• Articles

    All articles are written by Teal Swan.



    Integrity (What Is Integrity and How To Build Integrity)

    We hear the word integrity flying around social circles.  But what does it mean?  The standard definition of the word is the quality of adhering to moral and ethical principals.  This creates a soundness of moral character.  The other definition for integrity is a state of being whole and undivided.  In fact these definitions go hand in hand because when you have integrity, you and your own conscience are whole and undivided instead of in opposition with one another. 
    Morality is about principles, fundamental truths or propositions that serve as the foundation for a system of belief, behavior or chain of reasoning.  Morals are principals concerning the rightness and wrongness or goodness and badness of behavior.  The problem is this is a serious gray area.  For example, some people strongly believe that it is right to punish a criminal who carried out a great enough offense by killing him.  Others believe this is morally wrong.  Some people believe honesty is always right.  Others believe it is right, except for when it will hurt someone.  This begs the question, is right or wrong something that is defined by the individual themselves or by society at large?  To know what is right or wrong, you would have to know first who is right about what is right and wrong.  Even though we have some consensus in the world, people do not fully agree about what is right and what is wrong and morals keep changing over time.         
    Conscience as opposed to morals, is an inner feeling or voice which is subjectively viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's own behavior.  This means conscience is subjective too.  But it is concerned with the self instead of others.  In other words, it is more concerned with right or wrong for you specifically versus right or wrong in general.  There is an intuitive feel to conscience where as morality is guided by reason.  You can think of conscience like a guiding light.  That light is obscured and bent by morals.  Morals are like a filter that the conscience is fed through.  To understand more about Conscience and morals, I suggest you watch my YouTube video titled: Morality Vs. Conscience.
    Some examples of lack of integrity are: Saying you will do something and not doing it.  Telling a lie when the truth is the opposite.  Leading someone to believe that they can trust you and then betraying them. Hiding things about yourself and keeping secrets about yourself so that the aspect of you that other people see is not the real you.  Being two faced.  Self-sacrificing instead of adhering to your true wants and needs.  And changing your stories and opinions in order to bend to public opinion instead of staying steadfast in them.  All of these things have something in common.  In all of them, two parts of you are in opposition.  For example, one part of you says something is right and good and the truth and another part of you adheres to the opposite way of acting anyway.         
    When we want someone to gain some integrity, what we are saying is that we do not believe that they are acting in accordance with morality.  We do not believe that what they are doing is right to do.  This is especially true if we have experienced a person demonstrating their belief that something is wrong in one scenario and doing that same thing in another scenario.          
    For this reason, a lack of integrity should be defined as the quality of not adhering to principals communicated to you by your own conscience. And not living in a state of wholeness in and of yourself.  For example, if your conscience tells you that honesty is right for you and you lie, you are demonstrating a lack of integrity.  Two parts of you are split in that moment and you will feel bad as a result of it.  Your internal guidance system will be guiding you in the opposite direction of where you are currently headed.
    We tend to see a lack of integrity when we meet with some kind of crisis.  When stress is put on our system, we have the tendency to crack.  This is why people say you have to wait for a crisis or a bad time to see someone’s true colors.  In order to feel better, people resort to all kinds of behavior that society could consider to be immoral.  For example, it isn’t until we suffer financially that we steal.  It isn’t until we are tortured that we betray someone’s trust.  It isn’t until the truth will get us in trouble that we tell a lie.  It’s not until someone puts pressure on your own authenticity that you decide to cave in and change your stance so others will see you as a good person.
    Soundness within yourself and between all the aspects of yourself is the foundation of a strong sense of self.  This is something that cannot be taken from you.  It is only something that can be given away.  Therefore, the reason that a lack of integrity is so damaging to you is that a lack of integrity is a form of self-betrayal.  And it is a guarantee that what you need most in a crisis (to remain strong and intact) will not happen.  The good news is integrity can always be built no mater how compromised it may have been in the past. Here are some suggestions for how to build it:
    Spend some serious time considering your idea about what is right vs. wrong in each scenario you find yourself in and why.  This requires you to really open your mind.  Question the rightness and wrongness of things.  How do you know whether something is right or wrong?  Is it right or wrong in every scenario?  Do not act until you are sure your subjective idea of what is right is as objective as possible.  There is a reason that ethics is a whole branch of philosophy, it isn’t as straightforward as it seems.  Be open to alternative philosophies about what is right so as to become even more aware and thus clearer about your what is truly right for you. Put effort into integration.  This means no more compartmentalization.  Being “split” into different parts is actually a collective human condition.  A person is really a conglomeration of different personalities.  This is why we say someone can have many “sides”.  We fragment ourselves in order to cope with the external world.  We preserve ourselves by compromising ourselves until being compromised becomes a detriment to our wellbeing.  We have one side of us that wants to keep the peace and another side that wants to win no matter the cost.  We often fall into a lack of integrity when two aspects of us (or more) do not agree.  We need to become aware of these different parts of us and help them come to an agreement where both of their needs are met.  We need to let our aware self facilitate a mediation between them where the prerogative is unification. Fulfill your promises and keep to your word.  This is one of the most common ways to notice your lack of integrity and correct it.  Obviously if you say one thing and do another, there is a split between your words and actions.  Make sure they are aligned. Before you make a commitment, stop and make sure you can follow through on that commitment.  If not, you have to be authentic about it and be brave enough to be willing to upset people. Pay attention for that feeling of internal discord when you are out of alignment with your own conscience.  This means you could very well be in the act of doing or saying something that not all of you agrees with.  That feeling is telling you “wait and pay attention… this isn’t right.”  This is your golden opportunity to build integrity instead of press on with your current course of action. Get super honest and authentic with yourself.  Then communicate that inner truth to others.  Denial is the enemy or integrity.  If the inner truth is something you are denying because you are afraid to admit to it or are ashamed of it, it will come out anyway in passive aggressive ways that will cause people to say you have no integrity. Do not act impulsively.  When we are in a heightened state of reactivity, certain parts of us have hijacked our entire system and are acting unilaterally.  This means other aspects of us are being bulldozed.  This is a form of self-abuse in the name of self-protection.  We all tend to have a specific way that we behave in a crisis or in threatening situations.  This is where our greatest lack of integrity tends to show.  So watch yourself in these scenarios to discover your particular breed of lack of integrity.  Perhaps you believe being honest is right but when you are threatened, you lie.  Perhaps you believe taking responsibility is right but when you are threatened, you justify yourself and play the victim making other people the bad guy for everything that happened.  You need to find alignment between all aspects of yourself and have all of them agree upon what is right before taking action. When you feel like you have acted out of alignment with your own conscience and have lost integrity as a result, admit to it.  Admit to it to yourself and if you feel like it would restore your integrity to admit it to anyone else (especially anyone it hurt), do so.  Any apology given should not include a justification for why you did it. Work on becoming comfortable with fear.  Integrity requires bravery.  People who are not brave, do not have integrity.  Bravery is something that can only exist when someone is afraid.  It isn’t about being fearless.  It’s about being willing to be afraid and act in accordance with your own personal estimation of what is right anyway.                         
    Acting in accordance with your own integrity can be difficult.  But I can promise you; it isn’t more difficult than living a life without it.

    The Positive Completion Process

    As most of you know I have created a process called The Completion Process.  I have written a book detailing this process and how to use it in your daily life.  Just like the process itself, this book is titled: The Completion Process.  If you haven’t done so already, I highly suggest learning this process which is designed to heal the aspects of the past that are causing you pain in your current life. But something you don’t know and something I didn’t write about in the book is that you can also use it to amplify positive memories and therefore their positive effect on your current and future life.  This process is extremely beneficial if we chronically struggle to feel positive emotions.
    To do the process this way, we use positive emotions instead of negative ones.  When we feel a positive emotion, no matter how small it may be, we follow these steps:
    We close our eyes and sink into the feeling.  We familiarize ourselves with the unique sensations or “feeling flavor” of that positive feeling.  We are unconditionally with that feeling experiencing and observing it without needing it to change.  After a time, we see if we can name the feeling.  We give the emotion or feeling the message that we are completely with it, that we see it as valid, that we care about it and that we are ready to and want to know what it has to say.  We are open to fully receiving it. We use the sensations of the feeling “flavor” like a rope connecting us to the origin or causation of that very feeling.  We ask, “When was the first time I felt this feeling?”  And instead of mentally chasing the answer, we let our being offer it up to us, like a bubble floating up from the depths of the ocean, in whatever form it comes. If/when a memory surfaces, we observe and experience the memory in whatever way it comes to us.  We take time to be present with the intensity of the feeling of the memory.  We emotionally re-experience it.  When we feel that we have fully experienced the emotion as it occurred in the past, we ask ourselves how we could make the situation taking place in the memory feel even better and we imagine taking that action to create that enhancement.  This is where creativity and individuality is key. We will know that it is working based on the fact that the positive feeling will amplify.  We imagine the child or younger version of ourselves giving us that enhanced experience and intense positive emotion to our current self in any way that intuitively comes to us.  We take time to consciously own that new, enhanced positive experience and feeling as our own and to take it into every cell of our body and into our mind.  We spend as much time as we want to soaking in this new vibrational state. We take at least a few deep breaths as we bring our consciousness back to our perspective in real time.  
    For a great many of us, positive emotions are not safe because there was a consequence that came with them.  If we had a parent that had no tolerance for our enthusiasm or joy, we may have learned that those feelings are unsafe.  Or if we experienced disappointments after feeling good, we may not let ourselves feel good to prevent ourselves from getting hurt in some way.  When this is the case, there is another variation of the process that we can use that will help us to amplify positive emotions.
    If we have experienced this kind of trauma involving positive emotions, positive emotions will come with fear or some other negative emotion. It will be a mixed feeling.  We drop our consciousness down into that mixed feeling and we ask ourselves relative to the specific emotion we are having, “What is keeping me from the highest excitement ever”.  Or “What is keeping me from the most joyous joy.”  When we feel the feeling that comes up in response to this feeling, we familiarize ourselves with the unique sensations or “feeling flavor” of that feeling.  We are unconditionally with that feeling experiencing and observing it without needing it to change.  And when we feel like we are allowing it, we ask ourselves “When was the first time I learned it wasn’t ok?”  Or “When was the first time I learned it wasn’t ok to feel the highest joy or the highest excitement?”  We then approach this memory in the same way we normally would using The Completion Process, making sure that we take time to actually resource the positive emotion of the improvement/resolution. 
    In a universe that essentially functions as a mirror hologram, when you focus on those feeling states that feel the closest to what you want to experience, you are a match to them being mirrored in your reality.  In other words, the more intensely I imagine the joy of a success, the more experiences that mirror and reflect and match the vibration of that amplified success come to me and thus, the better I feel and the better I feel, the more experiences that feel like success happen to me.  This is a universe created for the sake of expansion.  This means something that is great, can always be even greater.  There is no limit to how good it can be.

    Competition, Is it Good Or Is It Bad?

    For many people who identify themselves as spiritual or progressive minded, competition is taboo.  Competition is something that we seek to eradicate from our being in order to be good, create harmony and in order to reach enlightenment.  But in order to become truly aware we need to take competition out of the garbage can and we need to realize that competition is not black or white.  It is both black and white.
    If you look around the natural world, you will notice that planet earth is inherently about competition.  Every life form on earth has evolved to be the best at achieving its prerogative.  In fact, survival of the fittest guarantees that if you do not evolve up to speed with other species, you will be eliminated.  For example, the only deer whose offspring will live are the ones who are the fastest and therefore in order for the lion’s offspring to evolve, they need to evolve to be even faster or smarter than that.  There is competition everywhere in the natural world.  And like it or not, we are not exempt from the natural world.  We are hard wired to compete as well.  In fact, the ego (sense of self) can only exist in comparison to something else, something ‘other’.  For example, the color green can only exist if there is something that is not the color green to compare it to.        
    To compete is to strive to gain or win something by defeating or establishing superiority over another who is trying to do the same.  By it’s very nature you can see that competition is a rivalry.  You cannot compete without comparing yourself to something else.  So the question is, can comparison and rivalry be beneficial? 
    Expansion in this universe, the process by which Source comes to know itself, is dependent upon comparison.  When we experience thoughts and things in the world, those things become the platform for new thought and new thought is expansion.  They give rise to new desire.  For example, the Internet would have been totally inconceivable to people 200 years ago.  The thought of it could not have actually been thought.  But once the telephone was invented, people began to be able to imagine a fantasy futuristic world where information could travel across space and time invisibly.  They could only think that thought because they had something to compare it to.  And now, the internet is in competition with libraries.  No one has to leave the house to check out a book to access information anymore.  Obviously in the process of competition like this, some beings experience pain.  It isn’t fun to lose your business because something replaces it or makes it obsolete.  But looking at the previous example, most of us would agree that having information at the touch of our fingers is worth the pain of losing our old process of learning, no matter how ‘feel good’ libraries are.  And believe me, that statement is coming from someone who hates reading things digitally, there is a magic about holding an actual book in your hand and the smell of the pages that will never be replaced for me. 
    The bottom line is, for new thought to be born and for us to know how far we can go and to experience what is possible, we have to stretch the envelope beyond where we have stretched it before.  When we do this, we are in competition with what has come before us and we are often in competition with other beings who are trying to do the same.  If we did not have this drive within us, would we be where we are today?
    In the sports world, there is a common understanding.  You will not become a truly great player by playing people whom you can easily beat.  It is only your true rivals those who can actually defeat you, that make you the best athlete you can be.  Therefore, many great athletes consider their rivals to be partially responsible for their success.  They force you to raise your own expectation of yourself.  They force you to have to get more and ore creative.  Part of why they are so good at fueling your expansion is because they force you to face and integrate all of your insecurities, which are actually the thing keeping you from success.  In this respect, rivalry and competition can be the very best thing for your own personal expansion and even healing process.  It is your rivals that will teach you the most in this life. 
    There is competition inherent in being a spiritual teacher.  We all know the statements designed to decrease competition between spiritual teachers “Everyone has a teacher that will resonate with them specifically”.  “Different strokes for different folks.”  But the reality is that what most spiritual teachers want is to create the best strategy for all people to end their suffering.  When someone successfully does that, many other teachings provided by other spiritual teachers will be made obsolete.  Because what we offer is ideas, like it or not, we are in competition for people’s attention and agreement, just like politicians are in politics.  If one of my teachings directly opposes the teachings of another spiritual teacher, we are now in a position of opposition.  We could call this a rivalry.  It puts students in the position of having to choose which philosophy to align with.  This kind of competition naturally occurs even if no one, including me, wants conflict.  And this rivalry should stay because it is what is evoking the best in each other.  The best ideas, the best concepts, the best growth, the best processes etc.  You should be rooting for our competition to be good, not so that they can beat you, but so that you can be equally good or even better.  In other words, even though competition does not exist beyond the ego, in the realm of the ego, it does exist and it, just like the ego can assist universal expansion and even the progression towards awareness.
    As much as many of us do not want it to be the reality, as long as there is ego, which there is in singular form, there will be competition.  All that happens when the ego becomes healthy is that the form competition takes on is healthy instead of unhealthy.  The measurement becomes about yourself relative to your own desires that are inspired by other people rather than about yourself relative to other people.  So the question is:  What is this other person or this other person’s success making me aware that I want?  This is the game of life.  And the game itself is fun until we think we can’t have what we want.
    The problem with competition begins to occur when we see the rival as the reason we cannot have what we want rather than the thing showing us what we want and challenging us to achieve what we want. The problem with competition begins when we see ‘something that is wrong with us’ being the reason we cannot have what we want.  This is how competition creates rivalry that is unhealthy instead of healthy. This is when we start to try to stop other people’s expansion for the sake of getting what we want or being superior.  And it is this form of competition that most people associate with competition.
    We have the tendency to do one of two things when our attitude towards competition is unhealthy, 1. We keeping ourselves small and do not play in games here in the 3-D that involve competition when we want to avoid conflict.  It is natural for many of us to fear conflict.  Many of us were really unsafe emotionally or physically or both when we got into conflict and conflict implies rivalry just like competition does.  We were hurt by it before.  We don’t want to be hurt by it again.  For this reason, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Overcome The Fear Of Conflict. Or 2. We try to put down the competition or eradicate the competition in some way so that we can get what we want.  This is the angle we take if we have poor self-esteem and feel it is impossible to gain or win something when someone else is going for that same thing.  We subconsciously see them as better than us in some way.  Both these strategies hurt people and ultimately hurt the collective. 
    From a universal perspective, the negative expressions of competition would not exist if we were dedicated to expansion.  If we were truly dedicated to expansion, we would be ready to step up to the plate no matter what and ‘let the expansion win’.  This is the opposite of what we are seeing with green technology.  The powers that be already know the technology is better.  They know they will be replaced if it takes hold of the market so instead of stepping up to the plate and creating something even better or even jumping on the wave of green technology, they are holding on to their current industry by blocking and shutting down the competition.  All of us suffer because of this.  If we were dedicated to expansion, we would let go of what we are attached to if something that served our expansion more came along, whether that’s an idea, a concept, a way of living or a thing for example.
    From a universal perspective, at the highest level, there is no such thing as competition because when one thing achieves success, all achieve that success.  All benefit from the expansion.  There is no differentiation between the individual and the collective.  We destroy ourselves when we destroy the competition.  This can teach us a lesson.  When competition becomes poisonous is when we do not remember that all things in this universe are in fact us.  It is all too easy in this life of singularity to forget that we are one.  Therefore, we forget that other people’s hurt is ultimately our hurt and other people’s successes are ultimately our successes.  But when we cannot feel good about other people’s successes, it means we do not feel good about the things we feel we are losing or cannot have.  And it is that pain that needs our loving care and attention.
    Comparing and contrasting is a necessary part of life on earth.  Looking for the ways things are the same and different helps us navigate our environment.  Comparing things with respect to who is better and who is worse can have huge repercussions if our sense of self worth is involved.  Comparison thinking is only beneficial with respects to better seeing what we want.  If the outcome of it is to feel better or worse than someone else, it is self-torture.  It also causes us to lose track of our own internal guidance system and our own purpose and inner calling because we can easily start to live our life trying to measure up to someone else.  Each person is here to do something completely unique.  So the idea that we are here to achieve the same thing is a fallacy.  That would defy expansion as well.  We will not find ourselves and our true desires and true calling by comparing ourselves to other people.  I is also a ripe breeding ground for jealousy and envy.  For this reason, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: Jealousy and Envy (How To Deal With It).  We would not have a problem with competition and we would not take it personally if winning were not tied in with our personal value during socialization when we were growing up.  Loss generates a sense of shame.  For this reason, I also suggest you watch my YouTube video titled: How To Overcome Shame.
    Once you know what other people are doing, stop focusing on what other people are doing and focus instead on what they have caused you to know that you want and how to achieve that.
    We can use our awareness of what other people are doing to define what we think and what we want and by doing so, we have the opportunity to stretch ourselves even further.  This is the process of self-actualization.  We are really only ever in danger of truly suffering as a result of natural competition if we stop using others as a means to become more and instead, see them as the reason we can’t achieve whatever success we want or the grounds by which we see ourselves as not good enough.  The bottom line is that competition can either be a tool of expansion or a tool of destruction.  And it is in our hands which way we want to use that tool.  And remember, for you to become better, someone else does not need to become worse.

