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15 April 2016 3 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 79: Spiritual Growth: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished? Part 1

Manage Your Energy Part 79: Spiritual Growth: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished? Part 1

At the spiritual intensive I recently attended, I continued to address the theme we were discussing before the last post, about the ins and outs of spiritual growth.

On the first day of the retreat, my spiritual Teacher (I’ll just call him W. in here) read a passage from Inayat Khan, who brought our lineage to the West. The quote refers to achieving a certain state of balance that maintains powerful opposites at the same time—“kemal”.

W. said, “I’m reading this because some people take one idea and walk down the road with it, and it may not be so helpful to them.”

I love that he said this! Spiritual growth is so NOT about finding some particular rule and living by that!

Here is part of the quote, in all its thought-provoking intensity: “The kemal temperament is found only in the holy beings who are living dead, who live in God, not in themselves. Every action, when it reaches kemal ceases to exist. And every person, and every plane of being, after reaching kemal, has a falling. Therefore those who study the nature of life, and who value the unchanging nature of life, drink the bowl of kemal, however bitter it may appear at the time. This is a bowl of poison.”

“So what do you think of about this?” my Teacher asked the group. “The kemal sounds pretty bad doesn’t it? Pretty extreme. However—there is a lot more to it.”

I asked, “Is this something that happens only to advanced adepts, or does it refer to the processes that happen to all of us along the path.” W. said it was the latter.

“It is the gift presented with the gauntlet,” he said, “You get something you desire—but it comes with a challenge. When you unwrap it, there is work you have to do, and it’s not what you expected.”

So much to contemplate here, but the group moved on.

I brought the topic up again the next day: “I’m still chewing on this reading you did yesterday, about drinking poison when you get to the kemal state.”

W.: “Well that’s only one place that it goes.”

“Right,” I paused to acknowledge that. “I had an experience during which my spiritual practice was intensive and consistent, bearing positive results, followed by a series of events that precipitated a prolonged dip into P1000434whatever was still left of almost every trauma I have endured in the course of my life. I found myself afraid to do my practices after that because I don’t want the consequence of having to drink the poison.”

“How do you feel about death?” W. asked.

“Well, dying seems a lot better than suffering. I’ve been thinking some about dying.”

“You could drink a cup of poison,” he said, laughing, and the group joined in.

W. knows I have a sense of humor about such things. I said, “Maybe I’m just not drinking enough! I could drink more and die instead of just suffering!” Most everyone was laughing now.

“You’re running into some ground floor conditioning that is fighting back.”

I asked whether the practice we had just done as a group—practice to surrender into allowing the personalty to die and our essence to be resurrected—would be useful at such junctions, or bring about additional suffering: “Is this a good practice to do if one is afraid of going into practice because one does not want to bring the karma on faster? Is it advisable to try and push through it by being willing to sort of die into the states, and head right into that pain and suffering?”

W.: “I understand what you are saying, and it’s a good question, and it’s a question you need to consult your own sense of Guidance around, because some people are conditioned to be martyrs, and they will jump right into the fire. —But it may not be their fire to jump into. And so, if you know what I mean, you don’t want to just jump.”

His response continues in the following post.

Have YOU ever noticed that intensive movement forward is often followed by a difficult passage?

What would you consider to be “the unchanging nature of life”?

1 April 2016 2 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 78: Inner Child Inclusions and Exclusions in Energy Clearing

Manage Your Energy Part 78: Inner Child Inclusions and Exclusions in Energy Clearing

I was doing Inner Work walking in nature, and noticed that I had a few Inner Child inclusions. I made this term up, and find it apt. I am referring to a phenomena that shows up in some types of energy clearing—although most of the fine healers I have seen are unaware of or do not scan for them.

Fragments of another person’s Inner Child become drawn to us when the person has unresolved issues at a particular age and views us as a source for those needs. If they disown that need, and are unaware of the need at the moment, and if one is sympathetic or identifies with their need, the related energy can enter our body or energy fields. We include it as if it is part of us, hence, an inclusion.

