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    All articles are written by Teal Swan.



    What is Love?

    I am going to answer the question: What is love? In one sentence.  I will then go on to explain what that sentence means.  To love something is to take it as part of yourself.  It is an experience more than it could ever be a concept.  Love is inclusive.  It is the energetic movement towards oneness.  When you love something, you energetically pull it towards you and include it as you.    
    The exact opposite vibration of love is fear.  To fear is to separate something from yourself.  Fear is exclusive.  It is the energetic movement towards individualization.  When you fear something, you push it away and dis-include it from you. 
    The ultimate reality in this universe is that of oneness.  We may perceive there to be separate things in the world.  But this perception is an illusion.  We are all comprised of the same energy that is merely expressing itself as different things.  And this energy is not only infinite; it has consciousness.  This is what we have been calling God or Source for thousands of years.  A thought occurred within that consciousness and that thought was “I” or ‘define’.  It wanted to define what it was.  That one thought was like an unstoppable cancer.  It was the birth of the Ego.  It was also the birth of relationship and attachment.  That thought immediately gave rise to the concept of “other”.  There can be no “I” unless there is something that is “not I”.  Like a cell dividing, the united consciousness began dividing and dividing and dividing.  These fragments within oneness, fragmented to the degree that the consciousness of those fragments lost awareness of the whole.  You are one such fragment within oneness that lost awareness of the whole.  So is the chair you are sitting on.  So is the taxi out on the street, so is the tree outside.
    Occasionally, one of these fragments recognizes itself positively in another fragment and in that moment, takes it to be the same as itself.  This is love.  Separation is an illusion.  An illusion is still part of united consciousness (what we call God or Source), because there is nothing that is not part of God or Source.  For this reason, we could call fear an illusion within source consciousness whose reality is love. 
    Why is Love the reality of Source or God?  Why is Source or God synonymous with Love?  Because to love something is to take it as yourself.  There is nothing that is not part of Source or God, so nothing in fact can be excluded from Source or God and therefore, by default it takes everything as itself.
    Watching the energy when a person thinks “I hate” or “I don’t want” or “I don’t like”, or makes negative judgments, it pushes things away.  It pushes them away from oneness and into a state of loneliness.  This opposes love.  This causes pain.  In fact there is only one type of pain in this universe.  That pain is separation.  There is only one kind of happiness in this universe.  That happiness is unity.  Any time you feel pain of any kind it means that you feel separate from something.  Any time you feel happiness of any kind, it means that you feel united with something.
    When we get into pain in a relationship, it is always an indication that we have a fear present (why we feel the separation from them).  So any time we feel this, we can expose the fear instead.
    When I am in pain of any kind, I have to ask myself, what part of myself am I trying to push away (usually in response to it being awoken by something external to me)?  Is it the side of me that doubts the rest of me?  Is it the side that feels so powerless and cut off from others it is in rage? Is it the side of me that doesn’t feel like it is good enough?  Can I take that part in as part of myself?  Can I bring it closer?  This is radical self-love.
    The universe is a mirror of self.  Doing this automatically makes the world more unified because in taking care of your resistance in this way it takes care of your external resistance to the external thing that triggered the resistance. 
    For example, a war triggers the aspect of you that feels powerless, you want to get away from that part of you, but by bringing it closer, taking it as yourself, your resistance to the war is decreased by proxy and that ‘ends’ war because war is resistance.  Or lets imagine that someone in your life is super accomplished.  They may wake up in you the part of you that feels like you’re not good enough.  They may also be a reflection of the aspect of you that has such high standards that you are cruel to the aspects of yourself that are weaker.  That person was a mirror for both aspects that you have not loved in yourself (not wanted to include as part of yourself).    They mirror the split, the two fragments within you that are standing opposite each other.  The “never good enough” victim and perpetrator.  By seeing that both fragments actually need to be loved, to be brought in and closer, it becomes possible to imagine doing so.  By doing this, you “love” them.  And by loving them, you are in fact loving the other person external to you, who mirrored them.  
    Meet the need of the disintegrated self.  The disintegrated self is anything internal to you or external to you that you push away /resist.  This is really your work in the world.  What can you offer this aspect that feels separate, so as to bring it closer to the whole?  This is loving it.  
    One of the easiest love practices to take on is to look for similarities.  When you are in a state of fear, you will unconsciously look for differences between you and everything “else”.  This strengthens your sense of me vs. others.  It results in pain.  So, with every thing you see, especially every person you meet, look for what is the same about you and them.  What part of you are they a manifestation or embodiment of?
    You, as a singularity, cannot love something and hate it at the same time.  One part of you can love something and another part of you can hate that thing.  But as you can see, to do that, you must in and of yourself be fragmented.
    If you want to be loved, you must know that the biggest barrier to being loved is inauthenticity.  In inauthenticity, you are not giving a part of yourself to someone, so they cannot even have the opportunity to take it as themselves.
    The universes heart is broken… broken into different things and people.  You can’t not have a broken heart as an “I” that is separate from other things.  It is our job to love that broken heart back to unity.  When we love anything, including an aspect of ourselves (because we are part of God or Source), we are in fact part of Source or God, coming back from a state of disintegration to a state of integration… Oneness.
    The new question towards the things you fear and hate needs to be “How can I love this thing?”  Ultimately, the answer is… How can you not?  It is part of you whether you like it or not because you are indivisible from Source or God and so is it.  It is part of oneness and love is to take it as yourself.  You can’t not…  You can’t not!    Even if you push it away, it is still part of this universe, which is one.  So it’s still part of you.

    Stop Trying To Love and Start Trying to Understand

    We spend an inordinate amount of time in relationships trying to figure out how to make the other person happy.  We want to love them in a way that they can really feel that love, but we don’t know how.  I did a YouTube video titled, What Is Love?  In that video, I explained that to love something is to take it as part of yourself.  To take something as part of yourself, you have to see it, feel it, hear it, and by perceiving it to that degree, you will understand it. 
    For this reason, I am going to tell you that to really love someone in a way where they will feel loved, you must understand that thing.  I am going to go even further with this and say that you should stop trying to love them and start trying to understand them instead.
    When you understand something, you know that thing on a mental, emotional and physical level.  And the best part about this is, it is no longer a guessing game.  You don’t have to guess what it needs and wants and what’s best for it.  You don’t have to guess because you know.
    As people, we don’t take the time or put forth the energy to really understand and know each other.  Usually, we enter into relationships simply because we feel that we like them.  They add something to our lives.  Because of this, we are in a relationship with the idea of them instead of the actuality of them.  Establishing a relationship is a highly unconscious process.  Where does this lead?  Disaster.
    To help you to understand why this is a nightmare, I want you to imagine that a young child loves a little jellyfish at an aquarium and so his parents buy him that jellyfish.  The child does not know anything about jellyfish.  All he knows is he loves him.  So, he loves him in the way that he feels loved.  He takes the jellyfish out of the water and holds it in a blanket.  He sings it a bedtime song.  He tries to feed it a candy bar.  He puts it back in the water.  Are you imagining what that whole scene looked like?  By the time the jellyfish is put back in the water, the jellyfish is dead.  The child is destroyed.  He does not understand why the jellyfish is dead.  He may even blame the jellyfish for dying when all he did was show it so much love.  Sounds a lot like what we feel and act like when someone we are in love with breaks up with us doesn’t it?
      When we do not understand another person, this is what being in a relationship with them can be like.  We do all the wrong things for them, thinking that they are the right things for them.  
    Also, if we do not really understand someone, we cannot know if they are genuinely compatible to us.  For example, unless we understand someone to the degree that we understand that the best thing for someone is to have a partner who is always available and close to home, we may choose to marry them even though what is the best for us is to be home only ½ of the time because of the business we have.  As a result, the relationship is miserable and full of conflict and eventually dissolves. 
    As for understanding someone, this is not really rocket science.  Do the same thing you would do if you were obsessed with something as a kid.  Immerse yourself in it completely.  Let curiosity and the desire to know drag you mercilessly forward.  When you were young, if you loved horses you checked out every book on the subject.  You spent hours staring at them.  You took riding lessons.  You did anything you could do to become an expert on them.  And if a scientist becomes interested in something that is unknown, he takes it upon himself to study it so that it becomes known. 
    What I am telling you to do is to become an expert on the people in your lives, especially your partner.  Feel into them, see into them, listen to them, understand them.  Become focused on knowing them.  And when you do, loving them will be easy.  You will know them to the degree that you will know exactly what their best interests actually are.  You will now exactly how to love them and how to love them in a way where they really feel it.

    I Feel Ashamed – The Key To A Connected Relationship

    The Ego is nothing more than your sense of yourself as a separate self.  A singularity.  It is your sense of yourself as an “I” instead of as a “We”.  A relationship is about “We”.  So it is easy to see that the human ego is the single biggest threat to relationships.  But what dimension of the ego is the most dangerous to relationships?  The answer is the human ego’s need to see itself as Good. 
    You were born into a society.  Socialization is an integral part of an un-awakened society.  In an un-awakened society there are collective social and cultural values. When we value one thing, we often condemn the opposite. For example, self-sacrifice may be a social value and selfishness is condemned.  We deem one good and the other bad.  In order to keep the social order, we socialize children.  This basically means we train them to behave in a way that is acceptable to the society we live in.  We indoctrinate children with our social and cultural values and reward them when they adhere to those values.  We punish children when they demonstrate behavior that contradicts our social and cultural values.  So as a child if we want our needs to be met, survive in society and have a chance at feeling things like love and belonging and contribution and safety (instead of being ostracized and ending up alone, which is worse than death) we have one option.  To adopt those values of the society we are born into and hold ourselves to them!  Shame is that painful feeling state that results from comparing yourself to your standards (standards you adopted from your society) and falling short.
    The people who struggle with shame the most were disciplined by adults who made a direct correlation between doing bad and being bad.  For example, a child who steals a cookie off the counter top and is looked at as if she is horrible or is told “bad girl” or “I told you no, what the hell is wrong with you” is going to be unable to differentiate between their negative action and themselves being bad.  Shame is about being bad instead of guilt, which is about doing bad.
    What does all this mean?  If the number one need of the human Ego is to see itself as good and have others see it as good and shame is all about seeing oneself as bad and having other people see it as good, the number one enemy to the human ego is shame. 
    The ego will cope with shame through all of the classic coping mechanisms.  And what do we know about coping mechanisms?  They can destroy our lives and they can destroy our relationships.  The ego will deal with shame by going into denial of it, deflecting it, rationalizing it, projecting it, suppressing it, splitting into alter egos, converting it into physical symptoms, overcompensating for it, intellectualizing it, isolating themselves or self injuring for example. 
    All of this is an attempt to avoid accepting and admitting to the shame we feel and working with it directly.  When the ego goes into a state of self-defense in the form of blaming, it is because it wants to avoid accepting, admitting to and working directly with shame.  For this reason, I suggest that you watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Overcome Shame.
    What we all want so badly is to have relationships that feel good.  We want relationships that are harmonious and that add to our wellbeing and happiness.  The question is do we want them more than we want to preserve our own self-concept?  Until we are conscious and our ego is not controlling the ship of our lives, most of us prioritize our self-concept over our relationships and over the people we love. 
    It is now that we need to talk about deflected shame.  Deflection is when something someone communicates causes someone to feel triggered and as a result, instead of taking it in, they either ignore, deny or turn away from it.  Or worse, turn it back towards the other person.  To understand deflection completely watch my video on YouTube titled: Deflection (The Coping Mechanism From Hell). 
    The thing that people deflect more so than anything else is shame.  This is how it works.  Something that happens or something that someone communicates causes someone to feel shame.  Usually it triggers already present wounds of shame that are left over and unresolved from childhood.  As a result of not being able to accept, admit to and deal directly with that shame, they ignore it, deny it, turn away from it or more commonly, turn it back towards the other person.  This type of a deflection is also a projection.  It is a projection of one’s shame onto the other person.  More simply put, a deflection in the form of projecting one’s own feeling of being bad onto the other person so it is them that is bad.
    For example, a mother can feel shame when her infant expresses negative emotion towards her.  It makes her feel like a bad mother.  But her ego can’t handle that and so she deflects that shame onto the infant.  She decides the infant must have something seriously wrong with it. 
    Or a person asks for the honest truth from a friend in their life.  The honest truth makes them feel ashamed of themselves.  They can’t handle that shame so they decide that friend is a horrible person. 
    Or a wife cheats on her husband.  She feels ashamed, but can’t deal with it, so she makes it his fault because he didn’t pay enough attention to her. 
    Or a celebrity doesn’t respond to an e-mail because they get thousands.  The fan takes this personally.  It makes them feel ashamed.  They can’t handle it so their ego avoids that shame by deciding the celebrity is bad and joining their hate group.
    One of the most common situations that leads to shame deflection is boundary setting.  When someone sets a boundary, this often makes people feel rejected.  This is even more likely if the person setting the boundary makes the boundary violation about something that is wrong with the other person.  The person instantly feels shame, like they are wrong or bad.  They can’t handle that feeling of shame and so they deflect it back towards the person setting the boundary.  They make the person setting the boundary wrong and bad. 
    An example of this is a friend violates a boundary by borrowing something they didn’t ask you to borrow.  You get upset and tell them that wasn’t ok.  They feel ashamed and can’t deal with it, so they decide that you are a terrible person and friend because they are stingy and selfish.  If in this scenario, you had a conversation with them telling them it wasn’t ok and also added that you can’t believe they would ever think that was ok (like something is wrong with them for thinking that was ok), this would be perceived as shaming.  And the likelihood of the shame they feel being deflected would be 100 times higher.  They would most likely then separate from you and reject you as a friend. 
    If you see yourself as bad, you separate from yourself.  A split has to form in yourself called conscious and subconscious to deal with it.  And the same thing happens when you see someone else as bad.  You have to separate from them.  So eventually, the relationship ends emotionally and then ends physically. 
    For the sake of your understanding, think of it this way: Boundaries are natural.  One can assert a boundary a sense of self-including a yes and no without becoming aroused into a state of defense.  If you are aroused into a state of defense, it means shame is there.  If shame were not there, what other people say and do wouldn’t hurt so bad.  Those of us who suffer the most in relationships, have the most shame.  And those of us with the most shame both deflect shame the most and enter into relationships with people who have a pattern of deflecting shame onto others.
    Badness in our human society is integrally linked to blame and fault.  This is why you see shame being deflected in the form of blaming each other.  So often in a relationship one situation can lead to both people’s shame being triggered and in response they deflect it onto each other by blaming each other for the situation or for the way it was handled.     
    But there is a way to end this pattern in yourself and end it in relationships and thus end it in the world.  There is a way to make relationships harmonious and stay connected.  The way to create and maintain relationships is to own your shame.
    For example, a man might feel defensive in a relationship argument about being emotionally available.  He may tell himself that the woman that he is with is too needy.  He has deflected his shame onto her by making her that bad one in this situation.  When he looks deep inside, he may find that he is ashamed because he doesn’t feel capable of being emotionally present. 
    Deflected shame is not just about what we tell other people.  It is about what we tell ourselves.  Our ego is telling us a story that preserves its self-concept all day long, regardless of whether we tell that story to someone else or keep it to ourselves.  This is the heart of self-deception.     
    Literally whenever you feel defensive in any situation or start hearing the inner voice tell a story about how someone else is doing something bad, ask yourself: “What do I feel ashamed of right here in this minute?  What about this situation makes me feel like a bad person or defective or not good enough or wrong?
    If you are in a relationship, commit to making this a part of your conflict conversations.  Decide that both of you are going to stop for a moment, introspect to discover what you feel ashamed about in the situation and admit it to each other.
    I will give you one warning.  It is critical that if someone is admitting to the shame they feel, that we do not allow our ego to use that as an opportunity to strike while the shields are down and to deflect our own shame deeper into them (rubbing salt into a wound).  This is abusive.  Our number one terror is that by admitting to our shame, other people will use it to condemn us.
    If you are setting a boundary with someone, be sensitive to the fact that because we grow up in a society where we are raised to believe that crossing a boundary is wrong and where we are shamed for being bad if we do something wrong.  This means the likelihood for someone to feel shame as a result of setting a boundary with them is very high.  Sometimes, it is literally unavoidable.  But to limit this risk, make the boundary about what is right and wrong for you and why instead of about what is wrong about them.  When we had parents who deflected their shame onto us when we set a boundary with them, we grow up to be ashamed of our own boundaries.  When we are ashamed of our own boundaries, we have to justify it.  The way we justify it is by projecting that shame we feel about assessing our own boundaries by setting our boundaries in a way where we make the other person a bad person for violating them, regardless of whether or not they knew the boundary existed before they crossed it.  We have to make them bad or wrong in our mind to even feel like we can have the boundary and stay a good person.                     
    If we want loving relationships with ourselves, we need to resolve the shame we feel.  If we want loving relationships with other people, we need to help each other resolve the shame instead of adding to it.  By owning the shame we feel, we have an opportunity to do this instead of allow our egos to be locked in a war over preserving self-image. 
    By owning our shame, we have the ability to end our conflict with other people and to be connected to them in a state of safety and love instead.

    What If Double Standards Can Be GOOD?

    A double standard is a rule, expectation or principle that applies differently and usually more strongly to one person or group of people or circumstances than to another.
    Here are some examples:
    A woman can approach a man in a mall, reach out to grope him and tell him he’s sexy and this is considered acceptable.  A man does the same thing to a woman in a mall and this is considered sexual abuse.
    A woman has a different set of physical requirements on a fitness test than a man has on the very same fitness test.
    A person cuts you off and you think to yourself “what an idiot”.  You cut someone off and you think to yourself “he was in my blind spot.”  Yes, for those of you who just caught it, hypocrisy is often an indicator that a double standard exists.   
    A leader can make unilateral decisions for a group of people, another member of the group cannot.
    An unmarried woman has rights to her child.  An unwed father does not. 
    A man expects his wife to be there for him when he is sick and stop doing whatever she is doing to support him.  When she is sick and needs him to support here, he will not stop whatever he is dong and be there for her.
    A woman has a very close friend who is a guy.  Occasionally they hug.  She expects this to be ok with her boyfriend.  But if her boyfriend had a very close friend who was a female and occasionally they hugged, she would not be ok with that.
    White on black racism is not tolerated but black on white racism is tolerated.
    In one country, men are allowed to be unclothed and women have to be fully clothed. 
    A boss can have a negative attitude towards one of his employees and not lose his job but an employee who has a negative attitude towards his boss will lose his job.
    One person would never choose to be in a situation where their needs come second to someone else’s needs.  But they expect other people’s needs to come second to their own.         
    The reality is that double standards exist everywhere.  Every person has them, whether they realize it or not and they exist within every society.  As people, we demonize double standards because we have created link between double standards and morality.  We have decided that double standards are bad and that having double standards therefore makes you a bad person.
    We want to see ourselves as good people and we have been taught to treat others the way we want to be treated.  We have been taught that it is downright wrong to expect something of someone that we can’t do ourselves.  For this reason, we are likely to suppress, deny, disown and be totally unaware of our double standards.  It’s too painful to see those things about ourselves.  But becoming aware of these double standards that we hold is critical for our path of progression.  It is how we will know what double standards to let go of and which ones to keep.  Notice I just said keep?  What if I told you that double standards in and of themselves are not a bad thing provided that you are fully conscious of them?
    First, we have to stop making all double standards wrong.  Instead, we have to become conscious of our double standard and conscious about WHY we have the double standard.  From there, we can decide if it is a double standard that is best to keep or best to throw out.
    I’m going to tell you something that may surprise you.  Double standards are only ever a problem when someone perceives that the double standard is unfair.  I’ll give you an example.  It is a double standard that when a baby cries, mom is expected to immediately respond by comforting the baby.  But when mom cries, the baby is not expected to immediately respond by comforting the mother.  But none of us think this double standard is unfair.  We don’t think it is unfair because there are lots of good reasons why the double standard exists.
    When we are dealing with a sense of unfairness, what we are really dealing with is a conflict of needs.  One person perceives that their needs are not being met because of an inequality relative to a rule, expectation or principle that exists in a certain scenario. 
    A boundary is a sense of self.  It is a sense of one’s own wants, needs, preferences, likes and dislikes, yes’s and no’s.  When a double standard conflicts with our boundary (our sense of what we want and don’t want, need and say yes or no to) we perceive it, as well as the person holding the double standard, as being a threat to our self.  We get into a boundary conflict.  To learn all about boundaries, watch my YouTube video titled: How To Develop Healthy Boundaries.
    Many times, especially in relationships, the issue isn’t the double standard itself.  It is that the double standard currently doesn’t allow for one person to keep their boundaries because to allow for the double standard means their needs are not going to be met.
    For example, imagine there is a celebrity athlete who needs a team of people around him, all of whom are totally dedicated to his success.  Imagine that he needs his emotional and physical wellbeing to be the first priority for people on his team.  Now, imagine that one person on his team got sick.  Because quitting his game to take care of that person and therefore making their physical and emotional wellbeing his first priority is going to conflict with his need, he will not do it.  This is a double standard.  He expects the people in his team to do for him what he will not do for them.  But the reality is, if he did, his career might end.  This arrangement is only unfair if his team is comprised of people who need their emotional wellbeing and physical wellbeing to be the first priority for him.  If this is the case, he will get his needs met and they will not.  If he finds people who do not have that need or who feel like the perks they get from being around him are a fair exchange for making his emotional and physical wellbeing come first and theirs second, this double standard will not be a problem.
    Fairness is an important part of relationships and so is recognizing where double standards exist.  But the reality is that some double standards need to exist for people to get their needs met.  And it is perfectly ok given that the double standard is something that both people are aware of, both people agree to and given that the double standard does not conflict with the boundaries of either person.
    It is really hard for us to admit to the double standards that we have.  This is because double standards have the stigma of being bad, wrong, unkind, unjust, and unfair…  Something bad people do.  For this reason, we feel shame about having a double standard.  Anything society shames us about or that we feel shame about is likely to be hidden from our conscious awareness.  This is a problem because if it is hidden from our awareness, there is no way to have a conscious conversation about it.  We cannot talk about what the double standard is and why it exists and decide if keeping it is necessary or if discarding it is necessary.  We can’t even discuss how to remedy the boundary conflict with one another.  This means, any time a double standard causes a boundary conflict, we fly straight into defense and attack and make the person holding the double standard the bad guy.
    Many double standards, especially within society at large are unfair and quite frankly need to be trashed.  The reason is that there is no room when it comes to a societal or global double standard for individual choice.  There is however lots of room within a personal double standard for personal choice.  For example, if all of society decides that women should not get equal pay to men, the boundary of any woman who is not ok with that is now violated.  They are powerless to it.  However, if one company decides that woman should not get equal pay to men, a woman who is not ok with that is free to choose.  She can choose to not work for that company. 
    This is very true for relationships between individuals.  When a double standard leads to a boundary conflict, there is plenty of room to figure out whether the boundary conflict is big enough that a genuine incompatibility exists.  If this is the case, people are free to go separate ways or change their relationship and therefore expectations of each other.  This is much better than fighting someone to meet our needs when our needs conflict with their needs.
    One of the best ways to flush out double standards in relationships is to think about needs, wants and expectations.  Become aware of what you want and need and expect from other people in different situations.  Then, flip the tables and imagine that they need and want and expect the same thing of you in those same situations.  Can you recognize any discrepancies? 
    Some double standards don’t exist for good reason.  Some double standards on the other hand exist for really, really good reasons.  For this reason, we need to take our attention off of the rightness v.s wrongness of double standards in general and instead place them on the needs conflict that is being canvassed by the double standard so we can figure out if we can and if so how to meet the needs of both parties involved.
    So… what are yours?

