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25 October 2013 1 Comment

LGS #93, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 6: What Is Mine and What Is Not?, Part 4: A Psycho-Spiritual Perspective

LGS #93, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 6: What Is Mine and What Is Not?, Part 4: A Psycho-Spiritual Perspective

What we perceive to be ours or not-ours depends on our sense of Self–who we take ourselves to be. If we overlook parts of ourselves it’s harder to tell what is ours.

We long to feel connected with others and with the Universe. At the same time most of us fear loss of self, rejection, disappointment, loss of control, being taken over, finding ourselves unable to say what we want or need, feeling stuck or trapped by other people’s needs, and so forth.

Our needs for love, connection, identification with others, intimacy and companionship are often in conflict with our needs for self-definition, self-identification, and solitude. How we solve this conflict depends on subconscious beliefs about self and other.

Our ability to balance our needs for connection with our needs as an individual is a spiritual question because it involves our entire relationship with life. We grapple with: To what extent do we need to separate ourselves? How safe does it feel to surrender into a sense of unity?

Issues with self/other balance make us more likely to pick up or fear picking up energy from others.

P1030614When we feel whole, self love, and a sense of belonging, we move more freely in and out of connection with others, and get less confused between self and other.

For those of us who are energy-sensitive, initial efforts at energy-discernment involve sorting out self from not-self. We learn to identify incoming energy. We may begin by trying to defend ourselves against all incoming energy, perceiving it as a threat. In relationship, we may be dealing with safety issues or foggy boundaries. We may be unclear about what we want. Issues with energy boundaries show up in our intimacies.

As our boundaries develop we learn to make internal adjustments to keep some kinds of energy out and allow other energy in. In relationship we may be beginning to ask for what we need and to say what we want. We know how to say Yes and No.

Knowing ourselves allows us to use intention to establish wholesome preferences about energy. These preferences help us to optimize a range of states that allows for both expansion and grounded everyday experience, without being too coarse for comfort or too refined for effective engagement in the world.

We become able to relate and create in alignment with chosen, conscious beliefs and values, rather than reacting to circumstance.  We develop comfort with and compassion for our human vulnerability and that of others.

From an expanded a spiritual perspective, we are all One. Sensing the universal truth that all is One initially adds a layer of complication to the question of sorting self from non-self.

As I understand healthy spiritual development, we first attain a clear sense of Self as an individual, then gradually learn to release this (healthy) ego into the ocean of Oneness.

From a spiritual point of view our objective becomes less to define mine vs not-mine than to establish poise within circumstances. This poise allows us to maintain adequate boundaries while still experiencing a high degree of connection. These boundaries are not like walls to keep things out. They function as effective choices about which influences we are willing to engage.

At the risk of using language some won’t like, (and perhaps opening a can of worms). . . .  Do energy boundaries in intimate relationships run parallel to our relationship with the Divine?

Before we recognize spiritual unity, we may polarize between God (defined as That Which Is) and self, seeing the Divine as a watcher, judge, temperamental provider, boss, etc. We may fear doing wrong, attempt to hide things from God, or feel that to do the Will of the Divine is to lose our personal will and sense of self. We may fear that we must make huge sacrifices to be worthy of Divine love.

On the road to unity we learn to accept and respect our humanity, view God as compassionate, and realize that our personalities have meaning and value within our spiritual process. We relate to the Universe in a more open exchange. We give what we feel good about giving without too much pain and angst about giving or receiving.

Eventually we come to recognize that when we surrender personal will by being fully aligned with Divine Will, we are most ourselves and most fulfilled. From that perspective there is no issue about which will is which. We do not feel a need to protect ourselves against or seek guidance from an external form of the Divine because we experience ourselves as a part of It.

How do issues YOU may have with energy boundaries show up in your close relationships?

Do similar issues color your spiritual life?

