Being Naked

If you have followed me at all on this blog, designed and intended to be thought-provoking and controversial, or on my health blog at yourhealthmatters.com, you know that I believe there are many advantages and much healing to be gained when nude/naked.  This transcends the sexual aspects, opening oneself up not only to others but to oneself.  This article, quoted in its entirety below, excellently articulates these ideas from experience gained in a specific environment, yoga class/practice.  Though not copied here, the comments following the article as posted on the website are also worth reading and help clarify concerns one may have.

The full posting is at http://www.elephantjournal.com/2013/10/why-i-teach-naked-yoga-2/

 

Why I Teach Naked Yoga.
Brentan Schellenbach
Via Brentan Schellenbach on Oct 8, 2013

I started teaching clothing-optional yoga about six months ago.

My first day was a wild crazy day of awesomeness, probably on par with the wild crazy day of awesomeness I experienced the day I busted out of my mother’s womb. (If you are curious what that day was like—the day in which I encountered the thought, “holy shit I’m about to take my clothes off in a room of people who will also be taking their clothes off,” this is the article.)

Now it’s about six months in and I have had so many experiences that keep bringing me back into a room where I get to explore myself in a completely different way—simply because I allow myself to be seen fully by myself and others.

I want to open this dialogue not necessarily to promote naked yoga, but rather to discuss what keeps me coming back and how that changes my work in other yoga settings (you know, the yoga settings where people keep their Lululemon butt-lifting pants on).

My first point is generosity of spirit.

What I love most about the space of naked yoga is that pretense has to drop. We’re about to get naked together, there is no use in trying to suck things in or show off in this way or not talk to each other.

The generosity of spirit is immediately present because every person locks eyes—teacher and teacher, teacher and student, student and student—and locks into conversation driven by the feeling, “holy God, I’m about to let you see all of me. Let me ask you your name, find out what you do in your life and listen to why you’re here today.”

There is no awkward avoidance of talking, no darting eyes of discomfort, and certainly no maintenance of appearance.

Now I’m not saying that this is specific to naked yoga, but the experience of just getting to know the people in the room is heightened for me in this setting.

And getting to know the people in the room means that as we practice we laugh. As we practice we discuss how things feel. As we practice we stop taking ourselves so fucking seriously.

This is important to me because it means we acknowledge the fact that there are other people in the room practicing with us. If I wanted to just practice alone, then I would just practice alone.

The invisible line that separates student and teacher is completely obliterated, and the space ceases to be the place where I come and say a bunch of things and people just do what I say. The space ends up being an energetic discussion between all the people in the room, and we become fully and totally equal.

My second point is authenticity of expression.

If you had told me even a year ago that this is something I would ever even entertain the thought of for just five seconds, I would have said, “Go back to Andromeda where you came from, you foreign space creature, you!”

Being naked, even in my own solitude, was not something I was comfortable with.

Up until walking into that room for the first time, I was naked for only two reasons: (1) to clean myself; or (2) for the enjoyment of someone else.

Recreational nudity was not just something I didn’t do, it was something that was so completely outside my understanding.

Teaching naked yoga allows me to enjoy myself completely naked. It allows me to enjoy the physical beauty of a body that bends and lifts and breathes and beats and hums and drums. It allows me to enjoy my metaphorical nakedness—to strip bare and allow me to see myself when I take off all the many masks I wear, as it becomes impossible for me to take off my clothes and still be in disguise.

The experience of teaching naked brings me only good things.

That doesn’t mean that it brings everybody only good things and this doesn’t mean that I think everyone should do it.

I realize that I have a lot of people in my life who just don’t get why I would ever do this. And I don’t blame them and I don’t think they’re missing something.

I understand that there are risks involved. I understand that my intention for teaching does not mean that other people walk into the space of naked yoga with the same intention. And I don’t expect them to.

In all honesty, it doesn’t really matter to me why other people come, because I trust myself in that space—I trust myself to take care of myself and pay attention to make healthy choices for myself when my clothes are off.

I never walk into that room amped about seeing a bunch of naked people. And I honestly don’t care if other people get amped about seeing me naked. If someone else walks into that room thinking, “yay, boobs!” that’s their own internal space to work from, and I don’t need to allow it to make me feel small. (Incidentally, I have never gotten the feeling that that’s why people come.)

And I totally get it—sexuality is confusing. Our global sexual climate leaves a lot of us sexually confused, misplaced and frustrated (to illustrate this, all we have to do is look at the catalogue of music videos my friend Miley Cyrus is putting out on the monthly).

I’ve spent most of my life being completely sexually confused, and paralyzed by that confusion to the point where my sexuality was completely disconnected from sexual desire, and was instead driven by cultural sexual expectations (as dictated by MTV, billboards, Cosmo, pornography and my sixth grade friend, Nikki).

I understand the tendency to look at naked yoga and feel sexually disgruntled by it, almost like we missed the day in school where we talked about whether nakedness was inherently sexual to get our braces tightened.

