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6 January 2017 1 Comment

Managing Your Energy Part 88, Contemplating the Solar Plexus, Part 1

Managing Your Energy Part 88, Contemplating the Solar Plexus, Part 1

The solar plexus region feels so vulnerable. The body is even wired to protect our vitals, and we hunch forward by instinct when we feel wounded inside, literally or figuratively. I have a broken rib and my body wants to pull forward to protect the area. This aggravates the rib—but the reflex is so strong that my back muscles get in a tug-o-war with the muscles that pull me forward. The instinct is strong.

How is it that the seat of our sense of self—the solar plexus, which is associated with personal power—is so intensely sensitive? What’s going on with that?

A Qi Gong master (the real deal) who I take classes with identifies a small point in the solar plexus area as “the Wisdom Gate.” He talks about that spot being an access point for Guidance and an entry point for entering into experiences of different dimensions. The Wisdom Gate is used, along with other energy-connecting points, as a part of a self-development sequence he teaches.

I have been sore in that area, and have been breathing tender, gentle love into it to see what happens. I feel a knot in the hollow between my ribs. Too much has been going on. After a few days of seeking to relax and enter that point as I lie in bed, I have noticed a small but powerful shift in my sense of Guidance during the day. Direct Knowing has been more instantaneous, where something I have no normal way of knowing drops in directly, clear and accurate.

This morning I asked myself the questions I wrote above. What I came to understand is that Guidance IS our sense of healthy personal power. When we have a clear and unerring sense of exactly what we need to be doing at the moment, it is easy to be true to that, and we become solid in ourselves in the face of other influences. This direct experience of who we are and what we are about is what healthy personal power IS. It has nothing to do with force or control.

Health personal power stems from ‘a sense of self,’ and expresses our ‘essence’—but sense of self and essence are just concepts unless we had an energy and sensory experience them. I think most of us have had the feeling that we know exactly what we need to be doing in the moment, and can appreciate the clarity, sense of direction, and freedom from feeling unencumbered by lesser priorities and demands. As this state becomes more and p1040343more usual we express true self. This is a power in its own right, a force of nature. It springs from an intuitive or instinctual basis, meaning, it is not something we DO or intend. It is what we ARE. This is about Being, not will.

Let me remind you here that when I mention intuition I am not talking about guessing or knowing with your head. I am talking about real intuition, which is never wrong. If something is wrong it is an interpretation, vision, hunch, guess, assumption, or belief. Intuition is direct perception of actualities.

The type of experience I am talking about is founded on much more general development in a number of different directions, including the enlivened functions of all of the other chakras in relation with one another. Over the course of life our Inner Work accrues. Different experiences are available and possible at different points in time—and not at others.

The above being understood, when we are drawn to work with specific energy centers in the body, doing so unfolds the related experiences for which we are ready.

It’s not like building something. The process of development is less direct. We don’t just decide to build in a certain capacity and succeed at that. The capacity exists in relation to the whole of your self, and changing the homeostasis of one area or expression will bring up unresolved issues that are held in the related part of the body. Developing one area will make demands on other areas for support and collaboration of other related functions.

What sensations do you have in your solar plexus when you pay close attention?

What do the sensations tell you?

3 September 2016 0 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 7: Tips on Energy Protection, Part 2

Managing Your Energy, Part 7: Tips on Energy Protection, Part 2

This tip is counterintuitive: Keep your energy-sensors pulled in unless you have a reason to check something out. 

Sensitive sorts want to scan everything to see if we will be safe. Constant scanning is draining and causes energy leakage, making things worse. If we mind our own business, our fields remain more intact. When someone approaches and it doesn’t feel right, in dangerous locations, or when intuition prompts you to attend, attention is a good thing. Habitual, inappropriate attention to everyone’s energy makes one more open to drawing Stuff in.

Learning how and when to contain our energy (not “leaking”), supports safety, clarity, and vitality. 

Having emphasized our self-responsibility and the internal aspects of managing our energy, I will include a few externally-based tips on energy protection:

Mirrors are used as a Feng-Shui cure to deflect energy coming toward your house from inharmonious neighbors. You place a small mirror in a window, facing out, facing the direction where energy comes in. You set this up with the intention to bounce the energy back where it comes from. If you use this cure, do it with practical and clean intent, not defensiveness or retaliation.