18 October 2013 6 Comments

LGS #92, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 5: What Is Mine and What Is Not?, Part 3: Know Yourself to Develop Discernment

LGS #92, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 5: What Is Mine and What Is Not?, Part 3: Know Yourself to Develop Discernment

Discernment makes intuition function clearly in the practical world. As we explored in recent posts, the better we know ourselves the better our discernment.
Here are a few more practical ways to get to know yourself and to develop discernment skills:

Stretch Your Comfort Zone:

At least once a week, see what it feels like to do something you consider out of character. Try taking a stand or telling a joke when you would usually remain silent or visa versa, go somewhere you haven’t been, drive a different route to work, or eat something you have never tried. What you do is not as important as staying awake for opportunities to create more elbow room than your personality and habits usually allow.P1030304

Stretching your comfort zone is a great way to explore who you take yourself to be, and your subconscious limitations. Different sensations come up, showing you who you are underneath your habitual expressions. Acting outside of your script is a great way to get to know your real self. You begin to sense more clearly how your home state and authentic energy FEEL. This clarity supports discernment.

I tend to be withdrawn in social situations. Some years back I went to a party where no one knew me. They were having a talent show. I decided to attend the party as if I were a Leo. I dressed more expressively than I normally would. Instead of withdrawing, I got up on stage read a poem I had written. My objective was to do this with body language that implied that I did it often. I had never spoken on stage, and was in fact mortified.

After I read my poem people began to approach me. From their comments and questions I realized that they assumed I was a more gregarious sort of person, who read on stage often. I had drawn in different sorts than I normally attract. To my surprise I also noticed that I had no idea what to say to them!

I didn’t want to be an impostor, so I just told them what I’d done. The people I usually attract would have found my experiment interesting and discussed it. These people wanted to talk with a poet, so they wandered off. I was confused for a minute, then saw that it didn’t hurt anything to have a brief exchange. It was quite interesting to self-observe through the feelings that arose, and to notice the way my behavior and comfort zone creates relationship.

Try Being Picky:

Being picky about energy can be fun and educational. It can feel really good to keep your energy to and for yourself. Give yourself permission.

  • Get a new cup, bowl or glass and set it aside for your exclusive use. What do you feel if someone handles it. Why? Beyond size, color preference and hygiene there are more reasons so many people want to use “their cup” at work. We may have subtle reasons when we want the same seat, side of the bed, utensils, or pen. Pay attention to your feelings and sensations.
  • See if you can sense what “your spot” feels like, and whether anyone has been there since you were there last.
  • Wash your clothes on their own, without mixing them with someone else’s. See whether they feel more like you.
  • When you sit in a circle or at a table with other people, change your seat location and notice the ways in which you feel different. The entire group will operate differently depending on the geometry of each person’s location. You can “tune” the energy of a group by changing positions until everyone is in the best spot for the group. Doing this as a group is a fun and interesting exercise in energy discernment.

Remember to be gracious to those who remain oblivious of energy.

What are YOU picky about when it comes to energy?

How do you feel when you need to keep your energy clear in a certain way and someone interferes with your efforts because they don’t understand?

12 October 2013 4 Comments

LGS #91, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 5: What Is Mine and What Is Not?, Part 2: Exercises that Develop Discernment

LGS #91, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 5: What Is Mine and What Is Not?, Part 2: Exercises that Develop Discernment

P1030239In discerning what belongs to us and what does not, we may be tempted to spend too much time LOOKING OUT and not enough time LOOKING IN. There are many valid reasons to scan for external energies that may be impacting us. Over-focus on externals sets up a state of hyper-vigilance, from which other people’s energy becomes a constant potential threat.

Always remember that external energies get IN for internal reasons. Discovering exactly how and why we accidentally allow these energies entry develops ever-increasing safety, clarity, and self-awareness.

Here are several experiential exercises for learning to sense and identify energy. These practices will help you begin to recognize your own energy signature:

  • Pay attention to the way your body sensations, emotions and energy change when you get around different people.
  • Notice how you feel before and after a phone call, or after focussing on someone.
  • Learn to sense the way you feel in different places, rooms or spots.
  • Look at or sense the energy on a couch or chair before you sit on it. (I don’t sit in waiting room chairs where people have been in intense distress.)
  • Practice disconnecting your energy from people when you are not around them. (You can keep your heart connected if your lower chakras are not engaged. Attachment, not clean love, causes energy issues.)
  • Pay attention to the way your awareness, emotions, and sensations change when you breathe in and out with your focus on one particular chakra for a period of time. Try this with each energy center.
  • When you are out for a walk, notice exactly how it feels if you pass in between two people who are connected. See if you sense them, and if you feel suddenly different in your emotions, energy or body. Sensations will be most pronounced if the people have strong feelings between them. Walking between a mother and a child can be quite pronounced.
  • Notice what you feel like when no one knows where you are. (I tend to feel better when no one knows my space-time coordinates.) Unless you open to someone by thinking about them or you remain connected, it is much harder to ‘find’ you if you are not in your usual locations.
  • See if you can sense the energy of the person call when your phone rings. Can you tell their mood, general intention, or who it is?
  • Spend time alone without a radio, television, or internet connection.
  • Notice the place inside you that is LESS lonely once you get everyone else out of your head.
  • Verify your intuition whenever possible by checking facts to find out whether you are correct. Learn what accurate intuition feels like in your body. Get familiar with what it feels like if you are NOT correct, and what is going on inside that made your thought or projection seem like intuition.