I personally do not happen to believe that nakedness is inherently sexual. And I honestly don’t give a shit whether or not you agree with me—so please, carry on with your opinions as you have been, as long as those opinions make you feel good.

I would like to become more naked all the time. And I would like to learn how to keep my clothes on and be naked as well.

So I will continue to teach naked yoga until I feel like it no longer makes me feel awesome. And I will stay present and connected and aware, so that I can bring the benefits of my nakedness to all the other places I show up to.

My yoga is about nakedness—with or without my Lululemon pants on.

Ed: Bryonie Wise

About Brentan Schellenbach
Brentan Schellenbach

Brentan Schellenbach is a Chicago based yoga teacher and writer. She co-owns Fermata Yoga Center (FYC), a yoga studio based in the center of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. Through her work with writing, yoga and meditation, she is looking to promote the good-feeling of herself and the good-feeling of others. For writings and personal information, visit: BrentanSchellenbach.com For FYC, visit: FermataYoga.com

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The ice water over the head challenge to raise funds for ALS Research has taken the country by storm, gone viral across social media, reaching to young and old, the person on the street and the person in high office.

So as a “lurker” on Facebook I saw lots of people dumping lots of ice water on themselves and could figure out it had to with fundraising for ALS but had no idea how or why it all started.

Then, a few days ago my soon-to-be daughter-in-law, the amazing Tepka Doubet, challenged me to do the ALS IceBucketChallenge.  I have to say the immediate response was not to go right out and dump cold water on my head, though that could be a very invigorating experience!

No, my first thought was a more personal and intense question of what this was all about.

First, thanks to our former superb neighbor and still friend, Kristy Rudden, who posted the video outlining the “why” and “how” all this came about in the first place.

Next, I did some thinking and right at the same time was made aware of some of the background involved.

Let me share some of those thoughts not because I have the need to “talk” but because this is a wonderful opportunity to make a donation and a challenge that could change  lives for the better for a long time to come.

At about the same time Tepka challenged me a post by Nathanael King came across my newsfeed which opened the whole discussion about research and stem cells.  Just today there was another posting which offered some options if stem cell research is a concern (and at some level it should be).

Now, before I go any further, please know this post is not about the pros and cons of stem cell use, nor about the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate tied to that.  Rather, as the “Medical Heretic/Renegade Doctor” this post is about Thinking, Asking Questions, and Opening to the Possibility that there ARE ALREADY answers, means and tools available to deal with ALS, Leukemia, Parkinson’s, Arthritis and any other “dis-ease” you may want to name.

We don’t need to stay in the old paradigm that “cures” will come from throwing lots of money at a problem.  (Interestingly, if I as an Alternative Medicine thinker use the word ‘cure’ in offering hope to a suffering individual I would be in serious trouble with governing bodies – but fund raising can use the word without any evidence of success or future accountability! ??? )  If money were the answer, why has Cancer become MORE of a problem since the “War on Cancer” was declared many years ago?   But I don’t want to go there either…..

Rather, what we need, and my challenge to the medical world is to change the paradigm altogether.  Realize that fighting or killing a problem never solves it.  This is true in medicine and in society.  Get the bigger picture that we are not “merely” physical beings who need to manipulate our physical existence in ways that we deem  best.

No.  Instead, start from the paradigm that we are spiritual/energetic beings taking part in a physical existence but our true self, our true source, is still energetic.  The physical expression that is our body serves to express our true self and become the picture of what is true at the deep level.  If the expression isn’t what we wish then changing the outward expression (medicine, surgery, etc.) won’t change the source.

The computer is a great analogy.  The actual computer is the motherboard with the processor into which core functioning parameters are loaded.  The hard drive and flash drives hold the functioning programs and contain and store information (experiences) that can be added and deleted.  The monitor (our body) expresses what the programs are dictating.  Without any one part the whole doesn’t work properly and becomes useless.  But seeing an error (dis-ease) on the monitor (body) and scratching over or whiting out the monitor doesn’t fix the error.  It has to be recoded at the program level.

So before we throw lots of dollars at a (very worthy) goal, to really help our friends and loved ones affected, it is time for us as a culture to rethink “dis-ease” and find ways to reprogram ourselves.  If we are going to donate funds let’s do so to people who already have answers and successes with reprogramming ourselves and who can teach the rest of us – people with dis-eases, physicians, researchers and politicians alike – to change where change really counts.

So my donation is not money but something significantly more valuable:

AWARENESS.

Awareness that there is another way to think about who we are and what makes us dis-esed.  Awareness that there are other methods and means already being used to effect real change.  That with awareness comes new  possibility.

My challenge is for the ALS society and the Parkinson’s society and the Leukemia society and the …… society to use the dollars generated for their very worthy causes to convene a panel of people who can truly make changes, to invite them to share their knowledge and insights and successes and together take the best of the better and come up with Awesome Practicality for all of us.

