Rick: Welcome to Buddha at the Gas Pump. My name is Rick Archer. Buddha at the Gas Pump is an ongoing series of interviews with spiritually awakening people. I’ve done nearly 300 of them now. And if this is new to you, please go to batgap.com, where you’ll see them all organized and categorized in different ways. And you’ll see a lot of other things which I’ll itemize at the end of the interview. But if you’d like to support our efforts – this show is made possible by such support – there’s a donate button there. Our guest today is Shellee Rae. Shellee Rae has led quite an intense life, which has kind of taken a very nice turn for the better in recent decades. And she’ll be going into some details on that. But just to kind of read a little bio over here, she’s been a Reiki master for 15 years, trained to the master level in many other energy modalities, and is certified in numerous body-centered therapies. Her work in this field became full-time in 2000, so 15 years. She was sexually abused as a child, and that was followed by 27 years of drug, alcohol abuse, and bouts of depression, which brought her to death’s door in 1997. With the help of 12-step recovery and many spiritual paths, in August of 2008, Shellee Rae awakened. I’ve read two of her books. Her first one, “Suffering, a Path of Awakening: Dissolving the Pain of Incest, Abuse, Addiction, and Depression”, she wrote after the book went worldwide and opened a portal to support and guide many people in their awakening process. Her second book, “Enlightenment, Tips to Reveal Your Divine Nature”, has become a valuable tool to many who are seeking embodied awakening. While supporting others, Shellee Rae’s raucous path to awakening allows a non-judgmental, gentle pointing to the truth of who they are from the depths of her own realization. She balances deep compassion with a steady and potent awareness that you are not, in your essential self, the sufferer. Just before the interview, Shellee and I were talking about how it almost seems like if spiritual teachers hadn’t gone through certain things themselves, then they wouldn’t really be very effective in helping people who had gone through similar things. They wouldn’t be able to relate. So maybe there’s some kind of difficult preparatory phase that some people have to go through to prepare for their particular role as a spiritual teacher. Shellee kind of concurred with that. So, the bio I just read, Shellee, obviously, is going to pique people’s curiosity. And so, let’s get into some of the details for them, whatever you feel is germane and might be useful for people to hear, especially considering that a lot of people do go through some of the tribulations that you went through, depression, if nothing else, as well as substance abuse. And it might give some people a lot of hope that you have kind of come through to the other side as nicely as you have.
Shellee: Okay. Well, I’ll start with I was nine years old when the sexual abuse started. The physical abuse began as far back as I can remember and immediately began self-medicating when I was nine years old. Somehow, I discovered huffing gas and moved quickly.
Rick: You mean gasoline?
Shellee: Gasoline. Yeah. I don’t recall how I discovered this, but I tied a rag around the end of my baton and would dunk it in the gas, the lawnmower, and I would just breathe it in and get high. And it would take away the anxiety and just the overwhelmingness of life. At nine years old, I just felt like everything was just too much. And it didn’t take very long before I found alcohol and drugs. By the time I was 10, I was drinking. By the time I was 12, I was smoking pot and doing various other things, opium and LSD and Speed and whatever I could really get my hands on.
Rick: At the age of 12?
Shellee: At the age of 12.
Shellee: Yeah. And it just accelerated. And when I was 20, I moved out at that point. I’d been out for years. When I was 20 years old, my father committed suicide. And there was something that happened at that point where this internal rage around and sadness around never being able to have a relationship with my father, that was like the cutoff point for any hope of anything ever being good with my father. And that was when my drug and alcohol abuse accelerated. So I was 20 years old, and I was at that point doing cocaine regularly, drinking on a daily basis. And by the time I was 37, I’d gone through crack cocaine abuse, a couple of years of that, in and out of a couple of detoxes. And at 37 years old, I woke up in the hospital, had been there for four days in progressive care, and had no idea why I was there or how I’d gotten there.
Rick: Tell the story of how you got there.
Shellee: I had a suicide attempt and an alcohol blackout.
Rick: What was kind of amazing was that you were drunk, and then you took a whole lot of pills, and then you went out in the woods at 2 in the morning and lay on some abandoned railroad tracks, not to get run over by a train because there wasn’t going to be one, but just to die out there. And somebody actually found you at that hour of the night in an abandoned place in the woods.
Shellee: Right, and the most interesting part about that story is I know people at Lions Ambulance Service, and I called. Of course, they keep track of all of these calls that come in and who finds who and how the paramedics got there, and no one had a trace of a trail to follow.
Rick: What do you mean?
Shellee: The woman that I spoke to, my friend, she said, “We don’t know who called…”
Rick: Oh, somebody called but you don’t…
Shellee: “…We don’t know how the paramedics got there”. And so it was like grace. It wasn’t my time to go. I’m sure that in my state I probably thought the train track was a good place to end it, not realizing, of course, in that condition that the train hadn’t traveled on those tracks in years.
Rick: It starved to death before a train came.
Rick: One impression I got about you while reading your books is that you must be a very intelligent person. You graduated high school in three years or something, even while going through all this stuff. It took me five years, actually, because of dropping out and this and that. And even later, you got into corporate life and did various things somewhat successfully while still being a raging alcoholic and drug user. So you just must have had a lot of smarts to compensate for the handicaps that you were imposing on yourself.
Shellee: Yeah, I guess. Mostly school was just extremely, torturously boring. It wasn’t stimulating to me at all and it didn’t take much for… Somehow I had this very visual and I had a way of seeing the work and feeling the answer come through me. I could miss four days of school and come in for the final exam and just ace it.
Rick: Yeah, again, it’s a symptom of a pretty smart person. And a lot of times smart kids are really bored with school. In fact, I used to have a girlfriend who was a grammar school teacher and there was this real troublemaker of a kid. Nobody could deal with him and somehow or other she had the insight that school was too simple for him. That’s why he was making so much trouble, so they made him skip a grade or two and then he started doing really well and settled down.
Shellee: Right, yeah.
Rick: Another… well, I don’t know how much you want to belabor all the gory details of everything you went through. I think we’ve given people an idea and you can obviously go into more if you want. Because it was pretty extreme. But one preconception of mine or assumption that reading your book helped to shatter is that I’ve always kind of thought in the yogic tradition that the body is an instrument through which Divine Consciousness or enlightenment or whatever is lived, and that living it is a matter of purifying and fine-tuning the instrument. And that if you inflict a lot of damage on it, it might take you a long time to repair that damage and to have any semblance of awakening. And you’re kind of an exception to that assumption. Although you did a lot of spiritual stuff. I mean, once you sobered up, right, you really went at it.
Shellee: I did, full steam ahead. I began looking, really seeking, in ’86 and that was well before I got sober. And it was actually before I had my two and a half year stint with crack, where I spent a lot of time in a crack house. You know, as a part-time mom, my husband and I were separated. Well, that was in the early ’90s. In 1990 we were separated, but at that point I was a part-time mom. And when the kids were with their dad for a week, I was in the crack house. And I’d pull myself together and get home and take care of the kids on transition day when they were coming home.
Rick: And just so people know, a crack house is where you go to take crack, not to recover from it.
Rick: It’s not some kind of rehab thing.
Shellee: Right, I went to a couple of those too.
Rick: Right, yeah.
Shellee: So, yeah, looking back on it, it’s so odd that that was my life. And it was. So, ’86 I began seeking. And when I wound up in the hospital, I still wasn’t ready to get sober. I still didn’t think that I could live a life without drinking alcohol. And at that point I had three years clean and sober from drugs, but the alcohol is what ultimately took me out.
Rick: So, if you were seeking, and fairly intensively as I gather – you’re into Yogananda’s teachings and a bunch of other things, if you were doing those things – and yet at the same time drinking and taking drugs, was there some kind of a war going on in your head, like guilt-tripping yourself, “Why am I being such a jerk still taking these things? I want spiritual enlightenment and yet here I am drinking again”. Was there a good angel, bad angel kind of thing going on, or inner conflict? Or did you somehow just blot out the discrepancy and just carry on?
Shellee: Well, mostly before I got sober, I just had a lot of anger toward God, God’s spirituality, life, and I was trying to pull something out of it that would give me just a little bit of hope and guide me in another direction. I knew that I didn’t like the life that I was living. I didn’t like myself. I didn’t like many people around me. It was difficult being a mother. I loved my kids, but I hated myself because I couldn’t be what I had in my mind, a good mother. So, yeah, there was a battle in there, but mostly it was just anger at life itself and not having any kind of resolution around clarity or something new coming in. But when I got sober, I got involved in Alcoholics Anonymous. I had tippy-toed in and out a couple of times because of the detoxes that I’ve been in. And at that point, I got a sponsor and she became my greatest ass-kicker and support and friend, and she pretty much saved my life. I remember early on, she said, “I don’t know what you have for an idea of God, but you need to find something that’s going to work for you. Here’s what worked for me”. And she slapped Neale Donald Walsch’s Conversations with God book in my hand and said, “Read this”. And I felt like a fraud. I remember getting into my room and closing the door and hoping no one could see me or hear me, and saying my first prayer, kind of talking out loud to life itself. At that point, I was a little hesitant to address God.
Rick: So you felt like a fraud just for doing that because of your long-standing hatred toward God and everything, and here you were starting to pray to it, him, her.
Shellee: Right, right, and not really believing in it, not knowing what I was talking to or if it was real. It just felt fake. And very early on in sobriety, I had a couple of really magnificent expanded states of consciousness experiences, and it changed my world. It changed the way I communicated with life, with God. And I’ll share the first one with you. I was desperately seeking, my heart was just aching for connection, communication, something, some sort of a sign. And I had my face buried in my hands in the comforter and was weeping as I was praying to this God that I didn’t really believe in. And what happened was a window opened. It was like a portal. And all of a sudden, the comforter was life itself. And I had this knowingness come through me, which had me in a total state of bliss of what it is that we’re all doing here and what life actually is and this human condition that we’re in. And it was magnificent and it was exquisite. And I was just overwhelmed with joy and I couldn’t wait to write it all down and share it with the world. And then pop, I came out of that state and couldn’t remember the details of any of it. But it was a great sign early on that helped to fuel my path into seeking.
Rick: Yeah. Have you found in your own experience, both personally and as a spiritual guide to people, that very often when you do seek with a sincere heart, in whatever way, verbally, non-verbally, when there’s that sincere intention, it gets a response fairly quickly?