    "I FEEL ASHAMED" The Key To A Connected Relationship

    The Ego is nothing more than your sense of yourself as a separate self.  A singularity.  It is your sense of yourself as an “I” instead of as a “We”.  A relationship is about “We”.  So it is easy to see that the human ego is the single biggest threat to relationships.  But what dimension of the ego is the most dangerous to relationships?  The answer is the human ego’s need to see itself as Good. 
    You were born into a society.  Socialization is an integral part of an un-awakened society.  In an un-awakened society there are collective social and cultural values. When we value one thing, we often condemn the opposite. For example, self-sacrifice may be a social value and selfishness is condemned.  We deem one good and the other bad.  In order to keep the social order, we socialize children.  This basically means we train them to behave in a way that is acceptable to the society we live in.  We indoctrinate children with our social and cultural values and reward them when they adhere to those values.  We punish children when they demonstrate behavior that contradicts our social and cultural values.  So as a child if we want our needs to be met, survive in society and have a chance at feeling things like love and belonging and contribution and safety (instead of being ostracized and ending up alone, which is worse than death) we have one option.  To adopt those values of the society we are born into and hold ourselves to them!  Shame is that painful feeling state that results from comparing yourself to your standards (standards you adopted from your society) and falling short.
    The people who struggle with shame the most were disciplined by adults who made a direct correlation between doing bad and being bad.  For example, a child who steals a cookie off the counter top and is looked at as if she is horrible or is told “bad girl” or “I told you no, what the hell is wrong with you” is going to be unable to differentiate between their negative action and themselves being bad.  Shame is about being bad instead of guilt, which is about doing bad.
    What does all this mean?  If the number one need of the human Ego is to see itself as good and have others see it as good and shame is all about seeing oneself as bad and having other people see it as good, the number one enemy to the human ego is shame. 
    The ego will cope with shame through all of the classic coping mechanisms.  And what do we know about coping mechanisms?  They can destroy our lives and they can destroy our relationships.  The ego will deal with shame by going into denial of it, deflecting it, rationalizing it, projecting it, suppressing it, splitting into alter egos, converting it into physical symptoms, overcompensating for it, intellectualizing it, isolating themselves or self injuring for example. 
    All of this is an attempt to avoid accepting and admitting to the shame we feel and working with it directly.  When the ego goes into a state of self-defense in the form of blaming, it is because it wants to avoid accepting, admitting to and working directly with shame.  For this reason, I suggest that you watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Overcome Shame.
    What we all want so badly is to have relationships that feel good.  We want relationships that are harmonious and that add to our wellbeing and happiness.  The question is do we want them more than we want to preserve our own self concept?  Until we are conscious and our ego is not controlling the ship of our lives, most of us prioritize our self-concept over our relationships and over the people we love. 
    It is now that we need to talk about deflected shame.  Deflection is when something someone communicates causes someone to feel triggered and as a result, instead of taking it in, they either ignore, deny or turn away from it.  Or worse, turn it back towards the other person.  To understand deflection completely watch my video on YouTube titled: Deflection (The Coping Mechanism From Hell). 
    The thing that people deflect more so than anything else is shame.  This is how it works.  Something that happens or something that someone communicates causes someone to feel shame.  Usually it triggers already present wounds of shame that are left over and unresolved from childhood.  As a result of not being able to accept, admit to and deal directly with that shame, they ignore it, deny it, turn away from it or more commonly, turn it back towards the other person.  This type of a deflection is also a projection.  It is a projection of one’s shame onto the other person.  More simply put, a deflection in the form of projecting one’s own feeling of being bad onto the other person so it is them that is bad.
    For example, a mother can feel shame when her infant expresses negative emotion towards her.  It makes her feel like a bad mother.  But her ego can’t handle that and so she deflects that shame onto the infant.  She decides the infant must have something seriously wrong with it. 
    Or a person asks for the honest truth from a friend in their life.  The honest truth makes them feel ashamed of themselves.  They can’t handle that shame so they decide that friend is a horrible person. 
    Or a wife cheats on her husband.  She feels ashamed, but can’t deal with it, so she makes it his fault because he didn’t pay enough attention to her. 
    Or a celebrity doesn’t respond to an e-mail because they get thousands.  The fan takes this personally.  It makes them feel ashamed.  They can’t handle it so their ego avoids that shame by deciding the celebrity is bad and joining their hate group.
    One of the most common situations that leads to shame deflection is boundary setting.  When someone sets a boundary, this often makes people feel rejected.  This is even more likely if the person setting the boundary makes the boundary violation about something that is wrong with the other person.  The person instantly feels shame, like they are wrong or bad.  They can’t handle that feeling of shame and so they deflect it back towards the person setting the boundary.  They make the person setting the boundary wrong and bad. 
    An example of this is a friend violates a boundary by borrowing something they didn’t ask you to borrow.  You get upset and tell them that wasn’t ok.  They feel ashamed and can’t deal with it, so they decide that you are a terrible person and friend because they are stingy and selfish.  If in this scenario, you had a conversation with them telling them it wasn’t ok and also added that you can’t believe they would ever think that was ok (like something is wrong with them for thinking that was ok), this would be perceived as shaming.  And the likelihood of the shame they feel being deflected would be 100 times higher.  They would most likely then separate from you and reject you as a friend.
    If you see yourself as bad, you separate from yourself.  A split has to form in yourself called conscious and subconscious to deal with it.  And the same thing happens when you see someone else as bad.  You have to separate from them.  So eventually, the relationship ends emotionally and then ends physically. 
    For the sake of your understanding, think of it this way: Boundaries are natural.  One can assert a boundary a sense of self-including a yes and no without becoming aroused into a state of defense.  If you are aroused into a state of defense, it means shame is there.  If shame were not there, what other people say and do wouldn’t hurt so bad.  Those of us who suffer the most in relationships, have the most shame.  And those of us with the most shame both deflect shame the most and enter into relationships with people who have a pattern of deflecting shame onto others.
    Badness in our human society is integrally linked to blame and fault.  This is why you see shame being deflected in the form of blaming each other.  So often in a relationship one situation can lead to both people’s shame being triggered and in response they deflect it onto each other by blaming each other for the situation or for the way it was handled.     
    But there is a way to end this pattern in yourself and end it in relationships and thus end it in the world.  There is a way to make relationships harmonious and stay connected.  The way to create and maintain relationships is to own your shame.
    For example, a man might feel defensive in a relationship argument about being emotionally available.  He may tell himself that the woman that he is with is too needy.  He has deflected his shame onto her by making her that bad one in this situation.  When he looks deep inside, he may find that he is ashamed because he doesn’t feel capable of being emotionally present. 
    Deflected shame is not just about what we tell other people.  It is about what we tell ourselves.  Our ego is telling us a story that preserves its self-concept all day long, regardless of whether we tell that story to someone else or keep it to ourselves.  This is the heart of self-deception.     
    Literally whenever you feel defensive in any situation or start hearing the inner voice tell a story about how someone else is doing something bad, ask yourself: “What do I feel ashamed of right here in this minute?  What about this situation makes me feel like a bad person or defective or not good enough or wrong?
    If you are in a relationship, commit to making this a part of your conflict conversations.  Decide that both of you are going to stop for a moment, introspect to discover what you feel ashamed about in the situation and admit it to each other.
    I will give you one warning.  It is critical that if someone is admitting to the shame they feel, that we do not allow our ego to use that as an opportunity to strike while the shields are down and to deflect our own shame deeper into them (rubbing salt into a wound).  This is abusive.  Our number one terror is that by admitting to our shame, other people will use it to condemn us.
    If you are setting a boundary with someone, be sensitive to the fact that because we grow up in a society where we are raised to believe that crossing a boundary is wrong and where we are shamed for being bad if we do something wrong.  This means the likelihood for someone to feel shame as a result of setting a boundary with them is very high.  Sometimes, it is literally unavoidable.  But to limit this risk, make the boundary about what is right and wrong for you and why instead of about what is wrong about them.  When we had parents who deflected their shame onto us when we set a boundary with them, we grow up to be ashamed of our own boundaries.  When we are ashamed of our own boundaries, we have to justify it.  The way we justify it is by projecting that shame we feel about assessing our own boundaries by setting our boundaries in a way where we make the other person a bad person for violating them, regardless of whether or not they knew the boundary existed before they crossed it.  We have to make them bad or wrong in our mind to even feel like we can have the boundary and stay a good person.    
    If we want loving relationships with ourselves, we need to resolve the shame we feel.  If we want loving relationships with other people, we need to help each other resolve the shame instead of adding to it.  By owning the shame we feel, we have an opportunity to do this instead of allow our egos to be locked in a war over preserving self-image.
    By owning our shame, we have the ability to end our conflict with other people and to be connected to them in a state of safety and love instead.

    Denial (And How To Get Out Of Denial)

    A coping mechanism is an adaptation we make that enables us to deal with a difficult environmental stress that we feel we cannot change or eliminate.  The adaptation we make causes us to feel like we have control over the way we feel and behave.  One could argue that provided a person cannot actually change something, some coping mechanisms are beneficial to you and people around you and some coping mechanisms harm you and the people around you.
    We can grasp this concept because looking at that definition; we can see that drowning yourself in alcohol is a coping mechanism that many people use to deal with the distress of their jobs.  It is easy to see that this coping mechanism harms not only the drinker, but also often the people around the drinker.  We can also see that using a coping mechanism, like changing the meaning you have added to a painful experience that is out of your control can potentially greatly benefit the person who is in pain and also the people around them. 
    But what we have to look at is whether the coping mechanism that you thought was benefitting you and the people around you was actually harming you and the people around you. 
    Denial is a coping mechanism that is damaging and especially pervasive in the spiritual and self help community.  Denial is refusing to accept or admit to the truth of the reality of something unpleasant.  An example of this is a person who has been left by their spouse and who continues to think and say and act as if they are just on vacation. 
    I cannot tell you how prevalent denial is.  When we can’t deal with, change or eliminate something painful, in order to avoid despair, we simply deny whatever is painful.  But it is a powerfully unconscious state of being because to slip into denial, a person has to stop seeing, feeling and hearing any proof to contradict it.  At some level, they have to go into a bubble so as to not be reached by the proof of world. 
    You might think that denial is a good tool.  After all, if someone can ignore proof in a law of attraction-based universe and focus on what they want to have be true, they will manifest that into reality instead right?  Wrong.  Denial is a state of resistance and suppression.  It is a pushing against what is unwanted.  It is a refusal to accept something.  It is a war with what is.  And whatever we resist, persists. 
    Denial does not work because unless you know where you actually are, you cannot know where you want to be and you can’t take the appropriate step between here and there.  For the sake of understanding the difference between denial/suppression and genuine improvement, imagine getting in an airplane and flying out across the ocean.  Imagine that a low oil pressure warning light comes on in your cockpit.  Now imagine that instead of actually addressing it, you take a piece of duct tape and put it over the light so you don’t see it anymore.  Can you see how that coping mechanism would get you into a whole lot of trouble? 
    Denial is not just about denying that there is a problem, some people see there is a problem but their denial comes in the form of minimizing the impact it has on our lives, excusing it, forgetting it or rationalizing it.  
    It is easy to see how we can deny something physical like that.  But what about denying thoughts and denying emotions?  We can deny those things as well.  But I must say that the single most prevalent form of denial in the human race is emotional denial.  We do not want to accept the reality of our own emotions and we do not want to accept the reality of other people’s emotions.  As a result, we are constantly at war with ourselves and with each other.  To understand fully about how to deal with emotions, I encourage you to watch my video on YouTube titled:  The Emotional Wake Up Call.  
    But lets talk today about the effect of denial on relationships.  We can see this most often with regards to childhood.  Lets imagine that a parent simply cannot deal with the pain they feel in response to their child’s negative emotions because it makes them feel like they are a bad parent.  Not being able to cope with that, they will deny the child’s reality and refuse to accept it as true or valid.  They may minimize, invalidate, refuse to acknowledge the emotion or disconnect and withdraw from the child.  The child is not able to be seen, heard, felt or understood by the parent.  The child becomes desperate for their pain to be seen and acknowledged.  They may develop disorders that show that pain physically in a way the parent cannot deny.  For example, I have never met a teenage cutter who does not have at least one primary caregiver who copes via the mechanism of denial. 
    Denial in a relationship makes a relationship impossible.  People may be in the same room physically, but they are in different realities completely and usually, the one who is not coping with denial is in torment because they are not just alone, they are alone in their pain.  The single most painful thing a person can experience isn’t something painful… it is going through something painful, entirely on their own.  Pain requires presence.  Denial is the opposite of presence.  To really help someone with their pain, it has to be acknowledged, seen and valid and understood.  Otherwise, all the “helpful actions” you take aren’t really helpful; they are simply attempts to trump the person’s painful reality with your reality.  It is essentially a war between perspectives. 
    Many people with the coping mechanism of denial simply cannot understand why nothing they do for other people is good enough or why when they try to do good things, people always get upset at them for it.  The reason is that unless you are willing to fully accept the reality of someone else’s reality, you cannot see what is in fact genuinely right for them and needed and wanted by them.    
    People who cope with denial run into big difficulties in relationships and cannot often keep them long term unless they are in a relationship with someone else who also copes with denial because by virtue of being in denial, they are inherently antagonistic.  They fight with other people’s unpleasant realities.  Their mentality is “you are wrong about your reality or about how you think or feel”.   Their mentality is “I don’t see you or feel you or hear you or understand you because it’s too painful to me to do those things.”  The underlying message is:  I cannot accommodate your reality into my reality and feel good at the same time, so I’m going to choose to leave you alone in your pain so I can feel ok. 
    But the lurking shadow underneath the denial is that the person who is in denial themselves knows in some place inside themselves that they are lying to themselves. 
    Certain spiritual tools can serve to enhance denial instead of awakening.  This is the reason I did an entire video on Spiritual Bypassing.  Take a look at it on YouTube if you are curious after watching this one.  For example, positive focus can be a way to fuel denial of what is negative.  To understand more about this, watch my video on YouTube titled: The Next Step In The Game.  “You create your own reality by virtue of what you put your attention on” can be used to fuel denial.  “You can choose how to feel” can be used to fuel denial.  “No one else can hurt you because the only pain you feel is pain you allow” can be used to fuel denial.  Changing the meaning behind an experience can be used to fuel denial.  And the list goes on and on. 
    At the end of the day, the bottom line in all of this is that awakening is all about expanded awareness.  It is the ability to hold space within your consciousness for all truth, not the controlled focus on what you want to have be true.  Any methodology that is being used to fuel denial is by definition an enemy to awakening, enlightenment, awareness and expansion.
    There are a few warning signs that can indicate that you (or someone in the relationship are in denial.  They are as follows…
    You can’t get on the same page with a person in your life no matter how hard you try. 
    If people around you escalate because they think the other isn’t hearing or seeing what is being communicated. 
    If you’re really confused in your relationship about what is happening. 
    If you have a pattern of controlling things and obsessing over what you can’t control while ignoring, minimizing or not prioritizing things that really do need to change. 
    If you like to come to people with answers about how to fix and solve themselves into happy people instead of being present with them and asking questions and curiosity because you want to completely comprehend their world.
    If you judge other people for their negativity, especially their inability or as you see it, unwillingness to get out of negative states.    
    If your reaction to conflict or problems is to immediately blame someone else. 
    If you have an excuse for everything. 
    If you’re overly confident, especially in a situation where all signs point to demise. 
    If you feel ganged up on and like everyone has made you the enemy or is against you when people who are supposed to be your friends and family are against your point of view. 
    If your philosophy is “if you want something done right, do it yourself.” 
    If the bad moments are erased by the good moments, no matter how few and far between they are.
    If relationships seem to go bad fast and with no warning.
    If people around you seem like they are consistently overreacting.
    If you have an attitude towards negative emotions and negative thoughts that say ‘this isn’t useful’  ‘it serves no purpose’ or ‘it only brings harm’. 
    If you daydream about things being different than they are. 
    If you are entirely focused on the potential good outcome and not on the potential pitfalls or on what is occurring now. 
    If you don’t want to burden other people with your problems. 
    If you realize that you simply don’t have certain emotions or have found strategies to not feel them the second they come up.
    If you are an obsessive problem solver and you rush into finding solutions.
    If you feel like talking about problems for too long is a waste of time and counterproductive. 
    And most of all, If you live according to the philosophy that you are simply selective about the reality that you will accept.  
    What should you do to come out of denial?
    Ask yourself, Am I willing to feel?  The reason we use the coping mechanism of denial is because we do not feel willing to feel our own negative emotion and our own pain.  And the reality is, until the day that you can honestly answer yes to this question, you will struggle with denial.  We have got to take a look at why we are so resistant to feeling and take a look at when that started. Take a look at your life with curiosity specifically in terms of how you could have been in denial in circumstances in your past.  See if you can see the damage that denial did and what could have been avoided if you were not in denial at that time.  What would you have done differently? If you really struggle with denial and feel brave enough to invite other people to tell you what they think you are in denial about or what you have been in denial about in the past, ask them to write a list for you and give it to you.  Go over that list in your own time, watching how resistant you are to it.  Go over the list with the genuine desire to see how they might be right instead of spending your time defending how they are wrong. If denial is one of your coping mechanisms, you can guarantee that you have denied yourself over and over and over again.  This is a self-abusive relationship you have with yourself and one of the first things you deny in yourself besides how you actually feel is what you actually need and actually want.  So, I encourage you to get really clear about what your need and desires are.  If you need help in that department, watch my video on YouTube titled: Meet Your Needs. Ask yourself “What am I really afraid I might be in denial about right now?”  Make a list.  Denial runs deep.  But often it doesn’t run deep enough to totally silence the little voice inside that is warning you about the potential truth of an unpleasant reality.  Then ask yourself with each item on the list, “If I the voice of denial were not so loud, what would the unpleasant voice underneath it be saying to me about this situation?”  See if you can really accept those unpleasant truths. Reach out for support for those painful truths from someone you trust to see you clearly and accept all of you.  The desire to isolate and not let anyone in on things that you, yourself don’t want to admit to is strong, but it is counter productive. After they are fully present with the painful reality, solicit their help to focus on an actual solution to what you now see is the actual reality. Recognize that shame is literally the heart of denial.  You do not want to admit to unpleasant truths because if you did and especially if people around you saw or knew those truths, you and they would see you as not good enough or less than or unworthy and you would have to feel shame.  Shame is the emotion that you want to escape from at all costs.  Because this is the case, first you have to really let yourself feel shame because your unwillingness to do so, is what is keeping you trapped in denial.  Then, watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Overcome Shame. Feel your body when you go into defense and you tense up.  Chances are if denial is your coping mechanism, it will be what you start doing if you feel threatened.  So, when you feel that happening, close your eyes and ask yourself, how does this make me feel ashamed?  This is the backdoor to get through your own denial.  If you wish, you can explain to your loved ones that you struggle with shame so much that you are likely to go straight into denial if they express something in a way that directly implies that something is wrong with you.  See if they are willing to communicate it in another way so that getting on the same page is easier because you will not defend yourself with denial.  Instead you will be receptive enough to accommodate their reality. Recognize that even though you love control, when you are in denial, you are in fact giving up control.  By not accepting the reality of something unpleasant, you can’t do anything about it.  Eventually, it will get out of hand and take its own course with or without your consent. Watch my video on YouTube titled:  How To Let Go Of a Coping Mechanism and take the steps I outline in that video for denial specifically. Be brave enough to face your life.  Realizing that you have been in denial and then using the acceptance of the painful truth you were denying to actually take inspired action is the key to a deliberately created life.  You will be amazed about how effective the things you do from that set point are to create genuine and lasting improvements.  You will be amazed at how much better your relationship with yourself will become.  And you will be blown away at how harmonious your relationships can actually be.