Here are several links to additional posts that address dealing with external energies:

Under exactly what circumstances do YOU tend to pick up energy from others or lose your discernment?

What personal issues cause you to be vague about your needs in those particular contexts?

4 October 2013 2 Comments

LGS #90, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 4: What Is Mine and What Is Not?, Part 1: The BEST Answer

LGS #90, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 4: What Is Mine and What Is Not?, Part 1: The BEST Answer

How can I identify what is mine from what is not?

Attaining accurate discernment is the most important and challenging task in the realm of guidance.

Learning what belongs with us and what does not is essential discernment. Living with this question over time greatly enhances personal clarity.

In the manner of wisdom, the simple answer to the question of what belongs with us has immense value–although it is not very satisfying in the moment: You identify what is yours from not-yours by knowing exactly who you are.

Being able to tell energy or emotion that originates with ourselves from energy originating from external sources is a gradually-attained skill. Beginning is relatively easy. We establish the intention, begin paying attention, and notice what we are ready to notice. By keeping to the task and continuing to learn, our awareness begins to encompass a vast range of subtle realities.

Discernment gives intuition value. Intuition without discernment is confusing at best. Without discernment we can get tangled up in other people, take or give direction based on misinformation, release our personal volition to sources of will that are not kind, or think we are on one path when we are on another.

Energy-awareness can lead into frightening misperception if we think that other people are causing things for which we ourselves are responsible. Self-development is arrested when we see our issues in others without owning them ourselves. (“Projection” is the psychological term for this.)

Increased discernment is one of the primary reasons I spend so much time addressing emotional clarity and self-recognition.

DSC_1093Self/not-self discernment is greatly facilitated by being able to sense what we feel–in our bodies, emotionally, and in our energy systems. Being aware of and familiar with our own energy signature is an important aspect of knowing ourselves. This sense allows us to quickly identify energy that is not OF us.

Clarity about self/not-self, in the body, is an immune system function. It is interesting to note that immune system issues often arise when we are struggling with boundaries and discernment. I have observed this extensively in clinical practice.

A clear baseline knowledge of Self is essential. If you have a clean, well-ordered room, you are likely to notice if somebody leaves something in it. If someone leaves something that is not yours in a chaotic room, chock full of things to which you pay little attention, you are less likely to notice.

When we do not know who we are we project energy, images, emotions, and states of being onto others, seeing our inner contents in the other people. We are also open to receiving the projections of others. This confusion begins with resistance to seeing parts of ourselves.

I have been working actively on developing energy discernment for more than twenty years. Picking up external energy and trying to get it back out used to be an almost constant problem. Now I can almost always stay clear of energy interference.

Practical ways of learning to recognize what is ours and what is not vary widely. Our specific intuitive gifts and our degree of self-development determine whether or not we are ready for any particular technique. One-size-fits-all approaches lead to misconceptions, imagination, defensive attitudes, or limiting beliefs.

Like a healthy intestine, which lets in food and passes out waste, we gradually become able to ‘set’ our energetic fields to repel unhealthy influences and receive those that support us. Since our fields express the sum total of our internal state, full-person development and Inner Work bring this about. (See Inner Work Series under the Self-Development tab above.)

My ebook, “What Healers Won’t Tell You,” goes into more detail about how and why we pick up energy. I also speak to some of the sources of incoming negative energy, what it feels like, and how to address it.

How do YOU tell your “stuff” from an intimate friend or partner’s “stuff” when you are in conflict?

Carefully contemplating and answering this question to your best ability is quite likely to bring up your problem areas with energy discernment in general. Can you describe why this is so?

