated the parting, breaking up is indeed hard to do. There is a debate  about which scenario results in a greater emotional burden, having your own heart broken, or breaking the heart of another. If we are the one being left, and it comes to us as a surprise that our lover no longer wants us, it’s difficult to understand the price they may be paying for their decision.  If our lover goes directly into the arms of someone else, believing that their heart is impacted by what happened between us is even harder.

Yet, everything each of us does, counts. Everything each us of does impacts all of us. We can’t fully understand the process of another along the twists and turns of their path. We can, and must, for our own heart, for the heart of the world, take responsibility for our own choices.

Everything happens between people, even when one person is obviously behaving badly. Let me be clear, I’m not excusing abuse of any kind. I’m asking all of us to become more awake in our relationships, to be more conscious of what is really happening.  Whether only one person feels the need to move on, or both people are unhappy and agree to part, we all must develop a greater capacity to see the truth of our relationship.

Go on a short journey of discovery with me. Think of your last breakup. Some will need to reach back to a time long past, and some are in the middle of a painful breakup right now. Just give yourself permission to tell the truth, and ask the Holy Spirit, the Power of Love, for guidance to see clearly.

Imagine the beginning of your relationship. Were there significant differences on things important to you? Did you and your new boyfriend/girlfriend disagree on spirituality, altruism, politics, sexuality, children, importance of career, how to handle money, how to have fun, or the value of marriage? When you met their family, did you feel welcomed? Did you feel a resonance with their friends? When you observed your new love in the world, were you comfortable with the way they treated others? Can you say that you respected and admired them? Did you feel respected, admired, and valued by them?

I’m not asking if you found the other person to be perfect, or a perfect match, in any of these areas–that kind of perfection probably does not exist in form. I’m asking if, in any of these ways, or in a way important to you, there was an inner awareness of not being, “met,” of a lack of mutuality that registered as a kind of warning, either as a physical discomfort, or a mental, “red flag.”

Next, ask yourself, “What did I believe was going to happen with those red flags?” Did you imagine that love would overcome them? Did you believe your lover would change, well, enough, for love to overcome all obstacles? Did you imagine you could change yourself enough to make it work? Did it?

When we are very young, we tend to opt for an experience, for an adventure in love, versus choosing a truly compatible partner with whom to begin a relationship. The time comes, for most of us, when we want the real thing. If we are actually ready for the real thing, or, actually want to be ready (we’ve got to ask ourselves this question, we can’t take the answer for granted), then, we need to take more responsibility for choosing a lover/mate whose values align with ours.

We need to take more responsibility for paying deep attention to the quality of our connection, and for being honest with ourselves and our partner. We need to be courageous in bringing up both our hopes and concerns. We need to be willing to see where our expectations were ours alone, and not based on any evidence provided by our partner. We need to get clear about the chances of any of our core needs being met. Getting clear is not about finding fault with the other, even if their actions have been egregious, by any sane person’s standards. Getting clear is telling ourselves the truth about whether this person and us are enough of a fit to move forward together, and then taking responsibility for acting on that truth.

Sometimes, what does feel good has kept us in a situation where lots of other things don’t feel good. The day comes when the things that don’t feel good, feel bad enough to make the good part not worth it anymore. At this point, a couple with some commitment can choose to seek help from a counselor, or trusted clergy (if the spiritual dimension of your life is important to you, please consider looking for a transpersonal or integral psychologist/ psychotherapist). If there isn’t a real commitment, one person usually leaves.

If we are the one left, we can feel rejected, devalued, betrayed, even unlovable. Our human tendency is to see ourselves as the victim. It’s difficult to see the gift in our situation, as we sit alone, with a heart full of misery. Yet, it’s also difficult to argue with the truth–if our relationship is over, it needs to be over. If being together wasn’t working for our partner, it’s much better to know it sooner rather than later. If we are honest with ourselves, we admit the ways the relationship wasn’t working for us, either.

When we have extended our heart and shared ourselves, grieving over the loss of that closeness, that human contact, is only natural. How many times have we grieved over losing a relationship that, if we tell ourselves the truth, never really had a chance? Or that seemed so right, but went so wrong? We all long for love, to give love, to be loved. It’s all too easy to deny the reality of a relationship growing distant, to pretend not to see, not to feel the hurt.

