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21 July 2017 2 Comments

The Heart and the Head

The Heart and the Head

“Love is always the answer. Love comes forth from the heart and the head is never involved. When I’m coming from Love, I feel it in my expanding heart. As soon as I begin thinking, I know I have stepped out of Love. Love is always a feeling. Love is pure and unencumbered, it can be nothing else.”  ~Therese

Given that we are discussing real love, yes, it is the only satisfying answer to most conundrums. Love addresses most emotional needs at their core and paves roads to harmony. Love creates an atmosphere in which wisdom can flourish—which the head on its own cannot do.

I would like to expand on “the head is never involved.” I hold Therese’s comment to be true for those who like herself are grounded in genuine love, who can access love through sensing and feeling. This love is indeed pure and unencumbered, and does not require the head.P1150315

When the head functions with respect for the heart, operating on the directives of the heart, there is no error.

When we are not able to access real love, we become more prone to confusion. Passions and reactive emotion become confused or entangled with real love. Resulting emotionally-based directives may be unwise and cause complications if we act on them. Real love may be present, but it has become mixed with need, mixed motivations (such as trying to please people, which is often a subtle type of control), lust, cultural or religious conditioning, and so forth.

Buried wounds create confusion about love. The deepest wound that virtually everyone shares is separation from the Divine.

When we try to love or to act in right and virtuous ways, these efforts can be more about trying to be worthy of love or to obtain it than they are about actual love itself. Pure love leads naturally to virtuous action. Trying hard to be virtuous can be a defense against feeling there is something wrong with us, or against feeling unworthy. We may assume that love must be earned, that we are inherently flawed, or that love is not natural and abundant.

Conditional approval—social, peer or parental—must not be confused with love, or sought as a substitute. Ultimately, that will not work. To heal ourselves we need to be able to generate and absorb real love, deeply into the places that drive our quests for approval from the outside.

In the patterns mentioned above we see that head efforts—including our interpretation of events and our self-assessments—often distract us from going directly to love itself.

One good use of the head in all this is to make different distinctions such as discerning love from not-love. Once we can FEEL love directly, making these distinctions is no longer necessary. We can just tell, without a lot of process. It gets obvious. Before we have identified real love, or purified our love, learning to step back and observe our personal motivations assists with developing discernment. Discernment allows us to move with wisdom.

Being balanced and healthy requires using all three centers—head, heart, and body— to think, feel and sense at the same time, integrating the functions of these centers. When the centers are in balance and used in concert together, intuition and wisdom become much more available, and pure love is significantly easier to access.

When you are challenged or confused about love, what is going on for you?

Is this primarily about motivations, needs, ideas about what you ‘should be’ feeling, an imbalance between your three centers, or something else?

Is there one center you overuse or underuse?

How does this habit of Being impact your relationship with love?

Thank you, Therese, for the inspiration. :)

Be sure to catch Kelly’s comment under last week’s post. It’s as if she put in life-situation examples for all of concepts in this post.

14 July 2017 6 Comments

What Is Real Love? ~ The Paradoxes of Love

What Is Real Love?  ~ The Paradoxes of Love

Here is some cogent commentary and contemplation by Don Richard Riso, on what ‘real’—or shall we say ‘more self-aware’—love is:

THE PARADOXES OF LOVE

Real love is liberating for oneself and breaks old boundaries and restrictions

Real love seeks nothing for itself but is not self-forgettingIMG_7728

Real love is transparent and does not come from premeditation

Real love does not recapture the past nor does it guarantee the future

Real love is not clung to even though it heals all old wounds

Real love is not afraid of taking risks nor is it about feeling safe

Real love is endlessly generative and cannot run out

Real love can suffer hurt and rejection and not strike out

Real love is something we already have although we often do not know it

Which of the comments about real love do you find the most freeing or useful to contemplate?

What is the difference between taking a statement about love as a maxim that you try to live by, and using it to recognize your current limitations?

Which approach is likely to be the most fruitful and why?