Violet flame can be used for protection as well as clearing. You visualize violet flame in a space that needs clearing, around you or around your home.

I have been exposed to numerous techniques of visualizing protection in your energy fields. One uses a spinning pyramid and an inverted, pyramid, another uses three layers of different colors of light connected with different sources of protection. We do empower these techniques by honoring those who come up with them, but you can certainly craft something that works well for you.

IMG_0626The last few tips rely on your ability to concentrate and project energy and intention. I use this type of tip only occasionally, if they are specifically called for. They are worth doing in the short term if you feel compromised and cannot yet shift what you need to shift internally in order to disengage from the energy.

As we all know, sincere prayer–with appropriate inner alignment–can be used to protect as well as to clear out energy. I have emphasized in previous posts how to address what we need to take on in ourselves to be able to align ourselves effectively. If we could just do this well we might not need other tips, but what we can access in any given moment and what we believe impact whether or not they energy actually changes.

In my opinion this is the most important tip: “Make your energy clear and transparent so energy goes on through without stopping.” Most of my previous posts support this aim.

One externally-based intervention I do like. These are devices that look like laminated pictures, but they are more complex. The energy technology of this device raises the pitch of your resonance to help disengage. In a sense this is working on Self.

I have used these devices for years, setting them on clients when their energy is compromised, to clear out Stuff that does not belong with them. Recently some of my clients have started to covet them. As they become more aware of energy they can feel the results.

They look hokey. I was initially skeptical. One time I asked the guy who makes them how they work. My eyes glazed over at his response, so I can’t tell you. I can say that they work quite well. I use them when I am exposed to intense negative energy until I get a chance to work on what’s letting it in.

When I was writing about External Energies I made a website to sell these as a service, so people would have some kind of support as they became aware. Should you wish to get one you may go to http://positiveenergytools.com/

How do YOUR beliefs impact your style of working with energy?

Do they enhance or hinder your abilities?

Do you make belief a precondition for getting results?

27 August 2016 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 6: Tips on Energy Protection, Part 1

Managing Your Energy, Part 6: Tips on Energy Protection, Part 1

The extent to which tips on energy protection will be useful to you depends on quite a few different factors. How much trauma you have endured, your exposure to people who modeled good boundaries, your sensitivity and the degree to which you are empathic will have a bearing.

A tip must correspond to your current capacity for self observation and your level of energy mastery to be useful. Different tips work in different moments.P1050807

Techniques do not stop energy from coming in if we open the door to it ourselves, intentionally or otherwise. In stories, granting permission for a vampire to enter your house allows it to enter at will until permission is intentionally revoked and clear boundaries are established. Similar principles operate in the world of energy. If something enters, some part of us is in agreement or in resonance with it. This can be really annoying when we don’t know ourselves well enough to be aware of what we are letting in or why. Thus the universe makes self awareness a high priority for sensitive individuals.

Blaming ourselves, or flailing around in confusion about ‘why’ we pick up energy just muddies the water further. I produced the Inner Work Series and the Pearls to Pain Series in this energy-savvy context to assist readers to develop the personal clarity and self awareness to learn to sort self from not-self and gain better boundaries. These series are one huge tip. This is not an easy fix, but it produces permanent life results.

Energy transfers for various reasons. Sealing ourselves off is not a real answer. Using our sensitivity for personal development is meaningful and satisfying.

Given the above, here are various tips that help minimize unintentional energy transfer:

  • Focus on and breathe into your hara/belly center and bones
  • Ground yourself as well as you can
  • Be careful about trying to help people who are not asking for it or flying out of yourself to others in sympathy
  • Take responsibility for your sense of safety by working with your fields, setting boundaries or withdrawing instead of trying to get others to make you feel safe
  • Discern clearly between your needs and the needs of others
  • Resolve issues that arise clearly and directly instead of stewing about things
  • Notice the way your negative judgments send out energy toward others–and remember that energy can transfer back to you along the link you are sending out
  • When you feel drawn in to someone’s story, tell yourself, “I am HERE; that person is THERE,” and notice the space in between you
  • Remind yourself that just because someone is carrying energy you don’t want, you do not have to pick it up
  • Scan and clear yourself regularly, and get assistance if you cannot
  • Challenge yourself to master your energy in difficult situations instead of fearing or resisting them
  • Make your energy clear and transparent so energy goes on through without stopping
  • Visualize your energy fields and strengthen them with light
  • Let your energy fields be strong but bendable, like spider web
  • Allow your fields to flex, like pushing a finger into a partially inflated balloon, when someone comes near (instead of imaging them as being broken)
  • Keep your fields smooth and intact so they are like Teflon
  • Do spiritual practices on your breath to raise your resonance to a higher pitch
  • Practice keeping your resonance at your own pitch instead of matching someone else’s when their energy is compromised

