Whether you are self-help junkie, or a spiritual connoisseur, or just someone who is curious to hear another perspective on life, one thing is for sure, if you are reading this article, you like the idea of self-improvement. But how do we accomplish this improvement? Everyone seems to have a different answer. But most of these self-improvement techniques don’t work. And they don’t work for one giant reason. They put you at war with yourself. They pit one aspect of yourself against another aspect of yourself. Have you ever noticed that it feels like you cannot overcome your problems no matter how hard you try? Well I’m here to tell you today that you cannot overcome your problems because; you cannot overcome what is inside yourself or part of yourself. As soon as you identify with something, it IS you. And from that point forward, to try to overcome those things, is to put one part of you at war with another part of yourself. Even negative traits (which are part of you) can never be eradicated from you. They can only be transformed into their highest aspect.
When we suppress our emotions, which all of us must do at one point or another in our early lives, those suppressed emotions become part of our personality. Our problems become part of our personality. And as soon as they become part of our personality, they become part of our identity. We begin to see them as ourselves. Resisting any aspect of yourself is asking for emotional disaster. It is self-hate. Regardless of whether you resist something positive within yourself or negative within yourself, it is self-hate, and therefore it is self-destruction. So what is the solution? The solution is Exaltation. The concept of exaltation is an ancient alchemy concept. Simply put, to exalt something is to transform something into its highest spiritual aspect. For example, the old alchemists thought that the exalted form of metal was gold. If we are to live better lives, where we are not continually made unhappy by our negative personality traits, we must take each personality trait we do not like and first recognize it within ourselves. We must then accept it by both owning it and finding a way to approve of it. And then we must find a way to amplify that personality trait into it’s most in alignment or exalted expression. Here’s an example of exaltation: Let’s say I felt unloved as a child, and was punished for trying to get the love I needed. I suppressed those feelings of resentment and powerlessness. Over the years, the powerlessness and resentment has become part of my personality. It has caused me to exhibit certain chronic behaviors. Chief among those behaviors, it has caused me to be an energy vampire. Because I believe I am not allowed to ask for the things I need, I manipulate people so I can get the energy I need from them. This personality trait is so much a part of me, that one could say it is part of my personality. I cannot overcome this problem and I can’t eradicate it from my personality. It is part of who I am now. So, my only choice is to take that negative personality trait and make that same personality trait into something positive. Because I am an energy vampire, I am a master at manipulating energy. I could become a brilliant energy worker. I have the capability of consciously pulling in negative energy and transmuting it inside my own body. This means I can feed off of illness and discordant energy rather than stealing life force from people’s bodies. I can manipulate energy to heal people. Also, being an energy vampire, I am a master at mental chess. I play mind games with people. So, the highest aspect of that trait (what we call the exalted aspect) is to play mind games with people that benefit them. I could become a brilliant counselor or psychologist. I could outsmart other people’s egos and help them to see things about themselves that they are totally unaware of.
Describe yourself. What problems do you have? What do you feel are the negative parts of your personality? Be very honest about what traits you don’t like about yourself. Once you have your list, spend some serious time thinking about what the highest and best use of those traits could be. What is the positive exalted form of those negative traits?
Maybe I am dark. The exalted form of being dark could be that I am a brilliant shadow worker. I am a seasoned veteran when it comes to working with the subconscious and with the thoughts that scare people. I can guide people into bringing awareness to and healing whole parts of themselves that they have been trying to avoid. Also, dark energy is powerfully captivating because it frightens people. I can embrace that energy instead of trying to lighten myself up and use it to capture people’s attention and break them out of the monotony of their lives. Maybe I am anxious. The exalted form of being anxious could be that I am sensitive to the energies around me. I could be a talented interior decorator because I can feel the way that energy moves around a room. I am sensitive to the placement of objects and the influence that colors have on our emotions. I could design homes for people that made them feel exactly how they want to feel upon coming home.
Maybe I am a bully. Bullies push people. The exalted form of being a bully could be that I push people to be their best. I embrace my forceful energy and use it in situations where people could benefit by that force, such as when someone needs especially strong encouragement. Bullies establish dominance within a social group. The exalted version of this dominance is leadership. I embrace my leadership ability and take charge when other people feel as if they need direction. I take initiative. I can rally people to cooperating with one another. Exalting your negative personality traits and problems is not about going to war with yourself. It is profoundly self hating and counterproductive to want to rid yourself of those traits. It is resistant and whatever we resist, persists. So the key to solving your problems is to find the highest and best use for those so-called negative traits. Fall in love with what you hate about yourself. Turn metal into gold on an internal level. Embrace and own the person that you are. Quit trying to turn yourself into something or someone else.
Self help experts (like myself) all offer a plethora of tools that people can use to help themselves. Each one claims that their tool is “the end all be all”. But the truth is, that is the same as claiming that a hammer is “the end all be all”. Sometimes a hammer isn’t the tool you need. Sometimes a screwdriver is the tool you need. The key to living a successful life is to personalize your toolbox.
We are meant to fill our toolbox with the individual tools that we have collected, which work for us personally. We are afraid to personalize our toolbox because we are afraid of using the wrong tool for the situation that we find ourselves in. We’re afraid of trying new tools because we trust other people more than we trust ourselves. We trust them, instead of ourselves when they say that one tool will work for something and another wont. There are so many spiritual teachers and self help guides that teach that tool you need when you are suffering, is the tool of “present moment awareness”. But the truth is, that is not the only tool that works for suffering. And there are some tools that can be better for certain kinds of suffering, such as anxiety and worry. If we suffer from anxiety or worry, we most likely suffer from the lack of a basic human need; the human need called certainty. Certainty means the inner knowing that we have the power to avoid pain and gain pleasure. Most people, who suffer from anxiety, feel as if they have no control over whether they suffer or whether they feel pleasure. Their bodies register a feeling of dread relative to the future because of it. They anticipate suffering in the future. Bringing the attention of someone who is anxious or worried into the present moment can work wonders for some. But it can be useless for others. For some, it works much better to change the way they are focusing towards the future. It is a very unconventional spiritual tool to intentionally spend time focusing on the future. But for some people, it can make all the difference in the world. This is especially true if you suffer from morning anxiety (which so many people do). If you dread the future, which you do if you lack a sense of certainty and thus suffer from anxiety or worry, one of the best tools to use is a tool called “Things To Look Forward To”. It is especially good for reducing suicidal feelings. Using this tool is very simple, every day, simply set aside time to write a list of things to look forward to about the next day. If you like, you can include things on this list of things to look forward to about the near future as well. This will change the sense of dread into a sense of anticipation. It gets your energy moving forward in life. Do you remember how it used to feel on Christmas Eve as a child? If you use this tool regularly enough, it is common for every day to start feeling like this. This is not escapism. This is intentionally creating your life. The “Things To Look Forward To” tool is especially beneficial when you do it before you go to sleep at night. Before you fall asleep, write a list of things to look forward to (things you will enjoy experiencing) about the next day. If you cannot find something to look forward to about the next day, it is time to change your life. Create things to look forward to. This is the reason humans invented holidays! Even though people use holidays to give themselves just enough relief to keep the rest of their lives miserable and unfulfilled, holidays are not in and of themselves bad. Holidays can provide just enough anticipatory excitement needed to raise your vibration. In a perfect world though, people would treat every day like a holiday. People would design their lives so that they had things to look forward to about each on coming day.
Here is an example of a list of “Things To Look Forward To”:
Drinking hot tea when I first wake up before the sun comes up
Hearing my cat purr and touching his soft fur
Writing a new blog entry
Watching a romantic comedy
Going to my business lunch with my marketing director and hearing great new ideas about how to expand the business
Depositing money I made in the bank
Shopping for a new coffee table
Spending time in the hot tub
Watching my son’s face as I read him books
Taking the dogs on a walk and skipping rocks in the water
Making a spelt crust rhubarb pie
Playing board games with my friends
Listening to my new songs on Pandora
Starting a new painting
Laying underneath my warm blankets before I go to sleep
Going to the mailbox to see what came in the mail
Going to see my somatic body work therapist
Putting on my makeup in a new way
Feeding the fish and watching them contentedly swim after the food
Watching the number of “likes” increase on my face book posts after I post something.
The things you put on this list do not have to be big things. They can be small things to look forward to. Just make sure that anything you put down on this list, you are genuinely looking forward to. If you can’t find anything that you’re looking forward to already, ask yourself what experience you would most enjoy to have, and plan that experience for the next day. If you compose the list before you go to sleep, you may find it helpful to read the list in the morning. You will find that your mood will increase, you will want to experience life and pretty soon, there will be nothing to dread. Instead, you will be well along the way to creating within yourself, a sense of certainty.
As spiritual people, we talk about fear and the ego, as if it were evil. As if it were a bad thing. Most spiritual people are ashamed of their fear. But without fear, there would be no reason to be alive. We cannot banish and condemn fear without banishing and condemning expansion and enlightenment and love. The truth is, without fear, and without ego, we could never know who and what we really are. Truth can only be known, if we know what is not truth. Truth can only be seen if we see illusion. And so, illusion must be created. Love is the vibration of source (also called god). To know itself, source had to create what was not source. It had to create the illusion of not itself. And vibrationally, that is fear. The vibration that source holds is love. Fear is the opposite vibration of love. It is the absence of love. In other words, fear is the opposite of god and of truth and of love.
We are here because god wanted to know itself. It is doing this through each and every desire that is being birthed from every perspective that has ever, does and will ever exist. When we fear, Source knows what it isn’t and therefore, Source knows what it is. Fear is useful; it is the tool of expansion. But we spend our time running around the world trying to prevent ourselves from what we fear. We design our lives so that we don’t have to feel fear. But whatever we resist persists. It chases us into the corner. We have no choice but to stare it down, because we cannot run away from it. By running away from fear, minimizing it, or pushing through it, we are trying to prevent the very most useful tool we have, a tool that keeps lovingly offering itself to us, the tool, which wants so badly to help us to find out the truth and to feel love.
The ultimate truth is that fear is illusion. Life is designed to strip illusion from you. And so, life is designed to strip fear from you. It does this by bringing you face to face with your fears again and again, until you have no choice but to face them and release your resistance to them. It does this until you have no choice but to become fearless. Once you have become fearless, you are free from illusion and life no longer serves a purpose because you have discovered truth. You could never know love without fear You could never know truth without fear You could never know oneness without fear You could never know god without fear. You would be oblivious to yourself without fear God would be oblivious to itself without fear. Fear is the greatest tool of awareness that has ever existed. Fear is not your enemy. Do not be ashamed of it. All beings in existence feel it. You could not know truth and you could not feel love without the contrast of fear. It is the tool that is serving your expansion the very most. Fear always means there is something that needs to be looked at, and something to be learned. People who ignore fear are glorified in this world. Ignoring and glossing over fear is different than taking a good look at fear, and using it to base your decisions off of self love instead of fear itself or rationalization. In spiritual communities, we know that fear is illusion. But we then leap to the conclusion that fear is not valid. Because of this, we have the tendency to ignore or minimize our fear. We have the tendency to ignore or minimize and red flags that go off in our emotions, mind and bodies and a lot of people get into trouble because of it, especially women. Spiritual people especially tens to ignore their fear when it comes to other people. Let’s get real for a minute; some people are caught in patterns that make it so that they do not have good intentions towards other people. And some of us are still a vibrational match to those kinds of people. When we meet these people, our nervous system alerts us that this is the case. But we are taught to unconditionally love other people and so, we ignore the fact that our internal guidance system is alerting us with fear. We do not heed our emotional guidance system. We do not look at what it is trying to tell us and examine the fear we have. Instead we try to focus on anything that minimizes the fear.
Deliberate positive focus can be detrimental in these circumstances. It can be a form of escapism. Fear is designed to keep the ego existing. Without that basic survival system in place, we would not last in the physical dimension long enough to learn. No more expansion can be experienced if we are dead. A spiritual person’s internal guidance system, would alert them with fear if a truck was barreling towards them. But most of us think that the truly spiritually advanced person would stand there and transcend their fear and bend reality, so the truck did not hit them instead of jumping out of the way of the truck. To jump out of the way of the truck, is to let fear and therefore the ego get the better of them. Really? Just play that scenario through your head again. Is it really self loving to expect this from yourself? Does your fear serve a positive purpose here? Or is it out to get the better of you?
Sexual and emotional predators love spiritual women. They love spiritual women, because our beliefs lower our boundaries. They increase our tolerance for other people’s problems, including abusive behaviors. They love spiritual women because our own beliefs tie our hands. We cannot be good compassionate people unless we unconditionally love even the people that hurt us, and even the people who scare us. We have to ignore our fear with regards to these people or else we are hypocritical.
Believe me when I tell you that your fear is part of your internal guidance system. It always has something valuable to tell you. You should always listen to fear. Listening to fear does not mean you have to live your life at the mercy of fear; just the opposite. Just because you have an emotion does not mean you have to act on that emotion. You simply have an opportunity to explore and question and seriously consider each emotion including fear. Spiritual teachings are frustrating because they seem contradictory. That is because spiritual teachings are directed at a multi dimensional universe. The rules change on each dimension. What is true from one dimension is not necessarily true for the next. On one dimensional level, fear is illusion created for the purpose of expansion. On another dimensional level, fear is a valuable tool, which can teach you, keep you safe and keep you alive. On the third dimensional level, which is the dimension you are focused into in order to live this physical life, fear alerts you to the following: There is a self loving decision that needs to be made. Examine your fear. Make self-loving decisions as a result of examining your fear. Maybe if you fear speaking in public, upon examination you’ll find that it is self-loving to go through with it and speak in public. Maybe you’ll find that it is self-loving to not go through with speaking in public. But NEVER I repeat, NEVER ignore it, undermine it, minimize it, gloss over it, downplay it or force yourself through it.
Fear is not something to be ashamed of. We cannot condemn fear without simultaneously condemning the fact that we are alive. It is part of being alive. Fear is valuable. Take every opportunity where you feel fear, to step into the feeling of the fear, explore it. Bring awareness to it. And question it fully.
If you have spent any time exploring the world of spirituality or self-help, you have most likely discovered that spiritual teachings and spiritual teachers themselves can be frustrating because they present such contradictory teachings. For example, the teaching of “fill your own cup” contradicts the teaching of “ask for help, this is an interdependent universe”. The teaching of “fear is harmful because it is an illusion and it is ego” contradicts the teaching of “fear is a valuable tool, it allows you to have awareness and to make self loving decisions”. The teaching of “focus positively” contradicts the teaching of “do your shadow work”. The teaching of “be in the state of allowing” contradicts the teaching of “take initiative and create your own reality”. The teaching of “you’re perfect just the way you are” contradicts the teaching of “take responsibility for your life and your own problems by committing to self improvement”. The teaching of “love your enemy and be unconditionally loving” contradicts the teaching of “separate yourself from those who contribute to your suffering and surround yourself instead with supportive people (Sangha)”. The teaching of “set healthy boundaries” contradicts the teaching of “there is no separation, the basic truth of this universe is oneness”. You get the point. So, which teaching is right and which teaching is wrong? The answer is both are true. Everyone has a different opinion about what “truth” is, because truth is subjective and this is a multi dimensional universe.
Spiritual teachings are contradictory because spiritual teachings must take into account a multi dimensional universe. The rules change on each dimension. What is true for one dimension is not necessarily true for the next. On one dimensional level, fear is illusion created for the purpose of expansion. On another dimensional level, fear is a real and valuable tool, which can teach you and keep you safe. Teachings are only valuable relative to a person’s current vibration. This means that depending on your vibration, a teaching will either cause you to vibrate lower or vibrate higher. This is especially true of the third dimension, which was created to be the most contrasting environment from source itself. Most of what we experience here, is intended to be illusion. So even the appearance of the third dimension (separation and individuality) which is very much true for the third dimension, is false for the higher dimensions of this universe, where no separation or individuality actually exists. So which is true? Both! Depends on the angle you’re looking at life from.
Some of you may have seen the video created this last week by Spirit Science, which deals with the self help analogy of filling up your own cup. It is a spiritual teaching that I, myself am quite fond of. The idea behind it is that if you learn how to love yourself and get happiness for yourself, then that energy will flow over to other people and you will no longer wander the earth trying to get other people to fill up your cup. Spirit Science suggested that the fill up your own cup teaching is a harmful teaching because it causes people to feel alone and responsible to do everything for themselves in a universe that is actually interdependent. Spirit Science also suggested that there is no “cup” (separate identity) because we are all made of the same energy. And that indeed the very thing we need is support and help from each other. Are they wrong? No. They are right. But so am I. How can this be, when it seems to be such a contradiction? It is because we are teaching to people who are at a different vibrational level. The people who will resonate with my teaching (pro fill up your own cup) are those who are feeling powerless to other people. Other people are failing to meet their needs. On top of that, they are self less people who are self sacrificers; people for whom it was never ok to do anything for themselves. The only way they could get their cup to fill up was through the gratitude of others or through approval from others. And so, a step up vibrationally speaking, is to believe that it is ok to be selfish. That it is ok to do things that make you happy, and that instead of this meaning that you’ll be a bad person, it means that you’ll be overflowing with so much love, that it will spill out to others. To these people, this teaching will feel empowering.