 

Here is a spiritual and energy-based perspective. This feels alive to me:

“Love has to spring spontaneously from within; it is in no way amenable to any form of inner or outer force. Love and coercion can never go together; but while love cannot be forced upon anyone, it can be awakened through love itself. Love is essentially self-communicative; those who do not have it catch it from those who have it. Those who receive love from others cannot be its recipients without giving a response that, in itself, is the nature of love. True love is unconquerable and irresistible. It goes on gathering power and spreading itself until it eventually transforms everyone it touches. Humanity will attain a new mode of being and life through the free and unhampered interplay of pure love from heart to heart.”  ~Meher Baba

What do you sense when you contemplate this quote?

16 February 2017 6 Comments

Accessing Intuition in Challenging Circumstances

Accessing Intuition in Challenging Circumstances

“When power leads and wisdom follows, the face of wisdom is veiled and she stumbles; but when wisdom leads and power follows, they arrive safely at their destination.”  ~Inayat Khan

Accessing intuition is supported by inner stillness. When our energies are still like a smooth pond we can most easily read what is going on and sense when, how, and whether we need to act.

Fear, excess speculation, investment in a particular outcome, and external Influences interfere with intuition. The things we do in our minds can interfere with inner Guidance.

When we become afraid and get stirred up we may well get into a loop in which we go outside of ourselves looking for information, and render ourselves less able to access intuition and internal guidance. If we are looking to an unstable outer situation for guidance, it is easy to become confused and upset. Gathering information is necessary, but it is essential to take the step of then quieting ourselves to access clear, balanced, intuitive Guidance, which transcends the external situations. If we do not, we will rush about all reacting to one another.

When we are invested in a particular out come it is very difficult to be objective. Does this mean not to hold goals and values? Absolutely not. Self mastery consists of holding goals and values, and caring deeply about them, yet also being open to good coming from scenarios other than the ones we envision. We need to Version 2balance between acting on our best assessment and accepting what is going on. This does not mean we accept it without acting to change it. It means that we act from inner peace and intuitive presence instead of reactive emotion.

Self-observation is the greatest boon to intuition. Intuition is strengthened or obviated by our capacity to self-observe.

The most difficult and some of the most important Inner Work consists of self-observing our survival reactions and defense systems. When these are kicked up and in action it is all but impossible to access intuition, for it will be biased by fear and speculation, and often from energies that do not originate with us, clouding perception.

It is easy to understand how we naturally go out into our environment to collect information and impressions when we are uneasy, to try to sense what is going on. This opens us to external energies. When we are at peace, we go out to gather impressions and then return to ourselves, releasing them.

When we are burdened by fear or survival issues, the emotions and imbalances this causes in our energy systems causes our energy to become sticky to and hold onto matching fear and anger energy from the outside. This is the energy-equivalent of the mental process of case-building, where one builds up a biased point of view by gathering evidence.

Mental types are more prone to case building. Emotional types are more prone to reactive emotion. Body or sensation types are more prone to instinctual gut level defense. All of us have all three functions. Ability to self-observe each of these reactive stances in ourselves is an advantage. This skill can be challenging to develop, but if we cannot, accessing accurate intuition and inner Guidance will be spotty at best. Actions taken from clear perception and intuitive Guidance are more positive, powerful, and peaceful than actions taken from a reactive stance.

In general, the less aware we are of our reactivity the more it runs us. Intervention consists of bringing one’s self back into balance. To do so, we need to accept What Is, self-soothe, relax our reactions, and shed external influence so we can identify what belongs to us and what does not. In our current political climate one needs to do this multiple times a day. When we do not, negative emotions and energies build up and create painful and frightening imbalances, and we are unable to take clear and effective action, or to calm ourselves. Noticing that we are able to be safe and okay just in this one particular moment can help body chemistry return to normal so that clarity is possible.

What is your tendency when you go into fear?

How does this influence your ability to access inner Guidance?

