12. Changing your life

Are we defined by our circumstances?

From the moment we are born we are shaped and taught how we need to be in order to live our best life. It all starts with our loving parents who teach us everything they know and believe in to prepare us for life… as they understand it.

Whilst we are all born with the same inherent potential as a soul, we all incarnate with different life goals and purposes. We are subjected to different influences and living circumstances and thus we do not all start out with the same opportunities. We may not all get to experience an idealistic, loving, nurturing family growing up, often our start in life is governed instead by rather challenging circumstances. All of these factors help to explain the enormous diversity of the human experience. If we have different goals and desired outcomes and our formative influences and circumstances are different, how could we possibly all have the same outcome? I think we can agree that we do not. Let us explore this further to understand a little deeper since understanding is a key factor when desiring to make changes.

I will begin with conception since it seems the most logical place to start. The circumstances surrounding our conception can have a powerful influence over our start in life. As you read on, you may see that I have chosen to use fairly extreme examples to demonstrate my point. There are of course more variations of the life experience than could ever be documented successfully, and so in the interests of brevity, I have opted for more obvious examples. A child, for example, conceived as a result of a violent act has the odds stacked against them from the very start. That unwanted pregnancy may well result in a child who is rejected and put up for adoption. Or depending largely on the life experience and supports of the mother, she may be able to separate the horror of the conception act from the innocent child. She may attempt to neutralise the emotional charge from her violent experience, and or any guilt she may be feeling, by overcompensating with her love. Alternatively, the child might end up being unloved because they serve as a constant reminder of the violence and degradation surrounding the act of their unwelcome conception. Another child may be conceived by in vitro fertilisation. Distraught people who find they cannot conceive, embrace science and medicine to help them create a life. These children are born out of a powerful desire, and they are much wanted and cherished. This too can have a powerful knock-on effect on the child’s life, depending on the parent’s experience and how they relate to their child. Conception circumstances cannot be influenced by the child however it is clear to see that the shaping has begun.

The parent’s life experiences and history will exert a powerful influence over the child. Everything that helped to form the parent’s psyche may well be played out again in the child’s life, as a way to recreate the parent’s experience. Alternatively, the complete opposite could be true place based on a desire to ensure that their child has a different experience. Children who experienced abuse and violence, or who grew up with addicted or alcoholic parents often become abusers and addicts themselves, they repeat what they know. Alternatively, those parents who have overcome these obstacles may break the cycles of abuse and addiction. This too can have a knock-on effect for their children as they live fairly rigid, structured lives in support of their sobriety. Behaviour is tightly controlled and managed and many rules are in play to ensure a clean-living sober life. On the other end of this spectrum, you will find the children born with silver spoons in their mouths. Their every whim and desire are catered for almost before they express themselves and they want for nothing. They can be cherished to the point of entitlement and this too, has a powerful effect on their life experience as they never learn to strive and achieve for themselves. The stage is set and the conditioning inherent.

The community into which we are born exerts a powerful influence over our life’s experience. A child born into abject poverty with little to no resources available, in a community with little societal structure, will have a vastly different life experience than the child born into affluence. The child born into high society lives with clearly defined rules that are strictly adhered to and they have access to all and anything that they could possibly desire. Certain communities are focused on upliftment and growth, while others are more focused on survival and the individual, with little concern for the larger group dynamic. Some communities freely act out their anger and frustration and for children born into those circumstances, life can be incredibly challenging indeed. It is not difficult to see how all of this could influence a child’s life and also, how the child has no influence over their own conditioning.

Living in a deeply religious community will be a vastly different experience to life in a community/family without spiritual guidance. One is governed by predetermined rules with strong guidance and structure. That may lead to feelings of security and assuredness, unless the overseeing governing bodies tend toward punishment and shaming for transgressions, then the child may learn to feel less than, or perhaps fearful. A child who grows up with no religious or spiritual guidance is missing out on an important part of their upbringing. Freewheeling through life without accessing our spiritual side can have a devastating knock-on effect in later life. The child has no say in the religious choices of their family and may well be significantly shaped by the consequences of those choices.