The people, who will resonate with Spirit Science’s teaching, are those who feel overwhelmed by “having to do it all alone”; those who feel isolated and as if the weight of the world is on their shoulders. Those who feel guilty about getting help and love from others. And so, a step up vibrationally speaking is to believe that this is an interdependent universe, and that getting help from others is not only ok, but also essential. To these people, it will benefit them to focus on the truth that nothing separates them from others. To these people, this teaching will feel provide a sense of relief. Thought these teachings seem contradictory, they are not. They are directed at people with two different vibrational set points.
The objective truth relative to this fill your cup argument is that this is an interdependent universe and so, there really is no separation between us and other people (there is no cup); but in the third dimension, we experience our individual perspectives and beings and we end up miserable if we need other people to fulfill us. They always fail at it, so it is crucial to learn how to love ourselves if we are to be happy (there is a cup).
This idea that contradictory things can both be true, is easily seen when we examine emotion. We all know that the optimal state to be in is forgiveness and love. But knowing that and expecting ourselves to be there in that state, is not going to make us miraculously feel loving or forgiving. To someone who is feeling powerless and guilty, anger will be a vibrational improvement. So, listening to angry music will feel good for them. Does that mean that it is good to listen to angry music? Yes. To someone who is feeling optimistic and in love, anger is a vibrational decrease. So, listening to angry music will feel bad to them. Does that mean that is bad to listen to angry music? Yes. So whether it is good or bad to listen to angry music, depends on where you are vibrationally.
We need to let go of truth, because truth is subjective. We need to start caring more about how things feel to us personally. If we feel relief and follow our joy, we will find whatever spiritual teaching is right for the vibration that we are currently in. Listen to the spiritual teacher that makes you feel good. That is your internal guidance system telling you that the vibration they are offering you, is an improvement on your current vibration. This is why it is so important to create your own religion just for you, made up of all the teachings that work for you personally. We need to be honest about whether or not those teachings actually do benefit us. But no one can know whether they are or are not beneficial for you. We all may have our opinions, but no one is right about you… but you.
Is it true that if we are in alignment, we will be unconditionally loving towards others? Yes. But the teaching of “be unconditionally loving” can get us into a lot of trouble if we haven’t learned how to love ourselves yet. If we don’t love ourselves, we may still be a vibrational match to people who don’t treat us well. If we try to be unconditionally loving towards them and prescribe to the teaching of oneness, then we may keep ourselves in detrimental situations to our well being. So is it true that to be self-loving, sometimes means to separate yourself from other people and stand up for yourself? Yes. We need to take into account the fact that we are all at different vibrational levels. What is downstream for one person, may be upstream for another. Some of the highest objective truths inherent in this universe, which apply to the higher dimensional levels, are literally harmful to someone who is in a particularly low vibration.
It is simply impossible to find a spiritual teacher who is able to teach one, solid, non contradictory truth that will help all people on earth. This is what everyone keeps looking for though. But you wont find it. Because this means you’d have to ignore your own internal guidance system and trust someone else. And you’d have to ignore what is right for you right now to accept what is right in general as solid unwavering truth. No good spiritual teacher is going to harm you by asking you to replace your internal knowing of what is right for you right now for his or her particular truth. The best spiritual teachers cast teachings out into the world for people from all different vibrational set points to find. Think of them like tools dropped from a plane onto a deserted island that will benefit someone from wherever they currently are vibrationally. It is up to us to allow the universe to lead us to those tools and it is up to us to know which tool or teaching feels useful to us for whatever project we currently have in mind.
Feeling lost is a common problem amongst people today. And it is a common problem for one reason, people have been taught to ignore their internal guidance systems. And what is your internal guidance system exactly? Your feelings and your emotions. Think of your emotions like a compass or a navigation system in your car that tells you everything you need to know about yourself and about your desires and about navigating the world and making choices. When you ignore your emotions, or prioritize other things than the way you feel, it is like going on an expedition in uncharted territory with no compass. Your mind will never tell you what is true for you, only your feelings can tell you that. So, if you are disconnected from your own feelings and emotions, you are disconnected from the truth of you. This means you will feel unknown and like a stranger to yourself. When we say “The truth of you”, what we mean are things like, what you enjoy and what you don’t enjoy, what resonates with you, what you are thinking, what you believe, and most of all, what you really want, need and desire. These things are the only real accurate measure of who you really are in this life.
Now pretend you started ignoring your internal guidance system over twenty years ago, when you were very young. How far off track do you think you could get in twenty years? Potentially you could have gone so astray from the truth of yourself that you have had to tune out your emotional guidance system all together. Perhaps you went so far astray that you now experience numbness. When you do something that is not in alignment with your own personal truth, your emotional guidance system starts alerting you, (just like a navigation system in a car) that you have missed your exit. It does so, with the use of negative emotion. In order to continue in the direction you are going, you need to tune out to your emotional guidance system. You have to be listening to something other than your own guidance system. Maybe it is another person (like your parents) that you’re listening to, maybe it is a coach, maybe it is a friend, maybe it is society at large that you are listening to… either way, your thoughts (which are not the same thing as your feelings) have been swayed by them and you aren’t listening to yourself. It’s like taking duct tape and taping over the top of your compass and turning the volume down on your navigation system. You will experience this perpetual ignoring of your emotions as a deadening or a numbing within yourself. The good news is, your compass never stops pointing north. Your navigation system never stops talking to you, no matter how far down you have turned the volume or how much duct tape you’ve used. So all you have to do to get un-lost is to tune back into your feelings and emotions. All you have to do is begin to listen to your feelings instead of your thoughts. And be very honest with yourself (even at the risk of hurting other people) about your own personal truth.
Most of us were raised in a punishment and reward parenting setting. This means, when we were children, we learned that the only way we could get love, was to be good. We want to be good people so badly that we forsake our own truth (our desires and true personality) to make other people happy. We think that this is what makes us good. Really, it just makes us lost. If you are lost, you have cared (or still do care) much more about other people feeling good than you care about yourself feeling good. You have had to get what you want in round about ways instead of in straightforward ways. And ironically, this means that you line up with people who do not actually resonate with you, so you will feel fundamentally flawed. You know on some level that you are surrounded by people who are nothing like you and who would most likely reject the truth of who you really are if they only knew it. So you begin to not only feel lost, you begin to also feel alone. You do not know that if you allowed yourself to tune back into how you feel and re connect with yourself and your own personal truth (because would no longer be in the vibration of self rejection), you would begin to attract people into your life who truly do resonate with you, and who would be in total approval of your own personal truth, no matter what that is.
Anyone who is lost suffers from a deeply suppressed story of self-rejection. And when we are in a space of self-rejection, we can only attract people who reject the truth of who we are. This means, if we are gay, we will be be surrounded by religious fundamentalists who hate gays. This means if we are afraid of intimacy, we will attract all kinds of people who need us and pull at us for intimacy. This means if we crave intimacy, we will attract all kinds of people who are independent and whom don’t want to give their time and energy to us. This means, if you are an artist, you will be surrounded by people who are practical nine to five workers, who constantly put down irrational, impractical, irresponsible people who think it’s appropriate to follow their heart. You get the point… But the sad part is, because of this rejection that we feel from the people around us (which ultimately stems from our own rejection of our own truth as children in order to fit into the world we were raised in), we begin to feel as if there is something fundamentally wrong with us.
If we are out of touch with the way we feel and disconnected from our own truth, pretty soon we cannot figure out what we like and don’t like. We cannot figure out why we are doing what we are doing or how we ended up where we ended up. It’s as if we just let ourselves float into a tide and drifted here, to wherever this is. Emotionally, it will literally feel as if we have “drifted” or are “drifting”. This, along with emotional numbness, is the emotional hallmark of feeling lost.
Here are Ten Tips for how to go from lost to found.
Tune back into your emotions and express your emotions. Do a body scan. When you have tuned out and disconnected from your emotions, tuning back into the feelings and sensations in your body is the first place to start. Do a body scan. Close your eyes and start with your head, moving all the way down to your feet. As you do this, just take note of and be present with the feelings in your body. Try to describe them. Try to identify them. Print out a list of emotions and see if you can identify the sensation translation of that emotion in your body. Then ask yourself why you think you might be feeling that way. If you have a problem following your emotional guidance system (which you do if you’re lost), set a timer to go off at random intervals during the day and do a body scan to check in with how you’re feeling. Record the results in a feelings log or a journal. I have designed a process called “follow the feeling” (you can watch it on you tube) that is beneficial for being with your emotions. After you have tuned into your emotions, express your emotions. They are telling you vital information. Let them tell their story. I have also designed a process for expressing emotions. You can also watch that process on you tube under the title “how to express emotions”. Do this process any time you feel a strong negative emotion arising within your body.
Discover your feeling of inspiration and passion. Those vibrations are the opposite of the vibration of being lost. Most of us do not do things in our day-to-day life (especially in our work life) that truly make us passionate. We get too busy for passion. We lie to ourselves and say that the bills are more important than how we feel, or that a goal we have set is more important than how we feel. We allow our minds and the damaging beliefs that our minds are run by, to rule our being over the way we truly feel. This means, illusion will be running your life, not truth. Dare to admit to what you feel passionate about. And if you think you need money first to do what you’re passionate about, you’re listening to your mind, which is currently lying to you. It is lying to you because your abundance will only flow to you, as a result of you being in alignment and you are only in alignment when you’re feeling passion and joy.
If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, it’s time to try new things. Try anything that captures your fancy and pay attention to how you feel doing those things. If you feel good, keep doing them. If you feel negative, don’t keep doing them. Take that pottery class you’ve always wanted to take. Go surfing. Buy that book on accounting. You don’t have to stick with anything. Trust me, if you truly enjoy something, you will never have to force yourself to “stick with it” because it will feel bad not to do that thing. You will be intrinsically motivated to do those things. Bottom line is, you’ve got to start looking for, recognizing and following your passion. Your purpose will only be known to you if you’re willing to follow your passion. And all people who feel lost, feel a lack of purpose and meaning for their existence.
Ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing and why you feel what you are feeling. Personal inquiry should start and never stop if you feel lost. The more self-awareness you have, the less you will feel lost. Solicit help for this one as well. Psychologists, social workers, spiritual guides, life coaches are all adept at helping you to gain self awareness. You cannot have enough self-awareness, and this should be an absolute priority for you.
Gravitate towards social interaction with people who feel emotionally good to be around and whom you feel a deep level of connection and intimacy with. If our social lives are organized around sports, hobbies, work or the Internet, we lack the vital interpersonal support that is necessary to our emotional health. If your social interactions are limited to people who share the same job, sport or hobby, your conversations will most often be limited to that past time which you happen to both share. The sport or hobby or career will be your only point of relation. Because of this, your relationship will lack intimacy. To lack intimacy, is to not invite someone into your internal world. If you don’t invite people into your internal world, no one will love you for more than what you do.
Beware that your family may not necessarily provide this sense of deep internal connection any better than work colleagues do. We cannot form the vital interpersonal connections we need to live a healthy life, until we allow ourselves to prioritize and seek out people whom we feel deeply connected to. This will make you feel an intense sense of isolation, no matter how many people you are physically around. That internal sense of personality isolation, lends to the feeling of being lost. A big part of feeling lost, is to be fundamentally untethered to other people.
Quit distracting yourself from yourself. Distraction abounds in today’s world. But we use distraction to further numb out from our own personal truth. We try to escape the painful feelings of having gone off course somewhere by tuning it out with porn addictions, focusing on other peoples problems, setting goals, spending hours on face book, and becoming too busy. In fact busy-ness is the number one mode of distraction for people who feel lost. To not be busy, is to have to be with yourself. Being with yourself and being alone are two radically different things. And it is most likely, based on where you are in life right now that if you are really with yourself, all your bells and whistles will be going off. It will feel like chaos or a depressed emptiness when you are really with yourself, because your internal guidance system will be telling you “we’re off course”.
People, who feel lost, have a basic unwillingness to admit to where they are, because where they are is painful. If we are lost, we tend to say things like “I’m really good” when we aren’t. Or “I’m happy “ when we aren’t. Being in self denial may have been a the coping tool of choice when you were younger and had no choice but to deny your truth in order to fit into the family, but it is not a virtue to be in self denial. The only way you can find out where you want to go and how to get there from here is to admit to where you are, even if where you are sucks.
It doesn’t feel good to tune back into yourself when you’ve tuned out to yourself. In fact it feels like waking back up out of a sleep to the real trauma of a situation. It feels like admitting to the fact that your leg is broken instead of distracting yourself from the fact that it is broken. But the only way to heal and to feel better, is to admit to where we are and to be brave enough to be with ourselves wherever we are and really get to work finding ourselves and tuning back into the truth of how we feel and what we truly desire. So, what in your life serves as a distraction from yourself?
Invite meaning into your life. People, who feel lost, feel as if their life is void of meaning. Start looking into other people’s philosophies about the meaning of life. Try them on for size. Do any of them fit? Begin to question yourself about the meaning of life in general and the meaning of your life. What are you believing about the meaning of life? Does this belief system feel good to you or bad to you? If it feels bad, do you care more about your supposed truth or hunch (which you cannot actually prove or disprove because no one can) than feeling good? It is true that becoming attached to a belief system to the degree that you are unwilling to question it is harmful to your well-being. But forming a belief system that feels good to you personally is a crucial part of living a meaningful and happy life. It’s up to you whether you assign an empowering or a disempowering meaning to the events and circumstances of your life. Having a belief system that provides meaning for you life feels good, which is why people who feel lost so often find themselves joining religions and becoming so much happier afterwards. But I would suggest building your own personal religion just for you out of multiple beliefs that feel good to you personally. A belief system that provides meaning for your life, acts like a north star or an internal foundation that anchors you to your life. Being anchored to and guided through your life by a belief system that feels good to you is the opposite of being lost.
Do not be afraid of loosing yourself. Nothing has gone wrong. In fact it is a spiritual truth that you cannot find yourself until you become lost. So when you look at feeling or being lost in this way, like it is a turning point to find out whom you are and what you really want to do, you’ll have less resistance to being lost, so you wont be feeding energy to being lost and you wont stay lost for very long. You are closer to truly knowing yourself than most people who think they are not lost, but are. If you know you’re lost, you know where you are… you’re lost. If we know we are lost, we know that our mission in life is to find ourselves. And when we start looking for ourselves, we will find ourselves. Everything we do can add to our knowledge of our own personal truth, and ourselves if we would only pay attention and inquire into our reactions and feelings. Is it possible to go astray? No. If part of your expansion on this planet is to know yourself and gain self-awareness, then you can only do that by going astray. This means that going astray was part of the plan from the beginning, so has something gone wrong? No. Something has gone right. You cannot ever hope to find yourself and understand yourself until you have first become lost and misunderstood yourself.
Stop being cerebral about happiness. If we are out of touch with our emotions right here and now, we form cerebral concepts about how to achieve happiness. Goal setters are the people on this earth, who are perhaps the most cerebral about happiness. We think happiness means reaching goals. The minute we think this, we are willing to forfeit current happiness for future happiness. The only reason anyone does anything, is because they think it will make them feel better. In other words, the only reason we do anything is because we think it will make us happy. We think happiness means winning that gold medal, or making that amount of money, or moving to that place, or marrying that person. We externalize happiness by doing this. We have no idea if those things will make us happier. We only think they will. And the mind is usually (if not always) wrong about what will ultimately make us happy. We can only know what makes us happy in the moment we are in by listening to and following our positive feeling emotions. So take one day at a time. Quit worrying about your purpose. Quit obsessing over those things that are out there in the future, and start dealing with each individual day, as it comes. Are you currently trying to convince yourself that achieving some goal in the future will make you happy? If so, you have “cerebralized” your happiness and you are most likely ignoring or sacrificing happiness that is available to you right here and now, for the promise of future happiness.
Quit living cautiously. Life was not meant to be lived carefully. Letting self-doubt dictate your life, is a sure fire way to get lost. Now, you may not identify yourself as a cautious person. But if you’re lost, you are! You may not be cautious with finances, but you may be cautious with your heart and falling in love. You may not be cautious about getting close to people, but you’re cautious to try new things in your professional life. Cowardice prevents us from following our passions. Cowardice prevents us from finding ourselves and really being happy long term. We need to look our fear directly in the face. We need to examine it and understand it fully. The more we understand it, the less we fear what we currently fear and the easier it is to make self loving decisions that are not dictated by fear. You will begin to do what is right for you personally and that is to find yourself.