Which of these tips is most useful for YOU at this point in time? Why?

What tips can you add to this list?

20 August 2016 10 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 2: Conditions that Cause Energy Transfer

Managing Your Energy, Part 2: Conditions that Cause Energy Transfer
What happens to our energy when we ‘go out to’ others, become overly sympathetic, ‘over-merge’ with another person or a group, give ourselves away, get drawn in to interactions that do not serve us, do more for others than is healthy, or get ‘triggered’ and begin to dissociate?

These unintentional behaviors leave our energy fields patchy and thin, riddled with holes, or partially unoccupied, leaving space for ‘squatters’ (like in an empty home). This type of condition creates erratic energy connections with others.

Unintentional energy connections spring from our personal issues. They do not express our preferences or foster healthy intimacy.

The behaviors mentioned above cause energy to leak from us into the fields of others. This may or may not compromise us, depending on our own field strength and what happens to be going on with the other person when we do it. Let’s say it “leaves us open,” literally and figuratively.

A bit farther below are some types of interaction that can lead to unintentional energy transfer. I have broken them into categories. Some kinds actual of interaction reflect issues that cause ‘leaking.’ Things we all do inside our own heads can also create energy openings or connections. These connections can be constructive, neutral, or problematic. The key is to notice and have a choice.DSC_0242

The maxim: “Where your mind goes your energy follows” applies here. Note that thinking about people creates connection. This may seem sketchy to some people but I have several friends who will call me, or visa versa, EVERY TIME we focus on one another with feeling, whether it has been a few days or a few months.

The mind has been referred to by a certain spiritual master as, “A public well.”

Thinking is an interaction more often than we care notice. I have seen strangers respond bodily to my thoughts about them, and realized I was thinking too loudly or judging. The stronger our will and concentration the more important it is to watch what we put out.

I am do not suggest neurotic self-consciousness about your every thought. That produces its own kind of inner ‘noise’ and leads to suppression. Notice instead when you are putting out energy, and learn to manage your energy instead of dwelling on your thoughts. Learn to think inside your own space instead of projecting.

Examples of conditions that can create energy contact:

Emotion-based

  • Compassionate desire to help, with insufficient energy boundaries
  • Over-concern for another person, without adequate grounding
  • Inappropriate care-taking
  • Worrying about someone
  • Worrying about what others may think of you
  • Resentment, hostility, hatred, guilt, etc.
  • Any other emotions (including positive) that cause you to project yourself into someone else’s space
  • Vacancies or hole in our energy fields from emotions or issues we push away or deny

Mind-based

  • Judging another person creates a link to the energetic frequency of the behavior upon which we are focused
  • Conversations with others in our heads
  • Having something we need to say and not saying
  • Intending to do something for or with someone and thinking about it without acting on it

Body-based

  • Body contact, especially if it involves energy transfer
  • Hugging
  • Training that involves touch
  • Healing work
  • Sex

Take care to associate with people with good energy hygiene.

Resonance-based

  • Going into rapport/resonance with someone who has energy that is not theirs or who has disowned emotional energy in their fields
  • Running an emotion that matches the energy in someone’s fields
  • “Matching pictures”– which means that something unresolved in your history, one of your emotional triggers, or an incident you react to has the same resonance as energy the other person is carrying

Note that energy easily transfers over the telephone when conditions set up sufficient resonance

Moving from a defensive stance into personal growth depends on taking responsibility for the INTERNAL reasons that we take on energy.