27 September 2013 4 Comments

LGS #89, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 3: Using Internal Sensing for Discernment

LGS #89, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 3: Using Internal Sensing for Discernment

Having in the last post considered using protocols, let’s take a different approach on the question: How can I tell an emotional issue from a physical one?

Discernment usually begins with a basic, logical scan. Pay attention to onset of symptoms. Trace back in your memory and think about what was going on right before your symptom started. Were you distressed about anything? Could you be upset about something you may have brushed aside? Did you possibly eat something your body doesn’t like, or get exposed to a chemical toxin? These basics are a good place to start.

Remember (as my favorite mentor says): “You can have fleas AND lice!”

Symptoms of physical and emotional issues can be identical. As you practice over time, you will begin to notice that your energy is different when emotional issues are present.

Here are some potential indications of emotional involvement:

  • Your symptoms increase when you focus on them
  • Your shoulders or jaws get tense when you think about it, or your stress level increases
  • Your breath becomes more restricted
  • Your stomach gets tight
  • You sense some resistance to letting go of your symptom
  • Feeling ungrounded, ‘out of your body’ or diffuse
  • Your perception of your issue keeps changing
  • Difficulty concentrating even with adequate blood sugar and sleep (can also indicate exposure to allergens or toxicity)
  • You can’t seem to get around to working on the problem, or keep getting distracted
  • Touch makes you tenser even though the touch is not painful
  • You get really sleepy for no obvious reason
  • You feel antsy irritable, frustrated, unsafe, reactive, defensive, etc.
  • One or more of your chakras are blocked, rotated, or distorted

If an issue doesn’t go away when the physical part is addressed, this may indicate emotional component. For example, back pain remains after the muscles have been balanced and the bones are in place.P1030203

Emotionally-based pain tends to move around. As soon as you address it in one area it pops up in another, unless the underlying emotions are addressed.

If you get clear and calm and still cannot tell whether an issue is physical or emotional, or you cannot get clear and calm, it is a good idea to ask for assistance.

Suppressed Emotion Point:
This gem is useful if you are unsure whether or not you have emotional involvement. Use it also if you know emotion is involved but can’t get in touch with what it’s all about.

  • Tap about once or twice per second at the midline point under your lower lip, above your chin. This point is in the indentation there.
  • Do this for about sixty seconds.
  • Sense whether or not you notice a confirming release of tension, breath, or discomfort.

If emotions are hiding out this protocol helps to make them more assessable. Try this any time you feel stuck.

I have important insights to share about recognizing and working with your own emotions. We will pursue this several posts later.

Discerning between physical and emotional can be challenging when our energy is compromised. We will discuss this issue in the next post.

What is YOUR best way to distinguish between physical and emotional issues?

Which feels more natural for you, using a protocol or the sensing your energy and emotions?

20 September 2013 4 Comments

LGS #88, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 2: How Can I Tell an Emotional Issue from a Physical One?

LGS #88, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 2: How Can I Tell an Emotional Issue from a Physical One?

How can I tell an emotional issue from a physical one?

Let us consider protocols for making this discernment. We will look in the next post at using internal sensing. Internal sensing can work well when working on yourself. Protocols work well with clients, but I also use them when I work on myself. Using protocols on oneself increases objectivity and helps to maintain focus.

Protocols important are like learning the scales for a musician. Once we have them internalized they retreat into the background. We can improvise well without them. Our skills are less extensive and flexible without learning them first. It is important not to be limited to protocols alone. Healing is an art. Ideally, we use more-objective indicators and subjective sensing together, working from both sides of the brain.

The protocols I use to see if emotion is primary/first priority come from several types of practitioner training. These systems rely on muscle testing, which I do using my hand muscles. There are several ways to do this. I describe the easiest one below.

P1030196Accuracy with self-testing and with non-orthopedic muscle testing takes dedication. Entire trainings are dedicated to achieving consistent results. These trainings focus primarily on physiological and energetic issues that can compromise results, such as dehydration, toxicity, or upper neck misalignment. They touch on emotional interference–on how to get around it during testing to get clear results.

Learning to get accurate results when emotional issues are present is challenging. I attended several extensive trainings to address uprooting emotional sabotage. This work addresses unconscious interference with testing and also with health, success, intimacy, etc. Addressing unconscious emotional resistance to positive goals is, in my opinion, an essential skill for working successfully with tricky cases.