Some examples of who should be at that table include (not in any particular order):

Richard Schulze, Herbalist, curing the incurable for years
Chiropractic (as a young physician I lost a mentor to ALS after a serious motor vehicle accident and  learned with minimal digging that neck injury can cause ALS)
Meridian Testing technology (a noninvasive way to find “bad things” in us like pesticides that also can cause ALS)
Bradley Nelson, DC, founder of The Emotion Code
Gary Craig, founder of EFT, the Emotional Freedom Technique (and/or others who use similar very powerful and helpful technologies)
Gary Douglas and Dain Heer, DC of Access Consciousness
Norman Shealy, MD
Bernie Siegel, MD
Bruce Lipton, PhD, epigeneticist
Gregg Braden
Louise Hay, who healed her own cancer many years ago

And the list could go on.

The point is, we don’t need to do a lot of research using a worn out paradigm that has proven expensive, ineffective and narrow in scope based on inaccurate assumptions of the body, kept alive only by tradition and vested interests with lots of the money raised going to many other areas of the organization besides actual research.

Rather, opening up to new ideas, new thoughts and new possibilities could lead research into some very effective, powerful, inexpensive and truly healing approaches available and useful for all.

After all, isn’t the reason for the ice bucket challenge to find real solutions for suffering people and not just to raise money?

An Epiphany

Excuse the preponderance of “I”s in this post, but it is my experience being shared.  I trust you will find some hope, help and motivation tucked somewhere into it, however, to make some part of it your own!

 

I don’t know about most people, but one of the things that has occupied a lot of  my lifetime is wondering/thinking about “Why am I here?” or “What is my purpose in life?”

There is this suspicion that this question occupies a lot of time and attention in others as well, for it rather occupies the literature in the Self-Help or Personal Development genre and in the Religious genre.

If you have followed this blog or any of my other offerings (Your Growth Matters, for example) this has been a recurrent theme.  The references are frequent to the idea of  “returning to the Garden”  and “living naked and unashamed” (both, obviously, blatant references to the Biblical story of Paradise).

I realized this morning, more than ever, however, that this concept is not just theory and not just about “naked” or open and vulnerable.

As I looked back, I realized that my entire life has pointed to this concept, even from early on.  It began, as does most things, with physical expression and experience, the means of bringing ideas into our consciousness.  That is what experience does for us.  (Before we grow to the point of understanding that we orchestrate our physical existence by our thoughts and desires, we exist primarily at a physical consciousness, unaware that some greater and grander Desire is directing, pointing, leading us.)

There was the skinnydipping experience with my brothers and a friend as a child which made this huge impact.  Decades later there was an interest from somewhere prompting request of literature from the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) – but then, what to do with or about it??

A decade or more later was the challenge from someone close to me to consider nudity as a lifestyle.

Only a few years after that (note how the cycle accelerates) and not so long ago was the first social nudity experience at the amazing Living Waters Spa.  A transformational, rebirthing experience!

From that point, the whole idea of “living naked and unashamed” has grown, developed, and flourished – but way beyond the idea of just lifestyle or recreation.  Rather, it has become a look into the Heart of Father, a call to return to Health, a path to find Healing, a place of Intimacy with the Creator, that for which the Soul longs and for which it is made.

It has grown way beyond physical nakedness.  It includes openness and vulnerability to ones self, to others, to community, to Father.  It demands total rethinking and “nonthinking” but rather following the deep heart as it connects to Father.  It is the place of which Yeshua spoke often when he pointed to Nature (birds, flowers, grass, wheat) and spoke of losing all to gain everything, of caring not for the physical but knowing surely that Father would care for all of that.

Of all this I have spoken or written much.  However, this morning I realized that in all my speaking it has been of taking off.  This makes sense, since to become naked in this world one must usually remove some article of clothing.  To be emotionally open, one must take down or remove the barriers, the walls, the defense mechanisms quickly erected and frequently reinforced.  My memory of my first experience in a socially nude environment is more about getting over the fear and embarrassment  of disrobing about feeling condemned by others in my life who would think me wicked.

But this was the epiphany today:

Living naked and unashamed, while having to break through the barrier of fear initially, is not about getting past fear and shame and embarrassment and condemnation.  It is not about becoming open and vulnerable so that you and others can see your true self.

Rather, it is about becoming true in order to RECEIVE, to be able to FEEL.

This is really the message Yeshua was trying to get across; this is the message we say daily just by watching the birds.

They live “nakedly” in every way.  They have only their physical “hair”, they have no means of supporting themselves, they have no education and they have no government to provide welfare assistance.  They merely go about doing what is in their heart and life to do as they stay connected to their Creator.

Imagine one of them sitting on a branch one day and deciding it was time to go it on his own.  He would have to instantly figure out how to grow corn or how to navigate to the nearest seed-producing plant or tree.  He  would have to take lessons on nest-building, beginning with materials science and going on to construction techniques.  He would have to learn how to choose a mate then take seminars on how to maintain satisfactory relationships and finally he would theologize it all, codify it, and start a church to keep it all in order and approved.

Bottom line – he would die!  Exactly what Father told us would happen to us the minute we decided to take that step of doing it on our own!

