Friday, July 31, 2015

What If...?

As we celebrate this very special Blue Moon, it seems like the perfect time to share this piece I wrote as a gift to a group of Malcolm Shabazz City High School seniors.  Enjoy!

                                            What If….
What if…. every person on the planet was born with a special gift to share?    Then….you have a gift to share too.
What if….each person’s gift is like a puzzle piece and when all the pieces are in place, we will have heaven on earth?     Then….you can help change the world just by being you.
What if….everything that happens to you is somehow preparing you to share your special gifts?    Then….there would be no shame in where you came from, what you’ve done, what you haven’t done, or what’s been done to you.  Even mistakes would be perfect because there are no mistakes.
What if….your special gifts are the things you love to do most?  And to find those gifts all you have to do is listen to your heart?      Then….your special gift is within reach.
What if….you can’t feel or hear your heart?     Then…. it is probably clouded with doubt, anger, regret, disappointment or hurt.
What if….all you have to do to clear the clouds from your heart is forgive?  Forgive the people who hurt you.  Forgive life for disappointing you.  Cry out the hurt…scream out the anger…breath out the doubt … let go of the past….take deep breaths.       Then….a clear heart is within reach.
What if….your soul had a plan all laid out for you before you were born?  And the plan guides you to your favorite dreams?       Then….all your dreams can come true.
What if… all you have to do to follow the plan is AGREE, then look for signs telling you which way to go?        Then….creating your dreams is simple, but takes commitment.
What if… started each day saying, “I AGREE to the next steps on my plan”?    Then….you would know that you are always making progress toward your dreams.
What if….you don’t know where to begin?         Then….you should begin where you can.  Do what you already know how to do.  Start anywhere and follow it everywhere – remember, the whole universe is helping you get there.
What if….you discover what it is you love the most, but fears get in the way?    Then….you will call on the faith and courage inside you.  And you will remember that you are never alone.
What if….you get stuck along the way?      Then….you will ask for help and the universe will send it.  It might be a person, an idea, an experience, or a sign, but if you ask for it, help will appear.
What if…. getting stuck, failing, losing, and getting disappointed all happens on purpose so that when you are ready to share your gifts, you will be wise, strong, and compassionate toward others who are struggling?    Then….getting stuck, failing, losing and getting disappointed would be worth it.
What if….your beliefs, feelings, and thoughts are creating your moment-by-moment reality?      Then….you will choose empowering beliefs, good feelings, and positive thoughts on your own behalf.  Sometimes fears or doubts will come up, but you will breathe deeply and send them on their way.
What if….doing what you love attracts everything you need – money, love, wisdom, joy?     Then….you have no excuses for not doing what you love.
What if….all of this is true?     Then….you have everything you need to live your dreams.  What are you waiting for?  .  Start creating heaven on earth!
 What if…. you are reading this because your gifts are calling you?

       © 2012 Written by Carla Berg/Inspired by Greg McNaughton

Friday, July 3, 2015


From the moment you are born, life experiences are embedding impressions, beliefs, and conclusions in your subconscious mind.  Even what happens while you are in the womb or the circumstances around your birth can have a profound effect on your life.  I once mentioned this in a lecture and afterward a woman excitedly told me that she’d just figured out why she’d always had a deep sense of rejection, as if the world didn’t want her here.  She went on to describe her birth experience.  When her mother was in the final stages of labor, the hospital had called her doctor, but because he didn’t want to interrupt his dinner, he instructed the nurse to stall the labor.  With each contraction, as the baby kept trying to push her way out, the nurse would push her back in. Is it any wonder that despite having loving parents and a love-filled childhood, she’d always felt unwanted?  Her very first attempt to greet the world was met with rejection.  In addition to life-long neck problems, these circumstances created life-long emotional problems too. 

It is a wonderful feeling to discover an explanation for why we are the way we are, and even better to discover that we can change something if we want to.  We can’t change what happened at the time of our birth, but we can change the conclusions we formed.  And more importantly, we can always, always give ourselves what we need – even if we didn’t get it as a child.  I’d like to show you how and give you a chance to experience it.  I call this “Remaking History”.  It is a way to consciously embed a positive, loving belief in your subconscious mind to make up for something you didn’t get when you were young.  In this example, it will be a sense of belonging.  Let me provide a little background before we get to the meditation.

In the course of my work, I’ve noticed that very few people have a true sense of belonging.  By that, I mean a sense that they are wanted in this world, that there is a place for them, that the world looked forward to their arrival, welcomed them and is happy that they, specifically, (as much as any other human on earth) are here; that they have a right to be here and a say in what happens on this planet.  Many people may say this is true on an intellectual level, but very few FEEL it’s true.  Imagine how our world would be different if everyone felt they belonged?  People would carry a deeper sense of responsibility for what happens locally and globally.  They would more freely pursue their passions and the contributions they could make.  They’d be less bound by insecurity and self-doubt.  They could relax into self-acceptance and more easily accept others as they realize they have a right to be here too. 