The child then heads off to school where teachers exert their influence as well; not only in terms of learning and subject matter, but their beliefs and preferences about how their charges should behave, and what is and is not acceptable to them and to the school. Often because of the size of classes, teachers have to focus on the collective need of the class and may not be able to cater for the individual needs of a specific child. Some children, certainly in South Africa, and probably across the globe in poorer or more rural communities, attend schools where there are no toilet facilities or running water, let alone books and resources. They sit in class, fifty plus children to one harassed teacher. How can that experience be the same as the child in a private school, working on their laptop, twenty to a class with teacher assistants and access to remedial teaching and every support necessary to help them realise their potential. Not to mention fully stocked tuck shops as opposed to their poorer counterparts who maybe receive a sandwich courtesy of a feeding scheme that they often take home to share with their whole family as the only meal they will see in a day. The child has virtually no ability to influence their experience at school, and yet it will play a large role in shaping the child’s life.

The values and priorities of the family will have a massive impact on a child as well. I recall visiting India and being so touched by the poorest of the poor people I met there. Beggars sitting on the side of the road, hoping for a handout or some help from tourists and passers-by. Each of these mothers was cuddling, or massaging, or rocking their children. They were tactile and loving and you could see how much they cherished their little ones. They had little to nothing in material terms, but they were filled with love and the energy they radiated was peaceful and resigned. Conversely you have the big house on the hill where the children are raised by nannies and maids. Parents are off working, socialising, or travelling extensively, and these pampered children who have everything they could ever desire in material terms, are often lonely and grow up feeling unloved and not prioritised by their well-meaning, if absent parents. How can a child influence their home circumstances? They cannot.

I could continue, but I think the point is glaringly obvious. Our early influences in life (good or bad), over which we had absolutely no control, shaped who we were taught to be as adults. This has a direct influence over how we perceive ourselves and our inherent worth. These powerful influences can oftentimes direct our entire life. They either serve to cement us into a perpetual cycle of repeating what we have been taught, or they serve as the springboards from which we can propel ourselves into a different reality. Anyone feeling unhappy, frustrated, or lost in their life would do well to begin to review their earlier life experiences. It can be illuminating to realise that we may be living unconsciously, following what we were taught to believe and be, living out the expectations placed on us by others, even though in our hearts we do not really subscribe to those beliefs. This is often the beginning of our personal journey quest where we start to work out for ourselves what we genuinely believe in and want to create for our lives.

Infinite possibility is available to everyone. Accessing it begins with a desire to have a different experience. The wonderful thing about the free will that humans are blessed with, is that we do get to choose. There comes a point in life when we realise that we get to take responsibility for our own experiences. We get to choose to stay where we have been positioned or taught to be and keep having the same experience, or we get to choose a different way of being. All change comes with consequences and the change process can be challenging indeed, but one thing is certain, until we own our part in the creation of our future, we will not change. As long as we hold ourselves hostage to our formative influences we will remain where we are in life. However, if we really want to, we can redirect our lives and take ourselves to an experience that fills our hearts and souls with purpose, peace, and joy.

Once I reached that realisation in my own life, I was perfectly positioned to begin the change process. I was no longer under the influence of my mentally ill mother, and my beaten down father, who taught me that “people like us don’t/can’t/mustn’t…” or that “I had no right to expect anything more from life than what I was given”. “I was lucky to have anything given that I had no worth at all”. “I had no right to choose”. “I must always/should never…”. I am not certain whether that change process in my life will ever be entirely completed, but with every adjustment I make, more horizons open up to me and I keep learning and growing. I think the most important line I wrote in my book Weird Shit is this:

Nothing is a problem, until it becomes a problem for you, and then change is inevitable.

As always, I offer you my understanding of things. I encourage you at all times to question and decide for yourself what you want to accept and onboard. I am always interested to hear your opinions and I encourage feedback. However, it is essential to understand this vital truth as we journey together:

We don’t have to agree on a single thing to be kind to one another.

So, disagree with me by all means, own your different perspective, but please remain respectful of other’s beliefs and journeys.