So here’s the deal: “living naked and unashamed” is about receiving from Father what He so eagerly is offering and waiting for us to RECEIVE.  It is about being just ME/US with no need to do anything on our own, no need to figure anything out, no need to spiritualize or organize anything.

Just connect.  Just be open.  Just receive.  Just go fly to the seed when you are shown where it is (don’t just stay sitting on the branch – that will cause death, too).  Just pick up the grass or twig and put it together with the previous one when it is in your heart, from Father, to do so and soon the nest will be there.  Just reach out and help the neighbor, whoever it is and whatever they need, when the message comes to your heart to do so.  Lose the barriers, lose the fear, lose the “clothes” and, yes, the clothes when the message comes to your heart to do so.

Imagine a world where the economy is one of credits for having helped each other, for having shared from our heart words of encouragement, instead of credits for how many goods we can accumulate!

Paradise awaits, if we but RECEIVE it!

Blessings,

Dr Jon

Conversations About Life, XVIII

Some time later, after our last conversation, P. sent this:

Jon,

The Lord keeps giving me Words for you.

It is a joy to be obedient!

Remember when you said you were resistant to being paid as a Dr.?

Well, I read this this morning and you came to mind right away.

September 19th,  Each New Day by Corrie ten Boom:

“A hospital visitor saw a nurse tending to the sores of a leprosy patient.

‘I would not do that for a million dollars,’ he said.

The nurse answered, ‘Neither would I.  But I do it for Jesus for nothing.’

‘As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me..’  Matthew 25:40 RSV.

So to that I had to open up and answered with this:

P,

You continue to be amazing. Thank you.

And I’ll get really naked with you.

This was always my attitude about medicine. It wasn’t about me; it was about doing what I heard Father tell me to do.

My heart was to go be a professor of quantum mechanics/chemistry. I loved it. In fact, it was the only thing that up to 19 years of age when I graduated from college that had even remotely attracted my interest. I loved the research, the math, the thinking way outside the box, the inherent philosophy. (In fact, that still sounds like me today!)

So I was blindsided when I had the car wreck and I saw and heard Father very clearly direct me toward medicine. I had NO desire, no interest, didn’t like doctors, didn’t like anatomy/physiology/biochemistry that much. I didn’t like people! especially people who were hurting and couldn’t think for themselves and depended on others to tell them what to do. (Come to think of it, it sounds like me today!)

But Father said go, so I went.

And I HATED it. Got depressed, wasn’t good at it, felt like a fish out of water.

So when I got into practice I got back into research, of sorts, and used the patients as a sort of lab though stayed within bounds of not doing anything that would hurt. Just tried to apply what others had learned but no one was doing in the form of natural, helpful, non-harmful remedies (the essence of the Hippocratic oath which we all took and which I WRONGLY thought was the creed of the profession).

In that context I began to enjoy medicine, began to love people and especially began to love seeing them actually improve and not just have symptom relief.

So how could I charge for something that was being done more for Father than for anyone else, for my own learning and growing more than for the patient’s? I couldn’t. I assumed/believed that Father would take care of the salary and the needs/income.

Here’s where I get even more naked, if that is possible.

He didn’t.

At least it seemed like He didn’t. Or I could never get to the place where I could let go enough to let Him. There was always a struggle to get by. When the State Board came after me and I heard Him specifically say to “leave medicine”, we entered a period of poverty, doubt, failure, suicidal tendencies and deep depression, mostly around self-worth and money. I blame a lot of this for why my children make the choices they do.

The question I have never been able to answer is, where is the funding coming from? The nurse in the story is doing it for “nothing” for Jesus but someone is paying the bill. Who? Mission boards exist, truly, only to funnel money after raising it, begging for it or guilting people for it. That’s not trusting Father and I couldn’t do it.

When I was a regular doc we billed and insurance companies paid – sort of. I couldn’t play that game after a while, either.

I know in my heart that Abundance is supposed to come but I could never see it, receive it, experience it. All I could ever do was try to go as far as I could with as little as I could and when that ran out solve my own problem with credit. I used to believe that credit was wrong so didn’t do that until the preacher at [our church] one day said poor people would have to live on credit. So for some reason I believed him and now we are in credit jail, slowly working our way out but in a very deep hole and on the grindstone just to stay even. Still, there is not “Abundance” and still there is not the belief that Father would really pay for me to do what is in my heart to do.

I have recently realized that I failed to listen to Father as to what the next step was to be after I left medicine. I still don’t know what that should have been.

I know now that there were/are deep seated issues, brought out by all this, of lack of self-worth, lack of true identity and lack of masculinity in the energetic sense of being able to stand up and take my rightful place in society and in the home.

I’m thankful for these lessons learned and am working on them, but it seems so deep-seated that I wonder if there will ever be any real change in me – though I believe it can and will happen for anyone else.

My message is one of healing for heart, soul and body and my own heart’s desire is to begin by traveling, touching and teaching people.