25 January 2017 0 Comments

Managing Unwelcome Changes by Creating Values, Purpose & Self Care

Managing Unwelcome Changes by Creating Values, Purpose & Self Care

World changes that offend our sensibilities and values can overwhelm our ability to adapt, leaving us with diminished vitality and weakening immune responses. Current energies and world changes are bringing up a sense of being wounded, overwhelmed, out of control, powerless, and/or hopeless for a lot of people. Last night one of the strongest, clearest people I know said he wanted to hide under a blanket.

When we get overwhelmed, confused about our values, or depleted, organizing moment-to-moment activities often becomes difficult. Retirement can also cast one into the odd mire of not knowing how to organize one’s time, activities and priorities. No matter how it comes about, not being sure what to give value to takes the wind out of our sails.

Meaning, purpose, and motivation are enlivening and energizing. They give life rhythm. They are intimately related to our values.

An inner call to live out and actualize our values and ideals contributes to overwhelm. We feel we must DO something but are not sure what to do, where or how much to give, or how to make a difference. Reconsidering values brings up conflicts that challenge or alters our concepts about ourselves. This takes a great deal of energy. It is important at such junctures to step back before we step forward, to consider whether or not any particular action calls to us or has our name on it. Once we detach a bit it is easier to sense whether or not we are truly called to any specific action.

Not having a sense of what truly matters to us or how to move forward is debilitating. Our energy cannot rally. Uncertainty is tiring.

Uncertainty can make it hard to organize ourselves to do anything, to stay well, or to recover from illness. When we are overwhelmed or cannot find a clear sense of how to move forward into life, returning to foundational self care is essential. We need a manageable, concrete priority. Self care is an excellent priority. Intensifying self care can serve as a temporary goal.

Learning to be kind to one’s self is healing. I am not talking about indulgence, although healthy pleasures can be kind. I am talking about the types of kindness that don’t have a backlash. Here are a few examples:

Find and feel into any places inside that hurt. Accept the sensations and emotions you encounter by allowing that they are there instead of IMG_7516rejecting them. Intentionally breathe tender compassion and love into those places, feeling them, yet gradually filling the body and heart areas they occupy with kindness and gentleness.

Nurture yourself with the clear intention of making yourself feel better, not by numbing or distracting, but by building yourself up with excellent nutrients and kindness.

—Don’t force yourself—invite. Alternate doing things that will improve your conditions, however small, with rest, nourishment, and gentle exercise.

Lie on the floor and stretch a bit.
Walk: It puts your body in rhythm, which is strengthening and reduces stress.

Face losses squarely and grieve if you need to. Sometimes creating a loss that you can control is therapeutic. Getting rid of something that is broken and can’t be fixed, throwing out a plant that cannot thrive, cutting down a sick tree, or giving clothes you don’t wear to charity are ways to concretize a sense of loss—constructively. Constructive loss allows us an avenue to move though our feelings and opens the way for something new.

Create rhythm in your life by keeping some activities steady and consistent, at the same time every day or week. This may sound boring but it is an antidote to chaos and overwhelm. Rhythm helps us to keep moving instead of becoming further overwhelmed by having to determine what to do all over again. Rhythm can make the difference between being productive and feeling stuck.

Here are additional suggestions for creating a short-term sense of purpose to give you focus, rhythm and organization when you don’t know what to do or you’re going through transitions:

Aim to give yourself a clear focus with a strong priority. Pick something possible now, as a spacer until you can deal with the longer term.

Clear the decks so your life is smooth and things are open when you get busy down the line. Do the things you have been putting off. This can bring relief and make you feel virtuous. Get rid of anything that doesn’t serve you in your ongoing.

Face anything you can finally finish. Confronting and removing the obstacles brings a sense of completion. It makes us feel stronger and more clear. These can be small things like straightening out a billing issue, returning a product, working through piles of paper, or doing the laundry. Taking on the ordinariness of these tasks can help us feel unstuck and provide a sense of continuity. We can give them meaning by noticing that it is a kindness to ourselves to reduce our sense of burden and overwhelm in any small way we can.