    Periods and Menstruation, A Spiritual Perspective

    On a physical level, a period or menstruation is the bleeding that occurs vaginally in women as a result of their monthly fertility cycle.  The average cycle for woman lasts between 23 and 35 days.  There is a lot of variability in periods amongst women but for the sake of basic understanding, periods usually start between the ages of 11 and 14 and continue until menopause, which is around age 50.  The average period lasts from 3 to 5 days and the severity of bleeding during that time varies from woman to women a lot.  A woman’s monthly fertility cycle begins with a period.  During a period, the lining of the uterus (which includes nutrients and blood) is shed as if it is being renewed.  Then the follicles in the ovaries develop and usually one egg dominates.  Meanwhile, the body builds up the lining of the uterus again with blood and nutrients.  It prepares the body for fertilization and pregnancy.  The mature egg is then released, which is called ovulation.  This usually happen somewhere around the middle of a woman’s cycle.  Once it is released from the ovaries, the egg travels down a woman’s fallopian tubes and is either fertilized by sperm or not.  If it is, it will implant in the lining of the woman’s uterus and turn into a baby.  If it isn’t, the egg will die within 2 days and without the hormone levels that are triggered by implantation, the decrease in hormones causes the lining of the uterus to break down and a woman starts shedding this lining.  This is another period and it is considered the beginning of a new cycle. 
    As usual, there is so much more going on with most things than meets the eye.  There is much more to become aware of relative to periods than the simple physical mechanics of a period.  But to get into this part, I have to go on a tiny tangent.  Thanks to the tyranny of patriarchal religion, which demonized all things woman and painted women as the original sinners so as to use shame as a tool of control, periods have been considered sinful and unclean.  We have the same attitude in mainstream society towards periods that we have towards other forms of bodily waste.  If we are going to really access the truth about periods, we are going to have to transcend this skewed way of thinking. 
    I’m also going to get really honest with you and say that from the perspective of a woman, when a man is squeamish or resistant to period blood, it is a serious turn off and it makes you feel like he isn’t man enough to hold and cherish the totality of you.  To the opposite, when a man is not afraid of it at all and even more, when he appreciates it, it is such a turn on.  It feels like he is able to hold and cherish the totality of you.  And if you are resistant to your own period blood, it means you can’t hold the totality of yourself.  It means you are approaching yourself and especially your own femininity with an attitude of shame.  With that concept in mind, I highly suggest that you watch two of my videos on YouTube that very much relate to the topic of this video.  The first is titled: Divine Feminine and the second is titled: Divine Masculine.
    Some of you may have heard of the four cycles of a woman’s life.  The first being maiden, mother, maga and crone.  Interestingly enough, each of these cycles of a woman’s life correlates directly to the cycles of the seasons on earth.  Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.  You can feel the energy of these seasons.  The menstrual cycle is also divided into 4 phases.  These 4 phases correspond to the earth’s seasons.  So, a woman’s monthly cycle is a smaller cycle within a larger cycle.  If a woman was in tune with her natural innate energy, she would be compelled during each phase of her cycle (each phase lasts about a week) to behave differently just like the seasons.  Women all over the world argue about which phase of the menstrual cycle corresponds to which season.  To be honest, I feel like your own body tells you.  For example, in terms of energy cycles in my own body, I feel like spring in my body usually begins when I stop bleeding.  Even though a doctor would say that the first day of my period is the start of a new cycle, it doesn’t feel like that to me.  The cessation of bleeding feels like the beginning of spring in my body.  The time around ovulation feels like summer to me.  The time between ovulation and menstruation feels like fall to me and winter begins a few days before I bleed, when I start to feel the symptoms of decreasing hormones in my body. 
    If I am adhering to the natural cycles of my own body, during my spring phase, I notice myself having all kinds of new ideas and thoughts and projects.  I usually feel compelled to clean house and organize things as if they are becoming renewed.  During my summer phase, I feel full of energy.  I feel ripe, I feel full of desire and super sexual.  I feel like momentum is being added to all of the ideas and projects I began in the spring phase.  I become intensely interested in other people and I become much more social. During my fall phase, I feel like things become more completed and settled.  I feel inclined to tie up loose ends.  I also feel like harvesting the fruits of the things I’ve started and put momentum into during my spring and summer phase.  During my winter phase, I feel like everything is clearing.  Space is being made for a new beginning.  I feel intensely introverted and like resting.  I want to avoid pressure and I do not want to make any decisions.  I want to re evaluate my life.  I feel like returning to the earth and I feel like I need more nourishment and quiet.  I suggest that rather than letting someone outside of you tell you what you should be doing during each phase of your cycle, you can let your own intuition tell you based on how you feel, what your own cycle is calling you to do and when.
    Between you and me, if you haven’t noticed, women are a bit ‘nuts’ now a days.  And a big part of that is because women don’t follow their menstrual cycles anymore.  They have to suppress, deny and disown those natural rhythms in their body for the sake of performing consistently within society.  In fact so many of the negative symptoms of the menstrual cycle that women experience are the result of not following this inner rhythm and these inner messages that her body is sending her about her own condition and needs and truths.  The attitude we need to adopt relative to our own symptoms is “If this were expressing an inner need that I wasn’t listening to by trying to get me to do something, what would it be telling me to do and to meet what need?”  For example, I am having cramps.  The cramps are forcing me to retreat from the world and stop moving and just be present with myself and nurture myself to really feel and hear and deal with what is going on with me.  Maybe that is what I actually need but I’ve been so externally focused on achievement or on pleasing other people that I have been ignoring that need.  All of us, male or female need to adopt the idea that our body is constantly talking to us.  As women, our menstrual cycle is constantly talking to us about ourselves.                      
    I have one word for you when it comes to a woman’s monthly cycle… Magic.  Periods are highly esoteric.  In fact before we fell out of touch with the cycles of nature by creating a life that did not revolve around them, such as creating electricity so our lives did not revolve around the cycle of the sun, women’s cycles were in sync with the cycle of the moon.  Women, who were healthy, ovulated when the moon was full and bled on the new moon.  Women were also synchronized with one another.  They would bleed at the same time. In ancient cultures, this time was sacred and women would retreat to be together and to nourish themselves and each other as well as to respect the process of menstruation.  
    To put it mildly, our modern society has destroyed women on many levels.  It has destroyed men too.  But this episode is about women.  Society has developed in such a way that women have no idea about their monthly cycles and about what their own cycle is telling them about themselves.  We are raised in a society that values being able to maintain stasis.  Meaning it is considered good if we are not at the mercy of any fluctuation and can instead feel the same way every day and perform the same every day, especially if that performance is productive.  The worst manifestation of this by far is that we now have contraceptive pills that are about much more than just contraceptive.  They are able to suppress periods for months at a time if not entirely so that women do not have cycles.  I cannot emphasize with enough verve how damaging this is to a woman.  A woman’s cycle is not just affecting her womb.  It is effecting her entire body as well as her mind and emotions.            
    The moon becoming full is a time when the energy is expanding outward.  It is externally focused and ripe for creation.  The new moon is a time where the energy is retracting inward.  It is internally focused and ripe for introspection.  You can think of it also as an outbreath and an in breath.  It works the same way for women’s cycles.  It was and still is critical for women to adhere to these cycles of outward focus and inward focus.  It is critical that the time of the period is devoted to introspection, reflecting and down time as much as you possibly can.
    On an energetic level and even a physical level, period blood is designed to nourish and give life itself.  It is not only sacred and therefore powerful when used in ceremonies; it is so vital that it has the capacity to heal.  Ancient cultures that understood this were known to use menstrual blood as a drink for people who were ill and as a salve and as a way to revive people, animals and plants that were in a state of decline.  The womb renews itself every month.  The energetic properties of this blood are also that of renewal and rebirth and creation and life.  In the future, science will prove that material such as stem cells contained in menstrual blood has these properties and those materials will be used in standard medical treatment.
    To me it is sad that we have fallen so deeply into the indoctrination against our own sacred natures as women that we regard one of the most magic aspects of our embodiment as unwanted, unclean, and shameful.  It is actually a tragic waste that every month we let this sacred life giving liquid flow out into tampons and pads that we throw away in the garbage like trash.  Today’s modern world does not support cycles nor does it support our need to flow with these cycles.  So I know that it will not be possible for everyone, but if at all possible, menstrual blood needs to be returned to the earth.  This puts us back in touch with the earth as women, does honor to the blood of life and also restores life to the earth.  There are many products available (even to the mainstream now) that allow women to collect their period blood and to do with it what they like…  Such as pouring it out into plants that are not doing well or restoring areas that are drained of energy or polluted.  Or using it in vegetable gardens.  Or using it to symbolically release things in ceremonies.  Or to offer it to the earth with a prayer of something she wishes to manifest.   
    It is important that we change our attitude towards period blood.  Doing so greatly impacts the health and vitality and quality of the blood itself.  We need to resurrect period blood from a state of shame.  I would suggest that in order to get back in touch with the lifeblood of your divine femininity, you create something specifically with your own period blood.  For example, many women who wish to embrace their periods are starting to do yoni paintings.  A yoni painting is a painting that is done using the medium of menstrual blood instead of or in addition to another medium like paint.  Perhaps the best way to start is to sit in front of a paper or canvass and allow the energy of your womb to take over your whole body almost like it was being possessed by your unique divine feminine energy.  You then let that energy be the one to use your hand to draw whatever it feels inspired to draw but with the fresh period blood that you have collected.             
    When we bleed, we can consciously take that opportunity to focus on releasing and on letting go of anything we want to let go of.  We can detox and cleanse on an emotional, physical and mental level.  The energy within our own bodies is favorable for letting go of anything that does not serve us anymore so we can start anew.  If you practice Tonglen or other compassion practices, you can also use this time to perform release ceremonies and meditations for other people or for humanity in general.
    On a metaphysical level, period blood is imbued with all of your genetic information, which includes memory and strengths and knowledge.  It also carries the entire ancestral lineage that created you.  Utilizing this blood in ceremonies aimed at gaining knowledge about yourself and healing yourself as well as gaining ancient knowledge or healing ancestral wounds creates incredible results.  In fact ancient cultures used to place this blood on the third eye and even chakras in order to open a person up to this multidimensional personal and ancestral information.
    Because the time when a woman bleeds is such an intense time of introspection and reflection and because one of the core manifestations of divine feminine is wisdom, use the time that you are bleeding to retreat more and get in touch with that deep wisdom within you (a bit like a person would if they went on a meditative retreat) so that you can both share that with other people and use that wisdom for your creations in your next cycle.
    Try during the bleeding phase of your cycle whenever you can to reduce your exposure to electronics and use candlelight when it gets dark.  If you can expose yourself to moonlight each night for a certain amount of time, do this. This can greatly help to regulate your hormones and cycle as well.
    Know that in the same way that the moon reflects the sun, your period is a direct reflection of your life leading up to your period. The way your period manifests is a direct reflection of things such as the food you ate, the thoughts you thought, the emotional conditions you experienced, how well you listened to and heeded your inner rhythms and inner wisdom and needs.  So if you want to make a change to your period, make a change to these elements of your life.
    If you feel called to do so, set a side a night during your period to do what so many women in the ancient world did which was to gather with other women.  That state of connection can be very nourishing and you can share wisdom with one another.  You can also do a collective ceremony geared towards something like releasing or the celebration of menstruation or femininity.
    One of the easiest ways to honor this time of your cycle is to buy certain jewelry or gemstones or even pieces of clothing and to wear them, as if ceremonially for the length of the time that you bleed each month.  You may choose things that are the color red for their symbolism.  In my opinion, the stones that are the most conducive to this purpose are: Garnet, bloodstone, ruby, red jasper, red agate, rose quartz, red coral, malachite, moonstone, carnelian, amethyst and turquoise.  Let your womb or unique divine feminine energy be the aspect of you to select the stone that resonates most closely to or is needed most to support the bleeding phase of your cycle. 
    The more that you embrace and become an embodiment of your own unique expression of divine feminine and the more you adhere to the natural cycles taking place within your body along with the messages they speak to you from within, the more pleasant your periods will be.  It is understandable why women do not like periods and consider them a punishment when having one is not compatible to what is expected of us by the world.  But we cannot live in resistance to a part of ourselves.  We, as women will be bleeding for an average of 10 years of our lifetime.  That means an average of 3,500 days of our life will be spent on our periods.  Think of the pain that will cause us if we are resisting it instead of celebrating it.

