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14 August 2015 13 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 57: The Shadow of Respect

Managing Your Energy, Part 57: The Shadow of Respect

“Those who try to make virtues out of their faults grope further and further into darkness.” ~ Inayat Khan

I recently overdosed on platitudes about respecting people. I would like to explore a counterbalancing perspective—stating the things we just don’t say.

What does it really MEAN to “respect” someone?

In my last post I described one of the things that respect means to me, among friends. It has to do with honoring one another’s ability to hear and receive insight, through open interaction.

The rest of the world isn’t necessarily thinking the same thing when they talk about respecting people. P1140314Respect is one of those words, like love or god, that carry a lot of freight and mean different things to different people.

I have a sneaking suspicion that often enough, that when someone talks about treating someone with respect, underneath this honorable and sincere intention there is often a shadow. This shadow will be reflect an internal struggle, or in the ambivalence that made them think that more respect might be required. If respect was already present, what called forth a need for respect? Can we own what is going on inside?

In support of wholeness and integrated growth, let’s get past being too politically correct or spiritually correct to look at how we really operate and feel inside. Coming to grips with that makes our values authentic.

Most of us are fairly versed already in all the nice parts of what we mean by respect. Let’s explore more of the shadow side:

What if treating someone as they want to be treated amounts to being asking to respect something for which we do not have inherent respect?

Abusers, for example, often demand “respect. What they often mean is to allow them to control you, or to overlook their behavior. They also mean not to hold up any mirrors. It may also be necessary to pretend one is not in distress.

This reminds me of a brief passage I read decades ago in an Ursula LeGuin book: “The giant Groff was hit in one eye with a stone. That eye turned within. He died from what he saw.”

I love that quote! It speaks eloquently to the Achilles heel of the part of us—which is so often HUGE—that can be aggressive and problematic. The only thing that can bring it down is self-awareness. And how mightily one may resist.

Lots of people take respect to mean, “Don’t disturb me with a view that would expand my understanding.” They will not, of course, TELL you, or even tell themselves that this is what they mean—not in so many words—but it bears out in conversation.

Obviously, there is a difference between respecting someone as a person, and respecting their behavior. We generally do not respect all of our OWN behavior. When we respect someone but do not find their behavior respectable, they may take objection to feedback to this effect. This opens a can of worms. I’m not planning to dive into that can wholesale, but I have a few further comments, which I will make in subsequent posts.

For someone in the business of furthering Awakening, it can be a dance to respect (to have sensitivity to) the defense structures of an individual, while intentionally expanding his or her perspective. Professional boundaries simplify interaction. Day-to-day interactions with persons who are not actively pursuing spiritual growth are more complicated. More complicated still are interactions with persons who believe they are pursuing growth while simultaneously resisting it.

What makes YOU feel respected?

What do YOU do when you respect someone but cannot respect some of their behavior?

19 July 2015 15 Comments

Managing Your Energy Part 54: Musings on Self Realization, Part Three: Learning to Love those we Cannot Love

Managing Your Energy Part 54: Musings on Self Realization, Part Three: Learning to Love those we Cannot Love

“Shatter your ideals on the rock of Truth.”  ~Inayat Khan

The urge toward self realization, actualization, self awareness, and awakening is a major driver in the Universe. It supports so much of what I hold dear because it gives meaning to human endeavor.

While not the most evolved stance, when someone who is important to me eschews what I most value and hold as right and good, it rankles me. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

I’ve been thinking about just what it is that I find disturbing about unconsciousness. When someone SEES and ADMITS their foibles, this often makes them acceptable to me. This intrigues me. Is it because I can accept it when they do?

When we do not accept ourselves, it is harder for others to do so.

One of the key drivers of the Universe is the urge to become Self aware. It strikes me that when we RESIST awareness, we are moving away from this primary spiritual impetus. It just seems ‘off’ to me. It heckles my truth-sensors and aggravates my values and sense of honor.

So does standing in judgment of those who are less evolved. I am seeking to come to peace with the fact that much of humanity lives in the darkness of our own ignorance and denial. This peace is not coming easily.

I’m finding it useful to explore what it is about unconsciousness of self that I find offensive. Let me avoid listing attitudes that support atrocities, and stick to the mundane expressions of ignorance—although they are cut from the same cloth. Denial and overlooking one’s abuse of power may play our trivially in daily life. This ignorance is still of the same nature as that which some act out in damaging ways on the slate of an entire country.