If you can manage it, identify something you have been wanting to do for a long time but have not been able to get to. It could be a project around the home, an online training you paid for but did not view, or digging a garden plot. Make this project a priority. Welcome the activity as a way to organize yourself.

Which of these interventions speak to you at this point in time?

27 September 2016 4 Comments

Travel Experiences 2: More Frightening than Nudity

Travel Experiences 2: More Frightening than Nudity

Fairly extensive train travel during my trip gave me ample opportunity to hone my observations about who sits or does not sit in adjacent seats or train compartments with an intuitive.

Given that I was nicely dressed and consistently bathed, I had become curious about why people on a busy train will pass by an almost empty compartment and leave me to myself. As I travelled, I discussed with other intuitive people, who described similar experiences.

Most of the time I appreciate the peace of riding solo—unless the particular company suits me. By the end of my trip I realized that most of the people who chose to sit with me were intuitive or spiritually oriented. The percentage of personally developed people with whom I shared space on trains was definitely p1060353disproportionate to the averages. It amazed and delighted me how quickly and naturally spiritually alive topics arose between us. I spent a lot of travel time on my own between meeting some wonderful people and having great conversations.

Intuitive and spiritual people are likely to recognize and be drawn to one another. This seems simple and obvious. I began also to contemplate people who immediately walk by to sit elsewhere, especially when the train is starting to full up. The selection process goes well beyond appearance, gender, age and manner.

Everyone has some degree of intuition—even though it is a social convention and common personal habit to avoid being consciously in touch with it. Being aware means one consequently needs to think, feel, and live differently. Most people are so quickly able to sense anyone a little bit different, showing that they have the skill—instinctually. Selection often occurs without conscious intention, or even despite it.

Many fear being aware of their intuition. Sensing it sets too many balls rolling. In addition to fears, desires, and control issues, it brings up the degree to which we are responsible for our choices, and the necessity of sorting out intuition from the usual welter of conflicting feelings and thoughts. It’s too much work.

Those who can’t deal with intuition naturally use what intuition they do have in part to avoid interfacing img_5784too directly with those who they somehow sense can ‘see.’ A character in a fiction audiobook I recently listened to said: “Intuition is more threatening than nudity.” Several friends added that being around an intuitive “feels like being naked—but more so.”

If you are highly intuitive and still feel a little hurt when the seat beside you is the last to fill on a public bus, take heart. Once you know it’s not something wrong with you, you may even appreciate that people’s process of selection spares your energy and attention for those who can meet you more fully.

What have you experienced interfacing with people on public transport?

What type of people are most drawn to you?

Who stays away?

13 August 2016 6 Comments

Dealing with External Energies, Part 4: The Role of Clarity & Discernment

Dealing with External Energies, Part 4: The Role of Clarity & Discernment

In the last post I introduced the project of becoming transparent to unwholesome energies and influences to prevent taking on external energies. Let’s now explore the skills that support transparency: Clarity and discernment. Contemplating these rather abstract words makes it easier to access the parts of ourselves that can actively apply these gifts in daily life.

Discernment is the ability of the mind to perceive differences between things without cloudiness or obstruction. Clarity is a state of Being that allows light and insight to penetrate and pass through you.

Understand that clarity and discernment are not just something you HAVE or LACK. They are skills we cultivate with practice, and they contribute to success in every life arena.

Clarity is similar to transparency. The word clarity implies perception and intelligibility. Clarity is coherent—whole. Transparency is open and free from pretense. I am using the word transparency with respect to letting energy come though without sticking, and the word clarity to refer to your interior state.

Note that when you put on pretenses, your energy changes. It becomes kind of clumpy and inconsistent, and you will be far more likely to pick up external energies than you are in your authentic state.

Clarity:

  • Implies the peace that comes when we are not entangled
  • Allows light and energy to pass through
  • Is a prerequisite for discernment
  • Supports accuracy of inner vision
  • Aids in general effectiveness and personal mastery

Clarity is an extraordinary asset that contributes directly to all business and personal affairs.