    Why You Can't Win and What You Can Do To Win

    All of us have something we want to succeed at.  Maybe it’s winning a gold medal or a championship, maybe it’s having a relationship that is committed and loving, maybe it’s owning your own business.  If you succeeded at this thing, you would consider it a win.  But sometimes it seems like no matter how hard you try, you can’t succeed.  So what is standing between you and this win?
    Throughout this article, I’m going to use analogies related to sports because they are the easiest to understand.  You can take these analogies and easily apply them to your own situation.  At a certain point in an athlete’s career, they have all the technical skills they need to succeed.  For example, a tennis player will know every shot and every strategy and their body will be in perfect physical condition.  In fact, if you lined up all of the top tennis players, on a physical level in terms of skill level, they are all comparable.  What determines whether a player is #1 or #300 in the world is not something you can see.  It also isn’t fate or luck.  It’s the level of resistance within that player to the very thing they want.
    At first, you might be completely blown away by the idea that anyone could resist what they want or what they think they want the very most.  Because so much of the resistance we have is hidden deep within in the subconscious mind, you aren’t aware of it.  You have no idea you are doing it.  All you are aware of is the desperate feeling of wanting the thing you want. 
    To understand resistance, I want you to think of a game of tug of war between two clones of yourself.  On one side is the thing you want.  On the other side is the opposite of the thing you want.  So, we could say that on one side is you standing on a podium with a gold medal in your hands.  On the other is losing all of your sponsorships and failing to the degree that you have to commit your life to something you don’t want to do.  Resistance is any thought, belief, word, desire or action that pulls in the opposite direction of what you want.  It is the aspect of you that is pulling in another direction from where you think you want to go.
    If you want to succeed, the answer is not to figure out how to overpower the you that is pulling in the opposite direction.  In fact, this does a lot of harm.  It creates a greater split within you.  You also do not need to figure out how to become more successful.  You do not need to hire a better coach or try to lean better skills.  All you need to do is to figure out what that resistance actually is and start dealing with that resistance directly in an integrative way.  When you do this, there is nothing preventing you from what you want.  There is no momentum or force pulling against it, so you get it.   
    Resistance could be a great many things.  This is why your job and the job of any good coach is to dig deep within you to figure out exactly what your specific resistance is about.  There is a reason that this aspect of you is pulling against success.  It is because it thinks that pulling in the opposite direction of is actually in your best interests.  It thinks it is doing what is right.  For example, let’s imagine that a tennis player was pushed into playing the game at age 5.  This was the only way to get love from one of their parents.  One part of him wants to get that love and so wants to win.  But one side of him knows this isn’t real love and so this side doesn’t want to win.  This side wants to be done with the game so he can find love that is real, not love that is conditional upon performance.  One part of him thinks winning is in his best interests and the other thinks it isn’t.  We have to consider that every form of resistance that our being holds is actually being held because some part of us thinks it is in our best interests.  To understand more about this, watch my video on YouTube titled: “The Hidden Positive Intention, The Key To Letting Go.” 
    In fact this is one of the most common forms of resistance that we see when it comes to success.  I call it the Why am I doing this? Resistance.  Sometimes, our real reason for doing something is not actually in alignment with who we are authentically and what we want authentically.  When this is the case, we fall out of touch with why we are even trying to succeed at what we are trying to succeed at.  Because of this, not all parts of us are on board with our goal.  It starts to seem like our bodies sabotage us and our actions sabotage us.  This sabotage is actually our inner being trying to make us aware of why we are really doing what we are doing and of what we really want.  And often times this is really frightening to admit to.  For example, we might want to be a doctor because we were led to believe we needed that status and income to be valued by others.  Inside, we actually hate the job of being a doctor.  Succeeding as a doctor when part of you hates it is not going to happen.    
    Along these same lines, for many athletes winning is not about winning.  It’s about not losing.  In their minds when they step up to the starting line for a race, they are performing their sport to the best of their ability so as to avoid the consequences of losing; not because they really love racing and want to win for the challenge and fun of it.  Much of the terror of performing is about this.  I’d throw up too if my entire self worth was on the line every time I competed.  In some of these athletes, if you manage to release this resistance by reprogramming them to see that there is no consequence of losing; they actually find their love of the game and start winning.  In other athletes, they realize the entire reason they were racing or playing in the first place was because their self-concept was dependent on being in the role of a racer or of a competitor and they quit because they realize they don’t actually like the game or the competition itself.
    Even though the real good resistance resides in the subconscious mind, we can play with what we are conscious of in order to get an idea of how resistance works.  Resistance comes in the form of any thought, belief, word, desire or action that pulls against the thing you want.  Select what you want and then watch every thought you think and with each one, decide whether that thought pulls towards or against the thing you want.  If it pulls in the direction of what you want, it will feel like relief internally.  If it pulls against what you want, it will feel like tension or pressure internally.  Then, do the same thing with beliefs.  Then do the same thing with things you say.  Then do the same thing with actions you take.  Doing this will help you to understand the concept of resistance completely so that the deeper and more subconscious resistance will be easier to recognize.      
    So for example, let’s say that you want to win a championship in tennis.  As long as you actually believe the thought, the thought of, “I can trust my body to know what to do” feels like relief and so it pulls you in the direction of success.  The thought, “oh my god there are so many people watching me.” Feels like tension and so it pulls you in the opposite direction of success.  One is resistance, the other isn’t.  The behavior of punishing yourself and getting super angry at yourself for a missed serve feels like tension in the body.  It is resistant in nature.  The behavior of using a missed serve to remind you to make a small a correction to your serve, feels like relief in the body.  It is pulling you towards success.  Sleeping well the night before a game is pulling you towards success.  Getting completely drunk the night before a game is an action that is aligned with the resistance to success.  Or there might be another pattern where if my anxiety or a negative emotional state is so great that it is causing resistance in me towards performing well, drinking alcohol or doping or taking drugs may cause me to release that resistance caused by my anxiety or emotional pain and as a result, I perform well.  
    There is another pattern I have seen in professional athletes where they are born into a family where there is no option besides winning.  They don’t actually want it.  Because of this, they take actions to ‘sabotage’ their performance because of it.  For these athletes, failing is actually winning for the core of themselves.  They find it as hard to fail as other athletes find it hard to win.  These athletes are often the ones who can go on a drinking binge or sleep with prostitutes all night and still win the game the next morning.  And in fact, when they do, they feel the same way towards it that other athletes would feel if they lost the game.     
    After you get the idea about what resistance is, you can experiment with one technique for getting in touch with your subconscious resistance.  To do this, imagine what you think you want so badly. So, if it’s standing on a podium with a gold medal in your hands, picture it until you can feel the feeling of that strongly.  At a certain point, it will feel like the feel good feeling is slipping away.  At that point, imagine a black or a white room and ask to see in your minds eye, like a visualization, the aspect of you that either doesn’t want that or is sabotaging it or doesn’t think it can have that.  There is a potential there will be more than one aspect of you that shows up.  From there, familiarize yourself with them and talk to them lovingly and help them lovingly like you would talk to or help another person.  Your aim is to know everything you can know about this part and it’s fears and needs and motives.  Don’t approach it with the attitude of it being wrong or bad or weak or any other negative judgment.  This only adds resistance to resistance.  Your aim is to integrate it into the rest of you.  In fact, doing this is the only way you have a chance at the success you want.
    For example, lets say the part of me that is resisting a gold medal shows up in that room as a little child that is hiding in a corner of the room.  I might go over to her and pick her up in my lap and just hold her and acknowledge that I see that she is hiding and afraid and maybe even ashamed.  She might eventually tell me that she feels like she doesn’t belong in the competition because all the other people seem like they aren’t afraid and like it’s easy for them.  She might tell me that she feels like she is alone.  I would first validate the fact that it is totally understandable why she feels that way.  Then I would help her to see that everyone is actually feeling the same way, they are just hiding it because everyone is afraid to look like the one who is afraid. Then, I would ask her if she wants to actually do the competition or if she wants to stay in my pocket or a safe place and let my adult self be the one who competes.  If she wants to be present with me for the competition, I might see who in this world would make her feel the least alone.  Perhaps it’s a grandmother or a super hero or a mentor.  I would imagine bringing that person into the room with us so that this little child aspect of me can feel companionship and taken care of so all the pressure is off of her.  My aim is to help this aspect of me in a way where that aspect of me feels good about what I want.  But we have to be open to the idea that this aspect of us might make us see that we don’t actually want what we think we want.  Either way, we will be experiencing a greater truth about ourselves. 
    It is really critical that we have the bravery to see the full truth of ourselves.  In fact it is the only way to achieve genuine success.  We have to help other people do this as well.  For example, so many athletes are too afraid to consider that they started their sport before they even knew anything about themselves and might actually not want to do their sport.  So many parents and coaches use fear to motivate them to stay in the sport instead of making room for this kind of inner questioning and as a result, they are all in a battle where only part of the athlete is actually invested in the game and continually burns out or gets injuries because of it.  Even if the truth is, “I have no idea what I want”, you are closer to knowing what you actually want than you were when you were just letting the current take you towards what you thought you should want.                    
    We all have aspects of us that are pulling in the opposite direction of what we want or what we think we want.  It is only by becoming conscious of these aspects that we can work with them to find alignment so that all of us is on board with what we really want.  From this day forward I want you to adopt the thinking that when it comes to any goal you have that within you are two versions of you (or more potentially) that are pulling in opposite directions.  One is pulling towards the thing you want and one is pulling in the opposite direction of what you want.  Our goal is to get them both to go willingly and happily in the same direction so no tug of war is taking place within us and we hold no resistance to the ‘win’ we are looking for.  Because when we do this, winning is inevitable.

    Belonging and How To Belong

    Some of us are lucky.  We are born into a family or a society where we feel like we belong.  For others of us, because of our terrible self-concept (which is the result of shame), we feel the only places we belong are places we wish we didn’t belong.  And for others of us, the lack of belonging we feel plagues our life.  We feel fundamentally disconnected.  We don’t feel like we belong anywhere.  We don’t feel like we belong with anything. 
    Belonging is one of the highest frequency vibrations in this universe.  In fact, we could consider oneness, love and belonging to all be different “tones” of the same color.  But it is not simply that.  It is also a basic human need.  So many of us in the spiritual field believe it is not only possible but also good to transcend human needs.  We use our spiritual practice to work against our own biology instead of with it.  But it is not possible to un-need something that you need.  It is only possible to meet that need in a different way.  We need to feel as if we belong in order to feel ourselves to be connected with or one with anything in our lives instead of completely alone.  We are social creatures.  Human beings that are isolated die in a similar way that a plant dies if it is not given water.  But the sad thing is, without a sense of connection and belonging, a person will die even if they are surrounded by other people. 
    To belong is to be a part of something.  But true belonging is to be so much a part of something that you can’t not be a part of it, even if you wanted to.  For example, to belong to a club you simply have to be a member of that club.  But that is not true belonging because you can decide not to be a member of the club and then, you don’t belong to the club anymore.  With true belonging, it doesn’t matter if you leave or if you don’t want to be a part of it anymore, you are.  The best explanation I can give you is to see that you are a human.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to be a human, you are.  You belong to the human race and the only way out of that belonging is death.
    I want you to grab a piece of paper and imagine that part of that paper doesn’t want to be part of the paper.  Rip it in half.  Place the two halves of the paper on opposite sides of a table.  They are separate now.  But did you manage to make the paper not be paper?  No.  There was no way to take the paper out of the paper. There is security in that level of connection because you cannot break the connection.
    In true belonging, you are held and contained by something.  It is the most positive expression of ownership in existence.  In this kind of ownership, all parts are indivisible from the whole so you cannot do harm to a part without harming the whole. For example, if someone belongs to you and with you, you take them as part of yourself and so you cannot hurt them without hurting yourself.  This is the complete opposite of the form of ownership where something doesn’t belong to you, you simply possess it and so you can harm it without perceiving any harm to yourself because you don’t see it as part of yourself. 
    To love something is to take something as part of yourself.  It is therefore obvious that belonging and love go hand in hand.  If you take something as part of yourself, it belongs to you.  One of the problems on the planet is that we get into relationships that are absent of belonging.  Our relationships are entirely conditional.  We don’t ever take the other person in as part of ourselves and so we cannot consider their best interests as a part of our own best interests.  We exclude them from us.  The opposite of belonging is exclusion, isolation and ostracization.
    The reason some people have such an aversion to belonging is because they haven’t actually experienced belonging before.  There is a saying in the Christian religions that the devil’s greatest disguise is to pretend that he is Christ.  Ironically, it is so true of many things that the most opposite vibration of something you want often comes disguised as the very thing you want most.  The worst villain will come disguised as the victim.  The same is true of belonging.  Isolation and non-belonging will often come disguised as belonging.  We can call this type of belonging shadow belonging.  It is this type of belonging that gives belonging a bad reputation.  The best example of shadow belonging is cult groups.  In these groups, to belong is to no longer be free but to be owned like an object.  In these groups, the wellbeing of the individual members or lack thereof does not impact the overall group.  In fact often the detriment of the individual is what most benefits the group.  In these groups, belonging is determined by exclusion.  They are defined by who doesn’t belong vs. who does belong.  They are exploitative.  And first and foremost, punishments including ostracization are a consequence of not conforming to the group.  Looking at this shadow belonging, which isn’t actually true belonging, you can see that many religions, social groups and even families fit into this category.
    A common form of shadow belonging that happens in families, occurs when a parent demonstrates narcissistic personality traits.  In this family, one child who does not please this parent is typically ostracized from the family sense of belonging.  We call this child the black sheep or the scapegoat.  And another child learns that pleasing the parent by erasing their own best interests and even letting go of their entire identity to become what the parent wants them to be is the only way to belong in the family instead of being punished or ostracized. We call this child the favored child or the golden child. 
    For the ostracized child, their life will be a never-ending search to try to find belonging.  For the favored child, belonging is synonymous with loss of self, absorption and self-betrayal.  Their life will be a war between wanting to feel connected to people but pushing people away because belonging represents such a threat to self-preservation.  In reality, neither child had belonging.  Because belonging was completely conditional upon pleasing the parent, one was offered no belonging and the other was offered shadow belonging.
    Going off of this last example of the child who learns to feel a sense of belonging by abandoning their sense of self, most of us on earth suffer from this split in our personality between who we are and who we present to the world in order to fit in with the world.  The truth is, if we have to present something to the world that is not authentic to who we are in order to fit in, we do not actually belong any more than a wolf belongs in a sheep herd if he is dressed as a sheep. For this reason, trying to fit in is in fact the biggest enemy to true belonging.  The only hope you have for finding true belonging is to let your real self be known to yourself and then to let it be known to the world.  To find true belonging, you have to give up on trying to fit in.  When we do this, we stop trying to belong with people who really wont ever include the real us as part of them.  And as a result the people who we truly belong with can find us and we can find them.   
    I am going to say something that is going to change the way you look at belonging entirely.  If it is possible for not belonging to be a consequence of separating in any way from something, there was no belonging in the first place.  For example, if it is possible for ostracization to be a consequence of your religion, there was no belonging inherent in that religion in the first place.  If it is possible to not belong to or to be dis-included from to your family if there is a conflict or a non-conformity, there was no belonging inherent in that family to begin with.  With true belonging, you don’t have to do anything in order to belong or to keep your current belonging. 
    We could say that you truly belong to Source or God because you are a part of it.  You are indivisible from it.  You can’t un-belong to it.  No matter what you do or don’t do, not belonging to it is not a consequence that even God or Source can give you.  But what we need in our physical lives is to have that experience in an embodied way in our relationship with others.  If we felt true belonging with others, even if our roles in each other’s lives changes, we would still belong to them and with them.  Not belonging together would not be a consequence of divorce for example.  We would simply add each other’s next partners to the belonging.
    Sometimes, if our self-concept is bad enough, the only way we can feel true belonging is in a way that causes us pain.  For example, if I believe I am bad or dark or evil, I may want to belong to a family that is loving and wealthy and that cooks together and that I see as virtuous.  But because of my self-concept, I can’t feel like I belong there.  I can only feel like I belong in a tattoo parlor with other people who are alone and dark and brutal and in pain and who struggle to make ends meet.  Because a sense of belonging is such a strong need, it’s the only way we can feel truly accepted, we will gravitate toward the group we don’t actually want to belong to rather than the one we want to belong to but can’t.
    If we live our lives from a self-concept of shame, we end up lonely because we believe people don’t like us and therefore don’t want us to be a part of them.  We cannot recognize it when other people ARE actually deeply attached to us and that they are connected to us and that they deeply need us and want us and like us.  We don’t feel it at all. If we did, we would feel people being WITH us.  But we don’t.  Because of this, we end up pushing them away and we end up alone because that lack of recognition of their wanting us to be a part of them, causes us to not take any care of their connection to us, which makes them feel totally unloved and unvalued by us and so they feel hurt by us and so they either turn against us or they simply go away.  This leaves us feeling no sense of belonging.
    The question in all of our relationships should be “how can I provide a sense of belonging to this person?  What would I say or do differently if I considered them to be a permanent part of me?”
    Taking this one step further, we are not just giving this shadow form of belonging to each other.  We are giving it to parts of ourselves.  Any time you give yourself the message through you thoughts or actions that any part of you should be excluded from you, you are telling that part that it doesn’t belong with you.  And because it is a part of you, YOU will feel that feeling of inner isolation, exclusion and rejection.  For example, if a part of me is deeply in pain or angry and I have the attitude that I want that part of me to be gone; I am creating an atmosphere of non-belonging inside myself.  And the result is, this part of me cannot be dis-included from me (because it is me), so all that will happen is it will feel more pain and feel more anger.  Therefore, relative to ourselves, we need to ask “how can I provide a sense of belonging to this part of me?  What would I say or do differently if I considered it to be a permanent part of me?”
    One way to culture a sense of belonging is to look for your similarities with the things you want to belong to.  When we are in pain as a result of not belonging, we are hyper vigilant for differences that could lead to us being ostracized again.  As a result, so much of our focus is placed on how we are different and on how we don’t fit in.  What we need to do is to look at everything through the lens of how am I the same as this thing?  For example, if I want to belong to my partner, how am I the same as him or her? 
    In the beginning of our relationships, we tend to feel intense belonging with the other person.  As time goes on, we start to lose this sense.  This is because when we meet someone we are interested in, we notice all the similarities between them and us.  These similarities are how we establish a connection.  For example, we notice someone loves horses and we love them too.  This gives us that sense of belonging.   But as the relationship goes on, we start to notice our differences instead and this makes us feel more separate and less connected and that sense of belonging goes away.  From this point on, we now have to actively work at belonging by putting energy into recognizing and capitalizing on our similarities as well as designing our life so that our differences are not a threat to the connection between us.  Look for how you DO belong instead of looking for how you don’t belong.
    Pain is inherently isolating.  It convinces us that we are the only one who feels the way we feel or who has experienced what we have experienced.  So one thing we would benefit by if we wish to belong is to see how we are not the only one hurting and to see that other people are suffering or have suffered from the same thing that we are suffering from.   This is one of the main reasons that Alcoholics Anonymous even works.  The root of every addiction on the planet is a sense of personal isolation.  By being in the room with other people who are also struggling with an addiction to alcohol, you have a place to belong and so you feel less isolated and so the root of the addiction begins to go away.     
    Another way to culture belonging is to accept people.  Acceptance is the opposite of denial and avoidance.  What does it mean to accept something?  To accept is to recognize something as valid or correct.  Doing this makes your being consent to receiving it and digesting it as truth instead of fighting to not acknowledge it and not take it in.  Acceptance has nothing to do with condoning something or condemning something.  It has nothing to do with whether you want to change something or not.  It is simply about being able to acknowledge something as valid enough to let that acknowledgement in instead of fight to keep it out. 
     To accept someone is to recognize any part of them as valid, regardless of whether or not you have the same opinion or feeling or perspective.  For example, we may have a child that feels like they belong with us because they are gay and we cannot accept that about them.  We push it away and fight against it.  To accept it to acknowledge that what is the reality is that they are gay.  It is also to see how from their life experience and feelings and perspective, it is valid that they identify as gay.
    Validating others builds a sense of belonging.  In fact, one could say that validating others is how they know that we accept them.  By validating them and accepting them, we are saying that their internal experience is understandable to us.  In this position, there is no opposition.  It is possible to belong and to be different from one another.  For this reason, in order to learn how to validate, I encourage you to watch my video on YouTube titled: The Emotional Wake Up Call.        
                 We have to see the ways we are pushing people and things away from us instead of making them a part of us.  We have to observe the words we are using and the ways we are thinking and the things we are doing so we can decide whether those ways of thinking and things we are saying and things we are doing are pushing people away from us or making us separate from them.  We have to see the ways we are not creating a sense of belonging for people in our lives and stop doing those things.  Only then can we behave in different ways.  Ways that culture a sense of belonging in ourselves and others.  
    There are really only two movements to watch out for in your life.  The movement of pulling something closer to yourself and the movement of pushing it away.  This is the same as the movement of pulling yourself toward something and the movement of pushing yourself away from something.  When we think or speak or take an action, we are doing one or we are doing the other.  One is inclusive and therefore creates love, oneness and belonging.  One is exclusive and creates aloneness, exclusion and resistance.     
    The truth is that a human being cannot exist as an island.  We cannot thrive alone.  We don’t want to be excluded. The truth is we desperately want to belong to each other.  And the highest truth of all is that in a universe where oneness is the highest truth of all, there is nothing in this universe that we do not belong with and there is nothing in existence that doesn’t belong with us.