We separate ourselves from others when we wall ourselves off to defend ourselves from insight. Then we can act in ways that cause harm without realizing our essential unity with others. The unity exists, yet we ignore it. That is ignor-ance.

I’ve been asking myself, “How do we love and bond with those who are not particularly developed?”

Paradoxically, we need to be able to NOT bond with them; to stand clear and solid in our own knowing of Self. As we are able to keep from being confused, or selling out parts of ourselves to go into unhealthy bonding, we have real choice. Now we become able to bond AND to un-bond and stand on our own. From this stance of inner freedom we can enjoy various points of commonality with others without becoming confused with them.

My spiritual tradition regularly sends the benefits of deep spiritual work to all of those in need, with the aim to aid, bless and awaken. This kind of Work allows us to experience Love and spiritual unity with P1060832others, regardless of their level of development. I greatly appreciate having role models who demonstrate what this Love feels like, so that I can participate while I am learning to generate and sustain it on my own.

Learning to love those we cannot love is one of the most personally and spiritually expansive endeavors we can undertake. It can confer meaning on difficult situations, allowing us to use them to our spiritual advantage.

When we bond with the One-in-All, inside, we find that others are no longer separate from us, whether or not they are Awake.

What traits do YOU find hard to love?

Do you have a need (like connection), a value (like Truth), or an ideal (like self awareness) that underlies this?

How can you reformat your ideals to expand your ability to Love?

12 July 2015 8 Comments

Managing Your Energy Part 53: Musings on Self Realization, Part Two: Important Questions

Managing Your Energy Part 53: Musings on Self Realization, Part Two: Important Questions

“The hardest thing on the spiritual path is to become fully human.” ~Meyer Baba

I am in deep contemplation before joining at an event with a spiritual teacher, seeking to be open to him after a set of group experiences during which he resisted self awareness. He is a Friend I have always loved.

I am asking myself what it is about resisting awareness that disturbs me. I am asking myself whether I am judging.

I am discovering that I am not judging, but I am disappointed. I will explore this here because it is a valuable inquiry.

I am not one who requires that a teacher or leader be perfect in my eyes. If I have ever prided myself on something it was this: A mentor I once told me I was the only person he had mentored who transitioned to a P1060813friendship instead of finding some pretext to make him wrong or reject him, once they were powerful enough to no longer need him. I did not have to push him away to realize and sustain my growth.

A teacher’s mark of high success is to have students grow beyond them.

I am willing to see humanity and foibles of my current Teacher without allowing them to interfere with my enormous respect. This gives me the security that I am not likely to feel let down or foolish down the line.

Several people I have mentored have ‘discovered’ my own humanity, and taken objection. This is ironic since I have always been forthcoming about my flaws and challenges. When they retreated, their projections continued, flipping from positive to negative as they sought to come to grips with the issues were driving these views. I find it sad when someone feels they must withdraw to stand as a equal. I always aim to demonstrate gratitude to my mentors by standing BESIDE, as I become able.

What marks the difference in being able to accept the humanity of a teacher, friend, or fellow human, and becoming disappointed in them for their shortcomings?

Also, how do we hold OURSELVES with a respect that is not subject to erosion by our own shortcomings?

Contemplating my ability to accept my own and other’s humanity, I have to start with my spiritual Teacher and my healer. They provide the clearest mirrors. I respect them easily beyond any issues they may have. They are well aware of their shortcomings and are committed to Truth.

I also consider my work with clients. I can hold space for their growth with love, and support them without feeling superior or judging them for the issues they are so brave to confront.

When I plumb my experience and ask myself why I have difficulty with the shortcomings of some while accepting those of others, I realize that what matters to me is that the person is actively pursuing and working on becoming self aware.

Now I see that my distress regarding the Friend I will see shortly stems from the fact that he repeatedly resisted what he was being shown about himself in and following the incident that occurred.

Why did this leave me feeling so distant?

I felt shut out.

Truth is the meeting hall for Essence, where We meet when we are in touch with and moving from Essence, together. This is the sacred ground where we really connect. It has nothing to do with theory, belief, opinion, speculation, or the mind. It is the actuality of Connection we experience together when we meet heart to heart without concepts, in the simple authenticity of feeling.