It's time for a realistic game plan. Sit down with a piece of paper and give it the title "finding myself". Itemize 10 steps you could take to become less lost. Once you've made your list, choose the top three things and actually follow through with them. Your list of remedies might include the following:
• Keep an every day feelings log
• Buy paints and start painting
• Say yes to going on a date with ________________.
• Open up to a friend who I trust about ____________.
• Read the book man’s search for meaning.
• Watch you tube videos about how to feel emotion or express emotion
• Read an article a day about feeling lost
• Start seeing a psychologist
• Every day, one time a day, prioritize something that makes me feel good right here and now, over a future goal that I’ve set for myself.
• Express my emotions every morning by waking up and writing down how I feel, even if it is incoherent and disorganized.
If you take these items seriously and act upon them, you will begin to regain your position in the scheme of life and and feel less lost. If you are lost, the honest truth of your life is that life is not clear to you. Instead, it is pretty dark. But remember, it is always darkest, before the dawn. And the light of the stars is only visible through the dark of night. When you stop struggling against what is (that you are currently lost), you are no longer in a state of resistance. And when you’re no longer in a state of resistance, answers start floating into your life and you will begin to really find yourself.
Those of us, who find our way to spirituality, usually have done so as the result of being in pain in some way. Our needs have not been met. We feel an empty dissatisfaction with life itself because of it. Most of us are also not strangers to self-abuse in its multitude of different forms. But even though we feel better once we find spiritual truths to live our life by, our ways have not completely changed. We use spiritual truths as a tool to beat ourselves with. And one of those spiritual truths that we use to torture ourselves with is sacred to us. It is the teaching of independent self-sufficiency. It is an appealing and beneficial thing to learn that we, alone create our own reality when we have believed that our lives are at the mercy of the circumstance we find ourselves in. And when we feel like victims to the reality we are currently living in. But after we experience the temporary improved feeling of that independent power, we feel the isolation that follows and the pressure to do it all on our own. The idea of independent self-sufficiency contradicts the universal truth that we are all one in the same way that hatred contradicts love.
The opposite vibration of love is fear. Anger is an improvement on fear. The opposite vibration of empowerment is powerlessness. Independence is an improvement on powerlessness. Shall we stop there though? No. Ultimately, to recognize independence, is to recognize yourself as apart and divisible from the collective. This recognition is only beneficial to move you from a feeling of powerlessness to others to a feeling of empowerment. It ceases to be beneficial and instead, becomes detrimental when it causes you to feel isolated and separate and as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders alone.
Most spiritual teachers and channeled entities teach according to where human consciousness is right now. This means, if people are powerless, they will teach them how to empower themselves. This means, they will teach them to create their own reality and stop depending on that which they feel powerless to. They will tell you that you do not need to be affected by anything other than your own thoughts. They do not have the attachment to truth that you do. And so, they will offer you a belief that serves your progression regardless of whether it is true of not true, regardless of whether it is illusion or not. The truth is, you have an effect on everything that is and everything that is, has an effect on you. You are indivisible from it. Because of the truth of oneness, “they” are all “you”. This means “they” will always be a reflection of “you”. We are learning from our reflection.
Everything that other people do, affects you because everything that you do affects you. But by reorienting your focus towards something positive, you can create what you want to create regardless of what they are doing or not doing. Because you are only as powerless to what other people create as you are to what you create. The perspective that “they” are bigger and more powerful than you, is an illusion, when you realize they are nothing more than your reflection blown up to a world scale. The collective is moving away from utter powerlessness, and so its time for a progression in comprehension. And so, it is time to move beyond independence.
Anger, is an improvement upon powerlessness. Independence is like anger. It is only an improvement upon powerlessness to others. Interdependence is actually a vibrational improvement upon independence. Some other words we could use for interdependence are symbiosis or mutual empowerment. The bottom line is… You are dependent! You cannot be other than dependent on everything. And everything is dependent on you. This universe is dependent on you. You are as dependent on source, as source is on you. Without you, source could not know itself and could not expand. Without source, you could not be alive. Even if your perspective is that you aren’t dependent on a person, you’re still dependent on the carrot on your dinner plate.
So why does dependence scare us so badly? Because we don’t trust that we create our own reality. Because we don't trust ourselves. And because we doubt our ability to create. It has nothing to do with hating that we depend on other things. It’s about hating that we feel as if we are powerless to other things creating our reality. Depending on something would not be a problem at all if we trusted that we could create what we are dependent on; that is wasn’t out of our hands what experience we had and therefore out of our hands how we felt. We doubt our ability to create so much that we use spiritual truths to try to convince ourselves to not need what we need and not want what we want. We think it is less painful to convince ourselves to not need and want what we need and want than it is to believe that we cannot have what we need and want. Needs and wants are not bad. You all have them. The only reason a need or a want would ever feel bad, is if you believed it could not or would not be met and achieved. Our problem is not that we have needs. It is not that we need other people. It is that by needing them, while feeling powerless to create our own reality, we think they create our reality. We give our power away. We believe we are powerless to what they do or don’t do. We become a victim to our own creation.
You are not powerless to what you are dependent on as long as you create that which you are dependent on. But we doubt that we can do that. We are constantly told by advocates of independent self-sufficiency that every need should be filled in and of the self. But this is to see other people as separate from you. They ARE you. If you use them to fill the void within you, you are using you to fill the void within you. If you are using them to avoid you, you are using yourself to avoid yourself. We are looking to fill an empty void inside of us, of need. But the answer is not to stop needing or wanting. It is to realize that we have the power to create what we need or want. The reason we begin to receive love from others when we give it to ourselves is because the world around us, being us, mirrors us.
Let’s pretend that you needed your loved one to feel whole and comforted. One could argue that you are powerless because they could die and you’d be left at the mercy of that experience (which is torture) so the only lasting peace, is to find wholeness and comfort in and of yourself alone. But, to believe this, we would have to assume that we are in fact at the mercy of their presence, and could not manifest someone else to feel whole and comforted by. It is our dis-belief in our ability to create in our own reality that is actually hurting us in this scenario, not the fact that we are dependent in general on something other than us. The fact that we feel fragmented and afraid has to do with our emotional imprinting from childhood.
In a world that is one, you can only ever be dependent on that which is you. And in a world that is one, you are dependent on everyone else and they are dependent on you. This does not mean that you are powerless. We mistake dependence for powerlessness, most especially the powerlessness to create. But they are not the same thing. You cannot become independent. To do so, would be to separate yourself from the rest of the universe. Not only is this not wanted; it is also not possible because you are the universe incarnated in the illusion of a separate physical body.
Let’s say I am dependent on a significant other to feel safe. Traditional spiritual teachings say that this is inappropriate. That I am now powerless to my mate and to what my mate does and does not do. But in a universe that is the reflection of thought, I have created my mate (caused the universe to bring him to me by virtue of law of attraction). So all I am dependent on is my own creation. All I can feel powerless to is my own creation. And each creation of mine, causes me to learn more about me and hone/improve my creations. My creations are therefore constantly evolving. And therefore, my sense of safety is constantly evolving. If I don’t like my creation, I can always improve it and change it.
If you depend on your creation (which ultimately everything is), then you trust your creation. Your creation is nothing more than an extension of you. So, to depend is ultimately to trust yourself. This is why Source (God) trusts us completely. Because we are the extension of Source, the creation of source, and it trusts itself completely. Independent people trust themselves only slightly more than powerless people do. But neither, actually trusts themselves.
Depend is not a bad word. Yet again, it is a beautiful concept that has been confused for a different concept that is “ugly”. To depend is to become one. The world is so much more gentle and supportive than we realize. So much more gentle and loving and interwoven than we will let ourselves understand; because we are still feel so powerless to the world at large, that we are trying to be a lonely universe in and of ourselves. The ego has used spiritual teachings that are designed to empower your ability to create your reality, as a tool of separation. The only people who resonate with teachings of personal empowerment that inspire independent, self sufficient reality creation, are those who have felt powerless to others people that could not meet their needs. They had no choice but to turn to themselves. But that is an intermediary step, a step towards empowerment. It is not all the way there. The next step is to recognize your complete dependence on you. And you, includes all the other beings in existence, because they are all you. This is an interdependent universe because the most absolute truth of this universe is the truth of oneness. To want to only be dependent on yourself (as a single unit) and to only want to meet your own needs is to want to dis-include all other parts of you in this universe, because you’ve bought into the illusion that they are “other” than you. It is much more in alignment to include everything that could be seen as “other”, as part of you, and therefore inter-be with it by allowing your dependence on it. Powerlessness to something or someone else is not the same thing as dependence on something or someone else. As an extension of Source (God), you are endowed with the power to create. But the only independent power you possess is the power to create that which you are dependent on. The time has come for empowered interdependence, instead of powerless dependence.
We have this habit of expecting ourselves to be “above it all”, meaning that we expect ourselves to be so proficient at focusing positively and fixing our own problems that we are unaffected by our experiences. But to expecting ourselves to be “above it all” is to add torture on top of pain. To resist where we are, and who we are currently is to abandon yourself in the quick sand pit of your own pain.
It is ironic that those of us who fancy ourselves to be “in alignment” would have so much resistance to “not being in alignment”. People, who subscribe to the power of positive thinking, tend to have extreme resistance to negative emotion and negative thoughts. We also have extreme resistance to the “breakdown phase” of transformation. We resist suffering, but resistance on top of suffering equals more suffering. It is impossible it is to focus positively when you have something that you are trying to avoid (especially strong fear or other strong negative emotion). When we are feeling strong negative emotion, we are feeling desperate. You always get that desperate feeling when you are trying to get away from something and go towards something else. And obviously, any time we’re trying to get away from something, we are resisting it and therefore focusing upon in in a subconscious way. Whatever we resist persists. If we would quit resisting it, it would cease to exist. And so, there is only one option, to positively embrace the negative emotion.
The positive embracing of negative emotion is one of the most crucial skills to learn. Your emotions are like clay. You can learn to mold them by virtue of your thoughts. But to try to mold your life into something pleasing when you are unwilling to acknowledge, touch and embrace anything other than positive emotion, is like a sculptor being unwilling to work with the clay as it currently is; in it’s raw and cold form. It is to reject the clay and demand that you will only touch it once it is warm and soft. This will never work because the thing that transforms that raw, cold clay into soft, warm clay is the non-resistant, loving embrace of the sculptor’s hands. Until we are willing to approach our negative emotions with acceptance, compassion and most especially willingness to feel them, we cannot mold the clay of our life into anything different that what it is. There will be no change; our emotions will remain negative in the same way that the sculptor’s clay will remain cold and raw.
You have been taught that negative emotion means you have gone wrong. In fact, one of the things I hate about positive focus communities is that they tend to see negative anything (especially thoughts and emotions) as something bad, shameful, and un-evolved. Do you feel the resistance to negative in that mentality? This is not an evolved state. And honestly, it is what gives positive focus philosophies such a bad name. It makes us seem like “Polyannas”. We only seem like “Polyannas” when we are ignoring, glossing over, and avoiding negative emotion. We only seem like “Polyannas” when we have gone into denial and are currently rejecting and resisting the negative. Negative emotion is part of your guidance system, which means that negative emotions are valid. Negative emotion is a part of life for every person in existence. When we say otherwise, we ostracize each other. We condemn other people (as well as ourselves) to being alone in their pain and being ashamed of their pain. If we really had a comprehension of the way this universe works, we would be encouraging people, when they felt strong negative emotion, to embrace and explore those negative emotions before encouraging them to then focus positively on something that makes them feel better. Many people would argue that it’s a bad idea to focus on negative emotion or thoughts, because focus fuels them and that it’s a better idea to just focus on positive thoughts and things that make you feel good. But I am here to tell you that you can’t focus positively while you are resisting something negative. If you’re resisting something negative, you are resisting focusing on what you are already really focusing on. The resistance itself is fueling that negative thing, on a subconscious if not conscious level. It’s like your fish hook getting caught or snagged on the bottom of the stream you’re paddling down. You have to turn around, unhook the fishhook first and then go on your merry way. And sometimes, it takes longer to get un-snagged than other times.
When you can feel that you are resisting negative emotion (when you are desperate to feel differently), stop running away and just be with yourself and the truth of how you feel and what you’re thinking right here and now. Be with what you’re trying to run away from. Take time to sink into the feeling and really let yourself experience it and question it. Solicit the help of someone else who will aid you to explore what those emotions and sensations are trying to tell you. Use them to gain awareness. And express those emotions instead of suppressing them. Embrace them in any way you can. Without negative feelings, thoughts and experiences, you would never know what happiness and love and freedom really is. You would not have any awareness. The answers cannot come to you; unless you are first asking the questions and the questions nearly always come as the result of experiencing something that feels negative. Let’s all stop being ashamed of our negative emotions and thoughts and experiences. If we can learn to do that, we will no longer be resisting them and thus, they will transform our realities in the way they intend to transform our realities, into something better.
Having a sense of self vs. other is part of participating in this physical dimension. The individual perspective and experience is what is currently serving the expansion of this universe. And so, we perceive a difference between ourselves and the rest of the world. This individual perspective is a kind of boundary that defines us from everything else. We have heard again and again from self help experts and psychologists that it is crucial to our wellbeing to develop healthy boundaries. But what are boundaries really? Boundaries are guidelines for how someone relates the self to the rest of the world. They are rules of conduct built out of a mix of beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning. Personal boundaries operate in two directions, affecting both the incoming and outgoing interactions between people. Personal boundaries help to define an individual by outlining likes and dislikes and what is right for them personally or wrong for them personally. Defining these things helps us to know how we will and wont allow ourselves to be treated by others. Here are some signs that you have unhealthy boundaries:
Saying no when you mean yes or yes when you mean no.
Feeling guilty when you do say no.
Acting against your integrity or values in order to please.
Not speaking up when you have something to say.
Adopting another person’s beliefs or ideas so you are accepted.
Not calling out someone who mistreats you.
Accepting physical touch or sex when you don’t want it.
Allowing yourself to be interrupted or distracted to accommodate another person’s immediate wants or needs.
Giving too much just to be perceived as useful.
Becoming overly involved in someone’s problems or difficulties.
Allowing people to say things to you or in front of you that make you uncomfortable.
Not defining and communicating your emotional needs in your relationships.
The biggest issue isn’t that other people violate our boundaries, it’s that we violate our own boundaries. By letting someone violate our boundaries, we violate our own boundaries. This is self-betrayal. If you go against your personal boundaries, you violate yourself, you abandon yourself and you allow self-hate to rule the day. When most people think of boundary violation, they only think of intrusive violations, such as someone raping someone else. But there are also distancing violations as well. These are sometimes the most painful. A distancing boundary violation occurs when you have a connection with someone and they withdraw, which is to cross a boundary away from you. It emotionally wounds you and so it constitutes as an emotional boundary violation as well.
Boundaries could get very complicated if we were defining boundaries according to cerebral concepts of right and wrong or wanted and unwanted or according to the boundaries other people think are or aren’t healthy. After all, there are physical boundaries, emotional boundaries, metal boundaries, spiritual boundaries, and sexual boundaries. So I’m going to simplify the concept of boundaries and make them very easy for you to understand. Your boundaries are defined by your feelings. Your feelings will always tell you whether a boundary of yours has been violated, no matter what kind of boundary it is. For example, if someone said something that hurt you, it means they crossed an emotional boundary and you will feel hurt, which is your indication that your boundaries need to be re assessed. Another example could be, someone asks you to a party and you feel as if you don’t want to go, but you go anyway, you feel bad, which is your indication that you have violated your own boundary. This is why it is so crucial to be in touch with how you feel all day every day.
We can think of a boundary as an imaginary line that uniquely defines and separates your personal happiness, your personal integrity, your personal desires, your personal needs and therefore most importantly, your personal truth from the rest of the universe. He, who does not listen to and respect what he himself feels, violates his own boundaries. He, who does not listen to and respect what others feel, violates other people’s boundaries. It is as simple as that. So practice really listening to and feeling how things feel. Listen to what your feelings are telling you. They are speaking to your personal truth. It is crucial that we not only know who we really are and what we really want but also that we know that we are known for who we are and what we really want by others. When we are ashamed of who we are and what we want, we have poor boundaries and we are shamed for whom we are by others all the time.
