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Gratitude for Oprah

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Oprah first called me a few years after The Seat of the Soul was published. I lived in a small mountain town, I didn’t have a TV, and the town cable didn’t offer ABC anyway, so I didn’t recognize her name when she called. We talked another time or two over the next seven or so years, but I was entrenched in the back country resolutely avoiding my responsibility to support people who, like me, had become aware of the enormous transformation of humanity that is underway. Oprah was one of them. She helped me change that in a big way.

From our first meeting I was touched by her warm and immediate presence, interest in me, and awesome capability to create and utilize global enterprises to lovingly support as well as entertain her ever-growing audience, of which I became a part. While recording The Oprah Winfrey Show, she planned and launched O Magazine. Excuse me, she would say after a meeting on our next show, I have to get to my night job. Then came Oxygen, a satellite radio channel, a girls school in South Africa, OWN, and many TV and film productions all contributing directly to the collective well-being. How many people do you know who use their creativity in such a focused way for the benefit of all?

I have been impressed by her courage as well as her compassion. I have watched, along with millions of viewers, as she brought adversaries together on the same show to search for the best that each have to share, and asked direct and probing questions to racial bigots without rancor or judgment.

She has shared things with me off-hand that helped reshape my perceptions dramatically. For example, when a national magazine clamored for an interview with me (a new experience for a back-country recluse), I called Oprah for an opinion. Is just cotton candy, Gary. It’s just cotton candy. Most people spend their lives grasping for this candy recognition, fame, wealth, the ability to impress, manipulate, and control. Oprah does not, and that may be what drew her so strongly to The Seat of the Soul. Whatever temptations she experiences, she does not allow fear to express itself in her creations. They are expressions of love instead. Since we know that everyone experiences fear, we know that Oprah’s continual gifts of love are also challenges to whatever fears come to torment and distract her from her chosen course.

This is what I am most grateful to Oprah for. Thank you Oprah, for all that you have helped me experience and accomplish and all the gifts that you have given me and our fellow students in the Earth school. Thank you for helping seed the idea of authentic power in the Earth school. It is a joy to be a student with you.

Love.
Linda & Gary
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BIRTHDAYS AND DEATHDAYS

BIRTHDAYS AND DEATHDAYS

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Birthdays and death days are markers on a soul’s journey into awareness and freedom. Not all souls choose experiences of physicalness – learning in the domain of time, space, matter, and duality that we call home for a short time. In fact, in which we experience time. I look at each incarnation into the Earth school as a dramatic act of spiritual responsibility and each departure of a soul from the Earth school as a return to nonphysical reality – our common home before and after our experiences on the Earth.

Only a soul knows when it will return home, and when it decides to return home, nothing can stop it. Until then, nothing can make it return home. This may sound strange because so many forms of death, such as illness and violence, appear undesirable to us, but what your soul wants and what your personality wants are not always the same, unless they are aligned. My adopted Sioux uncle spoke of the “other side camp” where we travel after death. When I ask him about it, he would answer with a story, as he often did. One of them was about a relative (he saw all people as relatives) whose death was deeply grieved. He described him as walking up a ridge toward the setting sun. There is much wailing and cries of “He’s going! He’s going!” When he reaches the top, he turns his back to the sun and waves goodbye a last time, and then he turns toward the sun again and disappears over the ridge. A great cry goes up, “He’s gone! He’s gone!” On the other side of the ridge another great cry goes up, “He’s coming! He’s coming!”

We come from love and we return to love. What we do in between is the substance of a life. In my opinion, the purpose of every life is now to create authentic power – to align your personality with your soul – and thereby give the gifts that you were born to give. Our gifts are many, and the only thing between us and giving them is fear. Creating authentic power is learning to distinguish love from fear inside you and choosing love no matter what is happening inside you or outside of you. This requires practice. It requires awareness and volition. What else do you have your life for?

I have lived seventy winters in the Earth school, and I am grateful for all of them, even those that were painful. My life did not need to be so difficult – I didn’t know about creating authentic power earlier – but the richness I experience now is a result of taking advantage of opportunities to grow spiritually that each year in the Earth school gave me. We all encounter continual opportunities in the Earth school to grow spiritually – to create authentic power. My greatest joy is using mine wisely and supporting you in using yours wisely.

I am grateful to share this anniversary of my entrance into the Earth school with you, and to honor you.

Love.
Linda & Gary
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Kindness

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Last week our granddaughter graduated from Oregon State University. Linda and I were thrilled. The guest speaker surprised everyone. Instead of the usual encouragement to climb mountains and follow dreams, he suggested that the graduates be kind. “As you grow older,” said this wise and accomplished Turkish businessman who also has founded a four-year university in Turkey, “you will find that your most fulfilling moments will be times of giving or receiving kindness.” I agree. Dreams, aspirations, and successful ventures are not difficult to accomplish compared with developing kindness toward others and toward yourself. When you are encapsulated in a frightened part of your personality – such as anger, jealousy, despair, superiority and entitlement, inferiority and need to please – how can you experience kindness for others or for yourself? How can you experience kindness when a frightened part of your personality wants to kill someone or kill itself?

Our species is expanding in its perception beyond the five senses. Getting the job done, finishing first, having it all – now lead nowhere. These goals are parts of the pursuit of external power. External power is the ability to manipulate and control. Pursuing external power now creates only violence and destruction. Our evolution now requires us to create another kind of power – authentic power. Authentic power is the alignment of your personality with your soul. It is the ability to distinguish in yourself the difference between love and fear and choose love no matter what is happening inside you (such as anger, jealousy, etc.) or what is happening outside you (such as a 911-type event).

If you are called, we invite you to attend our annual summer retreat this year, the Journey to the Soul, in Portland Oregon and learn about authentic power and practice creating it and spiritual partnerships. The Journey is different each year, and Linda and I enjoy more and more sharing it each year.

Eventually we will all graduate from the Earth school. When you do, kindness will be your way of life, your joy, and your fulfillment.

Love.
Linda & Gary