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2 February 2018 2 Comments

Power, Mastery, & Acceptance

Power, Mastery, & Acceptance

I used to fear that if I developed and allowed my full vitality to be present in my body that I would get too fiery and have trouble managing my energy. I’ve needed restraint lest I speak out too suddenly, too forcefully, or at the wrong moments and cause unwanted consequences. Now I have more discipline, more skill handling various situations, a greater need for vitality, and more kindness toward myself and others.

Fear of one’s vitality is a fairly common underlying element of chronic illness. Sometimes, to get well, it is necessary to find and face that fear.

One way I’ve worked with mine has been by invoking a certain divine name that helps one keep from expressing the kind of power that surges up inside oneself but is better left unexpressed. Resonating with that frequency makes it easier to remain clear and unruffled, and helps confer immunity to external energies.

The root word of that Name has to do with clearing out the house. Invoking this energetic helps release everything that does not belong with us, to be open, and to favor internal emptiness. This positive emptiness keeps other people’s energy from sticking to us. That energy passes through our transparency as we have no attachment to it. The same practice is also used to help relax fear of death.

Over-riding the impulse to act is different than surrendering the impulse. Surrender allows everything, accepting it without trying to alter anything. Saints surrender. Those developing mastery—for these are different paths—intentionally alter conditions and circumstances.

Mastery aligns with guidance and creates influence through intention and developed will. Surrender releases the need to change things and lets the energy go.

Mastering an impulse still retains the energy, which can be reassigned to more optimal aims, or simply relaxed into one’s general vitality if we are empty of motive.

Choosing NOT to act requires the ability to release personal will without releasing higher will. This means you do not act accidentally, automatically, or from personal desire. We will act intentionally, if guided inwardly to do so. Choosing not to act is more often powerful than action unaligned with guidance.

Choosing not to act can also express healthy self love. Well-timed, aligned action spares us discomfort and inconvenience set in motion by ill considered action. This choice is not the same as suppression or hesitation. One pauses, checks in, garners resources, and then acts with good timing if the object of the goal is of benefit.

How do we balance acceptance and non-action with applying intention and optimizing our choices within circumstances and conditions?

While our life paths and personal natures probably favor the path of the saint or the path of mastery, we can all work with whichever mode best serves our spiritual needs at any given moment.

People often say we can only change ourselves and our reactions to things. This direction of thinking is useful, however, I believe it is incomplete. The difference we make in the world is partially predicated by our degree of self mastery and our energetics. These do create influence, which if accepted by others, leads to change. Our ability to engineer creative change is enhanced by positive energy, and diminished by resisting what is actually going on.

Our interface with the world as also enhanced by positive surrender; acceptance—not giving in.

Mastery and acceptance feed one another. Acceptance frees up our energy and resources to respond with creativity and intelligence, giving us more mastery within conditions and circumstances. Mastery includes sensing when surrender is the wisest path.

Is your personality more suited to mastery or sainthood as a direction for Work on Self?

Are you more comfortable with one over the other?

If so, what arises for you when you consider developing the other mode?

20 January 2018 0 Comments

Which Comes First, Loving Yourself or Loving Others?

Which Comes First, Loving Yourself or Loving Others?

We have probably all heard the saying that you can’t love other people until you can love yourself. Contemplating in my twenties I thought—starkly—that I would therefore be unsuccessful in the endeavor of loving others, since I could not love myself. Yet I did love others.

As I explored, I observed that when I was not loving toward myself I was more reactive. I was then harder to be around, or placed uncomfortable demands on other people. I began to see how the ways I did not love myself created strain for others. I began to make it a point to care for myself to keep from being a pain in the butt. Maybe this was back-assward but it was useful at the time.

Lack of self love makes us harder to be around, whether our issues are those of commission—things that we do—or of omission.Things we do not do also express low self love. Perhaps we are not standing up AS ourselves.

Standing up FOR ourselves tends to be defensive. Standing up AS ourselves means letting the people who love us know what we need and what we want, so we can co-operate in harmony. When we don’t communicate who we are we make it harder to have a mutual flow of love.

Whether we’re doing something that makes relating harder, or NOT doing something and this makes things harder, loving ourselves makes it easier to be in relationship. People don’t have to guess.