If we want the real thing, we’ve got to wake up. We can’t sleepwalk through our relationship disconnects. We need to take responsibility for addressing these disconnects directly, when we experience them. We need to get conscious help. If our partner won’t participate, we need to let go. If they’ve already gone, we need to trust that as we become more aware of what really matters to us, and show up that way in the world, we will attract someone who shares our values, and who passionately wants to be with us.

There is much advice available on letting go of a relationship and moving forward. One of the best resources I’ve found is from a woman who wrote a bestseller about finding your soulmate. Katherine Woodward Thomas, author of, “Calling In The One,” is now offering a digital series called, “Conscious Uncoupling,” http://evolvingwisdom.com/consciousuncoupling/enroll. You can download a free seminar introducing the series at http://evolvingwisdom.com/consciousuncoupling/download. I know, some irony here–but hey, you don’t want to hear from someone who only focuses on on things not working out, do you? Katherine has learned much from her years of researching what brings couples together, and now is sharing about a more conscious approach to letting go. Check out her course and let me know what you think.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

 

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 4th, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

How is 2012 looking/feeling so far?  Would love to hear about your New Year’s adventure on our path of evolving consciousness.  All my contact info is on my site, please click, “Maui Spiritual Counseling,” to visit me there and leave a message, or, write a comment below this post.

Can I ask for tech support/advice, in the spirit of wanting to be available to readers in the way that’s for the greatest good?  O.K., will try my best to communicate in what is definitely not my first language, geek-speak (is that offensive? please forgive lack of familiarity with suitable programming social mores, I have deep respect for your expertise).

I discovered only two months ago that MauiSpiritualCounseling.com has two blog platforms, WordPress, and Google.  The WP blog is found on the left-side menu, and the google blog is accessed on the, “About Me,” page, in the text of the last paragraph, where it says, “Get to know Dr. Julianne by visiting her blog.”  The latter blog has it’s own address, “DrJulianne.blogspot.com.”   This revelation (undisclosed by my truly brilliant, evolutionary, consultant at the time of his updating my site), made me aware of the need to copy each post in both platforms.

It’s time to take, “Ask Dr. Julianne,” to the next level, and great resources are now available to me.  It certainly seems like having one platform would be the logical way to proceed, and many blogging gurus are lining up with WordPress…yes?  So, I was playing around inside my google blog, trying to educate myself about any features I might miss by consolidating with WP, and discovered the, “Statistics,” link (maybe the current WP release has all kinds of stats, but I am just learning these things, go ahead and sigh, I won’t hold it against you).

I was astonished to see that people from all over the world are reading my blog!  I’m only beginning, after all.

Wonderful souls from Europe, especially France (I have a B.A. in French, so must give shout out: Salut, chers amis, comment ca va? J’ai etudie a la Sorbonne pour un ete, il y a longtemps, et vous m’avez traite tres gentiment.), the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Slovenia, and Serbia, from China, Taiwan and Malaysia, from India, from Australia, from Africa, from South America, from Canada, as well as all parts of the USA, are exploring, leaning forward together, on this evolutionary journey!

This makes me so happy!  You make me feel like everything along the path that has polished me within an inch of my life, and continues to relentlessly polish us all, is very much worth it. Thank you, with my whole heart.

So, dear ones who read me on DrJulianne.blogspot.com, if my blog had not been on a Google platform, would you still have found me?

Beloved gear-heads (a dear friend wears a T-shirt that proclaims him to be so, don’t blame me), what shall I do?  Consolidate to WP, or no?

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - January 2nd, 2012

Aloha Dear Ones,

Happy New Year’s Day.  Maui is spectacularly beautiful today.  Blues of sky and sea, greens of palm trees and exotic plants, fragrant flowers painted bright fuschia, all alive and vibrant in the soft sunshine.  Gentle trade winds blow across small waves, tease blossoms, and caress my face.  I feel a part of everything flowing and ever-changing.

Just got done watching the last half hour of, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” for the, God-knows-how-many, time.  Even with the passionate contingent of true alien believers on Maui, I’m not really a space brother/space sister, kind of new-ager.  It’s pretty logical that other beings exist in the galaxy.  I just don’t go around focusing on them.  We have plenty to do here.  Don’t get me wrong, I love SciFi.  I’d be happy giving tax dollars to NASA, so that we can, “boldly go where no one has gone before.”