With respect to our own emotions, we are all tricky cases. 🙂

Muscle testing without extensive work with sabotage may be inaccurate. Muscle strength is easily altered by emotion. One must be able to recognize and address interference from resistance to seeing aspects of oneself.

Don’t let the above discourage you! Learn to recognize exactly what it feels like when your testing is not clear. Then lean in and work to get underneath your resistance and face down any related issues.

When you get information that is inconsistent, doesn’t feel right, feels biased, or if you get suddenly vague, tired or tense these are major clues that an emotional issue is present. Watch your breathing pattern, jaw, shoulder, and stomach tension for more clues.

Some systems of healing use two points, one right above each eyebrow, or lay a hand across the whole forehead. If a strong muscle goes weak or a weak muscle changes to strong, these points indicate that emotion is primary at the moment.

“Cross-checking” to find out whether a physical area of discomfort, such as a sore muscle or organ, is being impacted by emotion:
Place one hand over the distressed area and test a muscle. Place the other hand over the forehead points and see if the muscle you are using to test goes from strong to weak or weak to strong.

You have a few seconds to test while the nervous system retains information from touching the two areas, so you can let go and then test if you’re working on yourself.

You may be able to feel your energy change when you touch an indicator area. If you are highly sensitive you might attend to this change instead of using muscle testing, but it works better to use them together.

Hand Mudra Test with O-Ring Testing:
Touch your (or a client’s) ring finger to the thumb on the same hand and pull them apart gently to see whether this circuit–the energy holding the two together–remains strong.
(Make an O with your Left hand and see if the circuit is strong by putting your Right middle finger inside the O and seeing if it pulls through the junction where the thumb and ring finger connect, or if that junction remains strong.)

If this circuit is weak, emotional involvement (or endocrine issues) is a body priority at the moment. When emotion is primary the forehead points will also be weak. (If not, the issue is likely to be endocrine.)

Acupressure Meridian End Points:
Depending on the system used, the points used for emotions are mostly on the fingers and the face. Each point is related to specific emotions associated with each organ. These points are very helpful for pinning down the exact emotion.

A number of different systems such as AK (Applied Kinesiology) and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) tap acupressure points to clear emotion. Their maps vary. You would need a map of the points and a list of the Chinese organ-emotion relationships. Points that test weak or sore points can be used to determine which emotion is active. Lists that include less-common emotions for each organ, in addition to those considered primary, are far superior. I like this method of discovering exactly which emotions are active.

Self-discovery is highly rewarding, and these tools are useful.

How do YOU feel about learning a protocol to increase your discernment between body symptoms and emotion?

How would greater access to what is going on inside impact your life?

16 September 2013 6 Comments

LGS #87, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 1

LGS #87, Developing Discernment and Guidance Skills, Part 1

Refining the asset we call discernment is a highly rewarding lifelong process. If we remain loyal to it, this quest gradually brings about not only a valuable skill set but a lasting condition of deep personal integration.

The journey of developing discernment also helps to evolve:

  • Personal clarity
  • Accurate assessment of situations and conditions
  • Excellent decision-making skills which may be reflected in business
  • Self-trust and confidence
  • Improved relations with others
  • (Un)common sense
  • Sound health choices
  • Wisdom

In response to a reader’s recent inquiry, the next few posts will wade into the following questions:

  • How can I tell an emotional issue from a physical one?
  • How can I identify what is mine from what is not?
  • How do I know when I need to ride out something versus when I need to address it?
  • What is the best way to develop Guidance skills?
  • When is it a good idea to ask for assistance?

Rediscovering these important topics will reinforce previous material in a fresh context. I will also offer new points for your consideration.

Before moving into the first question, How can I tell an emotional issue from a physical one? I would like to comment:P1030188

The division between body and emotion is largely a matter of concepts and language. Emotion IS physical. Emotional reaction quickly becomes chemical, postural, muscular, and glandular. Emotions also congest energy in related areas, which in turn impacts blood flow and lymph. The same factors and others, such as toxicity, also can drive our emotions.

While we cannot separate physical from emotional, the distinction between them still remains useful. The way we intervene with an issue and the actions we take to resolve it often depend on whether physical processes, emotion, or both together are stimulating the related symptoms.