When we defend and deny, we close the doors to the meeting hall. Reactive emotion without the presence of neutral self observation blocks insight exploration, and connection. It keeps us in personality, unable to access Essence.

Willingness to do one’s Work is often the fulcrum upon which relationships hinge.

I am looking for space in my heart to connect from Essence with my Friend and others, without allowing any incident to block stepping into shared Truth in another moment. I have confidence in my ability to do that, and I hope he lets me in as I remain open to him in his humanity.

How do YOU feel about connecting with people when they are not open to seeing what they are doing?

What conditions do you hold for engaging fully with others?

Is there something you can supply for yourself that can allow you to release your conditions and still remain emotionally healthy?

5 July 2015 2 Comments

Managing Your Energy Part 52: Musings on Self Realization, Part One: What Is Self Realization?

Managing Your Energy Part 52: Musings on Self Realization, Part One: What Is Self Realization?

What does it mean to realize Self?

The more developed we become the fewer people are able to fully take in who we are, or recognize where we are coming from. Since we are social animals, we instinctually tend to bond by becoming like those around us, to fit in. This urge toward social adjustment is most intense during youth. It is limiting. Teens, for example, may conform rigidly in their group’s particular brand of nonconformity.

Individuation is a step toward Self Realization. Individuation—becoming a fully developed individual—challenges us to step into our uniqueness. As we do so, we may well find that our values, preferences, and ways of spending time are out of step with the herd. Our insights may be intolerable to those who live more superficially.

In this context of personal development, self realization can mean:

–Becoming who we genuinely are
–Making ourselves real
–Bringing forth our essence and expressing it in the outer world
–Realizing—as in having insight into—who we are

It can be strange to be around people—perhaps even stewing in the energy they are putting out—and realize that they do not and cannot recognize where we are coming from, how we feel, and what is important to us.IMG_0658

After the difficult process of separating the fibers we have entangled in group, family, or couple identity to weigh in as our authentic and unique selves comes figuring out how to relate all over again. How do you realize who you are without viable reflections from the people around you?

One way is to develop friends, healers, and/or spiritual associates who are at or beyond your own level of development. Relating being-to-being, in a two-way flow is a blessing. We all need accurate mirrors. Love, clarity, support, and co-creation bless such encounters. They enhance insight, clarity, fortitude, purpose, and confidence.

Until we stabilize authentic self knowledge, the way we experience ourselves may be markedly different among the projections and misconstructions of those who are unable to mirror us, who may in fact oppose or obstruct us. Those of us who are empathically open are often challenged to maintain our realization of who we are, feeding clarity, understanding, and love back into our Selves around confusing input. This process is an opposite of seeking to bond with a group that requires conformity. It may take some practice to learn to bond with groups open enough to encourage authentic participation.

The urge toward self realization, actualization, self awareness, awakening, and so forth is a major driver in the Universe. It provides the impetus to grow, supplies meaning, and gives us myriad processes that develop character, substance, positive values and mastery in the personality. Holding this aim, no matter what we call it, offers us the chance to take whatever experience we have and to dignify it by applying it toward something of ultimate value.

How do we become real to ourselves?

How do we become self aware?

What stands in the way of becoming self aware?

7 March 2015 4 Comments

Managing Your Energy, Part 40: Rapid Spiritual Growth and Rage

Managing Your Energy, Part 40: Rapid Spiritual Growth and Rage

“Because true belonging only happens when we present
our authentic, imperfect selves to the world,
our sense of belonging
can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.”
~ Brené Brown

Exposure to energies that promote rapid spiritual growth almost inevitably brings us up against the that prevent us from sustaining those energies within ourselves. When we are passionate about transformation, we view this as an opportunity to stretch ourselves with respect to these limitations. We are, however, rarely of one mind about it. When the going becomes painful, we are apt to view these challenges as an affront. Here we are, doing our best to be all that we can be, and it feels like we’re being tested or tormented, let alone receiving support.

One of my readers brought up what she aptly calls “the universal 2-by-4.” I would like to speak in part to those who have experienced sudden awakenings and transformational life experiences which they were not actively courting. My reader was brave and authentic enough to admit that she felt resentment toward God after having such extreme experiences.