What habits, traits, or behaviors make YOU vulnerable to picking up energy?
When you notice the potential of picking up energy, do you do seek to protect yourself from the other person or to shift what you do inside to minimize your vulnerability?
16 July 2016 5 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 87: Volitional Space & Boundaries

Manage Your Energy Part 87: Volitional Space & Boundaries

The other day I heard myself comment to a client that his girlfriend had been “metastasizing into your volitional space.” He knew exactly what I meant. She expected him to do something for her, right away, without first greeting him or asking if he was up for it. I might have used the word “encroaching,” but the automatic, unintentional and vaguely vegetative sound of “metastasizing” was a better fit at that moment.

I got to thinking about this turn of phrase over the next few days, and decided that the idea has merit and deserves to be defined more clearly.

“Volitional Space” refers to the energy created by a combination of will, motivation, and intention. P1010124

“Volitional Space” is different from our boundaries, although there is a relationship between the two: When our boundaries correspond appropriately with out volitional space, we are behaviorally and energetically congruent.

When our volitional space extends outside of our boundaries, our energy is hanging out and essential inviting—or at least allowing—other people to impose on us. We are not setting boundaries that are commensurate with our will, intention, and motivation. Boundaries set out beyond our volitional space may be defensive, automatic, reflexive, or unnecessary. It is quite possible to have uneven boundaries, shaped like an amoeba instead of a circle, that are outside of our volitional space in some places, and inside it in others. Those who hold this configuration are likely to be confusing and inconsistent in dealings with others.

Examples:
Volitional space outside boundaries might be telling someone something is okay with you when it violates what you want or feel comfortable with.

Boundaries way outside volitional space might show up as having rigid rules that enforce distance with others, even while wanting someone to be closer than you are allowing them to be.

Boundaries in correct correspondence with volitional space is saying what you mean, knowing what you want and are willing or unwilling to do, and giving clear signals that allow other people to understand where you are coming from and what you can and cannot accept. This can be done tacitly or explicitly, depending on what is necessary in a given situation. It does not require drama.

I am finding the concept of volitional space and the relationship between it and one’s boundaries quite useful in describing interactional dynamics. The concept invites awareness and in encourages self-responsibility in relationship.

What is the relationship between your volitional space and your boundaries?

Does it change in different relationships, or do you have general tendencies?

How do you feel when your volitional space and boundaries are not aligned?

28 June 2016 4 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 86: Re-Defining the Awful Hole

Manage Your Energy Part 86: Re-Defining the Awful Hole

“God is an activity of the soul.” ~Murshid SAM Lewis

You know the hole. The one almost all of us run from. The hole deep inside, where we experience soul-sucking fear of emptiness, loneliness, gnawing isolation, or the pain of bone-cracking absence of connection. That hole.

Some of us try to fill it with multiple contacts with people, some with an idealized mate, some with sex, food or drugs. It doesn’t work. We just debilitate ourselves with the endless, distracting effort without changing the hole itself.

We have our stories about the Hole. Most of them start with “If only . . .” They vary from personality to personality, but often end with feeling like a victim, wasting our lives trying to be enough or have enough without finding any of it somehow fully satisfying, or realizing that we keep trying to make ourselves lovable to others instead of doing what we really want. Trying to escape the Hole keeps us from finding out what that might be.

In order to free ourselves from being enthralled or enslaved by the Hole, we need to be aware of the Hole. That means we need to be able to face it with some measure of detachment. Then we can investigate it some instead of being obliterated by it. Getting close to it is frightening at first. Since itIMG_4110 operates in the background of awareness, and has such power, we fear being sucked into it and obliterated by it. Paradoxically, this is what happens, to a greater extent, when we invest in avoiding that Hole. The less we see it the more power it has over us.

Another important step in freeing ourselves from that thralldom is being able to objectively observe the story we tell ourselves about the Hole, and what we believe about it. When we can see how it functions, we can challenge the myths that have developed around it.

Examples of such myths:
I will be destroyed if I experience the Hole
I have no power in the face of it
I have a problem if I feel there is a hole

The most dangerous myths are what we tell ourselves the Hole IS. What makes defining the Hole dangerous is that—supposedly knowing what it is—we cease to examine it and go on with business as usual. This gives it power.

Re-defining the Hole is a powerful act. What is that Hole, really?