That wonder of going forward into the unknown, is what resonated so deeply with me, watching, “Close Encounters.”  It seemed downright prophetic, this time–of change in motion.

How many times have thoughts like, “Things will never change.  I had dreams, goals, for 2011, the same ones I’ve had for so long. How will anything ever be different,” crossed your mind? Or is it just me?  At the end of each year, we are besieged with well-meaning emails, classes, invitations of all sorts, trying to give us a new twist on goal setting.  All these promise us that if we can just tweak the process the right way, our goals will come to fruition.

Yes, there are ways of focusing our intention that make our dreams more likely to take shape, to grow into recognizable form.  Taking small, consistent steps, day after day, and giving each step a deadline, or due date, is one.  Being willing to try something we’ve never done before is another.

There is a new, evolutionary perspective, a bigger truth I’m asking all of us to consider. Whatever we do, it’s never just about us. Our sweetest, wildest dream, if we imagine living it, are we ever alone? Isn’t there someone, or many, sharing it with us? Just imagine the most powerful manifestation of your dream impacting, blessing the earth, and everyone on it. How does it look?  How does it feel?

You may be imagining something very grand.  A multi-modal, global healing center, somehow accessible to anyone in need, is the big dream of more Mauians than I can count, and what a beautiful, altruistic dream. Here’s the thing–each choice, no matter how small, of the dreamer, is just as important, potentially just as beautiful, just as altruistic, as the grander vision.

One day, we get out of bed, and we don’t want to work on the planned step towards our goal. It’s such a small thing, not glamorous, not leading to any clear result on its own.  Maybe it’s not even an action towards the goal itself, but an internal preparation, like a daily meditation practice.  On the days when we haven’t had enough sleep the night before, or we were disappointed by a friend before breakfast, from where does our motivation come?  What does it matter?

It matters, dear ones, because we are responsible to each other in this life. If we give up, we take away from our brothers and sisters.  If we do that which is right for us to do, we contribute to the well being of our family, our community, our country, our earth, to all humanity.  This is easy enough for good, spiritual people to get on board with, intellectually, even emotionally. But when it is real for us, when this sacred interconnection becomes our lived reality, a miracle happens.

Our motivation shifts.  We may not feel like doing the right thing for ourselves, when it is especially inconvenient, or if we feel inadequate to the demand.  But, we have a deep and abiding awareness of everyone in our circles, and their circles, depending on us, needing us to show up as the very best within us. Our love for these precious ones, our commitment to them, lifts us up, makes it possible for us to act for the greater good. Then, miracle of wonders, we discover that doing what is for the greatest good, however difficult or terrifying it seemed, turns out to be our greatest happiness, also–not in abstract, but in the most real, bottom-line, fulfilling, exciting way.

More of us are waking up to our innate inter-relatedness.  A divinely inspired evolution of our consciousness is unfolding. In a world motivated by doing the right thing for the greatest good, we don’t need to worry about, “How will anything ever be different?”  For any pattern of limitation, any holding back from expressing all the love of God, becoming–its days are numbered.  Something more good, more true, more beautiful, and more holy, is emerging.

As 2012 begins, we are indeed going where no one has gone before, together.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

 

 

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - December 31st, 2011

Aloha Dear Ones,

I was blessed with a wonderful experience today.  The experience is unique to Maui, and to my little part of  South Maui, Ma’alaea Bay.  Every year, around mid-October, Humpback whales begin to return to the waters of West and South Maui.  The whales spend April-September around Alaska, feeding.  In the fall, they begin their long swim South, towards Hawaii.

Humpbacks come to Maui to have babies, and to make more.  In the eight years I’ve lived on Ma’alaea Bay, I’ve seen three baby Humpbacks born from my third floor lanai, or balcony.  The mamma whale gracefully swims around to her new calf, and ever-so-gently, puts her nose underneath it and lifts it just above the surface of the water, so the baby can take its first breath. It is an enchanting and deeply touching display of loving care.

Ma’alaea Bay is a natural harbor, about five miles down the road from South Maui, towards the West side of the island.  Our beautiful aquarium, the Maui Ocean Center, is in Ma’alaea.  A variety of fishing and pleasure boats dock in the harbor, and a few small shops dot the shore. It takes me about five minutes to walk down to the harbor shops, past the modern Coast Guard station, and the old Buddhist temple long closed to the public.

