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Messages on Growth

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How to heal ourselves and the planet we live on


Walking Side-by-Side

You can tell a lot about a person by how they walk.

One of the ongoing choices for everyone is whether you will walk in concert with others or by yourself. I offer this to you as another main way to view | experience and observe yourself. The principle, “How am I walking” offers many possible insights. We begin with the most fundamental message You Are Not Alone and then move to the principle of interconnectedness . Reflect on these two for a moment, and now add the principle of everything is energy. Remember it is a myth that you are alone. This is discussed in the first of the Great Myths – Myth of Aloneness.

You are energy, and everything is interconnected. I do not deny the myths for I understand (better than anyone) how alive they are among you. I know how separate you feel from each other even when there are no ill feelings. Even though I start with the foundation message You Are Not Alone, I realize this is the most difficult to absorb. While there is so much more to this message, it means so many changes. It is hard to give up your pain for something that is familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. The implications are immediately seen or sensed and this can be threatening or confusing.

If everything is energy and You Are Not Alone, then everything is interconnected to everyone. This is a description of the flow, which exists energetically. From this comes one of my most important questions to you, “How am I walking?”


  1. Pick any current relationship that you have and picture in your mind or on paper how you are walking with this person. The focus of this picture is on you, not the other. The focus is on how you are choosing to walk. Are you behind this person? In front of this person? Beside this person? Are you below this person? How close or far away are you to this person?

  2. If you were to do nothing else other than this practice, much is to be learned. For within this practice are imbedded many key energetic connections.

  3. You learn to see yourself – build awareness

  4. You explore the first message

  5. You activate the principles of ‘everything is energy’ and ‘interconnectedness’

  6. You are in-learning

  7. ou will see new possibilities

  8. You accept yourself as creator

  9. This practice is very important to do if you are with children. Do not teach them to be behind you or beneath you. For even when this is taught without wounding, they must struggle (at first). The nature of a child is to be in-learning and to be connected. Remember the children do|understand this naturally. You teach them to go against their nature if all you show them are the soles of your feet (below) or to see your back (behind).

Consider these Stories:

  1. Steven considered himself good with people; people responded well to him. He was considered a good leader and importantly to him, a leader of introducing new ideas. Steven was good at involving others in his ideas and projects. He listened well in context of his own ideas. Steven did not have much experience building or working on others’ ideas.  Steven always (almost always) walked in front of people, not too far in front.

  2. Alice is frustrated with her life. She feels unrecognized by people who are important to her. She has supported many good works that others are recognized for. Once someone took her ideas and said they were his. This upset Alice very much, but she said nothing. Alice was known for her generosity and caring, she loved to help people. Her mother taught her to walk behind; better to be invisible than receive too much attention.

  3. Jacky leads two different lives. In his world of imagination, he is an airline pilot. He has always wanted to fly. In his other life, Jacky knows he will never walk onto an airplane. When he was ten, Jacky was shot twice, caught between two drug dealers and the police when the bullets went through the apartment wall. Seventeen now, he still limps and earns his living by keeping watch for drug dealers. Both his parents are dead more or less; his father in jail, his mother a drug addict. Jacky never did drugs. He knew he would never leave his neighborhood. They want him to distribute drugs and sooner or later he will have to say yes. A year ago he had a real job in a restaurant, but when the tips were missing one night, the manager blamed him because he was the only Hispanic working there. In his mind he pretends  to be an airline pilot. In his mind, he lived three levels below everyone else.

  4. Virginia has grown up poor but she isn’t poor now. She was a nurse’s aid, then met a doctor and married him. Of course, it helped that he believed she was pregnant at the time. Virginia or called Gina by her friends is never going to let anyone forget that she had made good. Unfortunately, the only way she seemed to be able to feel good about herself was to put other people down. Her friends put up with this because of her status and the great parties she hosts. They do not like to be left out. The servants put up with the criticism because she pays them so well (Virginia found that if she paid less, the servants left). Her worst fear is that her social status will slip. Somewhere in the back of her mind, Virginia is still worried about being poor and being no one again. She walks on top of everyone else.