Some cultures have customs or rituals designed to embed a sense of belonging from the very start.  For those who weren’t blessed with that kind of beginning, here is a guided meditation.  It’s just a few minutes long, but it can have a profound impact in rewriting your history.  You’ll know by the way you feel.  Here's the link:   Guided Meditation to Deepen Your Sense of Belonging

 (This is a much more powerful experience if you use headphones to listen)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

No More Hiding

I suppose we all have something we’d rather not have everyone know.   Whether it’s cellulite on our thighs, a bad credit rating or a shameful past, we find ways to lay low, hoping nobody sees.  We put on an “everything’s fine” face and do whatever it takes to avoid the sting of judgement if people knew the whole story about us.   I have been lying low so long that my posture has developed a slump.  I’ve been hiding out, telling carefully worded partial truths about myself because: 1) the whole truth seemed too bizarre to believe and 2) I was barely holding it together, so adding someone else’s doubt to my self-doubt was more than I could handle.  I didn’t want to risk losing friends or family, but in the end, that’s happened anyway, so what have I got to lose by being fully honest?

Background Story
Before I get to the confession part, I want to provide a little background.  About ten years ago I heard a voice telling me loud and clear, “Stop everything you’re doing…there’s something bigger for you to do…just follow your heart and it will lead you there.”  I’d already abandoned a mainstream life to pursue writing a book about emotional self-healing, so while I had some experience with leaps of faith and exploring new things, I couldn’t imagine how much more “out there” I could go.  I had no idea what I was getting into, but I trusted my inner voice implicitly.  I figured whatever was arriving would take a few months and I had the resources to live a few months without working, so I dutifully stopped everything to listen in.  Shortly after, a clear message came forth:  Redistribute wealth in the world.  Follow your heart and it will lead you there.

I was a little nervous, but mostly excited about this new calling.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that redistributing wealth involves lots of money and what could be more fun than giving away money?  It’s good that I had a high level of excitement because the journey I was about to endure required absolute commitment to following my heart through some awful terrain.

Step One:  Lose Everything 
Naturally, I’d assumed the first step of my calling would be landing large sums of money.  I was wrong.  The first step was preparation for having large sums of money, which apparently included having no money.  When my heart told me to “do nothing” it meant it.  Do nothing to earn money.  Do nothing to save your home from foreclosure.  Do nothing to rescue yourself from humiliation, including the humiliation of telling creditors you have no money, cannot pay your bills or debts and don’t know when that will change.  I pleaded with my heart to let me DO SOMETHING, but the answer was, “Let everything fall apart.”  So I did.  I was painfully faithful to my heart.  Over time I lost my house, my cabin, my car, my reputation and my pride.  One bright spot was that I picked up a partner, Greg, along the way.   A perfect companion for the journey, he was game for this experience and willingly joined in.  Of course he lost everything too, without even trying.

Step Two:  Keep the Pressure On
No matter what we did to try to bring in support, there were times when it just wasn’t going to happen.  Once in a while we’d get an unexpected sum of money that came out of nowhere or a friend would generously offer to let us live with them.  For a time, Greg started a successful business, but we never knew when we were going to be blindsided and thrown back into survival mode or dependence on the mercy of others.  The way things came and went made it abundantly clear that there was divine design in everything.  We could go from absolute despair to grand relief in an instant, but always knew another wave of lessons or insights or deliberate experiences was on its way.  This went on for several years. 

Step Three:  Find the Perfection in It
When you’ve had a fabulous calling dangled in front of you, it’s hard to make sense of having the opposite experience.  In order to keep strong, I was constantly asking “how is this perfect?” or “how does this fit into the overall plan?”  I always got answers and always knew it was somehow preparing me to redistribute wealth in the world.  I figured that money wields such power that having lots of it could make me a different kind of prisoner, so a good deal of my journey was about finding the kind of wisdom, compassion and absolute freedom that would make me a trustworthy guardian or philanthropist.  Freedom from norms, freedom from fear, and freedom from the old consciousness that had created the mess our world is in, so that I could distribute wealth in innovative ways.  I needed to stretch completely out of the limitations of mainstream thinking and that meant living on the edge.  It meant living in ways that gained disapproval, but being strong enough to know that I was still a good person; transcending shame and judgement because those are the things that keep us prisoner to the norms that limit us; breaking free of the belief that if you break the rules, you don’t deserve goodness.  God, I hated how hard it was!  I’d made a life of fitting in and now I was sticking out – and in the most uncomfortable ways.