Ma’alaea is home to the Pacific Whale Foundation (pacificwhale.org), a research and educational facility that promotes the welfare of cetaceans, dolphins, sea turtles, monk seals, and other ocean life, as well as whales.  The staff of scientists and  mariners are remarkable people, truly dedicated to protecting the ocean and all the beings that live in it.

Humpback whales are the local stars of the sea.  Visitors come from around the world each year to participate in the Pacific Whale Foundation’s educational and monitoring programs, and to go on whale watch cruises with the Foundation’s naturalists.  Visitors as well as locals can volunteer to assist the staff with a variety of  activities. During whale season, one of the favorite events is the week long, “Ocean Camp,”  for kids who love the sea and want to learn more about its fascinating creatures.

Children from many different countries eagerly look forward to Ocean Camp.  The kids spend mornings on field trips with naturalists trained to provide the most direct encounter with sea life possible.  In the afternoons, everyone returns to classrooms in the harbor, and the naturalists explain the life cycles of the whales and dolphins, how the health of the ocean affects the health of those who live in it, and how the kids and their families can help to protect the whole ecosystem.

Very early this morning, I had the pleasure of being an Ocean Camp volunteer.  Twenty of the most glorious children in the galaxy, from ages five to ten, were very excited about going on a whale watch cruise with naturalists who were experts on Humpbacks.  The children were so bright, so open, so radiantly alive and charmingly curious, they had me laughing, and almost crying, after the first 15 minutes.

We had a splendid whale watch.  Our captain let us spend about an hour with one mother Humpback and her calf, their male escort, and a pod of spinner dolphins, who seemed to be just playing with the whale family, jumping and diving, to the delight of everyone, whales and humans, alike.  The children fell in love with the baby, who jumped out of the water enough for us to clearly see it several times.  Near the end, the adult escort breeched, or jumped completely up out of the water, causing even the captain to exclaim,”Wow, that’s an incredible animal, look at the size of him!  He’s giving us a rare gift–that’s only the second breech I’ve seen this year.”  The kids were actually speechless–briefly:).

In spending time with these sweet, awake, children, being encouraged to learn about the miraculous beauty and variety of life, and how to nurture it, I experienced a palpable sense of our future being in very good hands.  I’m deeply grateful for today’s adventure, and lesson of loving care, and for the precious little ones who will bring this lesson forward to our world.

Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve.  Our focus is on releasing the past, and moving into the year ahead with a willingness to experience more of the divine adventure, more of our essential oneness with God, with each other.  Let’s do it with the excitement and openness to love and learning the children at Ocean Camp showed in meeting the whales in Ma’alaea Bay.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - December 29th, 2011

Aloha Dear Ones,

It’s a beautiful day on Maui, sky the color of the, “Sky Blue,” crayon in your childhood box of 100 Crayola Crayons.  Big, round, white clouds float above the horizon.  The trade winds have been up for the last few days, tossing palms about, fanning the sea into long, peaking waves that shine silver in the sunlight.  It’s a good day to explore the mystery.

Yesterday I was telling you about my experience as a Unity Church chaplain, and how the practice of evolutionary spirituality has been impacting the prayers I say in church.  I shared about being asked to give the opening prayer at our Christmas Eve service, held in a larger public venue than our regular meetings, attended by widely diverse mix of people.

I was grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the sacred celebration of the birth of Jesus. Christmas Eve was the most precious night my devout, Lutheran parents spent with my older brother and me each year.  Christ’s birth was proof of God’s love, manifest on earth.  For our stoic, Scandinavian family, it was the sweetest emotional connection we experienced.

The prospect of giving the opening prayer at the Unity Christmas Eve service also made me feel anxious about, “getting it right.”  I wanted to celebrate the Christ who was, “the Son of God,” and, “the son of man,” while honoring Unity’s belief that all paths lead to God, while being available to the emerging call of the evolutionary impulse.  It makes me smile, days later, the notion of being worried about getting mysteries so beyond my intellect, “right.”