Many imagine that saying what we want and need will make waves. In actual fact, if we do it from a loving spirit of cooperation, spelling out who we are and what we need makes everything easier and smoother, as long as we accept what others can and cannot provide. Trying to give to someone who makes us guess and doesn’t receive well is emotionally frustrating.

Almost forty years later, I’m contemplating again how loving oneself relates to loving others. At this point, loving others is a way of loving myself.

When I am unloving to other people, some kind of discomfort within me is driving my state, and I am not responding with the self love that lets me lean into and bring kindness into this discomfort. Then I externalize my state in my actions toward others. When I feel their uncomfortable response I don’t feel good, because I care how they feel. So when I am unloving to others it is unkind to me too. In this way—by realizing the unity between us—loving others can be a way of loving ourselves.

It’s not that one comes first, self love or love for others. There IS a relationship. Love grows in us by including. When we include ourselves with love we love others more. When we include others by being kind to ourselves in the way we relate, we increase the available love in the equation. This experience makes the concept of spiritual unity accessible.

Realizing unity is a gradual process, not just a transcendental and final end goal. Ultimately we realize that we all are parts of The Only Being in Unity. Whether focusing on self love or loving others is more useful depends on our personal process at the time. It’s important to allow direct experience to lead, so maxims we may encounter support exploration instead of limiting experience.

At this point in your life, do you learn more about love by focusing on self love or on loving others?

How does your desire to love others impact your feelings about yourself?

How does your current orientation toward self love impact your ability to love others? Does it limit or expand your ability?

13 January 2018 6 Comments

Owning Death, Acceptance & Self Love

Owning Death, Acceptance & Self Love

At a gathering just before the turn of the new year, a friend of a friend presented a tarot deck, suggesting that several people draw one card each.

Usually I avoid divination techniques. Although lots of people find them useful, they clutter my guidance with imprecise thoughts and images that provoke mental processing. Still, I was drawn to take a card. I drew the “Death” card.

When I held the image on the card in my heart, I felt a freeing and uneasy kind of lightness or even an odd joy. The “Death” card felt like an acknowledgment of an internal process.

“Death” need not be literal and physical. We usually associate death with the painful and often angsty process of having to let go not only of your body but of everything you own, all you love, everyone you know, and your self, whether or not you are ready.

Most of our associations with death are as an unwilling participant, or of bereavement, and perhaps being left behind with overwhelming practical tasks and considerations. Conversely, reports from those who have clinically died and returned are usually pleasant, if somewhat unsettling. I’ve heard more than one might think first hand.

A few decades ago I thought about killing myself. My self esteem was so bad. If we feel like killing ourselves it’s good to remember that this type of assessment is often driven by negative self worth. We would not apply the same standards to another person.

Always remember: The body is innocent. The mammal that hosts you is totally innocent.

Unless we’re way past our pull-by date, it’s not the BODY that needs to die: It’s our mean self talk, ego attachments, fears that drive a perceived need for control, habitual and limiting aspects of our personalities, opinions and judgments about ourselves and others, and so forth. These can die and we feel happier.

When we feel like we want to die it’s usually because we are not taking good enough care of our bodies. The mammal needs love and nourishment.

Some spiritual traditions talk about dying into love. I always thought of this as a huge and ultimate thing, the final transformation. Now I’m taking a different view. Dying into love can also be simply the process of learning to release the stuff I mentioned above.

Letting go into love, as a figurative death, doesn’t have to be a highfalutin thing, some giddy state of denial, or even an ecstasy. Our moment-to-moment engagement with the process can be as simple as noticing and letting go of assuming that we are not worthy and allowing ourselves to BE, without self criticism.

We don’t have to release it all at once—most of us don’t die suddenly—but just as we are able to without strain, more and more. Small steps in the direction of self love create amazing transformation over time. Holding this type of death as a positive goal and practicing relaxing into it is actually comforting. It doesn’t get unnerving until we get ambitious about it and push to do it all at once, before we’re ready.

Absolute acceptance is a kind of a death, not the death of the mammal, but the unbinding of many ego and personality structures. Rigidity in these structures largely develops as defense against pain and distress, internal wounding, and real or experiential annihilation.