Personal truth cannot be defined by anyone other than you because no one can step into your body and feel for you. But this is what so many people try to do. This is what society does. It tries to tell you what your boundaries should and shouldn’t be. In fact, the health or weakness of your boundaries has a great deal to do with the world around you, especially the world you grew up in. We were shamed out of our true sense of self as children. In order to fit into our family and into society, we had to develop an identity that was acceptable to the people around us, a false self. This is a survival strategy. We become the person we think we are supposed to be and shame the person who we really are. Those of us, who had invalidating parents, do not have healthy boundaries. Indeed, we may cross our boundaries all the time or even lack them. Here is a common scenario: A child begins to feel angry because their parent is always working and never has time to be with them. The child expresses that anger and is invalidated, the parent says “I spend more time with you than any other parent that I know spends with their child” and the child is shamed for being ungrateful. The child learns that the way they feel is not true and that they should be ashamed for feeling the way they feel. Anger is not acceptable. So the child creates a false self that is cannot express anger and who says “thank you” all the time. Over time, he or she believes that who they really are is happy and grateful. They have never really admitted to the fact that deep own, they truly feel angry. So how do you know if you have set up a false self? You fear other people thinking negatively of you. Ask yourself these questions: Do I know what I really want? Do I let other people tell me what to think or believe and how to feel? Do I do things I don’t really want to do and say yes when I really want to say no or say no when I really want to say yes? Am I afraid to let people know how I really feel? Am I afraid of people thinking negatively of me?
It’s hard for people to set boundaries because:
we put others’ needs and feelings first;
we don’t know themselves;
we don’t feel as if we have rights;
we believe setting boundaries jeopardizes the relationship; and
we never learned to have healthy boundaries.
Most of us were told that how we felt was either not how we felt or was not ok to feel. Most of us were told that what we saw was not what we saw. Most of us were told that what we “thought” we wanted was not what we really wanted, or was not ok to want. We lived lives were our own personal truth was invalidated again and again. This made most of us feel crazy and as if we could not trust ourselves, so we began to go against the way we felt and the things we wanted and in doing so, we did not stay true to ourselves. This internal self-betrayal is what caused us to stop trusting ourselves. Self-trust is all about boundaries. Boundaries are about being there for yourself. Most of us are caught in a habitual pattern of abandoning ourselves . This is the real reason why we don’t trust ourselves. People don’t trust themselves when they feel unsafe with themselves. And we feel unsafe with ourselves when we watch ourselves make decisions that don’t feel good or act in a way that doesn’t represent our true selves. When we ignore the way we really feel, and abandon our personal truth, we become in essence untrustworthy to ourselves. The only way to begin trusting yourself is to learn how to tune back into how you feel and then honor how you truly feel.
Maintaining the false self by denying the truth of who we really are and how we really feel and what we really want, prevents us from having any kind of intimacy in relationships because to have intimacy, we must open up to meet the other person at the very core of ourselves. We cannot do this when we are maintaining a false self because we never let other people past the mask, so they can’t ever really love or see us. What’s worse, we never really let ourselves past the mask. Intimacy is to receive a person for who they truly are and to be received for who you truly are. By this definition, you can see that if we maintain a false self, we have no intimacy with ourselves so we cannot have intimacy with other people.
In relationships, we deeply crave to be with someone who understands how we feel, but we don’t even take the time to understand how we feel. We wind up having a relationship of convenience with ourselves. We only listen to our own personal truth when it doesn’t cause trouble or difficulty. We don’t realize that we are causing the very difficulty we are trying to avoid by not listening to our feelings and personal truth all the time regardless of whether it may cause difficulty or not. The bottom line is it is impossible to know who you are and what you like and what you believe and what you want unless you know how you feel. People with healthy boundaries are able to have relationships without losing themselves. And we must remember that when our boundaries are vague to us, they will be vague to others. So how does this idea of boundaries fit into the idea of a universe that is all one? It would seem that a boundary would defy the truth of the unified nature of the universe. If I am truly accepting of and honest about who I really am an what I really want and feel, I am embracing the unique expression of source that I am rather than seeing myself as separate from others or from source. And so, personal boundaries are not a contradiction to spirituality. We are simply using a word “boundary” which we associate with resistance. In one sense, to have boundaries, you have to differentiate between yourself and the rest of the world. You have to define your individual feelings. But this is already done for you because of the fact that you have come into a physical human brain and body. It was always the plan for you to experience a separate self because this perspective serves the expansion of the universe’s own journey to self-awareness. So we all already do experience a self and that which is other. This perspective creates a good deal of unhappiness until we allow ourselves to go in the direction of individual happiness, which ultimately leads to our discovery that we are all one and that whatever serves our individual happiness, serves all else that is. But here is the thing that really matters. Boundaries are not about resisting what is not wanted. That is an unhealthy boundary that creates pain. It is as unhealthy to have resistance towards violation that could be imposed on you by the world, as it is to have no boundaries and let the world constantly trespass against you. People who build walls against intimacy, are not exhibiting healthy boundaries, they are in resistance to the world. An unhealthy boundary pushes against the world and tells others how they can and can’t behave. Ultimately we have no control over how they behave and what they do and don’t do. We only have control over what we do and don’t do and what we allow ourselves to experience at the hands of others.
Healthy boundaries (unlike most boundaries we are used to such as fences or rules) are non resistant in nature and thus, they are in alignment with oneness. Healthy boundaries are not about controlling what other people. They are entirely about you personally defining and then following your individual sense of happiness and desires and personal truth. It is a state of self-awareness, integrity and self-love. You can’t have any of those things if you are pushing against the world and you can’t have any of those things if you are letting the world define who you are, what you want and how you feel. Having a healthy sense of self serves not only you, but also the universe. And ultimately, your happiness IS everyone else’s happiness as well because we are all one. If you are feeling bad about having said yes to something you don’t really want to o, it is time to re assess your boundaries. If people in your life are making you feel bad in any way, it is time to re assess your boundaries. List the ten things in your life that you are the unhappiest about right now. List ten things you’d like other people to stop doing around you or to you or saying to you. It may even help to list the people in your life one by one and write down how you feel around them. Then, relative to every item on the list, ask yourself “How am I violating my own boundaries and letting them violate my boundaries?” “How do I really feel about this, what do I really want?” An example may be, my spouse watches the television after coming home from work and ignores me. This makes me feel rejected and unloved, like a void of loneliness is welling up inside me. By doing this, he is violating an emotional boundary because I’m not ok with people treating me like this. So I’m going to write him a letter expressing how I feel. Once you discover that a boundary violation has occurred, it is then crucial to make some changes based on how you really feel. Decide on specific action you can take. Self-expression is paramount in this circumstance. For example, you may decide to say no next time someone asks you to do something. Maybe you will make a phone call and back out of a commitment you’ve made. Maybe you will set a boundary by saying something to them the next time they hurt you, such as “Please don’t derail my efforts to give up smoking or remind me about how many times I’ve failed.” Or you might assert a boundary by asserting a positive request, such as “I’d really appreciate your help to succeed this time.”
Remember, as time goes on, your boundaries will require updating. They will not always stay the same. Perhaps the time you can give to others is much more limited after starting a new relationship or having a baby. Redefining your boundaries throughout life is a crucial part of staying true to yourself. And boundaries are all about staying true to yourself throughout the changes you experience in your life. We can all help to rehabilitate each other with regards to boundaries as well. We can do this by giving them permission to feel how they feel and admit to how they feel with us. We unintentionally violate other people’s boundaries all the time without knowing it because so many people have problems asserting themselves around us and expressing their desires and feelings to us. It is very easy to help people develop healthy boundaries, just develop the habit of asking them to tell you how they really truly feel and to be honest about it without fear of loosing your love or being disapproved of. By doing this, you’re giving them permission to be themselves and be true to themselves. You’re saving both them and you a lot of heart ache in the process.
If we want to live happy lives and make the right choices for ourselves personally, we need to know how we feel, admit to how we feel and express how we feel. Developing boundaries is a crucial part of finding our true selves. It is therefore a crucial part of spiritual practice and life success. We do not need to resist others to do it. Instead, we need to fully allow ourselves to express the truth of ourselves at all times.
We live in a universe that is all one. This “united consciousness” merely expresses itself in different ways. You are an expression of united consciousness, the same way that your boyfriend or girlfriend is an expression of that unified consciousness, the same way that the living room couch is an expression of that united consciousness. Saying that one expression of this unified consciousness is more special or important than any other, is a misunderstanding. At the highest level of spiritual awareness, it is truth that everything and everyone in existence is therefore your soul mate or twin flame because in a universe that is all one, all there is, is you. You ultimately are not only yourself, you are also your boyfriend or girlfriend and you are also your living room couch. The individuality you are currently experiencing is just an illusion.But when we are discussing twin flames or soul mates, we are discussing reality from a more limited perspective, a perspective closer to the physical perspective, which recognizes difference and individuality as a subjective truth. When most of us say twin flame or soul mate, what we mean is a soul connection or relationship between two halves of the same soul. The popular theory on twin flames is that in the beginning of time we were created as a perfect soul, which was split into two soul halves, one half female, the other half male. That split soul was then cast upon Earth in order to search for one-another. They would reincarnate over lifetimes with this longing for each other, and once they finally meet, they would reunite and be in love and then leave this physical plane as one whole individual soul. There is so much that is backwards about this theory. There is no being that is separate from you that “casts” souls down to earth. Also, this theory ascribes traits to souls that are more physical than they are energetic. A soul is not a clump of energy, in the same way that a body is a clump of bones and flesh. To imply that a soul can be cut in two implies that it is a clump of energy. In reality, a soul is nothing more than a stream of consciousness. Streams cannot be cut in half.
Let’s pretend that this unified consciousness or this oneness we speak of (and often call god or source) is an infinite ocean. All water comes from this ocean. Rivers and streams are therefore a projection of the ocean, a different expression of the ocean because rivers diverging from the ocean and creeks diverging from the rivers are still made of ocean water. Metaphorically speaking, what we call soul families, are just rivers that have projected forth from the ocean (streams of consciousness that have projected forth from unified consciousness) and what we call individual souls that experience a specific reincarnation path, are just creeks that have projected forth from a particular stream. Now, interestingly enough, these creeks can project forth into the physical as multiple beings at one time. Your soul could in essence be incarnated here on earth as multiple individuals, both human and non-human. And much of the time, if one aspect of you ran into another aspect of you, you would have no conscious awareness of it.
However, if you were in a moment of alignment (positive emotion), if you had released resistance (especially to yourself), and if you were to then rendezvous with another aspect of you, you would recognize an immediate feeling of oneness and of coming home, because oneness and home is in essence energetically closer to you when you are encountering your own soul stream (creek) than when you are encountering another soul stream (creek). Ultimately, we are being drawn towards the ultimate truth in the universe, which is that we are all one. This means, when you are in alignment, you will meet that person or those people who are other projections of your same soul and you will be insatiably attracted to them. We are closer to the truth of oneness when we are with them. That is what that feeling of being “completed” by someone actually is. It is the recognition of the self in the other.
Many of us did intend to have the experience of uniting ourselves with another aspect of our soul before coming into our physical lives. We always chose our gender based off of what will best serve our expansion and intentions for our specific life. But often, part of the experience we want to have for the benefit of our expansion is the experience of oneness within a physical form. And the way many of us accomplish this is to incarnate into two beings (quite often a male and female aspect) and come into life separate from them, in order to experience the contrast of loneliness and separation. This contrast gives rise to the desire for unity and coming home, which when we line up with it vibrationally, is satisfied through meeting that other male or other female aspect of ourselves and pair bonding with them. These pair bonding, monogamous relationships are often agreed upon and planned before a birth. And often, when we meet that person, we can feel fate in the relationship because of it.
It is also true that we may have chosen to do this again and again in multiple reincarnations. If the relationship serves expansion in a very real way, we will continue to incarnate together, and find each other life after life until that experience no longer serves our expansion or the progression of source consciousness.
The traditional view of soul mates or twin flames is that it must happen between dual aspects… a male a female. This is not the case. We could bump into and find unification with an aspect of our soul stream that is incarnated as the same gender as ourselves. When this is the case, either an intense friendship ensues, or we will experience the same level of romance and sexual attraction, as a “heterosexual soul mate” couple would have for each other. The law of attraction, which still reigns triumphant, dictates that if you and your soul mate(s) are on different wavelengths and in different vibrations from each other, you will either not rendezvous with your soul mate(s) or you will clash when you do. Also, where there is a powerful and strong desire and intent (which there always is when we are dealing with a soul mate or twin flame) that is not being satisfied and when the two of you get together and see each other in that place of disconnection, you will experience extreme friction. This means, if you or your soul mate focus negatively in a way that causes you to hold yourself in resistance to each other, you will be going so against the current of the stream of consciousness within you, that it will be like trying to hold a high powered magnet apart, great pain will be the result of that resistance. Discord between soul mates or twin flames is particularly painful.
So how do you know if you’ve met your twin flame or soul mate? Here is a list of attributes that most experts agree, will come along with a twin flame relationship…
You had dreams or visions of this person before physically meeting in this lifetime.
Meeting your partner felt like “coming home” to a familiar, long-lost energy. After meeting, you had “memories” of other times and places with that person that are not part of this life experience so far.
Your partner mirrors your own issues, concerns, and imbalances, but you also complement each other’s skill sets, talents, and capacities. You are the ultimate embodiment of yin/yang.
You may be of different ages, the same or opposite sex, vastly different backgrounds, “opposing” religions or cultures, but you feel an incredible unity or incomparable sense of oneness with your partner.
You feel each other’s symptoms, illnesses, and emotions even when you are not near each other or in communication.
Your functioning is impaired or much less optimal when you are apart from your twin flame. It physically and mentally hurts when you are not together, like trying to hold a high powered magnet apart.
When you are with your partner and the relationship is in balance, you become stronger, more powerful, and more capable than you have ever felt. You feel united in a mission or “calling” to serve others and the world.
Your unconditional love for your partner is like no other. Your partner is likely to have a certain habit, quality, or “baggage” that would be a deal-breaker for you in any other relationship. However, you overlook it or willingly work through it with this partner-- no matter what it takes.
You met your partner after being forced to develop some measure of self acceptance or self approval. It’s likely that you met when and where you were least consciously expecting it. As a result, you have an intense level of friendship on top of the sexual attraction between you.
In efforts to harmonize, expand and balance each other, you “push each other’s buttons” and test each other’s limits in order to call each other into becoming the highest version of yourselves.
Friends, family members, and others in your circle are effected and humbled and deeply moved by the relationship. They too, express that they feel that there is something cosmic at work in the union. Some are very threatened by this.
The growth you experience, the lessons you learn, and the person you become in the twin flame relationship are more significant, happen more rapidly, and are more powerful than any other experience or period of growth in your life.
You realize that your previous soul mates or other relationships prepared you for the twin flame reunion. Your twin flame may even have or embody a number of the unusual characteristics or outstanding attributes of your previous mates and soul friends.
You feel as if you’ve been waiting your whole life for this person. When you look back at your life, you see illnesses, sabotaged relationships, or other situations that manifested because you were still waiting and still looking for “the one.”
Even if you don’t particularly enjoy 3 dimensional existence here on earth, you heal, evolve, mature, and continue to live-- just to stay with your twin flame partner. Earth itself begins to feel more like home, because they are here.
The more that you and your twin partner spend time together, the more rapidly and completely you awaken to higher consciousness. You have a deep knowing that your twin partner is your destiny—and a feeling that this is the case for more than just this lifetime.
When most of us say we want a soul mate, we are saying that we want an enjoyable relationship that gives rise to less contrast and more positive emotion. But if your soul mate is in essence your soul, expressing itself in a different human form, you could not rendezvous with them from a positive emotional space unless you were positively focusing towards yourself. Positive emotional experiences are the result of positive focus. Positive interaction with another aspect of myself, like a soul mate, is the result of positive focus towards myself. So how do you meet your twin flame or your soul mate? Find approval for yourself. No matter what, the people who meet their soul mates or twin flames (whichever term you prefer) do so after making a dramatic positive change in how they approach themselves. By it’s very nature, a soul mate relationship is one where our partner holds intense levels of positive focus towards us. To be a match to meeting another person who will focus that way towards us, we must focus that way towards ourselves. Meeting your soul mate calls for radical self-acceptance. Self-acceptance is the byproduct of focusing towards yourself with an attitude of approval.
Ironically, spiritual people are some of the least likely people to engage in a relationship with a soul mate at a young age because in general, they are obsessively committed to the path of self-improvement. To want to “improve” yourself means you are focused negatively on yourself. You are focused on your shortcomings. Continue down this path and you can’t be a vibrational match to (and therefore you can’t experience) a person who sees you as perfect the way you are. We can only be a match to a soul mate, if the things we want to change about ourselves, we want to change because we love ourselves and think the change would add to our happiness; not because we disapprove of ourselves and think the change would make us more lovable. This means, quit trying to change yourself to be in a place to meet someone who will love you.
Instead, find approval for yourself right here and now, exactly as you are as if nothing will ever change about you for the rest of your life. Pretend that every “flaw” you have, you will have till the end and begin to view those flaws in a positive light.