    The Secret Behind Sexual Fetishes

    Life on earth, creation itself is the byproduct of sexual energy.  Sexual energy and conception/creation go hand in hand.  And so you can see that sex and orgasm has an element of extreme creative force to it.  The question is what are you conceiving or creating?  What does this mean for those of us who are practicing the art of manifestation?  It means that sexual focus is one of the most powerful tools for manifestation that you can possibly imagine.  To understand more about this, watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Use An Orgasm To Manifest.  Nothing matters more than what you are focusing on and feeling the experience of in the moment of orgasm.  What you focus on, especially on a feeling based level, is what you are trying to conceive and manifest into your reality.
    In the minute of orgasm the accumulated energy that is building up is released.  That powerful burst of energy is released towards what you desire to create with the subconscious intention of manifesting it into reality.  Even the most unconscious people walking the planet today instinctually feel that link between sex and creation/manifestation.  Even the most unconscious people walking the planet today also feel the undeniable link between DESIRE and sex. 
    But the reality is that most people walking the planet are unconscious of their genuine desires.  Most people feel the desire for a person or a thing, but do not understand why they feel the strong desire for that thing. 
    This is why we struggle and fail to understand what is really going on at a fundamental level with sexual fetishes. 
    Here’s the secret behind all sexual fetishes.  Behind each one of them is something that we want to experience (usually an emotional state) that we feel utterly deprived of and desperate to experience.  But that we believe we cannot have or create directly.  We are fixated on that desire subconsciously and thus fixated on that fetish.  And yes, this applies even to the really weird fetishes. 
    I’ll give you an example.  There is a fetish called maiesiophelia, which is a sexual fetish for the birth cycle that includes conception, pregnancy and birth.  People with this fetish usually have a fixation on one or two all of these parts of the process.  I was working with a woman whose fetish centered around birth specifically.  When we got down to exactly what she was fixated on during her sexual fantasizing, it was how the man in the situation completely recognized her pain and was completely unconditionally present with it, comforting her through it. 
    When we got deep into her childhood we found out that she was being abused badly as a child by someone outside the family and the most painful part of that abuse was that her mother and father did not see it.  Not only could they not see the abuse itself, they refused to really accept and acknowledge her pain that was the result of it.  When she was unhappy and hurting, they minimized it, invalidated it, shamed her for it and withdrew from her. 
    When she was young, she watched a program on the television on birth and when she saw the image of a husband supporting his wife through the process of labor, she felt what she had always wanted.   She was desperate for that exact reaction from her attachment figures in response to her pain.  All of this was unconscious and took place as the somatic sensation of what she’s always wanted as opposed to the mental understanding about this being what she’s always wanted and why.  As a result the idea was that the way to get that need satisfied was to actually give birth, because she had such a strong belief that to get that desire met in any way outside that scenario was impossible.  So, she thought about it every time she masturbated and eventually it became a full-blown fetish.  Unconsciously, by fixating sexually and through orgasm on that experience, she was trying to manifest it into reality desperately.  
    And this is the reality behind all fetishes no matter how conventional or extreme they may be.  Keep in mind that if I take two people with the same fetish, the one fetish may actually be a way of achieving different desires for each person.  However, there are some common trends.  I’ll list some of them.
    Many men whose fetish is blowjobs usually are missing the experience of feeling like the center of undivided attention; adored and special enough to have someone simply give to them with no hope of getting anything from them.  They usually grew up in families where their attachment figures were absorbed in themselves and their own drama or self centered interests and to whom they felt like an invisible accessory.  A blowjob brings them the closest they can come, because of their belief that they cannot get that any other way, to creating that somatic state which they are so desperate for.
    Many people (especially boys) who experience a foot fetish, experienced situations when they were babies at the age where they were lying or crawling on the floor where they desperately wanted the pleasure of closeness and one on one connection/undivided attention from their moms, especially busy moms who had lots of things going on at once, like a busy household where there wasn’t much time for one on one.  And the closest they could get to that ecstasy of one on one absorption, was their feet.  Either watching her walk around the room or chasing after her crawling as she walked or having her tickle them with her feet as she walked by.  As a result, they believe they cannot get that in day-to-day life with a woman but the closest they can get, is feet.  Feet become the symbol of that feeling experience they desperately want of the pleasure of one on one absorption, intimacy and connection.      
    Many people who love being abused during sex show a trend towards having pasts where they had to be in control, responsible in situations where they didn’t want to be or were not ready to be.  And be strong even when they felt like collapsing under pressure.  Many had parents who would not stand for anything that they perceived as weakness and who either punished weakness with withdrawal, invalidation or shaming.  The result is a person who is created to withstand tons of pressure.  Control and responsibility are an immense pressure.  By being abused during sex, they get to lose control and with that sense of control.  The weight of responsibility comes off their shoulders and is assumed by the dominant partner.  They can let go completely.  They can feel the relief of weakness in a way that will not leave them alone for being that way because it is what the dominant partner wants.  A sexual fetish around being abused is their attempt to manifest being able to let go of pressure, responsibility and control and still be loved by someone in that state instead of abandoned, shamed or invalidated for it.
    Many people who love abusing or subjugating others during sex show a trend towards pasts where to the exact opposite, they were chronically put in positions of complete and utter powerlessness.  Situations where they felt no control and their weakness was exploited.  This is why it is so common for especially men with this fetish to come from childhoods with a chronically physically abusive parent and an enabler parent who did not protect them.  By abusing during sex they get to feel the relief and safety of a sense of control, personal power and sovereignty where other people’s experience gets to be in their hands instead of the other way around.  They believe they cannot have this experience in daily life and so, they fixate on this sexual experience in a subconscious attempt to manifest this experience into their lives. 
    Let’s dare to go even darker.  Suspending the concept of right or wrong and simply looking at this concept of fetishes hiding a desperate desire that a person does not feel like they can create in day to day life, take a look at necrophilia.  A fetish involving sex with a corpse.  Many times, these people experience extreme poor self-esteem.  Many times, this sets in as a result of a severe loss.  As a result, they often experienced extreme trauma around the experience of being rejected and or being pushed away and having someone they want not give themselves to them.  By having sex with a dead body, it is impossible for them to be resisted or pushed away.  In their minds, the person (who is in fact dead) cannot refuse, resist, reject, push them away or refuse to give themselves to them.  And  many times, this rejection trauma involves the perception or the actuality that someone has died.  Thus some necrophiliacs actually fantasize reviving the dead body through sex.  This type of necrophiliac does not believe it is possible to have what they really want, which is to fully have (the opposite of lose) someone who will not ever reject them, and who will instead completely draw them close with no resistance whatsoever.
    For the sake of your own awareness, take a look at your own sexual trends and if they go so far as fetishes, look at those fetishes through the lens of what feeling experience you are desperate to manifest in your day-to-day life, but feel incapable of manifesting.  What hidden cry is lurking underneath your fetish? 
    The reality that most of us do not want to accept is that it doesn’t matter whether we judge fetishes as criminal or right or wrong or functional or dysfunctional, the truth of the matter is that under each one is a desired feeling experience.  But that due to a person’s life experience they feel utterly powerless yet utterly desperate to manifest.  And we can only call ourselves conscious when we figure out what that desired experience is.  We can only call ourselves compassionate when we understand, see, feel and hear that hidden cry for what is really wanted underneath each fetish.

    Deflection (The Coping Mechanism From Hell)

    Chances are if you are reading this article, you have already committed yourself to the path of awakening and awareness.  And nothing is more important on the path of awareness than self-awareness.  He who sees himself clearly, sees the world clearly because each is a mirror for the other.  But as you know, there are some barriers to self-awareness.  Today, I’m going to talk to you about one of them. I’m going to talk to you about the coping mechanism of deflection.
    To deflect something is to cause that thing to change direction by interposing something.  This turns it off of its straight course in another direction, even back in the original direction it came from.  The best way to imagine this is to think of animation that involves laser beams.  If one character shoots a laser beam at another character and he picks up his shield, the laser beam is deflected off in another direction, or ricochets back towards the one who shot it.  This may be a good defense tactic when it comes to laser beams.  But what if the “something” that is being sent in your direction is a plea or a piece of information that you have to take very seriously.  Or even an opportunity for you to see yourself clearly. 
    As if applies to our conversation today, deflection is when something someone communicates causes someone to feel triggered and as a result, instead of taking it in, they either ignore, deny or turn away from it.  Or worse, turn it back towards the other person.  This is done to avoid painful memories and painful emotions and painful thoughts, but it also prevents the person from being self-aware.  Deflection is different from projection which when a person cannot accept a quality or aspect of their own personality because it is incompatible with their self-concept, so they project it out of their awareness on to another person.  The angry person recognizing anger in others, but thinking they are peaceful for example.  However, once people learned about projection, it became a super common deflection technique.  And it goes like this:  In order to deflect something that someone tells you about yourself which triggers you, simply tell them they are projecting. 
    Before I continue, I must say that people, whose default defense mechanism and coping mechanism is denial, use deflection as a mechanism of denial.  For this reason, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled:  Denial (And How to Get Out Of Denial). 
    Deflection is a defense mechanism that is designed to preserve self-concept.  It is a form of projection when it is used to deflect blame.  Essentially, when the fault is in fact with us, we project the blame and fault onto someone else.  We feel we cannot take responsibility or blame for something and feel positive about ourselves at the same time.  We are unwilling to feel guilt or shame.  Our kids exhibit this behavior sometimes.  For example, they spill something and blame it on the cup.  In adulthood deflection can become much more insidious.  Such as the abusive husband who blames the wife for provoking him by not having dinner ready on time despite what she promised.
    Here are some other examples:  A person who says things to hurt someone and when they defend themselves, blames it on the person being too sensitive.  A person whose behavior leads to a group intervention and then says everyone has turned him into the enemy.  A person who is told they are being manipulative and says “it is just you projecting”.  A man who gets criticized for something he did and who thinks “she’s just on her period.”  It’s the person who is destroying a relationship and says, “It always takes two”.  It’s the friend who does something hurtful and says “she’s just triggered because of her own childhood”.  It’s the guru that fails to help someone and says it’s because they are too unconscious still or are too attached to their pain.  It’s the partner who does abusive things and when their partner gets angry at them, says they are in an abusive relationship because of the other partner’s anger.  A person who causes emotional distress in another person and who drives them to a psychologist to figure out what is wrong with them.  And the list goes on and on. 
    What you can see in all of these scenarios is that feedback from the world that would challenge the person’s positive self-concept is not allowed to sink into the consciousness, instead it is deflected.  If this is a common defense mechanism that someone uses, people around them will begin to feel like it is literally impossible to get through to them or to get them to own and stop doing something that they are doing which is painful.     
    There is a common childhood pattern that involves deflection, which has the potential to destroy families and even lives.  In this pattern, a parent is not able to parent their child in a way that soothes the child’s distress.  When the child becomes unhappy with the parent, the parent cannot deal with their feelings of inadequacy.  Their inability to feel and own up to the shame they feel, makes it so that they deflect that shame back onto the child.  The child in this family then becomes the family scapegoat.  The deflection technique that is used in this scenario is that the parent decides that the reason the child is unhappy with them is because something is wrong with the child.  The parent then goes on a mission to try to figure out what is wrong with this child and to fix this child.  The parent now assumes the role of the benevolent rescuer of this child, trying so selflessly to find out what is wrong with the child and fixing it instead of realizing that their own behavior and style of relating to the child is what is wrong with the child. 
    The child is literally locked in a paralysis of emotional abuse because they are in fact being gas lighted.  Gas lighting is convincing someone that what they perceive is not what they perceive.  What they feel, they don’t feel.  What they saw, they didn’t see.  It is a complete invalidation of a person’s reality to hide what someone is actually doing.  The parent first hurts the child with their behavior and when the child becomes upset, the parent deflects that blame on something being wrong with the child inherently and then flips into the loving rescuer trying to solve whatever is wrong with the child.  They tell the child they are doing this because they love them.  So the child is now mentally and emotionally destroyed in confusion.  The very person who hurt them is now the person saying they love them and because of that will help them to solve whatever is wrong with them.
    To create a physical analogy to represent this emotional injury, imagine that you break someone’s leg.  But you can’t admit that you broke their leg because you can’t feel like a good person and accept that.  So, as they are writhing around on the ground in pain and yelling, you say “Wow, your anger is really abusive and abusive relationships aren’t ok for me, but something must be really wrong with you because there is no reason for you to be writhing around on the floor right now and yelling after all, it’s such a beautiful day outside and I give so much to you”.  I love you so much that I’m going to be the better person and I’m going to stop what I was doing here and what I wanted to do today to go find a doctor for you to figure out what is wrong with you so that you can enjoy this beautiful day and work on your anger problem so we can be in a wonderful relationship and enjoy this wonderful day together.”          
    The child grows up with the deeply imbedded concept that something is wrong with them and usually struggle with self-abusive and suicidal tendencies.  They find their way into abusive relationships over the course of their lives in which insidious mind games are played where someone does something harmful to them and says they are in fact doing something good to them.  Their adult relationships follow this same pattern.  They find partners who do the same thing to them as their parent did.  And because they usually reach adulthood with several diagnoses, deflecting is easily done.
      So, it is obvious that deflection is a dangerous thing for our relationships as well as for our own awakening and path of self-awareness.  Now, what do we do about it?
    We have to recognize the shame and guilt that we feel in order to not deflect.  We deflect to save our self-concept.  In order to awaken, we have to be able to see both sides of the coin about ourselves.  Both our darkness and our light.  For the person who deflects, this means in order to stop deflecting, we have to be willing to feel and see ourselves as not a good person in the circumstance we are in.  We could engage all day long in a debate over good person vs. bad person and that there is no such thing.  But the reality is that because we have already judged certain things as bad, we must be willing to see ourselves in this light and feel the feelings of shame in order to stop deflecting. Once we have allowed ourselves to feel the shame, we need to realize that down deep, shame is the core of our self-concept.  We cannot admit to guilt because it causes this deep wound of shame to be triggered.  All of our attempts to deflect are designed to shield the fact that underneath that shield, shame already exists in us.  Then, I encourage you to watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Overcome Shame. Deflection is a coping mechanism.  For this reason, watch my YouTube video titled: How To Let Go Of A Coping Mechanism and use the advice given in this video on deflecting specifically.   The opposite of deflection is reflection.  Hopefully, you can reflect and accept to see yourself as not the good guy in this situation.  But if you can’t, for the sake of other people around you, you can go through the backdoor of this pattern by feeding your positive self-concept by accepting your negative aspects.  Just decide that the person who is the best person is the one who really owns their badness.  So, when you feel the tension of defense in any given situation, use the power of your own ego’s desire to see you as a good person (and a good person owns their flaws) to in fact look for what you did wrong or what you did to hurt the other person.  We need to start facing our unpleasant emotions.  The unwillingness to feel negative emotion is at the heart of our coping mechanisms.  But pain is captivating because it is meant to be. It calls your awareness squarely to the place that is in pain.  If we feel pain, our attention needs to go to that place.  The pain is an indicator that we need to become aware of something that is there.  Instead of deflecting or going into denial or eating or distracting ourselves, we need to go inward, towards the pain.  In order to develop a method for doing this, I encourage you to watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Heal The Emotional Body.  Be willing to ask yourself WHY from a place where you are willing to see and wanting to specifically explore painful truths about yourself in each circumstance.  Painful truths about how you actually feel about what you are actually doing about why people are actually acting towards you the way that they are acting and  about what you actually want and don’t want and about why are you really doing the things that you are doing.  Down deep underneath deflection is an unwillingness to really be authentic with yourself and with others. Look at the most painful areas of your life, especially the relationship that is causing you the most pain.  Look at the multiple excuses you have for why the other person is the reason that the situation is like it is.  And ask yourself, what would be so bad if none of these explanations were true?  What painful truth am I the most terrified to admit to if this situation is like it is because of me instead of them?        Once you accept the painful truth about yourself, you have come out of denial and so you now have something REAL to work with in order to create change with people and to do things differently.  So, when you are ready, communicate your new understanding and create repair to the relationships around you in this way. The reality is that if someone in a relationship is deflecting, there can be no repair to the relationship once rupture is created because it is impossible to create repair when someone is unable to see themselves enough to see what they are doing enough to change it and is instead making it about there being something inherently wrong with other person.  This is often the real reason that relationships with parents never get resolved.  We have a common societal saying relative to relationships and it goes like this: “It takes two” or the blame is always 50/50.  This is the idea that it takes two people to make a relationship work and two to destroy it.  This is actually not true, due to the nature of a connection.  If takes two people to make a relationship work because if one person doesn’t want the connection or nurture it, there can be no relationship.  But if one person doesn’t want the connection or doesn’t nurture it, they can create a rupture regardless of hat the other person does or does not do.  That is one reason why being in relationships is so powerfully vulnerable and interdependent.  And the bottom line is, there is nothing more painful in life than un-repaired relationship rupture.  So dare to reflect instead of to deflect.

    Spirituality, The Great Coping Mechanism

    As you know I am a leader in the field of spirituality, health and wellness.  For this very reason, what I am about to say may shock you.  And I am asking you to let it shock you.  Let it shock you awake.  Let it shake your reality because the reality that you have created, may just be built on shaky foundations.
    The reality that we need to look around and see and accept is that most spiritual practice (and this includes health and wellness practice) is nothing more than one giant coping mechanism.
    What does it mean to cope?  It means to deal with something difficult.  What is a coping mechanism?  A coping mechanism is an adaptation we make that enables us to deal with a difficult environmental stress that we feel we cannot change or eliminate.  The adaptation we make causes us to feel like we have control over the way we feel and behave.
    We react to stressors mentally in the form of a thought (like “I can’t handle this”).  This then converts into an emotion (like panic).  This causes us to have a physical response (like our heart racing and a sensation of unbearable constriction).  This then converts into a behavior (like drinking alcohol or running out the door).  Coping mechanisms are strategies that interfere with any part of this flow chart of reactivity.         
    Looking at that definition it is easy to see that you could go left or right with a coping mechanism.  You could create one that benefits you and people around you and you could create one that harms you and the people around you.  We all grasp this concept because looking at that definition; we can see that drowning yourself in alcohol is a coping mechanism that many people use to deal with the distress of their jobs.  Just go to a city like London any time after dark to see how much this coping mechanism is put to use.  It is easy to see that this coping mechanism harms not only the drinker, but often the people around the drinker.  We can also see that using a coping mechanism, like changing the meaning you have added to a painful experience that is out of your control can potentially greatly benefit the person who is in pain and also the people around them. 
    But what if the coping mechanism that you thought were benefitting you and the people around you was not actually doing that?  What if it was actually a detriment to you and a detriment to the people around you, including the world itself and you just didn’t see it?  What I am about to propose is that the spiritual, health and wellness field is littered and full to the brim with these kinds of coping mechanisms and beliefs that feed these coping mechanisms.  Coping mechanisms that you think benefit you, but that are a detriment to you and to other people and to the world.  The spiritual, health and wellness field is also littered with coping mechanisms that should be used in one situation or in response to one stressor but that should be avoided at all costs in another situation or in response to another stressor.    
    The coping mechanisms that are detrimental always backfire eventually.  They may work to alleviate pain in the short term but they create either worse pain in the long run.   Or simply create a different kind of pain.  Many of them function like a pain medication.  They stop us from feeling pain. But we have to ask ourselves, is this always the best course of action?  Sometimes if you use a strategy to numb the pain of a current situation, you stay in a detrimental situation.  You just don’t feel it anymore. 
    We can generalize that there are 8 main types of coping mechanisms.
    Avoidance mechanisms, which help you to avoid the stress. Attack mechanisms, which deflect the stress and pain we feel onto other people instead. Behavioral Mechanisms, which change what we do in response to the stress. Adaptive Mechanisms, which offer constructive help for the distress. Cognitive Mechanisms, which change what we think in a situation where we are faced with distress. Defense Mechanisms, which enable us to defend ourselves against the perceived stressor. Self Harm Mechanisms, which hurt ourselves to try to sedate or resolve the distress. Conversion Mechanisms, where our emotional and psychological distress manifests as physical symptoms that act as a communication strategy.    The point of this episode is not to go into detail about the endless list of coping mechanisms that can fit into each category of coping mechanism.  The point is get you to see how nearly all of the spiritual tools you have learned, including the ones that I, myself have given you, are in fact nothing more than coping mechanisms.  Let that scare you a little bit. 
    Be brave enough to take a look at your favorite spiritual practices; the tools that you, yourself use to cope with distress.  Can you see if they fit into one of these categories of coping mechanisms or not? 
    I am not suggesting that all of these tools are bad and should be discarded because they are coping mechanisms.  I am suggesting two things:
    That by definition, a coping mechanism is an adaptation that we make to something distressing to us that we think we cannot change.  Therefore, if something we are doing is a coping mechanism, we must consider that we may just be adapting to something that shouldn’t be adapted to, but that should in fact be changed. That many of the coping mechanisms you think benefit you and the people around you, and the world at large, may just be doing the opposite and you just don’t see it from your current perspective.  I am asking you to develop genuine consciousness by taking each one of the spiritual beliefs and spiritual practices you have and asking yourself with an attitude of curious philosophical exploration: How could this potentially be a detriment to me and to those around me and to the world at large?  What could be the shadow side of this belief or practice?  If you need help with this, take each one and compare it to a full list of specific coping mechanisms (you should be able to find these kinds of lists online by doing a basic search in any online search engine) And it will be easier to see the potential detriment that exists.         
    For example, one of the common spiritual beliefs that people hold that is assumed to be good for everyone is:  It is all perfect, everything is happening in accordance with a divine plan.  Clearly, suspending the idea that this belief is either true or not true, you can see this is a cognitive coping mechanism.  Now think about the harm this belief could do to someone.  They could take no action in the face of atrocity when action is absolutely necessary.  They could sit back and watch as a world goes to war and tragedy occurs, letting other people suffer alone as they sit in a space of approval of it.  This could be a form of denial, which is in fact a well-studied coping mechanism.  Now think abut the harm this could do to other people.  Imagine a woman whose child has just been crushed to death in an automobile accident.  Imagine how she will feel if you tell her that it is all-perfect, everything is happening in accordance with a divine plan.  Now, she is completely isolated in her pain.  On top of that, you are telling her that there is no good reason for her to be in pain; in fact her pain is only caused by her ignorance of the divine plan.  Guess what, we have a word for this.  It is called emotional abuse.
    In order to become fully conscious and to make the right choice of spiritual tool to use or to give to other people at a given time, we have to see the shadow side of all of our spiritual tools.  We have to see the shadow side of spirituality in and of itself.  And yes, this time it is the Atheists that saw it clearly.  Most people on this earth find their way to spirituality specifically because they are in distress.  Spirituality becomes their way to deal with the distress.  So what did the Atheists see that we need to see?  They saw that the shadow side of spirituality is that it is one giant coping mechanism.  A sedative and a painkiller for the masses.  Think about how dangerous that could be.  Think about how that could in fact be the exact opposite of conscious. 
    So often people think they are becoming conscious and awakening, when in fact they are just developing stronger and stronger coping mechanisms.  Stronger and stronger coping mechanisms that will backfire one day or that currently harm themselves and the world around them.  You can relate to this by imagining that someone thinks they are healing when in fact, they have just managed to hook themselves up to a morphine drip.  What if the coping mechanism you think is positive is actually negative?  What if the spiritual belief or practice you hold to feeds unconsciousness instead of consciousness?                                 
    The reality is that we want to be the one who copes with the world the best.  These are the gurus and spiritual teachers and the people that we exalt the most.  We want to get out of the stress and the pain.  So we glorify and worship and idolize and hold ourselves up against the standard of these people who, unlike us, seem to not be in distress within the world at all.  But be careful, he who copes with the world the best is often the one who will do the very least to change it.  Instead, he will often do the very most to teach everyone else how to cope with it.
    If your spiritual practice is something you use to cope with distress, that isn’t wrong.  It also doesn’t make spirituality wrong.  And provided that you genuinely cannot change a situation that is causing you distress (which believe me is often a matter of perspective), there are coping mechanisms that will in fact benefit you and the world around you.  But stay open to the idea that what benefits you today, may be a detriment to you tomorrow.  Be open to the idea that what sets you free today, may imprison you tomorrow.  Be open to the idea that what you think benefits you and the people around you, may actually harm both you and the people around you.  Be open to the idea that these beliefs and practices that we think benefit us, but that actually harm us, may be some of the most sacredly revered and widely held spiritual beliefs in existence.
    In a previous episode I said that the dream that will not die in those who have an inclusive consciousness, those who have had a secondary awakening, is the dream of creating a world that people do not have to cope with.  And after all, if we are the creators of our reality, there is no good reason to argue that it is better to cope with the world as it is, than it is to change the world itself into something that doesn’t have to be coped with.        

    The Next Step In The Game

    A person sits under a tree.  They decide to meet the truth of themselves and by doing so, meet the truth of the universe at large.  They come face to face with their own ego.  Their consciousness pierces through their unconsciousness.  Eventually, we call them enlightened.  The first enlightenment is an individual enlightenment.  The Buddha may have been awakened, and yet the reality is that in the very next town, there was still a man who lived at the mercy of his ego.  And next to him, another man, and next to him another man.
    This proves to be a conundrum for the Buddha.  It proves to be a conundrum because one of the universal truths that he has awoken to during his enlightenment is that ALL IS ONE.  And so, he sees that as long as there is a single being in this universe that is not in a state of enlightened awakeness, he cannot be fully enlightened and fully awake.  At this point, his own enlightenment is dependent upon awakening the world and his path becomes the path of the teacher.  He uses the people who are not awake to reflect to him the aspects within himself that are not awake.  He teaches people to become awake so that united consciousness can become enlightened in its totality.  This is the secondary enlightenment.  The awakening to the fact that individual enlightenment is not true enlightenment, only collective enlightenment is true enlightenment. 

    The problem with teaching from an enlightened perspective is that it is a perspective that is inaccessible to most people who are not in that transcendental perspective.  Just think about parents losing a child and a guru coming in and saying “there is no death” or “everything is perfect”.  Instead of that creating awakening, it is going to enhance the opposite.  It is going to cause pain.  It enhances the distance between the two perspectives instead of closes the gap between the two perspectives.
    Essentially, after a person has experienced a first enlightenment but before the person has experienced a secondary enlightenment, the perspective of the enlightened being can become a kind of narcissistic bubble.  It can be a reality that only they, themselves inhabit.  A perspective only they, themselves can access. A perspective that makes other people feel alone, not good enough, like they are failing, lowly, and stuck alone in pain that they should be able to get out of, but can’t.  For the teacher to teach, he or she cannot teach from a narcissistic bubble.  He or she cannot teach from a frequency and perspective that is too far beyond the personal perspective and frequency that the person they are teaching holds. 

