My Perception – My Reality, The Observer and the Observed

I had a dream last night where I was car racing a friend.  We challenged each other to be the first one to make it to a particular destination.  After taking off, we became separated for some reason and lost sight of each other.  The dream gave me sight, as The Observer, to see both my friend and myself as we raced trying to make it to the end.  The Observer me saw my friend make it to the destination first and there he waited.  The Racer me was trying very hard to navigate through all the obstacles of the course to make it to the destination, but I was not making very good time.  Meanwhile my friend became worried that either something happened to me, or that he misunderstood where the final destination point was supposed to be.  So he took off in his car back toward the beginning of the race.  As he was driving over a highway over-pass, he saw my car drive under on my way to the destination point.  He then realized that I would get there and since he was not there, I would assume I was the winner.  It would be his word against mine as to who was there first.  There was no actual proof either way other than what The Observer knew to be the truth.

I awoke from this dream thinking that this is a lot like the reality that we each produce each moment of every day.  We each have a perception of what the truth of life is from our perspective.  In the dream contest, the Racer me thought that I was the winner, my friend thought he was.  But were either of our perspectives wrong or untruthful?  No, I don’t think they are.

I think it’s important to realize the concept of individual reality perception when working with others.  It’s important to not take their observations personally, but rather try to understand their perspective first.  As it has been said, “Seek first to understand before trying to be understood” – or something along those lines.  Each of us has our own truth for life and respecting this in others is an important step toward peace.

When it comes to a person’s state-of-mind, whether it be joy, love, anger, anxiety, depression, bliss, etc; it is their reality for the moment.  It’s important to understand that the person may not be able to see outside of this state of being.  It’s also important for you (the person that is in this state) to know that you are the only one who can keep you in this state, or change it completely.  Nothing or no one can make this happen for you AND it’s is only YOUR TRUTH – not the Truth of the Divine.

Another aspect of this dream is The Observer.  To me the Ultimate Observer is Divine – the one who knows the all and complete truth of each action in the Universe.  The Ultimate Observer knows your true Higher Self , your purpose and will always be there to help.  Just ask, then listen!

Dwight Raatz

The Greener Grass

Part of my struggles with anxiety and depression stems from the feeling that I’m a victim of my environment or “someone else”.  I often think during one of my “thought battles” that I wouldn’t be this way if only “someone” would truly understand what’s happening and could give me the magic antidote to make it all go away.  If only I had a better paying job, if only I could get my business off the ground, if only clients would see the value of my services and flock to my door, if only “that person” would have told me the whole truth, I wouldn’t be in this situation, if only… if only I could get to the greener grass.  Being the victim is certainly a safe place to be.  This absolves me of all responsibility to own how I am reacting to the challenges before me.  It’s not my fault for feeling this way… or is it?

I find myself challenged with a situation or possibly something someone has said to me in an off-hand comment, and that’s all my ego needs to dig in and drag me into the personal hell that is custom built for me.  Mind you, I don’t go down kicking and screaming.  Nope, I go quite willingly and along the way I’m doing whatever I can to please my ego, to make sure it finds favor in me.  After all, my ego is my best friend right?  It knows all the horrible things that people have done to me over the years.  It knows exactly how to console me and give me all the empathy I want.  Ego understands how to support me and give me a safe place to curl up and be protected from all the evil in the outside world.  Why would I ever want to leave this place?  Well there is something missing here, but I’m not sure what it is yet.  I am tired of feeling the way I am and ego has told me that if I just sink lower into my hell, I won’t FEEL anything anymore.  Isn’t that what you really want?  You want it to all be over – to end.  But yet… what is it that I feel is missing… what?

What I didn’t see on the way to my hell is a small Light that has tagged along with me.  This Light has very deftly dodged detection of ego.  It was just on the other side of me always hovering next to me, but just out of sight.  Each time ego would look away or get distracted thinking about how powerful it feels, the Light would sneak up to my ear and whisper, “you are perfect”, “you are loved”, “so many people you don’t even know love you”, “you are inspiring to many”, “you make a difference each day”, “the world is a better place with you here”, “your family depends on you”, “give it another shot my friend”, “you have power to change the world”… On and on this Light would zoom up and whisper to me, then dart away just in time not to be detected.