Requirements seem to be a simple RV so not to be burdensome on those whom I would touch and teach and so costs could be kept at a minimum. Do I believe that will happen? Not really. Have to get out of debt first and that looks like it will take 4-5 years at least.

Father led us to this house and it has always been too expensive and a drain and was never used for family, the reason we looked for two years before we found it. There are some issues there, obviously. Since we bought it the market plummeted and now we are upside down in it by about $40K so selling it is not a good move either.

In the summer or when we are not traveling I want/desire/am supposed to be running a nude healing center where hurting, abused people can come and shed their griefs, pain, trauma, depressions and even clothes and experience healing, freedom and Eden once again.

Part of the healing message is this: The whole planet needs to make the shift away from the bondage of sex and aberrant ideas about bodies and sexuality and begin to honor, respect and appreciate bodies and sexuality in appropriate, healthy, non-sexual ways.

But “get real, Jon” – can you imagine the cost, the legal issues, the societal ideas that have to be overcome? Do I ever think that will happen? No. And yet this is what Father has put on my heart.

And I still don’t believe even He can pull it off.

So I’m a frustrated “believer” willing to step outside the box and follow into uncharted waters who really has no faith. I’m a philosopher full of theories and only minimal experience personally with no real evidence of “reality”. I’m a thinker and not a doer. And the whole issue of money and provision still sits at the center, unresolved, unsolved, a huge stumbling stone to everything else.

Now you’ve seen my naked soul. By the way, after this seeing my naked body would not even be a flash in the pan!

All that is probably way more than you ever wanted to hear, but keep the good words coming. I love it that Father is using you as the mouthpiece and that you are willing to speak.

Like Mary, you are a Blessed One!

Jon

We’ve touched on some basic issues here – desire, disappointment, money, faith or lack thereof – and have gotten open and real, “naked”. How about you? Where are you on some of these issues? Where do you need healing?

Blessings,

Dr Jon
Renegade Doc

Change Our Perspective, Change Our Lives

Have you ever wished that Father (God, Creator, Source, the One – whatever you call Him) would come to you in a very personal, very real way and say or do something that would make your life take on new and specific meaning?  Or answer all your questions?  Or just make you feel special and really alive?

I do – often.  If not all the time.

By the way, I prefer to call Him “Father” or “Daddy” (Abba in Hebrew) just because it is way more personal and intimate.

As these thoughts were rolling around in my mind recently a new realization showed up.

Maybe it is different for you, but every time I start thinking this way it is always about how this kind of connection or visitation could do something for ME.

What if we turned that around and started to wonder or realize that every time Father makes the personal connection it is really about HIM, about how He can advance His purposes on the planet, about He can make His care and love for us more obvious.

I grew up hearing and reading the Bible stories about Adam, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Joshua, Gideon, David, the prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah, John the Baptizer, Peter, Paul, and, of course, Yeshua. Each of these, and many others, had one or more personal, intimate experiences with Father. In each of their lives these encounters had a significant impact for them personally, changed the course of their lives, made them feel in some way special.

With each of these stories I was taught, or at least learned, that these encounters were about changing the men, bringing them something they needed.

Now, however, I submit that each of these encounters were even more intended to bring something Father needed to manifest Himself to everyone else. Each of these encounters, while revealing Father as a personal Creator, more importantly advanced Father’s plan and purpose for showing the rest of the planet what He was all about.

We want to think divine encounters are about and for the men. I suggest they are really about Father, His heart, His love, and His message.

Here’s a practical example from my own life if you will bear with me for a bit:

In 1972 I was serving in the US Navy, looking forward to getting out and using the GI Benefits being earned to go to graduate school and study Quantum Chemistry.  This was my passion, to do research and teach while exploring the grand mysteries of the universe and life as we know it.

One weekend, however, while on leave with my Dad, a motor vehicle accident put me in the hospital.  Surgery was required to take my spleen to save my life. I awoke from that experience with the VERY REAL sensation of Father/Yeshua actually HOLDING my right hand.  It was as real as my breathing, or pain!

As I have thought about this experience, this visitation, I have always had good thoughts, been thankful for the support it brought, the sense of care and concern, and the knowing that everything would be OK with me.

These are wonderful thoughts and feelings; thank God we can have them.

However, that “accident” COMPLETELY changed the course of my life.  Instead of becoming a theoretical professor, my lengthy stay in the Naval Hospital opened my eyes to medicine and I eventually became a physician.  From there I took a less traveled path and became the “Renegade Doc”, exploring the more helpful benefits of “alternative” and “natural” modalities and especially touch and the deeper and more powerful “mind-body connection”.

With all that said, here’s my point:

I have always thought the hand holding was to encourage me (a nice side effect).

Now I realize Father came and took my hand as an invitation to follow HIM into a new path that would advance the knowledge of Him on the planet, would offer people a look into His heart through the skills, ideas and person He was inviting me to become.

He was not just trying to comfort me. He was opening the way for a deeper revelation of Himself to all of us.

Can you see the difference in this change of perspective?

Can you see what a grand and glorious thing it is to be part of His dream and purpose in specific ways?