I understand. In the face of this kind of experience it is easy to feel resistant to growth, fear of more pain, angry, and stuck.

About twenty years ago I went through an episode of acute spiritual agony. I was mad at God. Even if one kills one’s self, I reasoned, one could not escape suffering because it is nearly impossible to step off the Wheel of death and rebirth. I did not recall choosing to participate, maybe back at the beginning of being a distinct, individual soul, or agreeing to the intensity of the challenges. I resented that so much learning comes through distress. Why not through love?

Whatever we believe and however we couch it, intense suffering can bring up rage. On the bright side, rage can assist with transformation. It focuses a huge amount of energy. Rage itself is life-affirming. We do need to use this force toward positive ends.

While I do not hold with rigid belief, I do believe that the urge to grow is part of our nature. We experience fulfillment through growth. We experience fulfillment by cultivating our hearts, and meaning through involvement with The Greater Whole.

The more we feel separate from God, others, the Universe, etc, the more we suffer. When we feel at One with It, we feel better and are more likely to experience meaning. If we cannot feel it now, we can aim to remain open.

IMG_1785Life is what it is and does what it does. We want to think it could be “fair.” We attempt to apply logic, to hold life to human standards of what should and should not happen. These standards were usually taught to us as children. Sometimes we regress when we cannot understand Life with our minds.

Apparently The One Being That embraces Everything does not maintain our biases against suffering and death. Much that we can experience directly, through our hearts, cannot be rationalized or explained. This includes the paradox of Divine Compassion.

Life is a big fat mystery. It full of paradox and both-ands. It does not and will not conform to our expectations. When we resist, we hurt more. I can understand resenting that.

The more I do practices that increase my ability to remain in my heart the more I experience myself as participating instead of feeling done-to.

How do YOU feel about using difficult circumstances to grow?

What brings you a sense of having a choice?

To progress in our Inner Work, we need to be willing to observe
our resistance to reality, our attachment to our self-image,
and our fear. (Understanding the Enneagram)

22 February 2013 0 Comments

LGS Series 62: The Problem With Awakening, Part 3

LGS Series 62: The Problem With Awakening, Part 3

How do you get ready for Awakening?

Paying attention makes a good start.

PAYING attention is an interesting phrase. Paying attention costs us something. What does it cost? What inner experiences are hiding out when we resist paying attention? 

Some of us act as if paying attention will cost us a chunk of our lives–the chunk of time we spend on focusing. It might cost us something the ego identifies with, like an opinion, misconception, belief, habit, or attitude.

Resistance flourishes in inattention. Resistance is the opposite of accepting life as it is. Habitual resistance is passive denial. It takes up the space and time we would otherwise use to create something of value.

Paying attention costs us the risk of releasing resistance.

To pay attention we engage with intention. This is a more Awake state. Practicing full engagement may initially seem like a restriction. What we get is well worth the price of practicing focus. During the time we spend paying attention, we get MORE for our investment of time. Life is vastly richer when we are fully present to experience it.

We may think we feel freer spacing out–if we notice feeling at all in that disjointed place. We are just less Present. We may feel freer of our issues because we’re not there to feel them.

Not being Present is stuckness.

Self-awareness is what Awakens us. We do become more aware of others and of our environment. The blocks to this awareness are inside, not outside.

To awaken safely we need to be deeply anchored in ourselves or we’ll go nuts instead of becoming connected with all of life in a healthy, balanced way.

On the road to Awakening we may go through painful and confusing periods. It can be rough when we begin to really see yet have little ability to control our limiting or destructive patterns.

Being aware is prerequisite to being able to change behavior. But before we can change it, we need to be able to observe it without condemning ourselves and shutting down again. This is one of the many reasons why heart-opening is an essential component of transformation.

Some of us challenge ourselves too much. We need more acceptance of life as it is. We may be addicted to stimulation, or even to stress. Remember the old French saying: “The more things change the more they stay the same.”

We can stay stuck by constantly trying to change instead of sinking in to the moment. Meditation supports natural and balanced growth.

Some of us are addicted to comfort. We may fear change and live in constrained boxes or by paint-by-number rules. Discovering the distress hidden beneath engrained habits can be freeing. Comfort habits are usually driven by buried anxiety. We benefit by honing inner longing; becoming thirsty for change.