Treat yourself with EMpathy and EMbolden yourself to dream. EMerge from your learned way of being, allowing yourself to celebrate life as you EMbrace your full potential. EMancipate yourself from your limitations, EMpowering yourself to live with greater clarity and joy!

Until next time when I shall discuss life in balance, be kind to one another and honour yourself as the unique and incredibly special soul that you are.

© Copyright 2020 – Janice Melmed

11. Are you living the life you chose?

Living in seven-year cycles

Let me start with a simple philosophy, we are souls living a human experience through the medium of love and its many distortions. In our last discussion I spoke about how we travel in soul groups as a collective consciousness with the purpose of mastering a specific aspect of humanity. Before we are born, we build ourselves a solid blueprint for life that is structured toward us achieving a specific goal in a particular lifetime; the higher goal being self-mastery to the point of total enlightenment. If you can onboard that concept you are well on your way to awakening and living your authentic life as opposed to the life you were taught you ought to be living. How do you know if you are living your authentic life? Let us look at how we start off in life in order to answer that question.

Life stages can be broken up into seven-year cycles. During the first cycle from birth to seven years of age you are not capable of running your own life. Developmentally, your brain is still in the limbic phase and emotion rules the day. Your neocortex where all your cognitive reasoning ability is generated is still not fully developed and you feel your way through life. It stands to reason then that you need strong physical support, guidance, protection, and direction to steer you through your initial growing stage. You learn to walk and talk and follow instructions with partial independence as the goal of this growth stage. The end result is that you are self-sufficient enough to be able to express yourself, separate from your parents or caretakers without trauma, and enter a learning institution or school. Not all experiences in this stage are the same and some are more adequately prepared than others. This lays the foundation for everything that is to follow and any problems or struggles in this phase that remain unattended, could set you on a wobbly path indeed. Your every learning is, of necessity, scripted by others.

The second cycle from seven to fourteen years is all about learning independence, onboarding information, and developing your enquiring mind. At the same time, you will begin to develop physically and will start to define your character and preferences. With a solid foundation stage behind you, thriving and growing is almost guaranteed. Those with a rocky foundation may struggle, take longer, and be more fearful and/or challenged by the process. Sometimes if excellent teachers are your experience, foundation stage challenges can be overcome, and you can get back on track in your development. If that is not the case, then learning can be stunted and life can become difficult indeed. This is the stage where we begin to identify ourselves as individuals although we are still almost entirely taught and directed by others.

The third cycle fourteen to twenty-one is where we begin to push back against the restrictions and beliefs of our parents/caretakers and we begin to challenge the rules. This is often the start of the awakening process and some youngsters revert very organically to their life plans and are set on track for the life they incarnated to live. For others this does not happen and may only take place later in life, if at all. In this stage we begin to tailor our learning toward a specific goal or outcome, we are fully able to operate in a team environment, as part of a group, while at the same time being wholly aware of (or at least striving toward) our individuality. We no longer blindly accept what is given to us and we begin to think outside of the boxes presented. The neocortex is only fully developed by the end of this cycle and until that happens, we struggle to contextualise our experiences and find perspective challenging. Spirituality and religious instruction are often embraced here as a support mechanism for youngsters who feel out of alignment with their parents/caregivers… or conversely, it is abandoned entirely. Youngsters in this cycle can be prone to catastrophising when they are not always able to fully process their experiences and learnings. They see everything in terms of how it affects them directly and without the context that full reasoning capability affords us, this can be a very vulnerable stage. This is often a very frustrating time for both the child and the parents/caretakers as their previously compliant, eager to please children turn to questioning, judgement, and often resentment and anger. Alternatively, this can be a time of great satisfaction and growth for those who are comfortable following the pre-set guidelines they have been taught they need to follow, and they find this a time for excelling and achievement.