Shellee: Yes, yes. I’ve experienced it and people that I work with have experienced it. Just a simple little pointing and pausing someone that I’m working with can drop them right into that state and they’re like, “I see it”. And it’s beautiful. Nothing, nothing moves me more than that.
Rick: Yeah, once the intention is there.
Rick: You mentioned, this might seem like a minor point to bring up, I mean, so minor and you’re mentioning it, that why am I bringing it up, but you mentioned that once or twice an angel has come to you. Do you have the sense that this was your guardian angel or that somehow you had been looked over your entire life, cared in a parental way by some higher being, higher intelligence or something, and that you were just having a glimpse of that?
Shellee: Yes, his name is Al. I call him Angel Al.
Rick: Paul Simon wrote a song about him.
Shellee: I know, and there’s a funny story about that that I’ll share after I talk a little bit about Al. So Angel Al, what happened was, I was wanting guidance and again, that deep deep seeking and sincere longing to connect with the forces that are supporting me and kind of showing me the way in this blinded state that I felt like I was in here in life, not knowing where to go or how to get there. And so I was sitting in my bed and I was in deep deep meditation and all the windows and doors were closed. This is back in Massachusetts before I moved to Oregon and all of a sudden I felt this cool breeze coming at me from the right side and I opened my eyes and looked over there and standing there at the doorway, kind of leaning on the door, was this seven foot light figure and it startled me. And as soon as I went “huh”, he disappeared. And I went, “Wait, no, wait, I’m not scared. Come back”. Because I didn’t sense any mal-intent. I just was startled to find someone in my room and it took a little bit of time before I could open communication with Al. And it was funny, after I got his name through a number of different ways, one morning I came out to the kitchen and I heard this guy that was through me, he said, “Turn the radio on now”. And I went, “Okay”, and I turned it on and it was the Paul Simon song that came on and I had just been communicating with Al.
Rick: That’s funny.
Shellee: And it just made me laugh right out loud, yeah.
Rick: Yeah, that’s very funny. For those who are too young to remember that song, it’s called “You Can Call Me Al”, look it up on YouTube, it’s a great song.
Shellee: Yeah, it’s a great song.
Rick: Ladysmith Black Mambazo singing with him. It’s on the Graceland album. In any case, so, in your book, you say that at a certain point you kind of had this cognition or realization that the horrific stuff you had gone through in life was almost like a pre-arranged agreement or something. Do you care to comment on that at all?
Shellee: Sure, yes. Well, I was working with a therapist, I’d been working with her before I got sober for eight years and then again for an additional four years after I got sober, so into 2001 and probably two years prior to that she said that we’re done, but she was like my security blanket and I continued with her for a couple years. I’m pausing because I’m trying to remember the question.
Rick: Pre-arranged agreement.
Shellee: Pre-arranged agreement, yes. So one of the things that my therapist said to me was, “You need to find a way to forgive your father, you need to find a way to forgive your father”, and I had this idea that forgiving him was going to let him off the hook. Even though he’d been dead for many years, he was still running my life because I was so identified with the abuse that I couldn’t move forward without it. It was who I was. So I started asking for the willingness to be willing to forgive in prayer and meditation that would be my intention to just drop in and say, “Okay, I just want the willingness to be willing to forgive”. I didn’t want him to get out scot-free. It was like he already took his life and now I’m going to say it’s all okay. So it took a little bit of time for that to settle into my being and then not too long after asking for the willingness to be willing, something happened in a meditation. I popped into, I don’t know, I want to call it like a transcendental state. I was out of the body in a realm that I wasn’t really familiar with and had this awareness telepathically that, “Oh…” – and it was joyful – “Oh, my father and I came to this life with this agreement to do this dance that we did together for a reason, had great purpose”. I landed back into my body and the meditation was out of that meditative state and there was a sense of, “Oh, even though I don’t like it, I can’t unknow what I just realized”. And so it took some time to settle in with that. And it wasn’t too long after that, maybe a couple of years before I got to a point to really viscerally knowing that there was nothing to forgive, that there’s even beyond forgiveness, there’s nothing to forgive. And I got to another point where there was a realization that, “Wow, he was the brave soul to come and be the despised one”. So, it was a magical transition, but it happened over time and baby steps, and I didn’t really have a strong guide. I didn’t have anyone that was really assisting me in this except for the 12-step program that I was attending.
Rick: Some people might have a problem with that if we universalize it, and so maybe we can’t universalize it, or I’d be interested in knowing what you’d have to say, but were the Nazis the brave ones? Is ISIS the brave one, burning people alive? Boko Haram the brave ones, kidnapping those girls and selling them into slavery? So many people do horrendous things, and it’s really hard to have this totally magnanimous, forgiving attitude toward them and actually see them as people who have taken on a very tough role to play, and maybe that’s a lot more generous than the actual reality of the situation. I mean, isn’t there the possibility that evil incarnates in the world and does evil things and eventually faces consequences for those evil things?
Shellee: That’s the belief system of some people. I’m no longer of that belief. I’ve had another experience, and it happened with my awakening. The moment that I landed on August 1st, 2008, there was a complete flash of my entire life before my eyes, and it was like this divine mosaic, and every single piece was pristine and perfect and exquisite. And there was this overwhelming sense of love and joy, and I could see that every single piece had its place, and it was all there for my awakening, for my heart expansion and awakening. And so there was no longer, from that moment forward, there was no longer a sense that life makes a mistake, that it’s all here for humanity’s heart opening and expansion, and we need the polarity to come experience, as the souls that we are, the evolution and expansion that we’ve come to experience.
Rick: Yeah, I would agree that life doesn’t make a mistake and that in the big picture it’s all for the purpose of evolution, whatever is happening. Evolution is the overarching force that is moving us all along. But I wouldn’t necessarily – I’m just kind of playing devil’s advocate here – I wouldn’t necessarily agree that that obviates the law of karma, that people just kind of do whatever and then get off scot-free. It almost seems that there has to be a – you mentioned polarities I think – and there needs to be a sort of a compensation or a rebalancing, “as you sow so shall you reap”. So, I don’t know, comment on that.
Shellee: Okay, yeah, so I see life as cause and effect. I kind of steer away from the word karma because there’s so many people that have an idea that you’re going to get punished for the wrong you’ve done. And for me it’s just cause and effect. As Hitler did his atrocious deeds, there’s an effect, and as he, that’s part of his process of expansion and evolving. And it doesn’t mean that there’s going to be, for his next life he has to be tortured in order to evolve. But that’s part of his evolutionary process. And so I like to see it as cause and effect. If you cut back the hedges, they’re going to fill out and grow in a fuller way. And that’s cause and effect. If you do something atrocious in this life, seemingly atrocious, it’s going to be fertilizer for growth in your next form.
Rick: Yeah, well, I don’t want to dwell on it too long because it’s speculative, you know. I mean, at least for me it’s speculative. There’s things that make philosophical sense and you can build a whole logic structure around such ideas, and people have. But I certainly am not qualified to speak with any authority about how it actually works.
Shellee: Right, yeah, and all I can speak of is my own experience. So that experience that I had when I landed was so potent. And again, like the experience of knowing that my father and I came to experience what we experienced for a purpose, I couldn’t unknow what I had just seen and realized and saw that, “Oh, it’s all perfect, every single part of this dance that we’re doing”. And it doesn’t mean that we sit back and say, “Okay, it’s all right to maim and slaughter and pillage”, but we do it from a state of open-hearted awareness and how is life moving me to serve this situation, rather than fighting against it and calling it bad or wrong. The movement that comes through me now comes in a different way, it doesn’t come from a belief system.
Rick: Yeah, okay. Well let’s move in the direction of talking about when you landed, but let’s cover some stuff before we get to that. And kind of give us an idea of… you know, a lot of people, they have a profound awakening of some sort. Maybe they’ve been meditating for 30 years or doing some kind of spiritual practice and they turn around and say, “Eh, you don’t need any of that, you don’t need to meditate”. Now I’m kind of… I think there’s a correlation between the fact that they’ve meditated for And it can seem once you arrive like, okay, you become the sun and you realize, “Oh, I’ve always been shining, even though there have been clouds, it didn’t matter whether there were clouds or not, I’ve always been shining”. But it matters to the people for whom the sun is obscured by clouds, whether or not there’s wind that’s going to blow them away. So what are some of the things that you’ve gone through as spiritual practices and how do you feel that they have added to your toolbox, so to speak? What kind of progress did you make with various things toward this awakening?
Shellee: Okay, well I’ve read hundreds, hundreds of books, I’ve listened to hundreds of DVDs, I’ve followed many teachers. The two most profound teachers I believe in my journey were Yogananda – I followed his Self-Realization Fellowship teachings for seven years – and Eckhart Tolle.
Rick: You did the Kriya Yoga practices and everything?
Shellee: Yeah, and I actually had a teacher in Hampstead, New Hampshire, I used to attend his ashram and go there for mantra and he taught a Kriya Asana class on Monday nights in my center and I did Kriya Theory 1, Kriya Theory 2, all the asanas and followed that path for two years while following Yogananda’s teachings. And Eckhart Tolle was in my pocket at that time. And then as I moved away from Yogananda, kind of weaned myself from that, Eckhart Tolle was speaking my language. I got him. So those were my two longest teachers, but I dabbled in Gangaji, and Mooji, and Krishnamurti, and I had a lot of teachers that I was hoping were going to wave their magic wand and show me the way. So along with all of this, in March of ’98, I received my first Reiki initiation and that too, I have to give that great credit for my spiritual practice. I was giving and receiving Reiki on a regular basis. That was like my day job now and that evolved naturally. I was just giving it to family and friends and people from the church and they said, “You should put out a donation box”, and I went, “Oh really?” And then people started paying me and it blossomed from there.
Rick: Just in case people don’t know what Reiki is, why don’t you explain it?
Shellee: It’s an initiation that you receive from a Reiki master that helps attune and align the chakras and more specifically open up the crown, the heart and the palm chakras for channeling healing energy.
Rick: So when you receive the initiation, is there some kind of transmission of energy or some kind of Shaktipat kind of thing that empowers you to, I mean, not only benefits you but then in turn empowers you to apply it to others?