My way of coping was to lay low.  I’d avoid friends and family or avoid talking about my life, hoping the hard part of this spiritual journey would end before anyone noticed how wretched and embarrassing my life had become.  A few years earlier I’d had scores of people cheering me on when I’d left the corporate world to pursue my writing career.  I was gaining success in that career when this new calling called.  But this leap of faith was different.  Instead of being cheered on, I was being criticized and interrogated about the choices I was making.  I was challenged constantly by my own doubts and the doubts of others.  “Why don’t you just get a job?”  “How can you do this to your daughter?” “When is this silliness going to end?”  As I grew stronger on the inside, I shrank on the outside.   Making myself as invisible as possible, I begged my heart to end this pain before anyone found out the ugly truths of it.  But after laying low now for many years, and despite the fact that I feel this quest is coming to a close, I feel compelled to be completely open about whom I’ve been.  Otherwise shame wins.  So here is my confession:

I have been horrified by the things that I participated in or have allowed to happen in the pursuit of this cause and I’m going to stop hiding them.  I have been foreclosed.  I have been evicted. I have been homeless. I have used food pantries.  I have had every kind of service cut off or disconnected because of non-payment.  I’ve spent 10 days without electricity -- cooking and heating bath water on an outdoor grill, sleeping with a hat and winter coat on because we had no heat, dragging my children through all of this and enduring the shame of lectures, scoldings, and anger as we begged family and friends for help to pay the electric bill.  I have a credit rating in the 500’s.  I owe people a lot of money. I have borrowed money from my children when I should have been the one supporting them.  I have lived off the backs of others. I've broken promises.  I have been many versions of what our society shuns and although working in a job would have prevented all of these things from happening, I have not done so in over 10 years.  And although society says good, responsible people pay off their debts and pay their bills on time, I have not always done so.  I could have avoided this whole mess, but I didn’t…because my heart said so.  I tried not to make it anyone else’s problem, but sometimes I failed.  I have hurt, disappointed and lost the confidence of many people.  I am sorry for the hurt, but I have no regrets because I trust my heart implicitly. 

More than anything, I hated being dependent on – or at the mercy of – others.  I admit that this probably caused even more suffering than was necessary. For much of those ten years we scraped by without help, but when we needed it, I hated to ask.  (I was the kid who refused to let her mother accompany her to the first day of kindergarten because I wanted to “do it myself!”) Independence was my middle name, so I cannot imagine a more challenging or humbling experience than asking for money to live on while I pursued a nebulous quest.  How does one explain that? I was raised to be responsible, hard-working and self-sufficient.  How could I disobey those norms and keep my self-respect?  And yet, how does one find freedom from those norms or find intrinsic self-worth other than by disobeying them and rising above the shame that comes with it?  Yes, many good things came of this and much more good will come, but that is not the point of this story.  My point is that I’m not hiding in shame any more.  There are so many ways to second guess what I have or haven’t done, and many people have told me how I “should have” done it.  I did it all with my eyes wide open and I accept all the consequences.  I’m going to see this dream through.  I’m not asking for anything; I just don’t want to hide anymore. 

I have had every drop of judgement drained out of me and replaced with compassion.  It’s pretty hard to call someone else wrong when your inner self knows “I’ve been that.”  My journey hasn’t reached its conclusion, but I’ve reached this conclusion:  Every life is sacred.  Even the ones that look despicable.  Even mine. 

Carla Berg

p.s. please take advantage of this website.  There are five sets of divination cards here that were written as a result of this long journey.  They’re available to use for free and I’d love to have them shared. 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

How to Realize a Dream

Why is it that when we talk about realizing dreams, we do it with a sort of detached, airy, or romantic tone – as if dream realization is a distant hope or out of reach – perhaps reserved for the fated few, the outrageously determined, or the extremely talented?   Why isn’t the fulfillment of dreams a common thing?  What happens in the fulfillment process that scares people into avoiding, diminishing, or abandoning the quest? 

In Paulo Coelho’s inspiring story, “The Alchemist”, he reveals:

“Before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one 'dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon.”

What if, as this quote suggests, there is a predictable process in the fulfillment of a dream and, if understood, would make it easier to see things through to fruition?  Since uncertainty is one of the most challenging aspects of big change, maybe breaking the process into understandable steps would ease the fear of uncertainty enough to take the leap of faith needed to not only pursue a dream, but keep going when it gets hard. 

This topic is foremost in my mind because I’m in the midst of a dream realization – stretching from a life of mediocrity to one of bold, large-scale living.  As I near the birth of a new existence, pressure builds, feelings intensify, and the stakes feel higher.  This is the point where the temptation to shrink back is strongest.   But instead, I’m determined to master this process by identifying its steps, clarifying its logic, and internalizing its brilliance. I’ve been through enough transitions into new careers, different lifestyles, and in and out of relationships to identify common steps and challenges…and along with those, some techniques and perspectives that facilitate fulfillment of dreams.  So theoretically, if I can create a recipe for dream building, I can use it over and over, fine tuning it until any dream becomes attainable.