Conversely, we can call it an Inner Child exclusion if we have given over a chunk of our energy to someone else. Giving to someone else the energy of a part of self that we are not owning excludes it from our IMG_0545awareness, hence an exclusion. One healer I know refers to disowned or disparaged parts as “exiles.” He is talking about the psychological aspect. I am talking about the energy.

When energy that belongs within becomes attached to or projected onto someone who is seen as a source of need gratification, these chunks become exclusions for the person who disowns them, and inclusions to the person who carries them.

The problem with pushing these chunks away is that doing so maintains an arrested state of development. It is difficult to work effectively on issues when the related energy is not present in the body—along with the sensations and emotions that are connected with it. The problem with taking them on from someone else is that when we think they are part of us we can work and work on related issues and sensations without making much progress. We cannot change something that does not belong to us, so we can find the issues highly resistant to change.

Energy and issues show up in layers. We can clear everything we can find at a given point in time, then after significant growth, discover energy that was not previously accessible. It becomes possible to clear this energy when we get down to the strata of experience wherein that energy has been lodged.

Energy anomalies are always related to our issues. As with psychological issues, they do not show up until we are ready to grow through and beyond the related issues or control previously obscure elements of our personalties.

When I first learned about Inner Child inclusions, I removed all the inclusions I could find. Following periods of intensive Inner Work I occasionally find chunks that were buried and simply could not show up before.

Noticing energy related to complex issues requires dedicated focus. I do my best extended Inner Work walking in nature, when very few people are around. Then I can till the soil of a particular issue by turning it over and over, looking at all the ways that an issue appears in my inner and outer worlds, sensing into and working with the related energies. Movement helps air things out and keeps me grounded and in rhythm. Natural beauty keeps me from getting restless or uncomfortable, like I might be sitting for an extended period. New places and beautiful views give me perspective, elevate my mood, soften my heart, and remind me of that the world contains pleasant options.

As I walked I through out some chunks that had been drawn to me. This should be done lovingly, returning them kindly since the person who disowned them needs to accept them back and process something difficult.

A beginner’s error is to dis-identify with parts that belong inside, imagining that they originate from someone else. Throwing out parts that belong inside creates other problems. Be circumspect and willing to own your “stuff” if you try clearing yourself.

Do you ever feel unreasonable and awkwardly responsible for someone’s needs, in an odd, preverbal and stuck way? You may have inclusions.

Do you find that yourself unable to penetrate with your awareness into an aspect of your Inner Child, even through you can usually access those parts? You may have exclusions.

Discerning inclusions and exclusions  is subtle and complex work, not easy unless you regularly practice energy clearing and Inner Work.

25 March 2016 6 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 77: Conundrums in Personal Growth

Manage Your Energy Part 77: Conundrums in Personal Growth

“Whenever we work through a particular layer of our personality, the issues of the next layer automatically present themselves.” (From “Understanding the Enneagram,” by Don Richard Riso)

This fact can, frankly, be annoying, especially if we are trying to achieve a particular state or condition. It tends to pop up when we are making progress—and feel like a setback. We may then feel like we are NOT making progress, but the emergence of that next layer IS a sign of progress. One may feel weary and frustrated at working diligently for a breakthrough, only to confront the constellation of issues at next layer of personality.

This new layer often consists of things we believe we have previously handled. In this case it can be a deeper expression of the familiar issues. The related challenges and wounds may be familiar, yet as we enter more deeply into the territory, it may be constructed somewhat differently.

Sometimes growing and confronting challenges can show up like climbing stairs, since we tend to stabilize at a plateau before hitting the next challenge. We may experience these figurative stairs like climbing, as in increasing achievement, or like heading deeper, down into core Beingness.IMG_0226

Like stairs in an Escher painting, these directions and processes are occurring at the same time. Which way they are going may be primarily a matter of how we are looking at it at the moment.

The work going down and in often involves confronting any prior trauma. Trauma causes rigidity in the personalty. When we can relax our defenses against encountering our historic trauma and accept it, we heal, becoming freer and more flexible in our responses to life.

