Summer has always been a time of adventure and travels for me and this summer, the summer of 2012 has been one of my greatest. Why, you might ask?
Well for the past eight years approximately, I’ve been on a spiritual journey of sorts. I mean really, technically we all are, in the sense that life is basically a spiritual journey. But in November of 2004, when I first began studying A Course in Miracles, the energy in my life really began to shift
and change and take on a new direction which has been this amazing and incredible spiritual journey guided by, primarily inner transformation, which has resulted in outer transformation. The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You, what does that mean?
Well, thanks to summer 2012, I think I know. A lot of it has to do with catching the flow and following the synchronicities. In doing that, I’ve discovered the beautiful, the incredible, the extraordinary in every day life, simply because I’ve chosen to observe it, find it, feel it. The Kingdom of Heaven is Here, Now. It sure is. This
summer, more than any other; I felt it and lived it.
The Five Star Resort Experience
Okay, let me just tell you a little bit about my more basic instinctive travels, that have not been within the celestial realms. I’ve always loved to travel, but typically, only to really nice places. I love five star hotels! Love them, love them love them! (But I often don’t have a five star budget.) I love the resort experience! Especially tropical resort experiences. I love swimming pools and palm trees and beaches! I adore beaches!!!! The whiter and softer the sand and the clearer the water, the better the beach! I just love Florida! And so that’s why, back in 2002, when a shady high pressure sales guy at Orange Lake Resort and Country Club, scammed me into this concept of “vacation ownership” I fell for it. (Even though I don’t own a damn thing, and certainly not a permanent vacation…more on that later.)
But even though, Orange Lake (and all timeshares really) are totally scamalicious, I did so love that resort experience! I paid through the nose, eyes, teeth and ears for it, but loved it all the same. And then the cruise! In 2009, I went on a cruise, out of Miami with Royal Caribbean! That cruise made the top of my list in terms of fun and luxury. I’d been to many exciting places: Nags Head, South Beach, Miami Beach, Tampa, Clear Water, St. Petersburg, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach, Orlando, Key West, Ocean City, Sarasota, San Diego, Las Vegas, Denver, Dallas. Pretty much resort style places on beaches or in the big cities were the extent of Amber’s instinctive travels.
But it takes money; it takes great big chunks of money to travel in such luxury, no less than about $300 American dollars a night (at least). Because this summer, my dollars were not as yielding or cooperative as in summers past, I decided that my instinctive travels had to take a turn into the fourth dimension.
It all started close to home. Brian and I went to Virginia Beach for the Easter Weekend. As usual, we made a stop at the Edgar Cayce Visitor’s Center (a place which I just love, love, love!) It’s a really interesting place. A real physical place, but truly much more than that. It is definitely, also a highly mystical and metaphysical place – a gateway, of you will, to the fourth dimension. So while I had always liked the Edgar Cayce Visitor’s Center, and while I have always had enjoyed the incredibly good feeling energy vibrations that emanate from inside and all around the Edgar Cayce visitor’s Center, I had never, in all of my life experienced anything like what I experienced this past Easter Sunday (Easter 2012) at the Edgar Cayce visitor’s center. It was nothing less than total, complete and abrupt inner transformation!
What happened? I meditated in the mediation room. I also walked the labyrinth and I bought some used books from the library. It all sounds simple enough, but it was so much more, really. This was the beginning for me. These were the keys to the kingdom. The Kingdom of Heaven is Here, Now.
After these Easter Sunday experiences my life changed drastically. To go into what specifically changed and why would take far too long to explain here. I’ll get into it in another post, but for now, you’re just going to have to trust me when I say, my life changed drastically. What changed was my ability to see. I began to see opportunities nearly everywhere.
Okay, let me take a step back to before the Easter Sunday 2012 Edgar Cayce visit. Before that visit, for the most part, I saw my life as being pretty routine and pretty stable. I live in a suburb of DC called Dale City.
