“Next time life presents a challenge to you and you find yourself feeling separate, lonely, angry, resentful, or hurt, stop and allow yourself to ask:
“What if I have another choice?” Let yourself see through the eyes of a child. See how you can reach out through and past your negative experience to what you really want – love, comfort, understanding, belonging.
Realize that even if no one else is there to give you those things, you can give them to yourself. You can reach inside to a place of loving and positive focus, making yourself more available to your Soul and the wholeness you seek.
As you practice choosing the positive, you are practicing Soul Transcendence.”
(John-Roger & Sanderson, When Are You Coming Home? A Personal Guide to Soul Transcendence, 2004, 61)
My life has been a blessed one, and at the same time, a challenging one. Overtime I have begun to see each and every moment, each and every day as a blessing and as full of positivity and upliftment. Overtime I have begun to learn how to see the good in all things, to choose to see and experience my life as good, as positive, and to see that everything in my life is of God and part of God’s way of loving and taking care of me.
The following chronological description of the milestones in my life so far reveals some of the patterns and lessons I am working with and have been working with.
My Natural Joy as a Child
I was a naturally joyful and positive child. I was blessed with a natural acceptance and trust of the inherent goodness and joy of life, and with a high belief in my ability to do and create in this physical world. In every childhood photo of mine I have a smile ear to ear. There is an ease, a trust, a joy, that I feel blessed to have been born with. I was blessed with a natural ability to see the good and the positive in life.
I excelled academically. I was a straight A student, and was always the top of my class. Literally I was the top student for the entire year for grades one through eight, and in the top three participants for my year for grades nine through twelve, including collectively, and in each individual subject. I think the fact that I know this, and remember this, also illustrates the next pertinent aspect of my personality; that I love doing well and I love being recognized as doing well.
I excelled in sports also. Within my school I was both either Swimming Age Champion or Runner Up, and Track and Field Age Champion or Runner Up, for all years, one through twelve. I represented my school at regional level competition for swimming, track, field, netball and water Polo, at State level for softball, and at National level for volleyball.
I excelled in music, as first violinist in Primary School, then as first clarinet in High School, and as the female lead in High School musicals.
In the most objective sense, I was an over-achiever and did extremely well at everything I did. I loved participating. I loved winning. And I also loved the feeling of having others like me and love me when I did well.
From these early beginnings it is easy to see how I began to learn that if I did well then I would be liked and be loved by others. Instead of real love, I began creating the pattern and the challenge of wanting and needing to get my love from other people, rather than the real love from myself: from the Spirit.
This leads me to the third assumption of this paper that the only real love comes from within: from the Spirit within each of us (see Assumption 3, Appendix A, tab 8).
A Large Hurdle at Fourteen
My mum passed away in 1993 when I was fourteen from ovarian cancer. My personality and disposition began to change both during the time leading to her death and the years that followed. I gradually started losing my joy and trust in life. I stopped doing the things that made me happy. And while I wasn’t conscious of it at the time as I look back over my life I can see that this natural love and joy for participating, for doing well, for winning and for succeeding, for simply living life to my fullest potential slowly began to decline.
I stopped studying and wanting to win, and gradually my grades and my performance across all levels of my life also declined. I stopped playing music. I stopped singing. I stopped playing competitive sport.
So the pattern I had established of getting love from others when I did well was no longer serving me. The main contributor of my love and recognition was gone; Mum was no longer there to tell me how wonderful I was and how good I had done. The absence of this external love began to result in my experience of less love, less joy, and less motivation to do well and to participate in life.
I first turned to food for a new source for feeling good, for love.
Bulimia at Fifteen
After my Mum died I started to binge eat. And then after months of overeating and gaining weight, I then also began self-induced vomiting after eating. By age fifteen I had developed a strong habit of eating large amounts of food and then throwing it all up; I had developed Bulimia.