In the stair metaphor, encountering inner or outer challenges can be like going along the tread of the stair and hitting the wall of the ascent or decent, which symbolize challenges that require a shift in awareness to effectively negotiate. Periods of stabilization—symbolized here by the tread—are required to integrate learning into life. These periods can be short during times of rapid growth.

During quick growth we need to take advantage of stabilization periods to intentionally rest and recover. Saying, “Phew! I’m glad that’s over!” is natural but can be ill-advised—unless we are equipped to gently laugh at ourselves when the next layer shows up. Looking for that next layer is savvy, by observing objectively so we don’t manufacture it from expectation.

When we become accustomed to a certain level of development, dipping back into previous issues or backsliding so that our experience, comfort, and performance are not what they have been can bring up distress.

The Path is a labyrinth. We seem to be getting close to something and then find we are far way, or visa versa. These metaphors describe certain kinds of experience, but they break down and our experience changes when we surrender to life in the moment without the need to fix or change ourselves. The descriptions are useful only if they help us to bring in light and increase self awareness.

How do YOU experience the path of growth?

What is your balance between seeking to grow and accepting yourself?

18 March 2016 4 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 76: Creating Your Reality?

Manage Your Energy Part 76: Creating Your Reality?

“No sooner does man become the creator of the drama of his dream state through the projection of his dormant impressions, than this very projection of his own dormant impressions reflects his past as if it were really his present, and man, finding himself involved in this drama, gets absorbed in his past while still maintaining his past to be his present.”  ~Meher Baba

This quote may initially seem convoluted, while it is actually quite lucid. It is structured in the same way the energy kind of bends when we are DOING what the quote is about. That energy structure makes the description more vivid, once we can wrap our perception around it.

Perceiving this evokes some of the elements of looking at the bottom half of your arm and hand under water. You see the illusion of disconnection between body and arm as the image is displaced by the view through water. The hand seems to be the wrong size and angle. It’s a bit confusing. At the same time you can SENSE P1120995that your arm and hand are in correct relationship with your body.

When we are involved in our pasts and taking them to be the present, a certain amount of distortion of the current reality occurs. This displaced reality often feels normal or continuous. We might say this is what happens in a dream; things that are bizarre when awake seem normal. Unlike correctly sensing that your arm in water is still straight and continuous, the illusory, shifted past-in-present can be a compelling “reality,” displacing the fresh, clean, present moment and casting that awareness into the background of perception.

As we begin to wake up into Presence, we may begin to notice when we are becoming absorbed in the past, replaying things that happened before and projecting them out like overlays upon the faces and events around us.

Have you noticed yourself doing this?

Re-live your awareness in that moment. Note that you can tell The Observer part from the parts of yourself, and of your experience, that you are observing.

What do you notice about when you are present to this awareness?

11 March 2016 4 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 75: Hitting the Emotional Reset Button

Manage Your Energy Part 75: Hitting the Emotional Reset Button

Last month I drove to Bellingham to visit my Father in care facility. When I arrived I discovered that he was in the hospital. No one had told me. After wading through red tape and waiting for several hours, I managed to change the care home’s notifications to include me, and my Father was also returned to his room. He was actually in decent shape. He did not acknowledge the flowers I brought. He did ask me to hand him what was left of a two pound box of chocolates. I got the impression he had eaten the bulk of it just before going to the hospital. During our visit, my Father did not demonstrate any interest in me or in my life. Fortunately I did not expect external signs of caring. I no longer take his Asperger’s personally, although I continue to find the absence of normal expressions of emotional connection or social graces awkward.

That night I a visited a friend in the Bellingham area. I slept in the bed in which her ninety-six year old mother had spent her last days, and woke up feeling old, worn, and sad. I had also been given misinformation about food ingredients and was inflamed. Exposure to allergens sets off adrenal reactions, which led to sleep loss and amplified my distress. A gradual but relentless build up of painful and difficult-to-integrate experiences over several months, along with a plethora of draining if banal demands, was beginning to feel like death by a thousand paper cuts. Waking up with no particular agenda, I felt sideswiped by an emergence of emotional pain.

Hoping to shift into an easier adjustment, I did some spiritual practice and didn’t feel much for my efforts. Perhaps this was since I was motivated to move away from pain rather than to enter into whatever was

(picture doesn't do it justice)

(picture doesn’t do it justice)

present.

