Well, the Gremlins have spoken, the Ego has spoken and now, last but very definitely not least, here comes The Universe.
RedHairedHiker asked me the other day to define exactly what I meant by “Universe”. In answering her question, it suddenly became apparent to me that my Ego and its friendly Gremlins had been colluding to get me to hide The Universe’s true nature because they were afraid of how others might react.
As I answered we all suddenly realised that we didn’t need that particular piece of subterfuge any longer, and my Ego stepped smartly aside, shaking its head in a mixture of wonderment and disbelief.
I briefly answered the question, and since then The Universe and I have been chatting quietly together as I’ve gone about making mince pies, visiting the tip, picking my daughter up from Uni and watching Strictly Come Dancing. We had a particularly intense conversation in the shower as well, and the time has now come for me to share my conversation with The Universe, with you. Again, I’m having this particular conversation as I type, so I have no idea where it’s going to go…
Me: Hello Universe
Universe: Hello Cathy, thank you for welcoming me out!
Me: And thank you for being so patient with me.
Universe: Well, I know there’s no point in rushing these things. I’ve always been around and you’ve always been aware of me, but things don’t really change until the time is right. I knew you’d look me in the eye one day.
Me: So, how do we explain you to everyone out there?
Universe: Oh come on, you already know the answer to that, why are you asking me?
Me: Well, let’s talk about what I don’t want to do first, because that will go a long way to explain why my Ego has spent so long doing its best to get me to ignore you or be afraid to acknowledge you.
Universe: Why start with a negative? Isn’t that just your Ego’s way of deflecting you again? Because it’s not really you that doesn’t want stuff is it, it’s your Ego.
Ego: Curses, foiled again. Why if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids….
Me: Good call, Universe! OK, no more deflection. But it might help to explain why I choose to call you Universe, because that’s what caused RedHairedHiker’s confusion. Universe to her meant stars and planets and the Big Bang and physics, and she thought that it expressed something external to me. Whereas I’ve been using the word in a more metaphysical sense, to mean something internal to me but linked with the external. I wanted to avoid using any words that had anything to do with organised religion or that might be misinterpreted or get people’s backs up or cause them to make judgements about me. I guess I was also using it to protect myself and to maybe try to hide what was going on from my Ego.
Universe: What were you hiding from?
Me: Fear – my own and other people’s.
Universe: Fear of what?
Me: Being “other”, being thought odd, thinking of myself as odd…
Universe: Are we back to knitting your own lentils again?
Me: Oh yes, absolutely. My Ego has a very long-standing fear of my turning into someone that everyone else thinks is off with the fairies…
Universe:…despite your already being, shall we say, different in your own way?
Me: Yes – that’s interesting, I wonder why it’s OK for me to be different in the way I am, but not to be different that way?
Universe: Why don’t we ask it? Oi, Ego, what’s the problem?
Ego: Well it’s credibility, isn’t it? People laugh at far-out white middle-class people who suddenly get all mystical and pretend to be Indian yogis. They adopt faux-calm hushed voices and become incredibly intense and can’t tell that they’re really quite ridiculous. And I don’t want us ending up like that.
Me: Ooh blimey, that was painfully honest, wasn’t it? But I don’t want us ending up like that, either.
Universe: Me neither, and if I have anything to do about it we won’t!
Ego: Oh, right, so we’re all on the same side then? Look I’m still not sure who or what you are Universe – all I know is that you make me very uneasy and it feels like you’re trying to usurp my position.
Universe: OK, let me introduce myself. I am Cathy’s Higher Self.
Ego: WOOP WOOP Hippie alert, Hippie alert!!!
Universe: Oh now stop it, calm down, try to get a grip. I’ve already told you we’re on the same side. I promise this doesn’t have to be a threat to you, and it doesn’t mean she’s suddenly going to turn into someone unrecognisable.
Ego: ………hmmmmmmmmm….go on then…………..
Universe: OK. I am Cathy’s Higher Self. The Self that lies at the very heart of her, the part of her that knows and understands and creates Love and Intuition and Innate Wisdom. In some cultures this is called the Soul, in some it is the Essence, in some it is recognised that this is God. Cathy and I have avoided using those words so that we could get to know each other without attracting your attention and so that she could gradually address her fears around coming to know me, isn’t that right Cathy?
Me: Yes. I’ve been looking for something for a long time. I’ve always envied people with a strong religious faith but never found a religion where I could feel completely comfortable with everything that went with it – the “man-made” rules and laws that get in the way of the original teachings if you like. I’ve made tentative steps towards some sense of spirituality over the years and then run away from it, just as I have done with some of the stuff that’s characterised as/included in the whole “Mind, Body, Spirit” category. It’s easy to see that there’s an awful lot of charlatanry included in that category, and the easy and fearful way out is to decide that it’s all rubbish and turn from it, and that’s what I’ve been doing.
Ego: So what changed?
Me: Well, I had an experience – oh sod it, let’s call it what it was – I had an Epiphany – one day on my coaching course and I’ve never been the same since, although I’ve spent a good while trying to pretend that nothing had changed. On one particular day, I became profoundly aware af the power and sense of grace that comes from being completely in the Now. My whole attitude, outlook and mood changed on that day, and that afternoon, during a particularly intense coaching practice, I had a vision of myself as a being made entirely of light. That image and that feeling of Grace and of fully knowing myself have come and gone since then, but each time they’ve come they’ve got nearer and nearer to the surface. And as you know, recently I’ve been shedding skins so my outside and my inside have been getting closer and closer to each other. And now it’s time for me to fully acknowledge what’s happening for me and to me, and the impact that this process is having on my life and my work. And also it’s become less and less scary and more and more important to me to share it with others, and to find a way to express it that doesn’t scare me or anyone else.
Universe: And how do you see yourself doing that?
Me: I keep seeing a vision of a bridge between worlds and I keep thinking of myself as a translator. Maybe at some point my purpose will be to translate my understanding of what it means to live as one with my Higher Self, into a language that people who share my assumptions and pre-conceptions can understand and not feel threatened by?
Universe: Maybe you’re already doing that now?
Me: Maybe I am, I can’t be the judge of that. I do know though, that what I’ve always meant when I’ve talked about helping people to find their Real Self and show their True Colours to the world, has really been about helping them to get in touch with their own Higher Self – I just never consciously realised it before. Or maybe I did, but I was too scared to acknowledge it.
Universe: And now you’re not?
Me: Well, there’s nothing to be afraid of, is there?
Ego: So where do I fit in to all of this?
Universe: Haha! Spoken like a true Ego, smashing!
Ego: You can laugh, but isn’t there a place for me in all this?
Me: I’m sure there is, but it’s not your place to decide what’s right for me any more. You’re not the best arbiter of what’s good for me and although you’ve been very valuable to me in the past I’d like you to start thinking more deeply about what’s right for me – please concentrate on what’s going to nourish me and keep me and my Higher Self in harmony and in focus.
Ego: Right. So you’re telling me to stop fantasising about money and houses and Jimmy Choos as a sign of success and trying to point you that way?
Me: Yes. Remember my new success contract? I’d like you to focus on helping me to give rather than receive. That’s why I’m here, that’s what my life’s about, and as long as I’m warm, well-fed and loved that’s all I need to sustain me.
Universe: And so are you now ready to step off the porch and set out on your Journey?
Me: Yes. I’ve been waiting for the right moment to get going on my True Purpose and I have a feeling this is it. But I won’t be walking.
Me: No. I’ll be dancing.