Dale City and The Twilight Zone
How to describe Dale City? Well it is definitely the province of the worker bees of the DC area. In DC, the more money you have, the closer you get to the Whitehouse of course. Places like Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria are for the truly paid: the independently wealthy, the ones with trust funds and prep school diplomas . . . you get the picture. Next up Fairfax County, one of the highest wealth per capita counties in the country. It houses your doctors and lawyers and dotcom millionaires. But ummm, I don’t live there. I live in Prince William County, the next county over. The nurses, who work for the doctors, the paralegals who work for the lawyers, the secretaries who work for the dotcom millionaires, these are the kind of people chilling in the PWC. We’re close enough to the big money to see that all that glitters definitely ain’t gold. Close enough to grab our own little piece of heaven and be happy that we could have it without having to put up with all the bullish.
I once heard this big executive type, complaining to another big executive type about the squalor that is Dale City. Squalor? I wanted to ask this man had he ever been to Dale City? It was certainly not lavish, but squalor? Clearly this man was out of touch with the reality of the world, where most people lived without indoor plumbing. If you ever visited Dale City, you’d have to admit, at least, that it was nice. You’d have to give it that much. When I first moved out to Dale City, it felt so phony and fake; I often would get the sensation of it not being real. Where was the dirt? Where was the grime and gutter of it all? Surely it had to be somewhere? The first time my sociopath of a brother visited me in Dale City he asked, in complete exasperation, what is this place?
Initially, living in Dale City felt like living on a monopoly board. There are about twenty different styles of houses in Dale City that come in maybe ten to fifteen different colors. And while the houses aren’t made of plastic (well not entirely anyway) they really aren’t made of anything any more authentic. Everyone in Dale City gets the standard issue Colonial-looking box, made out of vinyl, plastic, plywood and (if you bought your house before the builders started getting really cheap) maybe even some brick. Every little plastic house, sits neatly on a perfect little square. If you are a good Dale City-ite, then you keep your little grass square as green and pretty and plush as the best carpet money could buy. (If you were like me, and couldn’t bring yourself to give a rat’s ass about grass, then your lawn looks well . . . let’s be polite and really new age green and say organic.)
But, If you are really lucky, like me, then you just happen to live with something truly exceptional . . . those Virginia trees. What amazingly beautiful organisms! I live with a lot of them. Apple trees, even, right in my own backyard. Yes indeed, I live with those and all kinds of other amazing trees that I do not even know the names of. But looking out on all of that natural green perfection on any given afternoon of a perfect summer day, there is no doubt in my mind that I am experiencing something priceless. In the springtime when in bloom, these trees are among the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Pastel flowers, bursting from every branch like the tiny little miracles they are. And in the fall, when the leaves turn, they do it spectacularly. All of those deep reds, and burnt oranges, those trees are on fire!
Dale City is peaceful. Very, very peaceful. But peace get’s boring, (without any war to make you want it.) I’m sorry to say it, but it does. Sometimes, living out my very regular and routine existence in Dale City, I feel like those people in that episode of the Twilight Zone. You know the one. These people wake up in a fake town from which they seemingly cannot escape. Nothing is real, not the food, not the furniture in the houses, not the grass, not even the squirrel perched on the fake tree. There are no other people other than the two who wake up in this ghost town. They think they have discovered an exit when they discover this train station. They are so ecstatic they jump on the train in haste, without buying tickets or without even taking the time to figure out where the train is even going. So, they’re on the train, for about twenty minutes, and in that time, they realize that they are on a train to nowhere. It travels in a circle returning the Twilight Zone occupants exactly to the place of their initial departure.
And life in Dale City had begun to feel like that for me. I move around in the same circles, doing the same things, for the same people. Life in Dale City is pretty routine. Besides the trees there’s just not much around to remind me of life’s wonder and majesty.
And then it happened. All at once, (or so it seemed) all these doors opened and I began to experience the wonder, the mysterious, the majestic even…right in my back yard! Yes! Right in Dale City. (Well, okay, I did have to do some traveling to Manassas, Triangle and Shenandoah National Park, but these places are incredibly close to Dale City.)