    This doesn’t just apply to enlightened teachers, this applies to everyone on earth.  To grasp this, I am going to have to topple a pillar of spiritual principal for you today.  I’m going to have to pop a spiritual bubble.

    Most all spirituality is nothing more than a giant coping mechanism.  This should scare you because the ego itself is literally in and of itself a coping mechanism.  This means, most spiritual practice in fact ends up fueling the ego, instead of our essence.
     
    At face value, all spiritual teachers call for change.  They call for the change from unloving to loving.  The change from imprisoned to free.  But most spiritual teachers, teach you how to cope with the world.  The self-help and the spiritual field is littered with this pollution called “coping”.  I am no exception to this rule.  Much of what I teach you is coping techniques.  These tools are useful.  They are helpful.  They can be life changing.  But there is something beyond them.  There is something better than coping.
    It is a universal truth that if you shift what is within, what is without will change in perfect alignment with it.  And I am expected (in accordance with these higher dimensional truths) to look at you and say that there is nothing wrong with this world.  But I have one observation and one question after observing this world.  The observation is that everything we eat, every action we take, every decision we make, every relationship we get into, every retreat people attend is done so that we can feel better.  Every minute of our lives is spent clambering to feel better.  The question is where are we and what kind of world is this that we have created if every action we take is an action to try to feel better in it?  What kind of world have we created if we have to teach our children how to cope with it? 
    The dream that will not die in the person who has had a secondary enlightenment, is the dream of changing the world into something that people don’t have to cope with.
    One of the pillars of spiritual practice in the world today is the pillar of positive focus.  It is a coping strategy that works.  We know that this is a law of attraction based universe.  In a law of attraction based universe, what you focus upon, you get more of.  If you are negatively focused, you get more negative.  So, to have a life that feels good, you simply take control over your focus and focus positively.  This creates your reality.  It creates your reality into what you want it to be regardless of others around you. 
    But what happens then?  What happens then is that you create a narcissistic bubble for yourself.  You are in a state of positivity.  Your life may be going wonderfully.  But you could be living in a world with people who are living in hell.  Those people may be your friends or family even.  Why do you care?  If you’re feeling good, why do you care if other people are unhappy?  After all, the only reason you care is if seeing them unhappy, makes you feel unhappy.  So you want them to feel good so you can be happy.  This way of going about your life is only possible if you have not yet awoken to the reality of oneness.  It is only possible with an ego that is running your life.
    Now what if you looked at this situation through the lens of oneness?  If there is a person in the world who is feeling joy, that is you feeling joy.  And also, if there is a person in this world who is suffering, that is you suffering.  You cannot be in a little individual bubble of joy while they are suffering without creating a fracture or a split in yourself.  You cannot be in a bubble of suffering while others are in joy, without creating a fracture of a split in yourself.  So, you have just damaged yourself by doing this. 

    For the sake of this episode, I am going to address the people who have cut themselves off into a positive bubble.  I’m going to address their strategy because this is what many spiritual methodologies advocate for.  People who have cut themselves off into a positive bubble reality can tell they are damaging themselves by doing this because of the way it hurts other people when they bring their happy bubble into other people’s realities, which are realities of pain.  If you’re this person, you have created a clash of realities, where each person is alone in their reality.  But it doesn’t matter to you, because you are the one who feels good.  I should say, you will feel good up until the point that your happy bubble makes people feel not heard and not seen and not felt enough and therefore alone enough that they will leave you because of how much better it is to be completely alone than alone in the physical company of someone else.

    There is a terrible story about a group that was in the practice of this positive focus so as to create a narcissistic bubble reality.  They were all collected together and during the break, one of them fell down and couldn’t get up.  For nearly five minutes, no one went over to help the man get up because none of them wanted to include injury and falling in their reality and attract the same thing into their life.  Their humanity was lost, as was their connection to each other, as was their awareness of oneness in that moment.  And all of that was a result of their practice.     

    There is a belief that being in a purely positive, feel good perspective draws people to you.  But this is not always true.  If people are feeling negative, it splits you apart.  It repels you.  It makes you not a vibrational match to them.  It creates the opposite of integration.
    So my question (which goes beyond the first enlightenment) is: To create your own happy individual reality through your focus (which you can do), is that so good to do?  Or are you missing that everyone is you?  If everyone is you, does it do any good to leave everyone outside of your own bubble of pleasure so that your single embodiment can feel good?

    If you accept that everyone is you, your own happiness and joy and also expansion from that point forward, must accommodate other people.  The narcissistic happy bubble reality can no longer feel good to you.  And it is at this point that you are being called to integrate polarities.   

    Awareness and true consciousness is about being able to hold space for polarities.  Many primitive spiritual practices encourage you to make space for only one polarity in your embodiment.  People who walk the path of positive focus to create your own reality do not often use this practice as a tool in specific circumstances.  Instead, they use the tool for the totality of their life.  They polarize themselves.  They lose access to awareness and therefore awakening because their perspective can no longer accommodate negative.  Enlightenment is not possible from this perspective.
    Positive focus can be a brilliant tool and it can be a dangerous tool.  It is especially dangerous if it disallows us to accommodate, see, hear, feel, and understand other people’s reality.  In this respect, it can be just as dangerous as negative focus.  It prevents us from accessing eachother.  It prevents us from connection.  It prevents us from actualizing oneness in this world and therefore collective enlightenment.   

    Polarizing one’s self is in fact a state of denial.  It is a state of denial because to go into one polarity, you have to deny the opposite polarity.  You have to deny negative to focus solely positively.  You need to deny positive to focus solely negative.  And to be clear, the point of spiritual evolution is conscious awareness.  For conscious awareness to exist, we need to accommodate both polarities.  We need to accommodate other people’s realities.

    This excluding of polarities goes further than just negative and positive.  It applies to all polarities, including spiritual truths.  Many spiritual people believe that ONLY the higher dimensional realities are real.  For example, the spiritual truth that there is no birth and no death.  The only reality is that we are eternal.  This is true beyond the physical dimension.  But it is also true in the physical dimension that we DO die.  Both polarities are true.  Death exists and it also doesn’t exist.  We can get into the habit of going into denial because we are unwilling to acknowledge lower dimensional truths.  We have no space in our immature consciousness for opposing truths to both be true.  We deny one to make space for the other instead of making space within our consciousness for both.

    The other day, I went to see a beautiful garden of waterfalls.  I was next to a group of 8 people who were staring at a colossal waterfall from a platform.  They were in awe at the beauty and wonder of the waterfall.  I was standing there in horror and pain because I was staring at the body of a dog that someone had thrown off of the waterfall.  It was floating in an eddy below the waterfall.  The other eight people were oblivious to the body of the dog.  They could not include it into their awareness.  They were as oblivious to the horror of the dog as I was oblivious to the beauty of the waterfall.
    Our experiences and perceptions of the scene were completely different and non-accommodating of one another’s reality.  We were polarized.  Because they were feeling good, they were oblivious to the pain and isolation of being in a different reality.  Pain calls for presence, but no one could be present with the pain because they could not see the pain.  It was outside the scope of the reality they were willing to see.  And the beauty of the waterfall was outside the scope of the reality that I was willing to see.  Awareness and consciousness, a state of enlightenedness would have been for all of us to see, feel and accommodate both the beauty of the waterfall and the horror of the dog.  All would be included.  Awakened consciousness is an inclusive perspective instead of an exclusive perspective.  United consciousness would be united instead of split in this way.  

    It is at this point that I will say that in order to increase a state of inclusive consciousness, I strongly encourage you to watch my video on YouTube titled: And Consciousness (The Modern Day Replacement For The Middle Way).  

    A sad fact is that if you are polarized, you will attract people of the opposite polarity to you, as a mirror of that which you are excluding from your awareness.  This will make you feel more alone.  If you are absorbed in negative, you will attract people who are absorbed in positive.  If you are absorbed in positive, you will attract people who are absorbed in negative.  And the flip side of this is that we also polarize each other out of our realities this way.  If someone in our lives is in pain and all we will see is pleasure, we cannot see them.  We polarize ourselves into a state where even if we are in the same room, we are in different realities.    

    Hearing this example of the dog and the waterfall, can you see which way you are polarized?  Which truth you cannot accommodate?  If you were hyper focused on the dog and could not accommodate the beauty of the waterfall into your perspective, positive focus will bring you further into conscious awareness.  If you were hyper focused on the waterfall and could not accommodate the horror of the dog, recognizing and letting yourself feel negative will bring you further into conscious awareness.  We must learn to be inclusive to the greater whole to achieve a state of integration in ourselves and in the world.  And it is only when we come into that inclusive consciousness, where we have appreciation of the totality, that we can be inspired to right action. 

    An inclusive consciousness, a consciousness that accommodates all polarities and all people and all perspectives, leads us to the awareness that often coping with things isn’t a virtue.  Often it is just denial or coping with things that shouldn’t be coped with.  Sometimes it’s just not taking action that needs to be taken.  Sometimes what is really called for is to accept that something is there and to change it.
    Once your consciousness can accommodate polarities, let the new question be, Should it be coped with?  If so, use a spiritual tool that helps you to cope with it.  If not, change it.
    If you condition yourself to create an individual bubble reality for yourself and not see or feel what doesn’t feel good or look good, you will not actualize conscious awakeness.  You will also not create any world change, which is a big portion of why we all came here to begin with.   Part of why we came here is to bring eachother, and therefore the world itself, into a state of expansion… Because in a universe that is all one, the world in fact IS us.

    The Pain Principal

                 You can think of yourself as an essence that projects itself forth into an idea.  That idea is the idea of a person.  With enough focus on that idea of a person, a person manifests in the physical dimension.  You then call that person me or I.  You think that is who you really are.  You forget the essence behind your persona because you become so heavily identified with the persona.  But that persona, when it meets with trauma in the world, copes by dividing into fragments.  So the essence is now feeding several different personas.  This means you are not a singularity.  You are a multiplicity.  In a previous episode, for the sake of creating an analogy, I explained that you can think of the skin of your body as being like a container.  I asked you to imagine that inside that main container are smaller containers.  Each container holds a persona inside it.  A persona with its own personality, beliefs, fears, traumas, preferences, wants and needs.  We can call each little container person a part. 
    I explained that when these parts become triggered, they come out of their containers and tend to ‘take over’ our body.  It is then we mistake their perceptions and beliefs and fears and traumas and wants and needs for ALL of who we are.  We identify with it completely. 

    Ultimately, the path of awakening is to remember the essence beyond our persona.  Then to use the essence as our new platform from which to integrate the fractured personas so that we are living in a state of unity with ourselves.  To do that, we have to become acutely aware of these parts within ourselves.  We need to work with them from the outside.  It is at this point that seeing certain parts of you as just a part of you or as separate from who you really are, is critical. 
    Right now, using the container analogy, I want you to imagine that one of the larger containers in you is ‘pain self’.  This container contains anything of ‘yours’ that is painful.  It contains all of the personas within you that are in pain.  It contains all of the painful memories, fears, all of the painful thoughts, all of the painful beliefs, all of the painful emotions, all of the pain in your embodiment. 
    Your discomfort with yourself is entirely about this part within you.  All of your coping mechanisms are designed to prevent you from being close to this part of you.  They are designed to keep the lid closed on this container so it can be kept as far away from you as possible.  This part of you, the pain self, you see as an enemy. 
    We do not realize until all of our attempts to feel better fail, that we see our pain itself as our abuser.  When we feel pain, we think the pain we feel is trying to hurt us and so we are desperate to escape it and to be rescued from it by others.  If we have gone through a lot of pain and accumulated a lot of it, this container becomes so large that there comes a point where it feels much, much larger than the rest of us.  We feel like a victim to the pain we feel. 

    We spend our entire life, every single minute, trying to get out of our pain and trying to get rid of it.  Just take a look at your life objectively and see how much of it is lived to escape or avoid pain. The self-help industry and indeed most of spirituality itself is dedicated to nothing more than this.  And even when spiritual teachers like myself come along and teach you to instead be unconditionally present with your pain, the truth is, you are only ‘unconditionally with it’ so it will go away…  Which adds to the pain.  It’s like saying to a crying child, “I know you want me to be with you, but I hate being with you so much that I’m being here with you right now so you’ll stop crying and I can go do something else”.            
    Most of us get into relationships in order to use the other person as an antidote to the pain self.  At first, it works.  And then there comes a day when the other person will inevitably cause us to feel pain.  It is at this point that we start to crumble.  We feel duped.  The thing we thought would help us to escape the pain, is adding to it.  We cannot forgive them for adding to the pain any more than we can forgive them for not rescuing us from it.  If our pain self is large enough, we actually start to experience bystander trauma relative to our partners. 
                 Bystander trauma is torment experienced as a result of what was not done to protect us.  Experts in trauma will tell you that when someone is being abused, the most pain they feel isn’t towards the abuser himself or herself, but towards those who stood by and did nothing to protect them.  It is an incredible betrayal.  When we enter into relationships with the unconscious expectation that someone will rescue us from our pain and they do not, we experience betrayal and bystander trauma relative to them because we feel as if they have forsaken us by leaving us alone to fend for ourselves against our internal abuser… our own pain self. 
    We have made pain wrong and bad.  Because of this, we want to disconnect from it, suppress it, deny it, disown it and get away from it.  On that note, I strongly encourage you to watch my video on You Tube titled: The Meaning Of Pain.
                 Dis identification from these parts within us, including the larger container called the pain self, must not be done in order to cut them off from ourselves.  It must be done in order to pull these parts closer with love and meet their needs and help them to create harmony and unity together.  As it applies to the pain self, we need to help it, love it and stop adding pain to it.            
                 So, how do we help the pain self?                    
    1.      Next time you are in pain in any way, close your eyes and remind yourself that the pain self has been touched by something that just occurred.  Sort of like bumping a very sore bruise.  That feeling of pain is your call to recognize the pain self.  With your eyes closed try to see or sense or feel the totality of your pain as one large part or self (like a multiple personality) within you. 
    2.      Your essence as well as every other part within you is in a relationship with this pain self.  So, imagining that you are in a relationship with it, can you feel into what this pain self wants?  Can you feel into what it needs? Can you talk to it mentally?  Can it talk back to you?  Use your intuition to assist this pain self as if it were a person you were in an intimate relationship with, who lives inside of your body instead of externally. 
    3.      Meet its needs on a daily basis.  If its needs directly oppose the needs of any other part within you, find a way to meet both parts’ needs in a harmonious way.  If you feel pain, imagine this pain self is trying to cry for something, just like a baby does when it needs something.  Tune in with loving care to discover what it wants and give that to the pain self, mentally, verbally or through actual action.  This is where nuance comes into play.  For example, the pain self may need positive thoughts.  We can positively focus to escape the pain self.  Conversely, we may also use positive focus to help the pain self to feel better.

    4.      Realize that thoughts come from everywhere.  They are not necessarily even projected from you.  It is as if your mind is a net that simply perceives all of them and your body translates them into emotion.  When the pain self is activated (like a sore bruise being pushed on) it turns on like a light bulb and begins to attract thoughts of like frequency to itself.  The pain self is tormented by these painful thoughts.  So one of the best things you can do on behalf of your pain self is to interfere in the link between the thought process and the pain self.  Practically, this means, imagine stepping back and watching the thoughts as they arise and the emotions they cause in your body as they arise.  They may arise as an image, a word, a sound, a voice.  Watch them without touching or becoming involved with them. Don’t go into them.  Do this like you were simply watching them pop up out of the quantum field on the screen of your mind.  Practice this every day for a time in meditation.  Then, gradually practice this when you are not in meditation, when you are on a walk or being driven somewhere or talking with friends for example.  It may help to name the thoughts as they arise, as if you were narrating them.  You will notice which ones have gravity and try to suck you into them.  You will notice which ones fizzle out.  As you watch them and consciously feel the emotion they cause in the body, your consciousness is not directly feeding them, instead, it is transmuting the pain into consciousness.
    All things done out of love for the pain self from this point forward, must be done for and on behalf of the pain self, not in opposition to the pain self.  It is the opposition to the pain self that guarantees suffering.  It is the opposition to the pain self that fuels illusion instead of enlightenment.
    When we feel pain, it calls our attention and focus to whatever is in need of presence.  This is the real reason why suffering has been the main doorway to enlightenment for so many thousands of years.  The presence of your consciousness transforms suffering into awakening.  Pain alerts us to where we are out of alignment.  It is a crucial aspect of healing.  It alerts us to the aspects of ourselves that need to be brought back into alignment and integrated so that we can become whole.

    Integration vs Selective Identification

    I want you to think of your skin as being like a container.  Imagine that inside that container is smaller containers.  Some people have more of these containers inside them than others.  Each container holds a person inside it.  Each person has its on personality, beliefs, fears, traumas, preferences, wants and needs.  Each one has its own ego.  So you are not a singularity.  You, like all people are in fact a multitude.  We can call each little container person a part.  These parts are in various stages of growth and development.  People are not born this way.  These parts are created through trauma.  A person fragments themselves to cope with with the world. 
    We allow certain ones out of their containers so they can act through our body and interact with people in our world.  Every time these parts come out of their containers and ‘take over’ our body, we mistake the perceptions and beliefs and fears and traumas and wants and needs for ALL of who we are.  We identify with it.
    For thousands of years, the standard practice within humanity was to dis-identify from the parts that are unacceptable and identify with the parts that are acceptable.  A guru is a person who has decided to identify with only one part of himself or herself.  He or she allows only that ego to exist.  Only that part gets to come out of its container.  A guru is a person who has decided to identify with only one part of himself or herself.  He or she feeds only that Ego.  So, for example, imagine a guru decides that the most acceptable part of himself (his concept of enlightened) is a person who is never angry, who instantly forgives, who has no worldly needs, who is in a state of pure positive focus.  Any time anger rises within him or a worldly need or a negative thought, he will deny, reject, suppress and disown the part that is feeling that anger or need or negative thought.  He will jump into the persona of the guru that he has created and at first, he will deny those things and lie to himself and others that the way the guru self feels is entirely how he feels.  He will not honor the truth or reality of any other part within him.  He will do this until he literally looses awareness of any other part of him.  He will mistake the guru part for all of who he is to the exclusion of all other parts within him.     
    This is their discipline. This is the discipline of self-abandonment because like it or not, these parts they deny, are also them.  Their Ego is their “concept of who an enlightened being is”.  They cannot admit to anything within them that is not that.  All has to be explained under that identity.  It is the strongest attachment you can imagine. This is not integration.  This is selective identification.  This is quite dangerous because this is how a guru can have sex with little kids and explain it away in their own minds as ‘spiritually healing the children’ for example.  To put it mildly, it is the strongest attachment you can imagine.   
    This is not integration.  This is selective identification.
    The rest of the egos within them starve to death, they are not just suppressed, they are literally denied to the point that they are imprisoned in a dungeon and the guru throws away the key.  The Guru has no conscious access to them after that point.  The guru becomes one dimensional because of it.  And the outside world begins to reflect that.  From the outside, you will not understand why the outer reality can be so cruel to a person who is so kind.   For example, many people, including gurus that cut themselves off from the unacceptable parts of themselves have made the child parts within them unacceptable.  After all, children do not control their emotions and a Guru cannot be a guru if they are out of control of their emotions.  And so, you will see their own actual children in life become lost to them.  They may die, be separated from them by spouses, be born with deformities and handicaps, refuse to see them and the list goes on and on.  All of which is an outer reflection of the way the person’s own inner children (parts) have been cut off and lost to them.  In my previous 12 incarnations, I was the selectively identified guru.  I cannot tell you the damage that I did not only to myself, but also to others because of it.  What I did not get then is that the parts, which are the ‘egos’ within, ALL of them, must be brought closer in order to actually become one, unified self.
    I have been teaching authenticity.  But let’s go deeper into the concept of authenticity.  Your authentic self is not any one of these parts.  It is ALL of them and so it is also NONE of them at once.  Authenticity is the enabling the ‘spectrum of selves’ to decide together on an essence… a unity.  This IS integration.  So why don’t people do this already?  Because it is infinitely harder to integrate a persona that is in pain than it is to banish that person into a container and into a dungeon.  It is much harder to integrate a persona that is in pain than it is to selectively dis-identify into a persona that feels no pain.
    The old school guru is a selectively identified person.  And so, the next step in the evolution of human consciousness was dis-identification.  Teachers have come and they have taught this discipline.  But in that discipline there is no self.  In that discipline, one takes himself or herself out of the game of life.  And so, the universe has called human consciousness even further.  The universe want to see embodied, united selfhood, the conscious game of life.  Disidentification serves immensely.  But it serves so far as to realize that oneself is a multitude and to act as a facilitator to bring these parts together.  Disidentification must not be used as a tool for selective identification. 
    It is really difficult to practice integration in a world that believes that goodness and rightness and healing and virtue is achieved by selective identification. 
    When you commit to this process and you judge yourself as bad, that something is wrong with you and that you are not right and when you want to give up, it is because you are thinking that other people especially gurus and teachers who are selectively identified are integrated.  So you are expecting yourself to integrate fast enough to ‘be where other selectively identified people are’ in terms of happiness and forgiveness and all the qualities of the old guru archetype.  This is also what those around you are expecting of you.  This expectation is the one that is doing the most damage to you. 
    Imagine a car wreck where limbs are shattered.  If you cut off the limb (what a selectively identified person does), a person can heal… they are handicapped to a degree, but the pain they are in ends much quicker.  We are asking of you to heal these shattered limbs so you can be whole, not to cut the limbs off.  But it means that the process of FEELING BETTER is slower. 
    The truth is that these selves within, when integrated will merge as one… and in doing so, so will we.  It is what was meant when thousands of years ago humanity conceptualized of there being the father (adult) the son (inner child) and the holy ghost (higher self).  All will become one.  The secret is that seeds of each are contained in the other.  So for example, by cutting oneself off from the inner child, one cannot fully access the higher self.  One can only act in a way where according to an identity, they SEEM like they have reached the state of the higher self. 
    And so, today I am here to tell you that the age of selective identification is over.  The age of integration, which is genuine authenticity has come.  The age where these personalities are consciously helped to MERGE into one essence… the divine singularity.  Which is what the universe’s ultimate plan for embodiment actually is.           