Shellee: Well, my first class, all I remember is standing there after the initiation with my hands over a student on the table and feeling like my feet were about this far off the ground and tears coming down my face. I was feeling such love and such joy and I thought, “Oh dear God, I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. This is it. This is what I came to do”. So I just moved fast-forward as quickly as I could with that. I started weaning myself off of the corporate world that I was still part-time plugged into and January of 2000, I made a commitment that, “Okay, if this is my path, if this is the life that I’m to have, I’m going to start turning down contract jobs. I’m not going to do any more of this computer work and we’re just going to see if life can take care of me”. And inside of just a few months, my practice tripled.
Rick: That’s great. Is that mainly how you support yourself now?
Shellee: It is, yes.
Rick: And then in addition to that, you do some spiritual counseling or one-on-one kind of things and give satsangs here and there and so on?
Shellee: Right, yeah, satsangs, Skype sessions, workshops, and I work with people here in Ashland in person. A lot of people in California too, I’ll be traveling next month to work.
Rick: Great. So what was the nature of this dropping in, I think the phrase you used, and what seemed to precipitate it?
Shellee: Okay, well, I was in a relationship when I moved here. I moved here from the Boston area in December of 2006 to Ashland, Oregon. I was called, Ashland literally called me, and that too is another story.
Rick: Feel free to tell the story. We have plenty of time here.
Shellee: Okay, great. Well, I had some bricks… I had never heard of Ashland, Oregon. I had some bricks over the head kind of synchronicities, and I mean it was just like one right after another Ashland, Oregon. Oh, that’s strange. Who lives in Oregon? I thought it was all rainforests and making jokes about it, and then it became very clear that I was supposed to attend the Psychic Children’s Conference in Ashland, Oregon in 2003. I came here and as soon as I arrived in town, I had this head-to-toe vibrational experience that whispered, “Welcome home”, and tears. I’m just standing there on the sidewalk weeping. I was like, “Okay, for some reason I’m supposed to live here”, and it took me a couple more years before my last child moved out and closed down my practice and picked up and moved here with my partner. So he and I settled in, and Ashland is a pretty intense vortex, much like Sedona, the energy here can really shake things up for you. My partner had this idea that everything that was going on for him when we got here was about me, and I kept saying, “This isn’t about me. This isn’t about me”. It didn’t take very long before he decided to end the relationship, and so as we’re going through this process, and I felt him pulling away, and I was going through my own inner turmoil around that. And then in April of 2008, I had my first Kundalini awakening, and my partner at the time was out doing a house-sitting job, so he wasn’t home, and it was five o’clock in the morning. I got up and just had this white-hot fire blowing through me, and I thought, “I’m dying. I’m dying”. And I literally crawled to the bathroom because I felt like I was going to be sick and managed to get up onto the toilet, and I thought, “I don’t even know how to call for help”. And at that point, the fire got so hot, it blew open. It felt like a hole in my heart, and then it did the same thing at my third eye. And when it hit my third eye, it was too much for my body, and I released both ends and threw up. Yeah, both ends. And yeah, it was intense. It was powerful.
Rick: Bazooka effect.
Shellee: Right. Yeah, there’s one way to clear the pipes. And I made it back to bed, and I was just lying there vibrating for hours, vibrating like I’d been plugged into 220 volts. I felt like a light body. I wasn’t really in touch with a physical form at all. It took days before I could really touch back into my physical being. But one of the things that I noticed almost immediately was that there were a lot of things that used to irritate me, and that button was gone. And one of the other things that began happening at that point…
Rick: Well, that reminded me of something. You know how in waking down they have what they call the “wake down, shake down”. We’ll talk about waking down probably in the course of this conversation. In the TM movement it was called “unstressing”, but the basic principle is that we accumulate so much stuff over the course of perhaps lifetimes, and the more intense the stuff, the more intense the experience when the stuff gets released. And that when there is a significant awakening, that if that stuff hasn’t been cleared out – and I think everybody knows what I mean by “stuff”, just the impressions from various experiences we’ve had over the course of our life or lives – and that when an awakening happens, if that stuff hasn’t been cleared out gradually and incrementally, the awakening itself can be a powerful solvent or something for clearing it out more quickly. And we can really go through a lot of turmoil and emotional intensity and fears and all kinds of things. So I mean, you had been through a lot, far more than most people. So did you go through a phase where you were just like, “Wake down, shake down”, big time?
Shellee: Yes, I did, yes.
Rick: Was that after the Kundalini awakening or even before?
Shellee: Well, it was actually after the awakening, but what happened was I had done so many years of work, working with teachers and working with different programs and Alcoholics Anonymous and just many, many things, so I thought it was pretty clear. And it was amazing to me how much moved with that Kundalini awakening, how much cleared from my field. I felt lighter, I felt more here, like my peripheral vision was just a little bit wider and I was a little bit taller. And what began happening shortly after the first Kundalini awakening was, I was tuned into like this witness that would come and go. And I would notice that I was moving into a pattern with my partner, a little exhibited that we would get caught in, and it was our challenge. And I would see myself moving forward, but not feeling the attachment or the identification with needing to be right, but kind of following that old pattern anyway to do that dance, to justify, make it all right, be understood. And this witness part that was clearly like above and to the right of me watching this whole experience was just lovingly examining, but I was in tune with both of them. And what happened was, I would get to a point where I could either put the hat on and do the dance, like get up on stage and do the dance, or I would go, “Oh, isn’t that interesting? There’s really nothing going on here and I don’t need to do this”. And I would stop. And my partner would go, “What are you smiling at?” And I would say, “I don’t know, I’m just not feeling moved to respond or to react”. And so what happens soon after that…
Rick: So sometimes the witness would go away and you’d just be gripped.
Shellee: Sometimes the witness would go away, but I would remember the experience, and so I could bring awareness to the moment when I was starting to move in that direction to react or defend or respond in some way that was connected to a pattern and not really connected to an emotion anymore. But that witness state came in and out from April until the landing on August 1st. And that seemed to be the cementing. It was like it landed, it was centered here. Here’s where the witness is within this body.
Rick: It’s not over your left shoulder.
Shellee: And I could no longer separate it and witness from a separate state, it’s here.
Rick: But even though it’s here rather than being here or something, does the same effect apply in which you are not so impulsive? There’s a kind of a, I don’t know if I want to use the word “detachment”, but a scrutiny, a discernment, discrimination that prevents you from just blindly getting caught up in things.
Shellee: Yeah, it’s actually a non-identification. It’s a sense of allowing. When I’m working with people, I call it the “Planet Rick” and “Planet Shelley”. It’s like, “Oh, that’s how it is over there in that atmosphere. I had no idea because it’s not like that here”. And so really there’s just a sense of allowing both to be here, I guess you’d call it agreeing to disagree, but without any fireworks around it, any tension or contraction around it. It’s just like, “Oh, that’s the way it is over there on your planet”. That’s good.
Rick: It sounds like a relinquishment of judgmentalism.
Shellee: Absolutely, yeah. But what got me there, the fire of awakening, the beginning was the Kundalini awakening in April and then the continuation of the separation from my partner. And so at one point my almost 18-year-old cat died. We were going through a challenge for almost six months tending to him and then he died and it shattered my heart. He was like my bud. And two days after my partner sat me down and said, “I’m ending the relationship”. And I had a trip planned to the East Coast for two months. I was going to do this herbal shamanic apprenticeship and had paid for it and I was leaving in a month and it was just like my whole world just popped. I sat there befuddled. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could be so hurtful. So I had all these things going on.
Rick: When the postman knows you’re going to move he tries to deliver all your mail.
Shellee: Yes, yeah. And so what happened – through some of the work that I’d been doing at that point with waking down, I no longer… and with the depth of the experience that I had with the Kundalini awakening, I no longer had any more fix-its. I couldn’t positive affirm in a way. I couldn’t go realign my chakras in a way. I couldn’t do anything. So what I did was I felt it. I dropped right into the pool of anger, rejection, abandonment, sadness, grief, losing my house, the garden that was producing, I had all this stuff and I was just feeling it and at one point I was on the floor on my knees and I was just hitting the floor and wailing as all of this was coming up and out of me and something happened. A door opened and I landed in this vast state of bliss while still feeling the pain and I just recall having this, “Oh, isn’t this interesting? No one ever told me I could feel good while feeling pain, that both could be present”. And that was, I don’t know, that was I guess a green light for allowing myself to continue to feel all of the pieces that continued coming up for me as the relationship very very quickly ended. I got my equity out of the house, was packing my bags, was moving. I moved and a day later I was on an airplane to the East Coast and it all happened inside of about 10 days, it was crazy.
Rick: That’s interesting. I guess given the way your life had been for so many years, you must have had a fairly ingrained tendency to suppress things, to not feel things. Obviously that’s why you took all the drugs and everything, so as to not feel. And even after you stopped taking the drugs and alcohol, there must have been a lot of stuff that hadn’t been felt that was still kind of packed down there. So it’s interesting that a complete expressive, almost like spiritual temper tantrum or something, precipitated or triggered a major shift.
Shellee: Yeah, it was a great catharsis, yes. And what happened after that was the awakening. So August 1st, after getting to all the details with my partner and we agreed on money and it was all said and done, again, this big heartbreak and just dropping into it and feeling it. I was standing in the backyard and it literally was like something landed in my body. I swear if someone had been standing next to me, they might have heard a thud. And it was like, boom, all of a sudden I was like a newborn. I was touching my skin and my face. I was like, “Where have I been for the last 48 years? Who’s been here driving this bus?” It was like the first time I was here and I was breathing with the earth and the trees around me and there was just a sense of wholeness and connection and nothing needed. I was complete. And then, not too long after that, maybe a day later, I started going, “Oh gosh, it always goes away. It always goes away”. And I was wondering, “Is this one going to go away?” And it went on for almost four months, about three and a half months, I was just in a state of awe and bliss and bubbles of laughter over some of the silliest, craziest things. I walked by a pile of wood that said “For Sale” and I burst into tears of laughter. It just seemed so crazy. They’re selling wood. Mother Earth gets it for free. You know, it’s crazy. So I was in a complete state of bliss for four months. And then, what happened was it became really the new normal. My system adjusted to that heightened state or frequency.