Synchronicity and the Fourth Dimension
The ball started rolling through a series of synchronicities. What are synchronicities you ask? They are keys that open the doors to the fourth dimension. The first person to create a term to assign to the experience that many of us know as synchronicity was the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Jung described synchronicity as a sort of coincidence that grab’s one’s attention; (and coincidence might not be exactly the right word, a better word might be an intuitive urging or a metaphysical sign.) The point of the synchronistic flow, according to Jung, and now many other theorists, is to move human beings (and thus in mass the human race) toward greater growth in consciousness.
But the basic gist of synchronistic movements is that something totally out of the ordinary jumps into your perception and experience. Initially, if you’re not used to it, it might seem crazy. You will rub your eyes twice and ask yourself, did that street sign just jump out at me? And then you’ll ask yourself, why? You might get the feeling that you need to take a right turn, at this luminous street sign and the whole time you’ll be thinking, this is totally nuts! But it will feel right. IT WILL FEEL RIGHT! And the key is to just go with it! FLOW. Because if you follow your stream of synchronicities one, after the other, you will catch a flow that will feel, nothing less than miraculous! And that is exactly what happened to me this summer.
I had experienced synchronicity for the first time (that I was aware of) in the spring of 2006. I had decided earlier in the year that I wanted to know, all that could be known about the publishing industry. I was clueless as to how it operated and so I wanted to some how get my hands on some real solid information about it, but I had no idea how to go about this. None! I don’t really know how it happened, but somehow, out of that desire, I entered a synchronicity stream. The stream flowed like this: I got this feeling that I needed to go to the bookstore to find a book about writing. I got the book, bought it, took it home, read it, and got the feeling that I needed to go to this very specific writer’s conference in Jacksonville, Florida – and so I went. There, I met some amazing writers and editors. One editor actually asked to review my manuscripts. (Which is huge in the traditional publishing world, it almost never happens.) One writer actually asked me to help her out at this other conference that she was attending back home in DC. The conference that I attended with the writer, turned out to be the BEA, Book Expo America, which is like the Grammys for writers. Everybody, and I do mean everybody who is anybody in publishing (and of course everybody who ain’t nobody too) attends this Book Expo America. It was there that I did my preliminary research about the publishing industry, and was able to find out everything that I needed to know about it!
So to recap synchronicity, the first time it happened to me, I had this desire, this request if you will, and through a stream of synchronicities, it was fulfilled. But the weird thing about the entire synchronistic experience was the feeling. It felt so right, and yet also, so supernatural, and yet so peaceful. I’d experienced flow since then, but never for as lengthy a period a time or with as clear-cut of an outcome. For example, I experienced it during a couple of weekends in 2007. During those weekends, I was moved to take certain actions, and while everything felt right, and the experiences were enjoyable, there weren’t any significant outcomes, which resulted in any progress or movement toward any higher consciousness, as far as I could see (but then again, back then, I wasn’t really seeing, and I see that now.) I also had this incredible experience with this one class that I taught in the spring of 2008 – and also in dealing with my mother’s stroke in the winter/spring of 2008. I had an amazing experience with synchronicity and flow during the Spring/Summer of 2009, when I attended my twenty year class reunion, spent some time with my sociopath of a brother, and went cruising out of Miami. It happened to me again, in the late summer and fall of 2010, when I went to Orlando and spent some time with girlfriends who I had not seen in twenty years. It happened to me again in the summer of 2011, I had a crisis of ruptured identity, and perception, and understanding of my reality, and it came on so quickly and so harsh . . . and yet, I found a stream of flow that helped carry me through all of that, most majestically. During those periods of flow, I could clearly see myself moving along a course of action that did result in an expansion of human consciousness. But I had yet to experience anything as moving, as awesome and profound as what I’ve experienced this summer.