Paradoxically, we ourselves annihilate our own Presence to some extent whenever we are acting out these automatic defenses. In other words, when we are reactive we are not fully present. Some kind of pain is likely to be driving us.

Also paradoxically, being fully Present is being fully alive, and also a death, in that the transformation presence gradually and eventually births is so utterly monumental.

How do YOU consider death?

What would it take to make death accept it as a force within life to help you live more fully in the moment?

28 October 2017 4 Comments

Cell Phone Addiction. What Happens to Our Dreams?

Cell Phone Addiction. What Happens to Our Dreams?

We dream while we are awake, same as we do asleep, just as stars are in sky in the day, hidden by light. Thoughts and images of the outer mind, like light, distract us from our inner dreaming, in which lives: inspiration, insight, intuition, aspiration, what we are drawn to in our deepest selves, our guidance, what we are called to bring forth. These interior experiences give our lives meaning and shape our lives. They truly integrate us with the greater world; they connect us.

Meditative consciousness, deep feeling, unity with all life, our values . . . All pulse and breathe behind the scenes. When we are inundated from the outside we are unaware of them. They are inward aspects of our selves.

Our interiors anchor the pulse by which we know our own essence and realize our real selves. They do not thrive on the surface, in the noise. They arise TO the surface, often silently, often gently, through a stray image, an impulse, a feeling, a longing, a need—perhaps even through our discontent. When we sit with IMG_1255discontent, feel into it, we find ways to hold ourselves accountable for meaning in our lives. We find ways to inspire ourselves by discovering what matters to us truly, and feel our way, if blindly, into giving things that matter shape and form on our outsides, expression, perhaps even life direction.

How do you think cell phone addiction and Facebook addiction impact our ability to experience and breathe with these subtle and essential states, pathways, impulses, insights, and realizations?

What do you think happens when we are jolted at random by little alarms throughout the day, something beeping, buzzing, vibrating, demanding our attention regardless of our rhythms, focus of attention, productivity and flow?

What happens to our interior rhythms?
What happens to our access to ourselves?
What happens to the waves of our inner dreaming and what now washes up on the shores of our awareness?

What happens when sensationalistic fear-based news constantly demands action, time, money, feeling and attention without respect to what we have to give, and we’re not even sure all of it true?

Certainly we have a part in the causes of the world. If these causes are not our own—or even if they ARE our own—what happens when they are louder than our own inspiration and meaning, and begin to take the place of our inner worlds and dreaming?

We also may be jolted, alarmed, drawn in, called forth and asked to respond to those who text when they are out of balance, when they feel hurtful or want to bully others or damage relationships with gossip, when they boast, when they encounter difficult moments without first settling in to the deeper source of their essence or reaching into their hearts but instead reach for their phones—their need for love calling them to do so, but they broadcast the trivia of their egos and the toxins of reactive states instead of mutually connecting, for they have forgotten that they impact you.

What happens when we forget the breadth of our feelings, our bodies, and our breath and take what other people think as the measure of who we are?

If we begin to identify with our reactions to the superficial group mind, rather than taking meaning and purpose from our inner values, personal beliefs, integrity, sense of honor, chosen and cultivated values, and what we are drawn to love, the opinions and reactions of multiple people begin to displace Presence and self awareness. What happens to conscience?

When contact with others is virtual, how do you come to understand real results?
What happens to your ability to perceive your environment, to partake in the beauty of nature, and to experience joy without reason?

The trend is to make our inner world, our dreams and the people right in front of us less important than whatever comes to us electronically. What comes of this?

It starts because initially, those who can reach us are the ones who are most important to us. Then the related behaviors become habitual.
What results from constantly favoring the immediacy of an electronic contact over the people and environment around us?

If fast-food-style connection substitutes for realtime relating, and we lose touch with our depths, what happens to our capacity for soul-to-soul contact?

What begins as more easily connecting can create a riveting preference when the immediacy of it and the habits it creates make it mechanical, compelling, and often irrelevant or even destructive to what we value more.

Ironically, the more desperately one turns to multiple contacts through electronics, seeking connection, the more disconnected one often becomes.

It takes a sense of self to feel connected and allow love in.

 

Someone sent me this quote after this blog was published:

Albert Einstein: 

“I fear the day when the technology overlaps with our humanity.