Rick: Yeah, I was thinking about that as I was listening to some of your satsang talks and reading your book. It’s interesting how we acclimate, we’re very adaptable. And it’s almost like a blessing that we do because life would be so intolerable for some people if we didn’t, but it’s relative to the level of happiness. I mean, you could take a person who considers himself to be very happy and if you could somehow impose his state on some other person… you know what I’m trying to say? It’s like one man’s meat is another man’s poison. One person’s suffering state could be extremely blissful for another person. It’s all a matter of what you’ve acclimated to. And one person’s blissful state could be abject misery to another person who had actually risen to a much higher level of happiness and had acclimated to that. Of course, we don’t just switch each other’s levels of happiness like that, but if we could theoretically I think it would illustrate this point.
Shellee: Yeah, yeah. My daughter actually taught me the greatest lesson in relativity when she was nine years old. I remember she was ranting about the difficulty between switching between two homes and how tough it was and on and on. I may have just come off of a crack bender at the time and I was not feeling incredibly patient or sympathetic. I just launched at her, “Your life is so difficult. You don’t know what difficult is”. And that was when I blurted out that my father abused me and sexually abused me and you don’t know what it’s like. She just stood there like this awakened teacher, I will never forget the image in my mind. And when I was done with my rant, she says, “Well, I don’t know what it’s like to live in that sort of environment, but what I do know from my level of pain is that this is difficult”. And she was like, “All I know is that what’s hard for me is hard for me and this is really hard for me”. And it was like something clicked, the light went on and I was like, “Oh, she’s so right that it’s all relative”. You can only have your background of experience to splash it off of.
Rick: Yeah, and one thing I’ve found is that it is all relative, but as long as your life seems to be moving in an evolutionary direction, there seems to be kind of ever-growing happiness and when your life isn’t moving in an evolutionary direction, you get a few slaps in the face to let you know and it’s not so happy or it’s not so pleasant. And which is not to say that the unpleasant experiences might not also be evolutionary, but it’s like nature gives us hints, pointers. It’s like, “Okay, you’re on track, you’re off track”.
Shellee: Yes. And that’s our pendulum, we watch it, follow that and try and find center. It’s like, “Oh, this isn’t the path”, and you can overcompensate. And really it’s finding our center through those experiences.
Rick: Yeah, actually that’s one of the things I enjoyed about listening to a couple of your satsangs is the discussions you had about kind of being attuned to – I don’t want to use the word “nature” – but being attuned to that intelligence which is our root ultimately, and being sensitive to its promptings, and kind of having intuitive feelings almost of, “Go this way, go this way, not that way”, you know. You might want to elaborate on that a little bit because you expressed it very nicely.
Shellee: Yeah, sure. Well, one of the things that I encourage people to do is to find their “yes”. And I’ve had a lot of people say, “Well, what if I’m finding a ‘no’?” That’s probably coming from the mental construct or the ego. If it’s a contraction or if it’s a loud “no”, it’s typically coming from something other than that soft creative impulse that comes through us, what I call “life’s guidance”. So what happens for me now is…
Rick: What if you want to do something that you shouldn’t do and you’re getting a loud “no” from that which is guiding us? I mean, doesn’t it also say “no” sometimes?
Shellee: Well, for me, what I do is if it doesn’t feel like a “yes”, I don’t move forward. So I don’t get a “no” anymore. I don’t get that contraction of, “Aha! Don’t do it!” What I do is I tune in.
Rick: Because you don’t take it that far.
Shellee: Right, I just tune in. I see if there’s a “yes”, it’s like, “I’m not feeling a ‘yes’ to do that or to go there or to work with this person. I’m not feeling a ‘yes.'” And so there’s obviously something else. Life has something else in store for me. And so I wait for the “yeses”.
Rick: Yeah, you mentioned an incident where some friends had been pressuring you to go to a Fourth of July parade or something and you kept saying, “I don’t feel like doing that”, and finally you gave in and went to it and then after about 15 minutes you couldn’t stand it and wanted to leave.
Shellee: Yeah, yeah, it was over-stimulating. My whole body was vibrating from the people, the noise. I just don’t do well in huge crowds and all that stimulation. I’m very sensitive.
Rick: I was thinking about that yesterday because our local little natural food store had a sort of a freebie day where there were all these samples and free ice cream and everything. We went down there yesterday and it was just mobbed with people consuming sugar and eating free samples and it was kind of intense and I was thinking of your story about the Fourth of July parade and I thought to ask the question of, “Do you feel, have you felt that over time you’ve gotten better able to be in chaotic situations or go to Walmart if you need to or whatever because you’ve gotten more stabilized and integrated?”
Shellee: I know my ceiling. You know, if I agree to go to some sort of a gathering I know that inside of probably two hours I’m going to be done. I just know my limit and I don’t push that because I want my body to be comfortable and I’m so tuned into it and I can honor what its needs are. Before I would push myself because I, from the pressures around me, or thoughts that I should stay longer or whatever it was that’s coming in from the outside.
Rick: And when you think about your drug days, I mean, being strung out on crack for four days without sleep, I mean, imagine what your body was on some level screaming in protest against what you were doing to it and yet you were oblivious to that and keep smoking it.
Shellee: Right, yeah. Yeah, it just about killed me. And that was my, was that my first? Well no, it was actually my second out of body experience. So it was my last big crack coke bender where I was in the crack house for eight days. Family and friends were looking for me. I had, it was the first time I’d ever been cut off by my drug dealer. So what happened was I had the crack pipe in my hand and I just, it was all done. And I was out of my body and I was looking at this lump in the chair that was totally slumped over and witnessing my crack dealer and her partner trying to wake me up, trying to shake me out of it, and really scared. And I was completely in bliss and I said, “I’m fine, you guys. You know, chill out. It’s so easy. I don’t have to be there”. And then I had this moment of like, “Oh my God, I can’t find my way back into the body”. And now they’re really scared and it seemed like eternity. I was in that timeless space. But eventually I finally landed back in the body and they shut me off. I’m like past the lighter. They shut me off, called a friend to come get, well, so there’s a story before we got to that. They called a friend who had been looking for me to come get me. And the way they got his number was he actually did like a graveyard etching on my pad. He broke into my home and took my little post-it note and a little pencil and found the last number and called his friend at the phone company and they gave him the address. And so he contacted that woman, said, “I know where you live. I’m going to come get her. I know she’s there”. So at that point, once they kind of, after everything, the crisis was over, they called him and said, “Please come get her. She’s all done”. And so that was the beginning of the end. That was in ’94. That was the beginning of the end of my drug use. And three years later the alcohol took me out.
Rick: Right, the railroad track incident.
Rick: Amazing. Okay, we kind of looped back there into your shady past. But we’ll come back to the landing phase, as you put it. You say you’re just kind of in bliss for four months laughing at woodpiles. And then I get the sense, I think you just said it actually, that it’s not like it went away, it’s that you acclimated.
Shellee: Yes, yes. And during that process too, I was going through a way of landing in the world that hadn’t changed, but everything in my way had changed. The way I saw the world changed. And so everything on the inside and the way I responded to life and the world had changed, but nothing on the outside had changed. And so that was kind of my wake-down, shake-down, as Waking Down calls it. All of a sudden, I’m looking at a new relationship and it wasn’t fitting in the old box. I couldn’t even find the box. So I didn’t know how to be in relationship. And there was a lot of messiness around that. And I had lost my filter to evaluate my words or to pause before I said something. And I was blurting things out, like, “Hang in my dirty laundry”, because none of it mattered. I mean, there was no filter for using discretion for how much to share and how much not to share and I was just blurting everything.
Rick: It’s that phrase people use these days, “too much information”.
Shellee: Too much information, yeah. I got reprimanded a number of times, “Shellee, you might want to reconsider writing a letter to the community and apologizing for what you just blurted”. And I’m like, “Oh, really?” And I’d have to sit with it and go, “Oh, all right, well, I can see how that might have hurt some feelings”.
Rick: You mean the Waking Down community?
Shellee: Yes, yeah.
Rick: We’ll talk about Waking Down at some point before it gets too long. So you’re kind of implying here that you have re-found your filters. Some kind of a more appropriate behavior has gotten established.
Shellee: Yes, I mean, there’s still transparency and vulnerability and there’s also a maturing thing that happens in the awakening process where you learn how to move in the world and hold both.
Rick: Yeah, that whole thing actually interests me and that’s a good segue into Waking Down because as you’ll explain to us, the term “Waking Down”, people wake up and it has this up and out kind of energy, transcendent, detached, aloof, gone. But then people discover that, “Oh, I’m still a human being, I still have a life that I’m trying to live here”, and that necessitates a waking down, a kind of integration of that transcendent consciousness into the nitty-gritty of your human life and all of its situations, relationships, and behaviors, and what you say and what you don’t say, and so on. So it would be worth talking about Waking Down a little bit, but also that principle in general would be good to discuss for a bit.
Shellee: Okay, yes. So in September of 2007, I popped into one meeting in February that same year and I was like, “This isn’t for me”. And then again in September, shortly before the meeting I attended in September, I kept hearing this sense or feeling this guidance to go back to Waking Down, go back to Waking Down. And I went, “I really didn’t feel connected there. I don’t know who those people are or what they’re doing”, but I honor that now and I felt really strongly guided. So I went to this meeting and CC Leigh was the teacher in that particular meeting and she was a visiting teacher and I was sitting there just listening, listening, listening, and she looked at me and said, “And what about you, dear?” And the intensity of the eye contact and all that I had experienced for, I don’t know, the hour prior, there was some energetic thing that was happening to me, I guess a transmission, something cracked and I felt as if it was the first time anyone had ever really seen me. And again, there was this catharsis that happened. I was just bubbling up with all the stuff that was going on in my life and how difficult it is to be me and this crazy seeking and I’ve been searching. There was this internal resistance because I didn’t want to go down one more path, but it kept calling me back. And just the process once I was done speaking after working with C.C. a little bit and then getting feedback from the community in the room, I was like, “Wow, you mean it’s really okay to be as messy as I am? It’s okay to feel as crazy as I feel?” And something began… it was like the pressure was let out of my field. There was a little more space for me to be here. And I remember one of the people in the community handed me Saniel Bonder’s, one of his books and I cringed. I was already at the point where I wanted to have a book burning and DVD burning party. I was like, “I didn’t want to read one more book”. But I went home with it and I devoured it and I was in for five years after that.