On the way down to my hell, the darkness would surround my eyesight only giving me a very small bit of tunnel vision to see.  The darkness blocks out all my hope and only allows me to focus on my fear all the while making me think I was safe in my despair.  But each time the Light would whisper I would see a brief flash, a glimpse of a wider, clearer vision with an undeniable truth behind what it was telling me.  Each time I would be reminded of how much I am loved by my family, by my friends.  With each flash I would raise my head up and look for the next one.  Slowly I feel something stirring inside my chest, it’s warm and open like the blue sky on a hot summer day.  Is this hope I am feeling?

Then ego starts to get suspicious.  It wonders why I’m being so active, why am I looking around, why am I seeing things it can’t see.  It goes into action quickly, reminding me again and again why I am there, after all it’s done for me to keep me safe and away from the pain of the world.  But it’s too late at that point.  The Light has now taken hold of my attention now and I find myself breathing deep.  I find myself feeling the Love that was always there.  I FEEL!

Now the Light doesn’t have to be so crafty.  The Light has now grown in size and brightness.  It is showing me the way out of hell and giving me all the strength I need to lift myself up, to smile and laugh and know that I have won another battle and I have come out even stronger than before.  I have even picked up some more gifts along my journey in the form of wisdom.  I am even better prepared for the next time ego finds a foothold in my thoughts and wants to be “friends” with me.  My vision to see the deception of ego is stronger than ever.

So what’s the point?  Ego and fear will always be there in the darkness looking for a way to grab hold of any weakness it sees.  The ego is the great illusionist, the pimp feeding my addiction to fear.  Fear is the evil we all experience in our own personal hell, but the reality of it all is that it really has no power over the Light.  It will lie and tell you it has power, and you might even believe it for awhile, but ultimately it can not sustain the illusion.  The Light is powerful, it will never leave us no matter what.  The darkness will leave you in an instant if you only tell it to in the name of the Light.

When you find yourself walking back down the path to your hell, always remember that the Light is still there with you.  The Light will always bring you home – there is no other possibility.  Be on the lookout for the flashing reminders and take heed that the Light is there for you.  You only need to notice.

Dwight Raatz

Home Blessing of Appreciation for Veronica

I decided to write a “Home Blessing of Appreciation” in honor of our home Veronica. The blessing’s main purpose is to spend time to talk with your home and appreciate it for all it has provided to you while living there. Visualize the good times had and send love into each part of the home. I knew that this would be an important part of the process. We needed to let Veronica know what our intentions were so she could be part of it. So, I sat down and wrote the following in her honor. I was surprised at how much emotion I felt when writing it, but I was even more surprised at how much I cried when I tried to read it later.

Dwight Raatz
Today we gather here in appreciation for our home and all that it has provided to us over the years. We would also like to take this time to give our home the right and proper name of Veronica, with gratitude we recognize her as a being a steadfast and loyal guardian of our family. While we haven’t previously recognized you directly for your honored role as house guardian, we want you to know that you have always been a true respite for every member of our family and to many other friends and family who have visited.

Veronica, as you have already felt, there have been changes in our family as we evolve and change. Our sons have grown into wonderful young men who are now commencing lives of their own and Kate and I have begun new paths on our life journey. The paths of our family have been taking us away from you as we focus and grow on the next stage in our evolution. With this change we are finding that our connection to you as our house guardian is also changing. We each have found that it is necessary for us to move on to find the next house guardian that is going to take us in just as you have done for us. We are now manifesting the perfect family that will take our place and take care of you for years to come.

Veronica, we are taking time now to recognize all that you have done for us and we do this by remembering each part of you and how you will always be a part of our memories and stories.