Clarity is not an across-the-board attribute. One may be clear in some contexts or states of mind and muddy in others. As we explored in the Inner Work series [link], our level of over-all clarity exists in direct relationship to our ability to integrate inner wounds. Blind spots caused by wounds bias vision and response. Some of the most dangerous people identify themselves as being very clear because they are intelligent, discerning, and take bold action, while blind spots the size of Texas inform some of their motivations.

Discernment:
When it comes to accurate perception and energy protection it is quite useful to be able to tell the difference between (for instance) your anger, someone else’s anger, anger from a third party impacting you, irritation from liver overload, suppressed helplessness or grief hiding under anger, and numerous subtle influences that feel similar.

You need to have a clear inner mirror or remarkable detachment to discern and sort out external influences. At least you need to know which smudges were already on your mirror when you begin sorting things out. Self-awareness is essential.

You may think you don’t need to know the difference between various inputs like the example above unless you’re doing advanced healing or guidance work. If you think about it you’ll realize that being able to tell yourself apart from assorted external influences and knowing what drives you is integral to being awake and aware. It also contributes to happiness. Being confused is a drag.

Positive thinking without discernment is not necessarily an asset. Note, for example, the way someone who views power as abusive and themselves as powerless uses power abusively. This person does not need to THINK to create the sense of abuse. He or she can repeat positive surface thoughts ‘til the cows come home and as long as the inner wound is screaming out energy, emotional reactions will trump any new soundtrack grafted over the top. Substituting surface dressing for self-awareness is not ultimately positive. Positive thinking is a wonderful tool when combined with Inner Work.

Bottom line: There are many types of energy and many reasons for susceptibility. Energy protection is often approached as a simple one-size-fits-all technique. Such techniques offer partial protection or Band-Aid approaches, some of which have undesirable side effects. These techniques may be useful or essential in the short term. In the long run ongoing application of clarity, discernment, good boundaries, and Inner Work lead to profound benefit and develop natural immunity to unwholesome energies. This is an ongoing and rewarding process.

Did you ever notice that the clearer you feel the more safe you feel? What do you notice about the relationship between pretenses and your feeling of safety?
Tell us your favorite practices for energy protection.

6 August 2016 10 Comments

Dealing with External Energies, Part 3: Transparency as a Key to Energy Protection

Dealing with External Energies, Part 3: Transparency as a Key to Energy Protection

Transparency, in the context of energy, means letting energy pass right through you without sticking. Transparency is essential because it provides a way to interface with someone’s energy without cutting yourself off from the other person or taking on their energy. This skill is especially valuable in work or play that involves touch, such as healing or dance. Without this skill you either take on energy from others or wall them out and block your own flows.

I once won the respect and gratefulness of a chiropractor who had been suffering for years from almost-debilitating hand and foot pain. I noticed energy blockage when I saw him work and asked him what was going on. He told me he had been using specific visualizations to block clients’ energy from coming into his hands or entering through his feet. He learned this technique from someone who was teaching it to practitioners. Somehow I managed to correct this condition about five minutes. His pain went away completely and did not come back. He called and emailed his gratitude several times over the next six months.

In order to pick up energy from someone you have to be in some sort of relationship with that specific energy, just as an argument takes two parties. Your role may be minimal, but must exist for energy to transfer.
I go into details about why this occurs in my book. [link]

Blocking yourself off doesn’t work well. If it does keep energy from coming in, it also blocks your most direct source of feedback about yourself. The way your energy interacts with external energy provides powerful and precious feedback—guidance. Personal cultivation is greatly aided by staying open to the mirroring that occurs between our personal experience and the rest of life. Awareness and intelligent response are the high road. Protection may be necessary under specific conditions, but personal cultivation and mastery are more much more meaningful in the long run.

Dealing with personal issues is the one most effective way to enhance energy safety. This is why I write about addressing inner wounds. Inner cultivation with respect to these wounds is critically important and frequently overlooked in self-development programs.