Can you see what a difference it would make in our lives to think this way about Him – and about ourselves?

Instead of being so egocentric, of being so upset and disappointed when things don’t go as we think or planned, we could begin to see ourselves as an active participant in Father’s Master Plan.

With that perspective nothing could really discourage, depress or defeat us. What a great place in which to be and live!

Blessings,

Dr Jon
Renegade Doc

Conversations About Life, XVII

After the last conversation P. came back with:

Dr. Jon of the Heart,

For sure, that is totally cool! 

I do consider myself one of the “unlearned”, but I know for sure that I have been with Jesus. 

By the way, I have been inspired by our dialogues in many ways. 

I bypassed all the trendy books in my time such as “Prayer of Jabez“, “Purpose Driven Life“,  “Wild at Heart” etc….. but I did here recently pick up (by chance- HA!)  Walking with God by John Eldridge

First I looked at the back and read about the author.  I don’t know if you knew or remembered I have two brothers who live in Colorado that are very, outdoorsy (expert skiers, fly fishing, boating etc…) and I was taken in instantly. 

As you can imagine I can’t put the book down!! 

Wow! 

Love,

P.

To that I in turn came back with:

I read “Prayer of Jabez” but never got “into” it and totally ignored, and continue to ignore, “Purpose Driven Life”.

Eldredge’s “The Sacred Romance” (with Brent Curtis), however, caught my attention since it was so much like Sonship teaching we were getting at NCF (New City Fellowship) at the time.

From there, however, “Wild at Heart” transformed and saved my life. I was in the lottery and able to attend the first Men’s Boot Camp which was a major breakthrough with Father for me. Since then I have appreciated and benefited from his other works, especially his concepts expressed in “Walking With God”. I grew to really like “Journey of Desire” as well. I think he is a bit stuck in some places now but he is at the top of my “Fan of” list.

In summary, readers, here is a great reading list:

The Sacred Romance
Journey of Desire
, now just called Desire,
Wild at Heart
Walking with God

and for the ladies, in the same theme of finding your heart,

Captivating.

You can’t go wrong with any of these!  They all come with study guides as well.

Blessings,

Dr Jon
Renegade Doc
Doctor of the Heart

Conversations About Life, XVI

In response to our last conversation P. responded with:

Jon, that last part really hit me!!!

I have been exposed, here lately, to a bunch of Calvinists and it really weirded me out.  They were so strong in their beliefs of predestination that they did not even want to dialogue.

I have ON PURPOSE stayed away from them, trying to figure that one out or where I stand but I totally lean more on free choice for sure!

I did not know there were others out there that thought as I did!!!

I would go for days trying to grasp what they were saying and it totally deflated me and took the wonder and excitement out of knowing the God of the Universe.

I am so glad that we are not required to figure God out and His ways.  He said His  thoughts are not my thoughts.  That is pretty clear!

Also, He desires no one to perish but obviously there is a hell and most will go there.  That to me indicates there is free will involved for sure!!!!

What about Adam and Eve?

But they {the Calvinists} are so driven in their views that it ruined some of my relationships.  Weird.

Love,
P.

After thinking about that one, I came back with:

In response to your Calvinist folk, and church in general:

We can and need to “love” people regardless but not have to put up with their “stuff” regardless what that may look like.

It takes wisdom and listening to Father about whom to relate to and how.

Yeshua certainly didn’t go out of his way to hang with those who were opposed to him even though they were the “church” of the day.

He spoke to them and from a place of power, maturity, grace and true love challenged – even mocked – them, but was never coerced into playing their games in the name of “unity”.

Love,
Jon

We often think “agree” means “unity” but that is not so.  Love and respect and appreciation for each other allows for lots of disagreement, letting each other be who we are.  Diversity of thought and culture allows for growth unattainable when we all think the same thoughts.

Blessings,

Dr Jon
Renegade Doc

 

Conversations About Life, XV

After pondering our last conversation P. continued the dialogue:

Jon!  I could not resist!  After reading your response I read this {P sent another article}.  It goes well with your thinking.

My next question to you, and Susan, is what happened at {the church we were formerly in}?

Susan indicated at one point some kind of hurt?

I still have those tapes you sent me on Sonship.  I still listen to them from time to time.  Very good on being accepted by grace and not by works!

Love,

P!

This prompted my reply:

P,

I think I see a trend here – a Ravi disciple??  

I read these types of things {the article sent} and my brain knows there is “good” stuff in there, but it all seems and feels really cold and logical and brainy, leaving me quite disinterested.

I rarely find/feel/hear the “Christian” world talking, writing, being very personal and real and feeling.

What I think we miss is that though Yeshua did all those things talked about, He brought a Presence, a Realness, a Life, that TOUCHED people at their deepest heart, bypassing their head and talk and theology.

It is the Life we miss, I crave and for which I search.

Anything else is a waste of time.

And to say that by “hanging out with Christians” (church) we are in some way being scriptural and “righteous” is a total misunderstanding of the whole concept.