The very best exercise to use in order to line up with your soul mate or twin flame is a self-approval exercise. Every morning when you first wake up, pick one thing that you don’t accept or approve of about yourself. Then, challenge yourself to think outside the box (and elicit help from others to think outside the box) and write a large list of things that make you feel better about that thing and that enable you to approve of that thing instead of disapprove of it. For example, let’s say I hate that I am emotionally unstable. I would write “I’m emotionally unstable” at the top of the page and write a list of things that help me to feel good about the fact that I am emotionally unstable such as:
I give other people permission to be where they are
I’m dashing the harmful image of the enlightened guru, removed from life itself and life’s ups and downs
Intense periods of self-awareness/growth
I make it safe for people to be emotionally in tune and vulnerable
I am real, no facades
Buddha was emotionally unstable (he ditched his life after an emotional crisis)
Crisis leads to self-discovery
I draw people into life and it inspires them
I know where I am in a relationship and where the relationship is at
My relationships are never boring, they are deep and epic
When I’m emotionally unstable, I’m not hiding from my partner, he knows exactly how I am and who I am
Tons of relationship growth I get emotional love and support from other people when I’m emotionally unstable.
I’m a huge mirror for other people
If emotions are a guidance system, I have a big internal compass and am less likely to lose my way.
I’m healthy and have no addictions because I do not suppress and I cannot escape from the emotions.
I create unity powwows around my healing crisis that connect other people.
I smash the idea that you have to “get on with it” and “buck up” and go upstream.
Stability equals suppression and facades most of the time, which is not a good personality trait.
When I’m in anger, I’m not in the victim role, I’m standing up for myself, which I never could do before
I’m vulnerable, which takes immense bravery
I am transparent
I give people permission to acknowledge and honor their feelings instead of ignore them or suppress them.
I’m asking for recognition and help, which I couldn’t before. I’m good at asking for help, and now I receive it.
I’m proving that life doesn’t fall apart if you let yourself get caught by people.
I authentically heal and authentically rally instead of fake it on the exterior while I’m falling apart inside.
I am good at rescuing my own inner children; I have to in order to feel better. So, I heal faster than anyone I’ve ever met.
I reach awareness quicker.
I have excess emotional energy, which makes me a brilliant and successful artist.
It’s self expression
It makes me a great spiritual teacher, because I can relate to where people are emotionally and the way it feels to be up or down, this makes me relatable to them and it enables me to teach them. I can only teach someone to get out of a state I have been in.
I’m a brilliant writer because of this.
In summation, do soul mates or twin flames exist? Yes. This does not mean that you are incomplete without them. It simply means you will feel more complete when you are with them, because being with them brings you closer to the oneness that is the basic premise of this universe. And guess what? If it is a desire of yours to meet a twin or soul mate that means you have one or more. You could not have the desire for them in the first place, if they did not exist and if you were not meant to meet.
Productivity has become an addiction. We use productivity to fill the void where self worth aught to be. Most of us in the western world are pumped full of the societal message that we are not loved for who we are, we are only loved for what we do. When what we do matters that much, we try to do as much as we can to earn approval. We wake up every day convinced that we have to prove ourselves and justify the fact that we are alive with work. In truth, productivity can only be the result of inspiration. When one is inspired, the productivity takes no effort. Manifestation and fruition is the quick and natural byproduct of being in the flow of creation. Creation is the result of inspiration. Inspiration ensures that any action we take, is backed by universal energy, the same energy that creates worlds. So the real question is not how do I become more productive, it is how do I become more inspired?
Inspiration is the result of allowing yourself to go in the direction of happiness. Many people think they are doing this already when in fact they are not. Most of us are sacrificing our current happiness for the sake of the promise of future happiness. For example, many people think they will be happy if they have money and so they keep a job they hate in order to make they money that they think will add to their happiness. It is a perfectly valid desire to have money. It is fine to desire as much of it as you could possibly want. But if you’re working at a job you hate in order to get it, you’re sacrificing your current happiness for the promise of future happiness. By doing that, you’re cutting off the flow of source energy to the current moment. As a result, you will start to feel burnt out and your passion will wane. If you want to feel inspiration, you must first discover what makes you truly happy and truly feel passion. Then, you must do that thing or those things, no matter the perceived risk of doing so. Passion makes productivity effortless. It makes it so the energy you exert to do something, feels good instead of bad.
Here are some tips that will help you to be more productive.
Stop waiting for the perfect time and perfect conditions before you act. The most productive people in the world understand the value of immediacy. If you are creating your own reality, why wait for external conditions to change? Jump in and start whatever it is you want to produce. The quicker you do so, the quicker you’ll produce it.
Think big. The bigger your goal is, the higher you will reach; and if you reach that high, even if you don’t make it all the way to the goal you’ve set, you will have made it much further and accomplished much more than you would have dreamed of if you had set your sights low. Think of a long jumper. If the long jumper sets a goal of jumping 30 feet, he is less likely to make it to 30 feet because his mind sees that number as “hard to accomplish”. If however, he sets a goal of jumping 35 feet, his brain automatically undervalues every number under that. Because he is so focused on that extreme distance, he is likely to make it quickly to 30 feet or even more and thus set a world record.
Get rid of your tools of distraction. Cut out TV or video games and save those for rare occasions. Make sure to also cut out wasted time on the Internet. Distractions are an escape from life. You did not come here to escape from life. You came here to experience and use your life fully. It will amaze you how much time you actually have when you are no longer distracting yourself and it will amaze you how much you can get done if you spend your time working towards your goals instead of distracting yourself.
At nighttime, make a list of everything you want to accomplish the next day. Cross the items off one by one as you do them throughout the next day. This will help you to feel productive and as if you have achieved something. When you feel like you are productive, you will be more productive, end of story.
Quit multi tasking. Humans are not actually capable of multi tasking. Pick one thing and commit your full attention to that one thing until you complete it.
Break your big goals down into small steps. And then break those steps down into even smaller steps. As you accomplish those steps, cross them off the list. Most of us are incapacitated when beginning a project by the feeling of being overwhelmed. This process of breaking your projects down into small steps greatly reduces your feeling of being overwhelmed. You will get so much more done when you are able to clearly define your plan and see your progress as you complete each step. We have the tendency of getting overwhelmed because we are looking at the whole staircase and the top of the staircase seems to be so far from where we are standing. But if we would break the staircase down into steps and focus on the step in front of us, we would reach the top quickly.
Take care of your body by exercising, getting enough sleep and eating healthy foods. When you move your body, you reduce your stress levels and clear your mind. Plus, it may seem counterintuitive, but when you exercise you actually increase your energy levels so it is easier to complete your tasks. When you allow yourself to sleep, you allow your body to recharge and re boot. This guarantees that you will have much more energy to dedicate to your work. Imagine a world-class sprinter staying up all night and then trying to run a race the next day. It is obvious that their performance would suffer. Their energy levels would be depleted. But this is the same thing you’re expecting of yourself. Your mind needs this time to re charge.
Eating an unhealthy diet and eating sporadically greatly inhibits your productivity level. Eating healthy foods enables your body and mind to support your work. What you eat becomes your physical body. You need a healthy body to do what you need to do in order to be productive in a given day.
Now I want to introduce you to the most important concept when it comes to being productive, it is the spiritual concept of the “highest and best use”. If we are to live in alignment with our highest good and with our true purpose on this earth, we should be prioritizing our lives according to the ~highest~ use of our time and according to the ~best~ use of our time. Knowing of course that the highest and best use of our time always changes. For example, sometimes the highest and best use of our time is play, other times the highest and best use of our time is business. We must have the discernment to know what our priority is for the current moment so we are using our energies in their most efficient way towards their most effective use.
Create the habit of asking yourself this question, “What is the highest and best use of my time right now?” Ask yourself this question all day long. Use it to organize your to do lists in terms of priority. If you catch yourself being distracted on face book or watching TV, stop and ask yourself this question. Ask yourself this question when you finish a task. Don’t be fooled though, sometimes if we are honest with ourselves, the highest and best use of our time is in fact taking a break. This question is a demonstration of appreciation for life itself. It is to say, I honor this life that I am living to the degree that I am committed to it and to the degree that I will use the gifts I am endowed with and exalt my hours here on earth to their highest potential. It is a profoundly spiritual commitment to make, in the form of a very simple question.
Let’s face it, we all want to be more and have more and do more. This enterprising spirit is part of the human experience. It is a beautiful desire when it is not being fueled by the idea that we are not good enough with what we are and what we have and what we do right here and now.
Productivity is the natural byproduct of inspiration, which is the result of following your joy and doing what makes you passionate. So be brave enough to admit to what that is and you will not need these tips to get you going. You will not need any help to be productive at all. A multitude of creations will flow through you effortlessly.
Our bodies are more like eco systems than organisms. There are a great many beings that call your body home, such as microorganisms and bacteria. These beings are indivisible from you because they benefit your existence and you could not exist without them any more than they could exist without you. What many people do not know is that your cells and organs are also more like separate beings that call your body home. We have the tendency of viewing them as if they are machine like parts of ourselves. In truth, they are indivisible from you, but they also have their own consciousness and personalities. You, (the you that you call by your name) are really the collection of all of these things. You are in essence a small-scale collective consciousness.
Understanding and beginning to view your body in this way is really important because so much health and vitality can come as a result of connecting with and honoring the separate parts of the ecosystem that is your body. And one of the most important parts of your body to connect with is the heart.
The heart is the first organ to form when the body is developing in utero. When an embryo is made up of only a very few cells, each cell can get the nutrients it needs directly from its surroundings. But as the cells divide and multiply to form a growing body, it soon becomes impossible for nutrients to reach all the cells efficiently without help. The cells also produce waste that they need to get rid of. So the heart and the blood and circulatory system that branches off from the heart, form the first organ system to develop in the human body. The heart is the connection between all future systems, which comprise the body. This is why it is so often seen as the center of your being. You can use the heart as a doorway between physical and non-physical reality. It is the main doorway between your soul and your physical body. You can also use the heart to send energy to all parts of your body (much like it sends blood to all parts of your body).
I want to introduce you to an exercise that you can use in order to connect with any part of your body, but today we are going to use it to connect with the heart. To begin with, close your eyes and place your hands, one on top of the other, over the top of your heart. Your heart is located right under your sternum in the center of your chest. Take some time to feel how your heart feels to you on both a sensation level and on an emotional level. If I were to mention the name of one of your friends, you would notice that there is an accompanying sensation that comes along with your idea of that person. This, more so than their name or details about them, is their signature. This is how your being recognizes them as different from the rest of the people you know. Your heart is like a friend. A friend you probably don’t know very well yet. But it has it’s own signature just like your friends do. This is why you can feel it as a being inside of you with a very specific life’s purpose to fulfill… namely to keep you alive. Imagine your heart as a separate being that lives inside you.
What does your heart feel like?
If your heart were a living being, what personality would this being have? (Feel free to visualize your heart as an actual mini being or even as a mini person if you wish)
What would this being want?
What would this being dislike?
Does this being feel appreciated and loved or does it feel ignored and undervalued?
Just take some time to be with your heart exactly as it is and exactly how it feels right here and now. There is no right or wrong way to have a conversation with your heart. You intuitively know what kind of conversation needs to take place. But I will give you a basic outline for developing a 2-way connection with your heart. Begin by asking your heart directly, “What makes you unhappy?” “What do you need me to do differently?” “If you could have one wish, what would it be?” And “What do you have to tell me?” You will receive the answers on an intuitive level. Either you will hear the answers or you will see them in your minds eye, or you will find that you just know the answers intuitively because they will pop up in your consciousness.
Next, it’s your turn to speak to your heart. Address the concerns that were put forth by your heart. Acknowledge that you value your heart’s needs and wants and perspective. After all, it represents the perspective of your true self. What do you think your heart needs to hear? Tell that to your heart. You can speak to your heart inside your mind’s eye if you do not wish to speak out loud. Next, take steps to fulfill the wish that your heart expressed. Keep in mind; this might not be something that can be accomplished in one sitting. It might for example be a lifestyle change that your heart wants you to make.
Once you feel as if you have reached an understanding with your heart, take some time to express gratitude for your heart. Acknowledge the work that it is faithfully and loyally doing to keep you alive and vital because it loves you. Express the love you have for your heart. Visualize that love flowing into your heart and nourishing your heart. See your heart sucking this love up and pumping it through your arteries and veins throughout the entire rest of your body. Feel your body as it too soaks up this love that the heart is pumping to it. Watch that love diffuse throughout your whole body and throughout each tiny little cell.
Just before you come back to the present moment, make a promise to your heart (if you feel ready) that you will always be available to talk to if it wants or needs to talk to you and that because you love it and have gratitude for it, you are going to fulfill it’s wishes because you agree with it’s wisdom and perspective. Then, take four deep breaths, allowing the oxygen to completely fill your lungs and completely exit your lungs and when you are finished, open your eyes.
The more connected you are with your heart, the more connected you are with your own personal truth and the more connected you are with your soul. Your heart bares the burden of the emotional trauma that you have experienced throughout your life. Relieving that burden and expressing love and gratitude for your heart is a critical part of your spiritual progression. You are in a relationship with your heart. Your heart is your best friend and it is your life partner. If you want yourself to thrive, you have to treat the relationship with your heart like you would treat the relationship with your significant other.
Marriage is a very controversial topic in today’s world. Some believe it is a beautiful expression of love, others believe it is an archaic restriction. But the drive to pair up with someone is imbedded in our DNA. It ensures the survival of our species on both a purely procreation level and on a physical survival level. Couple-hood is the primary social structure of our species. It has been for thousands of years. This has some serious implication. It means that at this point in time, rather than dissolving couple hood, strengthening it and transforming it into its highest aspect, is what will actually transform society.
About 11,000 years ago, humans turned from a hunter-gatherer species into a farming species. What that means is, we no longer had to be mobile nomads because we learned how to corral animals and grow food. This is the point at which “property” became a concept in human society. And property had to be protected as well as recognized and honored by others. Property ownership was what gave rise to economics and the idea of wealth vs. poverty. It was at this point that pair bonding became less about attraction and more about economics. Women and children (who also needed protection) were seen an extension of property ownership and wealth. The arranged marriage was the first real form of socially recognized marriage to take place. Arranged marriage was designed to ensure the economic and social status of the family. This design actually lasted all the way until the eighteenth century; when people began to see arranged marriage as a loss of the personal freedom inherent in choosing whom to pair bond with. At this point, marriage became more of a contract designed to fulfill psychological needs, personal happiness and stability.
Marriage is the act of making one’s relationship known, recognized and official to the public. And it is done with the intention that the relationship be permanent throughout the duration of the couple’s life. This act is not only a social action, it is also a legal action in our current society. On a surface level, a couple may marry for legal reasons, social reasons, financial reasons, religious reasons, spiritual reasons, emotional reasons or libidinal reasons. And once the union is recognized, it is considered a contract.
It is important to note that the terms of marriage are not set. The couple themselves decides upon the terms of marriage. The terms that come along with marriage are agreed upon rights and restrictions. Some examples of terms are legal rights such as each spouse is entitled to half of the property that is owned and sexual restrictions such as each spouse is not allowed to engage in sexual acts with anyone outside the marriage. But the terms of marriage that come with both rights and restrictions, are heavily influenced by culture, regardless of whether those terms are in alignment or out of alignment with universal truth. This is where things get complicated. On an emotional level, it can be a beautiful intention to save and gift one’s sexuality only to one person. You can do that without restricting your love. On a social level however, this decision can merely be a socially conditioned expectation that is a holdover from a time where illegitimate children were a threat to property and ownership rights. If this is the case, it comes from a place of restriction. It is important to look over the terms of marriage with a fine tooth comb, so both partners know each other’s expectations and so each term of the marriage can be questioned by both partners fully. It is important to be clear about your reasons for those terms instead of simply blindly accepting them. Because they were someone else’s before you adopted them. From universal perspective, everything in existence is you. This means, every person is you. Prioritizing one person over any other person makes no sense from that perspective. This is why as we evolve as a species into a higher vibration towards greater alignment with source perspective, marriage will cease to be a function of society. We will evolve towards polyamory. The contrast of separation would not exist if you held an enlightened perspective, so you would never think to desire unity and thus pair bonding would not be an impulse. The desire to bond with others will cease to exist as the perception of separation dissipates. So, why you might ask is marriage in alignment? Why would it be a good idea to engage in the experience of pair bonding from universal perspective? Because relationships are currently the heart of expansion and the expansion coming from the experience of being in a primary relationship is immense. Your partner will become your biggest mirror and so, committing to them, is the same thing as committing to self-awareness. Also, the perspective that comes along with being pair bonded in a unified couple is an immense vibrational improvement upon the perspective of independent individuality. You MUST evolve to stay in a relationship long term with someone. Why? Personalities change, desires change, bodies age, romantic love waxes and wanes, life still provides you contrast and no relationship is free of conflict. The only way to remain together is to become flexible and open and become the best version of yourself. Those states are all highly spiritually aligned states to be in.