Some spiritual literature describes the Hole in detail. In the spiritual context it is seen as our basic, engrained sense of disconnection from the Greater Whole. We long for connection, for Love. This can be viewed as feeling separate from the Divine, but it can also be viewed as feeling separate from our own innate essence. When we are fully Present, moving from the authenticity of our essence rather than the compensatory dictates of personality, we feel whole and complete. The Hole is not driving.

It is important to stop telling ourselves that the Hole is a need for love/food/drugs/distraction etc., and stop telling ourselves that feeling it means something is wrong.

When we start telling ourselves that noticing the Hole is a step forward in awareness, and we begin to observe our orientation with it, we can begin to direct energy and attention to the question of developing Presence. As a dear friend used to tell me: “A good plan is a plan that works.”

How do YOU experience the Hole?

What do you tell yourself about it?

What have you felt this might mean about you?

18 June 2016 2 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 85: This Basic Inner Struggle Creates Our Life Path

Manage Your Energy Part 85: This Basic Inner Struggle Creates Our Life Path

The quotes below speak to an interesting dynamic in life. (If the G-word bothers you, use “Source” or “connection with the Universe/Greater Whole.”)

“Through motion and change, life become intelligible; we live a life of change, but it is constancy we seek. It is this innate desire of the soul that leads one to God.” ~Hazrat Inayat Khan

“No matter what our aim or objective in life, its security does not bring us happiness. There is a constant struggle between our attraction toward joy and our attraction toward peace. This struggle causes our involution and evolution, and its end is not attained until the two are brought into equilibrium and coalesced. That is to say, the nature of God or Nirvana is not a dead-peace, but Life in its fullness, Love in its magnificence, Light beyond our conception. When we have tired of changing phenomena and seek God alone, we find that consistency, that peace, that joy.” ~Murshid SAM Lewis

If we study our life experience we find that meeting our objectives is not the ultimate key to happiness. We want the next thing. Or we want peace from the demands that our objectives visit upon us!

Visualize a circle with a dot in the center. In the grander scheme, evolution involves extrapolating out from the center point of oneness-consciousness into external life experience. Involution can then be seen as the movement from the edge of circle back toward self-realization.

In our daily life, our inner struggle between wanting new and varied experiences, and wanting simply to BE in peace, stirs us up and produces the rhythm of our lives. This rhythm may be smooth or run us ragged from time to time. We are pulled between action and inaction, absorption in experience and meditative withdrawal.

The pull between the (lateral) urge to join and involve one’s self with others and the (vertical) draw toward connecting directly with the earth and with Guidance as we individuate forms a similar pole.P1010116

Equilibrium between these poles requires being able to accept and embrace both of them, without resistance, or pitting one against the other.

Life works on us by casting us into circumstances in which we greatly desire more involvement or more peace. Often enough we feel both ways at the same time, in different life arenas—or even in the same one.

We experience consistency, peace, and joy not only by learning to balance the polar experiences in equilibrium, but in bringing one into the other. We unify experience by bringing peace into involvement, and a sense of deep connection into solitary peace. The actual coalescing of these poles into a unified experience is not something we do as a particular act. This synthesis is the fruit of an accumulation of experience and surrender as we become more and more consonant with That Which Is. True and uninterrupted constancy requires a state of Being that is undisturbed by the vicissitudes of life.

Do you currently long more for joy or for peace?

What is your current balance between doing and being?

How is your balance between involvement and time alone?

What do you long for, and how do these longings create your life?

3 June 2016 5 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 84: “Can You Tell What I Am Thinking?” Ethics & Intuition

Manage Your Energy Part 84: “Can You Tell What I Am Thinking?” Ethics & Intuition

A housecleaner was leaving my home after his second visit. At the door, we were conversing about whether or not to reschedule. I said, “To be perfectly frank, I like your work and feel you are reliable, but I need to adjust to you being in the house. You have really big energy, and I find myself having trouble concentrating. Perhaps I can do errands when you’re here. Of course I couldn’t do that the first time, but now that you know the house, something like that could work.” 

“Can you tell what I am thinking?” he asked, suddenly and baldly. I smiled and he went on: “I mean, I suppose I do notice energy to some extent—but I’m used to being around people who don’t notice that type Version 2of thing.”