Profound self-knowledge is an essential precondition when it comes to accurately discerning energy influences. We cannot be clear about what is going on externally when we are adding our own issues into the mix. Lucid discernment of energy depends on having a clear baseline. Self-knowledge and personal clarity provide this baseline.

When we get confused about which energies and emotions belong inside versus which do not, we lose clarity. Energies that do not belong with us compromise our transparency like a log in a river gathers debris.

Learning to become transparent to influences that might undermine wellbeing keeps us safe from taking on energies that do not serve us. Transparency also enhances our ability to discern between different types of influences. The self-development work necessary to learn to do this improves every aspect of daily and work life.

We’ll go into more detail about clarity and discernment in the next post.

What have YOU noticed about blocking energy as a means of protection?
How do you feel in relation to other people when you wall them off?

30 July 2016 7 Comments

Dealing with External Energies Part 2: Shielding & Energy Protection

Dealing with External Energies Part 2: Shielding & Energy Protection

Beginners in the art of managing subtle energy are often taught to protect and shield themselves from outside influences. One of my own mentors, an advanced healer with staggering talent, caught me before I learned this type of skill—and put the nix on it.

A Viet Nam veteran, my mentor could discourse for hours on everything from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to contributions to our understanding of consciousness from different Buddhist sects throughout history. He told me shielding is like a Band-Aid; not a real solution. He maintained that becoming transparent to energies and letting them pass through without sticking was a much higher art than attempting to keep influences out.

Before I we go on, I will admit that I felt extremely vulnerable and chagrinned at the time. I had no idea how to manage my sensitivity. We were in a whole house full of people at a healing workshop in which novices were messing with each other’s energy. My mentor had me sit still, carefully sensing my body and feeling my safety issues instead of running around or jabbering. Apparently I survived.

Protection may provide a quick way to feel safe. I have endured situations that did require measures of protection, which I learned later from a powerful clairvoyant healer who had participated in military Remote Viewing programs. While perhaps essential over the short term in unusual circumstances, I agree that protection is not the best way to deal with sensitivity to external energies. This is why:

  • Trying to protect from the outside does not address the energy issues on the inside that cause us to be unsafe.
  • Most methods of protection do not lead to or enhance spiritual and emotional development.
  • Fearful motivations cultivate defensiveness.
  • Putting layers between yourself and the world may reduce contact with energies that benefit you.
  • When you do pick up external energy this is a form of guidance. It shows you where you need to work on yourself to be clear.
  • You may mask information that it is useful or important to be aware of.
  • It’s easy to confuse your own mental, emotional or energetic material with something from the outside and try to remove or repel it.
  • Working on the energies in yourself that allow influences to impact you makes excellent use of your experiences and will help you to develop depth, strength, discernment, and clarity.

Advanced healers and energy masters do strengthen their energy fields. They may even build in structures that are protective. But the intention is not defensive. They are working with positive intention, not from fear. There is a major difference between bringing in energies that unsavory energy will not stick to, and trying to wall it off.

Bringing in positive energies successfully relies on the personal clarity that comes from acknowledging and handling our own energies and issues. Protective actions, taken by someone who does not confront their issues, are like locking the front door when a punk in the basement is going in and out without shutting the door.

Defensive energy without looking inside yourself at your own issues works about the same as refusing to talk about things when we’re feeling uncomfortable in a relationship. The energy hangs around without being dealt with. And that beaver-dam of blocked energy causes disturbances.

Becoming aware of our own interior contents allows us to deal with the energy that belongs to us. Situations become less charged, simpler, and more manageable when we’re not aggravating them by reacting from a stockpile of unresolved issues.

We’ll go into more detail in the next post. My book discusses energy protection in even greater detail, including specifics about when and why we pick up energy from others, and what to do about it.

Please share these posts with those who may benefit.

What does your energy feel like when you are defensive compared to when you are using good sense to stay safe?
Have you noticed that the things you want to do when you are uncomfortable stop you from doing the things that can get you past it once and for all?