This summer, beginning with that Easter Sunday at the Edger Cayce Visitor’s Center, I’ve experienced a series of synchronicities so extreme and so bizarre, I choose to refer to these experiences as encounters with the fourth dimension. I started, for example, practicing Feng Shui, which totally changed the entire energy flow inside my house (and thus in my life!) How did that happen? Well, really strangely. On our way back from the Edger Cayce Visitor’s Center, Brian handed me this book on Feng Shui that he had purchased from the Cayce Visitor’s Center. He asked me to take a look at it, and to see if we could implement some of the Feng Shui suggestions in our home. I have to admit, I had zero interests in Feng Shui. It seemed like some really weird and superstitious Chinese ish, that I could neither get with or relate to. But Brian was really getting on my nerves on the car ride back home. The Feng Shui book allowed me to tune him out. So, I began reading it, mainly as an escape tactic. I had to admit I found some of the ideas in the book interesting. Very soon after I got home, I resolved to just try and do something with the wealth and abundance area of my home, (which was in pretty pathetic shape, according to the rules of Feng Shui.) I was shocked when, I made a few minor changes and completely transformed that corner of my house! Everything, in the entire room, looked, felt and flowed so much better as a result of the changes! I was amazed because the whole thing only took me a few hours! Just like that, I had a whole new room! And then after that, I became a Feng Shui addict. I began the process of Feng Shuiing my entire house. All through out April and May, I worked tirelessly toward my Feng Shui goals, and it paid off, because by June, I felt like I had a whole new house!
That wasn’t the only miraculous, synchronistic thing that I experienced either. Rather, that was just one of many. Another, really mind-blowing coincidence was this book I picked up on a whim at the Cayce Visitor’s Center. It is entitled, The Ancient Secret to the Fountain of Youth. I actually picked it up as a goof for Brian, who is obsessed with the latest and greatest that technology and modern medicine (traditional and alternative) can offer us with regard to optimal health and eternal youth. This book promised clock-reversing effects immediately. All one had to do was the five simple poses in the book. Most of them looked like Yoga poses to me. Since it was so simple, I figured, what the heck! What did I have to lose? Nothing, really and everything to gain. I had been struggling with severe chronic fatigue syndrome since 2006. Ever since a surgery I’d had for fibroids back in 2007, my energy levels would rise and fall, often plummeting to a state that felt something life, half- past dead. Ever since that surgery, I had never fully regained the health of my former self. I simply could not seem to reach any of my pre-surgery high energy levels, for any significant length of time. I began doing the exercises, and from day one, and I mean the very first day of doing those exercises, inexplicably, my energy level jumped through the roof! This one little book (I mean it’s barely a pamphlet!) that I had picked up off the used book table at the Cayce library for $1 (a $1!) had proved far more helpful to me in treating (dare I say eliminating?) my chronic fatigue, than the hundreds that I had spent on various doctor’s visits.
And so all of this, Feng Shui, drastic increases in energy levels, I owe to synchronicity. I haven’t even begun to discuss all of my amazing travels! And there have been so many. I feel like I have been around the world in a day!
So I’ll just jump to it. I decided after that first amazing Virginia Beach experience during the Easter holiday, to schedule a second one as a surprise, for Brian’s Birthday, in June. Like I said, my dollars have been kinda sketchy as of late; and so I wasn’t sure about incurring the expense, but that second visit, actually led to a complimentary third visit so it was well worth what I paid! Shout out to Wyndham Oceanfront for hosting us!
The funny thing was I ended up at the Wyndham, primarily because it was the only hotel that had any availability on Brian’s Birthday weekend. The really cool thing, which I discovered about Wyndham oceanfront once Brian and I arrived, is that it is located on a really secluded area of Virginia Beach. That first night that we stayed at the Wyndham, it was like we had the beach to ourselves! (Which is completely unheard of at Virginia Beach because it’s a pretty crowded beach.) Not only that, but the Wyndham Oceanfront is only ten or so blocks away from the Edger Cayce Visitor’s Center, which Brian and I always visit when we go to Virginia Beach. We could have walked to Eddie’s (as Brian calls the Visitor’s Center) if we wanted to. (But, lazy beach bums that we are, we didn’t.) We went to Edger Cayce Spa for these amazing and totally revitalizing spa therapies: a reflexology and caster oil- pack treatment combined with Cayce style massages. It was awesome.