Rick: Yeah, I just should mention that I interviewed CC Leigh about a month or two ago and under the past interviews menu on batgap.com there’s a categorical index where all the interviewees are sorted out by various categories and I believe we have a “Waking Down” and “Mutuality” category that lists all the “Waking Down” teachers that I’ve interviewed. But I just want to say that one cool thing about “Waking Down” in my experience as an outsider – I’ve never actually gone to a meeting, well I’ve gone to a couple of things but never really been involved – is there’s this really rigorous, self-scrutinizing, ethical process that all the leaders of it go through, and they really give a lot of thought and attention to not letting anybody on any level of the organization get away with the kind of stuff that has in many cases given spiritual teachers a bad name. And when I say “level”, even that is misleading because there’s not much of a hierarchy, even though there are stages of authorization and maturity that you can go through as a teacher, there’s a sort of egalitarian “we’re all in this together” kind of attitude that I think there’s a system of checks and balances that keeps the group quite healthy.
Shellee: Yes, agreed, and that was one of the things that really attracted me, that there wasn’t any kind of exclusion for religious beliefs, whatever you believe, bring it in, and there’s no one guru sitting at the top of some pyramid saying “follow me”, it was “let’s follow each other and keep each other in check” and something could be said in the meeting and it would trigger someone across the room and then the whole group would work on it and hold space and reflect and it was really powerful. It felt to me at the time like the missing piece for my awakening, all the other paths I had followed, I guess my understanding of all the other paths I had followed – I don’t want to make a projection here – but the understanding of all the other paths I had followed was that you pop out, you go to this transcendent awakening and it’s all about shutting down these first three chakras and not going into the body or allowing any of your human messiness. And so when that was allowed, there was a great door that opened and all of a sudden I landed, that was in September of 2007 and by August of 2008 I was here.
Rick: And it’s interesting that many of the teachers who represent the kind of up and out teachings and don’t want to deal with the messiness, as you put it, end up falling flat on their faces in the messiness, because they’ve repressed it or avoided it, and so it ends up going splat.
Shellee: Yeah, well I became a mentor in waking down for about a year and it got even more challenging. There’s no room for any kind of unintegrous behavior, so everything was scrutinized. And it was good, it was good. It was for a year I was a mentor and decided to turn my mentor shingle in because I was already a teacher in my other work and there was some conflict and it just seemed right for me to move forward in my work and rescind that title.
Rick: It seems to me that if the emphasis of a teaching is, “You are not a person and there’s nothing you can do and nowhere to go and all that stuff, there’s nobody doing anything”, I mean it seems to me that that invites problems because you’re not “only a person” but you still are “a person”, you’re much more than a person, but yeah, you still are a person and if you totally deny your personhood, it’s going to catch up with you. I’m kind of being a little bit redundant here, but there are teachings which emphasize that so much that it’s kind of their main thing.
Shellee: Yeah, yes.
Rick: One thing that always interests me is the continued progression of evolution. There are some people who might say, “Well, I’m done”, or “So and so is done”, and I don’t think there’s any such thing as done. There may be milestones and there may be irreversible milestones where you’ve really gotten established in something and it just doesn’t seem that you’re regressing back to a less evolved state, so to speak. But do you agree with that? Is there always a next horizon, so to speak?
Shellee: Absolutely, yeah. I’ll tell a funny story. So when I woke up and then really realized that I’m here and it’s not going away, good God, thank you. I was brought to a point in my awakening where life went “tch, tch”. You’ve become identified with the awakened one. And so there was this experience that I had where I could see it and it was a new ceiling. In recognition of that and kind of releasing what it is to be awake and that I have arrived, there was a sense of “freer than free”. There’s more, there’s more. And as long as we continue to stay open to the possibility of “I don’t know what it is”, or “I have no idea what it is”, or how big it gets, there’s always room for expansion. And I love those little spurts of growth that I sense where it’s like, “Oh, there’s a little more of me online now”, and that was rich.
Rick: Yeah. So you hear a lot of teachers say, and I think I’ve heard you say things like, “Well, this is it right here, right now, this is good enough, don’t be looking for something else, just rest in the presence of this moment”. How do you reconcile that with what you just said about, “Well, there’s always something more”?
Shellee: There’s always something more when you’re not looking for it. So I wasn’t looking for something more in my awakened state, I thought I had arrived. And there was just this experience that I had, I believe I was just sitting in nature, and this realization came to me that, “Oh”. And it was actually shortly after my second kundalini awakening. So there was an opening…
Rick: You haven’t told us about that.
Shellee: Okay, yeah, I’ve had three, and all three were as intense as the first.
Rick: So two and three must have been after you landed.
Rick: So let’s hear about it. And also, we’ll get back to that question I just asked.
Shellee: Okay, great.
Rick: The reconciliation of being here now and yet there’s more.
Shellee: Right, okay. So in June of 2010, I had another Kundalini awakening. So the second one was… the first one, of course, I’ve already mentioned, was from the root and it blew out these two places that my heart and my third eye were the most intense experiences of the fire that came through. So the second one was from the root and it came all the way up and through and exploded out my crown. And this one, the fire was so intense, I guess if I were to explain how it felt for me, it was about ten days, I couldn’t even walk with shoes on because it was too jarring to my body, so it felt like everything on the inside was connected on loose hinges and was raw. So every movement that I made was like an owie inside. And so I had to walk gently in bare feet. So after that Kundalini awakening, again, it was the same sort of experience. There was a greater sense of expansion, more conditioned beliefs and ideas. I noticed had fallen away. There was a greater sense of non-identification, like being in the world but not of it. I was here and there’s nothing here that I need to be free or happy. And so shortly after that, I had this awareness of freer than free. I was identified with free. And then again in March of 2011, the Fukushima tsunami, was the night before that happened. I had my own personal tsunami. We had actually had a waking down meeting in my home and by eight o’clock, I was holding my head. I had slid out of my chair and I was on the floor with my hands kind of covering the light.
Rick: In the meeting.
Shellee: In the meeting, this massive migraine coming on and I don’t get migraines. And I told, “Please, we’re going to have to leave this meeting as it is”. Some people were filtering out and I always follow and lock the door, but I couldn’t get up to do that. I crawled from the spot that I was in to my bed and peeled myself out of my clothes. And so this Kundalini started in the head and I had this massive fire in my brain and I just had the sense of, “I wonder if I’ll ever be able to think again. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to reason”. My brain is being fried and it moved down through me. So on day two, I was in bed now. It was Thursday and I had not moved Thursday afternoon. It hit the cauda equina at the base of my spine and all of those nerves were lit up and I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move at that point if I wanted to. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t feel from my chest down and I couldn’t feel to move it, except that I was feeling excruciating pain in my lower back and my thighs. It was just…
Rick: How long did this go on?
Shellee: Like over the top, hours.
Rick: Oh, so not days, but hours.
Shellee: That part of the experience went on for hours.
Rick: So you had to wet the bed or something, you were able to get out eventually?
Shellee: Yeah, sometime Thursday afternoon I was able to move my body. I got up, I called a friend. He wasn’t available that day, but he came back the next morning. So it was on Friday morning he came and took care of me. One girlfriend came in that evening and just tended to my needs. My whole body was on fire and she was just gently mopping me off. She called me up a couple of days later. She was like, “I was in bliss for 24 hours after tending to you”. And then the same happened to the person who came on Friday morning and took care of me. He brought me some soup. He stayed with me for a few days. A few days later he got me outside, holding my arm and walking me like a little old lady that was in my bare feet, just getting me outside. So that was the big one. And since that one, I have had many many experiences of the Kundalini moving through me now freely. So it seems that…
Rick: Did you feel quite radically transformed after that one?
Shellee: Radically transformed?
Rick: I mean, it was so intense you must have felt like a new me after going through it.
Shellee: Yes. I had a sense of landing in, I guess, my center, my strength, no longer having any fear about how I’m looking or what people think about me or how it needs… I mean, I was already free from a lot of that, but that just kind of tore down all the walls. There was nothing left but this open channel for life to move through without any kind of adjustment here and there, with the reasoning of discernment. There was actually kind of a meeting the person on their level that wasn’t of the mental realm at all. It was just something that, “Okay, so life is meeting this person here because this is what is going to be most pertinent to where they are in their life”. And so from that place, it was incredible how I got to experience the wisdom that was flowing through me, as, I don’t want to say as an outsider, but as being blessed by this wisdom that was flowing through me, but not of me.
Rick: I wonder if the intensity of these Kundalini experiences was in any way related to the damage you had done to your nervous system with all the drugs, and if somebody else might not have experienced these things so intensely. But in your case, there was a lot of intense clearing and repair work to be done.
Shellee: Absolutely, yeah, I believe that that’s what it was, yeah. There were just so many burnt out wires and nadis and meridians that were completely out of whack that it needed some recalibration.
Rick: So I mean that kind of leads to the question of, what would you say to people who don’t know their chakra from their elbow and don’t seem to have any kind of Kundalini things, and they might be feeling like, “Eh, nothing ever happens for me, I’m just kind of a slug”, and look at her, she’s having all these profound things. Sometimes flashy experiences can evoke envy in other spiritual seekers who aren’t having them.
Shellee: Well, I work with that person. I help them look at their beliefs, that it needs to be a certain way, or what are they looking for, and it’s always organic and specific to the person that I’m working with. I never know what’s going to come through or how it’s going to serve them. I’m open and receive the information that comes through, again, that’s most pertinent to that person.
Rick: Yeah, I mean would you agree that profound awakenings can take place without a lot of intense stuff of your nature? So it can be real smooth for some people.
Shellee: Yeah, absolutely. I sense that these very difficult, kind of rocky paths to awakening are like pioneers. We’re opening the door for a new way to come through. Once we’ve got so many of these people awake, that it doesn’t have to be that difficult, that it doesn’t have to be that challenging. I’ve had many many people that I’ve worked with that have awakened, and some of them are just like coming from the cheeriest little lives. I mean, there’s really no impetus for pushing them to look for something better, except that they have this deep sense that there must be something more.