I would eat 2 large bags of peanut m&m’s, mixing bowls full of cornflakes with milk and tablespoons of white sugar, and a whole quart of ice-cream in one sitting. I became skilled at how to stick my fingers down my throat so that I would throw it all up.
For fifteen years if I had a bad day, or some negative emotions were in my face I would turn to food. This often included multiple trips to fast food drive-thrus, multiple bowls of ice-cream, and sometimes multiple times within a day in which I would bring up all the food I had just eaten by sticking my fingers down my throat.
For eighteen years I have used food and bulimia as a way to feel good and to get love. I know that logically and rationally this doesn’t sound like getting love at all. Food became my escape, my safe and nurturing time with myself.
And I still occasionally overeat, filling myself up on the taste, the sensation, the escape of food. My tendency to turn to food for love and joy rather is now however more of an ally than an enemy. It tells me when I am out of balance and need to love and nurture myself. It is one of the most valuable parts of my life that helps me to keep my eyes and heart focused on Loving God, and on getting my love from myself, from God, from Spirit within.
During this time studying for my DSS I have been able to consciously use this pattern and process to gain greater understanding, compassion and loving for myself, and has been an integral part in my learning that truly everything IS good and is of God. It is in the acceptance and loving of myself and my failures, my imperfections, my bad habits and addictions, that I have found real love for myself, and that I have begun to naturally let go of things that don’t serve myself.
My relationship with food and my limiting behavior of trying to get my love from food was a natural choice for one of the areas to focus on with my PT and my resulting research methods.
Drug and Alcohol Abuse at Sixteen
At sixteen I turned to alcohol and drugs, looking for another kind of high, another escape and form of nurturing, another attempt to get the love I was missing and wanting.
At first this meant smoking marijuana and getting drunk with friends on the weekends. That turned into doing LSD, and into the occasional E (ecstasy) at raves. I got so drunk so many times, frequently could not remember the night before, and had alcohol poisoning at least a dozen times. About half a dozen of those times I had to go to the Doctor to have an injection of Maxolon to stop myself from vomiting, as after throwing up violently for eight hours straight, I was vomiting bile with acute fever and all over body pain.
While alcohol and drug addiction isn’t part of my life anymore, I am grateful for the experience and for the compassion I now have for this aspect of my self and my life. In my earlier years before my Mum died I wouldn’t even take asprin for a headache. I thought drugs were bad and unnecessary and thought that they would never ever be a part of my life. I judged those who used drugs, and I felt above them and immune to any form of self-harm like that. These experiences have taught me so much, and have taught me that we are all one and the same. We are all capable of creating both good and bad in our lives, given the right situations and circumstances.
Hard Drug Addiction from Seventeen
At seventeen I started going to raves and dance parties frequently, at first with my older step-brother, and then with a bunch of people that at the time I called my friends. I remember the first time I did speed. It was a pretty pink rock and I snorted it by putting it far up my nose. It was my first invitation into this new world that had no pain or suffering, only good, free, fantastic feelings and I danced all night and all the next morning. I felt invincible and I felt part of something and I belonged to something. But most importantly I felt love and I felt joy. However of course the drugs would wear off and I would then begin to feel the most severe experience of depression and emotional and mental imbalance I had ever experienced – known as coming down or crashing.
I remember this first experience of coming down so vividly, and looking back at the experience, I can’t imagine how I could ever have chosen to do drugs again knowing how intensely painful this experience of coming down was. I think more than the enticement of the drugs itself, I was also lured into this new world of raving, where I felt a new excitement and promise of being part of this alternate reality. It was a new world where I could belong and become part of a new family. Everyone dressed a new and exciting way, everyone knew each other and was like family in many senses, and most importantly it was far and removed from the reality of my actual life. It was a playground where I could let go of being me and of dealing with the life that was painful and flawed. But I was excited about this new life, so within a few months my occasional E and speed, turned into every week, into many times a week. At the height of my drug taking I was taking multiple tablets of ecstasy, whole grams of speed and cocaine, and staying up for three days at a time. I was also smoking weed and popping pills including valium and rohypnol during the day to medicate myself through my come downs.