    The Victim Control Dynamic

    The most frightening patterns of behavior on earth are behavioral patterns that are disguised.  I’m going to be exposing a great many of them in the coming years because these behaviors are a huge barrier to consciousness both in the people exhibiting them and in the people observing them… or shall I say failing to recognize them.
    The first of these patterns I am going to make you aware of is the most insidious of all of them.  It is a control tactic called the victim control dynamic. This behavioral pattern is carried out to make the other person look like the bad guy and oneself, their victim.  But the scariest thing is that this pattern is often the wolf in sheeps’ clothing dynamic where the one who is painting the picture that they are the victim is actually the one in control in an abusive way. 
    One way this behavior shows itself is very easily recognizable in childhood in younger siblings who feel like they have no personal power within the family.  Their power only comes manipulatively and often from being defended by people with more power than they have; like mom or dad.  So the younger sibling will hit or taunt the older sibling and then scream and cry “help” when the older sibling runs after them.  The parents walk in the room and immediately take things at face value.  They punish the older sibling and defend the younger sibling and comfort them as if they are the victim in the situation.  The younger sibling may then stick out his or her tongue at the older sibling when the parent carries them out of the room as if to say, “I win”.
    I did a YouTube video a while ago called “How To Sell Your Soul To The Devil”.  In that episode, I explained that unmet needs are what causes demonic attachments and demonic expressions of behavior because in means a need has to be met manipulatively.  When it comes to control and power dynamics, as is the case with the victim control dynamic, the unmet needs are a sense of personal empowerment, a sense of oneself being good and attention.  Because the person feels their need for personal empowerment and the safety that comes with it as well as their need for attention and a sense of inner goodness cannot be met directly, it has to be met indirectly in superbly manipulative ways.  And these manipulations are played out towards the person or people that the person feels “less than”. 
    The reason that the victim control dynamic is so hard for people to recognize if they themselves are doing it is because the feelings behind the behavior are not fake.  Unless someone is consciously using this tactic of manipulation, it isn’t false that they feel disempowered.  It isn’t false that they feel like the underdog in every situation.  It isn’t false that they feel sorry for themselves.  They literally feel powerless to the person they are carrying out these behaviors towards.  They literally feel less than them.  They literally feel sorry for themselves because life has been cruel to them.  They literally feel like the power inequality is unfair.  It doesn’t matter whether the person they feel powerless to did anything to them or not.  For example, you could take a job working for a boss and because you feel so disempowered around authority, the boss’s mere presence could make you feel powerless and out of control of your own life and choices and therefore like a victim.  But I can promise you that if you are in this pattern, instead of facing your level of personal disempowerment, you will instead focus on how it’s right to feel the way you feel because of how the boss is hurting you and is being unfair to you and is keeping you under his control.
                 Underneath the victim control dynamic is an incredibly poor self-esteem.  A big part of personal empowerment is self-concept.  If you have a poor self concept, you can’t see yourself as ‘good’.  Therefore, that need to see yourself as good is also unmet.  And so, like every need that can’t be met directly and consciously, it must be met subconsciously and manipulatively.  By painting yourself as the victim, you get to be “the good guy” and the other person gets to be “the bad guy”.  Not only in your own eyes, but also in everyone else’s.  For people who exhibit this behavioral pattern, often the only access they have to seeing and feeling themselves as good is by seeing and feeling someone else as really bad and having other people validate that perspective for them.
    The victim control dynamic can be carried out one on one.  We often see it in couples whereby painting the picture that you are the victim of your partner, to your partner, is done specifically to guilt and shame them into conforming to whatever you want them to do or not do.  In this way, you use their own need to not be the bad guy to control them into doing what you want.  This is painful enough.  But it is when the victim control dynamic is introduced to social groups that it takes on a particularly demonic form.       
    It is this dynamic of feeling goodness only in contrast to someone who is the bad guy that makes this pattern so incredibly dangerous and insidious.  It works on other people.  We are conditioned to defend the underdog.  We are conditioned to see whomever looks like the victim in a situation as the good guy.  Our species has survived and thrived so well over the centuries in large part because we care take each other and defend each other.  When someone “looks” like the victim, it triggers our own feelings of vulnerability and so we project that onto them and then by defending them, we are in fact defending that vulnerable side of ourselves.  Because of this projection we all do of our own vulnerability onto whoever looks like the victim, we cannot see beyond the surface of things and cannot perceive ourselves being used as an accessory to a control dynamic .
    Victim control dynamic is just that.  It is a control dynamic.  It is a battle to get what we want.  And so, the reaction that the person on the receiving side of this pattern is going to have will be the same as it is to any threat.  They will react with defense, anger and control tactics of their own.  But the victim control dynamic is so insidious that this is why it always works. The people watching cannot actually see that the underdog in the situation is in fact the first one to take a power control strike because their strike is followed up instantly by falling back into their mentality of inferiority and of having been hurt and of being unfairly treated.  This is profoundly gas lighting for the person on the receiving end of the behavior.  It pulls us out of our own reality where we were just going about our business as usual and suddenly we are cast in the role of the perpetrator by someone and suddenly we’re convicted of a crime that we had no idea we ever committed.    
    Gas lighting is a form of abuse where someone does or says something and then later leads you to believe that you didn’t see what you saw and you didn’t feel what you felt and your reality isn’t what you perceive it to be.  When someone strikes out at you in a power play and then plays the victim to you, it messes with your sanity and sense of reality.  For example, if someone hit you in the legs with a metal pipe and started rolling around on the ground saying “why did you hurt me” as if they are the one who was hit with the pipe, you are trapped in a parallel reality.  Gas lighting is profoundly abusive.  And so, naturally that abuse is reacted to in extreme ways.        
    And here is where the victim control dynamic is the winning hand of manipulation.  When the person on the receiving end reacts to that gas lighting and that power play by getting angry and defensive, everyone on the outside simply sees a person violently hurting someone who is already hurt.  That person looks like a monster.  And now, the person exhibiting the victim control dynamic has won and they didn’t even have to do anything to win.  The response the actual victim (opposite them) had to being challenged for power and gas lighted and painted to be the bad guy, signs and seals their own death warrant.  Their very response to the tactics being played by the “false victim” which they cannot even see, validates the picture that the false victim is painting of them.  And now, everyone rallies around the false victim against the real victim.  They do this to avoid being the bad guy themselves.  This pattern forces people to identify with their hero personality and defend their victim personality externally against their own villain personality externally.  Everyone validates their “poor me” mentality by saying “you’re right, I feel so sorry for you”.  The real victim becomes the bad guy in everyone’s eyes and in this way, the false victim is controlling everyone, including the real victim and gets to feel a sense of empowerment and goodness this way.
    What’s more is that this dynamic goes a step further.  The false victim now decides that the way they are going to get their empowerment is through one of two ways.  Either they are going to rebel against the badness and power of the real victim.  In this case, they are encouraged to do so by others.  Or the false victim now decides they are going to get their empowerment through becoming the helper/rescuer to the real victim.  In this case, they try to be and get help for the real victim’s reactivity and anger.  When this is the case, they weave other people into this collective project of helping the person whose distress they are in fact causing.  In both scenarios, the real victim becomes the scapegoat of the social group. 
    This dynamic destroys lives when it happens between parents and children.  For example, it occasionally happens in dysfunctional families and more often with mothers, that one of the children will be perceived as a threat in some way.  The mother will perceive herself to be the underdog to her own child and will then play out this victim control dynamic against that child, weaving the entire family into the control dynamic and turning the child into the family scapegoat.  When a family scapegoat commits suicide, it is often because this is a dynamic that is going on within the family.  
    When someone is locked in the victim control dynamic, they want to make you feel like you have wronged them and done bad to them.  They want you to feel guilt and shame.  But here’s the key, when it works and if they manage to actually produce proof that you have wronged or hurt them, no matter what you do to make amends and make things right, it will produce no lasting improvement.  Their heir of being victimized and wronged by you does not go away.  No matter what you do, they will continue to produce more scenarios where you have wronged them.  Often creating scenarios where they already know you will choose in the opposite direction of what they want.  They already know you will say no to them so again they can repeat this dynamic of keeping you in the “bad guy” role and them in the “poor me” role.  No matter what you do to try to resolve situations with this person, it will not work because it wont last.  When someone is in a victim control drama, they hunt for an apology.  The apology feels like “I win” to the one that needs to one up the other by proving that they are good and the other person is bad.  But no resolve will last because that is how they get power and so resolving their feelings of being wronged only lasts as far as the apology then they have to slip back into the same dynamic to gain back a sense of power again.
    In the spiritual field, the word victim carries huge stigma.  We are encouraged day and night against victim mentality.  We are shamed for disempowerment.  We need to stop doing this because the feelings of being victimized and feeling sorry for ourselves are not pathetic.  They are very real.  If you succumb to this control dynamic, you did not receive the kind of nurturing and support you needed as a child.  We have to face the aftermath of this tragedy directly and take direct action to resolve the wounds and lack of development it left us to deal with.  It is this original victimization that is the one that needs our recognition and validation.  But it is actually very rare that we are truly victimized in our adult life.  So often, we play out the actual victimization that occurred in the past with people in the now, who are not actually victimizing us.  If a situation is abusive, we have the free will to leave it.  If we aren’t leaving a situation where we feel so victimized, we have to look WAY deeper into why we are not leaving it and why we are choosing instead to stay in the role of being victimized.  That is not a problem that has to do with them victimizing us purposefully.  It has to do with our own disempowerment.  And the sad truth is often we will find it is because by staying, we get to maintain the control and goodness of playing the ‘poor me’ to someone else dynamic.  We have to see the difference between our own powerlessness that exists no matter what other people around us do or don’t do and other people making us powerless.  This is the form of responsibility we have to start taking for our own weakness and fear.
    It is critical that we actually give space to the aspect of us that is in a state of  victimhood.  We have to acknowledge it and bring presence to it and bring empowerment to it.  But the reality is, whether we were victims or not, that doesn’t change the fact that we have no choice but to take back the control over our lives.  It doesn’t matter how much we were hurt, being hurt doesn’t exempt us from responsibility over our own lives and over being in a position where we now have to put ourselves back together again.            
                 This game, like all other camouflaged behavioral tactics must be exposed if it is to stop.  The game only works if the people playing along with it keep playing along with it.  This means it is up to the person who is on the receiving end of this pattern, or people observing it from the outside, to call it out when it is occurring.  The trouble with this dynamic is that to not play the game with someone who is locked in the victim control dynamic, you cannot react to the manipulation.  Instead, you have to respond by calmly exposing the game and by meeting with the authenticity that is being disguised by the game.  Start by saying directly to them “I feel like you are making me feel guilty or ashamed to control me and to make yourself look like the victim so they will defend you against me”.  And “I feel like you are being really unfair.”  When they argue with you and make you feel guilt for that, simply tell them “I’m only telling you what I feel.”  Instead of arguing with their logic, keep telling them how the situation feels to you.  From there, you have to zoom way out so your responses are one step ahead of them so you can expose them in their own game.  Ask them what they want from you to make the perceived wrong resolved.  Ask them what their next step is.  Often they can’t give you an answer because they are not looking for a solution, they are looking to be validated in being the victim and to stay the victim.  This aspect of them has grown so large through years of suppression that now it has hijacked the show.  If they give you an answer about what you can do to right the perceived injustice, ask them why that would make it better for them.  If they ask for an apology directly, ask them “what is getting an apology from me truly going to change or do for you.”  In the course of this kind of questioning, their game is going to be exposed. 
    As long as you are fully conscious about it and are absolutely positive this is a victim control dynamic and not a genuine hurt someone wants to remedy, another strategy to use is to play the game instead of step out of the game by playing an even greater victim than they are back to them.  If they come at you with an argument that makes them a victim to you, think of an argument or way to spin it that makes you an even bigger victim to them.  This is a dangerous tool.  It is inauthenticity for the sake of exposing authenticity.  You will have to consult our own conscience on whether this feels right to do or not.  And you have to be sure it wont cause you to actually slip into this pattern where you believe yourself to be the victim that is stuck in a helpless state.  Warning… this will exacerbate their unmet needs and amplify the pattern.            
    Unfortunately (and understandably so because this pattern is so insidious) the self-control that has to be exercised in order to expose this game instead of get swept up into the fury of it is something that most people have not developed yet.
    Underneath it all, if we are locked in the victim control dynamic, we have to own the fact that we have an aspect of us that feels weak, ashamed, out of control of ourselves, victimized, powerless and sorry for itself.  We have to admit that we feel sorry for ourselves.  We desperately want people to just sit and listen to this aspect of us and see it and validate it and potentially, rescue us out of it.  Accept that this is where I am.  This aspect of us feels this way because probably in the past, we were victimized in a situation where we actually were helpless.  But our current victimization may have nothing to do with people in our current life making us powerless or victimizing us or intentionally doing wrong to us or controlling us.  In fact, we have to be open to the idea that we are probably acting helpless in a situation where we aren’t helpless, we are simply not acknowledging our responsibility for our own choices that we are making that are keeping us in a situation that feels bad.  We want emotional validation for our pain so desperately, we can hardly see straight.    
    When we are engaged in a control dynamic, we are not being authentic.  The question is what are we not being authentic about?  Usually it is the way we really feel, what we really want, what we really think.  Being inauthentic allows us to not face something about ourselves that that is too scary or painful to face. 
     Ironically, taking responsibility for how we actually feel, what we actually think, what we actually want as well as taking responsibility for how we are keeping ourselves in a situation where we feel victimized, instead of how other people are making us feel or how other people are keeping us in that helpless place is the first step to personal empowerment.
    Any form of manipulation designed to take energy from someone is about not being able to acknowledge or state what we actually need. Usually we do this because we decide what we need is bad. For example, a person who can’t acknowledge their need for validation will complain incessantly about their life and never take any action to make it better or different because what they really want is sympathy.  A person who can’t acknowledge and make decisions in favor of their need to be significant to others could become significant by killing them.  This is the case with many crimes of passion.  If a person can’t admit to their need to be the center of attention, they may cause conflict just to get that attention. To understand more about how this works, watch my video on YouTube titled: Meet Your Needs.  So, become aware of your needs and admit to them, regardless of whether this is scary or whether you’re afraid this will make other people see you as a bad person.  If you have trouble with this pattern ask yourself, “Why is it too scary to meet my needs in a direct and assertive way?  Why do I feel like I can do nothing other than to make someone else responsible for them and feel like they failed me if they don’t take responsibility for them? 
     If you are dealing with a person who is locked in the victim control drama, they want your energy.  They want your positive attention, your sympathy, your empowerment, to be rescued by you and for you to take responsibility for them.  So be honest with yourself.  Can you give it to them?  If you give them your energy, they will stop the control drama to get it.  The sad thing is that most people who succumb to the victim control dynamic usually get into relationships with people who literally can’t give them this energy.  So, they replay the pattern of not getting the attention and support and nurturing they need because of their choices of friends and partners.  
      Validating the person’s feelings of pain in life in general, helping them recognize and admit to their needs as well as strategizing ways to meet them is a good way to get out of the vicious cycle of helplessness.  If you are on the receiving end of this control dynamic however, beware of your own boundaries.  Often being the one to help them with this pattern in these ways if the pattern is directed at you is a form of self-betrayal.  Also, certain scenarios and social groups simply have no room for this kind of behavior.  However, knowing that what they want is to steal your energy, often the very best way to deal with this scenario is to flip it on them and instead, go into the situation knowing that and simply let them have it.  It’s the energy of going into a room full of mosquitoes with the intention of feeding them your blood.       
    But here is the most important thing to know about this whole dynamic.  If you are on the receiving end of this dynamic and you feel completely and utterly powerless to it, it means you have a weak spot that the person using this control dynamic was able to hook into and use in order to guarantee themselves the energy they need.  And that weak spot is the inability to sit with and be with feelings of being a bad person or responsible for causing someone pain or not rescuing them.  If you are on the receiving end of this dynamic, chances are that you entered into this person’s life with the intention to rescue them in some way and now quite to the opposite, you have been painted as the bad person instead.  Your inability to deal with the fact that this situation makes you feel like a bad person is in fact just a mirror of the reason you made the decision to rescue them in the first place.  You did it so you could avoid feeling like if you didn’t you would be responsible for their pain and demise.  Look back at the circumstances of how you met and became bonded in the first place.  Chances are that you met in a way where you were trying to rescue them from something or someone.  Potentially it was someone or something that they had pulled this same victim control dynamic with before you.  So you have to look at your childhood as to why you cannot allow yourself to take actions that force you to sit with the feeling of shame that is the result of being the cause of someone’s pain.  Why you are so desperate to rescue people?  Who didn’t you rescue and what were the consequences? The more capable of being with this aspect that feels shame and that can’t be with feelings of being a bad person who is responsible for other people’s pain, the more immune you will be to this control dynamic. 
    If we have become a victim to this control dynamic in any way, we need to become aware of the holy trinity of personas within ourselves, the victim within us that holds our vulnerability and that we are trying to rescue through other people. The villain within us that we are trying to avoid at all costs.  And the hero, who is so desperate to be good, it gets in all kinds of trouble trying to rescue people.  When we start to care for these aspects within us, we will stop externalizing the war between these internal aspects of us.  They will stop showing up externally as other people.