The world will only have a generation of idiots.”

29 May 2017 2 Comments

Being Direct and Feeling Alive

Being Direct and Feeling Alive

“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are, when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time. When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy. It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.” (Mark Nepo)

IMG_4045 (1)

 

25 September 2015 2 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part #63: Being Highly Sensitive & Dealing Closely with Those Who Aren’t

Managing Your Energy, Part #63: Being Highly Sensitive & Dealing Closely with Those Who Aren’t

“It is of no use to try and prove to be what in reality you are not.” ~ Inayat Khan

“My bare feet! Step gently on life’s path, lest the thorns lying on the way should murmur at being trampled upon by you.”  ~ Inayat Khan

Self recognition and easier relations with others are the purposes of becoming aware of ones level of development. It is not beneficial to make comparisons with value judgments in mind. Ego must take the back seat so neutral observation can drive. Mind uses contrast to learn
discernment. Meanwhile, heart continues to seek Unity with all beings.

The transition from becoming confused about who we are, over-giving, or disappearing in an attempt to fit in with others to learning how to hold our own internal shape and space during personal interaction can be challenging. The focus changes from seeking external support to sustaining internal sources of support. This growth requires being able to recognize our own experience.

Highly sensitive and intuitive people with comprehensive values are often uncomfortable interfacing closely with people who cannot understand our experience. Clear observation of what an individual actually can and cannot do helps to create reasonable expectations and leads to easier interaction.

These elements tend to be overlooked by those who have not had such experience:

—The ways sensitivity is accommodated by the body, the including super-sensitive nervous, immune and hormonal systems that accompany super-keen sensing
—How hard it can be to arrive at self acceptance, without feeling something is wrong when one is uncomfortable and others do not understand it
—How painful, expensive, and shaming it can be to seek help and be told that nothing is the matter
—That symptoms are often positive adjustments to inner growth while the body and energy systems shift to support accelerated change
—That symptoms with neurological, energy, or karmic elements do not respond to ordinary measures
—How intense it is to be inundated with external energies and impressions
—What it feels like to have a cascade of hormones and emotions secondary to immune system over-activation
—The hugely varied and odd sensations, experiences, and direct perceptions some of us go through, and the unusual capacities that spring from integrating them
—How tiring and overwhelming it can be to process abnormal amounts of incoming information, and to sort what is valid, important, and meaningful from what is not
—The amount of Inner Work it takes to know one’s self well enough to do the above
—The Direct Knowing that can develop from acutely sensitive awareness of energy
—The comprehensive values that develop from having to do so
—What it takes to develop confidence in a world where one is not in the norm
—The discomfort of continually fielding projections, judgments and assumptions from those who do not understand
—How odd it feels to discover one has developed a new capacity or ability in which one has never really believed
—How confusing it can be to feel drawn through compassion to help others, even when doing so may be draining or harmful to one’s self
—How draining and isolating it can be to try to explain these things to people who don’t get it

Communicating these experiences be frustrating—and is often pointless. Someone without similar experience usually does not correctly assimilate or maintain what one tells them. P1140494They reinterpret what one says according to what they can understand, or suggest ways to fix things that are not problems.

Even with compassion for the person doing so, being given “feedback,” from someone who cannot see what is actually going on can be very annoying.

Speaking now for myself: When someone clueless is actively trying to impose their perceptual boxes onto me, and imagine they are talking about ME, I find this disconnect emotionally painful. I can keep my mouth shut, attune to their needs and limitations, take care of my own needs, or withdraw—but I do not feel close, respected, or at ease.

In a capacity of service, I am pleased to adjust myself to someone else’s world. I respect clients as fellow travelers. Being asked to explain and justify myself when I am off duty is work. Spending time by myself is often preferable.

Integrating spirituality into personal life brings up the kind of challenges we’ve been discussing in the last few posts. Stepping into the generosity of global service by sending positive energy to All Beings is a beautiful way to counterbalance the distress I have been describing.

A brand new spiritual dance using the words from a prayer of Inayat Khan showed up in my head recently: “Thy light is in all forms, thy love in All Beings.” This vision helps me move from discomfort back into Love. It exemplifies a profound respect that does not rely on personality.