As I look back on this time I can see how I was chasing both the feelings of joy and love brought on by the actual drugs, but also of this artificial kind of love and joy that I felt from being part of a new family. Finally I belonged to something and for a time that was love.
Hitting Rock Bottom at Eighteen
My drug addiction culminated in what I refer to as my rock bottom. I was eighteen and at the end of my first year of University. I was evicted from the house I was renting with friends (whom were also addicted to drugs and not paying rent). I was expelled from University as I had not attended my classes or exams and failed all of my four first year subjects. It was really the expulsion from University that was able to pierce my drug-induced delusional perception of reality and I very clearly remember realizing that this was not who I was. I was not someone that failed, that didn’t try, that didn’t even go to class or show up for exams?! I was a straight A student who did well at everything.
At first it was mostly through necessity that I asked to live with my Grandma and to get out of the physical situation where I had been. But in taking this first step I then also chose to clean up so many other parts of my life. I began attending my University lectures and classes, I no longer spent time with my drug addict friends, and I began spending time with people that wanted to love and support me. It was at this time in my life that I also found and started studying with John-Roger.
This powerful experience so easily described as a negative situation has also been one of the most transformative of my life. This hitting rock bottom created a searching a need for something more than what this physical world could offer. I began to learn that all these physical world forms of love and joy were an illusion and it motivated me to begin my path of discovery for real love and real joy. And that the only real love and real joy comes from the Spirit. It comes from the Spirit within.
Finding My Joy Again … Finding the Spirit at Nineteen
Just before this transition (out of drug addiction) I was contacted by my dad, whom I did not grow up with and with whom I had lost all contact with until I was seventeen. My mum and my dad divorced when I was three, and then my mum remarried when I was six. Shortly thereafter my mum and step-dad, through the court system, stopped my dad from having contact with my brother and I. I received a letter from my dad when I was eighteen; He had found me by seeing my picture in a magazine and had consequently found out which High School I attended. At first I would see my dad in secret, as my step-dad had forbidden me to see him; clearly articulating many times that I was allowed only one Father, and that he didn’t want to have anything to do with me if I had any contact with my real father. Eventually I chose to no longer see my step-dad, and started spending more and more time with my real dad.
It was at this time when I had very few friends and was in the process of distancing myself from those I did drugs with, and was in the process of finding new ones. My dad became my best friend throughout these couple of years transitioning out of the drug abuse, and I spent most of my free time with him. I started reading and learning all I could about his spiritual teacher John-Roger and an organization he referred to as MSIA.
In 1997 my Dad asked me if I wanted studying actively with John-Roger and MSIA. I said yes, and began studying MSIA’s Soul Transcendence Discourses. I didn’t understand it at the time but being around my dad made me feel so happy. No longer relying on chemical substances for feeling good, I felt pretty bad a lot of the time, but when I was with my dad, learning these new ideas of the Spirit, of meditation, of my life, then I felt better. I was happy. I felt joy and love.
I started meditating and reading all that I could from John-Roger. I slowly began to see how because of the pain, sadness and confusion of my mum’s death, I had come to see the world in a very different and negative way, and was creating the increasingly negative life around me. And I slowly began to turn inside to find the love and joy I had been missing. I wasn’t aware of it at the time but I was beginning to experience the real love and the real joy that comes from within. I began to slowly heal and move more fully into my own relationship with myself; I began to find myself and in doing so, to find the Spirit within.
Getting a Sidetracked by Money and Status in my Early Twenties
I found the motivation and joy in school again, and graduated from University with a Bachelor in Marketing and Public Relations. It was a slow and gradual process, but with my competitive, motivated, ambitious nature returning, I began climbing back up to the top of the class (and eventually to the #1 student ranking in a few of my subjects).