  5. Chrissie knows how to listen to people. She is always happy and smiling. No matter how tired she was after coming home from work, she would make dinner and listen to her children; hear about their day, not offer suggestions. For the most part she is a quiet person with a strong sense that people should be treated fairly, herself included. More than once she confronted her boss at work when he  was rude or unfair. Chrissie has a few good friends she could confide in. There were many who called Chrissie a good friend for the help she had offered. It was easy to walk along side of Chrissie.

  6. Vincent if you picked a word to describe, it would be a solver of problems. This is his passion. Even as a child he loved to fix broken appliances, tools, etc. He was fascinated by how things worked. As he became older, he became a good teacher, not doing things for people, but giving them his own learning so that they could apply it. His passion for problem solving was at its best when people were involved within learning or benefiting from his work. He could get carried away, solving a problem when someone just wanted to talk or jumping to conclusion when he was excited.

Of course, people are many things and can change both by circumstance and nature (general way of being). To walk along side another is to have a partner to walk into the light with. In your world today, it is difficult to walk into the light alone (this means “in-learning by yourself”). The messages are meant to be explored and activated in partnership by people walking side by side. The possibility of walking side by side is activated when you are “in learning”. Walking side by side is more (energetically) than just being in-learning. The activation of the energy of the messages directly invites the exploration of others. In this way, not surprisingly, all is connected (smile). 

Some of my information to you is naturally circular and so it may seem repetitious, this is just the nature of talking about these matters in the way that we are (if we were to only talk in three dimensional or four dimensional pictures, there would be less repetition).


  1. People are many things. Follow the practice I offer.

  2. Starting with those around you, how are you walking with them? Is there a pattern(s) to how and when you walk with? Do not leave out the children you are around when you do this practice. Much is taught to children about how to walk (which is actually against their natural way of being.) This of course is taught by how you walk with them. The practice we are discussing is deceiving. It would be easy to say, “Oh, I walk side by side most of the time.” This would mean that you are a good listener, that you are hold judgment and evaluation very lightly, that you see the best in others because you see their eyes, you recognize their gifts and encourage them to express their gifts and that you genuinely smile often.

Walking Partners

Seek partners with whom you can walk side by side; be in learning with them, explore the messages with them. Be glad if you already do this, be affirmed and supported by these words: It is possible you already do this for it is a natural way or flow of energy. The messages are not new, they capture the natural flows that exist whether they are described with words or not. So, it is very possible you are aligned with this, with all of this. For others the path is not so clear and they must explore what is offered here because it has not been a way that hey have chosen. Even though it is natural, much has become distorted and there are many wounds. The goods news is that the energy of the messages is just below the surface and can be easily touched.

It is easy to touch this energy in partnership with someone and even easier to see it expressed in groups of practice (for all the reasons I have described to you earlier). This is why I encourage you to form groups of practice committed to being in-learning, committed to walking side by side with each other as you explore|practice ways of being that are aligned with the messages.

Leadership and Walking 

What is wrong with walking in front of someone? You might also ask believe if no harm is occurring, then of course, there is nothing wrong. Leaders often think this way. I would ask you this, how is it to have someone five steps in front of you blocking your view? How is it to carry on a conversation without seeing the face|eyes of a person? What is it like to shout in order to be heard because the wind is in this person’s ears as they walk in front and his thoughts are elsewhere? How is it to rely on a person to tell you what is happening because only he can see forward? Can you trust that they pay attention to the same signs that you would if you could see forward?

There is much ease is walking in front; you are not hindered or slowed down, you are free to move at your own pace. Often, you may have to look over your shoulder to see if the other follows or wait for them to catch up. At times, there might be the worry that they will turn off the path, unknown to you.

Leading is not a path of being in front. This is an old story told over and over again. There can still be authority and direction in walking side by side. This path of leadership is known by some, understood by more and not often used.