If habitual fear keeps you stuck, try using fear differently. Sharpen your fear of staying the same. View the results of being stuck with the kind of discomfort with which you were viewing change. Contemplate how you can find comfort and relief in change.

These practices support Awakening:

  • Pace personal growth so you are working compassionately in the current moment rather than driving toward some huge change you hope to see in the future.
  • Enter more and more fully into the moment by gently becoming aware of everything you tend to avoid.
  • Read the Inner Work Series under the Personal Development Tab above.
  • Aim to accept or transform the issues and limitations that arise in your day-to-day life.
  • Do whatever spiritual practice you are inspired to do without becoming extreme or forcing anything. Stay open to where it takes you and what it gives you instead of just trying to get something.
  • Live the details of daily life with the attention you bring to spiritual practice.
  • Spend time around people who have the type of energy you feel drawn to. Aim to resonate at the same pitch.
  • Explore any feelings of discontent that arise within you.

Discontent is a handmaiden of Awakening. Discontent indicates that we need to be doing something else or something more. Use discontent as a guide.

Does YOUR concept of comfort support you or keep you stuck?

Is your comfort zone aligned with your most important values?

What would it take to welcome insight about yourself with kindness and compassion?

15 February 2013 2 Comments

LGS Series 61: The Problem With Awakening, Part 2

LGS Series 61: The Problem With Awakening, Part 2

What types of sensations and experiences accompany Awakening?

This post is focused on the details we don’t usually don’t hear about.

Radically increasing awareness causes the energy in your body to move through you differently. It moves in different channels. Our sensations change. An increase of energy in different areas can cause uncomfortable stimulation. Unfamiliar stimulation can make it hard to sleep.

Re-routing energy in the body can open up pain we had previously shut down. One can get buzzing, streaming or vibrating sensations in a body part, organ or chakra.

Sudden energy changes sometimes provoke severe symptoms by causing the processes in one or more organs to work differently. These organs begin to react to pathogens or toxicity they previously did not have the energy to repel. This type of symptom does invite real healing, but gradual change is much more comfortable.

In addition to changes in sensation, perceptual changes occur from changing the flow of “subtle” energies in the body. These changes can be extremely varied, and range from subtle to intense. Focus and concentration can change. Different senses may sharpen or seem foggy and vague. Dreams may be powerful or occur during a waking state. Your sense of internal balance can change. You may become uncomfortably intuitive and hear people’s thoughts or see energy forms or Beings.

Alterations in perception may be transient, long lasting, or permanent.

I know someone who started to see through walls by accident. This happened to me on one occasion and it was disconcerting.

As we Awaken our bodies may also change chemically, becoming more sensitive to influences. We may be unable to tolerate substances we are accustomed to eating or drinking. Again, this can be temporary or permanent. Higher states of awareness demand different body chemistry. The body can become more particular in order to get what it needs to run the chemical end a new level of awareness and energy.

In actual fact, many of us will do almost anything to get rid of mysterious, uncomfortable incomprehensible sensations. Some begin to wake up and then binge on junk, eat heavily, drink, or intensify old emotional patterns to distract themselves and shut down again. This is an urge toward homeostasis, which the body and younger parts of us crave.

Every advance in development UP and OUT must be counterbalanced by moving DOWN and IN. We need grounding and introspection to balance higher states of awareness. This means learning to recognize, work with and accept anything that stands in the way of self-awareness.

Traditional spiritual wisdom tells us there are two kinds of suffering. One is brought about by poor choices, like eating allergens or drinking and driving. The other type of suffering results from prayers, transformational practices, and strong intentions to change, awaken, or do good.

The results of positive intentions and right actions do bring about positive change. The processes by which this occurs are often painful even though they are ultimately of great benefit.

If you pray for more love, for example, you are likely to bring about experiences that awaken your heart. You may need to expand your ability to feel compassion. This type of change usually occurs through life events. We stabilize learning through embodied life experience. That’s what the body is for. Learning compassion and opening to love may require facing suffering or practicing overcoming selfishness. This happens in the context of life.

When we catch on to the fact that good works can increase certain types of suffering we may well ask ourselves: Why not avoid transformational pursuits?

Waking up–becoming evermore Present–provides a powerful experience of life purpose and meaning. Moving toward being fully alive makes us happier, even if the process includes periods of intensity.