I walked with my friend after breakfast. In the rain, on a bluff over a bay, my pain bubbled to the surface. I let tears come. The experience was keen and sharp, but it did not take long to wash through and return me to the present. Meanwhile, we wended our way over and around fallen trees by the shore. I became absorbed in the colors of wet stone.

On the far side of a spit, the shore turned to sand. Scattered in the wetness, shells with gleaming swirls of purple and cream called to mind spinning galaxies. For a few suspended moments, looking at that shining sheet of unifying wetness drew me into an organic, fluid sense of Creation, like gazing into the universe. Joy blossomed and crested.

What I took from this:
–My morning’s spiritual practice had set the stage for this experience.
–Allowing both tears and joy helped wash away a big chunk of the build-up with which I had been living.
–When we let feeling flow we can move freely from pain into joy.
–Sometimes being in the present moment involves letting the recent past catch up to us enough to release blocked feelings, which no longer color the present once we can experience them enough to let go.
–Moving on can be easier in different atmosphere, away from obligations.
–Nature and beauty are wonderful healers.

What helps YOU to hit the emotional reset button and let go when life events make you feel compressed or grim?

How do you keep from getting contracted or from resisting life during hard spells?

6 March 2016 0 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 74: Self-Inquiry & Going Deeper Versus Wallowing

Manage Your Energy Part 74: Self-Inquiry & Going Deeper Versus Wallowing

Self inquiry allows us to fully embrace our wholeness. It assists greatly in personal growth, and in discovering how to step beyond endlessly repeating painful experiences. Self inquiry takes courage and intention.

It is not uncommon for those entering more deeply into a path of self discovery to have trouble sorting out IMG_0456the difference between self pity and healthy experience of difficult emotions. Tears, for example, are often equated with self pity. If we shame ourselves for tears, we block the relief, compassion, and insight that so often follow sincere expression and release of pain.

When we are Present we are able to experience any emotion without getting lost in it.

Let’s look at some of the many differences between self inquiry and wallowing in self pity or negative emotion:

Indicators for self pity or wallowing:

–no sincere intention to create real change; lack of positive motivation
–negative self talk
–feeling helpless or being a victim
–lack of objectivity
–self absorbed
–a tense sick feeling
–shame or negative emotions take you over
–out of touch with your body
–thoughts about what I did “wrong”
–sarcasm toward yourself
–asking rhetorical questions without answering them kindly or sincerely
–deeper insight is blocked
–thinking may become like a repetitive recording
–judgments instead of exploration
–feeling bad about how you are
–places in yourself you do not want to see
–you get stuck on the emotions you judge
–thoughts loop without resolution
–fear becomes an excuse or a jump-off point for destructive thoughts or behavior
–feeling of being in the dark
–using a difficult feeling to avoid another that is deeper and has more power over you
–feeling trapped
–“That’s just how I am,” is often a futility trap, accompanied by a sinking feeling.

The Inner Child keeps things from changing—including yourself.

It defines “comfort” as clinging to the familiar—no matter how abysmal that might be.

Feelings and sensations present in healthy self inquiry:

–positive motivation for understanding, freedom, growth, new experience
–an open feeling; curiosity about your processes
–honestly exploring questions that arise
–supportive self talk
–your body relaxes
–you may notice shame or negative emotions and enter into them, but you are always aware that you have space outside of them, to observe them and to nurture the vulnerable parts of yourself even as you notice them
–compassion for yourself for your pain
–capacity for greater objectivity about one’s own and other people’s experiences
–inviting yourself to try new approaches
–feeling of moving forward, even while going down and into your darker feelings
–deeper insight is available
–able to face fears without allowing them to consume you; your Observer stays present
–positive and realistic motivation
–feeling like you are bringing light into dark areas
–allowing yourself to experience any feeling without giving it power over your motivation or life choices
–feeling like this work increases your inner and outer freedom
–“This is how I am and it’s really okay, I accept myself” feel relieving

“How do you experience the difference between self pity and self compassion?”