With Blessings and Gratitude, We Remember and Recognize:

The Yard and Outside Grounds
Veronica, we have spent many hours outside of you on the small piece of Mother Earth you occupy and are anchored in. We remember the grass, the trees, the flower garden and vegetable garden. We also remember the hundreds of friends and neighbors that have walked by on the street and path – each of them taking just a moment or two to appreciate the beautiful setting you can claim as your Earth. With Blessings and Gratitude – We Remember your Earth.

The Outside of the House
Veronica, we have been very lucky to have a home such as you that is in such excellent shape. The outside of your loving body has been the great protector in all kinds of weather. When necessary, we have cared for you by fixing damaged areas that threatened to weaken you. We have done this because you deserved to be cared for as you have always cared for us. With Blessings and Gratitude – We Remember your outside.

The Main Entry, Porch & Deck
Veronica, you welcomed us first by opening your front porch and main entry door to us. This doorway is the first place we became acquainted, the first place that greeted all our friends and family. Your front porch was a wonderful respite on a hot summer day or a place to run to get out of the rain. The deck on the back has been a place for many gatherings, a place to take in all the nature surrounding us, a place to look a the moon, a place that happily provided a place for many birds to perch and find food. With Blessings and Gratitude – We Remember your Main Entry, Porch & Deck

The Main Floor
Veronica, your main floor has been the heartbeat of the house. This is where we have spent countless hours talking, laughing, reading, listening to music, watching movies and eating the wonderful food that has kept us healthy and happy. The first room is the parlor and here we have found a simple silence that was great for reading, talking and being together on many holidays. Next is the living room where music and video were your primary responsibilities, but we also slept here when an extra space we needed for a guest or just a much needed nap was in order. The kitchen is the life-blood that kept us all full and healthy, but it was also a place of many conversations, decisions and changes. The garage entry is one of the most critical parts of your main floor. This portal was responsible for allowing us to transform from outside to in; to bring in food and take out waste; a place to leave our dirt and grime and to greet our family as they came home at the end of the day. Lastly we remember the main floor office. This room has had many purposes including a bedroom for an exchange student an office for a business and a sitting room. This has been a place of productivity and growth. The main floor bath room is by far the most used in the whole. We appreciate it each time we go through its door. With Blessings and Gratitude – We Remember your Main Floor.

The Upper Level
Veronica, your upper floor can best be described as a place for healing and rejuvenation. With the three bedrooms and two bathrooms, you have seen us at our worst and best. You have kept us warm and cool. You have bathed our bodies and given us a quiet and safe place to sleep and dream. The upper floor is a place for us to escape and just be. With Blessings and Gratitude – We Remember your Upper Level.

The Lower Level
Veronica, the lower level is the newest part of you. You might still be getting used to having this part of you, but we have become very attached to it. What was once just an open space with cement floors and walls is now transformed into a place of creativity, rest, caretaking and a source for all the pieces that pump air and fluid throughout. The studio has been a special place for creating a multitude of artistic pieces with fabric and other mediums. The bedroom has taken care of our oldest son as he grew into being his own man (thank you for watching over him). The bathroom yet again has seen the best and worst of each of us – all without complaint. The utility room is another critical part of you. It has washed our clothes, cleaned our air, kept our food frozen and provided warmth in the winter and cool air in the summer. The storage rooms are those quite places in you that don’t get a lot of press time, but know that they are appreciated for the years they have watched over our precious belongings. With Blessings and Gratitude – We Remember your Lower Level.

The Garage
Veronica, the garage has been one of the most versatile places in the whole. It has truly been a multi-purpose room. This space has not only watched over our cars and belongings, but it has also hosted several parties, been present for creating many projects and seen us goofing around enjoying your space and many occasions. While the garage can seem like the outside of you, it isn’t. It has meant so much to us to have this space to shelter us, protect us and have your doors opening wide to welcome us home or bid us adieu and we come and go. With Blessings and Gratitude – We Remember your Garage.

Veronica, thank you from each of us for all that you have been for us. We now ask that you help us find the next family that will find you and take care of you for many years to come. We are notifying the world today that we are searching for this family. We know that your beauty and wisdom will find the perfect family that can adore and appreciate you has much as we have. Thank you for all your cooperation during this time of transition and we look forward to celebrating the next chapter in your story.