Marriage is it’s own kind of spiritual practice. If we were to run the other way from relationships when the going got tough, we would forfeit the opportunity to grow by running from our own reflection and our own shadows. They would continue to chase us from partner to partner and we would keep running from them to the next partner and the next partner instead of facing our own shadows when they are mirrored in the other person and finding not only transformation but also love for them. By committing to someone else in marriage, we are ultimately committing to ourselves.
Marriage is an opportunity to practice unity and therefore oneness with someone that is currently perceived as an “other”. This is why it so often takes place between a man and a woman. It serves to to harmonize the polarity of the genders. Legal marriage is really a function of society instead of spirituality. This is why the decision to be legally married should be more about wanting legal and social recognition for the marriage. Love and commitment is an entirely separate thing from legality. This is why the spiritual ceremony of marriage is much more important than the legal ceremony. It is the opportunity to set forth a very powerful intention to remain unified and for that unity to be supported by others. This intention brings us back to the most ultimate truth of oneness, which is why weddings can be so beautiful. They remind us all of our true essence, which is love. It is important to understand that you cannot ever know what you will desire tomorrow. Each relationship provides contrast, which causes you to want more or want something else. And when a desire is born, it cannot be denied. This causes great suffering. For a couple to stay happily married, they cannot ever settle. They must continually evolve in tandem. If a couple wants drastically different things and wants them badly, they must part ways and no contract should ever hold them together. It is no kind of enlightened state to thwart your own expansion for the sake of a promise made. That is self-sacrifice. That will not ever end well and it is not seen as an admirable trait outside the confines of the societally programmed human mind. But before you panic and start thinking it’s impossible to find someone who will want the same things as you throughout your life, stop and think about this. You can desire (and therefore ask) the universe, prior to even meeting someone on a romantic level, to connect with a person whose desires will be compatible with yours or who is capable of expanding in tandem with you throughout the duration of your life. You cannot have desires that are not meant to be yours. That means if you truly want a life long marriage, and you allow it into your life, the universe will bring you a mate who is capable of being with you for your entire life without their expansion taking them in a different direction.
Love is not the only valid reason to get married any more than social standing is the only valid reason to get married. There is no wrong reason to get married, because there is no such thing as a desire that is wrong. If you want to get married for financial reasons, it is fine. There is nothing wrong with you. If you want to get married for a green card, it is fine. There is nothing wrong with you. If you want to get married for social standing, it is fine. There is nothing wrong with you. If you want to get married for love, it is fine. There is nothing wrong with you. What is important is that you are clear about your reasons. If you are not clear about your reasons, you are being run by societal conditioning. You are out of alignment with your own personal truth. The main argument against marriage is that it is an outdated idea that restricts the expression of love and the expression of self… It divides us. Ultimately, our species will evolve to the extent where the pair bond will no longer serve our expansion. There will be no point to it at all. But those who seek to eradicate marriage as an answer to finding this state of non-separation and unity are trying to skip a step. They are usually trying to skip a step because they are resist to marriage due to the fact that marriage feels like a lack of freedom to them. If you have a resistance to marriage, you must make peace with marriage and look at marriage from the perspective that it is potential freedom before you can really live a life of polyamory and be in alignment at the same time. How do you know if you’re out of alignment relative to polyamory because you are resisting monogamy? The partners you line up with, desire monogamy and thus it is a source of contention between you and those you are romantically involved with! Our pair bonding society will only give way to a polyamorous society when a great many things change within society, most specially, our ability to create harmonious marriages that are based on love. Most of us are not there yet. Most people in today’s society are not yet capable of polyamory. Even the people, who enjoy a polyamorous lifestyle, tend to leave a trail of tears in their wake. Why? Because we all base our self-esteem off of our primary relationships. This attachment we have to external approval is due to how we are parented as children. Until the way we parent children changes, most of the people in society will be dependent on others for their self-concept.
A great many people in the new age community try to become ok with open relationships based on the idea that the state of “free love” is a more spiritual state to aspire to be in. Meanwhile, they feel terrible about feeling terrible about it. But the reality is, none of us love ourselves fully. And so, we’re yet again skipping a step. In truth, for most of us, the step we need to take is the step of valuing ourselves enough to allow ourselves to want to experience someone choosing us and only us as their partner and mate. If you would like to experience this, then you are meant to experience it and you cannot deny that desire. Maybe, after years of experiencing what it is like to be loved fully as someone’s only mate, you and your mate will decide you are ready for a new experience and then you both may be ready to try polyamory. Or, you may decide that you love being enclosed inside the security and warmth of partner hood for the rest of your life.
Marriage can destroy people’s lives. Marriage can also provide an opportunity for healing on many levels. This is why the vows should read, “till expansion do us part” rather than “till death do us part”. Marriage is very unique in that we are exercising our personal choice to include someone else’s happiness in our own happiness. It may not be our responsibility to make someone else happy, but when we chose someone as a partner, their happiness is now a part of our happiness and so ensuring our happiness, means ensuring theirs. That is a beautiful choice to make. In the physical dimension, we live in a binary universe. This duality is a source of contrast. The unification of this duality is bliss. Marriage provides us the opportunity to live out a physical expression of this unification of dual aspects. But there is nothing wrong with those who choose not to get married any more than there is something wrong with those who chose to get married; provided that both decisions are made from a place of awareness.
When someone develops an excess of body weight, most especially in the form of fat, it is always done to cope with a fear. When it comes to obesity, that fear is the fear of humiliation and shame. At the heart of every single case of obesity is this particular fear. It is not a fear of something unknown; rather it is a fear of something known. Usually early in life, those of us with obesity experienced extreme demands and expectations from others. We could not meet those expectations and demands and so we experienced high levels of shame and as a result of those experiences, we spent our time feeling humiliated. We built up a barrier of fat as a shield between ourselves and what we were afraid of… others. We built a shield to prevent the painful demands and expectations of others. It is a physical reflection of the intention to prevent ourselves from being taken advantage of.
It is crucial that any of us that are struggling with obesity take a long look at what was expected of us by other people early in life. It is also crucial that any of us that are struggling with obesity, acknowledge the deep fear of shame and humiliation that is resident within us. Many people, who are obese, were raised in environments that condemned selfishness. This is especially ironic because the caregivers of those who grow up to be obese often preach this selfless approach to the world whilst simultaneously, selfishly expecting children to conform to their needs and expectations. As a result, those children simultaneously feel taken advantage of and ashamed for feeling taken advantage of. They learn that relationships with others are painful and so, they wall themselves off to people. But here’s the catch; in their households, it is not acceptable to wall themselves off emotionally by being cold or mean. The only acceptable behavior is niceness. So they have only one option, to wall themselves off physically.
Because people with obesity so often grow up in environments where it is expected that their focus is on the needs and expectations of others, many of them are completely out of touch with their wants and true desires. Indeed many people, who struggle with obesity, still operate under the false assumption that they will achieve love and achieve their desires through “nice-ness” and through taking responsibility for other people’s burdens.
For most people who struggle with obesity, receiving is an idea that is tied in with selfishness. They assume that to receive from someone, means to take from them and thus, to be a mean person. As a result, they can’t receive. But because they only feel comfortable with giving and not receiving, there is no flow of energy from others into their life. On a deep level, they fear being “used up” by others. This causes a secondary effect to the “shielding” intention fueling obesity. This secondary effect is called the “storing” effect. In other words, those of us with obesity, not only feel the need to shield ourselves from negative energy, but also to store energy. Fat reflects both of these intentions.
Recovery from obesity cannot be about reducing fat. The fat is just a symptom of underlying fears, intentions and misunderstandings. Those underlying non-physical causes are at the heart of obesity. The shame and humiliation that is at the very core of obesity, is a calling to find self-love and self worth. It is a calling to get in touch with the self. It provides the contrast necessary to cause a person to discover what they truly need and truly want. There is not one person who struggles with obesity, that did not come down to this life with the intention of discovering their true, unique selves; and then learning to value themselves enough to become that unique expression of their true selves. Fat is not your enemy. It is your friend. It is a friend that does not serve your highest good anymore. The unhealthy fat that is associated with obesity is nothing more than a barrier between ourselves and life. And when there is no longer a need for this barrier, there is no longer a need for the fat and so, it will cease to exist.
A great many of us on this earth expect disappointment in our lives. We live painful lives of constriction. And the restriction we suffer from is the restriction of joy. We do not let ourselves get our hopes up. In fact, we do not let ourselves feel positive emotion because feeling positive emotion makes us feel vulnerable to hurt. We feel a kind of familiar, safe comfort when we are feeling negative emotional states, like depression, because when we feel that way, we can be certain that there is no further to fall and so we will not experience the fall of disappointment. This is important to understand, if you are a person who thinks that depression or sadness feels real or that there is a kind of familiar, homey-ness and a settled trust in negative emotional states like depression and sadness, the reason is that you not only expect disappointment, but you are also are desperately afraid of disappointment. The only time we are guaranteed emotional safety, is when we are already feeling unhappy.
Those of us, who expect disappointment, panic when things are looking up. We are always looking for the negative in every situation so we don’t get blindsided by it. We experience love as a kind of nostalgia. We miss the object of our love before the object of our love is even gone. We feel the most powerless and desperate when things go well for us, because we live our lives according to the belief that the universe is out to get us and “the higher they rise, the harder they fall”.
Most of us who expect disappointment, experience ourselves as a disappointment. We experience ourselves this way because growing up, we felt as if we were a disappointment to our parents or teachers or some other authority figure. We are hyper critical of ourselves. Nothing we ever do is good enough to mean that we have worth and value. If things went well for us, it would mean that we are worthy of them going right for us; and we simply cannot believe that. We believe we are not worthy of positive treatment by the universe. We think we do not deserve things to work out for us. We think we do not deserve that big break or that perfect mate or that pay raise. We do not know why we deserve life to go badly for us, or what we did to deserve that pain. All we know is that we must deserve it because that is what we have become accustomed to getting. What’s even worse is that those of us who expect and fear disappointment, train ourselves to always expect the worst-case scenario so we never have to be disappointed. Mind creates reality, so in reality, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. But it is important to remember that if you are currently expecting disappointment or are helping someone who expects disappointment, the very worst thing you can do is to remind yourself or them that thinking this way does no good because it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. This will not help you or them to stop thinking this way. All this will do is add worry and shame on top of the feeling of impending disappointment.
If you expect disappointment, begin a list of times when you expected the worst-case scenario (which is the advanced version of expecting disappointment) and the worst-case scenario didn’t happen. Maybe we expected to be stood up on a date, but they just ended up being late because of a traffic jam. Maybe we expected someone to die, but they ended up recovering. Maybe we expected an opportunity to fall through that just took a little more time to come through. When you are looking at proof that disappointment does not always happen, your brain cannot attach to the expectation of disappointment with such fervor anymore.
The basic fear that lies beneath the surface of those who expect disappointment is the fear that powerlessness is the truth of our existence. This powerlessness stems from the belief that you do not create your own reality. The only people who fear disappointment are those who think that they do not ultimately have control over their lives. They think that life happens to them and that their experiences are determined by something larger and more powerful than them. The question is, what? Many of us who believe that we create our own reality do not carry this belief to our core, because the belief in our powerlessness runs even deeper and is a holdover from our childhood experience.
Here are some suggestions for transforming disappointment if you are currently dealing with a disappointment:
Let yourself feel and express that disappointment. Admit to it. Most of us are not adept at allowing ourselves to go through a process without trying to speed it up. This resistance to the feeling of disappointment keeps us stuck in disappointment. Let yourself express to others or/and into a journal how disappointed you feel and let yourself sink into and explore the sensations and emotions and feelings associated with that disappointment, without having to change it. You need to be genuinely ready to move forward in order to move forward and you can’t do that until you’ve faced the disappointment that you feel. You should never expect yourself to just get over it.
Gain some outside perspective. Allow others to know how disappointed you feel. Involve them in your healing process. They just might have a way of looking at the situation that you never though of before. Getting a broader perspective is always helpful when our own perspective is limited (which it is when we are in pain). Keep in mind that this step cannot be done until you have allowed yourself to feel the feeling of being disappointed. Do not use other people’s perspectives to invalidate yourself by talking yourself out of allowing yourself to feel disappointed, only do it when you’re really ready to shift your perspectives.
Don’t take it personally and don’t blame yourself. This step is easier said than done. But most of us make it personal when we experience disappointment. We begin to look for what we did wrong to deserve the pain. Insight about the experience can only come if you are not taking it personally. You aren’t going to learn anything if you’re beating yourself up, or shaming yourself, which is what self-blame is. It is important to understand that our experiences have nothing to do with deserving or not deserving, being good enough or not being good enough. It has to do with our thoughts and our true desires. The law of attraction is not a personal process. It responds by mirroring your vibration (which is dictated by your dominant thoughts) and your point of desire exactly. It is not selective about who or what it applies itself to. It is as impartial as gravity. It is not here to punish you.
If something disappointing happens, look for or remain open to the possibility of a silver lining. You cannot completely exclude the possibility that it was in fact not what you have been asking for and something that is in fact what you have been asking for is right around the corner. Finding approval for something that disappointed us is the ultimate form of acceptance and acceptance is what enables us to move beyond the disappointment to something better. If we are thinking outside the box, it is possible to find something positive about every situation. One of the best exercises to counteract disappointment is to write a list of positive aspects about the disappointment in your positive aspects journal. Not only does this help to make you feel better about the situation, it prevents your mind from winding its way into a downward spiral.
Practice non-attachment. It is possible to desire something while at the same time, not becoming attached to that certain outcome. Detachment is not the same thing as non-attachment. To detach is to emotionally defend yourself against pain. To practice non-attachment is to practice trust and allow the universe to deliver your desires to you in ways that you cannot even foresee yet. This process helps you to not limit yourself to one outcome. It is to recognize that your desires could come in completely unexpected ways and the more attached we are to a certain thing, the more we exclude other opportunities and possibilities that could be even better.
Make a new plan. Disappointment provides an opportunity to re evaluate. When we are disappointed, often it is an indication to change something about our approach to getting what we want. What insight was gained from the disappointment? What needs to be done differently in the future? There is always something valuable to be learned from disappointment. But keep in mind, this is only valid if the thing you learn is empowering. If you are thinking “I learned that next time I need to just expect that I’m going to be disappointed”, you are not opening up to learning. You are closing off to pain. Remember that it is fine to switch horses mid stream or change course unexpectedly. Some of the biggest successes come on the heels of the biggest disappointments because those disappointments were jarring enough to cause people to make radical changes. Radical changes that really worked.
Take note of the things that are going right for you right here and now. When we slip into disappointment, we begin to see our lives in terms of lack. The tease and loss of what we wanted has made us more aware of the absence of wanted things in our life. To counteract this tailspin, we can simply sit down and take note of all the things that we do want in our lives that are already part of our lives. What are you grateful for? What do you love about your life? What successes do you already have under your belt? What is good about your life? This will enable you to see the bigger picture. Don’t just think big. Think small too. If you enjoy your cup of coffee in the morning, that is something good that you have. The more good things you recognize that you have, the less absent your life will seem of things that are wanted; and the less deprived you will feel.
Don’t take action. Take a break. Wait for the inspiration to come back to you before you take another step in the direction of what you have been wanting. We tend to be quite desperate after a big disappointment and taking action from a place of desperation is a really bad idea. You do not want to DO anything from a vibration of disappointment. And when you do begin again to go in the direction of what you want, think baby steps. Disappointment is a real blow to self-confidence. When you accomplish steps, your confidence will increase and you will find it easier to work up to positive expectation again and believe that what you want is meant to be yours.
Be open to new opportunities. There is saying that I love regardless of its religious orientation. It goes like this, “When god closes a door, he opens a window.” It reflects a truth in this universe. Opportunities are everywhere. One opportunity cannot close without another opening. And so often, the new opportunity is way better than the last. Just because you feel disappointed today, does not mean that you should be. In fact, most of the time we are simply “taking inventory” too soon. We cannot yet see that what we have been asking for is right around the corner and that in years to come, we will be glad the thing we thought we wanted, didn’t come through.
Never stop going in the direction of what you want. Never give up. Life is meaningless if it is not lived in the pursuit of happiness and passion. Disappointment is a ditch in the road to that happiness. If we let that ditch stop our progress completely, our life becomes meaningless. A life that is full of nothing but an endless chain of disappointment is still a million times better than a meaningless life. Anyone who has given up on their dreams can tell you this.