Some of us tend to physicalize emotion. If we have a hard time accepting and allowing feeling, or trusting that our feelings are valid, physical symptoms are more likely to be an expression of emotion. Others types of people are more likely to become emotional about physical issues. If we hate to feel weak or sick, judge having symptoms, or have had emotionally painful experiences with injuries or surgeries we may add emotion on top of our physical symptoms.

The sequence of events and related development of symptoms can provide clues. What started first? The emotion or the physical symptom? Sometimes they happen at the same time. Sometimes symptoms come entirely from energy-events.

How you might discern between emotional and physical causes depends on your existing skill set and your degree of motivation. In the next post I will answer the question by mentioning several useful clinical protocols. Then I will revisit the question from a SENSING or more intuitive standpoint. These two approaches, by protocol or by sensing, are complimentary.

Using a protocol makes the often-tricky discernment between physical and emotional much easier–after you develop a groove by practicing. As this discernment becomes routine it becomes easier to maintain the objectivity that supports clear perception.

In mastering this particular discernment it may work best to start with the approach that is easier for you. As you build confidence you can begin to layer in the other approach to flesh out your skills.

Are YOU less uncomfortable about body symptoms or emotional issues?

What were the subtle or overt messages about this in your family of origin?

6 September 2013 6 Comments

What Do YOU Wish to Know About Guidance?

What Do YOU Wish to Know About Guidance?

Dear Readers,

I need some feedback to know what to write for you.

Recently I spent time and money to fix a few issues that were making it hard to access posts. I need to know whether you are still finding issues, and if so, what they are.

Please let me know how things are working for you and what you need so I can continue to share relevant material.

If you would prefer for me to address energy issues we can move on from the Guidance Series. Any big topics you’d like me to cover?

Enjoy the end of summer and make every moment count!


P1030480 - Version 2

30 August 2013 0 Comments

LGS #86: Fantasy Pt. 2: Fantasy and Needs in Relationship

LGS #86: Fantasy Pt. 2: Fantasy and Needs in Relationship

Let’s continue to delve into the impacts of fantasy on awareness:

When we substitute fantasy for clear observation of people and events, we view the world through this lens. We reel out fantasy like a movie, and overlay onto the world, so what we see thus becomes an extension of our inner lives. This busy-ness is not very receptive to signals from the outside world.

This sentence bears exploration: “Fantasy is the shoehorn by which we allow ourselves to be used by others.”

A few times I complained about a relationship to a friend who’s a therapist and she said, “Good: You’re starting to see him as he really is now.”

I thought about this at length. I considered all the times I or others told ourselves so-and-so was really a nice person inside and didn’t really mean to treat us poorly. We feel bad about what’s happening, talk ourselves out of it–and then allow ourselves to be treated to more of the same. Like or not we are telling ourselves that what we want to believe is the reality–in spite of the conflicting traits and behaviors that we observe and experience.

My own fantasies are difficult to detect because they don’t seem fantasy-like. They entail, for example, wanting to believe people I want to spend time with know who they are and how they feel, behave consistently with their stated values, and are capable of saying what they want. (Go ahead–laugh.) Coming to realize their actual capabilities and habits has been harsh.

This goes to show that even when what we project onto others is ‘good,’ friction between fantasy and actuality can cause relational issues.

When we give more attention to what we desire than to noticing what is actually happening we may open ourselves to being drained or used. Our signals telegraph that we are willing to DSC08165overlook the actual in pursuit of what we want. Desire twists our interpretation of signs and signals that would otherwise demonstrate to us other’s motivations and capacities.

Take–as more obvious examples–a star-struck teenager with a crush on someone who just wants sex, or social climber with fantasies of wealth and status at a too-good-to-be-true job interview. What the other people actually are may not show up through their fantasies. An opportunist takes advantage of this, intentionally or by instinct. Even well-intended people may jump on our hope-wagon and go along for the ride.

We protect a fantasy in an attempt to meet the needs it expresses. When we are blinded by our needs the images we project out onto the world interfere with accurate feedback.

Blind hope is an insular stance. This impenetrability increases our sense of separation. Such self-created isolation stimulates desire and fantasy, creating a loop between unmet needs and fantasy. This loop can make fantasy addictive.