The fourth cycle from twenty-one to twenty-eight is where ideally, we get to complete autonomy. This is where we enter the higher learning institutions or acquire the skills that will become our livelihood. The end goal here is total independence, financially and physically as we move out on our own in life without the support of our parents and caretakers. It is here that we often learn to define ourselves by what we choose to do in the workplace, even though this is often at odds with our soul plan. Sometimes those who excelled in the previous cycle, having had huge support from parents/caretakers, can fall apart as they need to learn to motivate themselves, direct and manage their own lives, away from home. Conversely those who previously rebelled and struggled may find that being on their own allows them to find their authentic voice and they naturally course correct and get back on track with their soul plan. Everyone has a different experience.

The fifth cycle, twenty-eight to thirty-five is often life defining. Here we commonly choose our life partners, begin to have families of our own, and are well set on our career paths. The goal in this cycle is self-expression. Our parents sit back and watch with pride to see how we manage. If we excel, they feel validated, and if we fall short, they may not understand and begin to cast around to see where we went off track and they let us know we have disappointed. There is often great pressure attached to this phase as we come under scrutiny from families, communities, religious institutions, our workplace leaders… every aspect of our lives is about how we perform, how we deliver, are we good enough, do we deserve a promotion, are we able to set up and run a home, are we responsible enough to care for a baby, can we successfully navigate life on the terms we have been taught. This can be a time of great joy and achievement, or it can be a devastatingly difficult phase. Often in this stage we begin to question who we are and why we are here, as we may find ourselves drawn to live life differently to how we have been taught the “right way” is. We may find ourselves feeling trapped in a life that somehow doesn’t fit us or overwhelms us. In some cases, we may not be able to get our lives going and fail to launch at all.

The sixth cycle of thirty-five to forty-two finds us continuing the previous cycle and learning to cope and excel or make adjustments. We might also expand our learning and begin to take on more responsibility in the workplace, or we may have onboarded enough knowledge to start our own business. We may become leaders in our communities. Once our children are at school we are perfectly poised to redefine ourselves by learning new skills or exploring new horizons. This is a cycle where questioning and self-assessment become the order of the day and awakening is a distinct possibility. It all depends how uncomfortable we are in life and whether we feel fulfilled or not. It is here that we often jettison significant relationships, or make career changes, seeking to recalibrate a life that does not feel like it fits us properly; or perhaps to rectify a mistake we made too early in life before we really understood what we were choosing. We get to self-actualise or redefine ourselves in this stage.

I’ll leave it there although the cycles continue throughout our lives with each new cycle offering us opportunities for expansion and growth. At any stage we can begin embracing soulful living or simply continue following what we were taught. If you are happy in your life, completely comfortable, aware of your own value, conscious of the greater truth of spirit, source, the universe, or the god of your understanding, then you are probably living the life you chose, or you might be having an ordinary, unenlightened journey this time around, or simply be here supporting someone else’s journey… enjoy the ride… all of which is just perfect. Perhaps your life is uncomfortable, challenging, frustrating, cruel, harsh, out of control, and yet you are aware of why it is happening that way, because you are awakened and connected to your version of source, and you understand that you are fulfilling a karmic journey… you are probably on track as well. Keep going, lean into the learning so that you can stop struggling. If, however, you feel lost and alone, without a spiritual source to support or call upon, and your life doesn’t fit your desires, you are not in touch with your worth or unworthiness, and nothing makes sense to you, then your life could bear some deeper scrutiny. You may be fast asleep at the wheel of your own life, or perhaps you have been taught that you don’t get to drive your own life… either way there is much to discover that could add meaning to your struggle and could enlighten you to a more authentic and comfortable way of being. This is the space where awakening is often generated.

Sadly, I find it is often only in the later cycles of life that people begin to question, and by then so much damage has been done, and we are so lost, it takes a mammoth effort to get back on track. The kicker for me on my journey happened when I learned that if we do not achieve the goal of our soul plan in this lifetime, we get to come back and do it all again until we do. There is no way I want to relive the pressure cooker challenge-fest that has been my life experience, and I am highly motivated to self-mastery of my goal. I am also highly motivated to share my learning with as many of you as are ready to onboard new information and find a new way of being. Remember if we are journeying together, chances are we are part of the same soul group or collective consciousness. You succeed, I succeed, and vice versa. We all move together as one group towards that ultimate enlightenment as a soul.

