(This is a long post, but I think the story needs to be read in one sitting. If you don’t have time now, please bookmark it and come back when you do. It’s an amazing story. I hope you’ll find it inspiring.)
I’ve been given an assignment via an online course I’m taking, called Blog Mastermind by Yaro Starak, to write my story. To let my readers know who I am. So I’m doing just that.
So who is Atmara Rebecca Cloe?
Well, we could address that on SO many levels, such as my legal name is Rebecca Cloe, not Atmara. And with that goes the discussion of where the name Atmara came from and what does it mean. In fact, there was a lengthy discussion about that on one of my Facebook pages once, but the short answer is that the name Atmara came to me in meditation over 20 years ago and I don’t know what it means, it just feels good to use it, and having done so for 20 years it has become the name I’m known by.
And then there is the ultimate question of “who am I?” And if you’ve read my earlier post “Finally, It’s All About Love” you know that, in my experience, that is what I’ve found that I am, that everyone is, Love.
But that aside (not to trivialize it at all—it’s the discovery of a lifetime!), I think what’s to be addressed here is my human story. It started out quite usual, but took quite a turn in my early 30’s and my life has not been usual in any way since.
I grew up in suburban Virginia in the 50’s and 60’s with all the socialization that went with that. Married my high school sweetheart at 22, was divorced a few years later, and went back to school in my late 20’s for a second BA degree, this time in music education (the first had been in psychology). I worked as a high school choral director for a few years, and then I got sick, very sick, with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Then my life became very untypical, and, from my current perspective 20 some years later, very magical and blessed.
And yes, I am still sick, although the Reconnective Healing work has brought some improvement in my symptoms (and there certainly could be more in the future!). I spend most of my life on my bed (where I am propped up now, writing on my laptop), and I have an amazing, blessed life. How is that possible?
The first blessing of this illness was that it took from me the ability to go out and create a life. I am a very mental, left brained person, and I can tell you if I had had to rely on what my mind already knew existed to create my life, it would never have touched the miraculous one I’m living. And I think I would be a pretty unhappy person as well.
So how has being sick and unable to work and play like “normal” people resulted in a happy, blessed life? Since I couldn’t go out and engage life from a linear, logical place of thinking and doing, I had to let life come to me. And what amazing things have shown up! When I first got sick, during my search for wellness, I began to explore spirituality. People, books, opportunities that I never knew existed were free to “show up” in my life. Since I couldn’t control my life or my illness (not for lack of trying, I can assure you), a higher intelligence was free to run the show.
You can call this intelligence whatever you want, God, the Universe, Source…but whatever the name, it is truly what we all are, and I was blessed to see it at work in my life in a way that, had I been well, I would never have stopped “doing” long enough to notice.
I won’t bore you with all the details of the last 20 some years, but I’ll share with you some of the miracles. I was for awhile very engaged with a spiritual group out on the fringes of the “New Age” movement, and what I was involved in ended very suddenly and unexpectedly. It was shocking and I had no idea what to do next, but within a few days there was this ad in a local, “freebie” newspaper for a graphic design school that was just a few miles away. This was 1995 and computers were just getting powerful enough to do graphics and artwork. Long story/short I went to the regional Vocational Rehabilitation Center and they quite willingly paid for the classes. Luckily, I was feeling better at the time (my one short reprieve in this long period of illness) and was well enough to actually, physically take the classes.
Then, of course, I needed a computer and all the software and peripherals to go with it, and where was that going to come from? Although, Voc Rehab “never” does this, someone there believed I could make a go at creating graphics, and when a Voc Rehab office, in another region, called the one in my region and said, “we have $10,000 extra in our budget this quarter, can you use it?” voila!, I had a computer and all the extras (including very expensive graphic software) and started creating graphics for the web.
Never could I have foreseen this possibility for my life, nor manifested it “on my own” but it all just came to me. I didn’t go out and doing anything to find it. It just came. I understand the law of attraction and certainly there must have been something in me that was a vibrational match for this, but I had no idea this field even existed. I certainly would never have thought I could do it and gone after it. It just showed up and I engaged it.
As it turned out, I didn’t like working on web design and am not a very good designer anyway, but I discovered I am a good artist! What a surprise! I had tried painting and drawing, and I loved crafts, but I have very poor coordination in my hands. Traditional art was never a consideration for me. But somehow, life just unfolded, the world of computer art came into being, and there I was creating art. And I LOVED it. What I loved most was how the art seemed to create itself through me. I’d start with some idea in mind, but usually that wouldn’t work, but something else would emerge from my playing at the computer. The more I let go of form and figurative artwork, the more I just “played”, the more powerful, energetically, the work became. Eventually, I started creating mandalas and or they began creating themselves through me, and more and more, I came to trust this process of allowing life to live me, to use me, rather than me creating a life. And that became my prayer to the Universe, “use me.”