    The Fatal Relationship Dynamic

        Most of the fatal dynamics in relationships involve negative tailspins.  These are dynamics where a pattern in the first partner causes a pattern in the second partner which exacerbates the pattern of the first partner, which exacerbates the pattern in the second partner and so on and so forth until the relationship in and of itself disintegrates.
        There is a common tailspin that occurs in partnerships.  You see it occur most often between women and men.  However it is a pattern that can occur in same sex partnerships as well.  For the sake of this video, I am going to use the most common example of this dynamic, which involves a woman and a man.
    To begin with, a man is interested in a woman.  He goes into ‘pursuit mode’.  He essentially becomes the embodiment of his best self and highest potential.  He is super attuned to the woman he wants to secure as a mate.  He is goal oriented.  The woman is his new end goal and so she becomes his number one priority.  He is focused and attentive to her need and wants.  He is connected and gives her undivided attention and presence and simply wants to BE with her.  
    The woman feels as if she has found her soul mate.  She has the connection she has always wanted.  She feels like she has a partner.  And so she commits 100% to the man.  She is now attached. When the man feels that commitment, he pulls what is called a bait and switch.  
    The man has achieved his goal.  He has actualized his conquest.  It is at this point that he relaxes.  He stops his pursuit.  He goes back to just being himself and focusing on the next goal and now expects the woman to love him for who he really is.  But that is not who she fell for.  So there is a withdrawal of his attentive focused energy, which at first was coming towards her and towards connection.  And seemingly overnight, he turns back into who he really is when pursuing her is not a goal, which sometimes entails exhibiting the exact opposite personality traits that he demonstrated during the pursuit phase.  
    I must mention that another potential for a bait and switch on behalf of the man is that the feeling of her committing is actually threatening to him.  He now becomes terrified of intimacy.  Intimacy in this sense means deep mental and emotional connection, not physical sex.  A person can still have sex physically without being intimate.  For the man, this fear of intimacy can happen for several reasons.  For example, he may fear the closeness of intimacy because he fears that he is going to lose her.  Or he may fear the closeness of intimacy because he fears that she is going to become engulfed in the relationship and by the woman and lose himself or of being controlled.
    Either way, the man diverts his attention to other things. The man stops the ‘game’ of securing his mate.  Now his attention goes somewhere else…  Towards his other needs in life.   He wants to keep her but seeing as how she is no longer the end goal, he wants to keep her by doing things that do not require that focus of pursuit or deep, intimate connection.  He focuses on providing other things for her.  In a typical modern male female relationship, this is money.  All his attention goes towards things that he believes she needs that do not threaten him or distract him from his new goals.  He is no longer attentive to her actual needs and wants.  He is no longer seeing her, feeling her, understanding her or connecting with her.
          Slowly, she begins to feel duped.  She feels like the man she committed to is not the man she is now with.  She begins to starve emotionally.  She is lonely.  She cannot beg him for attention because by begging him for attention, she doesn’t get what she wants, which is to be with a man who wants to be with her.  She does not want to feel like he is giving her attention for her sake.  Just imagine a man coming onto a woman from the beginning that way.  Hey baby, I can’t focus on what I really want to be focused on unless you get off my case, so I’ll focus on you totally for your sake, so you can get off my case and I can focus on what I really want to focus on.  That man wouldn’t get a single date.  Because of this, she becomes resentful of the man and that resentment makes her angry towards him ALL the time.  
    This anger and resentment that he feels coming from her towards him makes him start to withdraw.  He does not recognize the fact that he pulled a bait and switch.  He does not realize that he got her to commit to him by exhibiting totally different behaviors towards her than he is exhibiting now.  Essentially, he sold himself as something other than what he actually is.  He does not understand that he is giving her no presence, no real intimacy, no connection.  He thinks that being on the computer in the same room is being with her or that working on making money is working for her.  So he interprets the things he DOES while being disconnected from her as being connected to her.  There is always a higher priority in his life than just being with her.  And so he feels like he is doing everything he can to try to make her happy and it’s never enough.  It isn’t enough because it isn’t what she is actually asking for.  What she is asking for is a non-doing.  It is a being present with her, like she had with him in the beginning when all he wanted was to be with her.    
    Because of this, he feels powerless to make her happy.  This decreases his self-esteem.  He retreats so he can feel good.  And now, the couple enters a tailspin.  This makes the already depleted and desperate woman even more desperate, needy and unhappy and angry, which makes him retreat and close off to her more, which makes him even less connected and therefore less attuned to her, so he continually demonstrates through his actions that he does not see her, feel her or understand her.  This makes her lose trust in him because if he is not connected enough with her to see her and feel her and understand her, he stops acting in her best interests.  This in turn makes her more desperate, needy and unhappy, which makes him retreat and close off to her more.  Which makes her more desperate, needy and unhappy.  Which makes him retreat and close off to her more.  Which makes her more desperate, needy and unhappy, and this tailspin goes on until the relationship is beyond repair and it dissolves.                                        
        The only way to pull a couple out of this tailspin is by adding back the thing that was withdrawn during the bait and switch… INTIMACY.  The man and the woman need time (I recommend four hours a day, every single day) where they STOP doing things that have to be done and just connect completely with each other.  See into each other, feel into each other, understand each other, give each other undivided attention.  Learn everything they can learn about each other on that specific day.
    People are in a constant state of flux.  Each person is like a universe that you could never fully explore in a lifetime.  There is always more to see and feel and learn and know about a person.  In relationships we tend to get lazy and think we know each other after months or years.  This is a complete illusion, especially given that emotions and experiences and thoughts belonging to a person fluctuate every single day.  This couple is only allowed to DO something together, like hiking or a project or sex IF they remain in a state of emotional and mental and physical connection while they are doing the task.  
    If the concept of doing something while remaining in connection confuses you, think back to when you were first dating each other.  If you did an activity, like watching a movie or playing billiards or going to a party, you stayed connected to them the entire time.  You didn’t spend your time with them outside on the phone with someone else.  You didn’t spend your time engulfed in the movie; you followed the story line while watching her watch the movie and feeling her next to you.  You didn’t spend dinner thinking about something that needed to be done at work.  You were 100% with her.  She was your #1 priority. 
    If the man struggles with presence to the degree that he is severely goal oriented, he needs to make a different end goal that involves the woman, a goal that he can’t ever fully achieve or a goal that is renewed every day.  Another way of approaching this is that you need to make the hunt of securing a woman something you do even after she commits.  And as a couple, you need to begin the art of connecting with each other.  If you want to learn about how to connect with someone, watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Connect With Someone.    
    In a committed relationship that is close and intimate, the things that have to be done (including new goals) have to go in a “box or a container” mentally.  Scheduling is sometimes the best way to create this container.  Do this so that doing does not contaminate the ‘relationship time’.  But the minute this becomes a chore or something that needs to be done begrudgingly is the minute you’ve lost connection in the relationship and you need to address why you do not want to connect with your partner. 
    If I had my way, the dating game would not occur.  Women and men would not act any differently towards one another in the beginning than they would once the relationship was fully established.  Or the dating behaviors would continue throughout the entire relationship.  We really need to begin relationships as we intend to continue.  But nothing is more important to continue than focused and undecided attention, attunement and presence…  To simply BE with your partner.

    How to Open Your Throat Chakra

              As I’ve explained in previous videos, at the most basic level, your body is made up of energy.  That energy organizes itself into the physical body.  But before that energy organizes itself into physical body parts, it organizes itself into meridians and chakras.  These chakras are centers of energy that lie along energy channels and each one holds a very specific vibration and has a specific purpose.  Each chakra is a specific expression of Prana (otherwise known as life force or source energy).  The chakras look a bit like funnels of energy or vortices.  They both absorb and emit energy.   

    When a chakra is out of alignment, meaning it is not letting life force in or is out of alignment for any number of reasons, it starts to affect your equilibrium.  It becomes a serious imbalance within the system.  When chakras are out of alignment, they appear small and do not absorb or emit much energy.  They also change in their color, patterning, texture and sound. 

    The traditional name for the throat chakra is Vishuddha.  The center of this chakra corresponds directly to the hallow in the base of your throat, where your collarbones almost meet.  These chakras do not correspond to your front, but also the back of your body.  If you take your hand behind your neck, and bend your head backwards, the center of your throat chakra on the backside of your body is higher up on your neck, right where your neck indents when you bend your head backwards.  The throat chakra is the chakra of purity.  It is also the center of purification.  This is why so many of the physical systems that it is associated with, deal with toxicity in the body.  It is the chakra that governs the lymph system.  It also governs the throat, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, ears, nose, jaw, neck (cervical spine), mouth, tongue and shoulders.  When the throat chakra is out of alignment, you will see problems develop in these aspects of the body.  On an emotional level, you may feel social anxiety, like you’ve lost faith, shyness, ashamed, toxic or poisoned, desperate, like you are drowning or choking.  You may feel inhibited, like you cannot express yourself, like you are not inspired to create, paralyzed, terrified to speak, like you are bursting from the inside out, like a pressure cooker, like you are holding back.        

    The throat chakra is associated with the color blue.  It is considered the fifth main chakra in the human system and it is associated with the element called Ether.  For those of you who are science fiction nerds and The Fifth Element, you now know some meaning behind the concept of Leeloo.  In the movie, she was the embodiment of Ether, the fifth element.  Why?  Because Ether, like the throat chakra which is associated with it, is about purity and truth.  Purity and truth are like twins vibrationally.  They both involve the removal of contaminates. 

    The throat chakra is about the discovery of your individual purity and your individual truth and then the expression of that truth and purity which you find.  For the throat chakra to be in a state of health, you must not only accept but own your originality and speak your truth according to that originality.  The throat chakra governs the seeking and sharing of truth.  It relies on inspiration.  It is also the chakra that governs listening, communication, personal integrity and personal honor.        

    What causes the throat chakra to go out of alignment? First and foremost, not thinking or speaking or taking action that reflects your authentic inner truth.  Second, others not seeing or acknowledging your personal truth and treating it as valid.  This especially includes not being listened to and not being heard.    Complaining and gossiping causes the throat chakra to go out of alignment because in complaining, one recognizes that it is unhappy about something, but takes no direct action to create improvement.  Contradiction and negative thinking, especially doubt is a strong antagonist for the throat chakra. Doing things because you have to instead of because you want to is as well. If you do something which is dishonest or in contradiction to your conscience, your throat chakra will reflect that immediately.  Negativity, especially in the form of negative thinking especially pulls the throat chakra out of alignment.  This is because negativity is like toxicity.  If it is pervasive enough, the body cannot filter that toxicity in order to purify itself.

    Knowing all that, here is what you can do to open your throat chakra and bring it into alignment:       

     

    1.                          First, you need to become aware of what is preventing the chakra from being in alignment.  If there were not something preventing it from being healthy, it naturally would be.  So close your eyes and get clear about how you are out of alignment with your personal authenticity, purity, truth or integrity.  You can do this by asking questions and seeing what answers arise.  Ask yourself, what is poisoning me?  How am I poisoning myself?  What is keeping me from being able to be myself?  Why can’t I speak?  Who isn’t hearing me?  What am I not hearing?  What would be scary about knowing or hearing or admitting to the truth?   What would be scary about being original?  What is preventing me from communicating?  How am I not speaking and acting in accordance with my personal integrity and conscience?  Why am I not feeling inspired to create?

    2.                          Do an intuitive exercise to understand the state of your throat chakra.  To do this, close your eyes and try to sense or see or feel the throat chakra.  If you cannot, feel or see or sense your throat itself.  Imagine that it was its own separate being living within you.  What color do you perceive it to have?  Does it have any texture?  Do you see any images associated with it?  Begin to question it to understand what you are seeing.  What does it tell you?  What can you do to improve its current state?  For example, I may see a dark cave that is frozen.  That may tell me that I feel emptiness there.  I may then ask myself mentally, what is this cave empty of?  Or what does this cave represent?  I may then imagine offering it something that I feel it needs.  Like I may imagine sitting myself down inside it and giving it my company.  I may see it melting ever so slowly by shining light on its walls. 

    3.                          The throat charka is the chakra most related to sound.  For this reason, sound healing is particularly capable of opening the throat chakra.  Sing!  Sing along to songs, sing in the shower, chant, listen to throat chakra singing bowls and frequency music, tone, hum.  Ham and Hum are the sounds that activates the throat chakra.  Typically Ham for higher chakra areas like jaw and mouth and Hum for lower chakra areas like the lower throat and larynx and shoulders.  Close your eyes and play around with the pitch of that sound and take it up and down until you find the note or multiple notes that causes you to feel the most relief in that center.  Sometimes, good old fashioned screaming, even if it is into a pillow, is what is needed to unblock this chakra.

    4.                          Incorporate the color blue into your life.  Wear things that are this color, paint walls in your house this color, do art with this color, close your eyes and imagine flooding your entire body with this color.

    5.                          Do yoga poses which open the throat chakra.  In my opinion, some of the best are as simple neck rolls, seated cat cow and fish pose.  Also, try breathing techniques in association with these poses my favorite are the alternate nostril breathing technique, the ujjayi pranayama breath and lion’s breath.   

    6.                          Use stones that correspond to the throat chakra.  Rather ironically, most of them are blue.  In my opinion, the best stones for opening the throat chakra are, Turquoise, Blue Lace Agate, Danburite, Sodalite, Blue Topaz, Aqua Aura, Apatite, Amazonite, Celestite, Aqua Marine, Lapis, Azurite, Kyanite and Chrysocolla. This being said, deliberately letting yourself choose a stone according to what intuitively calls out to you when you set the intention of choosing a mineral to assist your throat chakra, is always more powerful than walking into a shop and buying one of these stones because I  told you this type of stone in general was good. 

    7.                          Use plant beings to assist in the opening of your throat chakra.  This can be in the form of teas, sachets, incense, essential oils or any other form you want to use them in.  In my opinion, the plants that are the very best for opening the throat chakra are: Eucalyptus, Coriander, Fenugreek, Borage, Peppermint, Red clover, Lemon Balm, Betony (also known as bishopswort) Onion, Ipheion uniflorum, Lobelia, Elder (especially the berries of this plant), Echinacea and Frankincense.  Herbs associated with the planet mercury are also good for the throat chakra.    

    8.                          As far as Numerology is concerned, 16 is the number associated with the throat chakra, so incorporate this number into your life as well.  For example, if you are using essential oils, use 16 drops of that essential oil. 

    9.                          Speak.  The action associated with the opening of the throat chakra is speaking.  So, speak in an in-alignment way.  Once you know what truth you want to speak, you may fall too far to one side of the spectrum.  Either you do not express yourself, or your feeling of not being heard makes you forcefully express yourself in a way that makes people shut off to you.  Say what you’ve been keeping in.  Or change they way in which you are communicating so it is conscious communication.  If need be, bring in a mediator who can help you express your truth.  Before you say what you are going to say, practice conscious communication by asking yourself, is what I am about to say the truth?  Then ask yourself, is it necessary to say this thing and if so, why?  And then ask yourself, is what I’m about to say hurtful or harmful?  If the answer is yes, ask yourself, what are you hoping to cause by saying this thing that is hurtful?  That desired response represents a want or need within you.  Then you can express that hurtful truth in a way that is more compassionate or instead, express the truthful need you are trying to have met by saying that hurtful thing. If you struggle with criticism, watch my video on YouTube titled: Criticism (How to Give and Take Feedback).

    10.                      Yawn and laugh.  Both of these actions unblock the throat chakra.  Watch a funny movie; spend time with a funny friend.  Practice forced or induced yawning.      

    11.                      Journaling, Journaling and more journaling.  Expressing your inner truth, whether it is verbal or non-verbal is a sure way to unblock your throat chakra.

    12.                      Positive expression or positive writing exercises.  Negative thought and negative speech is the principal poison that affects the throat chakra.  So, make a discipline of writing down lists of positives.  Anything big or small.  Practice speaking positives through compliments or expressing positive appraisal of things in your environment.  If you feel a resistance to this exercise, it most likely means you do not feel like your pain is being seen.  Your personal truth may be that you’re in A LOT of pain and you need people to know it, acknowledge it, see it and help you with it.  So try to be upfront about that truth directly instead of being negative in the hope that someone will eventually “get it”. 

    13.                      Change your life by purifying your social group in order to surround yourself with people who are willing and able to hear you, see you, understand you and see your inner truth as important and valid, even if they have a different perspective.  If people around you refuse to do this, they are not actually friends.  They are in a relationship with an idea.  You are like a character in their reality, not a unique being with your own reality.

    14.                      Silence.  This may sound counterintuitive but often, in order to purify the inner voice from the chatter that can exist within, one has to enter a period of total silence, where their attention goes inside either through meditation or commitment to a day of silence or better yet, a silent retreat.        

    15.                      Fasting and detoxing.  The throat chakra, being about purity, is especially receptive to fasting and detoxes.  So, let yourself be drawn to any fasting or detox program that specifically makes you feel like it would help you get in touch with your inner truth and commit to it.                       

    16.                      I must mention that there are people whose throat chakras are out of alignment for a glaring reason, such as a woman who was raised in conservative religious society who never bothered to find herself, who just did what was expected by becoming an oppressed housewife.  It is easy to see why this kind of person could be completely out of alignment with their personal truth and unable to express it.  But for people who feel like they actually are living authentically but who still chronically find that their throat chakra is out of alignment.  Consider that most people walking the planet are not whole, they are fragmented into inner selves.  Some struggle with this fragmentation more than others according to the trauma that they experienced.  At the near end of the spectrum are people who struggle with indecision and lack of internal peace.  At the far end of the spectrum of fragmentation are people with multiple personalities or dissociative identity disorder.  The reason the throat chakra is often the weakest chakra for some people is because many of these selves that have fragmented from the united self, carry contradictory truths and contradictory needs.  So one cannot think or speak or act in accordance with one inner self without acting in direct opposition to another inner self.  For this reason, I recommend finding a voice dialogue therapist in your area and beginning the work of integrating the selves within you.  You wont even be able to settle on a personal truth to be in alignment with until you do this.

     

    By intentionally opening your throat chakra, you are opening yourself up to a life that is the direct and pure reflection of your inner truth; an inner truth that you can communicate to the world.      

     

     

    How To Let Go Of Resentment

                 Resentment is one of the strongest hooks that anchors a person to the past.  The thing is, it is even stronger if it is ignored.  It has to be directly faced and resolved.  Resentment is a state of being in pain as a result of perceiving that you have been treated wrongly, unfairly and unjustly.  It usually involves not feeling willing or able to accept someone or something that you reject.  I call it a state of being because it is not an emotion in and of itself; instead it is like a soup of different emotions all associated with being treated unfairly.  Emotions like dumfounded, fear, anger, disgust and sadness.
                 One of the main challenges as far as resentment is concerned is that it immediately converts itself to distrust.  If you want to learn all about trust, watch my video on YouTube titled: What is Trust and How To Build Trust in Relationships.  Trust is essentially the feeling that you can rely on someone to capitalize on and care for your best interests.  So obviously when you feel like you have been treated unfairly and unjustly and wrongly by someone, you have learned that you cannot rely on that person to capitalize on and care for your best interests.  And so, you do not trust them.  This bitter distrust is usually what people are feeling in someone when they say that someone can’t let go of resentment.
                 You will find that it is easier to let go of something painful in the past that does not have a big negative impact on the present or the future.  The thing about resentment is that it often involves being treated unfairly in a way that does have big negative impact on the present and future.  For example, if your husband or wife spends all the money in your account on gambling, that may mean that you lose your house in the present and that you cannot afford to put your kid through college in the future.  Even if these kind of big consequences don’t exist, distrust still exists when resentment is present.  This means you will feel closed off and like an enemy to that person in your life now and you will expect them to betray you again in the future.            
                 Fair vs. unfair and wrong vs. right is a subjective perspective.  However for the sake of our understanding, there are circumstances where a person has felt like they are treated unfairly when in fact they were treated fairly.  And there are circumstances where a person perceives themselves to have been treated unfairly when in fact they were treated unfairly. Either way, the state of being called resentment is present.              
    It is tempting to think that the struggle with resentment is all about whatever recent conflict has occurred.  But the reality about resentment is that it is almost always fueled by years worth of earlier experiences with being treated unfairly, not being considered by others, being disregarded and having your boundaries violated.
    We can’t be fully conscious about resentment without being conscious about the subconscious positive intention below it.  It is a refusal to forgive.  Letting go or forgiving gives most people the feeling that they simultaneously have to let go of the unmet need to be treated fairly and justly in a way that creates trust.  And so, in order to honor their need to have just and fair treatment, they will not forgive. Resentment essentially can be like a wall that a person uses to protect themselves and try to get their needs met.  A person may keep resentment as both a boundary and a personal reminder as if to say “No one will ever do this to me again”.  Also, the sense of self, also called the ego can feel a sense of itself being right and good when it is in he victim role (good and right) with someone else being in the perpetrator role (bad and wrong).  Often, especially in close relationships, being the one who was wronged puts the other person in a role where they have to “make it up to you”.  This is a less powerless role with more of a guarantee of fair treatment going forward.  So, it can be a way of using past wrong treatment as leverage to get what you want from someone and/or to stay safe.  If you distrust someone because they treated you unfairly, it is quite tempting to control them through guilt in this way.  
    So, what should you do to help resentment to let go of you?
    1.                          When you feel resentment, become super clear about what you feel resentful about.  What happened to you that you felt was wrong, unjust and unfair?  Then go deeper and ask yourself, what long history of unresolved unfairness and wrongness is behind this resentment?  What did people do to me that they shouldn’t have done and what didn’t people do for me that they should have done?  Am I confusing this person or situation with someone or something from my past?
    2.                          Ask yourself honestly; am I really resentful towards myself because of my role in the situation where I ended up being treated unfairly?  For example, perhaps I got raped after drinking too much and blacking out.  Perhaps the resentment towards the other person is a way to avoid the resentment I have towards myself for drinking so much that I let my guard down enough that it happened and now, I cannot trust myself.  You will find that resentment and the blame that goes along with it feels better than self blame and better than being blamed by them.  Sometimes, we can only let go of resentment towards others if we let go of it towards ourself.
    3.                          Get really clear about what aspects of your life your resentment is effecting.  See the impact of the resentment itself.  And close your eyes to imagine the long term effects down the road if that resentment was not altered, but stayed the same and got worse?  For example, if I resent my spouse, I can see that I have no desire to make love with them and so we may drift apart and he or she or I may seek another partner.
    4.                           Acceptance is a key part of letting go of resentment because if resentment is present, it means you cannot accept something.  Don’t confuse acceptance of something with adopting something as your preference or endorsing it.    Take a look at the situation that is causing you to feel resentful and ask yourself, what am I unwilling to accept about this situation?  Why am I unwilling to accept that?  If I accepted that, what would it mean or what bad thing would happen?  The thing you have to see is that if you resent, you are pushing hard against something on a mental and emotional and even potentially physical level and you cannot push against something without putting that same pressure on yourself.  Try to hit a door without your hand being hit too.  The question to ask yourself is:  Is it worth it?
    5.                          Ask yourself honestly, what bad thing am I afraid would happen if I were to forgive the person I feel resentment towards today or if I forgave myself for my role in the situation?  For example, perhaps my answer might be, if I forgive him or her, I make what they did to me ok and it isn’t ok.  Or if I forgive him or her, they will not get how much they hurt me, so they will do it to me again.  Or if I forgive him or her, I’m being like a human punching bag or doormat, which is pathetic.  Or if I forgive him or her, I’ll never receive the justice and fair treatment I need.    
    6.                          Resolve the emotional resentment wound in the distant past that is fueling the present resentment.  To do this, use the completion process on the feeling of resentment as it occurs in your body.  For information about how to do that, read my book titled The Completion Process.  You will find that this process also naturally causes insight about action steps you can take to how to resolve the more recent wounds leading to resentment.
    7.                          Deal with your powerlessness and rumination differently.  If you feel resentment, you are preoccupied with thinking about the causes and consequences of your distress instead of focusing on solutions to it.  This is your being’s natural way of trying to draw focus to the wound that is not healed.  But the decision to look for solutions to the distress and solutions for how to make the present or future different in a positive way, turns your focus in a different direction, a direction that will lead to results.  It may help to look at the worst case scenario relative to the negative consequence you are imagining and figure out what you learned from what happened and how you can deal with the worst case scenario if it happens so you no longer fear being blindsided by it and powerless to it.
    If you struggle with resentment, the reality is that whatever situation you have been experiencing that is unfair, caused you to feel powerless and so you are vacillating.  When you look at the situation and at your life, you are looking at it from a perspective that you are powerless.  Then, you pull yourself into anger, which is the vibrational improvement upon anger in order to try to gain back some power and get out of terror.  But then you slip back into viewing the world in a powerless way.  What could you do relative to this situation that would make you feel less powerless to others?
    When we feel resentment, it is an indication that an aspect of us feels like a victim.  That aspect needs to be acknowledged and cared for and validated.  But you will find that looking for any way that you were responsible in the situation and taking that responsibility and taking it into your hands to learn that lesson and do differently in the future has an interesting side effect… You will no longer feel powerless to the other person.  Just avoid slipping into self blame if you do this because self blame is worse than blaming someone else. 
    8.                          Take the scenario where you feel you were treated unfairly and make yourself think of all the positive things you can think of about the scenario and about the experience.  Find approval for it.  People who do not suffer from past traumas are the ones who manage to see them as a benefit to themselves instead of a detriment.  As hard as it may sound, do not take this as an invalidation of the pain.  Simply do this practice for the sake of your own desire to feel better personally.  Earlier I explained that resentment means you are unwilling to accept something that you do not want and do not like.  The best and most aggressive way to accept something is to find approval for that thing.  This causes us to no longer reject that thing.  Involve others in this process if you want.  Have them brainstorm what is GOOD about the situation that is causing you to feel resentment.  Let them help you to find approval for it.  Focus towards it in a way where you can agree with it instead of disagree with it.  Part of this process should involve looking at how the situation could have been worse than it was.  This helps you to actually naturally develop acceptance for what occurred. And make this more about a commitment to your own wellbeing rather than anything else.
    9.                          Meaning is the basis of suffering.  When we are treated unfairly, we add negative meaning to the experience.  That meaning is painful.  It causes us to suffer.  So, become aware of the negative meaning you have added to the experience if you feel resentment.  For example, if the unfair experience I had was that someone cheated on me, I may have made that mean that he or she didn’t love me.  That belief is causing me to suffer.  To understand this dynamic in depth, watch my video titled: Meaning, The Self Destruct Button.  When we add meaning, we always take things personally.  So on top of discovering the meaning you’ve added to the experience, try to figure out how the unfairness and injustice shown to you is NOT personal.  It may be about what is going on with the other person more so than it was ever about you.
    10.                      Resentment is often synonymous with lack of expression of painful emotions and truths.  When something happens that upsets you that you don’t feel is fair, but you don’t want the potential consequences of confronting that person on the spot with your real feelings, those feelings become internalized and unresolved and therefore convert themselves into resentment.  Take a look at what you did not express in this situation that you feel resentful about.  What’s the truth you did not share?  Take an even deeper look at WHY you did not express those things.  For example, you may have been terrified of rejection or fearful of losing the connection or you may have felt like it wasn’t going to make any difference if you did. 
    11.                      Take a serious look at your expectations and communicate them.  If we feel resentment, without fail it means that someone or something didn’t meet our expectations.  So get clear on what you expected as well as what you currently expect and express those things.  To understand more about expectations and assumptions, watch my video on YouTube titled: Priceless Love Advice (Expectations and Assumptions).
    12.                      If you feel resentment, it means things are not how you want them to be.  You have already subconsciously decided that something SHOULD be that isn’t or SHOULDN’T be that is.  You could question the attachment to should and shouldn’t in this situation.  The work of Byron Katie is amazing for this kind of approach.  You could also realize that because of this, this situation has made you aware of what you don’t want and what you do want specifically.  So, as if you are choosing to put energy into what you do want instead of into ‘what is’ that you don’t want, so you can look towards that, communicate that, spend time visualizing that, take steps to get that.
    Resentment kills relationships.  But it is not a monster or an enemy.  Instead, it is just the natural byproduct of lack of resolution.  Focus directly on the resolution and the byproducts of non-resolution, including resentment, will cease to exist.