Rick: Yeah, you probably know the story of the 100th monkey, that whole thing? Might be worth mentioning in brief. It was an actual, well I think it was something that some scientists actually observed, where on some island, the monkeys were eating these yams, and some one monkey learned how to wash the yams off or something, get the sand off them, and then the other monkeys started watching him do it and learned how to do it also. And when a certain number of monkeys had started doing it – maybe it was 100 – monkeys on adjacent islands all of a sudden started doing it without any… it didn’t have to grow incrementally. It’s like monkey consciousness communicated this new knowledge. I kind of think that something like that’s going on with spiritual awakenings.
Shellee: Yes, I agree. You don’t have to have the sand in your mouth to know to wash the yam now.
Rick: So, that point of pioneers is a good one, it’s like a lot of ground has been cleared.
Shellee: Right, yeah.
Rick: I mean, there too, that’s kind of a metaphor, ground being cleared, but you know, when dirt has been dug up once, it’s a lot easier to dig up the second time. So there have been a lot of people over the last 40-50 years that have been forging a spiritual path and it seems to me that that path is getting wider and more easy to travel.
Shellee: Yeah, I agree, absolutely.
Rick: So, where should we go from here in this conversation? What would you like to talk about that we haven’t touched upon?
Shellee: Yeah, well I was just wondering that. Can we just take a moment to drop in and see if there’s something else that wants to come up and share?
Shellee: I’m waiting for words. I mean, there were a couple of things that we were going to come back to and I don’t recall what they were at this point.
Rick: One of them was the reconciliation. Did any intuitive impulses come up in that silence?
Shellee: No, nothing really.
Rick: That’s my job then. I have to wield the cattle prod here. So we were going to talk a little bit more about the reconciliation of this teaching that’s quite prevalent of just sort of accepting the moment, being in the moment, settling into the moment, and not looking forward to some glorious future. Reconciliation of that with the fact that the future keeps getting more glorious, or the present keeps getting more glorious as time unfolds, and there seems to be a vast range of spiritual evolution that one can yet encounter. So to some people’s minds that might seem to be contradictory.
Shellee: Yeah, okay, great. So when I’m working with people and they have a situation going on, they have something that they’re calling a problem, it’s where all of the energy is being filtered. I call it like an energy leak, all your energy is being siphoned into feeding this sort of entity. And the only way that it can become a problem is an idea that it needs to be different. So what I ask people to do is just see if you can reframe it, see if you can sit back and allow this situation to be here without any need for it to be any different, without any idea of its purpose, without any thought process around it at all, to just see it. Because life really is neutral. All it says is “thank you, another way for me to express, oh thank you, another way for me to express, oh thank you, another way for me to express”. And so here’s the situation that all of our mental, societal, familial conditioning has taught us to label it in a certain way. So see if you can move into it as if it’s the first time you’ve ever seen this and not know what it’s for, and not have any idea of what it means to get rid of it and then I’ll be happy, or and then I’ll wake up. See if it might be, if it’s possible, for it to be a piece of the puzzle and not knowing what it’s going to open you up to for the next step. To just be completely with it, allow it to be here. I already know it’s okay for it to be here, otherwise it wouldn’t be here. So let’s see if we can just be with it as it is and allow whatever it is that’s coming up for you to come up and sometimes tears arise and sometimes an opening happens and they laugh, they’re able to see that they were creating this big drama around something that really doesn’t mean anything. And what happens is just like awakening, once that pressure valve is open, once the tension is relieved from the situation, the creative impulse, something else can move through in another way and guide you to resolve the situation without all the drama, without all that frenetic energy complicating it. I’m not sure if that answered the question.
Rick: It was a good point, I’m not sure if it did either, but let me come back at you with something. So what I understand you two have just said is that if we have a non-meddling attitude toward the things that come up in our lives, if we don’t insist that things happen any particular way, if we recognize that all is well and wisely put and things come up for a reason, not necessarily an intellectual reason that we could articulate, but there must be some evolutionary purpose to the things that roll along in our lives, if we can take that perspective then we don’t interfere with that which is actually driving the dream bus. We allow the driver to do the driving. Remember that Greyhound ad, “It’s such a pleasure to take the bus and leave the driving to us?” I don’t know if you remember that one, but we allow nature’s intelligence to run the show if we don’t keep interfering with it. Is that what you were trying to say?
Shellee: Yes, and what it does is it right-sizes that mental construct. The ego is valuable, but it’s meant to be as a tool, it’s not meant to be the driver.
Shellee: So once that is right-sized and in the passenger seat riding shotgun as our co-pilot rather than the pilot, then life can have its undulations, it can have its natural unfolding. And so I encourage people to sit down and meditate because they really feel like that’s what they want to do in the moment, not because they want to meditate for something. Meditate because it brings you peace, because it brings you joy, because it’s what you’re feeling moved to do in the moment, not because you want to change something. And what happens is things change.
Rick: Right. Anyway.
Shellee: Anyway. Right. And so there’s an expansion, there’s a greater sense of the one that we are that is always here present in this form that there’s a deepening with that sense of what’s really here. The more we can quiet that mental noise. So whenever you notice that the mind is directing, that it’s up there telling us to do something or go somewhere or fix something, just say, “Thank you, but I’m going to do something else”, and drop into the body and just see what’s here. And what it does is eventually it just cuts the hard wire and then there’s something else that leads the way. Rather than coming from the mental realm, it comes from knowingness, it comes from a deep place of stillness.
Rick: Yeah, so one of the things I think I just heard you say is that it’s not that we’re going to become egoless, but just that the ego will take its proper place in the scheme of things and it won’t be trying to run the show in a comparatively inept way compared to that which is much more capable of running the show.
Shellee: Yeah, yes. Its artificial intelligence has taken over and this is just turning it back to where it belongs, letting it be in the co-pilot seat.
Rick: So, as I said, that kind of didn’t answer my question, but maybe we’ve kind of covered it, which is just that there… It’s like, you know that song, “Is this all there is to the circus?”
Shellee: Yes, I used to sing that, wailing it from the heart in early sobriety and when I was drinking.
Rick: So, it’s like there are certain popular sayings and teachings in the spiritual world that, “This is it, you’re already enlightened, you can just accept things as they are”, but I think that kind of bothers some people because they might feel like, “You know, it isn’t good enough, I don’t want to accept things as they are, it could be better than this”. And I think they’re right, but at the same time I think there’s a need to accept things as they are, yet realizing that they can and will get better, and so there seems to be a contradiction in that.
Shellee: Right, yeah, it creates a rub, it feels similar to the experience that I had of, “How do I forgive my father?” If I forgive him, it’s like letting him off the hook. But this is like, if I allow what’s here to be here, what if it’s not good enough? I remember my first interview, my first session with Saniel Bonder in Waking Down, and he was talking and talking and talking about blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, and he said, about awakening, and he said, “And when you get over the disappointment”, he’s like, “Wait, wait, wait a minute, back up, whoa, what do you mean when I get over the disappointment?” And he started talking about the ordinariness of awakening, and that’s… It really is, there’s nothing but here, and when all of those ideas that it has to be something else are put in their place, check, thank you, check, thank you, and we stop going into that pattern, when we stop that, when we break that go-to, there’s something else that can come through. But as long as we’re having an idea that this isn’t it, it’s got to be something else, because I already know who I am. It’s… once we know, there’s no room for all-knowingness. It’s a closed door, but if we don’t know what’s going to happen, if we have no idea what it’s supposed to look like, it’s an open door, and then all-knowingness can come through. Life can come through and show us, and it’s potent, all I can say is that, yeah, it’s ordinary and it’s all I ever wanted.
Rick: Yeah, and so I suspect you’re not disappointed.
Shellee: Not at all. And when I had… I’ve told many people this, and you’ve probably already heard me say it in some of my talks, but boy, when I had my awakening, the mind went still. It was like, literally like in the movie The Matrix, somebody had come and cut the hard wire. And if that was all that ever happened in awakening, I would have been oh so forever grateful, because it’s just, it’s like the still lake. You can see the reflection of clouds moving on past, but they’re not creating a ripple. And the thoughts just pass on by, but they don’t create… they don’t have a scent to them. There’s no bait. I don’t take it anymore, I don’t mind the mind.
Rick: Yeah. There’s a question that came in. Tara from London asks, “What advice would you give someone who feels like they have not yet found the work they were born to do?” You previously mentioned at one point, I believe, doing Reiki, that you knew it was what you were meant to do.
Shellee: Well, the work that you’re meant to do is the work that you’re doing right now.
Rick: What if you’re working in some cubicle and you hate it?
Shellee: Yeah, well, it’s a stepping stone. There’s a deep sense of knowingness, and what gets in the way of moving from that place of knowingness is a belief. If I quit my job, I won’t be able to support my family. If I become the artist that I know that I’m supposed to do, and that feels light, that feels open. What if, what if? There’s a lot of fear that keeps people stuck in a place that doesn’t feel like a fit for them. Just like for myself, the corporate life that I did for ten years, I hated it. It was so counter to my being. It was destructive, it was not at all exciting or stimulating. It just felt fake. It was of a world that I didn’t belong. I was trying to force myself to fit into where I thought a good American woman ought to be, and following the American dream. It got to a point, and we already talked about that part of the story, it just got to a point where I couldn’t do it anymore. Drinking was the only thing that allowed me to do it for as many years as I did. So it’s really checking all of the beliefs, is it true? Is it true that I have to do this, otherwise, whatever the thought is.
Rick: Yeah, well you know there’s a reason they call them starving artists though. It might be that you do have family to support and that you’re not going to make a living if you just drop your job and go and try to be an artist or something. So that’s the kind of thing a lot of people deal with. I mean you yourself told the story about how you were selling your possessions in order to pay the rent and running out of money, running out of money, and thinking that you should go ahead and get a job, but this little voice kept saying, “Not yet, just wait”.
Shellee: Wait was the word. It just came through so softly and so clearly. It was just wait, like a loving mother would say to her impatient child, “Wait”. And I know to listen to that. So every time I went into fear, like I’ve got to go get a job, I’m not making enough money, and I would sit and I’d look at the classifieds and I’d go, “This is the job, wait”. And the fear would bubble up and I’d say, “Yeah, but how much longer?” And so it’s really not having an idea about what my life needs to look like. Okay, so I surrendered to it. And I said, “If it means that I’m meant to live under a bridge”, because that’s where my mind would go, like worst case scenario, if I don’t do something soon, I’m going to be pushing a cart and living under a bridge. And then I went, “Okay, well, what is my belief about that that says it’s bad?” You know, what if being homeless and happy is my next step in this journey? Okay, well, I surrender to whatever it is that life has in store for me. I’m clearly hearing another thing coming through me and it’s not, “Go get a job”.