Now, let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with consciously creating your life. Stepping out of the victim role, embracing the Law of Attraction, and giving conscious attention to your vibration is an empowering and important step for many people. Even in this unusual life I’m living, where I put my attention is very important. But because illness forced me to give up trying to make my life happen by “doing”, I have been able to see the miracle of life living me.
During this period when my skills as an artist were being developed, I happened to be taking a yoga class with the editor of the local spiritual magazine in Concord, NH. She told me that she was doing a cover article on a singer and peace activist, James Twyman and while she had always designed the covers of her magazine herself, she had received the guidance that I should create this one. I had not heard of James, but she gave me a copy of his recently published book, Emissary of Light.
I read the book and created the cover, met James at a concert he gave in Concord shortly after that, and he became, unknown to him, a vehicle the Universe has used to bring major changes and miracles into my life ever since. This concert was part of an all day event, and Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God, was a speaker at the event also. He, too, unknown to him, would be used by the Universe at a crucial point in my life (or at least his ex-wife, Nancy would, but I’m getting ahead of myself.)
I followed James Twyman’s career, bought his music, read his books, and in the summer of 2003 watched an online broadcast of a weekend event on psychic children that he produced in Ashland, OR. Neale Donald Walsch was a major part of this event as well. The next month, they and their friend Steven Simon were filming the movie, Indigo, in which I was very interested. And guess where it was being filmed? Ashland, OR.
I had never heard of Ashland, OR, but something about it called me to find out more. Researching it on the web I found it was a community with a large focus on both art and spirituality. It really “called to me.” I felt I was meant to live there, but there was no clear direction as to when.
I continued my life in NH, happy to be creating art, but feeling unhappy and unfulfilled in many ways, and knowing there was something else I was destined to do in this life, but having no idea what. I was also finding living with chronic illness increasingly trying, especially because I WAS trying, trying everything that had helped other people with this disease and nothing worked. A year pasted. James had another weekend workshop in Ashland and it, too, was broadcast over the Internet. Again I was intrigued with Ashland. Was I going to move there? There still was no strong feeling of “it’s time to start packing” so I continued to wait.
Finally in the spring of 2005 I received clear guidance that it was time to move. It took 6 months and every bit of energy I had, but in September of 2005, I moved to Ashland, OR. I had had many doubts during these 2 years of waiting, was I meant to move or not, was I just meant to visit Ashland, not move there? And even in the midst of moving I occasionally had my doubts.
I had spent a great deal of time finding just the right apartment to move into. I had, most of my adult life, lived in rural New England and was sure that I would be happiest outside of the city of Ashland in a rural setting, as I was accustomed to. I found an apartment that seemed to fit the bill and then 2 weeks before the movers were to arrive, it fell through. To complicate things, I had a 10 year old cat that was moving with me, and I found very few apartments for rent that would allow cats.
Was I wrong in thinking I was being called to Ashland? Enormous doubt arose. I got on the phone, gave up the idea of living in the country, and tried desperately to find some apartment, any apartment that would rent to me and my cat on such short notice.
I found a small condo, that I thought would do, but it was in town, and I really didn’t want to commit to a lease without at least seeing some pictures of the place. The Realtor renting it was too busy to take pictures, but willing to let someone else do so if I could find someone to do it. I didn’t know anyone in Ashland, but had been communicating with someone via email who ran an online spiritual website where people posted events and notices. I called her and asked if she knew anyone who would take these pictures for me. Now this woman had only had a couple of email exchanges with me, didn’t really know me at all, but said, “You know, there’s someone I’m going to see this morning that might be able to do this. Let me call you back.”
Within the hour she called back and said “I have someone here who would be glad to take these pictures for you.” She handed the phone to this person named Nancy and I began telling her my tale of how I found Ashland through James Twyman and how connected I had felt to the making of the movie Indigo, and she stopped me and said, “Do you know who I am? I’m Neale Donald Walsch’s ex-wife” (and “ex” in the sense they had just divorced very recently). Ok, this was so beyond coincidence, so absurdly unlikely to happen, that all my doubt disappeared. Clearly, if the Universe could orchestra all this, I really couldn’t have any response but to surrender to the fact that all was well and I just needed to continue with the move. Nancy did take the pictures for me, I rented the condo, and 2 weeks later my life in Ashland began.