“What does acceptance feel like in you your body?

5 February 2016 0 Comments

Corrective Insights About Being “Religious” Post

Corrective Insights About Being “Religious” Post

A friend wrote the commentary, below, on my last post, and another friend shared an insight about the topic. I appreciate and welcome these loving and expansive viewpoints, and would like to share them:

“My religious conservative family in Arkansas and many conservatives I know abhor the word spiritual. It has been constructed as the other, much like the word liberal. Folks like this would say they are religious (period) and are offended by the term spiritual (again, think liberal). To the religious, there are specific forms of practice and these forms are required to be called a person of faith.

I grew up in that world. It worked well for me when it worked, and there came a time in my life when everything I had been taught fell apart. But for the rest of my family, it did not fall apart for them. It still works and be careful, because they have experiences of their faith. Experiences, just like Sufis have.IMG_0261 So you cannot divide believers from mystics around experiences. They both have experiences of their faith but they come to them through different means. Both are valid, even if I do not understand how it works for others who are not like me.”

Since thought and insight cannot themselves be Truth—which is ineffable and cannot be rendered into words—every insight opens itself to what is called “a corrective.” A corrective is another insight or truth that does not diminish the first, but augments and modifies it in an important ways, increasing perspective.

It was my intention to stimulate inquiry into the way rigidity of thought can make us uncomfortable directly exploring the Greater Whole. I like my friend’s comment because it makes my own thinking more flexible and comprehensive. It decreases the inadvertent “other” in my previous post.

A few reflections:

—Hypocrisy comes in both spiritual and religious flavors, as do all human issues.
—Superficiality and rigidity have many different types of packaging.
—Dedication to depth and direct exploration of personal experience are more likely to lead to growth than hand-me-down beliefs we do not actively engage through life experience, no matter what we label our experiences or call our belief systems.
—Either/or thinking limits us and exacerbates “other.”
—When there is an “other” group, each group is likely to project what we don’t like in our own group onto the “other,” just as individuals project inner material that is difficult to own onto other people.

The second friend with whom I discussed my last post shared another valuable insight. He said that some people who become “religious,” in the sense of having a rigid and codified way of managing reality, have emerged into this way of being only after living in unmanageable chaos. In this case, sorting reality into manageable categories is a big life improvement. This is one reason people may go from drugs to Jesus.

It is important to allow our beliefs to be flexible, to reach for experience, and to allow our experience to change as our hearts continue to unfold. Then again, we can only start where we are. Rigidity may compensate for fear, overwhelm, uncertainty, or shame.

Behavior and ways of thinking that are an advantage for some are severely limiting for others. The hermit crab needs a shell that is not too cramped and not too big to get around and stay safe. We are like hermit crabs in the way we view and take on life. We cast off beliefs that are too tight and take on the next bigger size, only to jettison that one as we continue to grow.

Whatever perspective we maintain, broadening it is of spiritual benefit—but we can only do that when and as we are able to do so and remain relatively stabile. Maintaining compassion is more important than maintaining any particular point of view.

When you are set in a particular view, what makes that view resistant to change?

How is this resistance structured inside you?

29 January 2016 2 Comments

What Does it Mean to Be “Religious”?

What Does it Mean to Be “Religious”?

I have a friend who uses the word “religious” differently than most people do. At first I had trouble understanding what she meant. She is a self-aware therapist, a shaman, and a highly insightful elder. I have been contemplating what she means when she describes someone this way—particularly those who are not involved in or interested in religions. Through my meditations on it, I have come to find her use of the term enlightening.

Let’s unpack what she is describing:

Spiritual people who are comfortable with the universal energetics and insights that underlie and lead to the development of religions are not “religious” in the sense I am about to describe–and probably already understand.

The word catholic means “broad-based, diverse and liberal” when it is not capitalized. It is used largely to refer to a person’s tastes. The same word refers to the Catholic religion when capitalized. Similarly, my use of “religious” here is like an antonym or opposite for catholic. It refers to tastes or habits of mind that are narrow, based on either-or thinking, and rigid. In this case “religious” specifically refers to IMG_1056belief that is mind-based, garnered from something one has been told to believe, instead of upon direct personal experience.