Without the Life also being present, hanging out is no better than an hour or two at the local bar. Actually, the bar would probably be better – more real, less religious, less self-righteous and less arrogant.

Which brings us to {the church we were in}.

I don’t think there was really a hurt.

True, when they were done with me/us they threw us under the bus pretty quickly, but I was ready to leave also.

I had hoped they would let us taper away financially while building the massage practice, but that didn’t happen.

Consequently I went to the lawn service to keep the income flowing and that diluted the practice building.

As clients of the lawn service {the church} also cut our legs out by cancelling their contract, a big hit to us. Then they were asking a lot to park equipment on the parking lot. Neither did they let us live on the property in a situation that would have been ideal for all concerned.

So there was a lot of “stupidity” going on, but not malice, I think. I was also making some bad decisions re the business in my own stupidity so it all combined for an unfortunate situation for us, financially.

Nonetheless, I never felt hurt as much as recognizing that in general they didn’t know how to care for people. We weren’t the only ones thrown away.

More importantly, about the same time I was getting into John Eldredge and more recently Wayne Jacobsen and learning about Love and being Loved, about Realness and Life.

It has become an issue of realizing that “church” is not real. Sonship teaching was great; grace is wonderful, but without Loving people it is just more worthless theology.

I had to remove myself from the morass, the Lifelessness, the dead theology because it pulled me away from Father.

I would go immediately into a “play the game” mode which I was so good at doing for so many years.

I had to get away and find time to get real myself.

Someday I may go back, as the “missionary”, when I can bring some Life and hence a solution, but not when I am part of the problem.

Meanwhile, I have realized that church theology in general and Presbyterian theology in particular, (that church is Presbyterian) is not at all what Father is telling us.

His plan is Free Choice not Reformed or Predestined; Freedom in Righteousness not the Depravity of man. I really don’t fit there anymore.

I still get with some of the folk there from time to time and stay friends.

Always it is a search, an openness, a prayer for others who want to get real, get naked, come alive.

Hope this helps,

Jon

So there you have some comments about church and church relationships; not always very pretty, but lots of room to grow and be gracious.  Mostly it presents the chance to hold out for real Life and not just settle for routine.

Blessings,

Dr Jon
Renegade Doc

Conversations About Life, XIV

After recovering from our last conversation P. sent this note:

Jon!

I love what you wrote.  It is good to process these things!

I hope you find this article inspiring like I did!  {P. sent me an article from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries entitled “Blessing the Discontent“.}

 

I still think you are a GREAT Dr. Jon of the heart!

And I think you are and always will be a Dr. in my eyes.  You were just way ahead of your time!

Love, P

To which I replied:

You are good for me! Love your encouragement.

Re doctor, I am still the best doctor I know, only I am the doctor of the Heart – I am realizing that now.

I long, crave, only want to get into people’s deepest core and help them discover what really makes them tick and what really is keeping them from being who they are supposed to be.

It seems that most don’t want to get that intense, that exposed, that naked with themselves and with me; that real.

We prefer to live in a fantasy world of our own making, a belief that everything is really fine but just needs a little work on the outside to fix the anxiety, the cancer, the diabetes, the whatever.

Wrong!!!

Re the piece you forwarded, thanks for that. I appreciate it.

However, my discontent will only be satisfied when Father and I are so connected that like Yeshua I will know Him so intimately that

- that is all there is to life,

- that my soul is only and completely occupied with His Life and Love,

- that my only source/reason for breath and breathing is to feel and experience His constant presence and Life and LOVE.

By The Way, I don’t think Father strips us raw and naked; He only loves us.

However, he is more than anxious for us to be willing to get naked before Him and be that real and honest that I mentioned earlier.

It is at that level of intimacy for which He is waiting for us to be.

It is at that level of intimacy with each other for which he is waiting for us be as well.

Bless you!

Jon

 

And you, are you ready to be that close to Father, be that intimate with Him, yourself, and others? 

Imagine what life would be like if we were!

Blessings,

Dr Jon

Renegade Doc

Conversations About Life, XIII

After that last conversation some time passed before we communicated once again.  It was time in which P. did some pondering and thinking and then came back to me with several questions.

This time I responded by answering the questions one at a time so will format this post the same way.  Makes it more like a real conversation, as well.  Again we hit some pretty personal topics, this time more about me, and I felt free to get pretty “naked” with my answers.

P. began with:

I was swimming laps today and thinking about what you said in one of our many dialogues.

What did you mean when you said you did not think you could make money being a Dr.?!

I replied:

My reason for becoming a doc was to “help” people and I couldn’t do the “asking people for money” thing.

Now I realize it was a lot about self-worth (or the lack thereof) as well.

It was also about choice.

I’m not sure I really CHOSE medicine; it was not my true passion. I was trying to fix things for people I loved.

I have often said I should have been a professor. The medical office became a sort of laboratory.

It was also about being different.

I followed my Dad’s thoughts in general and could easily see the problems and issues in the “system”, whatever system that was.

For me, it became the medical system.