Expansion can only happen if we actually achieve desires, otherwise we are atrophied where we are. We have no new platform from which to expand and that does not benefit the universe at all. The universe only experiences expansion when you have a new platform of perspective based on having lined up with and lived out your desires. This means, you are not meant to come here to be disappointed and the universe doesn’t want you to be disappointed because being disappointed does not serve the universe’s best interests. You are meant to experience every single thing you want to experience in your lifetime. Disappointment can and will only ever be temporary.
Introversion and extroversion are considered core aspects of personality. The concept of introversion and extroversion was pioneered by the legendary psychologist Carl Jung. In general, extroverted people are energized by social interaction whereas those same social interactions are perceived as taxing for introverts. After attending a social gathering, introverts need time to “recharge”.
The western world is a difficult place for an introvert because extroversion is seen as a desirable trait and introversion is not. In general, extroverts are outspoken, have great need for more stimulating environments, are outgoing and predominantly conserved with what is going on in the outer world. Introverts by contrast are reflective, have great need for less stimulating environments, are quiet and are predominantly concerned with what is going on in their own inner world. Ambiverts are exactly in the middle, exhibiting an even mix of extroversion and introversion. It is important to note that no one on earth is entirely an introvert or entirely an extrovert. To be entirely one way or the other would mean a person was unable to function in the world. Both would essentially be institutionalized. So we are looking more at dominant tendencies when we are observing this quality within a personality structure.
As a medical intuitive, when I am observing introverts and extroverts side by side, what sets them apart from each other is brain activity; specifically in the cerebral cortex. Introverts have much more activity in their cerebral cortex than extroverts. They are affected by external stimuli much quicker and much more intensely. What does this mean? It means that introverts are much more sensitive than extroverts are to stimulation, so they can take very little of it before they become over stimulated and overwhelmed. It is best to think of their nervous systems as highly sensitive instruments. Their nervous system is actually taking in and processing much more information from the external environment than the nervous system of an extrovert. Conversely, extroverts are much less sensitive to external stimulation. They are not processing as much information and this causes them to seek information and stimulation. In the world of psychology, this difference I have observed is called cortical arousal. Introverts tend to have high cortical arousal and extroverts tend to have low cortical arousal. Blood flow to the brain is also different in introverts and extroverts. Specifically, the blood flow is prioritized in different areas of the brain in extroverts and introverts.
On an energetic level, this seeking out vs. taking in is the key energy that sets introverts and extroverts apart. The introvert is bombarded by life itself and thus spends his or her time taking in and processing that flood of incoming information and stimuli. The extrovert feels absent of life itself and thus spends his or her time seeking out and initiating situations in which they can feel alive through interaction with stimulus and information. Also, those that are introverted tend to have dominant upper (spiritual) chakras whereas those that are extroverted tend to have dominant lower (physical) chakras.
There are ups and downs to extroversion and introversion. For example, the introvert tends to have less trust than the extrovert. The extrovert often has less self-awareness. The introvert usually has a higher intellect and is more perceptive. The extrovert is generally happier with physical life and has more self-esteem than the introvert. Introverts get their energy from within. Extroverts get their energy from without. Ideally of course, this tendency would be balanced.
There are too many factors that come together to create an extrovert or an introvert to list here. Both nature and nurture play a major role in whether you are introverted or extroverted. As always, there is a light side and a shadow side to extreme ways of being. A person, who is extroverted, may genuinely seek the good feelings of social connection, which is in alignment or they may seek social interactions to avoid facing themselves and their true feelings. Conversely, a person, who is introverted, may genuinely revel in the awareness of their own inner self and true feelings, which is in alignment or they may seek solitude to avoid the vulnerable feeling of intimacy with others. As always, this is why introverts and extroverts tend to attract each other. The introvert reflects the avoidant shadows of the extrovert and the extrovert reflects the avoidant shadows of the introvert, causing each to face and heal the resistance that is causing such an imbalance in their way of being.
We came to this dimension to interact with the physical dimension (an extroverted trait); because this dimension is a learning hologram. We chose to do so in order to come to greater levels of self-awareness (an introverted trait). This means, both extroversion and introversion are an essential part of learning. An imbalance to one side or the other, suggests that a person has developed resistance to part of this equation. One of the most crucial parts of living an “in alignment” life is to not forgo the opportunity to grow by justifying your behavior one way or another, but by instead looking for the shadows that may be causing your tendency towards one extreme or the other. For example, you could ask yourself “why do I need social interaction or why do I avoid social interaction”.
Some professionals would have you believe that introversion or extroversion is a core fundamental of human personality and that introversion or extroversion is just simply who you are. This is not accurate. No person is born entirely one way or another. Each person has both the tendency for extroversion and introversion present within them. From an energetic perspective, neither extreme is “in alignment”, therefore part of what you came here to do is to come more into alignment relative to your orientation. This means, rather than just accept that you are a loner or a social addict and then defend the value of either extreme, it is crucial to fully explore the reasons that could have caused you to swing one way or another. Pre birth intention as well as your gestational experiences plays into the tendency to be either extroverted or introverted. But the choice to come into a life where you would have one tendency over another tendency, is yet another bit of contrast and perspective that you saw as an opportunity to aid your own expansion. Don’t worry a lot about those factors. It’s more important to try to identify and change the negative beliefs that you currently have, which could be fueling either extremity. You never know who you truly are, until you face those shadows and release the resistance you are currently harboring. In fact, you don’t really know if you’re introverted or extroverted until you release the resistance you are currently harboring that could potentially be to blame for making you shift to one extreme or another.
Extroversion and Introversion are not fixed personality traits. People can and often do override this tendency in pursuit of their truest desires. If you currently disapprove of being one way or another (which is a common problem for introverts), first you need to try to find thoughts that cause you to approve of that way of being. Then, after you’ve found approval for being an introvert or an extrovert, keep what serves you and discard what does not. There is no right or wrong. Discover what truly makes you happy. If it serves you and you are honestly happy being an introvert, remain that way. If it serves you and you are honestly happy being an extrovert, remain that way. If not, take steps to come into a greater place of balance. Part of the truth that we came here to recognize is the oneness inherent in all aspects of our universe. When we recognize oneness, we see that external is merely a reflection of internal, and internal is merely a reflection of external. An extreme orientation either internally or externally, suggests that we do not yet see this truth. Both internal and external are aspects of the same energy, so we can and would benefit by tapping into both sources of energy equally.
Pot, otherwise known as cannabis or marijuana, is considered a spiritual medicine and has been used as such since 2000 BC because it is a psychoactive drug. Pot is considered psychoactive because it can alter one’s state of consciousness. Altering one’s consciousness helps them to break free of illusion and the restriction of limited perception.
All plants possess unique energetic frequencies and those frequencies can teach a new way of thinking and being. Cannabis teaches about a great many things including: The path of least resistance, oneness, surrender, release, letting go, present moment, “Livity”, communion, allowing, the impermanence and illusion of the physical dimension, the frailness of boundaries, inhibition, the unhealthiness of control, the fear that lies behind the bold, confident mask of the ego and effortless being.
People react very differently to cannabis; this is because the vibratory rate of the plant is in fact what is altering people’s state of consciousness. An individual human holds a unique vibration. When a person interacts with cannabis, the vibratory rate of that individual has to change in order to match the frequency of the cannabis in order to stay a match to sharing a reality where both the plant and the person coexist. In shamanic tradition, these psychoactive plants (including cannabis) were seen as gatekeepers or tunnel guardians between realms. This matching of frequencies or resonating between person and plant is called “friending”. Friending the plant, allows you to pass between realms. This resonance effect drastically increases when the medicine is ingested. The vibrational resonance causes a cascade of physiological reactions occur, most especially the inhibition of neurotransmitters. It inhibits the brain from functioning at normal capacity. This provides a great deal of relief to many people, who are bombarded by their own resistant thoughts. The brain is a transceiver of information that is designed to create the illusion of a static 3-D dimension for the purpose of learning. The physical dimension is a learning hologram. When the transceiver is affected or inhibited by certain drugs, the illusion of the physical dimension begins to dismantle and a person can feel or see beyond this dimension into other dimensions and realities. When the transceiver is incapacitated, a person is enables to allow more of his or her own pure being to be fully present and unrestricted. But people react differently to the plant. The question is…why?
A person reacts differently to cannabis for two main reasons.
Because people have different vibratory rates. Your enjoyment of cannabis, or lack there of, is directly related to whether the plant holds a higher vibration than you do, or whether you hold a higher vibration than it does. If the plant holds a higher vibration than you do, you are most likely going to experience a sense of calm euphoria and a dramatic reduction of pain in your body. If your vibratory rate is higher, you will most likely experience paranoia and other unwanted side effects from the medicine.
Because cannabis is extremely responsive to intention. It enhances the truth of this reality, which is that intention directs energy and intention creates your experience. If you set an intention for what you want cannabis to help you do, it will have that effect. If you do not, it will respond according to the intention of your subconscious. This means if your subconscious wants you to know about something that is plaguing it, or if your subconscious fears the loss of personal boundaries, taking cannabis will enable your subconscious to fulfill it’s intention and you will come face to face with your fears.
The number one benefit of cannabis is that it helps people to release resistance. By affecting the brain like it does, it inhibits the brain from focusing on and translating the resistant, stressful thoughts that cause a negative emotional response within the body. This is why it is so effective at reducing stress. And this is also why it is so effective for the use of pain management. Pain is a symptom of resistance. By causing a person to release resistance and “flow downstream with life” a person is free to be who they really are. More of their true essence is present in the absence of resistance and this is why people often undergo such intense spiritual experiences while under the influence of cannabis. But this is also why it is used recreationally.
As a spiritual teacher, I cannot fully support nor fully condemn a spiritual medicinal such as cannabis because the issue of using vs. not using these medicines is not black and white. It is a case-by-case scenario. And, all beings, including plants are teachers. If a person tries to escape their resistance by using a tool like cannabis, they have learned nothing but to be dependent on the tool. They may have increased their awareness of what is beyond this dimension, but they have not learned anything about how to access states of consciousness beyond the 3-D consciousness on their own, without the use of an external substance/tool. In essence, they have become powerlessly dependent. This is in fact the number one reason that I do not overtly support the use of spiritual drugs. While these medicines are often life changing because they can serve to crack through the illusion of the physical dimension so a person can peer beyond the illusion, they all too often become a person’s only way of transitioning their consciousness into a “more spiritual” state. They then become a crutch that disables a person from reaching those states organically. The feeling state created by these medicines becomes an addiction and the more subtle transition of increasing one’s vibration and altering one’s focus so as to facilitate an organic shift in consciousness, no longed registers as a “special and noteworthy experience” when compared with the intensity of the radical break from reality, caused by the medicines. So often the drug itself becomes the person’s only access to spirituality. The drug itself becomes the religion.
Pot is an addictive substance. A living being will become addicted to anything they feel dependent on to achieve a certain feeling state. When a person feels as if feeling good or greater awareness is dependent upon cannabis, they will become addicted to cannabis. And to become addicted to cannabis, is to shortcut your own expansion. Stress and resistance exists for a reason, to teach you about yourself and to fuel you in the direction of your own expansion. When you feel resistance creeping up in your consciousness, there is always an aspect of yourself that needs to be examined and shifted; and there is always something new that is being desired. If you escape from that feeling by using cannabis, you will forgo the opportunity to examine and shift the root of that resistance. What’s more than that, when the effects of the drug wear off, you are right back to where you were, having improved nothing in the long term. In this way, cannabis prevents learning. Also, with a decrease in resistance, you will simultaneously experience a decrease in desire. This decrease in desire causes a decrease in the dopamine levels in your brain. Dopamine is responsible for the motivation response within your body. This is why motivation dissipates and apathy increases when someone uses pot often. Desire is the basis of expansion. With decreased desire, there is decreased expansion, so it must be said that chronic pot use thwarts both personal and universal expansion. This is why I am not a person who advocates recreational drug use of any kind. It is a better idea that a person change their life for the better (so they no longer feel the desire or need to escape from their life) than to escape from their life by using cannabis or any other drug for that matter. However, there is an exception to this rule.
We create our own reality. And when it comes to chronic pain, or chronic worry, there is an interesting thing that occurs. Certain kinds of pain and worry inhibit focus and especially positive focus to such a degree that a person cannot learn and cannot get out of the downward spiral of negative reality creation. In such a case, resistance incapacitates a person. If a person is incapacitated by resistance, (which is the case when chronic illness has caused chronic pain to occur), cannabis may in fact be the very best tool that a person can use to enable themselves to distract themselves from the pain, thereby releasing enough resistance to come back into a state of alignment. When this is the case, a person’s vibration is so low that cannabis is able to help a person to release enough resistance to enable them to face and explore their own resistance and therefore shift. But cannabis should never be treated as a long-term solution to resistance. We need to find the root of our resistance and pull up that root if we want a long-term solution to resistance.
At this point in history, a major debate rages over the legalization of pot. Some people think that pot is a gateway drug, which puts youth at risk for harder drug use. Others think it is wrong to condone any drug. They argue that by legalizing a drug, we are essentially condoning the drug. I’ve been asked my opinion on the legalization of pot many times and so I have decided to put forth my answer. I support the legalization of pot. In my opinion, making something illegal fuels the use of a substance more so than making it legal does. The number one addiction for mankind is not a specific substance; it is the sensation of freedom. When we break the rules by doing illegal things, we get to rebel and therefore feel freer. Prohibition never did anything to restrict the use or sale of illegal substances. It simply made the trade more life threatening for both sellers and users. In my opinion, governments have no place determining what is right vs. what is not right when they have demonstrated their overt inability to make such decisions, as is proof by the fact that the government thinks it is right to go to war. In my opinion, people can and should be trusted to do what is right for themselves and learn from the consequences of their own actions rather than be controlled by external forces, including the government. Not to mention the fact that he government should have much better things to do with their time than prosecute people for trying to find relief (which is what people are doing when they are using drugs). Legalizing marijuana would reduce our smuggling problem, thus reducing the flow of American money into international criminal markets. In my opinion, even though it is a moneymaking business to fine people for illegal drug use, the government is missing a major opportunity to make even more money for the country by not legalizing cannabis. If they legalized and taxed cannabis, they might not have to shut down so many beneficial government programs due to their embarrassing financial mistakes. And lastly, rules in general prohibit people from listening to their own emotional guidance system and so they prohibit people from discovering right and wrong within themselves and because of this, they disallow people from experiencing an organic sense of morality and camaraderie. It is a sad day when an external government replaces internal self-governing.
Cannabis should be seen as what it is, a tool. It is a tool that is not necessary to spiritual awareness or practice. It is a tool that can help enhance spiritual awareness. It is a tool that should never be a substitute for organic spiritual awareness and practice.
Love is perhaps the highest defined vibration in the universe; but what is love? Love is the state of pure positive focus. When we are currently focusing positively towards something, we are in a state of love. Everything in existence is an extension or expression of source energy. Art is essentially an expression. Because all things in existence are expressions, all things in existence are art. As an extension of source, you are imbued with the ability to create. Every being in existence is therefore at their core an artist.
We are all artists. An artist celebrates beauty. An artist recognizes beauty even in things that would be unanimously considered “ugly”. An artist can recognize what is poignant about even the most mundane things. Beauty is defined as a characteristic that provides the perceptual experience of pleasure. And we can train ourselves to see beauty in everything. We can view this earth through the eyes of our inner artist. This one of the most essential spiritual practices of all. When we practice seeing the world through the eyes of the inner artist, the entire world transforms itself into a work of art. The movements of a crowd of people, which once seemed erratic, begin to seem like a dance. The person, who once seemed obnoxious, becomes a bell of mindfulness that brings us back to the present moment. You can use this process in your every day life to enhance your enjoyment. You can use it to amplify your feelings of joy and gratitude, you can use it to find appreciation for mundane things and you can especially use it to eradicate resistance from your being. For example, when you feel resistance arise within you because you are observing something that is unwanted and you feel negative emotion towards something, try to look at that thing through the eyes of the inner artist. Act as if you are on a treasure hunt for the beauty within that thing you have resistance towards. This practice works towards everything including events, people, feelings, objects, circumstances, sounds etc. It is perhaps the very best tool to use when you are visually observing something you have resistance to. To demonstrate how this process works, I’ll give you a personal example. One day, a man walked by me and flicked his used cigarette butt on the sidewalk below my feet. At first I was revolted. To me, it was proof that the world was disgustingly forsaken. But having committed myself to the practice of non-resistance, I reminded myself that the feeling of resistance within me was a call to ripen my perception. And so, I made myself watch the cigarette butt for a full hour. It took fifteen minutes to get past my resistance, but once those fifteen minutes past by, a greater truth was revealed to me. That greater truth was beauty. It was like a whole other world had been revealed to me, a whole other possibility of perception. I watched this object, which is unanimously considered ugly, but ugliness is no longer what I saw. I watched it floating in the breeze, back and forth across the sidewalk. I watched it as it was crushed again and again, under the heels of many a tennis shoe; leaving little sprays of burnt tobacco on the cold cement. I realized that disguised beneath the generally assumed ugliness of this piece of garbage, was the lesson of allowing. The cigarette butt was completely absent of resistance. It did not resist the dominance of the wind. It did not resist the crush of the shoe. It had given its life in service. The purpose of it’s existence was to offer someone a moment of relief. And suddenly, I treasured the cigarette butt that once I had been so repulsed by.