How do you feel respond when people who cannot comprehend your experience give you advice that does not serve you?

What do you do to maintain respect for those who repeatedly and unwittingly disrespect you?

22 May 2015 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy Part 46: Memory, Intimacy & Loss

Managing Your Energy Part 46: Memory, Intimacy & Loss

The wife of one of my best friends died eighteen months ago. He told me that one of the most painful aspects of that huge loss was that “she was the keeper of my memories.” She had been and beside him, sharing countless, varied experiences and life events for several decades. She remembered the names of friends and acquaintances, what they had shared together, their birthdays and their family members. She remembered his personal history, what things meant to him, and the value that people, words, humor, and events held for him in his evolving context.

With feeling rather than mechanically, a person can become almost like the external hard drive on which we have been backing up our life. Shared memories confer a special value on those with whom we remember them. Losing these people can be like losing a chunk of our minds, feeling less connected to ourselves and less connected to people and things that have been important.

Memory is essential to meaning, and life becomes two-dimensional without it. I’m thinking of some neurological cases in “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” by Oliver Sacks. When we can’t remember what things or people mean to us we have lost something vital.P1070741

Memory plays a central role in intimacy. Remembering the context of another person enhances sensitivity, depth of feeling, consideration, and rapport. Shared humor develops through memory, and accrues more and more value over time. It’s a shared emotional context. We remember what the other person finds funny and build on it. We remember what events mean, and can anticipate response.

When a loved one loses his or her memory, the impact on intimacy is usually devastating and confusing. Devastating because our shared world may be shattered or gone. Confusing because we are left with the icons of that world, yet only whiffs of its emotional substance.

We have been exploring memory and healthy loving connection in the face of loss. Our personal process of dealing with loss varies widely. There is a difference, however, between memory and obsessive nostalgia, between dealing with painful loss and being stuck in the past. A healing process morphs and changes as we go along. This is different than having a stranglehold on the past.

I’ve seen people drive themselves to despair obsessing about positive memories. Intensive focus on the past can function as a way to avoid making decisions leading to an unknown future. When longing and nostalgia become a way to stay stuck, they drain the present of our Presence.

Moving closer and closer to our own essence makes change and loss more bearable. When we are gaining freedom, self-expression, or spiritual development, change is easier to embrace—even when it entails loss.

Learning to embrace loss is challenging, but it can also be engaging and awakening, especially if we can bring ourselves naked into the next phase that life has to offer.

We can begin practicing at any point to age gracefully and ultimately to die well by learning not to struggle to against unavoidable loss. Learning to stay open to possibility is one of the many benefits of cultivating Presence and essence.

Do you ever resist growth by focusing intensely on your past?
If so, what does it cost you and what do you gain from doing so?

What do you do for yourself to support yourself when you experience loss?

27 March 2015 7 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 40: Change & Spiritual Growth, Essential Questions for Developing Self Trust

Managing Your Energy, Part 40: Change & Spiritual Growth, Essential Questions for Developing Self Trust

From a spiritual perspective, safety is largely a factor of what we identify with. When we identify with things that change, we feel more threatened by change. When what we think we ARE may be eradicated by change, change is frightening.

Profound spiritual growth is more threatening than superficial growth. Patterns and personality, likes and dislikes, or our profession may change. We feel threatened if we identify with these things. Then, when they change, we think we will no longer be the same person.

Essence is not threatened by change.IMG_0074

When we identify with our essence, transformation is less threatening because ‘who we really are’ does not change. The seasoned spiritual traveler realizes that the more we transform the more we feel like our own true and natural selves.

Getting to an experience of essence sometimes requires trauma or disruption. Unless the things we identify with become disrupted through change, we may not challenge ourselves to step beyond preconceptions and assumptions about life.

Until we assimilate trauma that informs our experience, it may be difficult to feel trust. At such a juncture it is good to ask oneself, “Trust in what?”

Distrust of God or Life is important to explore. It can bring up a whole welter of uncomfortable feelings. Sharing these feelings can be frightening, particularly if doing so has resulted in painful conversations—or silences—with people we care about. Matters that involve belief can be fraught with judgement, fear, and unspoken reservations.

The best way to approach distrust of God depends on the individual, not only their beliefs, but their relationship with their own heart, and their level of spiritual development.