Another comment P had was:

Another thought crossed my mind.  Just like me, the choice was taken from you to be a Dr. when you were falsely accused and your licence taken away.

To which I responded:

The choice wasn’t really taken from me; I gave it up.

The State Board didn’t take my license, but put it on probation. I had to do 1000 hours of continuing education which I couldn’t afford and would be things I didn’t want to learn about (wouldn’t have been alternative).

They said they would let me do alternative medicine but I would have to clear procedures with them first. I knew they were playing with me and couldn’t tolerate the restrictions.

There were lots of other things going on too:

Money,
Trying to homeschool,
Susan pregnant with David,
Not able to replace Susan in the office,
Lack of focus trying to be a doc and a farmer at the same time,
Isolated professionally,
Feeling inadequate and untrained to do the kind of medicine I was charging people for,
Outside the system and not comfortable.

Depressed, even?
It was easier to walk away.

Actually, I “heard” Father say to leave medicine so I did.


Now I think I forgot to ask him what to do next and just went into a deep depression because I didn’t know what to do.

P’s next questions:

The choice was taken from me to continue to homeschool and nurse Juliana.

Do you think that makes a difference in how it is processed?!

Do you think the Lord(Father) strips us of all things, raw, naked , to teach us to depend totally on Him and not the things we do or want to do?

Just wondering what your thoughts are!

Love,

P.

My response:


Here’s what I think:

Forget everything you have been taught and come to believe in from “church”.

That is mostly, if not completely, doctrine perpetrated to keep us away from the truth.

Father put us on the planet for one reason: to make the CHOICE to be in relationship with him.

We are actually a part of him and not separate beings, like a cell is part of the bigger body. We have individual characteristics and functions but are needed to make the whole complete and healthy.

If we act on our own we become a cancer, an illness, a dis-ease of Father.

This I believe is what Yeshua was talking about in analogy when he discussed the vine and the branches and pruning.

He came directly from Father, as Father himself, to show us what total CHOICE toward Father looked like.

This is what he meant when he talked about not being able to do anything that he didn’t see Father doing first.

He came to restore the choice, to live in love, that was lost when Adam choose to be self-sufficient.

The Garden of Eden was set up with humans in a high state of vibration, in Father’s image/likeness, able to co-create with Father.

In this place Father set up a choice and we were given the FREEDOM to choose.

When we chose to be self-sufficient Father then placed us in a “matrix”, a program, that was dumbed down, put at a low vibration.

This low vibration includes death and dis-ease and disappointment to teach us to choose once again to live at a high vibrational level, to elevate back to the level of Yeshua, living in love and not in fear.

I think we choose everything though we may not always be aware of it consciously.

I think our “Higher Self”, that part of us which still stays in some communication with Father, will bring things into our path about which we need to choose in an attempt to point us to the higher road.

For me that meant choosing to be a doctor even though it wasn’t my passion. Because teaching people how to get to the higher place IS my passion.

Becoming a doctor was a tool and when that wasn’t working out the State Board helped by making it easier to choose a better way.

My brain got in the way and I got depressed and confused and it has taken me 20 years to see that, but in the meantime I did get into massage which allows me to take people to a high place.

As part of the big picture of medicine and massage, along with a deep inner sense of direction, I have also begun to understand being naked at all levels including physical, emotional, spiritual, relational, financial, etc.

This is a high vibrational state which includes loving self, others and Father and is a return to Eden and in the process offers deep health and healing.

So I don’t think Father strips us naked and puts us in situations like that.

He is not abusive. He is a good Father.

However, he has placed us in a place in which we can choose to have experiences which will draw us to that intimate relationship and dependence on him which every healthy cell in any body needs to function properly.

In that place we will have all the supply we need, whatever that looks like.

In that place we will work with others who share the body – which is everyone – although we may not be in their little “groups” (churches, organizations, vocations, etc.).

I do think when at some very deep level we choose to follow and become completely dependent on Father and stop choosing our own self-sufficiency we will find ourselves in places of testing, probably of our own making, to make sure we really mean it.

Don’t know if all this makes sense.

It is only starting to make a little bit of sense to me.

I am still stuck in the old church thinking and still feel ostracized and unapproved for thinking differently so have a hard time being truly me.

I know at some deep level, though, that upon entry to this planet my deep self chose to follow Father no matter what, and everything that has followed has been to direct me onto that path.

It is hard when other choices along the way, like not charging for services in a world that depends on money, make me feel like I am stupid or crazy or both and when there is no support or understanding from family and loved ones.

I believe Father will at times “hide” or speak in very low whispers which require attentive and focused ears to hear.

When the program around us is yelling and screaming it is often hard to pay attention to the quiet whisper.

It is also very easy to forget to love myself when church and the program is so adamant that I am not worth loving and is totally controlled by fear.

I better stop; been rambling long enough.

Ponder this for a while and get back.

Blessings and love,

Jon

So what do YOU think?  Ponder it a while yourself and let us know.

Blessings,

Dr Jon
Renegade Doc