“I get the impression,” I said gently, “that you have had some experience of being invaded by other people.”

“Oh yes! When haven’t I been invaded?!”

“Lots of us have that experience. It’s more normal than you would think. Take, for example, being a teenager and coming home two hours after curfew. You put your hand on the door and most people know at that point who is awake and whether or not they are in trouble. That’s feeling energy.”

“Sure. I did that.”

“It sounds like you are fairly sensitive to energy.”

“I think I may be, but I haven’t really thought about it that much, and I’m not sure I always know what I’m noticing.”

“My friend who was visiting today scanned you when you came in. I think that may have made you uncomfortable.” He shifted around on his feet. “She’s young yet, and doesn’t realize that it’s invasive to scan someone. Here’s how it works: Some things are in the public space and some are in private space. It’s okay to ‘read’ anything someone puts into the public mind-space. It’s not okay to go into their private mind-space without permission.”

He was looking at me, engaged, taking it in.

“Say you are sitting at a table reading a newspaper. If I walk by and I see the major headlines on the outside, that’s normal and acceptable. I may notice but not really try to read the fairly large headings. I do not sit down or bend over and read the articles. It is a violation for me to come around to the side of the paper you are on and read things without your permission. That is how it works. So: I don’t really pay any attention to what you are thinking. It’s not my business—and it takes work to read it.”

The housecleaner looked relieved and we went on to handle scheduling.

I found the encounter interesting because he was forthright about what he needed to know, and asked directly. For every one like him there are likely to be thirty who will not know how to ask, and a few hundred to whom the concept doesn’t even occur, or who shut down their thoughts and feelings about it before they become aware of them.

How do YOU feel when someone scans you?

If you scan other people, do you use any ethical or practical guidelines?

Do you believe that there is or should be an ethic about scanning other people?

If so, what feels right to you and why?

Here’s an old joke: Two psychics were walking down the street. They stopped, smiled, looked one another up and down, and one said, “You’re fine! How am I?”

27 May 2016 6 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 83: Spiritual Retreat Experiences with My Teacher, Part 5: Studies in Balance

Manage Your Energy Part 83: Spiritual Retreat Experiences with My Teacher, Part 5: Studies in Balance

My Teacher gave the group several options for solo intensive practice. I chose a practice used to shift any urge toward revenge into allowing the Universe to effect correct karmic balance, paired with a practice to counterbalance the urge with complete forgiveness. As the most challenging of the options, I thought to practice it in the container of support offered by the spiritual retreat.

When I transitioned from doing the practice aloud to taking its essence onto the breath, the forgiveness part kept trying to change to another practice. This practice works to cultivate the experience of an inner citadel of grounded safety, and to feel safe in relations with others. I realized that not feeling safe can cause us to sustain blame, preventing balance. It seemed natural to pair the karmic balance practice with this one for safety.

In the afternoon gathering with my Teacher I asked about the viability of this pairing. I was startled when my Teacher said “That’s brilliant!” since he almost never says positive or negative things. He turned to the group IMG_3920and said, “She is an experienced practitioner, and can adjust practices to her needs.”

He asked me how I arrived at changing the practice. “It just changed itself,” I said. “I changed it back, but then it changed again, so I thought about it and realized that it made more sense to me to go for the root of the issue instead of trying to balance it.”

His comment helped me to be seen as I am by the group; to have my insights valued instead of being treated like a rogue element as I might be by anyone rule-bound enough to think it’s not okay to change what he suggests.

That morning he had said, “I’m a little hoarse.”

I couldn’t resist mumbling, “A pony?” We were mainly on silence, and I was quick to accost myself for this lack of discipline.

He stopped and asked me to repeat what I said, perplexed. I clarified: “A pony is a little horse,” relieved to see him laugh. He told the group that at his house they have an ongoing contest for the worst pun. This may seem trivial, but his care to include me in ways that allowed the group to receive me well is kindness in action.

Part of my Teacher’s job is to rattle people’s cages. This is a service to those who wish to awaken—which can be uncomfortable no matter how lovingly done. He is an enemy to assumptions, automatic behaviors, and limiting beliefs. He can be curt and direct if someone presumes. He tells people to get on with it if they over-explain—which I find relieving.He doesn’t give a crap what anyone thinks of him, so if someone under his care interacts with him, they expose their ego to his keen discernment.