In contrast, active and intentional use of imagination can be unitive–particularly when the aims sought are not self-centered. Using visualization to send love to the world or to assist with human rights fosters spiritual expansion. Sending benefit to others helps to develop a sense of unity and community.

In a unitive frame of heart we experience our selves in relationship with others. This stance is radically different than asking, expecting, or insisting that the world fulfill our personal wishes.

An open heart allows us to work WITH what we observe around us rather than denying its existence in a vain attempt to meet personal needs. Shifting from self-involved fantasy to cooperative participation makes us MORE likely to meet personal needs.

Fantasies abound in the realm of Guidance, healing and spirituality. Professions that offer powerful help draw people in need. They may need assistance to learn to discern the difference between fantasy and actuality. This traction with the actual allows us to move effectively forward with a happy and productive life.

What kinds of fantasy enter into YOUR relationships and what is their ultimate impact?

What inner skills and conditions help YOU to discern between fantasy and actuality?

23 August 2013 0 Comments

LGS #85: Fantasy, Pt. 1: Use and Misuse of Fantasy

LGS #85: Fantasy, Pt. 1: Use and Misuse of Fantasy

“One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” Carl Jung

I so love that quote! Integrating practical intuition and powerful spirituality into daily life requires deep self-awareness.

Toward clarity, discernment, and accuracy in Guidance, let us discuss fantasy:

The purpose of fantasy is to bring visionary, inspired, and creative energy into life, to open new potentials. Fantasy assists artistry, play, and entertainment. In these realms fantasy offers many advantages.

In the realm of Guidance fantasy is counterproductive. I am not talking about using intention to direct imagery, such as visualizing energy flows, bringing in colors or forms to assist healing, or receiving Guidance in the form of intuitive imagery. When I say “fantasy” I am talking about making things up.

Making things up just for fun is play. Making things up in Guidance compromises intuitive integrity. Yes one might use imagination to find a creative way to formulate and present Guidance. That is useful too. Allowing fantasy to take the place of genuine experience is a major distraction. Substituting fantasy for discernment is a recipe for misdirection, and can be dangerous.

It is one thing to use fantasy to enhance life, and another to avoid authentic engagement with life through over-involvement with fantasy. Making assumptions, for example, is a mental type of fantasy in which rigid ideas are substituted for clear observation and response.

P1090004Fantasy can stem from sentiment, unexamined by discerning thought. It can be purely mental while emotions remain repressed. Fantasy can exist within the individual like a patchwork comprised of isolated pockets of and gradations of these extremes. No matter how it is organized, unhealthy fantasy demonstrates poor integration between thought, feeling, and will.

Unexamined, habitual fantasy tends to undermine the clear flow of life expression, tying energy up in stagnant eddies or disconnecting parts of your flow like rivulets running out and weakening the main stream of personal will.

Healthy fantasy works in concert with will, allows for a free flow of discerning observation, and supports being in touch with one’s self.

The balance point between fantasy and realism is similar to the balance between freedom and responsibility. Since this comment is abstract, I’ll say elaborate:

Responsibility allows us to effectively create in the real world, limiting potential unwelcome results of our actions, or seeking to correct the same. Responsibility without freedom can become uninspired duty or paralytic over-concern about consequence.

Freedom of expression without responsibility tends to become scattered, ungrounded, and out of touch with the results of our actions.

Paradoxically, excessive freedom becomes a form a bondage to accidental consequence.

Freely taking up responsibility and using it creatively is ideal.

Similarly, fantasy mated with realism supports visionary action. Realism without imagination is dreary and feels restrictive.

Fantasy without realism is not rooted in the actual, therefore it holds little possibility for real life expression.

Being stuck in fantasy can be a lonely place. An observant client said, “When I am in fantasy I am unable to evaluate my environment. It’s all about me.”

To a greater or lesser extent, we are all engaged to some degree of fantasy. Spiritual awakening consists in part of learning to recognize, accept, and release previously-hidden motivations. Freeing up our ability to see in ourselves the things we would prefer to hide goes a long way toward waking up to the moment.

Self-acceptance gradually forms a stabile center of objective awareness that allows us to live in the moment without manipulating it with a series of images, unseen needs, and projections. This is real freedom.

What is YOUR sense of the difference between healthy and unhealthy use of fantasy?

Does your use of fantasy bring you closer to people in real life, or build subtle walls?