Monday, August 22, 2011

Guest Post: The Road I Traveled with Abraham Hicks

The following post was contributed by Ahnalira KoanKoan worked for Abraham Hicks Publications for 6 years as a web developer. She played a major role in the creation and upkeep of the current Abraham Hicks website and knew the Hickses professionally and personally. She is also the author of the book The Care and Feeding of Dragons: Confession of a Diabetic: Beyond Law of Attraction to Align Within.

Thank you, Ahnalira Koan, for being willing to share your experiences and perspective with us.

The Road I Traveled with Abraham-Hicks
by Ahnalira Koan

I came to the Abraham teachings already having experience with the concepts. Throughout my childhood, I had dreams that came true and other inexplicable experiences that proved to me there was more to Life than what I could see, feel, taste, touch, and hear. From my early twenties on, I read everything I could find on different spiritual paths – including The Urantia Book (from cover to cover:P), The Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes, and A Course in Miracles. As a result, I was familiar and comfortable with the idea of wisdom coming from a 'channeled' source. In 1983, I was in a high-speed, head-on automobile collision that left my physical body with no vital signs for a minute or so, and – during that moment – I had a direct experience with Nonphysical awareness (see When I Died - A Story of Awakening for more on this) that opened me to a personal connection with Guidance from a nonphysical Source. In my professional life as a Jungian psychotherapist and meditation teacher (see Ahnalira-Connected Counsel for more about my background), I tapped into this connection often.

This is who I was as I came to the Abraham Teachings in the fall of 1997. I was drawn to the simplicity of an organization where the friendly couple who did the seminar also did their own registration. I enjoyed the way their lives were used as examples of the teaching, bringing abstract concepts into concrete application. I liked the informal atmosphere and the proclaimed statement that Jerry and Esther were all about having fun, and any question brought to the table would be answered. I appreciated the inclusive quality of that statement. And, whether or not Esther was translating Nonphysical Entities or doing a masterful performance didn’t matter to me; the answers “Abraham” gave resonated for me and sparked insight and clarity that I used successfully in my own process of evolution.

We developed a friendship with Jerry and Esther over the years, and – in 2005, when they were in an emergent situation with their website – we offered to step in and help. We became their web developers. Esther told us at the outset that they weren’t easy people to work for, and she proved her statement accurate many times.

Within the first 9 months, this we knew about the organization:
  • Esther is emotionally volatile and quick to blame. As a result, the office culture was set up to point the finger of blame towards someone else, and everyone scurried for cover when Esther got upset, hoping no ill will fell towards them. Jerry is mistrustful and controlling; he’s not one to get openly upset, but he carries a grudge for months at a time.
  • The prime directive is keep Jerry and Esther happy. Hide facts, if necessary. Give the 'right' answer, and do whatever is asked without question. Early on, Esther 'laughingly' dubbed me a "mayhemer" because of my propensity to be forthright and authentic in the expression of my opinions.
  • Because Jerry and Esther are prone to changing their minds capriciously, the office politics revolve around who can get their ear. Whoever is talking to them most often is best positioned for power and getting what they want. Jerry and Esther promote this competition by discussing their dissatisfactions with staff to the staff who is currently their favorite and encourage staff bring them information about other staff. Indeed, very rarely do Jerry and Esther speak directly with an associate about a problem or dissatisfaction. I realized early on that – since they were criticizing other staff with me (and not saying anything to the person directly) – that it was probable they complained about me to other staff. I learned to read between the lines of the jokes and side comments they made and take it as feedback.
  • While a pretense of friendliness is maintained (and expected) amongst works associates, it is pretense; the norm is for people to speak negatively about each other; and competition rather than support is the status quo.
We knew these things, and we chose to stay. We felt a commitment to do the best we could do for them; they had our unconditional loyalty. So we built them the website they have now, giving them functionality they’d never had before, like the ability to provide digital downloads and subscriptions as well as register online for workshops. They expected us to be available 7 days a week/ 24 hours per day, and we were. They expected us to drop whatever project we were working on when they wanted something from us, and we did – 365 days a year. Still, though, Jerry and Esther were intermittently unhappy with us; sometimes because of my forthright style of communication; sometimes because someone who had their ear in the office political dynamic saw advantage in making us look bad, and sometimes because they just thought we charged too much. And I will say this: I do tell people what I think whether it makes them happy or not and we aren’t very good at political maneuvering and we do charge a healthy rate for our expertise. Still, our commitment held, and we chose to stay. We chose to use the experience as a workshop – an opportunity to refine our ability to maintain a professional integrity with the work independent from the experiences that were less than ideal for us. We chose to develop our skill at setting our vibrational tone internally rather than in reaction to events and circumstances outside our control.