At first I was just reading my discourses and meditating very occasionally, and still partying a lot, drinking and going out with friends. After graduating from University I found myself being subtly but effectively lured into getting a lot of my joy from money and from the things I could acquire with it. Growing up for most of my life with my step-dad, a very successful businessman and worshipper of money and status, I took my business degree and my ambitious nature and I applied it to climbing corporate ladders. More and more I found myself chasing my joy from my pay check and position title. If I didn’t have my mum to tell me I was doing great, I now had bosses and a CEO to tell me I was doing great – and I chased that as a source for feeling good. And while at times it did feel great, looking back I was far from happy. I was stressed, unfulfilled in my job, and still searching for real love and real joy.
An Initiate at Twenty-Four
At an MSIA workshop in Australia in March 2003 I was initiated into the Sound Current, and that afternoon during a seminar from John Morton, also a Mystical Traveler, I had my first inner experience of the Mystical Traveler speaking to me within. I heard (knew, sensed, was awakened and alive on every level of my being-ness) that I would go to the United States and work for MSIA; I would serve the Spirit and do this work. I would do the spiritual work. At that time I had no way of seeing any viable possibility or plan of moving to the States, and so this vivid visceral knowing slowly moved to the back part of my mind. However the seed was planted, and I began slowly edging my way towards a life closer to the Mystical Traveler. Or rather as I would come to be aware, that grace and the Mystical Traveler and God began to assist me and support me in moving to Los Angeles.
A couple of months later I moved to Canada for twelve months, continuing my corporate career and then taking a few months off to backpack across Canada and the States. Looking back I am aware of a lot of grace that was extended to me at that time, as my agreement to work with the Traveler blessed me with his agreement to work with me.
I clearly remember a decision that I made shortly after New Years in 2004 as a significant turning point in my life: that I would start tithing 10%, no matter what, regardless of all else. I remember doing my budget and remember not being able to balance all my expenses, but knowing that it didn’t matter, that my intention to be able to tithe and make it all work would be enough. That somehow, I knew it would all come forward perfectly if I held in my intention to tithe and trust in the Spirit. As I look back on this occurrence in my life I am grateful for the grace that was extended to me at this time, for I was still very much physically focused on making money and in drinking and partying a lot, so in reterospect it doesn’t really make sense to me that I would have made that decision voluntarily at that time. In ways I don’t understand I am aware there was a divine lifting or assisting that took place here. I’m just grateful that I had the wit to be aware of it and to cooperate in some way.
It is from this time, this decision to trust in the Spirit and trust that all would be provided for me through the Spirit, that I began to observe a lot of grace coming forward in my life. A couple of months later my income doubled. And the extra money enabled me to then travel for four months throughout Canada and the States, and to also attend MSIA and PTS workshops in LA, including all three Peace Awareness Trainings (PATs) in Lake Arrowhead.
The greatest turning point of my life moving away from chasing love and joy from this physical world to choosing to devote my life to serve the Spirit occurred during the two weeks at the Lake Arrowhead PATs in 2004. I got my first taste of sustained, powerful and unforgettable real love and real joy. I knew that it was coming from within me, and I knew that it had something to do with the Spirit. I had no idea what was around the corner, but I knew I was in for a ride.
A New Experience of Joy: A Knowing of my Alignment with the Spirit
Hindsight gives twenty-twenty vision, and I can now see how Spirit blessed me with the financial success I needed in order to do the Lake Arrowhead PATs. It was during the fifteen days of the PATs that I first in full awareness experienced the real joy and real love that I attribute to being aligned with Spirit. More clearly than I had ever known anything before, I knew that this joy and love was what I wanted more of and was how I wanted to live my life. I also knew that this joy and love came from within me, from the Spirit within me and that it came as a result of my alignment and oneness with the Spirit at that time. And yes I had read that concept in books and this was my first tangible, visceral unmistakably life-changing experience that that was true for me. These fifteen days had given me my first real taste of what a close loving relationship with myself and with God was. The love I had been seeking for outside compared little to the real love I found inside myself. It was glorious, and changed my whole perspective on just about everything.