Here is an example: Someone I know was listening to a transformational speaker and became fixated on the fact that the speaker mentioned that he likes a particular country. Instead of paying attention to the transformative value of the speaker’s offering, she went off on a mental tangent, judging him for supposedly tolerating atrocities she associates with that country. Obviously she had no way to know the speaker’s standpoint on the problems. This thought-based, emotional reaction was irrelevant to the main thrust of the talk.

The content of the talk applied directly to life issues she was too fearful to take on. In this incident, judging the speaker and taking attention away from what was being said constituted:

–a defense, preventing insight from getting in
–a way to stay stuck, avoiding life change
–a conceit, owing to the use of moral superiority to hide behind

We cannot say someone is “religious” based on one incident, any more than you can say someone is Catholic if they attend one Christmas Mass. The habit of thought I am talking about is consistent. It is a defense against insight.

Implications of “religious” and characteristics of people the term fits:

–narrowness gussied up as idealism or Rightness
–judgment of other people under the veil of moral superiority
–black and white thinking
–trying to navigate life from a set of rules instead of sensing what is going on and making a fresh and principled response

Let me unpack this in more detail: Unfounded, mind- or belief-based, idealism is “religious.” It is unfounded on experience, impractical, unpracticed, or even unpracticable in actual life. Movements or political actions based on concepts that spring from judgments, reactions, and suppressed personal emotions create, at best, ancillary problems. This can be seen as a naive attempt to solve a problem without appreciating the context in which the problem exists. I will skip making an example here to avoid inadvertently stirring up reactivity, taking those who most need to hear this off on a distracting tangent.

From the perspective of learning personal balance by working with the Elements, being “religious” can be described as: too much Air (thought), heated up by Fire (passion), in the absence of adequate Water (emotion—this kind of reactivity is out of touch with personal emotion and uses reactivity as a substitute), with the Element of Earth being both deficient and stuck (Earth represents grounding in reality. When it is stuck, people become rigid and resistant.).

From another point of view, being “religious” is almost the same as being controlling. The person is seeking security and stability by being Right. Like all psychological defenses, this behavior protects the person from insight and change until he or she is ready and able to face life’s paradoxes and inconsistencies more directly.

A lot of people who are spiritual dislike anything religious because they lump it in with the “religious.”

Similarly, many good hearted people resist spirituality because they associate it with control issues and hypocrisy, including wars and outright abuse, supposedly founded on religions. Those who have openly explored numerous religions understand that the universal and spiritual heart of each religion stems from something lovely. The “religious,” unable to grasp the heart of it, become fanatic and sometimes perpetrate upon others. Again, that is a conceit and a defense.

None of us are totally free from limited thinking or judging others. Excessive resistance to religion can show a “religious” reaction toward those who are religious. 🙂

People being people, there is no group anywhere that does not contain individuals who are “religious.” Wherever we have beliefs, we have people who grasp them with their minds and become passionate, without yet being able to live these beliefs from day to day. This is a call for compassion.

It serves us to look inside and see where we are being “religious” ourselves.

What are YOU “religious” about?

How does this play out in your life?

What persons or groups show up as “other” when you hold this view?

8 January 2016 3 Comments

Manage Your Energy Part 73: When Personal Growth Becomes Narcissism & Dealing with Self Hatred

Manage Your Energy Part 73: When Personal Growth Becomes Narcissism & Dealing with Self Hatred

“The moment a person becomes straightforward a straight way opens before him.” ~ Inayat Khan

Personal growth becomes narcissism when one engages pursuits of growth in ways that demand attention, without taking the steps that release oneself (and others) from the self-obsessed compulsions of what we consider to be our flaws.

Habitually indulging self hatred, for example, can be a fancy way to avoid self awareness. The intensity of feeling becomes like a sand trap one wallows in. Engaging the hatred can become a way to stay stuck, to avoid personal growth. This differs IMG_0430from sinking in to the feeling to carefully observe and release our tendencies, structures of experience, motivations, and the less-familiar emotions underneath. Seeing behaviors in yourself that you don’t like and saying, “I’m bad! I hate myself,” without aiming to discover what exactly what you are actually doing and what you need reinforces the issues instead of resolving them. It’s like spinning around and around in an eddy.