    Accept It! The Key to Letting Go of Resistance

    To a certain degree all people wrestle with what is.  We have an intolerance for things the way they are and so we want to change it.  This tendency is a beautiful thing because it makes our lives and our world improve.  If we tolerated the fact that we could not fly, we would never have invented the airplane for example.  However, some of us don’t simply wrestle with what is.  We are warriors.  We fight what is as if our survival depends on it.  Our unwillingness to accept what is, is a great source of suffering, especially when we can’t change certain things about what is.  And in fact, it prevents us from getting what we need and want. 
    In a universe based on the law of mirroring (otherwise known as the law of attraction) whatever we resist, persists because in resisting something, we are focused directly upon it.  And the primary form that resistance takes is the unwillingness to accept ‘what is’ as reality. For example, lets say that someone you love dies.  The reality is that they are dead.  The reality is that you are heartbroken and grieving.  But instead of accepting what is so, you go immediately into resistance to what is.  You spend your energy focusing on how it could have been prevented.  You spend your energy on who is to blame for it.  You spend your time on how it isn’t ok to grieve so you have to find a way to feel better as fast as possible.  You spend your energy focusing on what it means about you and your future.  None of this brings the person you love back to life.  None of this changes the fact that you are heartbroken and grieving.  All of this is simply a fight with what is.  The tension you feel while trying to change what has happened instead of accepting it, is resistance. 
    Having said that, we need to have a serious amount of compassion for the fact that stopping our fight with reality is much easier said than done, especially if we are in a situation where nothing we do in the current moment will change something into what we want.  For example, if someone you love dies, nothing you do will bring them back to life.  The absolute helpless horror of that reality is too much to accept and so it is only natural that the only place your energy can go in that situation is into fighting that it even happened in the first place and panicking about the future.  Eventually, none of this will bring them back to life, so the reality that they are dead and that nothing can change that, will be accepted.  But know that releasing resistance by accepting what is in many situations, (including this one I’ve just described) is the hardest thing you will ever do and we should never act as if it is as easy as flipping a switch because it isn’t. 
    Acceptance is the opposite of denial and avoidance.  What does it mean to accept something?  To accept is to recognize something as valid or correct.  Doing this makes your being consent to receiving it and digesting it as truth instead of fighting to not acknowledge it and not take it in.  Acceptance has nothing to do with condoning something or condemning something.  It has nothing to do with whether you want to change something or not.  It is simply about being able to acknowledge something as valid enough to let that acknowledgement in instead of fight to keep it out.
    If you want to experience your own resistance, think of something you can’t stand in your life and stripping away the resistant thoughts about it, see if you can find “What is so?” about this situation.  It will feel like finding the deep, painful facts.  Once you have done that, ask yourself: Can that be ok?
      For example, if one of my friends and I are now on such bad terms that we hate each other, I may be desperately trying to find a way to make it better.  I may be telling myself all kinds of stories about why I can’t ever seem to have long lasting good relationships.  I may be thinking about how it could have been prevented.  I maybe telling myself all the reasons it is right to be so damn angry at her because its her fault.  All of this is a fight with what is.  All of this suggests that it is not ok for me to accept what is so.  What is so is that my friend and I who were once really good friends, now hate each other.  What is so is that I am heartbroken about it.  What is so, is that I have no idea how to make it better.  Can I accept that?  Just that?  In truth it has to be ok that this is the reality, because it is the current reality.  Regardless of whether or not I want what is to be different and regardless of whether I may do something to try to change what is, the reality is that this is what is right now. 
    We have to accept what is before we do anything else.  Here is another example, if we are lost on a hike; we have to accept where we on the map are vs. where we want to be in order to get anywhere different.  If I got lost and realized I was 50 miles away from where I wanted to be, I would need to accept that and let that sink in and only then would any real solution or answer about how to get somewhere different be accessible to me.  If I spent my time and energy thinking about how it happened and how I should have avoided it and how it could have gone differently and about what this means about me as a person and about how this will impact the future etc. All I am doing is avoiding accepting what is.  What is, is that I am 50 miles off course and that doesn’t feel good.
    When things happen that we do not want to accept happened, we get super angry about it and obsess about how it shouldn’t have happened.  That doesn’t change the fact that it did happen and that you now have to deal with the reality that it happened.  You are not going to be able to change the outcome of something that already happened.  Holding this kind of resistance simply makes you powerless and nothing will improve.  By getting angry and blaming the situation at hand, you are trying to change what already happened.  And you are trying to change the way you feel.  But you can’t.  It happened and now you feel the way you feel.  Can you accept that?  Once you accept that, you will see whole new possibilities that you never had access to before. 
     If you are really struggling to accept what is because you are judging that it is so not ok that what is… is, challenge yourself to finding approval for what is.  This can actually help you accept it.  I am aware that this practice is super hard.  But imagine that your car breaks down.  Don’t fall into the trap of criticizing yourself for not taking the car in to get the check engine light looked at or panicking about what it will mean if you don’t get where you are going on time, or blaming someone else.  None of this does anything to change the reality that the car has broken down.  All this is, is resistance.  Instead, take out a pen and paper (if you don’t want to do it in your head) and start listing all the things that are good about the car breaking down and or the situation at hand.  For example, perhaps it broke down right next to a restaurant, so you can wait for a tow truck indoors.  Perhaps you are grateful there is such a thing as a tow truck service in this day and age.  Perhaps a positive is that taxis or Uber exists so you can actually get where you were going on time regardless. Perhaps someone nice stopped to help out and that made you feel better about humanity.  Write down anything that makes you feel more ok or softer about it having happened.
    Commit to accepting what is so.  You don’t have to like something to acknowledge that something is what is so.  Spend as much time on this step as it takes to feel your mind and emotions and body softening to swallow what is so.  Only then can you refocus your attention on what you can do NOW.  It is a waste of time and energy fighting what has already occurred.  And you will be blown away at how fast situations remedy and solutions come to you out of the blue when you release the resistance you are holding against what is so.

    How To Sell Your Soul To The Devil (Or Not)