As always, I offer you my understanding of things. I encourage you at all times to question and decide for yourself what you want to accept and onboard. I’m always interested to hear your opinions and I encourage feedback. However, it is essential to understand this vital truth as we journey together:

We don’t have to agree on a single thing to be kind to one another.

So, disagree with me by all means, own your different perspective, but please remain respectful of other’s beliefs and journeys.

Treat yourself with EMpathy and EMbolden yourself to dream. EMerge from your learned way of being, allowing yourself to celebrate life as you EMbrace your full potential. EMancipate yourself from your limitations, EMpowering yourself to live with greater clarity and joy!

Until next time when I shall discuss changing your life, be kind to one another and honour yourself as the unique and incredibly special soul that you are.

© Copyright 2020 – Janice Melmed

10. Building a blueprint for life

Self-mastery one lifetime at a time

For this blog I am once again delving into the quantum space. I may talk about concepts you’ve never encountered before. I ask that you read to the end before deciding whether this is madness or inspired. You never know it may surprise you.

I’ve spoken quite a lot about us being souls living a human experience through the medium of love. I’ve spoken too about how we come to earth to master different aspects of humanity and to seek enlightenment. I’ve been very clear about the need for us to decide for ourselves what our soul experience will be in each incarnation. So how do we do that, you might ask? Also, if we have planned our lifetime, then why is it that so often we find ourselves living lives that just don’t seem to fit or feel ‘right’?

To answer those questions let us start by imagining ourselves sitting Upstairs in between lifetimes, as a not yet fully enlightened soul. You might be deciding whether or not to incarnate again as a human. There are so many aspects of humanity to be explored that you could be living an infinite number of lives before you get through them all. For the sake of illustrating the point let us assume you are a soul who is needing to master the aspect known as power. It is quite possible that you have had previous lifetimes where you had great power and you perhaps did amazing things with it; and then you may have had another lifetime where you abused your power and created some chaos and mayhem. In order to fully understand all aspects of the power construct it makes sense that you should also experience total disempowerment so that you have a full and complete understanding of the power aspect of humanity.

I need to interject here and share with you that souls travel in groups (some sources say hundreds and some say thousands of beings in a soul group. I don’t have an attachment to a number, but I definitely resonate with the concept). Each group forms a collective consciousness. All souls in a particular collective are grappling with the same aspect of humanity. No soul proceeds along in the celestial game to the next aspect until every soul in their collective group has mastered the current aspect fully. This is why you get to choose to incarnate again as opposed to perhaps staying Upstairs to help out another soul who may be struggling.

Think of this exercise as building a project plan for a huge development… a fair analogy for an entire lifetime. Your Higher Self, which is that aspect of you that knows everything there is to know about you across all lifetimes, incarnations, and experiences, and has full access to your Akashic records as inscribed in the Book of Life, is your project manager. It makes perfect sense does it not that you would put the most knowledgeable soul aspect in charge of the project. Your project manager will liaise with the various souls in your group to see who has what requirements that might dovetail in with your plan or which souls are free to get involved in supporting your plan. All aspects of your life are then built into the project plan. This is, in effect, the overall scope of work. Resources are engaged beginning with your parents who are cast in their role, and all aspects of your life are meticulously planned. Birth circumstances, economic factors, country of origin, race, creed, education, life partners, children, teachers, siblings, friends, agonists, protagonists, helpers, supports, abilities, disabilities, opportunities… the whole nine yards, including a bunch of contingency plans and a couple of emergency exit strategies for in case you get so off track that correction is not possible, or you choose to bail and recalibrate your game. Everything you could possibly need to be able to experience total disempowerment is built in. If all goes according to plan in this upcoming incarnation and you reach a complete understanding of disempowerment, and that is indeed the last piece of the power puzzle for you, then you will have finally mastered that aspect of humanity. This completes another leg of your enlightenment journey. Once all the souls in your group have reached the same level of mastery, your soul group moves on to a different aspect of humanity and the game begins anew. It really is a thing of beauty. Once you are satisfied that your plan is fully scoped and all resources have been cast and everyone knows what is expected of them, you press Go on the game board of life. The souls cast as your parents begin the dance that will lead to your conception and in time you are born! Then the game begins in earnest.