Discovering self hate can be startling and arresting. Be very kind to yourself if you are in this place. This type of condition is very difficult, especially for those who do not have the advantages of Inner Work, who have not been exposed to techniques for self observation, forgiveness, exploration, and transformation, and do not have the support of qualified professionals.

Those who do have the advantage of such skills and support, who habitually stop at self hatred without moving into and then beyond it, may be indulging narcissistic or masochistic tendencies by wallowing in self hate. The narcissistic part shows up in rage at one’s self because one “shouldn’t be this way,” and is “better than this,” and in being too caught up in one’s own process to respond compassionately to others.

When we get lost in any negative emotion by reacting against it, we are turning away from noticing important aspects to what we are doing, inside and with others. We short-circuiting awareness and remain with the familiar feeling. Hatred or negativity then function as an inverted form of self love, feeding the ego self. This works the same way that an inferiority complex accompanies and underlies superiority.

Attempts to make oneself look good delay solutions and function as a fancy form of defense. Such attempts ultimately backfire. Avoidance makes things persist.

Genuine, healthy remorse of conscience supports healthy motivation and healing. This requires going THROUGH the self hate or negative emotion, without stopping at that depot. Remorse of conscience is not like guilt. Guilt is a sand trap. Remorse of conscience is a process of sensing into the heart and making a decision based on understanding and deeper values.

Accepting, embracing, and then relaxing underlying motivations slims them down and helps to integrate them, creating greater scope for genuine positive expression.

What steps help to release this type of compulsion?

  • Quit judging and stay with feeling—but do not allow feeling to become stuck or static; keep going deeper.
  • Identify the behaviors you use to avoid looking at your feelings and experience.
  • If self hatred arises, welcome it gently and look more deeply. Do not give self hatred special importance.
  • Stop identifying as ‘special-bad,’ as if your issues are more unforgivable and damning than those of anybody else.
  • Identify and take responsibility for your underlying motivations. Notice what motivates behaviors that challenge intimacy or success.
  • Admitting to the parts of you that want to stay stuck. Accept them—without endorsing them. Find positive ways to address the underlying fears.
  • Remember that emotions are not excuses.
  • Take direction from your true values and allow them to inform your choices. Aim to be true to them even while you are having negative emotions .
  • Create straight-forward ways to meet healthy needs and desires, while accepting and releasing those that are not.
  • Take responsibility for communicating your needs without being demanding or trying to make someone else responsible for them.
  • Get help addressing the remnants of childhood issues with your parents, which will otherwise inform your behavior with intimates.
  • Never suppress or ignore emotion—but do not allow it to run you. This means being aware of it, not it acting out.
  • Practice compassion by bringing your spiritual practice fully into your body, right along with your difficult emotions. Allowing them to be less important without trying to get rid of them. If they intrude, acknowledge them or get to the bottom of them, then bring in love and change the subject inside.

What is the difference between having an emotion and being run by an emotion?

What makes the difference between whether talking about your emotions (with someone who is open to feeling) develops intimacy or becomes overly self-involved?

1 January 2016 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy Part 72: The Big Question About Spiritual Unity

Managing Your Energy Part 72: The Big Question About Spiritual Unity

Underlying some of the distress that can accompany intermediate personal and spiritual development is the following situation:

As we become more able to experience Unity, we may be treated as “other” by those who cling to the confines of what they can categorize and define. Those who cannot see where we are moving from, because it is outside of their experience, tend toIMG_0070 make up something they understand, or feel unsettled.

If being seen as other bothers us, we will be inclined to perceive those who ‘other’ us as other. This disrupts our current potential to experience Unity. It is on us, therefore, to be able to accept being othered so we do not other others.

How do we manage to see those who other us as ourselves, yet maintain the boundaries required to establish and maintain a spiritual resonance that invites the experience of Unity?

Do YOU ever experience being “othered”?

Please share your personal reflections on the topic.