    Entitlement

               Over the course of our social lives, entitlement is inevitably something that we will find ourselves on one side of or on the other side of.  However, I am bringing this topic up this week because entitlement is a big issue within intentional community.  Teal Tribe is essentially a worldwide intentional community and lately, I’ve been noticing that entitlement is something that many members our worldwide intentional community have been struggling with.
    What is entitlement?  Entitlement is a conscious or subconscious belief that one deserves or has a right to certain things that benefit them.  They expect those things to be given to them.  Like almost everything, a sense of entitlement is a spectrum.  Most people on earth have some sense of entitlement, but some people really dramatically fall to either side of the spectrum and that is when relationships become too painful to maintain.          
    Believing that you deserve what benefits you is not inherently a bad thing.  It assists your capacity to manifest.  A big part of why people cannot create the life they want is because they have been raised to believe that they do not deserve to have it.  But entitlement is actually on the opposite side of the scale from true deserving because it is rooted in powerlessness and false self-esteem.  It is profoundly dysfunctional.
    The two main problems with entitlement are as follows:  First, action is a critical part of manifestation.  But those who believe they have a right to things that benefit them often do not take any real action to actualize those things. Instead, they sit dependently idle and expect the universe to simply do it all for them.
    Second, those who believe they have a right to things that benefit them usually expect other people to provide those things that benefit them.  Regardless of whether other people want to or not.  On an energetic level, this is like waking up to find that you don’t have enough groceries in your house and then going to your neighbor’s house to take the groceries you need out of their fridge (groceries they put all the effort into securing for their own needs) and then wondering why they are so upset about it. 
    To understand the dysfunction of entitlement, we have to travel back in childhood.  Part of good parenting is to teach a child the empowerment and the skills of meeting their own needs.  But sometimes for a great many reasons, parents just don’t do this.  They maintain dependence instead of assisting the child to become autonomous.  They foster a sense of “I can’t, but others can and will for me” in the child.  They don’t ever show the child how to meet their needs or get what they want through the genuine satisfaction of their own action.  The child’s attitude becomes, “I am, therefore, give to me.”  It is critical that children are raised to see the connection between putting forth energy and seeing a return.  Or in other words, making an effort and achieving success. 
    When we are younger, we are powerlessly dependent on our parents for what we want and need.  Then we enter the phase of individuation called toddlerhood.  We are less powerless than we were when we were babies, but we still feel powerless to getting what we want, like a certain toy in the store for example.  And so, we expect mom and dad to give it to us exactly when we want it and when they don’t, we throw a tantrum.  If our parents never help us to figure out how to get what we want, independent of them doing it for us, we continue to throw these fits with other people…  People who we subconsciously expect to be the ones to give us what we want.  But as adults, we throw fits in much less overt ways.  Instead of getting down on the floor and kicking and screaming, we resort to sophisticated forms of manipulation, like playing the victim for example, or deliberately seeking out people with poor boundaries who we can leech off of.   
    This is why entitlement is such a big problem in intentional community specifically.  People who possess this entitlement shadow subconsciously see an intentional community as a feeding ground.  They do not see an intentional community in terms of what they can contribute, but instead in terms of what they can get out of it.  As a result, they often unintentionally rip intentional communities apart.  They live off of other people and make excuses as to why that arrangement is justifiable.  They play off of other people’s poor boundaries so as to get their own needs met.  It starts to feel like everyone is contributing to the community, like the community itself is a separate living being that everyone’s energy is dedicated to feeding, but that one person (or more) is just lazily benefitting from everyone else’s efforts. 
    I cannot tell you how many intentional communities have this unhealthy dynamic going on.  Some intentional communities are literally made up of only two kinds of people; people who feel like they have to earn emotional support and companionship by providing things for people (transactional).  These are people who believe they deserve nothing.  And to the opposite, people who feel like they have a right to being provided for and who are only present when something is being provided for them (which is also transactional).  These are people who believe they have a right to other people’s resources.  These two types of people are a perfect vibrational match to one another but the intentional community that is founded on this premise, is destined to only last as long as the members continue their unhealthy patterns of relationship.                    
    People often mistake entitlement as self-love.  It isn’t.  The reason it isn’t self-love is because at its root is a subconscious belief in one’s incapability, which is negative self-focus.  Also, this behavior hurts the other person, which ultimately ends up hurting you.
    Here’s the problem, people who have an entitlement complex are going to be the last people on earth to recognize this inside themselves.  Instead, they will unbelievably see themselves as the people who give the most to others and who never have enough for themselves.  They will believe other people to be the ones who are self centered.  Their ego uses this as the cover for the subconscious truth of themselves.  Why is this the case?  For the ego to admit that the self leeches off of other people, it would immediately see itself as bad and also have to recognize that it isn’t inherently more special than anyone else.  The ego cannot handle this reality on its own without the support of genuine conscious awareness.
    Entitlement is an even bigger problem to face when you have fame or money.  Just take a look at the Anti-Teal forums; they are full of people who believe they are entitled to my time and resources.  If I don’t do an Ask Teal every Saturday or respond to an e-mail or don’t discount my workshop prices because they are struggling with money, I have failed to meet their expectations and so, they flip from fan to hater.  You cease to be seen as a person and start to be seen as a resource to exploit for personal benefit.  Expectations and assumptions are a big part of entitlement.  For this reason, I suggest that you watch my video on YouTube titled: Priceless Love Advice, (Expectations and Assumptions).
    If you fall into the category where you feel entitled relative to the universe itself, and therefore experience an inertia where you expect the universe to do it all for you, I want you to remember that you are the universe.  When you take action, that is the universe taking action.  And because the law of attraction mirrors things, energy put into something is matched by the universe at large.  The commitment behind taking action is one of the most powerful vibrations on this earth and vibration is what dictates manifestation.                    
    What can we do to not fall into the painful trap of entitlement?
    1.      We can take a seriously honest look at what we expect from the universe at large and most especially from other people.  Ask yourself what you expect from this universe and also ask yourself what you expect from each individual person in your life. You can start with me if you’d like to.  You can then develop self-awareness by questioning those expectations.  Do you see any entitlement in those expectations?  Are you consciously or subconsciously believing that you deserve or have the right to certain things that those people have that benefit you?  Then, question whether that is beneficial or detrimental to both you and them.  Also, take a look at the justifications you give for your entitlement tendencies.  Moral licensing is what we call it.  We make it ok to do things that are harmful to ourselves or other people because of some reason.  So, we have the tendency to think it is ok to be entitled in certain situations because of x y or z.      
    2.      Start to take a serious look at the maladaptive ways that you get your needs met by others when you know that asking for them outright will not be met with a yes.  For example, you may be passive aggressive.  You may use self-pity to get things like connection, support, emotional pampering, affirmation/self esteem, and affection or to escape from the guilt you feel for having made bad choices or having done the wrong thing.  Or you may use punishment techniques, like withdrawal when people do not do what you want.  All of these strategies will fail in the long run because people will begin to feel the manipulation behind them even before you do.  This may just be the reason you have been ‘inexplicably’ losing friendships and other relationships left and right without an idea as to why.
    3.      Face your disappointment.  If you haven’t done so already, watch my video on YouTube tiled: Disappointment (how to get over disappointment).  Here’s a tip… If you struggle with entitlement, you will struggle with a chronic sense of disappointment.  Everyone and everything will disappoint you because they are looking out for their own needs and wants when you expect them to spend their time doing what benefits you instead.
    4.      Take responsibility for your life.  This is a profoundly powerful state of being.  Responsibility is the opposite of a state of victimhood.  To learn everything about responsibility, watch my video on YouTube titled: Responsibility, Why, When, and How to take it.
    5.      You have fallen into the trap of self-absorption.  It is the unhappy consequence of past wounding.  Celebrate other people and pay attention to other people getting what they need and want and use the pain and self pity you will inevitably feel as a result of doing this as your doorway into your own subconscious mind.  I have created a process to resolve the past traumas that create patterns like entitlement.  It is called The Completion Process.  You can find a detailed explanation about how to do this process in my book that is quite literally titled The Completion Process.  If you are struggling with a sense of entitlement, you will be doing a lot of work on traumas related to a feeling of powerlessness.     
    6.      In your friendships and relationships, practice putting yourself in other people’s shoes.  Practice figuring out their best interests and capitalizing on their best interests.  Ask yourself, how would I feel if I were them instead of me?  What impact does this thing I am asking or doing having on other people?  I have offered a very powerful technique for doing this in my video called: The Octopus Technique.
    7.      Take action towards your needs and wants every day, no matter how little those steps may be.  You didn’t learn this connection before, so it is a developmental delay.   You need to see how your action creates results.  There is no time like the present.  For example, pick something that needs to be done and divide that thing into little steps.  Take action to accomplish each of those steps.  Each time you accomplish one, cross it off your list.  Let yourself sit in the feeling of the accomplishment being the direct result of your own effort.  Let the feeling of empowerment sink into the tissues of your body.
    8.      Assign responsibilities.  In a family or community, this is critical.  People who are part of a community to feed off of a community instead of to co-exist in a mutually beneficial way will not be able to assume responsibilities.  You will be able to tell if you have unhealthy entitlement in a community the minute community responsibilities become assigned.
    9.      Stop bailing out the person in the community with a sense of entitlement.   People with poor boundaries are enablers of false powerlessness.  We tell ourselves things like: If we don’t do it, other people won’t and we can’t live with the consequences of it not getting done.  We play into the feeling that we are completely responsible for them and that it is therefore our fault if someone else suffers as a result of their own lack of responsibility.  We have to stop this behavior.  And if you have someone in your community who is not taking responsibility in the community, the time for a serious talk about the dynamic going on and how to change it is now.   The fact of the matter is that some people who are entitled and not interested to genuinely change that behavior are not ready for intentional community.   
    10.  See that entitlement does the exact opposite of what you want.  It pushes people away.  It is inherently a self-absorbed and self-centered mindset and eventually, people will feel that all you care about is you, and so they will naturally gravitate away from you.    
    11.   Start getting your needs and wants met either by yourself, or by people who actually do want to meet them.  But you have to be attuned enough to actually be honest about whether people are doing things for you out of obligation or the result of your manipulation or because it genuinely makes them feel good to do those things.  Keep in mind also that we may be happy to do things for a child or for a partner that we are not happy to do for a friend. 
    12.  Contribute.  Think about relationships in terms of what you can contribute.  People will be much more likely to want to connect to you and also to meet your wants and needs from their hearts if they perceive you being a giving person instead of a taking person.  Not only that, it is super empowering for someone struggling with a powerlessness complex, which is what entitlement is, to see the value that other people perceive in what they have to offer.  In fact, it can be a total game changer.
    If you have recognized your tendency towards entitlement, don’t sink into shame or more self-pity.  That is just a loop to the very same behaviors within you that you don’t like in the first place.  Instead, make the conscious choice to develop more equal and enjoyable connections with people in your life.  Relationships that are mutually beneficial and empowering to everyone involved.       

    Increase Your Energy Levels Technique

    Ideally, we would all have tons of energy and zest for life all day every day.  However, this is not always the case. Ultimately, a decrease in energy is the result of thinking and saying and doing things that are not in alignment with what we really want and who we really are.  All of my other videos address this root cause.  But today, I have a technique for you to use if you’re in need of a quick boost in your energy levels.  
    To begin this technique, sit down with your legs crossed. Close your eyes.  Begin breathing very deeply on the inhale and let your body exhale naturally.  With each breath, imagine the breath expanding and extending you taller. 
     Imagine that below your navel, in the core of your pelvis, there is a little flame.  See it flickering there in the darkness of your abdomen.  Then imagine that below you, under your sits bones, you are seated on a kind of fuel.  As you breathe in, imagine or sense or feel your breath sucking that fuel source up through a channel running from your bottom to that flickering flame.  
    With each breath, more fuel is being sucked up to touch that flame and like kerosene added to a fire, imagine or sense or feel that fuel triggering the flame into life.  When this happens, lift your arms upwards with both palms open to the sky and overlapping one another.  Relax your stomach muscles completely and then
    begin to breathe rapidly through the nose with equal emphasis on the inhalation and exhalation.  It will be like very fast sniffing.  Keep the breath shallow, just at the tip of the nose.  Continue at a comfortable pace and establish a steady rhythm.  You will find the stomach pulses on its own in rhythm to the breath.  Breathe this way for for 1 minute.
    And as you do, see this internal fire flare and engorge to full your pelvis and stomach and chest and heart and throat.  See it spreading over your head and down your legs and arms.  
    See it roaring through every part of your body.  Imagine feeling and even hearing that raging fire.  When the fire has lit up the entire interior of your body, resume normal breathing.  let the breath come and go naturally. Then, sprawl your legs sideways into a bent position with the soles of your feet flat on the floor.  Place your elbows on your knees and your palms facing the sky.   Spend as long as you wish, feeling the fire filling your body with energy.  Knowing that you can use this energy for anything you desire. 
    Once you are sufficiently energized, you can decide to either progress throughout your day with that fire still raging, or you can imagine it quieting to a healthy flame so that you can live off of the ‘full tank’ it left you with.  Either way, do not take time to come back slowly.  Simply adjust your metal focus to the room you are sitting in and as you open your eyes, imagine that fire coming through your eyes and as you begin to move your body, imagine the flame being the thing that animates those movements.                      
     

    The Three Questions Game

                 When I was 18, I was a friend to a man who was studying relational psychology.  Essentially, relational psychology has found that no matter what race you are or what culture you are from, people associate certain things with other things.  When it comes to psychoanalysis, we can use that to our advantage.  We can use it for the purpose of self-awareness.
    Long story short, years ago, he played a little game with me and I loved it.  I have been playing this game with people ever since.  Consider it a ‘get to know you’ game.  To play this game, you have someone answer three questions:
     Their favorite Color and three deep reasons why. Their favorite Animal and three deep reasons why. Their favorite Form or Body of Water and three deep reasons why. (A form of water is something like snow or ice or rain where as a body of water could be something like the Pacific Ocean or a birdbath or a Jacuzzi or a waterfall.)       When they are answering these questions, try to get them to be as deep and thoughtful as possible.  For example, “I like blue because it is the color of the ocean” is not a deep answer.  If they give you that answer, you have to dig deeper by asking something like “what does the ocean mean to you?”  An answer like, “blue is infinite” is an example of a deep answer.
     
    Have them do this with each question.  But the secret is that every answer they give is really about something else.  Their favorite color actually represents the truth about how they see themselves, how they view their own personality.  Their favorite animal is the truth about what they want in an ideal life partner.  And their favorite form or body of water is the truth about their view of their own sexuality and their attitude towards sex and some might even argue, towards life itself.   
    While you are watching them answer, you are not only taking note of what they say, but also how they say it.  All of what they do tells you something.  For example, if they really struggle with this exercise, it is safe to say that you are talking to a person who is not very introspective.  If someone struggles to come up with a favorite color, they may struggle with knowing who they are or they may hate the feeling of being ‘tied down’ to being one way or another.          
           Obviously, this exercise is designed to get people to expose aspects of themselves that they may not consciously be aware of about themselves.  I have to tell you how the game is played for the sake of the article, but you get the purest answers when people have no idea what game they are actually playing with you.  If they do know, you run the risk of them altering their answers so as to give you answers that they want to give you instead of the ‘real’ answers coming deep from their subconscious mind.  So if you’re playing this game for the first time, forget the game you are playing and forget yourself and literally think only about the color or animal or form/body of water and why you like that thing.
    You may think this game is just a ‘fun little game’, but I actually believe in this subconscious work so much that I have ended dates based on this game.  I was once on a date where a guy told me that his favorite animal was a butterfly because it was always beautiful, only came around when it was wanted (is never annoying) and is silent.  Just think about my personality… Match made in heaven right?   
    So go ahead and try this game out on the people that you know and on the people that you meet.  It’s super fun.

    How To Feel


    Your emotions are like a compass.  In the same way that a compass tells you where you are located in space and what direction to go, your emotions tell you what vibration you are currently holding and what direction to go to improve that personal frequency so that the circumstances of your life are in alignment with your desires.  Your emotions are also the doorway to discovering the subconscious limitations you have which are preventing your happiness in life.  Not being in touch with your emotions in life is similar to being stranded in a foreign wilderness without a compass. 

    Naturally, because people don’t want to feel bad and do want to feel good, if left to their own devices, they would gravitate towards what did feel good.  They would unconsciously follow the internal guidance system of their own emotions.  But the process of socialization crosses our wires a bit.  When we are being socialized as children, we are taught that many things that feel bad are in fact good and that many things that feel good are in fact bad.  In order to follow through with things that feel bad, we have to tune out our emotions and learn to ignore them.
    To compound things further, because we do not collectively understand what emotions are and what purpose they serve, we are essentially living in an emotional dark age.  This means that society has made emotions in and of themselves a bad thing.  And that means that during the process of socialization, children are punished for having certain emotions.  As a result, they dissociate from, reject, deny and disown those emotions. They then grow up to suppress these emotions and deny the fact that they even have them.

    People in general struggle to be in touch with their emotions and do not handle their own emotions well.  Consider it a collective epidemic.  But there is a percentage of people here on earth who have lost touch with their emotions entirely.  It is as if they cannot feel at all.  Numbness has taken the place of where emotions should be.  The prerequisite of being able to heal yourself and create what you really want in life is to be able to feel, so people who can’t feel end up ‘feeling’ lost and dead in the water.  Unless they learn how to feel again, no forward movement in their life can be made.  To give you an analogy, they have to learn how to recognize, tune into and follow the compass again.  Only then can they move forward in life towards something better.
    The first thing you need to understand if you can’t feel is that the emotional system never stops working.  So every emotion still exists within every person.  Like a compass that cannot break, it keeps on reporting regardless of whether or not anyone is referring to it.  This means, you do not need to work on getting your body to feel as if something is broken.  What you do need to do is to train your own consciousness to perceive again.
    When someone is first learning to ski, they cannot perceive the fluctuations in the ski itself or in the terrain.  Something that would feel extreme to an expert (like snow consistency) is barely noticeable to the beginner.  Over time, they learn to perceive even the tiniest subtleties.  But those unnoticeable subtleties do not seem subtle to them anymore.  This is how it works with emotions.  Emotional fluctuation that seems subtle or barely noticeable to someone who is cut off from their emotions seem extreme to someone who is in touch with their emotions.
    Also, it is really common if you identify yourself as someone who can’t feel that you don’t recognize feeling AS feeling.  For example, you feel frustrated that you can’t feel, not realizing that the frustration itself is in fact a feeling that is occurring in your body somewhere, otherwise you wouldn’t even know that you’re frustrated.
    So, what should you do to learn how to feel?