In practice, the discomfort we experience by pursuing the values we are passionate about is well “worth it,” and carries elements of joy. Moving toward something of great value is a joy in itself, especially in contrast with a life lived without inspiration.

I have been through periods when the results of intensive spiritual work was overwhelming. For a time I pulled back from spiritual work. Now I aim for slow, consistent growth instead of radical breakthroughs.

We do not need to push ourselves to the point of misery to make ourselves better or get happier. Accepting ourselves as we are is spiritually sound. A balance between aspiration and acceptance that works for your current needs and circumstances is ideal. Some chapters of life require this balance to shift in favor of intensity and spiritual Awakening, others toward learning to be comfortable with everyday life. That in itself can be a meaningful spiritual pursuit.

What is YOUR current balance between aspiration and acceptance?

How do you feel about your level of Presence and contentment?

What do you need to do to feel you are fully engaged with life?

8 February 2013 7 Comments

LGS Series 60: The Problem With Awakening, Part: What Is Awakening?

LGS Series 60: The Problem With Awakening, Part: What Is Awakening?

What happens when we Awaken?

As we explored in previous posts, moving toward congruence means moving toward integral wholeness. Establishing a state of internal congruence also builds a solid base for spiritual development and “Awakening”.

What Is Awakening?

Various groups talk about Awakening. If they define Awakening at all, this definition tends to be vague, abstract, and integral to their particular belief structure. You need to at least think you know what they are talking about and agree to get into it. Some groups are talking about different experiences and calling them by same word.

However defined, Awakening involves becoming more aware. Without being lawyerly about definitions let’s talk straight about what Awakening may entail:

Awakening is a process, and it has consequences. You need to be ready for perceptual shifts and ready to make life changes.

Some people believe in sudden enlightenment and call that Awakening. When that seems to happen it is after very extensive preparation. For the most part Awakening occurs in gradual stages. These stages can be considered preparation, or an increase in awareness that forms an end in and of itself.

What do we become more aware of if we awaken?

Everything.

In addition to becoming more aware of subtle energies and getting an increase of intuitive access, new awareness often includes:

  • Strong emotions that may have been suppressed
  • Intense body sensations as parts of your body wake up
  • Discomfort and perhaps emotional reaction as you begin to notice your previously-unconscious behavior patterns
  • Awareness of all manner of things we customarily block out largely because we have trouble dealing with them

A number of my clients have had different types of major “intuitive awakenings.” Several are working to assimilate what came up for them, years after it happened.

Are they totally Awake? No. The a process that takes place in stages, if and when we are ready for them. Trying to force spiritual processes or to bring them about because our egos like the idea can cause serious problems depending on your level of success.

From a psychological standpoint, we shut down awareness partly to protect our egos from material we can’t deal with. Increasing awareness challenges our ego constellations.

As one client pointed out, spiritual highs can be even harder to process and integrate than spiritual lows. Here are a few things that can come up:

  • Feeling like you can’t live up to the way you now “should be”
  • Fear of giving up reactive emotional habits without behaviors to replace them
  • Worry that other people won’t understand you any more
  • Fear that your husband/wife/goldfish won’t be comfortable with your changes and will go away
  • Self-judgment while suddenly confronting previously-buried selfishness
  • Finding aspects of your life intolerable now that you are sensitized to how they impact you
  • Feeling that those around you are callous, slow, or out of touch
  • Radical change in values and interests
  • Feeling out of control as everything we are familiar with starts to change
  • Feeling “down” in contrast to how we felt during the change, and feel unhappy with our lives as they were before

It is important to distinguish these states from depression or normal anxiety.

Of course the above things do not always happen. Nor do they mean that what is going on is not fully positive. You could in fact experience most of these symptoms from truly falling in love, or going on a long and glorious vacation and returning home. It’s like that–but more-so.

It is wonderful to confront limitations in the interests of moving into greater experience of unity with all Beings. Let it happen in a gradual way, respecting yourself in the process. Radical practices require preparation and supervision.

Frustrated by their seemingly-slow pace of awakening, several friends were later grateful that the changes they provoked didn’t happen any more quickly. It’s easier to start a process that seems abstract before you get results than it is to integrate new awareness into your body and daily life.

I’ll bring up potential energy, perceptual and body changes in the next post.