    We live in a universe of polarity.  This time space reality was created to enhance universal expansion.  Polarity is what enhances that expansion.  We come to know white by knowing black. We come to know freedom by knowing imprisonment.  And so we come to know goodness, by knowing what we call ‘evil’.  And part of that polarity that we see as evil is what we have been calling ‘demons’ for centuries.
    A demon is essentially a thought that is created from the vibration of lack.  But it is a thought that was focused on to such a degree that it became a thought form with its own identity and ideas and desires etc.  A while ago, I did an episode on YouTube titled: Do Demons Exist?  In that episode, I explained what a demon is.  I suggest you watch that video if you want to understand what a demon is in depth. 
    Demons are a thought that belongs to the opposite vibration to that of love and freedom.  We could say that they are the ultimate manifestation of ‘separation’.  As such, they do not experience themselves as connected to source consciousness.  For this reason, in order to maintain their identity and not dissipate, they must take energy from somewhere else.  But they are only a match to those who vibrate at the same frequency as they do…  People who feel totally powerless, totally ostracized, cast out…  People who are stuck in a feeling of lack. 
    The primary way that demons feed off of human energy is through unmet needs.  If you have a need, you have one option and that is to directly meet that need because if you do not meet a need consciously, you will meet it subconsciously.  This is what manipulation is. 
    Manipulation carries a big stigma and makes it sound as if someone is malevolently controlling someone else.  In reality it is highly subconscious and also quite innocent.  Manipulation is what we do when we feel we cannot meet our needs directly, so instead we try to meet them in round about ways.  We try to influence others to do what we want them to do so our needs are met.  This is particularly prevalent today when the need that is not met is emotional.  When a child cannot get its emotional needs met directly, those emotional needs get hidden or exiled from its whole being and delegated to the subconscious an they begin to become manipulative to get those now subconscious needs met. 
    An example of all of this that I’ve just described is that a person who needs to feel safe, but who cannot ask directly to be protected, may create a situation where they have to be rescued by someone else or paint the false picture that they are in danger so other people will step up and offer their protection.  Or, a person who needs help or needs to feel supported, but who cannot ask directly for help or support, may develop an illness that makes it so people have to help or support them.
    Because demons perceive themselves to be separate from source consciousness, demons perceive lack.  They cannot meet their needs for energy directly.  Therefore, they must manipulate that which they see as “other” in order to get their needs met.  They are in fact just extreme mirrors of the inner child who could not meet its needs in direct ways.  We exile demons in the same way that our original unmet needs were exiled into the shadow of our subconscious mind.    Because of this, demons are a perfect match to people whose needs were not met and are not currently met…  People who must manipulate in order to get their needs met.  And they are operating in perfect accordance to the law of attraction by attaching to those people.  They are operating within perfect obedience to universal law in this way.  They feed on the energy a person gets when they meet their needs indirectly.
    For example, lets say that a woman has poor self-esteem.  Her self-concept has limited energy.  She does not know how to generate that energy from within and the people around her are reinforcing her poor self-esteem.  Perhaps she will notice that the women who get what she needs and does not have are those who are wanted by men.  So she develops the desperate desire to be wanted by men.  In order to create this, she may become very good at the art of seduction.  She will learn to get her self-esteem fed by seducing men and soaking in the energy of their attention and adoration.  This is an innocent manipulation. 
      However, manipulation makes you a perfect match to a demon vibrationally.  As a result, there is a likelihood that a demon will attach to her and feed off of this energy.  But where is the transaction that is taking place energetically?  What did the Christians mean by “selling your soul”?  Certain demons are embodiments of different forms of pain.  If you look at the seven deadly sins, what you have is overcompensations for lack.  Each one of them is essentially a response to pain that simply puts us deeper into pain.  For example, when we feel the pain of not having enough, we can become greedy.  So lets say that a demon is the embodiment of greed that is ultimately the result of feeling like one does not have enough. It will develop the incredible power to manipulate to get that need met. 
    So, going back to the previous example of the woman who gets her self-esteem fed through seduction, she may be a match to a demon whose power is seduction.  When it wants to attach to her, a subconscious agreement takes place.  The demon will lend its power to the woman so as to enhance her power to seduce so that both the demon and the woman can be sure to get their joint need met.  She is essentially participating in an energetic transaction whereby in exchange for the added power provided by the demon, she will get her needs met and so the demon can get its needs met through her.
    All of the demons, even the classic ones described in the Bible and ancient Tibetan and Hindu text can be explained in terms of certain unmet needs.  However, people can feel the manipulation and do not see that all manipulation is, is an attempt to get a deeper unexpressed need met, so it often backfires.  The person is pushed deeper into a sensation of lack. 
    For example, men feel controlled and powerless to the attraction they feel towards the woman. It feels dangerous.  And so they pull away from her or shame her for her sexuality.  As a result, her self-esteem is more deprived.  She gets more desperate.  A vicious cycle begins.  She either has to become more manipulative or switch to a different manipulative strategy, which may make her a match to a different demon with a different ‘power’ so to speak.
    So what did they mean by saying that someone has sold their soul to the Devil?  The Devil, also known as Lucifer, was essentially a being that argued against free will and in favor of determinism.  When you manipulate to get your needs met because you are so desperate, there comes a point where you lose touch with your own free will. Essentially, this is no different than an addiction.  When you are in the grip of an addiction, you feel out of control of yourself trying to get a need met.  It feels like you lack the capacity to control yourself.  Once you get to the point where you feel such a lack that you are so desperate to get a need met that you feel incapable of controlling yourself when faced with the offer of that need being met, you have become disconnected from your own free will.  You have vibrationally and unintentionally sided with determinism and thus the being who gave rise to that thought, which we call the Devil.  Selling your soul to the Devil is nothing more than engaging in any transaction that disconnects you from the experience of your own free will.
    Here are some more examples of the transaction between humans and demons:  Lets imagine a person feels totally powerless.  They desperately desire to feel empowered.  But they can’t meet that need directly through their own connection to love and freedom.  Perhaps the only frame of reference they have for the feeling of empowerment is when someone else is “less” than they are.  So, they may begin to find other people who they perceive to be weaker and less powerful, like children and put them in powerless situations where they are dominated.  A demon may hook into that person and feed off of the power the child gives over to the person in that state of fear.
    Or perhaps a person needs connection but cannot get it.  They feel miserably alone.  They cannot get that need met directly and so from that space of starvation, they create scenarios where they are sick so people will be manipulated into focusing on them.  A demon may attach to that person and make the person more sick so they can get that need met better.  The most important thing to understand is that when it comes to demonic entities, there is a transaction that exists on a mental and emotional level, which enables a need to be met that is mutually beneficial to both the host and the demon.
    In many cults, the members will first create the lack and then deliberately do a ceremony to attach a demon that benefits the cult to the person when they are in that state of lack as the antidote for their starvation.  They understand that lack is created by trauma and lack in and of itself is a trauma the greatest trauma is the lack that the trauma amplifies. At its fundamental level, trauma is the experience of lacking something that we need and want.  So trauma is inflicted on the person so as to put them in this “primed” state for demonic attachment.  When trauma creates an extreme perception of lack, the human auric field is not being fed with enough energy to maintain its integrity and holes or empty spaces so to speak appear in the auric field.  Demonic entities can enter and attach through these empty spaces.  It can do this because it is a match to that vibration of lack.  The dissociation that so often occurs during these traumatic experiences is merely a further opening for demons to attach.  When a person dissociates, they have often left their body empty to the degree that a full-blown possession state can occur.
      What these groups do is to create an alter personality with that deprivation and attach that alter personality to the demon.  Most people think the way to deal with this is to deprive the alter of its need, so as to stop it from being a food source for the demon attached to the alter.  Or to try to force a separation between the alter and the demon. This is what exorcism is.  But this is the exact opposite thing that we need to do.  What we need to do instead is to become aware of the deep unmet need within the alter and meet that need directly.  When this occurs, the transaction is no longer needed with the entity.  The state of lack no longer exists and so the demon will detatch as a result of the increased frequency.
    For example, lets say that an alter personality that is demonic comes to the surface and begins to scare people.  Feeling into that alter, you may see that the reason for scaring people is to keep the person safe.  Safety is the unmet need.  The demon is keeping the person safe by scaring people off in exchange for its need being met.  So, if you switch your strategy from fighting the alter or treating it like a threat or enemy to loving it and keeping it safe, the demon cannot stay attached to it.  This is not to say that the demon will not fight for its survival.  In fact they tend to become extra combative and active and charged when their survival is threatened, which it is when their source of energy in danger of being cut off.  But the truth remains the same.  Meet the need and the person is no longer a match to the demon.
    From there, those of you who are feeling particularly advanced or extrasensory can focus on loving the demon and showing it another way to directly meet its needs.  Most especially, showing it or make it become aware of its connection to source consciousness so it no longer perceives itself to be separate from that which we call God.      
    You can think of the deprivation, the lack, the unmet need, as a kind of hole within a person’s wholeness that is empty and that hole becomes occupied by the demon.  Clearing demons from someone’s auric field is absolutely pointless because until the need is met, there will always be a reason for them to be there.  For example, imagine a person feels a total lack of belonging.  Perhaps belonging to the dark and to the underworld is the closest they can get to belonging and feeling wanted.  Now imagine that a demon is the embodiment of possession, which is the byproduct of losing so much that a being is desperate to keep something permanently.  That demon is in fact fed by the belonging that the person feels with things of a darker nature; things that resonate at the same frequency as that demon. 
    To put it another way, the relationship with a demon is a codependent one.  No wonder we are such a match to them if we cannot even manage as a species to create relationships with each other that are not unhealthily codependent instead of interdependent.  And a codependent relationship is by its very nature powerlessly addictive.   
    It is at this point that I must make you aware that we cannot meet a need without first loving the thing whose need we are meeting.  Meeting the unmet need is an act of love.  Love is the exact opposite vibration from the vibration of lack, which is the vibrational range where demons exist.  The opposite frequency to that of love is separation, which is the same as fear and lack.  To fear is to push something away from yourself.  That creates isolation.  Love, which is the ultimate form of connection, is the single biggest unmet need within the human race. Isolation is the single biggest void within the human race. Isolation is the root of all forms of addiction.  And the antidote to isolation is love.  In fact, love is the antidote to everything.  It is by loving these demons that we will assimilate them and disable any harmful expressions they may display. 
    This is a particular problem because of the emphasis within modern spiritual communities placed on both independence and the wrongness of needing.  We make people wrong for needing.  We make people wrong for not being an island unto themselves.  How many times have you heard people say, “everything you need is within you and you alone?”  Or “No one will love you until you love yourself?” Or give the impression that there is something un-spiritual about needing anything from anyone else?  It is through ideologies like this that we in fact feed demons because we enhance a person’s sense of their own loneliness. 
    These individualistic ideologies were in fact invented by people whose needs were not met by others and so they found a way to use spiritual truths about independence as a way to create meaning out of that painful experience and justify not depending on anyone else to get their needs met.  It is ironic that one of the biggest windows for demons to enter into a person’s energy field (the practice of this ideology) is in and of itself the byproduct of that unmet need.  The reality is that what we need is the opposite. We need to really, genuinely make a practice out of connection, unity, love and interdependence.    
    When we make any need not ok to have, which we so often do, we feed demons because it forces a person to become more starved for it and desperate and to have to suppress and deny it, which is the fertile ground of subconscious manipulation.  For this reason, I want you to watch my YouTube video titled: “Meet Your Needs”.  This is what we do when we practice self-denial.  This is what Christians often do when they practice abstinence.  This is what Buddhists often do when they practice non-desire.  Unintentionally, they feed the very thing they are trying to prevent.  This is one reason why demonic entities and deviance are so rampant in religious communities that pride themselves on being so strictly moral. Need suppression is why Utah, the home of the Mormon Church, has the pornography rates that it has.  It is also why it is a host to so many demonic entities associated with unhealthy sexuality.                        
     When we become aware of a need and meet that need directly and recognize that the need is being met, we move out of the vibrational range of lack and therefore demons.  The result is, the demon cannot hook into our energy field.  It’s a bit like a spider trying to climb up glass.
    People think demonic influence is rare.  It is not rare.  In fact, most people walking the planet today experience this influence.  They do not notice it because they still experience their own free will relative to most things and they do not visually see these thought forms.  But just because we do not see something, does not mean it is not there.  We cannot blame demons for being there or for their influence any more than we can blame flies for there being garbage.  We just have to clean up the garbage and there will not be any reason for flies to be in that particular location.  
    We do not have to be afraid of demons, or even really focus on how to get rid of them.  All we have to do is to become aware of what need they are overcompensating for and meet that need directly.

    Integration... The True Mission of God

    For thousands of years, duality within the universe has been like a war. Good versus evil; both sides unwilling to see itself in the other.  If you are reading this article, chances are you identify more with being part of the side we call ‘good’.  For thousands of years the approach that the ‘good’ took towards the ‘bad’ was that it needed to save itself from the bad.  The approach it took was to separate itself from and protect itself from the bad.  All the focus was placed on how to be good.  If you read many of these old scripts, like the Bible, which were translated through the limited understanding of the human mind at that time, it paints the picture that there needs to be a power struggle between good and evil.  It tells you how to be on one side, by separating yourself from the other.  It tells you how to defeat the other.
    It never worked to restore us to wholeness.  In fact this very approach is what gave rise to more war.  Only this time, the ‘good side’ now justified war as goodness.  We could justify murder and justify rape and justify genocide and justify condemnation all in the name of ‘goodness’.  All we had to do was to make the thing we were in opposition to “bad”. 
    When embodiments of the divine, such as The Buddha and Christ came down to humanity, they did not teach this.  What they taught was love.  But what is love?  To love is to take something as thyself.  To pull it closer to yourself.  This naturally leads you into compassion and kindness towards the thing you love and towards meeting the needs of that thing.  But they did not teach to do this selectively.  Jesus, famous for lovingly caretaking the lepers in society, taught to love all things.  He taught to love what you currently push away from yourself.  He taught to love unconditionally.  He did not say that there were any exceptions, because there are no exceptions. 
    The Buddha recognized his adversary, Mara as himself.  He saw him as equally responsible for his own enlightenment.  And he did not teach to cast him out or defeat him so as to separate from him.  He taught his disciples to metaphorically invite their own Mara in for tea.      
    We have made love, which is to take something as ourself, conditional upon that thing being good.  Which is the very torment perpetrated upon us by our own society when we came in as babies and learned that certain aspects of ourselves were acceptable and certain aspects were not.  And so we cut ourselves off from, suppressed, denied and disowned those aspects.  We fragmented ourselves.  Like a puzzle that is unwilling to allow certain puzzle pieces of ours to be included in us.  We have never succeeded as a race at doing the one thing that will dissolve that which we call ‘evil’…  Which is loving it.
    This morning, I listened to a sermon given by a Reborn Christian minister and cried.  I cried of sorrow because knowing the being that we call Christ, having invited that essence into my heart, one couldn’t help but cry.  “Cast out the demons and send them to hell” he said.  But the highest truth of this universe is oneness.  There is nothing that is not God.  All beings in existence are part of that oneness.  Just as illusion and truth are both part of what is real.  Demons and angels are both part of God.  They are a fragmentation, a division within source consciousness, a fragmentation within the mind of God.  They are both God’s children so to speak.
    The universe, (that which we call God) is wanting us to actualize that oneness once more.  It is calling us home.  It has been calling us home for centuries upon centuries upon centuries.  It creates embodiments of itself, like Buddah and Christ to call us back home.  And listeners distort that call.  They warp it to fit in with their own culturally ingrained resistance.
    Coming back to oneness, calls for a drastic change of approach.  The approach can no longer be to separate oneself from evil or bad by becoming good.  The approach cannot be to separate oneneself from one’s humanness by becoming divine.  The approach cannot be to separate ourself from demons by using angels to cast them out or to side with Christ against the Devil.  The approach cannot be to get rid of the aspect of ourselves that we do not want and do not like so that we can be what we want to be and what we find acceptable. 
    The universe is a mirror of us.  We are a microcosm in the macrocosm.  We are a fractal of god.  For the universe to become one, we must become one.  We will do that by integrating.  We will integrate by loving the aspects of us that we do not currently love.  By pulling close and seeing ourselves in the aspects of us that we want to push away.  This is the true teaching of Christ.  What I am telling you is that the time has come for unconditional love.  Unconditional love must be practiced towards the things that we want to push away from ourselves the most.  Integration is the true mission of God.  It is the desire that exists within the mind and heart of God.     
    If you must fit this in with your attachment to being good, you can see it in this way:  The ultimate form of good is good that can see goodness in that which we call evil, good that can love evil, good that can recognize itself in evil, good that excludes nothing, including evil. 
    We are being called to end this war between good and evil by integrating good and evil.  For the truth of us is that we are beyond polarity.  We are both and we are neither.  Love is the highest truth of all.  And the truth of love is no different than the truth of oneness.  And the time has come to put it into practice.