There are, however, one or two enormous challenges that can easily knock this wonderful plan off-course. The frequency in the soul space and the frequency of the human aspect are not fully compatible. Once you have gone through the traumatic experience of being born, you find yourself totally helpless, trapped in a newly born baby’s body unable to do a single thing for yourself. You cannot remember your life plan at this new denser frequency, and so you begin to flounder your way through life, learning how to be a human. Everyone plays their part to the best of their ability without remembering, for the most part, that they have a part to play. This leads me to the second problem with the plan… free will. It is a unique aspect that souls on earth work with and it creates all manner of chaos and misdirection. You can imagine without too much difficulty how this could send a plan spinning off in the wrong direction. Perhaps one of your parents married someone other than who you cast, or they decided to go live in outer Mongolia, or they become politicians instead of farmers as you had planned. Extreme examples, but all possible due to free will. At every junction in our lives, we make choices that change our path and the path of anyone we are influencing. Ultimately by the time you are fully grown you may be so far removed from where you planned to be, through no fault of anyone at all, that it becomes hugely challenging to get yourself back on track. Your Higher Self, or project manager, may not intervene unless you specifically ask them to. This is not likely to happen until you remember they are there and so Upstairs they will be working flat out to move people and places and contingencies into your path hoping that something will resonate with you and you will begin to remember why you are here.

Isn’t it ironic, we come here as a soul with a fully loaded and scoped plan; we forget the plan the minute we arrive (are born), are often completely misdirected by our parents, teachers, and other resources who are striving to teach us to be what they believe is the best version of ourselves, and all the while, we are learning how to be human. Once we are fully grown and have reached independence, we begin to develop spiritually and then we start the process of learning how to become an enlightened soul again… which is what we were when we first arrived. Neat!

So how do we eventually remember our soul plan, what our purpose in this life is, and begin to get ourselves back on track? Well, some people never do. They live the lives their parents, teachers and other extrinsic influencers have taught them to live and they experience perfectly ordinary lives that meet their ordinary expectations and they go through the motions quite happily following the rules and guidelines and never questioning anything outside of their immediate need’s radius. They are happy, uncomplicated people who do what is expected of them and they leave this life completely satisfied, but wholly unenlightened. For others, we begin to question and think for ourselves. It may start as a slight stirring inside, a feeling that there has to be more to life than what we are experiencing. Possibly we find ourselves uncomfortable with the norm; at odds with people in our lives, feeling challenged by the never-ending rules and dictates of society. Our lives feel uncomfortable and so we begin to search our souls for answers to the questions “who am I”, and “why am I here”. We begin to live life mindfully, more conscious of, and focused on, our own worth. We begin to develop our intuition and we lean into our heart’s desires. We begin to find out for ourselves what our authentic voice wants to say, rather than listening to the voices of everyone else who has had, and continues to have, influence over our lives. We begin to awaken. Usually, this awakening only begins once we find ourselves wholly out of balance and troubled by our existence. Then the real fun starts as we begin to unscramble everything that we thought was true and work out what actually is true for us. As we begin to question for ourselves who we are and why we are here, we often find there is much self-healing that is needed… but more on that at a later date.

As always, I offer you my understanding of things. I encourage you at all times to question and decide for yourself what you want to accept and onboard. I’m always interested to hear your opinions and I encourage feedback. However, it is essential to understand this vital truth as we journey together:

We don’t have to agree on a single thing to be kind to one another

So, disagree with me by all means, own your different perspective, but please remain respectful of other’s beliefs and journeys.

Treat yourself with EMpathy and EMbolden yourself to dream. 

EMerging from your learned way of being,

Allows you to celebrate life as you EMbrace your full potential.

EMancipating yourself from your limitations

EMpowers you to live with greater clarity and joy!

Until next time when we will look at the question, “are you living the life you chose?” be kind to one another and honour yourself as the unique and incredibly special soul that you are.

© Copyright 2020 – Janice Melmed

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