Rick: Yeah, I think maybe, I don’t know much about birds, but I think some birds have the ability to kind of rearrange the eggs in the nest and yet continue sitting on them. So I think maybe, we don’t want to get pat answers with this kind of thing, but maybe for some people, you don’t need to make radical, abrupt, gut-wrenching changes in your life, erratic, sudden changes, but you can kind of get a momentum going in a certain direction while still paying the bills, but you get this momentum going and eventually the momentum kind of becomes the main thing.
Shellee: Yeah, well, that’s what I did, I continued with my taking contract jobs, you know, doing work on my computer the first couple of years of my Reiki practice. And what happened was, I kind of made a deal with God, I made a deal with life. I said, “Okay, I’m feeling strongly guided that I need to drop that world”. And it was the cash cow, it was what was supporting me. I said, “Yeah, but I feel this impulse that it’s time for me to let go of that and move on with this”. And I said, “Okay, if this is what I’m meant to do, I really need to be shown that I’m going to be taken care of”. And as soon as I made that decision, okay, January 1st, 2000, I was being flooded with phone calls. No, flooded with phone calls for contract work with the computer.
Rick: Oh, for contract work…
Shellee: And it was almost like the universe saying, “How serious are you? Are you really committed to this agreement that you’ve just made?” And I just kept saying, “No, thank you. I’m not taking any more work”, and referring the work out to one of my colleagues. And again, in just a few months my practice tripled and then it began expanding. I moved into other energy modalities and body work and nutritional guidance, and of course all of that shifted when I moved here to Oregon and got to sit in Ashland for almost four years wondering, “What’s next?”
Rick: Yeah, I’m reminded of a couple of things from the Bible, there’s that “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven and all else shall be added unto thee”, there’s that. And I think there’s also some verse which is something like, “The Father knows what the Son needs even before the Son knows it”. I don’t know where that’s from, but I think it’s from the Bible someplace. So it’s sort of like, it’s not like you can do whatever the heck you please and everything’s just going to be taken care of for you. There is that element of “Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven”, which you were doing, I mean you’re on this spiritual quest and that was your main priority. And yet, in retrospect you can probably see that you were taken care of in ways that you might not have even foreseen, and that kind of accrued from your focus on finding your deeper truth.
Shellee: Yes, yes. And it was really just teasing out the entanglement of all of my beliefs by showing me over and over and over in many different ways that you’re taken care of, you’re taken care of. Look at the mess of the life that I came from, wanting to as a child kill either my father or myself. I have no idea how that didn’t happen. And taken care of, taken care of. I’ll tell a funny story at this point, it’s going to be a good place to plug something in. I was sitting after my Reiki 2 class where I was working consciously with the symbols that they teach in Reiki 2. I was holding a picture of nine-year-old Shellee. It had been doing a lot of distant Reiki on nine-year-old Shellee. And so sending her lots and lots and lots of Reiki and just blessing her and holding her and blessing her and holding her. And again, I popped into that kind of that trance, that space where I wasn’t really aware of anything but that. And remember as a nine-year-old having this sense of really just wanting to want to think in many many ways and thoughts of how I was going to kill him and many many ways and thoughts of how I was going to kill myself. And every time I would get to a point of making a plan to do it, I couldn’t go through it. There was something holding me, there was something holding me and protecting me from making a movement in that way. And all of a sudden I popped back into this awareness, dropped the picture and I went, “Oh my God, it was me.
Shellee: It was me that was holding her”.
Rick: That’s so cool.
Shellee: It was my first sense of this, this sense that I’ve experienced many times now of infinite parallel realities. They’re all here at the same time. There is no time. And that nine-year-old Shellee is right here and I’m here too, supporting her from another parallel reality. So it was wild and a little bit spooky. I went, “Oh, that rabbit hole is a little bit too deep to go down by myself”.
Rick: You want to get really rich? Make a movie of your life. It would be this sort of personal sci-fi kind of thing, spiritual element and all the difficult stuff and the 50-something-year-old Shellee attending to the nine-year-old Shellee. And…
Shellee: Right, yeah, it would be a fun one. Fun and messy and really inspiring too.
Rick: It could be an interesting movie. You get Gwyneth Paltrow to play the adult Shellee.
Shellee: There we go.
Rick: I’m reminded of that movie, Sliding Doors. Remember? Did you see Sliding Doors?
Shellee: Yes, I did. Yeah, it was great.
Rick: It was cool. It was like two alternate realities that went off in different directions according to whether she got on the subway or not.
Shellee: Right, right, yeah. Well, I’ve had that experience actually with the out-of-body experiences that I’ve had somewhat. So is this a good place to elaborate a little bit?
Rick: Sure, anytime. Yeah, yeah, anytime.
Shellee: How much time we have left here.
Rick: Don’t worry about it.
Shellee: So in 1983 when I had this car accident, I was a passenger in the back seat of a car.
Rick: I haven’t even talked about your car accident. It’s like a whole other chapter.
Shellee: It is, yeah. So it was my first night out after my daughter was born. She was three months old and was at home with the nanny. So I was out drinking with my friends and the person that was driving the car was showing off to his friend the power of his brand new Cougar and I was in the back seat. None of us had seat belts on, we had just come from a club. And he went to pass someone, he was doing over 100 miles an hour, and the car, two cars in the right-hand lane, one pulled out to pass the car in front of him not realizing he had a rocket coming up behind him. And so Nick locked up his brakes and it put us into… we’re doing 360s and it threw us into the median and we hit the tree rear end first which catapulted me through the rear window. And I went flying through the trees, my clothes were all shredded off and one of my shoes was ripped, the leather strap was the only thing that was left around my ankle and clump, there was this lump of body on the ground.
Rick: Like 50 feet from the car, right?
Shellee: 50 feet from the car, yeah. And so I’m above my body and looking and I could hear people yelling for me and then the police arrived and then my sister arrived. She’d come from the club and she saw a flash of the Cougar emblem, the Cougar on the hood of the car in the woods and she went, “That’s my sister”, and screamed at this guy to stop. And so she arrived and they found me but the whole time everybody was yelling, I was saying, “I’m over here, I’m fine, really I’m fine, okay”. But my mouth, nothing was happening. I was looking at her going, “She doesn’t look very good”, all bloody and half naked and bleeding in a lot of places. So I had this sense really long after that that what happened was there was a reality that went on from that position, from that place and then I woke up because there was a gap and it wasn’t clear at that time. It was clear after when I began meditating. Even when I began meditating while I was still drinking, there was an awareness that happened around this incident that there was a reality that continued, that that body didn’t get up and get recovered. That reality went on with my three-month-old daughter living without a mother in that dimension, in that parallel reality. And then I woke up because we don’t die. It’s like I wasn’t done. I woke up, I’m in the hospital and I’ve got stitches and all this stuff around me and so slipped into another parallel reality to continue my quest, to continue my search for what it is that’s here for the One.
Rick: Interesting. So the Sliding Doors mentioned kind of triggered this memory of this conversation. So what you’re saying is that there was the potential for dying at that point, but somehow some other destiny clicked in and so you took this course instead of this course.
Shellee: Right, right.
Rick: Because you had some destiny to fulfill.
Shellee: Right. And so I don’t have this sense of sliding doors, going back and tending to the trauma of that lifetime with my daughter growing up without a mother, but I do use pictures of my children when they were younger to help heal the wounds of the trauma of growing up with an alcoholic mother. And I have this sense too that it’s creating a ripple effect of all of the parallel realities that we’ve come and we’re doing this dance in.
Rick: Yeah, why not? I mean, time is really very relative. Did you know that. if you look at the Hubble deep space field for instance and you see the light from galaxies that are 13 billion light years away, it took 13 billion years for those photons to reach us, but if you were riding on one of those photons, if you were one of those photons, space collapses to zero and you are here instantly. So time and space are very malleable, and why not look at a picture of your child from
Shellee: Right, right, yeah. So have you read my recent parallel realities awakening tips?
Rick: I read both of those two books, the enlightenment awakening tips and one about suffering and kind of a biographical thing. Those are the two things I think I read.
Shellee: Yeah, I was actually mentioning the awakening tips. It’s a monthly newsletter that I send out.
Rick: No, I haven’t read that.