    How To Meet An Unmet Need

    I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again.  No matter how much you may want it to be different, you have needs.  Every being on earth has needs.  A need is something that is required in order to live, succeed or be happy.  And you cannot un-require something that is required.  You cannot argue your way into seeing that it isn’t necessary.  You have one option when it comes to your needs and that is to meet them. 
    But this is easier said than done.  Why is it easier said than done?  Because we so often have aspects of us that are standing in the way of having that need met.  This is not natural and normal.  You are born understanding that your needs will be met and that it will be easy.  A baby is not born panicking that it will not get milk or worrying about having its diaper changed.  To the baby, being cuddled is not an impossible dream.  We learn through our trauma in our own life experience that our needs will not be met and worse than that, that our needs are not ok.
    A common pattern we have is that we go to the places that cannot meet a need for a need we have.  This is like going to an auto shop for food.  We want to be connected, but we get into relationships with partners who are not available and who are avoidant of connection.  We want to feel free, but we take a job where we feel imprisoned.
    The primary need in all beings is the need for love.  However, because of our life experience, we have beliefs standing in our way like “love is not possible”.  We may have experienced pain in conjunction with love, so now we are afraid of love because we have experienced that love means pain and it cannot be given without ulterior motives that will hurt us.  So we do not allow in the very thing that we need and want so desperately.  From this state, we are the person who is starving for food in a grocery store convinced there is nothing to eat.  The people in our life can see that they are giving us the very thing we need and want, but we cannot take it in. 
    We have to become aware of what we need.  To recognize this, we have to feel for the sensation in our mind, emotions and bodies of upset, dissatisfaction, craving, wanting or desperation.  For this reason, it is critical to learn how to feel.  If you are not aware of how you are feeling, you will not recognize the feeling of upset, dissatisfaction, craving, wanting or desperation.  For this reason, if you struggle with feeling, I suggest that you watch my YouTube video titled: How To Feel.  When we feel that lack, we can ask ourselves what it is that the feeling is telling us we need and want at this moment.
     Some needs are quite simple to meet, especially if we already know how to meet them and no resistance is standing in our way of meeting them.  For example, for most of us in the western world, if we are hungry, we do not feel a serious lack when we get hungry because nothing is standing in the way of our getting what we need (which is food).  We just go to the fridge or store and get something.  But if you grew up starving, this need would not seem so simple and so you would feel both lack and desperation in conjunction with needing food.  In the western world, most of us experience trauma (which is at its fundamental level the experience of lacking something that we need and want) around emotional needs.  So, when we feel these needs within us, we feel extreme lack and desperation and they do not feel easy to meet.  We have developed a lot of resistance to being able to seek them out where they are available and an even harder time taking them in.  We are emotionally starving.  When this is the case, we need to learn how to meet our unmet needs that we feel a resistance to being able to meet.
    The question you need to ask yourself once you know what that unmet need is, is: What would I have to give up in order to have (fill in the blank with what you need)?  For example, for me to be able to feel love when I’m sitting in the room with someone, I would have to give up my belief that love is dangerous.  I would have to give up my constant thinking because the mind brings me out of the body so I can’t feel connection to people as ‘real’ people in the room.  I would have to give up the story that I will always lose what I love.  I would have to give up sending text messages to that person who never sends any back. 
    Keep in mind that anywhere we have an identification, anywhere our identity is wrapped up in a state or being or behavior or thought that causes one of our needs to not be met, it will be particularly hard to meet the unmet need.  To meet that need, we will have to come up against and let go of our own sense of identity  (which feels like a life and death choice in order to meet that need).  For example, lets say that you were the scapegoat for your family. Your entire identity was formed around the idea of something being wrong and bad with you.  So, your unmet need is feeling loved the way you are.  But any time you are in a situation where you could feel that need being met, it will register as a contradiction to your own sense of identity and you will feel terror about having the very thing you need the most because your ego will register it as a death of its sense of self; regardless of the fact that that sense of self is painful.
    The mental understanding of what you would have to give up in order to get your needs met, offers you the potential of being able to directly face those barriers and change the beliefs and take different actions.  But far beyond that is experiencing the needs being met in whatever small way that you have access to in an embodied way.  For example, lets say you want connection.  Obviously the way to meet this need is to sit in the room with and focus your undivided attention on and open up with someone who is going to do the same thing with you.  When you do this, just focus on connecting to them.  Watch the resistance that comes up.  Observe the thoughts that are coming up in response and the emotions that surface.  Stay with that resistance long enough to feel it settle.  And in that space, after you have become aware of where you can’t feel that connection, see where in your body you can feel that connection; even if it is only in your skin or your knees.  See if you can imagine or sense of feel yourself spreading that feeling through your whole body.
    If you need abundance, go to the places that feel abundant.  Go to a fancy place and sit there.  Try to feel like you are a king.  Feel wealth in your body.  Watch the resistance come up.  Listen to the thoughts that come up and the painful memories and the painful stories about the future and about yourself.  Stay with it long enough to settle.  In that space, see where you can’t feel abundant.  And see where you can feel abundant.  See if you can spread that feeling of abundance through your whole body.
    I did a video a while back called “How To Feel Better”.  It was an episode about feeling signatures.  I highly suggest that you watch this episode again if you’ve seen it and that you watch it if you haven’t seen it.  I explained how to use feeling signatures deliberately.  If you have a need for something that you have no real experience with because it feels too inaccessible to you, you can invoke the experience of something that is the closest to it.  For example, I may not be able to feel the feeling of belonging.  But the closest I’ve ever experienced to that feeling is the way I felt when I was toasting marshmallows on a camping trip.  I can focus on that experience and when I feel my emotions respond to that, I can take that feeling of the marshmallows themselves and toasting them into my body and into my heart and into every tiny little cell.
    The reality of this universe is that it is governed by the law of attraction.  Things of like frequency match and coalesce.  This is the real reason that people who were born wealthy have no problem creating wealth.  They do not often have many thoughts or actions or life experiences that contradict the frequency of wealth.  In the absence of that contradiction, nothing is preventing them from manifesting that need immediately.  When you release resistance to the things that are preventing you from having what you need, when you give up what you have to give up in order to get a need met, you can allow yourself to feel the opposite vibration from that lack.  When you feel the opposite thing, the thing you need and even more than that, when you recognize that you are feeling it (so it becomes real to your embodiment), the need is being met.  In this vibration you are a match to those needs being met in ever increasing ways.  The need will be met by virtue of the very fact that you are not in the vibration of lack any longer.  And in this vibration, you will be inspired to take different actions, the actions that will simply further manifest that need being met.  You will see ways to meet your own needs.  You will be a match to people who can meet those needs.  You will align with the circumstances necessary to bring about what you want.  The “how” to accomplish those goals will be revealed to you.

    Read This If You're In A Relapse

    A relapse is a period of deterioration after a period of improvement.  Relapse can apply to any deterioration after improvement; but it is most often used in reference to addictions or recovery after an injury or illness.  For example, if an alcoholic manages to go months without having a drink and then after a hardship, begins to drink again.  Or for example, if someone’s condition improves in the ICU for a few days and then he or she takes an unexpected turn for the worse again.
    Even though these are the most common uses of the word, we need to think with a wider scope.  We all experience periods of relapse.  For example, even if we don’t have an addiction, we can have relapses relative to anything we struggle with.  For example, we may struggle with money and then make more money, only to lose it and struggle financially again.  Or for example, we may struggle with relationships and find ourselves in a relationship that feels good only to experience something that makes us struggle with relationships again.  So think about relapse in terms of areas of your life where you struggle and make improvements, only to re experience struggle again.
    The most painful thing about a relapse is that it makes the improvement seem temporary and the state of deterioration seem permanent.  And because no one consciously chooses deterioration, it feels like you have no control over it.  The place you were in emotionally and mentally and even physically before the improvement is more familiar.  After all, you keep ending up back there.  You feel like you spend your time climbing out of the hole with a ladder, only to fall back into the hole.  And when this happens, it begins to feel fated.
    For example, the dark spaces you get into before shooting up with heroine and when you are in a relapse begin to feel like the places you actually belong.  Whether they want to belong there or not.  Or the loneliness you experience before you find a relationship and when your relationship is in a relapse begins to feel like what you are meant for in this life.  Because of this, it is very easy to slip into a depression about the relapse itself.  It feels like the ultimate discouragement.  You feel powerless to it.
    When you are experiencing a relapse, it feels like you have no control over yourself or over the conditions in your life and your life is not going well.  Because of this, it feels like the universe is against you.  For this reason, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: I Can’t Trust The Universe (I Feel Like God Is Against Me).
    The other painful aspect of relapse is that it destroys your self-esteem.  You started to feel better about yourself because of the improvement, but now that you have relapsed, you are making that mean something about yourself.  You are making it mean that there is something wrong with you.  And the more times you experience recovery and relapse, the worse you feel about yourself.  Take a good look at yourself right now.  Ask yourself, what am I making this relapse mean about me and about my life?  Meaning can either be like the keys setting you free from prison or the signature on your own death certificate.  For this reason, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: Meaning, The Self Destruct Button.
    So what if you are experiencing a relapse?
    It’s important to see that when you are experiencing a relapse, you will have two patterns at play that are keeping you stuck in a state of resistance and therefore caught in a kind of Chinese finger trap.  The first is that you are so desperate to get out of the relapse and get back to improvement that you are fighting where you are.  You are resisting what is.  You are most likely desperate for relief.  When we are desperate for relief, you will reach for anything that will give you relief, even if those things are detrimental in the long run.  This is what is happening when we pick up an addictive behavior or substance or relationship again.  We’re reaching for relief.  Wanting relief is not wrong.  We simply have to be conscious of what relief is beneficial to us in the long run.  The rest of the advice I give in this article will help to get you unstuck from this pattern.
    The second pattern is that we feel so powerless to the relapse and so powerless to do anything about it that we turn our attention towards the past.  We cannot accept that the relapse happened.  We cannot accept anything that made the relapse happen.  We begin to fight emotionally and mentally with the fact that it happened.  We do not realize that we have no control over it having happened at all once it has happened.  All we can do once something has happened is to accept it happened and to do what we can with what we have from where we are.  So, see if you can see that most of your energy is being spent re-playing what happened and fighting with the fact that it happened; resisting the fact that it happened and how it could or should have been prevented.  See the futility of this.  See if for the pure reason that you can’t un-do what has already occurred, you can just accept that you are in a relapse. When you’ve had a relapse, refocusing on healing relative to the same thing you thought you healed from already feels totally pointless.  It feels like you’ve already been there and done that and it obviously didn’t work long term.  You feel like you’re back to square one, so why take a step again.  Really sit with the fact that we are at a crossroads.  Either we get to give up and totally surrender to being out of control or we get to start over by putting one foot in front of the other in the direction of improvement again.  Stop thinking about which decision is right and which is wrong.  Seriously consider both options because you have free will.  Do you go left or right?  Play both options out a week and then a month and then a year and then two years and then five years.  Really consider this crossroads.  If you decide to start over, really pour all of yourself with complete commitment into starting over.  Make it a conscious choice, not a choice you feel like you have to make. Most experts will tell you that skills that involve control over the mind, like meditation, are a critical thing to learn and apply during relapses, because on a mental level, a relapse is a downward spiral.  But what is it about meditation that works?  The answer is that it stops thought.  It slows the momentum of the thoughts that are leading you deeper into torment.  If you are in a relapse, every day, take just fifteen minutes or more if you really want to and stop thinking.  To learn how to do this, watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Stop Thinking. When you’ve had a relapse, it feels like no matter how hard you try, you will keep slipping back into the hole.  Imagine the image of a yourself climbing out of a hole with a ladder and falling back into it.  Now imagine this image turning upside down so the ground was now the sky and the sky was now the ground.  You can see that from this angle, no matter how many times you go into the hole, you keep coming out of it.  Sit with that for a minute.  You just realized a truth.  The truth is, it works the same in reverse.  No matter how much you fall into the hole, you keep getting out of it.  It’s like the fight about whether the glass if half empty or half full.  The reality is both are true.  Also, you already got out once.  You can get out a second time. There is a reality that most people do not see.  Our minds organize things according to linearity.  We see things in a straight line.  This is why we feel like our future is hopeless when we experience relapse.  But the universe doesn’t actually function in terms of linearity.  For lack of a better word, linearity is an illusion that was only created in this universe so we could perceive progression and expansion.  In reality, everything is cyclical.  It functions much more like a spiral.  And healing is no exception.  Healing happens in cycles.  It is not a straight line from unwell to well.  Think of it more like an onion.  Where the onion represents the thing you’re trying to transform.  If you began at the center of the onion, moving in a straight line from the center to the exterior of the onion (let’s call that freedom and the state of being healed) you can see that you’d hit layers of onion and spaces between those layers.  Each layer of the onion you go through brings you closer to freedom and total healing.  But each time you hit a layer, you feel like you’re back in it again.  This is what a relapse actually is.  It means you have hit another layer of the thing you’re trying to transform.  And this is why each relapse provides more awareness and more insight that makes you more conscious and thus more free and more healed.  And guess what? Because this is the way healing works, relapse in some shape or form is inevitable for people.  When you are having a relapse, you tell yourself other people are able to stay out of the hole and you keep falling back in.  But this is not the reality.  You are simply comparing yourself to people who are out of the hole, when you are in the hole and feeling terrible about yourself.  They are going to end up in the again too.  It may be about something different.  They may be trying to transform different things.  But if they are living and breathing, it is inevitable that they will have more layers of the onion to go through. Use your mind to deliberately focus your way into a better state about where you are.  Get out a sheet of paper or a computer and write down “I am in a relapse” and write down what that relapse is.  Then, write down how being in this relapse makes you feel.  Also, write down what this relapse makes you aware that you want desperately but don’t feel like you can have or keep.  Relapse is after all an indication that you want some improvement that you feel like you can’t hold on to and keep.  Then write down pages worth of any thought that makes you feel just a little bit better.  Pay attention to the feeling of relief.  Because you want to write anything that causes you to feel relief.  Begin by writing thoughts that reflect where you are, so you can get them outside of you. Then write angry thoughts.  Then write any thought that makes you feel better about the situation.  Pretend you were a philosopher or a lawyer whose job was to make it ok to be where you are and to make you hopeful about the future.  What would you do and say in order to make your case?  Write it down. Use your mind to create the sensation of relief in your body directly.  I did a YouTube video a while back called “How To Feel Better”.  I highly suggest that you watch that video at some point if you are struggling to feel better and want a deeper understanding.  But in that video, I explained that we can create feeling signatures that change our state.  We do this by picking the best feeling thing that we have access to visualizing and focusing on it and imagine bringing it through our body. For example, when I’m in a low state, I can’t imagine being loved by someone or being wealthy.  The only thing I have access to that feels good might be the memory of toasted marshmallows or the image of a sunflower in the sunlight.  So, I focus on that.  I put all my attention on it and when I feel the feeling of that, I imagine and sense and feel that feeling of the toasted marshmallow or of the sunflower being taken through my whole body, around my organs, into my cells and bones.  I hold it while feeling the sensation of relief. Take responsibility back again immediately by creating a plan of action that nurtures you in the direction of improvement again.  Make it into a list and keep that list in your wallet or purse or somewhere super accessible.  Taking responsibility by taking action will actually pull you out of powerlessness.  For example, if I struggle with becoming chronically suicidal, during a relapse I will write a list of things to do that will pull me out of that state such as: 1.Collect a play list of sounds and songs that soothe my nervous system and feel uplifting.  And I will put that play list on. 2. Close my eyes and imagine the aspect of me that is feeling suicidal as if it is a little person inside of me and have an inner dialogue with it so I can figure out its needs and meet them, as if it were my job to take care of this hurt part of me. 3. Go running at the gym where there are lots of people. 4. Read a book about something that really interests me. 5. Get in a hot bath with lavender oil.  Etc.  Make this list long. And any time you feel yourself spiraling, take out the list and just do what it says.  Just do it without thinking about doing it.  Taking action towards improvement will probably involve other action items, like seeing a therapist or attending an event or going on a vacation.  But these things are more long term and the reality is, in a relapse you need actions that are immediate in order to stop the downward spiral. Do not isolate.  Now is the time to reach out to have connection.  Most relapses happen when people feel isolated, alone and disconnected from others.  That being said, make sure to reach out to connect with people who will not tell you that there is something with you (which is a push away emotionally) or that there is something wrong or bad about you needing connection.  Reach to people who also want connection. Become aware of what led to the relapse.  Relapses don’t come out of nowhere.  They happen when too many stressors or a stressor of too much magnitude to cope with occurs.  Instead of fighting with the fact that it happened, simply identify the conditions that created the relapse.  Not only does this provide the awareness of what happened, it also puts you in the position to make changes to your life that can prevent it from happening in the future.  Some stressors are unavoidable, but some definitely are.  If you struggle with relapse, chances are high that you have not yet made the changes necessary to your life in order to meet your needs and create the conditions that prevent relapse instead of contribute to it.  Use this relapse to learn about yourself.  When you are suffering a relapse it feels like you are back at square one. But you are not.  It is impossible to be back at square one in this universe.  That defies expansion.  You are simply hitting another layer of the onion.  And more you commit your full energy to facing this layer of the onion, now that it has arrived; instead of fighting the fact that it has arrived and trying to make it un-arrive, the easier it will be to move through it.  And stop telling yourself that you’re the only one who can’t seem to stay out of the hole.  If you were, there wouldn’t be so many views on this very article would there be?