Remember, that while the picture of physically walking is useful to understand; it is still a picture and not the actual energy which you experience. The energy of these messages is just below the surface and can be easily touched. It is easy to touch this energy in partnership with someone and even easier to see it expressed in groups of practice. (For all the reasons I have discussed with you earlier.) This is why I encourage  you to form groups of practice, committed to being in-learning, committed to walking side by side with each other, as your explore |practice ways of being aligned with the messages.

Walking Side-by-Side

Much of what I have offered focuses on the “you” that is your energetic body. There is much opportunity for you in partnership with others! The opportunity is for growth, learning, and healing. Over the course of the first six messages, I have established the importance of children, teachers and of being “in-learning.” Many of the things I have said about the relationship of children, teachers, and parents applies to the nature partnerships.

So, let me start with a clear voice.

Be in-learning; do the practices and exercises together; share your experiences; invite your partners to give you feedback; keep a record of your journey; seek to Do No Harm; laugh together. If you wish to understand how to begin - choose this (that which I am describing to you).

Walking side by side is not always easy, even if it is natural. It requires attention to self and attention to others. You cannot expect to keep balance if you are asleep.

Questions, questions everywhere. If there is one shift that occurs in those walking side by side (who are in-learning with one another) and those partners who are not in-learning – it is the shape, nature and intention of their questions to each other. This is the energy of their questions to one another. No place in your language are energy patterns more apparent than demonstrated in  how you use questions. When meaning shifts by tone of voice alone or by accent and inflection, energy is most apparent.

See if you can create five different meanings from a question. Pick any simple question, five to eight words, and create five different meanings from the same words.

  1. What are you doing?Oh, that looks fun

  2. What are you doing?Stop immediately

  3. What are you doing?That is stupid

  4. What are you doing?Why are you doing it that way?

  5. What are you doing?I’m curious about what you are doing?

So, which of these questions is in-learning, which of these questions has the quality of in-knowing?

  1. When people walk side by side their questions are “in-learning” They are free from judgment, as best as they are able. They move with the energy of curiosity and generosity. When judgments and evaluations arise, they are named and acknowledged, not ignored.

When people are walking side by side they will say to one another”

  1. I’m having a hard time being curious right now because I have a judgment that what you’re doing is not healthy for yourself. Can you tell me what is happening?

  2. I can’t walk alongside you right now until I let go of my judgments.

  3. I have to be honest. What you are saying doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I’d like to stay open, tell me more about what you are doing.

You do not need to be “perfect” to walk side by side, just be “in-learning” and be awake to your judgments and evaluations, no matter how right they seem to you. Walking side by side is very much similar to learning how to clear your mind of thoughts. First, you can do it for small periods, then longer; there are small breakthroughs, promises of what is to come.

In a group practicing the clearing of thought, you have the energy of the shared intention to support you. It is the same with the messages. Seek to form groups of practice!

Invite Your Partners to Give You Feedback

Of this I would say about the groups of practice and walking side by side –  allow someone to seek feedback, do not offer it. Everyone has enough feedback from those around them, feedback given without invitation, to last then for their lifetime! This should be one of the agreements of the groups of practice when supporting others to be in-learning, allow each person to seek and invite feedback. Remember the discussion of Do No Harm, pay attention  when you need to help, when the desire to help wells up in you, and you seek release. This way of being is not consistent with the agreement we are discussing. Be in-learning yourself in order to recognize your need to help and when help is invited by another. Even when help is invited, consider the wisdom of the teachers, reflect whether an answer or solution is called for now. I do not wish to constrain you and have you worry about anything you might say or do! If you have reflected on what “in-learning” means for yourself and recognize the feel of this energy and move with it, you will be on your journey.

Within a group of practice there will be ample exchange of feedback. When people are in- learning and invite feedback, the quality of energy dramatically shifts. Those seeking feedback will increase. Those giving feedback will be more thoughtful in the words they share in response.