But before sharing what I’ve come up with, let me just say that I’m approaching this from the standpoint of emotions and feelings.  I believe that if anything can stop or interfere with the dream-building process, it is fear, doubt, or emotion-based limiting beliefs.  With that in mind, I’m describing how it FEELS at different points of the process, along with ways to work with or through those feelings.  This is my take on how it works:

How to Realize a Dream
(How to Move from One Reality to Another)

 Step A – You’re in a reality that is satisfying.  All is well.

Step B – You begin feeling restless.  Life feels too small so you begin dreaming.  Perhaps you long for fulfilling work or have a talent that has yet to reach its full potential; you want true love or to find self-love through self-discovery.  Through daydreaming, you begin reaching out to connect with a bigger/bolder/different reality.

Step C – You land on a dream and envision a new way of being that inspires you to begin moving out of your Old Reality.  It’s exciting to think about a change, and not too scary because you’re still enjoying the security of the Old.    Most of your energy is directed toward the Old, so it is still pretty well supported and intact - but its inadequacy becomes irritating and a motivation for change.  You take small steps in the direction of the New.  Maybe you tell a friend, do some research, set some goals and make a commitment.  Synchronicities begin and you feel supported as life responds to this New direction. 

Step D – The more you dream about the New Reality, the more real it feels.  You can see it more clearly and take steps to make it real – perhaps even a leap of faith.  As you do this, less energy is going toward your Old Reality and it starts to dissolve.  This can feel unsettling because old sources of support dry up and emotions become stirred up as you let go of the Old.  Even though you know you want out of your old world, doubts creep in as the Old falls away before the New materializes:  Is this really possible?  Am I being foolish?  Will I fail? 
Am I good enough to have the New?  Who do I think I am chasing this dream? Limits or patterns that are out of alignment with your desired New Reality will surface so they can be resolved.  This is not designed to stop you; it is not common sense kicking in; it is not the Universe telling you you’re going the wrong way.  This is simply the part where the way must be cleared for the new to arrive.  Since your inner world creates your outer reality, there must be a change within to create an outer change. This is the part we refer to as “doing the work” and there are no shortcuts.  There are, however, many tools and techniques available to help you work through fears, doubts and limiting beliefs.  Find them and use them.  Feel all your feelings, cry lots of tears, and remember that emotions are the fuel that keep this creative process moving.  Most importantly, KEEP BREATHING to allow the Old to fall away and the New to come in.

Step E – You have almost completed the important step of letting go of the Old, smaller life, and are just beginning to see signs that the New may be arriving soon.    Emotions and doubts are at their highest as you are aware there is nothing to go back to, yet nothing solid to land on in the New.  Straddling two worlds, you are not fully in the Old or New Reality and anxiety creeps in.  Your identity and even survival may feel threatened, but you’re merely sensing the departure of what no longer serves you.  It feels like everything is falling apart, because it must in order for a significant change to occur.  Know that your feelings are normal – that this is the scariest part.  It would be easy to (energetically) curl up in the fetal position or turn to favorite escapes or become paralyzed with fear, but it is important to keep your energy moving.  Nurture yourself to the extent that you can feel safe and hold compassion for yourself.   Intuition and trust carry you through this transition.  The tendency is to grip the Old Reality, while grasping for the New, but this is disempowering and will create more anxiety.  Let go of the Old, even through ritual or symbolic letting go actions.   Cry, mourn, and honor the Old as you set it free.  Surrender, BREATHE, allow. 

Step F – The more you let go of the Old, the more empowered and trusting you feel.  Clarity increases and more details about the New Reality arrive.  They inspire you to keep moving forward in spite of fears and doubts.  You’re shifting the balance of your energy and
attention from the Old Reality to the New.  Stoke your passion for your desired new state by connecting with it in your imagination or taking active steps in the physical world.  Breathe and allow; breathe and allow, imagining with every breath that you are embodying the desired New.  Watch for signs and synchronicities that indicate the New is materializing.

Step G – The gripping is over, the New Reality has not fully materialized, yet a calm takes over.  You know your world is changing and the more relaxed you are, the more easily you transition.  Take actions toward your New Reality to make it feel real and it will become real.  Acknowledge synchronicities and landings.  Take time to consciously breathe in and allow. Honor all your feelings and allow divine timing to take it from here.

Step H – Success is yours!  You’ve made it through the transition and can pamper yourself as you adjust to a new way of being.  Congratulate yourself for creating and realizing a dream with your eyes wide open!

© Carla Berg 2015