    The world in general approves of the mind and disapproves of emotions.  Therefore, if you were raised in an environment where emotions were bad, they felt like an enemy to you.  What do you do when faced with an enemy as a small child?  You hide.  How do you hide from emotions that are occurring in your own body if you cannot leave your body behind?  You dissociate and you escape with your focus instead.  You put all of your focus (consciousness) either in the outside world external to you, or into your own thoughts.  This is what it means when someone says you are stuck in the mind.  Pretty soon, only your subconscious rules over your body and consciously you are dis-embodied so to speak.  To reverse this, you have to commit to the practice of bringing your focus back to the body. 


    Emotions may seem abstract to you when you don’t feel but they are in fact tangible.  Emotions occur in the body as sensations.  For example, anxiety is experienced as a constriction in the chest and throat and an overwhelming contained ‘racing’ sensation inside your body.  When things happen in the external world, we react to those things.  We think thoughts about what happens and our emotional system reacts accordingly.  If we lose a loved one, most of us think thoughts about being alone and loss and powerlessness.  The emotional system translates this as an unbearable ache in our heart, a disconnected sensation that time has stopped, loss of appetite etc.  Those are sensations.  Long ago, people decided to call the experience of these sensations grief.  One of the reasons people can’t feel is that they conceptualize of the idea of grief but do not relate to emotions in terms of sensations that take place in their body.

    If you can’t feel, get a small journal.  Set the timer on your phone to go off at intervals throughout the day that are manageable to you.  For some that may be every 10 minutes, to others, every hour.  Each time the timer goes off, take your attention all throughout your body.  Experience and write down any sensation you find.  You do not need to know what it is.  For example, tension in head, warmth in fingers or ache in chest.  Do that and only that for a week.


    After that week is up, see if some of these sensations you are recognizing may be emotions.  It can be helpful to print off a list of emotions and to cross compare the sensations with the names of emotions to see if you can name some of the sensations as emotions.  If you experience something that causes stronger sensations in you, like an argument with someone or doing something fun, take advantage of this opportunity and do this exercise as well, regardless of whether your timer has gone off or not.  Do that for one week.


    After those two weeks are up, see if you can identify WHY you feel those sensations/emotions.  For example, if you feel a tight chest and you identify that as anxiety, think back a tiny bit and see if you can identify anything that happened or any thoughts you were thinking that could have caused those sensations and emotions to occur.  Some may be as simple as “I was staring too long at a computer”, others may be something like “ I thought about being really poor and how bad that would be and started to feel panic as a result”.  Do that for a week.

    This three-week process of developing self-awareness is the most critical when it comes to learning how to feel again.  I suggest that after the three weeks; if you like it, continue with it.  Otherwise, take note of the way you feel throughout the day and in each situation without writing it down. If you are unable to feel, it is a guarantee that you experienced trauma relative to feeling in and of itself.  For example, lets say something bad happens.  If it is unresolved, we could call it a trauma.  But lets say that whatever happened caused you to get angry.  And you were shamed or punished in some way by a parent specifically for getting angry.  The trauma may be about feeling angry even more so that the bad thing that happened.  It may have caused you to suppress, deny, reject and disown the entire emotion of anger.  Some traumas can cause you to disown feeling in general, including any emotion.

    In general, people who cannot feel had caregivers in their childhood that were dismissive in their style of attachment.  This means they were threatened by intimacy, especially emotional intimacy.  As a result, they value independence and even though they may meet the child’s basic needs, they fail to be able to meet the child’s emotional needs and even discourage and dismiss the child’s bids for intimacy and closeness.  The child is forced to get their needs met and stay on their parents good sides by not threatening their parent and this means, acting like they have no needs and acting like they have no emotions.  They get as self sufficient as possible and dismiss their own emotions to the point that they lose the capacity to feel them.  This dismissive attachment style often causes an avoidant attachment style in the child when they grow up.

    To resolve those traumas that caused you to disconnect from your own feeling so as to become ok with feeling again, do The Completion Process.  I describe exactly how to do this process in my book titles The Completion Process.  Use the technique that I offer in the section titled “What To Do When Nothing Works, Including The Completion Process on Page 139. When people can’t feel, that usually suggests an extreme fear of losing control. Essentially, you felt so powerless to negative emotions, so incapable of doing anything to feel better (and thus out of control), that the body’s own survival mechanism turned on so you could go numb to all emotion.  It is a bit like an emotional version of shock.  Even though you say you want to feel, much of you doesn’t actually want to feel.  You have subconsciously decided to not feel so as to keep control. The time has come to face this fear.  You face it by consciously realizing this is what you are doing and then by consciously choosing either to be in control by being cut off from your emotions or to release your resistance to being out of control.  Try to find the core belief behind “I don’t want to feel” by watching my video titled: How to Change a Core Belief.  You can also imagine the worst case scenario of being totally out of control as a result of feeling and use the sensation of that fear as your doorway for The Completion Process so as to discover what trauma that fear is coming from and to resolve it. The unwillingness to feel often stems from the idea that it's not ok in fact it is bad to feel bad.  We live in a society that believes it isn’t ok to feel bad.  Feeling feelings is not always fun.  Happiness is not the only emotion we have.  So we have to seriously question the idea that it isn’t ok to feel bad.  Everyone would prefer to feel good instead of bad, but there isn’t anything wrong about feeling negative emotion or about feeling sensations that are not pleasant to feel. There is always a really good reason why you feel the way you feel.  It’s natural to feel love, to feel hate, to feel guilt, to feel sadness.  Even though you learned it wasn’t ok, it is ok.  It’s not just ok to feel those things, it’s right to feel those things.  It just so happens that feeling wasn’t ok to do around the people in your life because they didn’t want to feel emotions themselves.  So the only way to stop themselves from feeling was to try to stop you from feeling. Do things that are radically new.  Get way outside your comfort zone.  Take on new challenges.  You’ve got to shake up your system so as to experience different sensations.  You are acclimatized to your current life so you don’t experience noticeable changes in your feelings.  Try new activities; try to do different kinds of art and self-expression.  Travel to different places. Meet different people.  Try activities where you will experience new sensations and pay close attention to the new sensations you experience as a result of doing those things. Without realizing it, you subconsciously avoid things that cause emotions to arise.  You are unaware of how avoidant you are of things you want to avoid or face, especially those things that cause you to feel strong emotion.  You also subconsciously have all kinds of coping techniques to avoid and escape from feeling.  So, if you want to feel, do the opposite of avoiding emotions.  Seek out movies and people and experiences that cause strong emotion.  As you watch them, observe how uncomfortable you get and observe what you try to do to escape from those feelings.  For example, rent a really sad movie, watch how when the movie gets emotional, you may get up to use the bathroom in the middle of it or start thinking about something else.  And consciously choose to not engage in your coping mechanisms, but to feel instead. If you cannot feel, chances are that you are already a very mind based person.  You have overcompensated with your mind.  But in this case, you can use that to your advantage by using the mind to understand emotions specifically.  Emotions and thoughts are like a different language.  Your mind can be put to the task of helping you and allowing you to learn this specific language.  The more your mind understands emotion, the less afraid it will be of emotion and the less fight it will put up to letting you interact with your own emotion and other people’s emotions.  I suggest that you watch four of my videos titled: Emptiness (how to stop feeling empty), The Emotional Wake Up Call, How to Heal The Emotional Body and Happiness is the Purpose of Your Life!  Wanna know Why?
    Your emotional guidance system cannot be broken.  It is always available to you, the minute you want to tune back into it and let it guide you through life.  Try these techniques and you will soon find that feeling anything, even if it is unpleasant is better than feeling nothing.


    Fear of The Future



    Sometimes you wake up and you feel excited to be alive.  You can feel all the good things ahead of you, things you can’t wait to experience.  When you think of the life ahead of you, your heart opens to welcome it in.  Think of the last time you really fell in love or when you got accepted for a school or a job that you wanted so badly.  We wish that this were how we felt every day.  But the reality is that it isn’t how we feel every day.  Think of the last time you lost someone you love or you got a divorce or you came down with an illness or got deep into debt or watched someone get elected as president that you knew was going to destroy the country.  You feel doom.  You perceive only bad things ahead of you, things you are desperate not to experience.  When you think of the life ahead of you, your heart closes.  You feel terror. 
    The more objective truth of this universe is that time does not exist; that is to say it is not linear.  All timelines (past, present and future) exist simultaneously; like a vibrational soup.  And so, from that perspective it is true to say that the only thing that exists is… now.    The minute we conceptualize of past, present and future (like we are doing from our third dimensional perspective), we are looking through the perspective of linear time.  When we look at time in this way, it is easy to think that we have no capacity to change the past or that the future is decided, like fate.  Before you continue with the rest of this video, if you haven’t done so already, I highly suggest that you watch my video on You Tube titled: The Future.  In that video, I explain how the future really works.  Knowing this information can take you a long way towards feeling better about the future. 
    At the heart of the fear of the future is a feeling of utter powerlessness.  Wanting things that you don’t feel like you can have.  Or not wanting things that you feel are inevitable.  So what should you do if you fear the future?
     
    Have mercy on yourself.  People don’t just fear the future for no reason. Your fears of the future are actually fears of the past.  There is a reason that a baby does not feel fear in airplane turbulence or fear about falling down stairs.  It is because the baby has never experienced a trauma that causes those fears.  Think about your own life.  You didn’t fear romantic relationships until your first one ended painfully. 
    People who fear the future, do so because they have experienced something painful, often recently, that makes them believe that the future will either be the same or worse instead of better.  So the first step is to address that pain.  Not the pain about the future, but the pain about what happened in the past that is seeming to color your future black.  I have created a process for doing this.  It is called The Completion Process.  If you’re interested in learning this process, it is fully explained in my book quite literally titled: The Completion Process.  I also suggest that you watch my video on YouTube titled: Meaning, The Self Destruct Button because it is the meaning that we add to a painful experience that so often colors our future black. When you fear the future, it means you are projecting yourself too far out ahead of yourself.  If you are the kind of person who is prone to worry, you try to prevent pain by trying to figure everything out way in advance.  The problem with this is that you can’t see most of the things that will be available to you at that time you are worrying about.  From your perspective, it will seem as if the universe arranges the big picture of your life like a puzzle, but a puzzle whose full picture comes into view slowly and sequentially as piece after piece is given to you.  And you are not ever given the picture that the puzzle will create before you start assembling it.  When we fear the future, we try to jump ahead of ourselves by trying to assemble the puzzle as fast as we can when the universe hasn’t even brought us the puzzle pieces necessary to do that.  This is why we often feel so powerless from where we are.  We project ourselves into what needs to happen, but can’t figure out how because those puzzle pieces that spell out the how, have not yet arrived.  For example, let’s say that we know we have to move to a different country.  From where we are, we feel like this is impossible because we do not have some of the elements that will make this possible.  We do not yet see the person who we will meet or the opportunity we will be presented with that will make this possible.
    If you are feeling hopeless about the future, it is because you are trying to put the whole puzzle together when the universe hasn’t even brought you some of the puzzle pieces necessary to put it together.  And you cannot rush that process.  So, stop projecting so far into the future and instead deal with yourself right here and now.  From right here and now, what can you think, say or do that feels just a little bit better?  Do only what you can, with what you have from where you are.  And that is more than enough. Most of us look so hard for a way to feel good in the future or a way to ensure that the future will feel good.  Instead, we need to focus on what will make us feel alive and connected and good right here and now.    Make yourself sit down and write a list of things to look forward to.  This is an awesome antidote for that feeling of doom.  For people who chronically struggle with fear of the future, I suggest doing this every night before going to bed and every morning before getting up to start the day.  In fact, this is a practice I often do myself.  This list can include literally anything that makes you feel open towards the hour or day or weeks or years ahead of you, instead of closed.  For example, I can write things as little as, eating an avocado toast or watching a movie today to things as big as, earning a PHD or becoming enlightened.  If you have friends or a group of people, it can be really great to collectively make a list like this.  You can’t imagine how much better other people can make you feel about the future by enrolling you in their own idea of what to look forward to. Do a self-visualization of the future.  The fear you have about the future is a reaction to an image you have in your head of what the future will look like… I repeat… An image in your head.  This means, it can be remedied by altering the image you have in your head.  Do this visualization for 8 minutes with really feel good music playing.  The timeline I like people to use for this exercise is two years.  Don’t visualize yourself too far into the future because it isn’t vibrationally accessible.  So sit down and close your eyes and imagine yourself and your life two years into the future; if it were exactly how you want it to be.  Where would you be, who would you be with, what would you have, how would you feel?  Make it as real and detailed as possible for yourself.  Acknowledge that you do not actually know what is going to happen, you cannot say that you know 100% beyond a shadow of a doubt that something bad will happen.  And more than that, you cannot know that if something bad happens, it isn’t in fact a blessing in disguise.  Then look back at your life at two different things.  The first is the times that you thought something horrible would happen, but it didn’t.  And the second is the times that something bad that happened that actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  This acknowledgement can release your conviction that something bad will happen and thus, change the way you feel and thus raise your frequency. Recognize that all the fear you have about the future is really about nothing more than feeling and more than that, the fear of feeling something you’ve already felt.  It isn’t the circumstance itself that causes us pain; it’s how that circumstance makes us feel.  If we’re afraid of the future, we are essentially saying, “I can’t bear to feel that way that I think I’ll feel so I have to prevent ever feeling that way.”  Because we fear the future based off of what we have experienced in the past, we are really saying, “I can’t bear to feel that way ever again.”  It’s not about the feelings you’re yet to have, it’s about the ones you’ve already had and didn’t feel like you could cope with. Otherwise, you wouldn’t know what to be afraid of.  Ask yourself, how is it ok to feel?  How could I cope differently with feeling the way I’m afraid to feel incase I feel it again? Imagine the feeling of fear of the future as belonging to an aspect of you, not to all of you.  Close your eyes and visualize this “you” within you who fears the future.  Imagine picking this fearful self up in your arms and loving him or her and caring for him or her and having a conversation with him or her to soothe their worries and meeting their needs and letting them know that you will not leave them, you will be there always and be in charge of their wellbeing so they can relax and just let you handle it all.  This simple dis-identification exercise can erase your fear of the future in a mater of minutes.  If you currently feel doom or if you struggle with chronic worry about the future, I want you to watch three of my videos on YouTube titled: How to Stop Worrying, How to Deal with Uncertainty and How To Stop Expecting The Worst.  I am aware that in this video, I have suggested that you watch several other videos that lend themselves to this practice of letting go of your fear of the future.  I have done this because I also know that even if all you do is to sit down and just focus upon them and listen to them, without even doing any of the exercises that I suggest in them, it will alter the fear you feel towards the future.  So, if you’re holding on for dear life emotionally, and you just want to be soothed, take the time to just focus on the videos I have suggested to you in this episode without doing anything. And watch what happens to the way you feel.  Living life at the mercy of your past pain, which is what is happening if you fear the future, is painful.  There are many ways to bring resolution to that past pain.  But just because you experienced those feelings in the past, does not mean you will experience them again.  Just because you experienced those things before, does not mean they await you in the future. 


    Priceless Relationship Advice (Expectations and Assumptions)



    I want you to imagine that a man and a woman go on a date to the movies.  They pay separately for the movie tickets and then walk straight past the concessions stand and into the theatre and sit down.  The woman is finding herself put off by instead of interested in the man.  She is feeling perturbed.  What she is really upset about is that this man did not meet her expectations.  Her expectation was that the man pays for the movie ticket and also to offer to buy her popcorn.  Not only did she expect something that was not communicated to the man, she assumed that this would be the expectation he has for himself when he takes girls on dates.   
    We all have expectations.  These expectations may be conscious or they may be subconscious.  Most expectations are subconscious.  This means you may know what some of your expectations are and you may not know that you have certain expectations even though you do.
    To expect something is to believe with confidence that something will happen.  Expectation often implies the attitude that something should happen or should be a certain way.  To assume is to take something for granted or to suppose something is true, even without having any proof. Looking at that definition, can you see how often we do this in our relationships?
    All of us have expectations in relationships.  Some of these may be healthy and some of them might not be.  For example, it is an expectation that most people have to be treated well in a relationship.  We expecting other people to treat us how we would treat them.  And we assume that this is an expectation that other people have as well.  And so, when we don’t get treated well in a relationship, and people don’t treat us like we would treat them, we feel disappointed.
    Our expectations are set up by previous experiences.  For example, they are set up by things like our culture, society, by watching the relationships around us when we are little and by our interactions with people before etc.  We have a way of assuming that everyone else’s sense of reality is the same as ours and getting really confused when there is a conflict between our expectations in a situation because of it…  Just ask a multi racial couple.  A relationship with someone from another culture will show you really quickly just how different people’s expectations in a relationship can be.        
    We do not often communicate our expectations in relationships because we are not often conscious of what those expectations are.  And we do not often communicate our expectations because they reflect our needs and we have been taught that it isn’t ok to have needs.  When we can’t directly voice our needs we often manipulate to get it.  We do things and say things specifically to get the desired reaction out of someone.  If you want to learn more about manipulation, watch my video on YouTube titled: Meet Your Needs.  
    In a relationship, we need to understand each other’s expectations.  And not assume that our expectations are the same and will be met.  Once we become aware of our expectations, we must decide consciously if we want to maintain those expectations or let them go and then those expectations must be communicated to our partner.         
    One of the best thing about being upset in a relationship is that it’s the perfect opportunity to figure out your subconscious expectations and assumptions.  So, look back over the times you’ve felt upset in a relationship, especially disappointed.  And   ask yourself, “What did I expect in that circumstance and what assumptions did I make?  Answer as brutally honestly as you can. You can carry this into the present by using the times you are upset in a relationship as a meditation bell, awakening you to the opportunity to discover an expectation you have.   When you feel upset in a relationship, ask yourself  “What am I expecting in that circumstance and what assumptions am I making?    
    In a relationship, expecting and assuming is a form of mutual cruelty.  Can you imagine what it would feel like to go to another culture, where shaking hands is a form of threat?  In this culture, it is expected that no one would shake your hand unless they wanted to fight you.  It is assumed that everyone knows this.  So, when you go into this culture and shake hands to say hello, you get punched in the face.  You are standing there confused and feeling hurt and to you, it seems really unfair that they just assumed you would know not to do that and expect you not to shake hands.  We do this kind of thing in our relationships all the time.  This is one reason why communication in a relationship is everything.
    Because we tend to project our own sense of reality over other people, we also tend to assume things about other people without even taking to them to confirm whether we are right or wrong.  For example, we assume that if we asked someone out on a date, they would say no when in fact they would say yes.  We assume someone is mad at us when really they are just busy.  We assume someone will know to show up at the exact time they say they will.    
    Imagine that every person in your life is a fresh and new experience.  Assume that coming from his or her background, he or she will have totally different expectations and assumptions than you do or that anyone you’ve met in the past does.  Make it a conscious effort to discover each other’s expectations in the relationship.  Some will be the same, and some wont. 
      Anytime an expectation isn’t met by someone else you will feel bad in a relationship.  So, get conscious of the expectations you have and get clear about the assumptions you are making.  Make a list today of what you expect from each person in your life and why you have those expectations.  And any time you get upset in a relationship, use that to become conscious of what you subconsciously expect.  Decide whether you want to consciously keep those expectations.  And communicate all of this process openly with that other person in your life.


    Why We Can't Feel Loved For Who We Are


                 The human ego is essentially the perception of yourself as a separate self.  When you learn to call yourself by a name, you learn to see yourself as an ‘it’ or a ‘thing’, which automatically makes you separate from every other ‘it’ or ‘thing’ in the universe.  When you are born, your ego is not formed yet because you do not intellectually conceptualize of who you are because you do not think of yourself as a separate thing yet.  So, you do not identify with anything yet. 

                 As we grow, we begin to identify with things.  Whenever we associate something with our self, we identify with it.  It becomes part of us.  We make it the same as us.  This is what attachment really is.  It is identification.  And if that thing we identify with is ever threatened, we experience it as a threat to our own survival.  If you want to know more about identification and dis-identification, watch my video on YouTube titled: Dis-identification (The Practice of Non Attachment)

                 I would love to be able to tell you that your identity or ego is entirely the result of authentic self-initiated associations.  But it is not.  Instead our ego is mostly the result of other initiated associations.  That is to say we learn who we are by virtue of what other people associate with us.  Other people become the mirror through which we see ourselves.  This means if someone in your childhood begins to associate you with artistic ability then you begin to perceive yourself s an artist.  You identify with being an artist and that becomes part of your Ego.  This means if someone in your childhood associates you with darkness or badness then you begin to perceive yourself in that way.  You identify with being dark or bad and this becomes part of your own Ego.  Part of why identity becomes so confusing for us is that so many people associate us with different things and many of those things are contradictory.

                 As you can probably tell without me even spelling it out, it is a real crapshoot whether the people who are around you in childhood (during the development of your sense of separate self) will associate you with something that is an accurate thing to associate you with or not. 

                 Most people are not conscious.  They do not think of children as unique beings with their own unique purpose and their own unique gifts.  When their children are born, they think of them more like animated dolls.  Essentially believing that the child is whoever they want the child to be.  They associate the child with whatever they decide they want the child to be associated with.  And if the child ever begins to act in a way that defies who they want them to be, they feel personally threatened and begin to associate the child with negative traits.  Either way, the child takes on any associations that the parent decides to make with the child.  That child’s identity and life then becomes either nothing but an exact replica of what the parents decided for them or a perpetual attempt to try to figure out who they really are despite their parents.

                 We live in the Emotional Dark Age.  People do not know how to emotionally relate to one another.  As a result, people do not develop intimacy.  Intimacy is essentially seeing into someone, feeling into them, listening to them and understanding them.  And ideally, parents would have a high degree of intimacy with their children.  If a parent did have a high degree of intimacy with a child, that parent would be able to accurately mirror what was authentically part of the child.  For example, when the truth of a child is “I really love dance”, the parent would acknowledge and validate that for the child and thus strengthen the child’s sense of authentic self by doing so.  The association the child forms between himself and dance would be authentic because it came from the child first and was then mirrored by the parent.  

    Positive mirroring is essentially the process of reflecting back to someone what they authentically express either verbally or non verbally so as to allow them to understand that we hear them, see them, feel them and understand them.  Positive mirroring is to make their sense of how they are feeling and thinking and who they are valid.  An example of positive mirroring is that a child who is going to a new school feels afraid and may get silent and start whining and act resistant to everything.  A parent who positively mirrors would come down to the child’s level and feel into the child and try to understand the child enough to figure out what the problem is and then mirror their reality by saying something like “I know that you must feel really afraid about going to a new school and because you’re afraid, you may not want to go to school and anyone who was afraid of going to a new school would feel that way.  It’s ok to feel afraid.”  And potentially then the parent could help the child brainstorm ways to feel better about going to a new school.      

    But mirroring is not something that most parents do well.  Using the previous scenario, most parents would invalidate the child’s feelings and thoughts by saying something like “it’s the way it is, everyone has to get used to change and you’re lucky you’re even going to a good school when other kids can’t even go to school.”  This is a negative mirror.  It teaches the child to distrust the way he or she feels because it is “wrong”.  This child will not be able to develop a clear sense of self.  She will outsource her sense of self to others.  And come to believe that she is wrong. 

    Obviously if you begin to develop awareness and to realize that who you really are (what you really associate with) is an invalidation of who your parents want you to be (what your parents want to associate you with) that they essentially reject you because they reject what you are associated with… the very thing you are identified with.  As a result you cannot feel loved by them.  For example, if a boy grows up to realize that he is gay and the parents do not want him or her to be gay, they will reject gayness and therefore reject their son because their son is identified with being gay.  So, we can say that this son cannot be loved for who he is.  Because the people who do not love him for who he is are his parents, he will develop a belief that no one can love him for who he is. 