Before moving to Ashland my interests and involvement in things “spiritual” were all in the arena of what is usually called “New Age” spirituality. I’m not sure anyone can really define that, but I think you probably have a sense of what I’m speaking about. I had certainly not been involved in anything from an eastern tradition, nor was I interested in that. When first arriving in Ashland I checked out the local Abraham group, since I had been listening to this law of attraction material for a number of years. And as it turned out, Nancy Walsch was the host of this group. More coincidence, more confirmation from the Universe that all was well. I never got to know Nancy, but I did meet some interesting friends. I also started checking out new healing modalities and went to someone for something called Bodytalk. The practitioner suggested that I go to a meeting of her spiritual teachers, Gangaji and Eli Jaxon-Bear. At that point in time Gangaji was in Australia, but I did go to one of her husband’s (Eli’s) meetings and I watched them both on public access TV. Their teacher was a man from India named Poonjaji, whose teacher was Ramana Maharshi.
I knew people had gurus, but this sort of thing had never appealed to me. I was here (I thought) to help with the evolution of the planet. I really didn’t see myself a part of a teaching lineage from India. I liked Gangaji’s videos on public access, although I wouldn’t say I was hugely drawn to them, but I had now become friends with this Bodytalk practitioner and was willing to check it out further since she found it so meaningful. So in January of 2006, Gangaji, having returned home to Ashland from Australia, had a public meeting. My life has never been the same since.
There was a large crowd filling the meeting room, sitting silently waiting for her to arrive. I didn’t have any visual or auditory cues when she entered the back of the room, but I felt this energy that practically knocked me out of my chair. As she walked up to the stage I had 2 thoughts, “I know this one” and “I’m home.” I had no idea what that meant, but I had found the reason the Universe had moved me to Ashland.
I thought I had moved to Ashland because the Universe had planned a life for me here (it did). I thought it was about serving the evolution of the planet (perhaps it does, but I find the notion of having a purpose in life, beyond simply living, has less and less reality for me). I thought moving here and having a life meant I would get well. It hasn’t. Instead of a life of activity, I have found a life of “being”.
My relationship with Gangaji is beyond anything I can put in words. I had no idea such a relationship could exist. She is my teacher, not because of anything she has said or done (although she has said and done much in the 4+ years I’ve known her) but because the Universe uses her to show me who I am. It uses her to evoke a depth of love I never knew existed. It uses her to awaken me. I don’t think that unless you have had this type of relationship with someone else you can begin to imagine what it is like. I certainly didn’t know such a thing existed. I certainly didn’t look for it or plan it, but my life has been forever changed. Perhaps some other time it will be appropriate to talk in more detail about this awakening. But for now it is enough to say it was the reason I was called to Ashland.
And why did I have to wait 2 years to make that move? Because when I first learned of Ashland, Gangaji and Eli were living in the Bay Area of California. They did not move here to Ashland until the winter of 2004/2005. And it was a few months after they moved to Ashland that I got the “OK” to start planning a move.
I find it astounding that there is this intelligence living my life that can orchestrate such events, from the editor of a magazine in NH saying she thinks I’m meant to create the cover art for a story about James Twyman, to meeting him and following his work, to learning about Ashland, to moving here without a clue as to why, and to discovering Truth and Love, beyond anything words can explain, in the eyes of a teacher.
My life is filled with incredible wonder, and everyday pain. I know myself to be Love and at one with everything, and am still fully human with all the flaws that go with that. Every time I think I know anything, I’m humbled by the realization that I know nothing. But my life is rich, even though I spend most of it on my bed.
Am I here to assist in the evolution of the planet? I don’t know. But I am life, living as a human on a planet that is in the midst of an evolutionary time.
And this human life continues to evolve. Two years ago James Twyman was used again to steer me toward what was next. In an email announcement his organization sent out about an event at which he was one of the speakers, the name of another participant, Eric Pearl, “jumped out” at me. He did something called Reconnective Healing and I felt compelled to find out more about it. I’ve now taken the training and am a Reconnective Healing practitioner. And while these frequencies have healed many people from just about any illness you can name, including Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, my body remains sick. My symptoms have lessened, but I still live most of my life on my bed. I can and do facilitate healing, and healing happens on many levels, to me and to my clients. But this body remains sick. I have no idea why.
Maybe over time I will see how it all fits into some bigger plan. But I am at peace with my life. It is miraculous. I am life itself playing out this dance of humanness. I am in awe of the intelligence behind it all, and the unfolding that continues to take place. I have had my struggles with being ill. I have at times wished for death, but I have discovered that there is life force here that wants to live, that wants to live THIS life, in THIS body, under these circumstances. And it’s a blessed life. It has good days and bad days like any life. But I am being lived in a miraculous, and blessed way. I am in service to Life, to Love. And I bow in gratitude to this that uses me.
I look forward to your thoughts and comments!
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