23 July 2016 3 Comments

Dealing with External Energies, Part 1: Boundaries & Energy Sensitivity

How do you sort your energy out from those around you and simultaneously develop more-universal awareness? This is the task before energy-sensitive people. As we become more aware, we must learn to integrate between personal and global.

We interpenetrate and are interpenetrated by the energy of other people. Whether or not we notice, everything that impacts our environment influences us to some extent. Everything that impacts the planet influences us. We influence the greater whole too. It’s a two-way street.

Our outer, most subtle energy fields not only overlap with those of others– they are blended as One. Visualize yourself as the smallest doll—the innermost, solid one–in a set of Russian nesting dolls. Let that doll represent your personal energies close to your body. The largest doll can represent the Collective Unconscious or group mind on planet Earth. I am not talking about abstractions. People who develop specific types of awareness experience these actualities directly.

Developing the ability to move your awareness intentionally into different states assists greatly with discomfort related to sensitivity to energy. Practices with energy and Presence can be used to exercise our capacity to sit with difficult states without being trapped in them. Sensitivity becomes a tremendous asset as one learns to manage it. Directed sensitivity forms the backbone of accurate spiritual and daily-life guidance.

In Sufism (a 2000+ year old mystical order) initiates use sound and intention to invoke and experience specific states of consciousness. Subtle, expanded states are often paired with embodied, contracted states. Alternating between attention Other to and attention to Self is one example. Spiritual practices that use this alternation help develop boundaries and Presence. Rapid alternation between states develops an ability to shift instantly between personal and Universal awareness.

ALL of the numerous advanced spiritual teachers I have encountered have been able to integrate expanded states of consciousness with body-awareness. They are extraordinarily Present and move with grace. Those who practiced types of meditation that moved awareness out beyond the body also used their clarity of focus to be fully Present IN their body and personal environment from moment-to-moment.

Powerful spiritual people require clear and lucid boundaries. The more developed our subtle awareness, the more essential are excellent boundaries. Without good boundaries, we may get tangled up in the issues and energies of others, and perhaps invade their privacy.

As with nutritional supplements, practices that benefit most people may be inappropriate for a specific individual. Also, substances or practices that benefit initially may be detrimental if used longer than necessary to correct an imbalance. What makes you feel good initially can gradually make you feel bad down the line. Then it’s hard to tell because you associate that product or practice with feeling better. Misapplication of energy practices ranges from having little effect to being unsettling and causing imbalances that are difficult to correct.

All practices that advance health, personal, and spiritual development are enhanced through very specific and personalized application. Ironically: One-size-fits-all programs are not for everyone.

When it comes to powerful energy-changing practices, we have specific and individual needs. Energy work is most effective and safe when tailored to each individual. This being said, some exercises do serve almost everyone. If you are sensitive to energy, pay close attention to how any type of practice impacts you and be certain to speak up or stop if an energy exercise throws you out of balance.

Here is an example: Sometimes profound spiritual retreats include exercises designed to assist in shattering self-identification (ego-based awareness and personality habits). When the personality or ego stands in the way of connection with Other, these practices open up your sense of self and break down our habitual sense of separation.

At a five-day silent retreat a competent and alert Guide altered my practices from those of the group during shattering/opening phase of the retreat. Just thinking about the practices he was recommending to the group made me feel shaky and agitated. He noticed and stepped in, directed me to practice in a way that builds up a body-centered and personal experience of the Divine instead of breaking down walls. I was already too open.

Note that the way to balance being open was not closing or obliterating sensitivity, but finding a way to balance openness with a sense of solidity. Closing down does not ultimately serve us when seeking functional energy boundaries. Finding ways to be balanced and Present is the highest option.

Presence and boundaries are foundational skills. These skills naturally help to develop the ability to become transparent to energy that does not belong with you, allowing it to pass through without sticking. We will pursue this topic more in the next few posts.

Have you ever done energy exercises that made you feel out of balance? What did you do to get back in balance?

How do you tell the difference between energy that originates with you and energy from other sources?

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?