    Essentially with most parents the child has to develop attributes that the parent will positively mirror in order to get any love.  So their identity is a perfect reflection of their parent’s agenda.  The child must develop attributes that feed the needs and wants of the parent to get love from that parent.  This is the opposite of unconditional love.  This is the opposite of being loved for who they are.  If you are interested in figuring out how to develop intimacy and how to positively mirror, I suggest you watch two of my YouTube Videos.  The first is: The Emotional Wake Up Call and the second is: How To Connect With Someone.   

     

    But what if I told you that the story of why we can’t feel loved for who we are goes much deeper than that?   

    Because the idea of having intimacy with a child’s internal world is not a concept that most parents even realize exists, most parents do not acknowledge a child except for when they DO something.  Especially when that DOING is something done for their benefit.  A parent and a child cannot BE with each other.  They have to be doing something to be together.  And so the only thing that most parents mirror is what a child does.  For example, a child throws a ball and the parent says “Wow, great job throwing that ball” and the child then associated their sense of self with throwing the ball… a Doing.

    Now I’m about to explain to you in a nutshell why we cannot feel loved for who we are.  Because most parents only mirror a child when they are doing something and thus only associate a child with what they DO, we only associate ourselves with what we DO.  Our entire identity becomes about what we DO.  That becomes our sense of who we are.  As a result, it isn’t even that we believe we are what we do.  It is that we don’t feel like we exist separate from what we do. 

    In an extreme case of a child who receives no mirroring in childhood at all (like extreme neglect cases) the child has no sense of identity.  A child who is raised by a parent who only mirrors what they DO will have no sense of himself or herself separate of what they DO.  Obviously then, we cannot be loved for who we are as opposed to what we do because who we are does not even exist.  How can you love something that does not exist? 

    When we try to think of who we are separate of what we do, we draw a complete blank space.  It feels like oblivion.  And that is the real reason that we cannot feel loved for who we are, because who we are does not even exist.  We have an identity only by virtue of what we do.    

    So now you know that the real reason why we cannot feel loved for who we are instead of what we do is because we do not even think we exist separate of what we do.  Plain and simply, our ego is formed around both the positive and negative things that made us exist for our parents.


    How to Cure Insomnia



    Insomnia may sound like a minor problem but it isn’t.  Insomnia can be absolute torture for those who suffer with it.  It can be terrifying as well because it makes you feel like you have no control over yourself and yet your body is betraying you by not letting you get any rest and as a result your ability to function is stolen from you.  For this reason, I’m going to explain what is really causing your insomnia.
    When you are living your waking life, you have two points of perspective.  You are your eternal self-essence, what many call the soul.  And you are also your temporal human self that you call by your name.  Your level of comfort in this life emotionally is all about the vibrational difference between these two perspectives.  The farther the vibrational difference is between these two perspectives, the less energy is actually available to your physical embodiment.  To understand much more about these two aspects of you and about how these two aspects of you relate, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: Happiness is the Purpose of Your Life, Want to Know Why?
    In the moment of sleep, unconsciously your two points of perspective join so there is no vibrational difference between them.  There is no tug of war going on between them and thus, immediately, more energy is available to your physical body.  Most people experience sleep as refreshing because of that fact.  Technically, a person would not need to sleep if they could find a way to consciously prevent their two perspectives from splitting while they are awake.  This is why many yogis and meditation masters do not need sleep.  Alas, most people are not capable of that in waking life, so we experience a need for sleep.
    What does this mean if you have insomnia?  It means that the vibrational tug of war/contradiction between your two points of perspective (your temporal self and your essence) is so great that it will not let up enough for you to even release resistance enough to go to sleep in the first place.  If you struggle with insomnia, you are struggling with resistance.  You are struggling with a tug of war between your essence and your temporal self. 
    Think about this for a minute… Why do you think that a baby can sleep so well?  It is because a baby does not have a strong sense of identity yet.  There is not much difference between their temporal self and their essence.  There is no contradiction between their temporal self and their essence.  There is no tug of war going on. 
    So you can understand what I mean by a tug of war between your essence and your temporal self, I will give you some examples.  Your essence says, “I want to experience abundance and because of my perspective, I know we could have abundance right now”.  While your temporal self says, “I don’t have enough money to start a business so I have to work at my minimum wage job that I hate.”  Or your essence says, “No, this is a bad idea” and your temporal self says, “This is the only thing that makes sense”.  Or your essence says, “I want to be with that person” and your temporal self says “I am going to get hurt by them.”  Do you see that inherent in each of these examples is a contradiction between the essence and the temporal self?  This keeps a person in a restless state. 
    For most people, the minute you can release some of the resistance inherent in this tug of war, like a magnet, a person’s essence will call their temporal self to it.  And on a physical level this will be experienced as falling asleep.
    Now here is the crappiest part.  When you can’t fall asleep, but you have the belief that if you do not sleep bad things will happen, you begin to stress out about not falling asleep.  This is like adding one more person to a game of tug of war on each side.  The contradiction now being between your essence saying “Sleep” and your temporal self saying “I can’t sleep”.  So, when you are suffering from insomnia, the first thing that has to be done is to release resistance to not sleeping in general.
    You should know that most of our belief about needing sleep is the byproduct of our childhoods.  Parents are naturally exhausted by having to watch their children all moments of the day and are naturally afraid of how behaviorally difficult the job of parenting gets if a child is tired.  So the anxiety about a child having to sleep is really about the parent needing to have time where they are not having to constantly monitor the child and have a break; as well as the anxiety about trying to avoid dealing with a child who is misbehaving because they are tired.  This anxiety about not sleeping is then transferred to the child and that child grows up with the belief that bad things happen if they don’t get enough sleep.
    This isn’t to say that sleeping is totally unnecessary.  Sleeping is healthy and most people need it because they cannot maintain alignment between their temporal self and their essence.  But the anxiety we have around the need for sleep is usually the byproduct of the transfer of “you need to sleep” anxiety from our parents to us.      
    There is such a thing a positive and negative insomnia.  You could call it excitement induced insomnia and anxiety induced insomnia.  The conflict with negative insomnia is between the essence (which wants the temporal self to align with it and knows that would happen through sleeping) and the temporal self (which feels it cannot go to sleep).  On the other hand, positive insomnia is a conflict between the essence (which wants the temporal self to align with it and knows that would better be accomplished by staying awake) and the temporal self (which wants to fall asleep instead of stay awake). 
    In the first case, if one stays awake, he or she will feel terrible because energy will not be flowing from the essence through the temporal self.  In the other case, if one stays awake, he or she will feel fine because energy will be flowing from the essence to the temporal self with more ease by staying awake.  If you have excitement induced insomnia, take it as a message to stay awake and to channel that energy towards what excites you.  It means you will be refreshed by something other than sleep.  It’s the call of source and you should never ignore or try to force yourself to sleep through the call of source.        
    Knowing all of this, I am going to spell out for you what you should do if you are struggling with negative insomnia.
    1.      Think or say or do anything you can that will enable you to stop obsessing with having to sleep.  Get out of bed if you can’t fall asleep for 20 minutes.  During my years of insomnia, if I would get into the spiral of obsessing over having to sleep but not being able to, I would tell myself it was a message from the universe that there are more important things to be doing for me at that moment and I would get up and do something productive, like write or draw or read.  Anything to get my attention off of “I have to sleep or else.”  But I’m about to tell you in the next step what the most effective thing to do if you suffer from insomnia is…
    2.      Get out a pen and paper and figure out what the exact contradiction is between your essence and your temporal self.  There may be more than one. 
    3.      Think or say or do anything you can to resolve the conflict between your essence and your temporal self.  For example, if I realized that the contradiction between my essence and temporal self was that my essence wanted to move to another country but that by temporal self was resisting that idea through all kinds of disaster scenarios, I would write down anything that would make me feel better about moving.  Then I might begin taking actions on my plans of moving that would make me feel less fear about moving.  Naturally I would feel the tension and resistance go away as the tug of war ended between the two aspects of me and I would drift off to sleep.  Nothing will serve to end insomnia as much as becoming aware of the conflict between your essence and your temporal self and doing anything you can to resolve that conflict.  Ease in the being naturally leads most people with insomnia to sleep.
    4.      If you feel compelled to try a drastic action, re-set your internal clock by committing 100% to deliberately staying awake for 36 hours.  Make this a challenge you fully take on.  Do not drive during this challenge.  And then let yourself fall asleep when you want your bedtime to be. Let yourself sleep 8 hours and wake up.  It will be really hard to wake up, but do it anyway.  Drink plenty of water during the day and do not take any caffeine or anything else to help yourself stay awake.  Go to sleep when you want your bedtime to be that next night.  And maintain this sleep schedule from that day forward.  Sleep schedule is very important for people who suffer from insomnia.   
    5.      Meditate instead of sleep.  Meditation is actually a more effective tool for rejuvenation because it accomplishes the same thing that sleep does, only consciously instead of unconsciously.  There is a reason that people who meditate need much less sleep.
    6.      Use positive focus.  Your mind is already in a negative focus spiral.  Usually a negative focus on the ramifications of not sleeping spiral on top of a negative focus spiral on behalf of the temporal self about something the essence is wanting (and thus trying to pull the temporal self in the direction of).  So lie in bed and think of all of the positive things you can possibly think of.  Your mind is already obsessing so direct that obsession.  Positive focus on anything, no matter how small or large actually causes a tug of war in your being to end.  So make your mind obsessively hunt for any thought or thing that makes you feel better.
    7.      Reduce stress in your life in general.  Obviously the greatest way to reduce stress is to resolve the conflict between your essence and your temporal self.  But beyond that (even though it sounds easier said than done) reducing stress in general in your life is a good idea.  For suggestions about how to do this, I encourage you to watch my videos on YouTube titled: How To Get Rid Of Anxiety and Uncertainty (How To Deal With Uncertainty).
    8.      This may seem like a no brainer but many people who can’t sleep, can’t sleep because of something simple.  Something like the room not being dark enough or the position of your bed in the room or there being too much noise outside or being uncomfortable or being too hot.  So make sure you eliminate any potential outside factor like that, which could be preventing you from sleeping.     
    9.      Change your diet.  Eliminate caffeine and sugar from your diet and simple carbohydrates.  Make sure that your last meal of the day is really low on carbohydrates.  On the other hand healthy fats like avocado, Omega 3 oils, seeds, coconut oil and nuts are a good idea to eat. Make sure you are eating enough foods that are rich in magnesium and potassium as well.  If you don’t think you are getting enough, take a good quality supplement that provides your body with these things.  Also, drink plenty of fluids.  Dehydration lends itself to insomnia.    
    10.  Stay away from electronics with screens like TVs, Phones and Computers, especially the ones that cast off blue light.  Certain wavelengths of light tell your brain it’s time to be awake instead of to go to sleep.  So, stay away from these things if you can for an hour or more before bedtime.  If you absolutely can’t force yourself to do this, see if you can modify the filter on those screens.  There are several aps available now a days that can make it so that the light coming through you screen is modified to a wavelength that does not keep your brain awake.
    11.  Create a wind down ritual.  A lot of parents have a very structured wind down ritual for their kids to prepare them for a good night sleep.  They do this because it works.  So imagine that you were an oversized little kid and create a bedtime ritual for yourself as if you were your own parent.  A ritual that is all about ease for yourself.  If you struggle with insomnia, you need to plan your day for a wind down ritual at night.  Taylor this ritual to what works to make you feel relief.  For example, take a warm bath with Epsom salts; rub essential oils specifically for sleep into your neck and chest.  Do a wind down activity that makes you feel ease like reading something that makes you feel good or writing or listening to something that relaxes you.  Not only does this work because of the relaxing nature of the activities themselves, but also because your brain will start to associate those actions and things with sleep and so sleep will naturally eventually be triggered by doing them.     
    12.   Ask yourself, why do I want to sleep?  Come up with a list of reasons and see if you can brainstorm any other way to accomplish those things other than through sleep.  
     
    Insomnia may feel like the end of sanity, as you know it.  But there is always a valid reason for it and so often the reason is not that something is wrong with you.  It is that there is a contradiction going on inside you.  So find out what that contradiction is.


    Self Awareness Meditation

    At the most fundamental level, everything in existence is made of energy.  This means all is one.  This united energy is imbued with consciousness.  What does this mean?  It means that every aspect of us is imbued with consciousness.  Not just our mind.  This means you can essentially communicate with any aspect of you.  The average person is not very self aware because they do not know they can communicate with any aspect of themselves.  As a result, they never take the time to do so.  But we can begin to develop self-awareness through a self awareness meditation designed to allow you to communicate with your own embodiment.  

    To do this meditation you are going to sit down, close your eyes and begin watching your breath.  You will feel your mind jumping around restlessly.  There is nothing wrong with this.  You can just allow your mind to do this.  When you feel like you have settled a bit, select an aspect of your embodiment to connect to.  It could be an ailment you are experiencing, like MS or Acne or Cancer.  Or you can connect to a part of your body, like your knee or your heart or your liver or your bones.  Or you can connect to a feeling/emotion like the crushing sensation in your chest or a burning in your cheeks or the anger in the pit of your stomach. 

    Once you have picked this aspect of you, connect to this aspect of you as if it has something to say to you.  For example, if you have cancer, close your eyes and begin to feel the cancer.  What does it feel like?  If it looked like something, what would it look like?  If it had a sound, what would it sound like?  Then imagine it has a voice of its own and begin to mentally ask it questions.  Any and every question you can think of is good to ask.  For example, why are you here?  What do you need me to change?  How are you trying to help me?  The sky is the limit to the questions you could ask.  So let your intuition naturally guide you through this exploration.  What do you want to know about this part of you? 

    If you have an aspect of yourself that you really want to understand, don’t be afraid to involve other people in your life to think up questions to ask it before you do this meditation.  And then ask those questions in the meditation.

    Make this an interactive meditation.  You are developing intimacy with that aspect of yourself.  Intimacy being to see into it, feel into it, listen to it and understand it.  The natural byproduct of doing so may be that you want to just be present with it or you may feel compelled to respond to it.  For example, if you are communicating with your heart and your heart says it’s cold because it has no friends, you may feel compelled to visualize surrounding your heart in warm energy and to tell it that you promise to stop isolating it from other people. 

    Allow this meditation to continue for as long as it takes for you to feel a sense of completeness.  Then allow yourself to come back slowly to the room.  And make sure that your actions from that point forward honor the needs of that aspect of you.  And live up to the awareness you have received. 

    How To De-Escalate A Fight

    Arguments in a relationship are not unhealthy.  In fact they are a wonderful way to purify the relationship and develop greater levels of harmony.  However, we’ve all been in that argument.  The one that starts out with something small and when we try to resolve it, the anger and aggression we feel as well as the conflict itself just starts building and building and building until it has turned from a small flame to a forest fire…  A forest fire that can and sometimes does destroy the relationship itself.  
    Some people are natural de-escalators.  These are usually the people pleasers of the spectrum.  People who hate conflict and would do anything to get out from underneath the heat and pressure, even if it means giving up their own sense of self and personal integrity.  If you are this kind of person, I encourage you to watch my video titled: “How To Overcome The Fear Of Conflict”.       
    Some of us on the other hand are not natural de-escalators.  In stead we tend to escalate.  It is as if we have no capacity to put the breaks on in a conflict.  Consciously, we do not want to destroy the relationship.  But it is as if once we become threatened enough, we lose control of an aspect of ourselves that decides it is out for blood, no holds barred.
    If you struggle with conflict escalation, you can be sure that you did not have any healthy modeling of conflict resolution in your childhood.  You never learned how to keep a fight from escalating.   
    If you are this kind of person, the first thing you have to own up to is that you struggle in life to feel safe, especially in relationships.  You are naturally distrusting and so it takes very little for you to feel as if someone else is not going to capitalize on your own best interests.  When someone is not going to capitalize on your own best interests, they are not safe to you; they are a threat to you.  You perceive them as the enemy and you treat them as such.  If you know this is you, when this video is over, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: “Trust, (What Is Trust and How To Build It In Relationships”.
    Now we come to the most important point in this video.  We need to admit that if we feel a resistance de-escalating a conflict (including to all the techniques listen below) we need to meditate about why we do not actually want to de-escalate a conflict.  This involves two things: What positive things are we getting out of a fight? And what bad things would happen if we took responsibility for de-escalating a fight in any way we can?  We have to be brutally honest with ourselves when we ask these questions.  If we discover what we are really afraid of about de-escalating instead of escalating, we have the opportunity to address our escalation issue at the core. When we feel triggered by the idea of de-escalating, we can go into the feeling of that trigger and use the completion process with it by asking “When was the first time I felt this exact same feeling?” or “When was the first time I learned that it isn’t safe to be soft and open so that I could make a situation better?”  You can learn the completion process in my book titled: The Completion Process.  Chances are high that if you have an aversion to conflict resolution, the relationships you had in your early life between your family members were full of unhealthy control dynamics.  
    So, aside from that, what can you do if you are an escalator in a relationship?  More than that what are some healthy ways to de-escalate and resolve an argument once it has started?         
    1.    99% of the time, when there is escalation in an argument it is because there is a huge gap in understanding and communication between the parties involved.  They are on a different page and often are not even arguing about the same thing.  Often if they are not conscious enough, even the parties themselves don’t understand what the real conflict is about.  Think of it like being on two different continents.  Usually the frustration and rage of being so far apart and thus unable to communicate so as to find resolution causes them to become louder and louder until they are screaming and slamming doors.
    I will give you an example of what I mean.  Let’s say that two people are trying to agree on whom to hire to be part of a company.  As they express their desires and concerns, the issue just keeps escalating and escalating.  Soon, nothing one of them says makes the other feel better.  In fact everything they say makes the situation worse.  We may come to find that while one person is arguing about whom to hire, the other is actually arguing about the feeling that the other person doesn’t have enough concern for his or her needs in general.  This is a classic dynamic between men and women.  We have to become aware of the CORE of the argument for both people.  And if need be, we need to hire a mediator or therapist who knows how to get down to the core issue for each person.  For more about this, you can watch my video on YouTube called “Get On The Same Page”.  
    If you are an escalator, in the middle of the argument, ask yourself, “What am I REALLY upset about in this situation?”.  “What is my fear underneath the surface of this argument?”  “Is the fight about what it appears to be about or about something deeper?”  That then needs to be communicated.   Also, get clear about each person’s goal of the conversation or argument.  If you can stay focused on the goal, it is easier to resolve conflict without getting sidetracked.  
       
    2.    Make a conscious commitment to staying as calm as possible.  This may sound odd and sometimes it is not possible.  But often times, we are not actually committed to staying calm and that is why we don’t practice it in the moment of conflict.  An intention can go a long way if we are committed to it.   Begin breathing so your body is fully oxygenated and consciously focus on the words coming out of your mouth so that they can be as deliberate as possible.  Whatever you do, do not suppress.  When you feel the rage rising in your ribs and chest and neck, direct your attention inside to that feeling and imagine bringing a pink light around that feeling so as to take care of it and hold it and protect it.  
    3.    No matter what you have heard, unless you are dealing with 2 very rare people who are both actually soothed by alone time, the worst thing you can do in an argument is to go take some space or a timeout for yourselves.  This is actually an abusive move called withdrawal.  It is perceived as abandonment in a time of relationship insecurity.  It is like adding fuel to the fire.  
    4.    Since safety is the biggest issue in the moment of escalation for the escalator, you as the escalator (or both if both are escalators) need to ask yourself, “What would make me feel more safe right here and now?”  Perhaps the answer is that you need to cocoon in a blanket.  Or perhaps the answer is that you need some warm water.  Meet those safety needs and your nervous system will naturally come out of arousal.  I offer an arsenal of suggestions for this in my video titled: Upset, What To Do When You’re Upset.  
    Often times, our upset needs to have some in-depth attention before any conversation about the actual argument at hand can continue.  This is 100% the case if we are so shut down that we resist our partner’s touch and fly into a rage if they try to introduce humor into the situation.  The bottom line is if we have crossed a line of un-safety and threat then we have to directly deal with that first and not the details of the specific argument we started off fighting about.    
    5.    The minute you feel yourself switch into a cycle of defensiveness and you feel yourself start to close down like armor is coming down over you, this argument is headed into the danger zone.  This means put the brakes on.  The best strategy is for both people to stop where they are, not leave the room 
    (so as to avoid triggering abandonment trauma) and close their eyes as if in meditation.  Both people have to get clear on the core of their fear about this situation as well as get into the other person’s perspective and try to perceive the other person’s fear.  This has to be agreed upon in a relationship as the strategy that is going to be used if escalation occurs.  Then, get out a writing pad or computer and each person has to separately write out their insights they got from going inside like that.  You can either continue to write or type back and forth to each other after each person reads what the other has written.  Or if you trust yourselves to continue with de-escalating the conflict, continue verbal discourse around the issue.
    6.    Make yourself non-threatening to the other person in any way you can.  For example, touch each other.  Physical touch is a master unifier in relationships. It creates a softening.  Body language is also super important.  Keep your body open to the other person and not closed.  Keep eye contact with them.  Make your body movements soft and non-threatening. 
    7.    If we can, we have to introduce humor into the situation.  Humor also brings about a softening and makes the situation less serious.
    8.    We need to figure out what the other person is desperately crying out for.  What do they need?  And we need to try to give it to them or figure out a win-win scenario for both of us.  We have to begin to acknowledge emotions and learn how to deal with negative emotion if someone is really upset.  To learn how to do this, watch my video on YouTube titled: The Emotional Wake Up Call.   
    9.    If you can, switch into a mode where you are actively trying to listen deeply and compassionately so that you can fully understand the other person with intent to learn why he or she is so upset. Ask genuinely caring questions to understand why they are so upset. This open and compassionate stance is an energy that disarms the defense and calms the fire.  
    10.    Take responsibility for your role in the fight.  Apologize.  Apology is an instant de-escalator in a fight.  It is like pouring water on fire.  Apology is not easy for people who are perfectionists or for people who distrust other people because it is willing openness and acknowledgement of mistake.  
    11.    Avoid triggers instead of using them.  It is essential with people to learn them so that we can become aware of their triggers. Triggers are sore spots in your partner.  This is the opposite approach from deliberately pushing someone’s buttons.  If you want to de-escalate, avoid these triggers like the plague.  For example, if weight is a sore spot for your partner, do not bring it up during an argument.       

    12.    We need to have some skills for resolving conflict.  When conflict arises, we are being called to embody greater depths of intimacy and harmony.  We are being called to become as aware as possible of ourselves relative to a subject.  We can either answer that call or allow the conflict to drag us into deeper levels of unconsciousness.  We can seek a meeting of minds or we can become reactive and try to end the conflict through power struggle.  For information about specific techniques to use for conflict resolution, Watch my YouTube video titled: “How To Resolve Conflict”.

    De-escalating conflicts is not as hard as you would think, provided that your actual goal is to find resolution and harmony instead of to win or to control the other person, which is tempting when we feel unsafe.  But try these solutions the next time a fight begins to escalate instead of letting a flame turn into a forest fire.     
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