When people seek answers, encourage them to offer their wisdom and hunches first. There is always wisdom inside someone about their dilemmas. Bring this out first, encourage it, nurture it.

Consider this dialogue:

  1. Person 1: I don’t know if I should take this job or not. What do you think I should do?

  2. Person 2: Well, I’m sure you’ve been thinking about this; tell me some of your thoughts and feelings.

  3. P1 Well, the money is so good, it’s a promotion but it means more responsibility. In the short run I guess the first year I would be away from home more. This will create stress for everyone. But it’s such a good opportunity. What do you think I should do?

  4. P2 Well, it sounds as if you’re very attracted to the job but are worried about the stress on your family.

  5. P1 Yes, I am very attracted. It is something I would like to do. I’ve wanted a promotion for a long time. I am just not sure that  this is the right time for me to change jobs.

  6. P2 Can you tell me more about why you are saying it might not be the right time to change jobs?

  7. P1 Well, my mother isn’t well and I’ve had to help my father with a lot of decisions. The kids are in school now but it will still be pressure on my wife when I’m traveling. It is so hard to decide what to do.

  8. P2 Well, let me ask you this. If you had to give advice to someone with this dilemma what would you say?

  9. P2 Do you have any intuitions or hunches about the best thing to do?

  10. P2 Try imagining it is two months from now. What do you see yourself doing? Tell me what you first see when I ask you this question.

  11. P2 Try imagining yourself in the job. How does it feel? What are you doing? Now try imagining yourself continuing in your old job. What is this like? So what do you think or feel now?

  12. P1 I don’t know, I’m stuck. I loved being in the  new job. No one would tell me not to take but I think they are secretly hoping I don’t, that’s why I want an objective opinion.

  13. P2 Well, I can see why you are stuck. You want the opportunity for yourself and you also want to help your family. I wonder though about being stuck; that is something you said. Do you have any sense what it would take for you to get unstuck?

  14. P1 Which of the messages would be the most useful to you right now? If you think about their energy, which would help you get unstuck to make this decision?

  15. P1 Ask your core light to help you get unstuck so that you can explore this dilemma and make a decision.

This dialogue is neither perfect nor intended to be “the way”. It represents several key things which are important.

Guiding Approaches to Walking Side-by-Side

  1. 1.Seek to bring out the person’s wisdom first, not your wisdom.

  2. 2.Seek to bring out the energy, for the answer rests in the energy, not in the words.

These two guiding approaches should be used within the groups as you explore the messages. They also will help you Do No Harm when you wish to be of service to another.

Your wisdom freely shared lasts for a short time. To help another discover her wisdom lasts for a long time beyond the current situation. When you help someone discover her wisdom, the effects are long lasting, beyond just helping her solve a problem. Her ability to use her own resources (core light, inner wisdom, energy) is increased. What better gift to help someone discover? It is easy to be seduced by a question, to be an expert and to offer insight, but in this situation you hold the flashlight and turn it on for a time and then shut it off. In the other situation, when you help someone discover their wisdom, you help them find their own flashlight which they can use anytime.

Another point of observation about the dialogue is the use of the energy of the messages to explore and gain insight. I have spoken before of the messages (energetically) being keys. This is another example of this. When in a dilemma in which the primary energy is one of being stuck, reflect on which of the messages  might be of most use to you in solving/exploring the dilemma. Your core light can help with this. Simply clear your thoughts for a moment. Take a few deep breaths and ask your core light to help you find the message (the energy) which would be most useful to you.

Even though I have said this before, more and more see the messages as energy, not words. In your early studies and learnings, the words are very important. After a time your attention should shift from the words to the energy of the message.


Walking Side-by-Side is a skill that opens up many possibiliites in your relationships. The first step is just becoming aware of how you walk in any given situation. It can be challenging in your closest relationships where it seems easier to jump ahead or pretend you  are in sync. Walking Side-by-Side is about be in-learning with others.