My main concern was my ego casting it’s pervasive shadow on the message, of the prayer that could be for the greatest good being distorted through the lens of my egoic conditioning.  After all, this would be the biggest stage I’d been on, in the active role of chaplain.  My bravely choosing to, “not hide your light under a bushel,” would, of course, not proceed with smooth purity, however pure my intention.  Our human condition predicts our ego rising up with our altruism showing up.

Let me explain the way, “ego,” is meant in this spiritual context.  We are not referring to the ego proposed by Freud in his three part model of human consciousness.  Freud described ego as the psychic structure representing the conscious self, that mediates between the id, the unconscious, and the superego, the parental/socially-constructed conscious.  In this model, the ego is our friend, helping us sort through drives and patterns of which we are unaware, and the influence of cultural expectations.  When modern psychologists use the term, “ego strength,” they are speaking of a healthy self concept, a cohesive, resilient personality, able to function successfully in the world.

Ah–were it that simple.  For those of you who are saying, “Well, it is,” I’m feeling you. Really.  Let’s just say that functioning successfully means different things to different people at different times.  Many people brilliantly successful by worldly standards long for a deeper experience of life, for meaning, for truth, for freedom, for love–for the real thing.

People wanting more of the real thing become seekers, either diving more deeply into the philosophy and religion of their family traditions, or exploring other cultural and spiritual practices.  Sooner or later, seekers discover a teaching about humanity living in the illusion of separation, of being separate from the essential mystery that set life in motion, and from each other.

As seekers, we passionately want to break through that illusion, but how can we see clearly? We begin to de-construct the story that created the illusion of separation from God, from each other.  All the conditioning from eons of evolution, from culture, family, religion, all the defensive patterns developed as we make our way in a challenging world–this is what spiritual teachers refer to as ego.  In psychological terms, we might call this ego the false self, the conditioned personality self, automatically analyzing each moment in reference to past threats, responding with learned defenses.

Yes, we can see pieces of Freud’s three-part model of consciousness throughout the spiritual definition of ego, but let’s not make ourselves crazy.  Maybe it’s time for an article in, “Psychology Today.”

O.K., back to Christmas Eve and giving the opening prayer.  To be able to show up in the moment, free from patterns of less than/more than, deeply resonating with Christ consciousness, available to the Holy Spirit/evolutionary impulse, was my intention.

I remembered Craig Hamilton (IntegralEnlightenment.com), with whom I’d been studying evolutionary spirituality, saying something like, “As we become more aware of how our ego works, are able to see it kick in,  and then choose to act in ways more aligned with the greater good, the ego’s hold on us lessens, with practice.  But we always have to assume it’s there. We always need to be willing to see more clearly, to ask for feedback, to go forward with the humility of not knowing for sure.”

My response to this truth was mixed.  It was kind of a relief to know I couldn’t know, I couldn’t guarantee clarity.  I also felt overwhelmed by the scope of this inquiry, the complexity.  I had to release the hold my mind was taking, to let go of trying to get it right.  I said a simple prayer, “Beloved Presence, thank you for showing up on Christmas Eve for the greatest good, beyond my personality self.  I give myself to you, I lay my stuff at your feet.”

For the next week, I was aware of a caring presence, most of time just holding me. Sometimes, I became aware of a phrase, a feeling, that could be a sweet, deep part of the Christmas Eve prayer–but I had a sense of being guided towards something, rather than being given the thing whole. I meditated in an open way, intending to cling to nothing, yet gratefully receiving loving grace as I awoke to it.

On Christmas Eve, I arrived at Iao Theater early (not my pattern–I really must have been motivated beyond my usual conditioning:), hugged some friends and found the seat reserved for the prayer chaplain.  There was a flutter of nerves in my stomach, and a flood of visual and auditory sensation as I took in the preparations for the service, the musicians, the choir, the hula hui.

For a half hour, I sat in stillness.  There was a serene, expanding aliveness, that seemed to be the nature of everything.

The service started.  I knew the opening prayer was after the first carol. The woman who was platforming was also leading the carols.  After  the first verse, she motioned me to come up on stage.  I carefully climbed the steps (yes, in heels too high), and stood beside the singing woman, thinking the carol was about to end, smiling as I joined in singing what I thought was the last phrase.  We didn’t sing more than two verses of any other carol that night, but, by God, as I stood in front of 500 people, I discovered  we were going to sing all four stanzas of, “Joy to the World.”