Shellee: Okay, yeah, so I’ll share another fun story. So I titled this one “Parallel Realities” because it was my first experience of something really solid happening that was miraculous. So I just got back a couple of weeks ago from a trip on the East Coast, working, seeing my kids and my grandkids and my family from Florida to New Hampshire. And the day before I got on the plane I came down with a whopper of a cold and I thought, “Oh, well let’s see how this is on the airplane”. You know, my ears all plugged up. So I got on the plane and it was challenging but I was just with it. I don’t have a story about things anymore. I was just with it with every tissue, with every blow. And I changed flights in New York and was pulling all these tissues out of my pockets and out of my wallet where I had tucked many things and threw all the tissues away. When I arrived in Florida I went, “Oh no!” I only brought two pair of earrings for the trip – my favorite earrings. I had one pair on my ears and the other pair were wrapped up in a tissue and tucked in a particular pocket in my wallet. But there was a corner of it sticking out and so I threw everything away, I threw my earrings away. So there I was in Florida and sharing the story with my mother and we went out. We had our bag sitting next to my water jug and it leaked and everything got wet and so everything was emptied from our wallets and our bags. There were no earrings, I threw them away. It was very clear. There’s no pocket or flap in my zipper pocket where the earrings were that they could have hidden. And so what happened was I was working with a client and reminding him of the infinite parallel realities and of our infinite nature. We’re having this very deep talk and after I got off Skype session with him I went, “Oh, look where my energy is going”. I was so focused on, “Oh, I’ve thrown a pair of earrings that meant a lot to me. They were a gift from a dear woman and that’s where my energy was, that they’re gone”. And I went, “Oh yeah, we can play in consciousness. All realities exist here and now, so there is a reality where my earrings are still here with me. I’m just not tuned into it yet”. So what I did was I put awareness on the enthusiasm, the excitement that I felt about having my earrings back in my possession, having them arrive in my wallet and not needing to know how they got there. And so many times on my trip I’d been in and out of that zipper pocket. There were only two things in there, my license, my credit card and – well, three things – and a safety pin. My earrings were gone. And so I stopped into a restaurant and reached in there for my credit card and there they were, my earrings just lying there. And I went, “Nice, that was so fun”. So it was a great experience. So what happened was my flight home, so I hold that as a pearl, as a great pearl in my awareness for every time to pull back and realize where my energy is going when something kind of challenging happens in the moment. So my flight home, it’s long, I’ve been gone for a month, I wanted to get home and I arrived at the airport in Minneapolis for one of my connection flights and my flight to LA was delayed an hour and a half and I went, “Oh, there I am. I’m like, I’m going to miss my connection to Medford. I’m not going to get home tonight”. And then I went, “Oh yeah, the earrings”. And I pulled myself back to center and I looked at her and I said, “Oh, please look again. There must be another choice”. And she’s like, “I’m sorry, there’s nothing we can do for you”. I said, “Oh, please look again. There must be another choice”. And I just kept seeing the excitement of me arriving in Medford and my friend arriving with my juice drink for me. So what happened was her eyebrows went up and she went, “Wait a minute”. She got on the phone and it took about 10 minutes and she got off the phone. She said, “This woman I was just speaking to, she said we are not allowed to do this. This woman is traveling on miles and another airline, but I feel like I’m supposed to do this for you”. And she said, “We’ve got a flight home for you and you’re going to go through Salt Lake City and we’re going to get you to Medford and you’re going to get home 10 minutes earlier”. And it was so funny. I just looked at her name tag and her name was Grace.
Rick: Oh, nice!
Shellee: I said, “You really are Grace. Thank you”. So yeah, so we can play, we can really play in consciousness and we get to a point where you notice where your energy is going. And you can take one conscious breath and drop back into center and see what it is that – again, that cause and effect. Here’s the cause and the next moment is going to be the effect. What am I creating right now?
Rick: That’s a great story and I think the thing to point out in it is that the secret and that kind of thing. You don’t just put post-it notes on your refrigerator wishing for this, that, and the other thing. There has to be the component of deserving and desiring, creating the deeper reality in your life that allows these synchronistic events to take place more readily. There’s a quote from the Smriti, which is a Vedic scripture, which says, “The action of great men gains success through sattva, purity of consciousness, and not from the means of action”. So it’s sort of like, again, it’s like, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven and all else should be added unto thee”. I think it’s important to throw that in there because people start listening to these things like the secret and they feel like all you really need to do is have the desire, but that’s like trying to shoot an arrow without pulling it back on the bow first.
Shellee: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And for me, it’s about love, it’s that energetic of love and enthusiasm. I tell people, “Bring on the fuzzy bunny face if that’s what it takes to get that warm spot in your heart”, and have the intention. But part of the most important part of it is to let go, to let go. You can’t hold on to it and keep saying, “I want, I want, I want”. It’s just love it, go into gratitude for it, know that life cannot not hear that.
Rick: Yeah, it’s like life might say, if we anthropomorphize life or if we want to think of God, it’s like, “All right, already, I heard you, shut up and let me do it”.
Shellee: Right, right, get out of the way. Yeah.
Rick: That’s great. Any other stories you’d like to tell us?
Shellee: Oh, well, I’ll tell another funny one about Angel Al. I haven’t talked much about him, but again, in early sobriety, he saved my life early on because in really my first year of sobriety, I still wasn’t sure that I wasn’t going to end my life. So this angel came in and I was struggling with money and trying to get my footing back and I’ve got 27 years of feelings coming up. My life was a mess. All these things that I had numbed and repressed with drugs and alcohol were now coming up to be felt big time. And so my life was crisis. It was grabbing the fire extinguisher and just putting out one fire after another. And I remember one day just standing in the grocery store struggling with all the things that I needed to buy and the little bit of money that I had in my hands to buy it with, really angry at life and shouting out internally to Angel Al, just like, “You know, I’m not asking for a lot. Just a hundred grand would be nice”. And the moment I had that thought, the woman in front of me bumped into the candy rack and a hundred grand bar fell off and I caught it.
Rick: Oh, that’s so funny.
Shellee: I looked at it and I went, “Oh, that’s funny, Al”. He really does have a great sense of humor and there were many, many things that made me laugh right out loud through difficult times too. And again, I was always taken care of. None of us ever went hungry. We might have had peanut butter and jelly as a staple for a while.
Rick: Or a hundred grand bars.
Shellee: Or a hundred thousand dollar bars. Yeah, yeah.
Rick: That’s great.
Shellee: He gave me a winning number once in a dream too.
Rick: Did you use it and it won?
Shellee: I did. Here’s how limiting the mind can be. So again, that frustration of life is against me and I’m a victim and I was really entrenched in that for a long time. It’s like a hundred dollars, that’s not a lot. All I need is a hundred dollars really to make the rent this month. And I had a dream. My daughter came through and the number was 911. It was like an emergency and then this number after it. I had no idea what that number was. It was like weird. Then the next morning I got up and Al, through one of his signals, said, “Remember the dream?” And I went, “Oh yeah”, and I wrote the number down. And when I went to the store to pick up a couple items for the house, they have this little lottery booth and I went through and I played the number and I won exactly a hundred dollars.
Rick: Oh, that is pretty cool.
Shellee: So it was just enough to make the rent. I could have asked for more I guess, but in the dream that was what I was given because that was what I asked for.
Rick: Yeah, and it is what you really needed.
Shellee: It was what I really needed.
Rick: Yeah, for a million dollars it probably would have been a little exorbitant for that.
Shellee: I wasn’t ready for that. You know, really, I wouldn’t have been able to, I wouldn’t have known what to do with it.
Rick: You would have gone home and bought drugs with it.
Shellee: Right, I wasn’t grown up enough to handle that much.
Rick: Yeah, interesting. Well, there is kind of an overarching principle involved in all these stories, which is that we live in a conscious universe, it is not mechanistic, it is sentient in some deep way. And I mean, I think you can’t really compartmentalize or separate whatever we are from whatever it is in the larger sense, although on the surface level you can. But more deeply, it is all one ocean of consciousness, interacting with itself and all sorts of miracles are possible, aren’t they, when we kind of like learn to function on that kind of more unified level of being, of reality. Which is heartening, I think, even if people aren’t experiencing that, I think most people intuitively know that that is the way it is. And when people hear words like this, they think, “Yeah, I know that”, and it is just kind of a matter of living it more and more fully to really gain what we might call the practical significance of it, or the practical advantage of it.
Shellee: Right, yeah. There has to be a willingness of letting go, there has got to be a willingness of letting go of the story that one is so, so identified with. You know, if they are really attached to something and believing it, there has got to be a willingness of letting go of that and seeing it as something before them that they have no idea what its purpose is. And again, it is just opening the pressure valve and letting everything out of it, creating more space for something new to come through. I can remember Eckhart Tolle saying once that if you get stuck in mud, you can put all of your focus on your feet that are stuck in mud and call it bad and, “What am I going to do?” But mud isn’t bad, it is just mud. And if you allow mud to be mud, you might be able to lift your head up and look around and find a branch or somebody standing close by and ask for some help, that there are other options but as soon as we are identified with mud and stuck, that is where we are.
Rick: Yeah, well there is that bumper sticker, “Let go and let God”.
Rick: It is true.
Shellee: Yes, it is what we are.
Rick: Yeah, that is a nice note to end on, that is what we are. There are all these Vedic sayings – “tat tvam asi”, that thou art.
Shellee: Yes. I have a song that just came through me recently that I sing at one of my events and the title of it is “We are God” and it goes through all of these things, “You are, they are, we are God, I am, you are, they are God”, and it ends with, “He is, she is, we is God”. And the first time I sang it I saw one person perk his ears up and he went, “Wait a minute, that is bad English”, and I went, “Okay, sing it again and see if it is true”. And he went, “Oh yeah, we is God”. So it is singular.
Rick: Nice. Do you accompany yourself on a guitar or something or are you singing a cappella?
Shellee: Ukulele. I do sing a cappella too, but yeah, I am playing a ukulele.
Rick: Do you feel like singing it or do you want to just put it on YouTube and people can watch it later?
Shellee: I will put it on YouTube and people can watch it later.
Rick: Okay, great. Alrighty, well, any closing thoughts?
Shellee: I think that sounds like a good place to end really, that we are it, there is nothing else but this and when we can open to that which we are, there is something new that comes through and it is mind-blowing which is what is needed. Mind needs to be blown and once that is shattered, we can see really the infinite, infinite source of life that we are. It is joyous and challenging and magical and muddy and really wonderful.
Rick: Beautiful. Well, thanks Shellee.
Shellee: Yeah, thank you Rick. I really appreciate being on the call and really appreciate the work that you are doing.
Rick: Yeah, I love doing it. So let me make my usual little closing remarks. I have been speaking with Shellee Rae and this is part of an ongoing series, you probably know that by now. Go to www.BatGap.com, look at the past interviews menu and you will see them all organized in different ways. There is a place to sign up for an audio podcast which we are having difficulty with lately but it is still working for some people and we are going to get it totally fixed for everyone soon. There is a place to sign up to be notified by email each time a new interview is posted. There is the donate button which I mentioned earlier and a bunch of other things. If you just play around with the menus a bit, you will see some little interesting tidbits. And also as you may be aware, these interviews are live streamed these days, so if you want to watch live and send in a question while I am doing it, you can do that. So thanks for listening or watching. Next week I will be speaking with someone who I am very excited about, a gentleman named Reverend Michael Dowd who has made a YouTube series called “God in Big History”, which you might want to even watch before the interview, and who along with his wife Connie Barlow has been traveling the United States pretty much full time for 10 years giving talks about sort of reality-based religion, in other words, that religion dooms itself to irrelevance and we as a society doom ourselves to a rather hellish future if we deny certain realities, and there are all sorts of implications for climate change and all kinds of stuff, but we will talk about that all next week. And he expresses it much more articulately than I do. So again, thanks for listening or watching, and we’ll see you next week.