How have YOU felt coming from a spiritual high into your usual daily experience?

What happened if you tried to hold on to or get back BACK TO the high?

7 May 2011 2 Comments

Subtle Energy, Trauma & Transformation Part 1: Awakening, Transformation & Power

Subtle Energy, Trauma & Transformation Part 1: Awakening, Transformation & Power

In this post series we explore the way major world change impacts energy-sensitive people.

“Spiritual Awakening is a trauma.” I was surprised, intrigued, and inspired to hear this comment from the spiritual thought leader Carolyn Myss.

Some of you may need definition and background for the rest of the series. Let’s jump right in and define my use of terms so the rest of the series will be smooth sailing:

Transformation means moving quickly into and stabilizing within a more-inclusive state of awareness. (My definition for this context.)

“Awakening means becoming aware of our relationship to power.” (Carolyn Myss)

Huh? Okay, that threw me too when I first heard it. It takes a bit of thought because it’s such a tight summary. I’ll unpack it, the way I see it. The list below refers to experiences that we may lose power to or attempt to have power over.

Awakening/Self-awareness involves becoming aware of:

  • all emotions, including so-called negative emotions
  • wounds to self-esteem and how we compensate
  • the extent to which we use possessions, roles, or positions to define ourselves
  • how honest we are able to be with about who we are
  • how we manage our personal needs in relation to others, such as whether and why we give up parts of ourselves in an attempt to secure intimacy
  • any posturing we do to try and control our image and the way others view us
  • hidden motivations and unconscious drivers that influence how, when and why we attempt to get what we want
  • what we are willing to give up to get what we want or to be right
  • how our energy and body language communicates needs and requirements to others
  • our degree of willingness to use force or impose our will
  • our level of moment-to-moment awareness about the way our self-assertion impacts others

The state of being spiritually awake includes being awake to what we are up to and why. Awakening is the opposite of denial. Full self-awareness and presence in the moment require awareness of the above.

Confronting and assimilating the initial realizations that accompany self-awareness takes tremendous compassion and the ability to observe neutrally, without condemnation. As we explored in the Forgiveness Series, compassionate acceptance is key. Our patterns run for cover into the unconscious instead of remaining available to view unless we are able to bring forth love in the face of them. Once we are able to do this for ourselves we can also view the same behaviors in others without withdrawing love.

Considering this list you can see the role authenticity and humility play in Awakening. In a very real sense, full authenticity IS personal power. The power to be fully one’s self is far greater than false power associated with domination and control.

Authentic power includes awareness of what we are serving from moment to moment. Unconscious patterns allow the Shadow (unconscious) elements to drive.

In psychology we pursue understanding to better our life, using a rational approach to feeling and motivation, often by looking for answers in our personal pasts. We are, however, much more than the sum of our pasts.

In spirituality, we seek to expand awareness through heart-centered, intuitive and energy-based methods of connecting with the Greater Whole. The Self-knowledge of Awakening transcends distinctions and categories.

Transformation causes and is caused by self-awareness. This circular aspect makes it massively powerful, again relating transformation with power. Awareness confers a greater range of choice—an element of power. 

Transformation occurs as we become more Awake to who we really are. As we Wake Up our interior contents begin to come to light. The process of Waking Up can and will reactivate unresolved traumas. Being awake includes familiarity with and deep acceptance of our inner wounds. Whatever we resist seeing in ourselves is a pocket of Sleep.

No doubt you have heard of supposed-spiritually-advanced persons who abuse power in one way or another. It is a daunting challenge to fully know ourselves and to achieve a significant degree of mastery over our baser impulses. Again: Judging ourselves and holding ourselves to perfectionist standards makes the issues we need to accept go into hiding, giving them power. Gradual, compassionate awareness over time is the best plan.

Right now the world is Waking and shaking us. What happens when we start to Wake Up more quickly than we are prepared to assimilate?

In Part 2 & 3 we will explore a subtle-energy perspective of trauma. We will look at how and why monumental world change impacts those of us who are sensitive to energy.

Related Posts: If this Post seems dense the Inner Work Series supplies background. Find by clicking numbered pages below.

Good questions (from Carolyn Myss):

“What is it in your life that you allow to have authority over you?”
“What part of your life are you willing to give up to make that [higher awareness] happen?”