Now, who knows those last two verses?  I certainly didn’t, but here I am, singing away, hoping my memory will be jogged.  My spirits were bright enough through the third stanza, but my memory had not been jogged much at all, and I had faked half the words as best I could.  As my partner on stage zealously began the fourth verse, I felt a sinking sensation–a decision had to be made.  Was it better to stop trying to sing, would that be more authentic?  If I didn’t sing, would it detract from the field that was being created, would it distract someone?  Would I be less connected to everyone who was also trying to make it through that tune?

As these questions are swirling through my mind, I happen to glance down and catch the eye of the only woman in our regular congregation with whom there is an ongoing discomfort (she said something nasty about me years ago, and hasn’t accepted any reconciliatory gesture).  O.K., it could have been the lens of my ego, but I could have sworn she was smirking.  She was close enough to see me faking the lyrics.

I could not go there.  I chose to stay with the carol, singing the words I could make out.  I put my focus on the woman who was leading the carol, watching her lips, letting her words be mine.  I didn’t match her all that well, but I let go of needing to get it right.  As the music ended, I gazed around the room, marveling at all the souls, at the one soul, present.

My partner on the platform introduced me.  I looked into the faces across the theater, took a breath, made eye contact with a few more people, and began, “Sweet Beloved Presence,”…all of a sudden, my friend on the platform decided the microphone needed adjusting.  She fumbled with it, finally removing the mic and in a stage whisper, told me, “I’ll just hold it.”

It felt like the whole theater held its breath, waiting to see, well, more where the energy would go, or what the quality of it would be, rather than what would happen next.

Magically, my personality self stopped being triggered, stopped worrying, stopped needing to figure out or control anything.  I gently put my hand on the mic, lifted it to me and resumed praying.  I felt connected with the soul of everyone present, in that serenely alive awareness I’d experienced meditating before the service.  I can’t recreate the prayer, but I would like to share my memory of it with you.

“Sweet Beloved Presence, we know that your love created all that is.  We know that your love, and your grace, and your mercy, are the only true powers at work in our lives.

Beloved Presence, on this night, we celebrate the birth of your love as Christ Jesus.  We know that you loved us so much, that you sent one in form to be a way show-er, to teach us how to know you more, to love you more, to teach us how to love each other more.  We rejoice in that Christ light.

Yet, even as we rejoice in the birth of Jesus, we know that there are those here with a care on their hearts.  We are aware of our brothers and sisters around the world who need our love now, and so, Beloved, we claim the power of your love for these dear ones, not only for ourselves.  We put our awareness on the space between us, knowing that in the space between, there is a deeper, higher reality, a truer experience of your love emerging.

Sweet Dear One, we lean forward, together, into the edge of that space between us, into that pure love, knowing that in that holy space, healing is possible, transformation is possible, knowing that together, the power of that evolving love is so much stronger than any challenge we could face alone.  We open ourselves to your living Presence, that we may hear with the ear of the heart, that we may truly receive your love, as we give thanks for the gift of Christ.

Beloved Presence, we release this prayer unto your deep heart–we rely not on the brilliance of our minds, nor on our conditioned personality selves. We place our trust in the perfect unfolding, on this night, in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

And so it is.  Amen.”

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

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Ask Dr. Julianne

Posted by admin - December 28th, 2011

Aloha Dear Ones,

It’s very early in the morning on Maui.  The need for rest and reflection has been foremost since Christmas Eve.

I’ve been a Unity Church chaplain for almost 10 years.  About a week before Unity’s Christmas Eve service,  I was asked to give the opening prayer.  I immediately said yes, then the scope of the responsibility set in. I wondered if I could show up the way that was needed, if I could be available to that deep edge of my being that allows the Holy Spirit/evolutionary impulse to come forth.  I didn’t want my own personality conditioning, or my human mind, to write and deliver a prayer that would just sound good–I wanted a truer voice to speak.

Unity Church on Maui (unityonmaui.org) started having the chaplains give opening prayers for Sunday services about six months ago.  We tend to follow a format for affirmative prayer used by many, “new thought,” groups, such as Religious Science.  This form of affirmative prayer, sometimes called, “five-step prayer,” focuses on acknowledging divine presence, aligning with this holy presence, affirming one’s intention, giving thanks and releasing the prayer to divine outcome.