Prior to these two weeks submersed in contact with myself, and the Spirit, my life was still focused towards gaining money, recognition and physical level joy and satisfaction. In this experience of complete joy, I was aware of the perfection and the goodness of all things, similar to my experience in early childhood – again I was easily and naturally observing and interpreting my life and all things in it as completely perfect and completely for me, and full of goodness.
At the conclusion of these two weeks I knew I needed to change the focus of my life. I changed my focus from my career, money and status, to serving and studying the Spirit. I decided to move to Los Angeles to further my study with MSIA and to offer my time, my life, my self to the work of John-Roger and MSIA.
An Ordained Minister at Twenty-Five
After the PATs in July 2004 it was viscerally and vividly alive in me that I wanted to serve the Spirit; to move to LA to live and work for MSIA. I wanted that joy I’d experienced at the PATs. I wanted that feeling of being alive, connected, and knowing more than anything that I was where I was meant to be. After the PATs I applied for ordination, and a couple of weeks later was ordained as a Minister in MSIA, in Santa Monica, California.
Twelve months later I came back to L.A., to volunteer for MSIA for three months, with the clear intention that at the end of this time I would have a job offer from MSIA, approval to move in as a resident at MSIA’s ashram, and obtain a working visa from the US Government to enable me to work in the US. My clear intention was realized in October 2005 I began work on full-time MSIA Staff, as a Prana Resident, with a US working visa.
Traveling the World with John-Roger at Twenty-Six
I’m still overwhelmed at the grace that was extended to me in this process, and tears come to my eyes as I write this. For while I held a positive intention to come and work and support the ministry of John-Roger (J-R), I had no idea I would soon be working closely with him, sharing time in his home and traveling the world with him.
But more than the time of being with and learning from J-R, I began mastering myself and began spending more and more time within, learning from my own direct connection to the Spirit and God within. I began working, learning, studying and mastering myself through my work, using both the phenomenal blessings of working with and learning from J-R and his right hand man, Jsu Garcia, and also with my own guidance and experience inside of myself.
I began working with J-R and Jsu when they released their first movie Spiritual Warriors in May, 2006. I was asked to do the marketing and event planning for the Premiere and After Party. More screenings and events followed, and I began to take on all the event planning, marketing and public relations involved with John-Roger, Jsu and their travels around the world.
A Master of Spiritual Science at Twenty-Nine
I moved to California to completely submerge myself in the study that John-Roger and MSIA offered. I first completed the Masters of Spiritual Science (MSS) program in 2007, offered through PTS. This was like the warm up I needed to get myself into a somewhat disciplined and aware daily lifestyle before I would take on the Doctorate program. These couple of years, doing the Masters program, and gradually working more and more with J-R and Jsu were like a sweet training period. They were gentle and loving and gave me time to ground myself and start to learn to take care of myself before taking on the challenges and blessings that lay ahead.
Again the recurring pattern and challenge of wanting to find love and joy from sources of this physical world was teaching me that the only real love and real joy is found within. As I would try to get love and recognition from doing well and wanting to be appreciated and recognized by John-Roger and Jsu I would experience hurt and discouragement when I didn’t get it. With time I am learning that truly the only love that is real and that is sustained comes from the Spirit and that I must go within myself to get it, and hence the main focus of this PT.
A Doctor of Spiritual Science at thirty-three
These last four years studying the DSS and working closely with J-R and Jsu have been both challenging and the most profoundly blessed, fruitful years of my life. The blessings have come in so many ways, on so many dimensions and in ways that continue to expand and unfold exponentially.