It does not work to demand peace and ease as preconditions to feeling trust, or love.

Regardless of our spiritual beliefs, issues involving trust almost always hinge on our ability to trust ourselves. We may need to develop discernment, boundaries, energy related to safety, the strength to speak out, and so forth, in order to really be there for ourselves when challenges occur.

I have been learning to produce in my body and energy systems the resonance of safety and of love, and to bring these forth for myself when I am confronted with conditions and circumstances with which I am uncomfortable. When I am able to create comfort inside myself, through my own compassion, I get new insights as to how to manage circumstances and events. My self trust becomes more comprehensive.

Upon what is self trust founded? These Essential Questions to Self  form the foundations:

  • Am I asking life to be other than it is or to prove something to me so I can feel a certain way?
  • Am I trying to impose conditions upon which my full participation depends? If so, what are these conditions, and can I release them, even a bit?
  • Am I willing and able to keep learning, or to nurture myself until I can be open to learning again?
  • Am I willing to use life’s conditions and circumstances as a training ground?
  • Am I willing to practice bringing forth the qualities I need in order to remain intact, become stronger, earn my own trust, or bring forth more love?
  • If I cannot be willing right now, am I willing to be willing?
  • Am I willing to practice discernment?
  • Am I willing to make The Highest Option more important than my momentary desires?
  • What specific energies do I need right now? What can I do cultivate them?
  • If I cannot or will not do what I need right now, what can I do that is constructive?

Note that this work has to do with developing a positive relationship with will.

To benefit most, we need to engage these questions whether or not we FEEL positive, and whether or not our beliefs are working.

Which questions are the most relevant for YOU right now?

20 March 2015 2 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 39: Identity & Resistance to Choice & Change, Doing & Being

Managing Your Energy, Part 39: Identity & Resistance to Choice & Change, Doing & Being

Identity is a tar baby. When we punch it we get our mitts stuck.

From the point of view of identity, Being differently is subtilely tantamount to a kind of death. Change is considered not being “yourself” any more. Change occurs more smoothly when we do not make it about who we ARE. Simply leaning into the moment and making an aware choice, just for now, works magic over time.

Let’s use rigidity in shifting from Doing to Being as an example. Someone defines herself as a person who never lets down and relaxes is likely to find spending a week relaxing on a beach daunting or disagreeable. Changing this orientation could feel like having to be a different person. Pressure to change would evoke resistance. Going to the beach and finding something to do there, or practicing relaxing for a little while might be fine. Then it’s not about having to BE someone different, it’s just a choice in the moment.

IMG_0047Discerning our most beneficial response in the moment produces evolution. Keeping with the moment reduces self-conscious, ego-based meddling, and assumptions that spring from grand ideas about potential results. We may have a sense of Becoming, or visions of a potentialities, but each step occurs in the moment—where the action always is.

Non-attachment to the results of our labors is a traditional spiritual value. Applying it with respect to whom and what we become over time helps free us from the confines of identity, which is a limitation on the spiritual path.

From within our moment-to-moment experience, we cannot realize possibilities with which we do not yet resonate. Such potentialities are hopes, wishes, abstractions, or ideals; images of what we “should/could be,” out in the future.

Real choice in the moment requires the ability to call up the energies and create the internal conditions necessary to actualize that choice. For example, we may wish to be loving during conflict. To actually BE loving, we need to call forth the energy of love, creating first inside ourselves a true willingness to open to that love. Then we are able to alter our responses and circumstances.

The things that do and do not occur to us to do, the ways we are able to respond, and the choices that appear before us are contingent upon our “state” and our development. “State” includes: all that we are exposed to, whatever new layer of Self is ready to emerge, any wounds are currently activated or echoing in the background, and the energies we intentionally cultivate.

Our capacity for choice is predicated by the energies associated with our habitual states. In general, we are most able to influence that to which we expose ourselves and the energies we intentionally cultivate. These choices influence our state and our conditions. Cultivating positive influence and energy inspires a wider or more favorable palette of choices.

One advantage of having role models is that they tacitly suggest possibilities and ways of running our energy that do not occur to us on our own.