    How To Stop Thinking

    When we are thinking, we are not present with all of ourselves.  We are not present with our bodies.  We are not present with the way we feel.  We are not present in the world.  We are not present with other people.  We are only present with the unfolding of thoughts and wherever our attention to those thoughts take us, regardless of whether that place is positive or painful.  And this happens so unconsciously that we don’t even really know what we are thinking about specifically unless we decide to specifically observe our thoughts.
    In the modern world, we cope with our minds.  If something is too painful to experience physically or emotionally because we feel powerless to change it, we cope by retreating into the mind.  We give thought all of our attention.  Pretty soon, we don’t rule the mind.  The mind rules us instead. 
    A thought is only as strong as the attention you give it.  It gets its power from your interest. What you have no interest in is not registered in your mind as existent.  The mind is not present because thoughts that are being responded to by the law of attraction are always about what’s next.  It is the mechanism for expansion.  The you that is getting pulled and sucked in by thoughts is the real you, which exists beyond thoughts, emotion and body.  This is what we have been calling spirit or being.  If you were the thoughts you were thinking, if who you are is the mind, you could not watch your thoughts.  Watching your thoughts requires you to be looking at them.  You can’t look at them and be inside them at the same time.  This must mean that at some level, you are separate from thoughts in the same way that an artist is separate from his own painting as well as other artist’s paintings that he is looking at. 
    However, thoughts are a bit more complex in that they are not just created by you.  Your mind is not only creating thoughts, it is also perceiving them.  It is perceiving thoughts that are not even yours to begin with.  Thoughts are subject to the law of attraction.  If a thought is fed with focus or attention for about 16 seconds, it begins to attract other thoughts of a like frequency.  For example, if you are sitting on an airplane and you think about crashing and if the fear you feel causes you to focus on that thought, you will begin to attract other thoughts that vibrate at a similar frequency.  Even thoughts that have been thought by other passengers or people who have ridden in that plane before.  Often, this causes us to spiral downwards until we are in a panic.  This is a problem because if we do this for just over a minute, we begin to attract physical experiences that are a match to the frequency of those thoughts.  For example, if we are in panic because of thoughts of crashing in a plane, we tend to attract experiences that enhance the panic.  Things like turbulence and electrical malfunctions and meeting people that have been in plane crashes for example. 
    Because thoughts attract thoughts, we can see this as a kind of unconscious momentum that begins the process of painful manifestation.  It is easy to enter a downward spiral of painful emotional experience and then painful manifestation because without meaning to, our mind becomes like a run away train.  For this reason, one of the most beneficial things to learn is how to stop thought. 
    Stopping thought is like stripping the momentum out of a runaway train so you can deliberately direct it.  Doing this is putting your own mind in a position to be used like an instrument instead of being used by your mind.
    The first thing to understand about stopping thought is that you cannot NOT think about something.  In fact trying not to focus on anything is a sure fire way to lose control of your thoughts.  It works the same way that trying not to think about a single thought does.  If I tell you “don’t focus on lemons”.  You just thought about lemons.  And the more you try to not think about lemons, the more you think of lemons.  This is because in a law of attraction based universe, there is no such thing as exclusion.  There is no such thing as not something. 
    So how do you stop thought?  You close your eyes and pick something specific to focus on in your mind.  You dedicate all of your attention to that thought or that thing.  You make sure that the thing you are focusing on is not a complex or a big thought.  You make sure it is something that you don’t have a lot of feeling or other thoughts about. 
    Some of my favorites are:
    The image of a blue sky A blank white sheet of paper A part of my body, like my knee The sound of my own breathing The sound of a faucet or air conditioner A solid color that appeals to me on a given day A mantra    My heart beat                   You will notice that thoughts come like little wormholes or like the opening to a vacuum cleaner tube and sort of suck you in.  They tempt you.  They suck your interest in with a subconscious gravity so that soon, you are paying attention to their separate linear story line.  Pretty soon, you realize you are not focusing on the thing you were supposed to be focused on anymore.  Instead of focusing on a blank blue sky, you have re lived an event that happened earlier in the day for example.  It’s like a trance.  When this happens, name the thought that interrupted your attention by naming it either mentally or out loud.  Doing this means you are not engaged in the thought process anymore.  You have “called it out” and by doing so, you have halted the momentum of the energy you were feeding into it so it can’t attract any more similar thoughts.  And direct your attention back to the thing you were originally focused on. 
    When you do this exercise, you will notice your mind rebelling.  Like a wild horse, it will fight for your attention.  But soon the thoughts will subside.  You will feel the peace of focusing on what feels like nothing.      
    If your thoughts are particularly pervasive visually, you can add a variation to the practice.  You can see the thoughts as they pop up to try to take your attention as being distanced from you somehow.  For example, if you are focused on a blue sky, as thoughts come up, see them as clouds and visualize them floating by like clouds come and go.  Or if you are focused on a blank sheep to paper, see the thoughts as drawings that come up on the surface of that paper and crumple them and visualize them being thrown into a waste paper basket.  If your thoughts are pervasively auditory, you can imagine hearing a vacuum sucking each one of them in as they show up so you cannot hear them anymore. 
    Make sure that when thoughts come to rob your attention, you do not resist them by trying to pull away from them or by blocking them or by ignoring them.  This resistance to them actually also feeds them.  Instead, put yourself in the mindset to expect them and acknowledge in a welcoming way that they have shown up.  And when they show up and you recognize them, merely help them go where you want them to go as if you were sorting something that was coming to you on a conveyor belt.  This is a practice of non-attachment.      
    Feel free to get as creative as you would like with ways to lovingly disable the thoughts as they come up to try to rob your attention.  And just continue to re-direct your attention back to the original thing that you chose to focus on.  Expect that to begin with and potentially forever, this will be what you have to do in order to stop thought.  But the more practice you get, the easier it becomes.  You will be able to stop thought in this way at random times throughout the day without having to close your eyes.
    Practicing stopping thought means you will soon have a choice what trains of thought you will fuel with the momentum of your focus and which ones you will not.  And I cannot tell you how much freedom you will feel when you experience this as an actual choice.

    The Ultimate Life Hack (The Secret To Understanding People)

    Family therapists and Child therapists have known for a long time that the key to understanding children, even those who are not capable of speaking yet, is that they set you up to feel how they feel.  So, however they make you feel and however you feel about them is actually an exact mirror of how you are making them feel and of how they feel about you.
    Today, I’m going to tell you that this dynamic does not actually end with childhood.  This universe operates according to the law of attraction.  This essentially means that the universe we live in is a giant three-dimensional mirror.  Your reality mirrors you precisely so that by recognizing the mirror, your awareness of yourself can cause you to change and to expand.  That being said, we do not often recognize the reflection when it shows up in the mirror. 
    Because of the law of attraction, however you make someone feel, regardless of whether it is intentional or unintentional, will eventually become how they make you feel.  Therefore, it is not that children make you feel exactly how they feel.  It is that all people and even more than that, all beings make you feel exactly how they feel.  And it isn’t usually intentional or conscious on their part either.  It is that their reaction to how you are making them feel, makes you feel the exact same way that they feel.
    For example, a man works from sun up to sundown.  Because of this he is not making his wife feel loved.  She feels like she has no value to him.  Eventually, she gets a lover and cheats on her husband.  He finds out and feels unloved.  He feels like he has no value to her.  Or for example, a wife feels secure when she controls all the planning for the household.  Eventually this starts to make her husband feel totally powerless and out of control.  Soon, he refuses to commit to any plans that she is making.  This starts to make her feel powerless and out of control.
    I’m not going to sugar coat the truth for you, the truth is that mirroring sucks to experience.  But we can use the fact that people in our lives put us in the position to feel exactly the same way that they feel like we made them feel to our advantage.  We can use it to understand other people completely.  We can use that understanding to resolve our conflicts fast.  We can use that understanding to see ourselves and our impact on other people clearly. 
    Whenever someone makes you feel a certain way, especially in a conflict, consider that the way they are making you feel is the way you either have made them feel or are currently making them feel.  So, first identify how you feel.  If you’re in a painful relationship, write down the many different ways you feel.  Then consider how you might have made or be making them feel that way.  Despite what they may be saying or doing, see them and their actions through this new lens of seeing clearly how they feel because now that you are feeling it, you do get it.        
    From there switch your strategy of resolution.  Now that you recognize how they feel, make the conflict resolution deliberately about the way they feel.  Do and say things that make them feel the opposite.  If you want to know exactly how to address someone’s negative emotion, watch my YouTube video titled: Emotional Wake Up Call.  Follow the steps outlined in that video with this person relative to the way you now know that they feel. 
    For example, using the examples I gave previously, the man would go straight to the root by addressing the feeling of not being loved and valued.  He would do things to make her feel loved and valued.  The wife would go straight to the root by addressing the feeling of being totally powerless and out of control. She would say and do things that made him feel empowered and more in control of himself.  If we focus our efforts on making them feel differently, (for example valued or in control instead) it is an inevitability of this universe that they will in turn make us feel differently. The reflection in the mirror will change.   
    Confusion in relationships is a super common event.  So much of the time when we run into conflicts in a relationship, we have no idea what is happening or why it is happening.  We slip into the perception that the other person is completely unjustified and is being unfair with us.  We tell ourselves that they are wrong and that they are crazy.  We try to make sense of what is going on without remembering that the universe is a mirror.  We can use that mirror to understand ourselves and to understand them.   So never forget if you are confused and in pain in a relationship, that other people unintentionally make us feel the exact same way that they feel like we are making them feel.

    The Rat Cage

    Most men on earth think they are free.  The reason for this is that they have been sold an idea about what freedom is.  They believe more in the beliefs they have been indoctrinated with than they believe in their own emotional guidance system. As long as they live in alignment with the beliefs they have been sold, they think they have freedom.  But what if the idea of freedom that has been sold to you is actually a prison?  What if I told you that the beliefs you live your life by are the bars of your own perfect jail cell?
    When you are not living free, your life is a rat cage.  And even the most awakened people walking the earth are not free.  Their rat cages are simply bigger, more elaborate and they escape from time to time.  Consider that all people on earth have a rat cage…  A rat cage tailor made just for them.  Consider that a rat cage is anything that keeps you apart from what you genuinely want.  Consider that a rat cage is anything that keeps you apart from who you really are.  Consider that anything could act as a prison bar in your own rat cage.  Consider that something that once set you free from your rat cage can now be the very thing keeping you trapped inside it.
    When you ask me why we stay inside this rat cage, even when we know we are not free.  The answer is attachment.  The heart of attachment is identification.  To identify with something is to see it as yourself or as essential to yourself.  Things that we believe preserve us and our wellbeing and survival on a mental, emotional and physical level are the things we are the most attached to.  For example, you may know that your 9-5 job is part of your own personal rat cage.  It is keeping you back from what you really want.  But because you think the money you get through that job is essential to your wellbeing and survival and you think you cannot get that money any other way, you are attached to it and you stay in that 9-5 job regardless of the distress it causes you.
    You are an extension of this universe.  You are indivisible from the universe at large (that which we have been calling Source or God).  And because of this, it takes you as itself.  This is unconditional love.  For more information about what love is, and why the universe loves you, watch my YouTube video titled: What Is Love.  Because the universe is after one thing and that is self-discovery and self discovery is realized through universal expansion, which is actualized through individual expansion, the universe will enable your individual expansion at any cost.  The number one enemy to expansion is imprisonment.  Anything that holds you back from your own growth on a mental, emotional and physical level is going to be targeted by the universe for demolition so to speak. 
    Another way of saying this is that because the universe loves you and prioritizes your expansion at all costs, if you do not free yourself from your own rat cage, it is going to free you from your rat cage. Because of the strength of the rat cage, the bills to pay, mouths to feed, reputation to uphold, people to not let down, you stayed stuck while desiring freedom.  And so the universe heard the call to be set free.  When a person really desires a radical restructuring, they want a fresh new start.  Not an alteration of what currently exists.   Because of this, it will introduce circumstances, people and events that will break down the bars of your own rat cage.  This doesn’t sound like such a bad thing.  And it isn’t a bad thing at a higher level.  But our rat cage is comprised mostly of things that we are attached to and identified with.  And any time we are identified with and attached to something and it is taken from us, we experience that as pain.  So, using the previous example, imagine that you are attached to your 9-5 job.  Imagine the universe sees that the job is holding you back and brings to you the circumstances to get you fired.  You have been set free from the rat cage bar of your job.  But because of your attachments to it, you may now be in terror about having enough money and feeling bad about yourself because you were rejected for not being good enough.
    The universe will never stop for love of you, stripping down the bars of your own rat cage.  But we have been collectively subconsciously and consciously asking for such a large shift in the collective consciousness of mankind that the universe is gearing up and has been in the process lately of destroying the rat cage for all of mankind.  This process is a bit like a forest fire in the collective.  I say it is a forest fire because it is a dramatic cleansing of what holds us back so that the new can take its place.  A forest fire is a destruction that makes the earth a match to even more fertile and even more prime for healthy new growth.  As this applies to collective consciousness, it is a demolition of the things that humans in general are attached to but that simultaneously halt our expansion.  These ‘forest fire’ periods are not easy time periods for mankind.  Without mercy or patience, the universe answers our cries for freedom by demolishing the rat cage around us, regardless of what part of that rat cage we are still attached to.  When this happens we often become overwhelmed by pain feeling like our life has collapsed around us. 
    For this reason, I am going to suggest that you begin the process of setting yourself free from the attachments you have to your own rat cage before the universe demolishes it for you.  The very best thing you can do right now is to think about what you have been desiring that is outside your own personal rat cage. And do not put it off for one more second. Do it before the rat cage collapses around you.  Do not let the universe have an excuse to crash it for you.  Think of it this way, if there is no rat cage in your life, there will be nothing for the universe to crash and nothing for it to burn down.
    We are headed for a cleansing of the collective human shadow. We are in a phase in our lives where we will all be made aware of not only the collective human shadow, but our own individual shadow so we will acknowledge and face them head on.  It’s not that this stuff is new. It’s been going on in a hidden way forever.  But now it has been given permission to come to the surface and into plain view so we can both love it and change it.  So much of what is holding you back from your own expansion is what is contained within your own shadow.  For this reason, I suggest that you watch my video on You Tube titled: ‘What Is Shadow Work’.    
    What if I told you that the part of you that can never be harmed, that can never be imprisoned, does not and cannot buy into this lie?  What if I told you that no matter what you do or how much you try to cover it over with white noise, it will continue to tell you that you are not free?  It will tell you through the way you feel.  Like a North Star that can’t stop shining brightly enough to ignore.  If you walk in the opposite direction, you will not be able to fully tell yourself that you are going in the right direction.
    The good news is that the universe will continue to show you how you are not free.  Because expansion is its number one priority, it will never stop confronting you with the things that are holding you back from what you want and from who you really are.  This means, you don’t have to try hard to go find the ways you are imprisoned in your life.  You just have to notice the feeling of being prevented.  
    Being prevented registers in your embodiment as pain.  So, when you feel pain, it is a good indication that you feel prevented from something. Whenever you feel that feeling, something, whether it is a belief or a pattern or a thing is acting as a jail bar.  You just have to look at two things: #1 What that feeling is letting you know that you want and #2 The elements of prevention involved.  And involve other people in the process of becoming aware of what specifically is preventing you, if you think that an outside perspective could benefit you.  For example, if I feel pain when I get into a fight with my partner, I can stop at that moment and ask myself, what am I wanting right here and now?  Perhaps the answer is to feel close to my partner.  Then I watch my thoughts.  I see what thoughts are distancing me from my partner.  Those thoughts are preventing me from what I want.  I can then work on those thoughts directly or deliberately focus on thoughts that bring me closer to my partner.  I can then look at my actions.  What am I doing or not doing that is preventing me from being close to my partner?  If I discover those, I can take different actions. 
    It sounds easier than it actually is because usually strong jail bars are being created by multiple things.  And it sounds easier than it actually is in practice because it requires great bravery to make changes where our attachments are concerned.  Wherever there is an attachment or an identification there is fear present.               
    Put all of your energy into what makes your heart sing and to the places that call to you.  Pay very close attention to the guidance you receive directly from your own intuition.  Follow it whenever it tells you to do something different or to go somewhere different.
    If you want to help other people lovingly (not desperately), help them recognize their own personal rat cage and how to dis-identify with it.  Ultimately you will not be able to make them awaken or make them leave the rat cage. Perhaps you may find that certain people in your life are the bars of your own rat cage. Set yourself free so that the universe at large has nothing left to set you free from. For this reason I invite you to ask, what do you want the very most and what is preventing you from that? That which prevents you from anything you want, is the rat cage of your life.  The time has come to break free from them.  What is your own personal rat cage?
    What do you want?  What is keeping you from it?

    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?

    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.

  • Search

    Search The Teal Swan Article Library