However the life I have chosen is not a walk in the park. While the first couple of years of the Masters and my work with John-Roger and Jsu were more nurturing and supportive and comfortable, these past four years of my life have been some of the more challenging times emotionally and mentally. Again I am learning that the source of my love and spiritual connection is within, and I have been working intently to let go of the need and seeking of love, recognition and attention outside of myself, i.e. from John-Roger and Jsu, and to get it from within, from myself, from the Spirit within.
I have had many personal experiences with John-Roger during these last few years that have indicated and affirmed to me the intense and complete commitment I have made to the Spirit to do the spiritual work, to be a loyal loving servant to God on this planet, and to live my life as best I can aligned with the higher spiritual reality of myself. Perhaps one of the greatest experiences and awareness I have in this regard is the level of trust and honesty I have received from J-R. But more than this it is the relationship and communication I have received from within that has given me the real love and real joy I have been seeking.
My life as a Spiritual Warrior: Serving The Traveler: Serving the Spirit
Two of my favorite experiences of John-Roger’s demonstration to me of his complete love, trust and honesty happened during Spiritual Warriors screening trips.
The first experience of this was in 2007 on the train from Paris to London. We were running late for a screening scheduled later that evening. It was late afternoon and Jsu and I had exchanged communication that left me crying. I felt upset, misunderstood, and just so terribly mistreated. And when I began talking to J-R about it he very directly told me that Jsu did not hurt my feelings. That was me; that I was to blame for my own hurt feelings.
This was hard to hear at the time and I felt sad, betrayed and abandoned and I cried. However I can now see the phenomenal amount of love and trust J-R held for me in that moment: knowing and trusting that I would get it; that I was capable of taking care of myself; and taking responsibility for my own feelings – even in this situation where the majority of the planet might easily say that there was someone who acted and spoke to me in such a way that warranted or justified hurt feelings or upset.
Then in 2009, at the end of the San Francisco Spiritual Warriors trip I had another milestone moment with John-Roger. Again, it was following some communication with Jsu that left me feeling upset, misunderstood, mistreated and I was crying. I went up to John-Roger to ask for help. I remember telling him I felt so sad, half crying, feeling completely gutted. And he responded that I could leave if I didn’t want to be in the joy and the loving, that it was Christmas time. That I could be happy and in the spirit of Christmas, or I could leave.
In about 3 seconds I transitioned from victim to master. From sad to “Ok, this is going to be ok,” to “I’m ok.”
This moment has been a huge teacher for me and a phenomenal reference point. Instead of speaking and addressing the hurt sad place in me, he spoke to the strong, loving, joyful part – the real and higher reality of myself that is my Soul. He trusted and loved me enough to be able to clear myself and move my consciousness to the higher reality. He trusted me to be able to almost instantaneously come into the awareness of the perfection and okness of the situation, of myself, and rather than entertain any reality that there was anything wrong or anything bad going on.
This experience also taught me more profoundly than any book or person could ever convey: that my experience is a choice, that joy is a choice, that loving is a choice and that we are creating and choosing our own experience.
My Practical Treatise Hypothesis: A pathway for Serving the Spirit
One of the biggest blessings of writing this PT and doing this research and inner work with myself, has been that I have been able to further perceive, view and understand the events throughout my life as being all positive, and as all for me. It is through the following pages of my PT that I hope to show and demonstrate how this process has helped to not only transform my current experience (from any form of challenge or negativity, to love and joy), but to also show that the recurring challenges and negative patterns from my past, are now blessings and critical components of the incredibly joyful and loving life I now lead.
My primary hypothesis is If I choose to see and experience my life positively and spend time within, I will experience myself more aligned with Spirit and I will know this by the experience of more joy.
The experiences that I have had while spending time serving and following the Spirit have been the times of the greatest amount of real love and real joy that I have experienced in my life. It is these experiences that have called to me and hinted at the life that is available with a conscious intention and devotion to serve the Spirit and to love God.