As our understanding of the internal organization dynamics deepened, it also became apparent to us that – on occasion – Abraham’s responses to questions reflected Jerry and Esther’s opinion more than the pure concepts of the teaching. This, however, wasn’t an issue for us as we always believed our internal guidance system trumped anything Abraham spoke. As a result, we didn’t take anything at face value, instead feeling for the resonance within that sparked an insight to further our personal process of evolution. As an insert, may I add: I listen to a lot of recordings (still do), and it would be impossible for me, I think, to not find I do in all communications over time. I note it and discern accordingly.

In February, 2011, we made our first visit to Abadiania to experience John of God. I had a direct experience with Nonphysical Entities that shifted my awareness dramatically and influenced my thinking about law of attraction and how it works (see John of God Experience to read more). I realized that simply turning away from an uncomfortable pattern and towards a happier thought did not shift the dissonance within; those energies remained in the background as a subtext in my Being and continued to influence my Life from behind the scenes. In other words, they continued as part of the mix in my vibration, effecting my experience – albeit less consciously. I started using Ho oponopono (see Ho oponopono Made Simple) whenever I discovered a pocket of unease within myself. I found the process to give me a sense of Grace, and the abiding peace within as a result led me into a richer, more vibrant happiness. In the process, my set points shifted as did my response to the Abraham-Hicks experience.

Everything came to a head around the Panama cruise.

A week before the Abraham-Hicks Panama Cruise, the hard drive on the main AHP server crashed. We, of course, stopped what we were doing to figure out what happened and fix it (part of our responsibility). What we discovered was that the office team had uploaded – without telling us – so many large digital masters files in so fast a time that it filled and crashed the hard drive. When we suggested that we needed to be kept appraised of what was being put onto the server hard drive in order to effectively monitor the server, Esther (by way of the information she got from the office staff person who had her ear) told us we were to blame, irrespective of whether we were kept informed. It was not a ‘happy’ communication for us, but we did our best to respond professionally by offering a solution that would allow them to upload to a media service without impairing the functionality of the server. We dropped the other projects we were working on and spent the 48 hours before the cruise working 12 – 13 hours per day on the fix…feeling all the while that – if we’d been included in the decision making process – we could have prevented the emergency and provided the solution in a more gracious timeline. Primarily, I think, the reason we weren’t included is because Jerry and Esther didn’t want to pay our rate if they could avoid it.

So, we got on the cruise – doing ho’oponopono and looking for ways to feel the love. However, once on the ship I found myself responding to the experience differently than ever before. I looked around me and saw a cult of 'group thinkers' ('group think' is a psychological term for groups of people who take on a group opinion without personally evaluating for themselves the ideas and concepts) parroting the 'vortex' phraseology and doing their best to look happy (even though as often as not there were undertones that felt very different than happiness to me). I saw people stampeding each other to get into the workshop sessions without consideration for the slower moving people amongst them; I saw one elderly person go down on the stairs with people running over him. It was disturbing to me. Our personal experiences with Jerry and Esther were awkward as well; they were obviously uncomfortable and evasive, and I wondered what was up for them that they opted for behavior verging on rude rather than be authentic with us about what was going on for them. Afterward, we likened the cruise to a workshop on how to feel good while walking over hot coals.

Clearly, the scales had tipped. Our personal evolution brought us to a fork in the road, and we discovered our priorities had shifted along with our set points. It no longer seemed relevant to stand loyally by Jerry and Esther irrespective of their behavior; rather it felt like it was time to stand loyally by our values. It no longer made sense to use the contrast of working in the AHP organization as our workshop; rather it made sense to let ourselves shine in venues where we could use our skills effectively. As much as we appreciated the value of where we had come over the past 14 years, it was clearly time for us to make some changes. We resigned in early April.

We came out from behind the curtain of Jerry and Esther’s manifestation to create our own. I started counseling again and writing (see Ahnalira-Connected Counsel), and we started an App Development company, Laughing Place Apps, where one of the first sets of Apps we made were a series of Meditation recordings from my days as a Meditation teacher: Meditations of Awakening.

I have no regrets, and – if Jerry and Esther came to us needing our help because they didn’t have a staff person with the technical skill to fix something we built for them – we would help them because that’s how we roll, and it’s the type of standard we value. I never expected them to be perfect; if anything, I wish that I had stood for my principles around communication and professional integrity sooner. I don’t blame them for being who they are. I am always responsible for my choices and how I engage. I learned much and evolved my understandings and, as a result, of these experiences, I am significantly more adept in my practices professionally and personally. Ultimately, both my partner and I would rather be enjoying our creative productivity more than anything, and that is why we left an environment fraught with hot coals.

As I continue on the adventure of my life’s journey, I know I will continue to integrate this experience. Jerry and Esther and Abraham may not have always taught me what they thought were the teachings, but I was (and am always) learning how to be more fully All I Am through my association with them. I’ll take that.