For the past few months, my prayers have increasingly included evolutionary language and concepts.  I find myself saying things like, “Beloved Presence, we know that there is not only this now moment–there is also this now moment, becoming–we lean forward, together, into the edge of that becoming, into the space between us, for in the space between us, there is an awareness emerging of our essential unity, of a deeper, higher love that is our true nature, a sacred reality that is so much more powerful than any challenge we might face on our own, that is becoming stronger each day.”

I pray with my eyes open, looking into the eyes of people around the room.  When my prayers at Unity became more evolutionary, some people whose heads were bowed began to look up at me, with an expression both surprised and curious.  As I continued to pray, I saw people’s faces soften, open, then seem to brighten, with a quality of hope.  I especially noticed that when words of, “leaning together into the space between us, where we are more available to consciousness emerging, where there is a love and wisdom awakening between us that is so much stronger than any trial we face alone,” that some people sat straighter, some began gently crying, all appearing to release isolation, to embrace connection.

Together, with my brothers and sisters, I felt the sweet comfort of being one heart , and with that experience of unity, a deeper motivation to do the right thing–for God, for myself, for these people who are part of me, and who, with me, are all part of God.

Each time this happened, I was left with a feeling of amazement.  I would come with a frame for the occasion on any given Sunday, but never write a prayer, always allowing it to unfold in the moment.  I grew to trust that a greater presence would show up, in this new, exciting way, and felt a precious alignment with our small congregation.

On Christmas Eve, attendance is always much larger.  Unity moves its service to the Iao Theater in Wailuku town, which seats about 500.  A wide range of people come, mainland visitors from traditional churches, new age Mauians on a variety of paths, and locals.  I felt some trepidation about giving the opening prayer with this bigger group, with such different beliefs and expectations.  The concern was about my egoic conditioning. Could my personality self get out of the way enough to express as the evolutionary impulse?  Or would the false self feel compelled to put on a show on this bigger stage?

My ego wasn’t my only concern.  There was a call on my heart to truly honor Jesus as the birth of God’s love in form, as God’s love made manifest for humanity.

Unity was founded by a passionately Christian couple, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore.  Their intention was to explore Christ consciousness under a big umbrella, accepting that all paths lead to God, welcoming people of all faiths to come together to study and celebrate a greater truth of being and living. My experience in Unity was that while every effort was made to acknowledge the beauty of all paths, there was at times a reluctance to speak of its Christian roots.  There was a sensitivity to the number of, “recovering fundamentalists,” in the Unity movement, those who had been wounded in conservative Christian churches where they experienced condemnation, and who could be offended by the mere mention of Jesus’ name.

I get this–and, there is an expanding awareness that allows us to heal, to hear with the ear of the heart.  My former Unity minister, Rev. Mary Omwake, told me about a conversation she had with Rev. Michael Beckwith, of Apage, in Los Angeles.  He said, “Maybe we are healed enough now to start talking about Jesus again.”  Amen.

So, how do I honor Jesus on the night we celebrate his birthday, on a Unity platform, being available as the evolutionary impulse, without my ego staging the gig?  What would you do?

This post is becoming so very long–I need a little food and a walk along Ma’alaea Bay.  Can I tell you tomorrow what happened?  Thank you, Beloved.

Love and blessings,

Dr. Julianne

 

 

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Happy to be Writing Again

Posted by admin - November 1st, 2011

Aloha Dear Ones,

This has been a fascinating, challenging, deeply & unexpectedly transformative year. I’m very happy to let my friends know that I have begun writing again.

My plan is to post at least weekly. So much evolutionary love is coming forward, posts may need to be more frequent. We will see what Spirit wants.

I’m also available to new clients now, either in person (house/hotel calls) on Maui, or by phone/Skype globally.

I would love to hear from you. If you have a question you would like a spiritual shrink to answer, consider the column I proposed last year,    ”Ask Dr. Julianne,” open for business. Please write your question in the comment section & I’ll answer as soon as I can.

If you would like to talk with me in a counseling session, please leave me a voicemail at 1-808-283-8431 and we can schedule a time. You might visit the, “Session Request,” page on my site and complete the questionnaire to get us started.

I’m so happy and grateful to be connecting with you all again–I look eagerly forward to many high & deep insights and inspirations in the sacred space between us.

Love and blessings, Julianne

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