Blog by Diane Donovan-Vaughn 7/21/2018

When you first begin your flight on an airplane, the airline is required to give you safety information before you take off. These are the words I remember best, “The closest exit may be behind you.” I laugh every time I hear it because I need to hear it every time. My mind goes forward and apparently, I am not alone if everyone on planes needs to hear it every flight.

One of the hardest lessons I have ever learned and still learn is how to back up. Maybe it is because I am OCD – obsessive compulsive – but once I start going forward, I tend to keep blundering forward even when the direction is most obviously not working and even when my focus is creating the same repeating problems with others over and over and over.

In fact, the closest solution for any problem may be in another direction than the one selected and if selected on the spur of the moment with the ego-mind will probably be polluted with our filters and fears. We are usually picking our direction in life from our preconceived issues and energy games.

If the heart is where our connection to the universe exists, then moving from the brain to the heart is how you can find the best direction. The heart has the map to navigate this life.

But first, wake up and notice if what you are choosing to do or the direction you are heading is chosen by the ego. Since we can be very sound asleep about our mental filters, it may be next to impossible to understand that the ego is not only creating more problems, it is creating a never ending reality, issue and energy game choosing the same direction over and over that does not serve you or the world with love and compassion. Back up, take a breath and move your attention away from what you think you know and what you believe you should or should not do and LISTEN to the heart.

Let’s imagine for a moment that the Universe is composed of intelligent, benevolent energy and that you are part of that intelligent, benevolent energy. Let’s assume that you can actually hear and see this energy because technically this energy is you. Why then, are you asleep and lost in the world if these things are true? It would appear that we suffer from a form of amnesia, and brainwashing constantly forgetting what we are creating and imagining realities into being with our brain while forgetting that we have access to all the information in the universe if we could only listen for a second and stop believing the myths we imagine. Turn your attention to the map you have in your heart.

When I practice backing up in conflicts with my loved ones, it has felt very uncomfortable. In other words, like on the plane, I seriously want to go forward to an exit twenty seats away when the real exit is in the next row behind me simply because I focused on blundering forward in my beliefs of where I need to go.   If I checked in with the map, I would see where to go and how to get there.

In therapy we work on repetitive issues. Every current issue has within it the past and our energy games. Think about something like money or relationship issues. I tell my therapist that I am broke and barely surviving. Within that story is a money story from the beginning of my life. Money and relationship issues have within them a huge energy component. It is not enough to know and work on the issues we get in life because within each issue is a game we learned with energy. For example when I was a young woman I hated money because as a child I blame money for my mother and father abandoning me. They are obsessed with money and having enough. Along with my dysfunctional relationship with money is a dysfunctional relationship energy game. What do you think would be the best way to get energy from my mother? The answer is to need money and what better way to always need money but to hate it. Notice how the whole system lacks compassion for the world and for me. The brain can be quite sneaky but it has a plan for manipulating energy and even if it is not pleasant, the payoff appears to be enough. It chooses forward instead of the closest exit because it learned to go that direction long ago.

The Celestine Prophecy classifies your energy games or what James Redfield calls ( “Control Dramas” as “Intimidator, Interrogator, Aloof, or Poor Me.” These dramas are ways we seek and use energy from others, which we learn as children and continue using in adulthood.   Of course there are many descriptions of our energy games but the important part to see and hear is how we use and misuse energy, creating lack of compassion and drama in the world. Remember all our issues have energy games attached to them pointing us in repeating difficult directions that feel almost hopeless to escape or worse feel so correct or righteous to believe.

The best response to all other humans and experiences in our life is the direction through the heart. Every single thought we have will be altered by the filters and beliefs in our mind, keeping us in the dark. The map in the heart is uncluttered and full of loving solutions. Sometimes, these solutions seem almost harsh to the mind or too forgiving. However, the mind has absolutely no ability to see the whole picture. It is lost in its continually limited view of its beliefs and issues. The big picture is in the map. The most pervasive reason we have to avoid the map is the dysfunctional ways we seek energy in the world and now we arrive at fear.

We fear losing our energy sources, the one we were taught to seek and use as children. The main reason to meditate, to go into the forest and listen, to pray, to connect with love and light, to practice mindfulness is to realize that you never lacked energy and never needed to seek it. You are energy and you are only as disconnected to energy as your mind makes you think you are. This last sentence explains why fear is an illusion. You always have been and always will be energy.   No one can fix your energy for you because it is not broken. Maybe it has a really good prison constructed that is very believable but the door is unlocked, with a map inside your heart pointing you to the closest direction available. Attuned to the map, you only need to back up when the map tells you to.

Today’s compassion lesson and practice from <em>A Year of Living with more Compassion – 52 Quotes and Weekly Compassion Practices </em>(Edited by Richard Fields) Selection 49 (pp. 144-145) is by Dennis Tirch, PhD who chose this quote from Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, 1984 by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

He said, “The essence of human bravery is refusing to give up on anyone or anything.”


Breathe slowly and deeply in through the nose and out through the mouth. Place your attention inside your heart. Pull up a chair and rest here, relaxing and connecting with energy, love, light and compassion. Allow energy, love, light and compassion that you find in your heart to become connected to your breath. As you breathe in and out, allow the air to take energy, love, light and compassion to your mind and body. Relax and remember who you really are. You are energy.  You are light. You are compassion.