When we experience futility, feeling stuck, resistance, and a sense of impossibility, we are usually referencing concepts, ideas, and wounds that have become crystalized as parts of self-concept or identity. If, instead of pulling away from it, we gently embrace our sense of limitation—without identifying with the limited state—we become much more able to change our energy.

Changing our energy opens previously unavailable possibilities.

Real choice about how we run our energy in the moment is powerful magic. It requires Doing and Being at same time.

Here are some questions to ask yourself if you tend to become stuck in Doing:

  • Is Doing, at the particular moment, a choice or an automatic behavior?
  • Is Doing a defense against feeling?
  • If so, what are you trying to avoid?
  • What might happen if you suspend automatic Doing?
  • Is your current Doing based on any particular values or discernment?
  • What is your Highest Option and most important value in this particular moment?

Which one of these questions is the most on point for YOU at this point in time?

27 December 2013 4 Comments

Transformation: Balancing the Inner Masculine and Feminine

Transformation: Balancing the Inner Masculine and Feminine

The dream I had Christmas morning speaks to spiritual transformation through balancing inner masculine and feminine elements. Its message is useful to many of us:

I entered a large cathedral with a high, vaulted ceiling into an open chapel without pews. The congregation stood attentively toward the front. As I stepped forward to join, I almost passed a small, ancient woman, seated with her back to a pillar with her legs out in front of her. She was observing me gently. I recognized her as a revered holy woman I had met seven years earlier. I said, “Hello Mother,” bringing my hands together in reverent greeting.

“Hello Teresa,” she returned. She smiled at my astonishment that she remembered my name after so many years and thousands of pilgrims. In her East Indian tradition, I stooped to touch my head to her feet. She had none. Or rather, she had part of a left foot and no right foot at all. I touched my head where her feet would be, brushing the left with the crown of my head. She winced a bit.

I woke up without understanding this dream, yet knowing that it held a message for me. It felt like a gift. In the way of dreams, its imagery means something different in the world of symbols than what initially occurs to the conscious mind.

Shortly after the dream I found myself in a frustrating situation to which I felt unable to respond. As my frustration rose and crested, the meaning of my dream surfaced on its wave.

The pillar was comprised of two rectangular columns at right angles, so its footprint formed a cross. This shape made it strong and gave the pillar four inner angles where one could shelter. Among other things, the cross represents the point of intersection between the earth (horizontal) and ascending (vertical) planes of experience. The sometimes-painful point of contact between our current realities and our ideals is the “place” where our inner work occurs. It is the crucible that develops self-awareness. Columns also represent Qualthe wood element, which includes boundaries.

The Holy Mother–in this case a common person who had developed herself through devotion–represents the Positive Feminine. She is seated on stone (earth element/grounding), with her back to cement. The cement and vaulted ceiling represent the Positive Male, providing sacred structure and support.

The Positive Feminine is presented in surrender to the Divine. She JUST IS. She does not need to ACT to have VALUE. She is OF value and precious simply because she exists. She is not in self will. She is surrendered to reality. There is no where for her to fall. She is in her bliss– with or without feet is no matter. She receives support at her base from the earth and at her back from what has been build by man.

This image speaks to a real life situation in which I become stymied because it is not mine to fix. When I push too hard I go from Positive Male (structure, initiative, support, boundaries, direction) to Negative Male (over-DOing, frustration, aggression). Or I am drawn toward Negative Feminine (helplessness, passivity, indulgence, valuelessness, destruction through neglect).

Positive Feminine represents surrender into preciousness; non-doing with full spiritual value.

Why does she wince when I put down my head? Why has she no feet?

In my process of awakening so far I have brought the qualities I need in and down most of the way, but I cannot yet fully stand in them. I feel helpless when I cannot move forward, and can find contacting hard realities painful. My work point is to lean into my distress and grow stronger feet, not to force action, but to bring the Holy Feminine fully into life. Then I will have the patience to NOT act when BEing is a better choice.

Message from the Divine Feminine: “Observe yourself, through my eyes of love. I recognize and accept you. When you fully accept life exactly as it is you are not compelled to DO anything about it. Residing in inner preciousness is your place of refuge.”

How is YOUR balance between inner Male and Female energies?

Can you move freely from one to the other according to the situation, or do you get stuck in one polarity?