With Blessings and Gratitude, We honor you Veronica.

A Great Storm is Brewing on the Edges of My Mind

Can you hear it?
The low rumble of distant thunder, so faint it could be missed
The air around you changes somehow, there is a quiet muffling of the world

I get anxious as I feel the rising pressure of the thoughts that bind me, I am alone.
Can’t move, can’t breath – why am I so stupid, the first wind gust rushes by – It’s on…

The darkness is now all around as the clouds grow, their marbled dark blues and gray
Churning… rolling in – hopelessly out of control – why am I even here?
The temperature drops, another huge gust and then I see the trees dancing, encircling me

What are they doing, as I see their arms outstretched?
They move, they hiss at the wind.

It is a powerful rhythm – breaking through the chaos of the storm, what is its meaning?
They dance…

I wrap my arms around me, I cower feeling afraid, pointless, tired of fighting the storm, wanting it to end…

I hear the trees again, hissing, cracking their whips at the beast, dancing to a beat from deep below

Then I see it, out of the corner of my eye, a light – was I seeing things?
It was probably nothing…

The storm seems different, the rhythm is giving order to the movement, the dancing slows

There it is again, a shaft of light – a thought occurs out of the murky darkness saying…
“I Am…”

The tears of rain and release land on my face. Can you smell it?
Hope had drifted in filling the air

The clouds part a bit more, the trees slowly undulate as the clouds flow with purpose

“I Am … ” comes again…

“I Am unique”,
“I Am meant to be”,
“I Am perfection …”
– Doubt wanes, but holds on just in case

It’s warmer, I stand taller feeling the rain washing the chaos of thoughts down to the earth.
Purifying me

“I Am!” –
Yes, I am!

I breath deep the calming order that comes from all around

The trees are different now, they look familiar –
More than just wood and limbs and leaves –


I know them, they are family, they are tribe –
I wasn’t alone…?

I Am whole,
I Am loved,
I Am worthy,
I Am free…

I Am

~ Dwight Raatz

The Control of my Ego

It never ceases to amaze me how much control my ego has over me.  I’ve spent the majority of my life not even knowing what an ego was and now I find it amazing how it finds so many ways to plant doubt and fear in virtually everything I do.  What’s up with that?  I don’t remember my parents or family instructing me on how to grow and nurture my ego.  I don’t remember anyone saying, “Okay now Dwight- to grow up big and strong and have a life controlling ego, you need to doubt each and every decision you make and allow it to guide you along a path of struggle and suffering.”  Jeezz…

So now I am “aware” of my ego and how it has been the great conductor of many struggles of my life.  Struggles ranging from unworthiness to depression to feeling completely out of control in all aspects of my life.  I am aware of the ego and yet this knowing hasn’t given me complete control … at least not yet.  I think the knowing of how ego can squirrel its way into my thoughts has enabled me to stop and think about why I feel the way I do at certain times.  If I run across a decision or situation where I start to think about all the reasons it won’t work or why I shouldn’t try, I ask myself, “Okay is this my ego talking, or is this really something genuine that I should reconsider.”  I’d like to say that I am able to do this all the time, but honestly ego finds ways to side step the knowing and go straight to doubt and depression.  Blast it anyway!!!

Now you might think that ego is only bad, but really there are two sides to ego.  The “good” ego gets no press at all – so it’s not something most people would even consider.  Good ego is the part of you that challenges and encourages you to excel, that part that tells you “nice work – you rock!”.  This is not the “nose stuck in the air” kind of ego, this is you feeling worthy, feeling like what you’ve accomplished is fulfilling and satisfying.  The good ego is what is worth developing and sharing with others.

The truth here is that “bad ego” is a master illusionist – but that’s it.  It’s only an illusion to think that you are anything less than perfection.  The perfect you exists now and is there for everyone to love and share.  The only thing stopping the great unveiling is your ego.  It is the proverbial, “man behind the curtain” (I loved Oz), the great illusion set in place to try and prevent you from knowing who you truly are and that is a Being of Light having a human experience.

Dwight Raatz