I wince sometimes, but the discomfort is worth the insight. Lessons often require contemplation when they come through body language and energy, without words.

As I described in prior posts, he is gracious and compassionate about traits one is yet unable to manage, and gently protective with respect to tender territory in the heart and budding impulses from the soul.

Standing or sitting close to my Teacher can be a bit odd. I must assume that he will notice my motivations, energy, and the extent to which I am or am not applying myself. As for whatever goes through my head, I’m sure he’s generally not interested—but I never really know for sure. As in every relationship, it is still important not to expect him to know something I haven’t communicated.

Two nights before the end of the retreat my Teacher laid his hat on a platform beside his chair. I thought it would be fun to put it on. I love tuning in to his crown chakra. Wearing his hat would be a playful way to feel close.

The last morning of the retreat he was again wearing that hat. I had a taxi coming soon. As I said goodbye between dances, he playfully put his hat on my head while we talked, grinning like a jack-o-lantern.

Are you willing to experience discomfort to gain insight?

What types of discomfort serve to free us, and which kinds keep us mired in our personality patterns?

20 May 2016 3 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 82: Spiritual Retreat Experiences with My Teacher, Part 4: Freeing Up Shame and Humiliation

Manage Your Energy Part 82: Spiritual Retreat Experiences with My Teacher, Part 4: Freeing Up Shame and Humiliation

“Imagine the broken places inside you are magnets for light.” ~Tawwaba

Learning to recognize, resonate with and reproduce different qualities of energy develops inner freedom and awareness, in addition to personal mastery.

The next stage of the spiritual retreat worked with paired qualities relating to feeling cast down into shame and humiliation, and being raised up and recognized for success. This practice assists in learning to be unattached to the highs we experience, and not pulling away from or wallowing in difficult experience.

The fall from a high state is inevitable. Learning to discover value and insight in all states, without clinging to them, is an important objective. Suffering, as the Buddhists tend to point out, is caused by attachment and aversion.

The aim of alternating intentionally between humiliation and feeling elevated through success is to find the divine in both states, to release attachment to either, and to become able to move freely between them, learning what is there to learn throughout.

Through dance, energy practice, and meditation, the retreat group followed our work the qualities I just mentioned with qualities and energies that help to release blame and self blame and enhance forgiveness and balance, and some that evoke strong, clear, connected self-esteem. The last practice of the morning generated incredibly tender, unprotected-but-powerful love. We sent this love to one another as a blessing, standing to receive it, eye to eye with a number of dance partners. P1010116

Everyone has trauma. Not everyone is in touch enough to sense what it is or how it acts in shaping and restricting personality. For the most part, those who shut down their own awareness of trauma fear it having it arise. Also, since we tend to restrict in others what we cannot view or accept in ourselves, people who cannot face their own trauma tend to shut down those who communicate their own. Deeper feeling and expression get confined to breakdown or therapeutic situations. Working with the states and stages of our wounded humanity in energy-based, spiritual ways—without being psychological or singling anyone out—is freeing. This work creates openings that allow light and love to move through us without the obstructions caused by trauma.

Working also with the intention of allowing the divine to touch us, move through us, and to also be present within our tender spots is beautiful and intense. The practices allow us to see and experience ourselves and others very intimately, yet without discussion or delving into one another’s histories. Doing this feels universally human.

Of course, those few who know more about our personal journeys see more deeply into our faces and gestures and stand witness to us in a way that is both vulnerable and deeply healing. Opening the heart to attend to our different alchemy with each partner, and noticing the different flavors of each experience is a learning in itself. Some partners open us to places we have not yet touched in ourselves. Others may bring up a reflex to protect something. We can observe whether we can find a way to relax this and give of ourselves safely. Fortunately, most of the people at this particular retreat were lovely and loving and my Teacher floods us with love and creates a safe environment for practice.

What would it take for you to intentionally bring up shame and humiliation without getting stuck in them?

If you use feeling inflated or successful to avoid feeling shame, what would you need to do in order to feel safe being aware of both sets of feeling?

How can you move between them without getting stuck in either polarity?