Out of nowhere, (or actually, just after I started practicing Feng Shui) I developed this peculiar interest in the Buddha.) So, synchronistically, during a fun-filled visit to Exotic Home, in Virginia Beach, I encountered an incredibly large selection of Buddha statues. Peace, Serenity, Love and Compassion, you just gotta love that Buddha!
Camping at Shenandoah National Park
Upon my return home, I knew that, among other things, I would go camping. Not only would I go camping, but I would go camping in the Shenandoah Mountains with my hiking group! And all of this, was no less than miraculous for many numerous and varied reasons. The most amazing of all was that for the past twenty-five years or so, I had believed that I hated camping. It was the complete and total opposite of the five-star experience that I craved, when I traveled. But my spring visits to Edgar Cayce’s had some how reminded me that I did not hate camping, as I had convinced myself. It was just that my early camping experiences had been affected by some serious traumas, and the trauma was what I hated.
So anyway, I had decided to go camping and my son, his two friends and my two nephews were all going with me. It was their first experience with camping and they were all excited, but I was really nervous about it. I was still carrying the trauma that I remembered and associated with camping. I over prepared. I packed for this camping trip, thinking of every possible unpleasant consequence that might occur, and I brought with me the solution for it.
The night before my trip, a really violent, oh my God is this it? The end of the world? Kinda storm hit our area. The summer weather here in Virginia had been so strange with temperatures topping 108 and 109 and feeling like 120, in June! Usually, we didn’t get that kind of heat until July and August, and even then, it doesn’t get that hot. The storm knocked out a lot of power in the area, leaving lots of Virginians quite miserable in extreme heat and no AC. But, at my house, we retained power. The next day was the day of the trip. I was determined to proceed. Early the next morning, my campers and me hit a few snags as we packed up my trusty Matrix, but I was surprisingly calm throughout the process. I felt like the Buddha, which was yet another odd synchronicity. Anyway, driving up Skyline drive was like driving up the side of a corkscrew, but my crew and me arrived in perfect time to our campsite at the Big Meadows campground. On our way up those mountains, my son Camron’s friend Jordan remarked, “This is like my screen saver! I never imagined I’d be at my screen saver.” Indeed it was quite beautiful, words cannot describe. The Kingdom of Heaven is Here, Now.
The weather up in those mountains was just perfect! Down below Virginians were struggling with record-breaking temperatures, but up in the mountains the thermometer never seemed to rise above 80 degrees. The boys and I set up camp, and after that, we went hiking. After that, we tried to shower, but unsuccessfully, but the showers were “broken.” They weren’t really, this was nasty capitalism up to its dirty tricks, but, at the end of the day, we could not use them. So we cleaned up as best we could and proceeded to cook our campfire dinner. The boys were having a blast with that. Especially when we got to the smores. At any rate, we did what campers do at night. We zipped up our tent and told each other ghost stories. A good time was had by all. One of my fellow campers lulled us to sleep, by playing all different kinds of tunes on his sax. It was so odd and so unusual, being out in the wilderness and being lullabied by a sax, that it almost felt like we were entering another realm.
The next morning I awoke, early, early, early. It was odd. Very strange really. The songs and sounds of birds awakened me. It was a bird symphony. It was as if they were singing just for me. I got out of my tent, and looked around at the day . . . and it was strange . . .it was like a new day, a different day. The energy was so fresh and clean. I saw other campers arising as well. Everyone was so happy and contented and kind, you could just feel it. It was in the way we looked at one another and spoke to one another. It felt like, (and I know this is going to sound so strange) heaven! And so, that was how I discovered it; and I felt it! I swear! The Kingdom of Heaven is Here, Now.