Before you make the judgment that a practice like this last one, glorifies litter, remind yourself that this practice is not about condoning something or not; it is not about right or wrong. It is simply a practice that facilitates the state of non-resistance within you.
People make an inaccurate assumption and that is: we must be horrified or repulsed to take action or to do what is “right”. We attach ourselves very strongly to our resistance because we are convinced that resistance will keep us on the path of righteousness. This is inaccurate. For example, we do not have to be horrified into a state of resistance in order to take action to prevent child abuse. We can instead take action to enable children to live safe, free, healthy lives from a place of inspiration. We do not have to hate cigarette butts to pick litter up off of the floor. We can love a clutter free world to pick litter up off of the floor. And this is a very important distinction to make. All having resistance to something does, is lend energy directly to that thing that is unwanted. All resistance does, is rot you from within.
Resistance is an affliction. It is an affliction that gives way to a deep sense of inner peace and happiness when we begin to live our lives through the eyes of the inner artist. But do not wait to feel resistance to practice this way of seeing the world. Use it to enhance the experience you’re already having by trying to see even more beauty in everything, including things you’re already enjoying and mundane things like the light streaming through a window or the way someone smiles or a mundane object. For example, a pen is a mundane object. We take pens for granted because they are a part of our every day life. But take a closer look at a pen and you see the craftsmanship of the ballpoint, the beautiful richness of the ink, the geometry of the shaft, the hours donated to its creation by the designer, the way that it lets us communicate symbols of meaning with one another and the way it helps us to preserve fleeting ideas.
To see the world with the kind of clarity that belongs to the inner artist, and to see the world with the eyes of truth, is to look at the world through the eyes of our true self. Our true self does not recognize ugliness. It recognizes only beauty, beauty even in the rotting and deformed and afflicted. We are in pain when we recognize something as ugly, because in that moment, we have deviated so very far from our true selves. The moments that we feel the most resistant to something we are seeing, are in fact the very moments that offer an opportunity to see clearer. They are a calling to recognize a deeper truth, the truth of beauty, the truth of beauty in every single thing.
Drama is a word that originally meant, “to act”. This is why the word made its debut in the world of performance art or theatre. As it relates to emotional life, drama is a state, situation, or series of events involving intense conflict. Put these two things together and you have the definition of a person who is dramatic. A person who is dramatic is a person who acts as if they are in a state of intense conflict. There is a perception that a person who is dramatic or who is a drama queen, is either over-reacting or is acting for the sake of attention, much like a performer on stage. A drama queen acts as if things are much worse than you think they actually are. Because of this, there is stigma associated with drama. You will often hear people say “I’m done with all the drama” or “he or she is addicted to drama” or “he or she is a drama queen.” So, lets get this out of the way right off the bat… When it applies to the human emotional experience, there is no such thing as drama. And when you make the judgment that someone is creating drama or is a drama queen or is being dramatic, you minimize and shame them for their feelings, which I assure you are very real.
No one overreacts. There has never been a person on earth that has ever overreacted. People react exactly in accordance with the reality that they alone perceiving. And our perspective and realities are not the same. For example, let’s pretend that you are married and that you have the tendency of forgetting to wear your wedding ring. Lets say you left it on the counter after you got out of the shower and forgot to put it back on. Lets pretend that your spouse gets really upset about it and spends the next twenty minutes straight vacillating between crying and yelling at you about it. You may look at your spouse and think, “this person is really dramatic”. After all, you still love them and it is just a ring. All you did was forget to put it back on. Your perspective is that your spouse is either acting for the sake of attention or is overreacting and thinking the situation is worse than it actually is. But lets jump into your spouse’s perspective for a minute. Let’s pretend that your spouse is attached to wedding rings as a visual symbol of love. When you forget your wedding ring, their reality looks like this: My partner has forgotten me or doesn’t love me. This can be compounded if negative memories are involved. Let’s pretend that your spouse was married once before and one day they came home to an empty house with their x spouse’s wedding band sitting on the counter top after they left for good. They now associate a wedding ring left on the counter with being left. So the only reason they seem dramatic is because you do not recognize that right at this moment, you are living in two different realities. You are living in a reality where you forgot to put on a piece of jewelry because you took a shower. They are living in a reality where you don’t love them anymore and are going to leave them. Does their reaction seem so dramatic anymore? No… it seems perfectly called for. You’d most likely react the same exact way if you thought you were unloved and going to be left by your spouse. When we think someone is being dramatic, we have a habit of telling them to be reasonable or to take a reality check. But to ask someone to be reasonable or “look at reality” is to ask them to conform their perspective to your perspective. It is true that sometimes offering them your perspective will help them to feel better. But it doesn’t mean that your perspective or your grasp on reality is correct. When it comes to perspective, truth is subjective.
When someone is acting as if a situation is worse than you think it actually is, that means the situation they are imagining is worse than the situation that you are imagining. Another way of saying this is, the meaning they have added to a situation is more painful than the meaning you have added to the situation. Everyone acts perfectly in accordance with the reality that they are perceiving. In all actuality, a person who is being "dramatic, is currently interracting with a reflection of past trauma that they have experienced and are now projecting onto the current situation. Once you realize that, you will no longer have the resistance you have to the ways that other people act. You will stop minimizing and invalidating their feelings. You will stop shaming them for feeling the way they feel, it will no longer seem like people are overreacting and you wont take their behavior so personally.
People who say “I don’t want anymore drama in my life” usually mean they are sick of the dramatic people in their life or they are sick of the conflict that they have with other people in their life. But drama isn’t about other people, it’s about ourselves. If I experience conflict with other people, I have conflict within myself. I am at war with me. If you are surrounded by drama, you will not be able to take an action step to cut all the drama out of your life because you are the one attracting it. If you cut dramatic people out of your life, more dramatic people will fill their place. What’s more than that, you’re failing to see that you have a way of thinking that attracts conflict into your life. If you are “done with all the drama” or find that you continually end up surrounded in drama and surrounded by dramatic people, here are some questions to ask yourself… Am I a chronic worrier? Do I tend to go to the worst-case scenario? Do I secretly love dramatic situations and therefore want it because I usually feel numb and drama causes me feel something? Do I secretly love dramatic people because being near them helps me to feel more sane, stable and rational? Do I have the tendency to become bored, so I attract drama to entertain myself? Did I grow up around emotionally unstable people and experience conflict as love? If this is the case, has it caused me to expect it in others and only recognizing love when there is conflict? Is there an internal conflict in me, which causes me to feel emotionally unstable, that I am unwilling to admit to or look at and so it keeps mirroring itself through my relationships? Am I unwilling to validate and admit to my own feelings, so not only do they have to mirror themselves through other people, but I treat others like I treat myself by invalidating their emotions?
We need to release our resistance to drama and find a way to approve of it if we are to reduce the amount of drama that we have in our lives. Drama is not a bad thing. It is contrast. Those who have the most drama in their lives have the most contrast and therefore expansion in their lives. No one deserves to have their feelings invalidated by being told that they are being dramatic. Most likely if you invalidate other people’s feelings by telling them that they are being dramatic, you have learned over the course of your life to invalidate your own feelings. You impose this expectation on others as a result of it. Even though you wish you didn’t feel how you really feel, it is time to admit to how you truly feel and not be ashamed of how you really feel. Feeling deep levels of shame for feeling the way you feel is the real reason that you want to deny and invalidate the way you feel. It is also what is causing you to invalidate how other people feel by making the judgment that they are dramatic. If you have a resistance to drama, it is crucial to remind yourself that no one overreacts, including you. You always act in perfect accordance with the reality that you are perceiving.
You came to this life as an extension and expression of source consciousness in the physical dimension. Because of this, it could easily be said that you are a creation or an art piece of God’s. But as an extension of god, you are god. So, you are both the creator and the created. And neither creator nor creation is meant to be suppressed. When you live in a state of openness, you are allowing the art piece of you, to be painted across this world. You are not restricting yourself. You are also not restricting Source itself. Because of this, it is by far the more “in alignment” way to be. And it can easily be said that walking the spiritual path, is walking the path of complete openness. When a child is born, the child has no thoughts of suppressing itself. The child has no secrets from the world. The child does not seclude itself or exclude people from its heart. The child is honest. The child is like this because it is the most natural way to be. The child follows it’s emotional guidance system up until the point where it is taught not to, and when you follow your emotional guidance system, what you find is that the state of constriction is painful and therefore, it is not natural. What you find is that the state of openness feels emotionally good and therefore, it is our natural state. We can think of constriction as the opposite of openness. But a whole range of things fall under the category of constriction. We are constricted when we keep secrets. We are constricted when we “tone ourselves down” in order to be accepted by others. We are constricted when we do things we do not want to do. We are constricted when we close our minds and are no longer open to new ideas and new possibilities of truth. We are constricted when we are not honest. We are constricted when we do not share. We are constricted when we isolate ourselves, we are constricted when we see love in terms of finite quantity and so we reserve it for only some people and not others. We are constricted when we do not allow ourselves to admit to and go after our needs and our wants. We are constricted when we do not express our emotions. We are constricted when we try to fit ourselves into a life dictated by society, instead of carving out a life to fit ourselves. These are just a few examples of thousands of examples of constriction. To live in a state of constriction, is to not let the light of your being shine through your life. A person cannot live like that for long. In fact, living in any way that is constrictive, gives rise to illness quickly. First, your emotions will suffer. Your life will cease to be enjoyable. Then, your body will suffer. The part of the body that perhaps suffers the most from constriction is the heart and lungs. Many of the heart and breathing problems that we experience, are ultimately the result of restricting the self. But constriction can also give rise to a whole host of other ailments such as, stomach disorders, acne, allergies, eating disorders, arthritis, baldness, blood pressure problems, bowel problems, yeast infections, varicose veins, cancers and tumors, speech problems, prostate problems, ovarian problems, and joint problems to name a few.
At some point in our lives, we begin to think that there are consequences for being ourselves and that there are consequences for being open. We begin to fear exposure. We start to feel like victims and the only power we feel we possess, is the power called “self containment”. We feel powerless to just about everything in our lives except for our own choice to hide or expose ourselves. We chose to hide ourselves instead of expose ourselves and sometimes we hide ourselves from ourselves. Doing this allows us to exercise our own sense of free will and it helps us to feel like we are not powerless victims. But it is a decision that will kill us in the end. You came to this earth with the intention of becoming the full expression of your true self, unrestricted. You came here specifically to expose all of yourself. To contain yourself and not expose yourself is to defy and deny the purpose for your life. And so, we must learn to exercise our free will by choosing to expose ourselves and be open instead. When we keep secrets, we feel powerful instead of powerless. But to be secretive is to be exclusionary in a universe that is more than all-inclusive; it is a universe that is ONE. Your secrets do not actually belong to you in a universe that is all one. Your life is everyone’s life. Your stories are everyone’s stories. Your pain is everyone’s pain; your joy is everyone’s joy. To be exclusive, is to go against the flow of this universe that we live in. When we are not open, and honest and do not share, it makes us feel safe instead of unsafe. People think they are safe when they are invisible. But to live your life at the mercy of fear is no kind of life. It is a half-life. We may find that we fear what others will think of us or we may fear that what we tell others will be used against us. But if you were comfortable with being yourself fully, you would not care what they think about you. It would not be possible to be embarrassed if you had not first been indoctrinated with the idea that there is a good way to be and a bad way to be. People, who fear exposing themselves, without exception, were raised in environments where there was a heavy atmosphere of shame. It would be impossible to be embarrassed if you had not first become ashamed of yourself. And a person only becomes ashamed of himself or herself if someone gives them the idea that they should be. As our spiritual practice progresses, we become more aware that anything other people could do to us as a result of us being open is not as bad as the pain and consequence of constriction we impose on ourselves.
There is an old Chinese poem that explains that only a person, who resists the arrow, can be pierced by the arrow. But if one becomes like water, in a state of total openness and non-resistance, the arrow cannot injure them. It would be absorbed into the expanse of them. To live in a state of constriction, especially when we live a secretive life that is closed to others, is to resist the arrow and thus, to become a match to being pierced by it. If we are completely open, we give all of our ammunition away, and by doing so, it cannot be used on us. We become too expansive for other people to make a dent in us.
Some people feel as if being open and sharing themselves with the world completely, is a tasteless form of public exhibitionism and deeper than that, it is a form of narcissism. This is a profoundly out of alignment point of view from source perspective seeing as how, you came to this planet in the first place to uniquely express yourself fully. The only way we can achieve self-awareness, is if we are open with ourselves and if we open ourselves to the world.
What’s more than that, our only way to learn from one another is to express ourselves. People who hold this belief, were raised in environments where the only socially acceptable way of being was conformity to a social ideal. Social etiquette often calls for extreme measures of self-constriction. But we need to understand that if we have an idea of how someone should behave, we are letting our standards be dictated by someone who came before us. Someone who had power over others and who decided that if others behaved in a certain way, it would make them feel happier. It is a form of social control that we have bought into and that we now reinforce. We need to ask ourselves, who decided what was tasteful and what was tasteless? And why? Why is public exhibitionism not ok, especially in a universe where we came into physical life specifically to be the unrestricted expression of our true selves? Why should we act in a certain way? And who decides what that certain acceptable way to act is?
The idea that sharing oneself completely is a form of narcissism is especially sad. You came into this life as one person, and that is you. In physical life, you are restricted to that one perspective. And the only relationship that is guaranteed for the rest of your life is your relationship with yourself. You will be with you until your dying day. This means, you are the love of your life. Most of us just don’t know it yet. The idea that it is virtuous to forget yourself and that it is selfish to care about yourself and to think highly enough of yourself enough to be driven to show yourself off to others, is an idea that is not backed by source itself. It is an idea that was imposed on us by other people who believed in the virtue of selflessness and who rejected us for who we were. These people believed in humility. A kind of humility called lethal humility. They spent a good deal of time trying to make us believe that to be selfish was to be bad and that to be bad was to not deserve love. So our only way to get love was to deny ourselves and restrict ourselves and to become constricted.
The bottom line is, to live a life that is in alignment; that enables us to stay emotionally and physically healthy and to love ourselves, openness is the order of the day. We have a choice at all moments of the day; the choice is to be open or to be closed. This is why one of the most beneficial exercises you can do is to ask yourself throughout the day “how am I being closed right now? How am I constricting myself or letting myself be constricted?” and make the necessary changes in favor of openness based on the answer you receive. A state of openness is the real state of freedom. Everything we do is a creative expression of our inner selves. To be constricted in any way, is to prevent the energy of our being from flowing through our bodies and into our lives. If we are committed to the spiritual path, we must commit ourselves to the state of openness.
When we look at something across the world that causes suffering or when we look at something in someone else’s life that causes them to suffer, we feel powerless. Being empathetic, we want desperately to do something to improve the situation. But we don’t know how. This is even more true when the suffering is causes by a large conflict, such as a war. We get to a point where we feel utterly powerless to all the suffering in the world. But what are we going to honestly do? Are we going to get on a plane, fly to the country where the war is taking place, get off the plane, walk right into these killing zones and try to talk terrorists or soldiers into stopping the bloodshed? Some of us might be inspired to do that, but for most of us, we know the answer to that question is no. As a result, we are paralyzed to improve anything. We begin to feel if the world is forsaken.
The most crucial thing for a bleeding heart to understand is that we will never feel good about the world we live in, or about ourselves until we stop addressing suffering in terms of specific, isolated incidents. We will only reduce suffering if we treat suffering on this planet as a whole. We can only make an impact on suffering if we feel empowered instead of powerless. We can only make an impact if we believe we can make an impact. If you want to believe you can make an impact; and what’s more, if you want to start actually making an impact, look at suffering only as a whole instead of in parts. Instead of focusing on that one war that you feel like you can’t do anything about, focus suffering in and of itself or at least on collective human suffering. Look at the big picture of suffering (which is something we can have a direct, tangible impact on) instead of focusing on isolated incidents that cause suffering (which we often feel removed from to the degree that we feel we cannot have a direct tangible effect on them). We, bleeding hearts of the world, need to take a vow to reduce collective suffering by adding to collective wellbeing every day in the ways that we CAN add to collective wellbeing. How do we reduce suffering by adding to wellbeing? There are an unlimited number of ways. But here are some examples: Eat a plant based diet, open the door for a stranger, smile more, pick up litter, help someone reach a goal, compliment someone, give someone a gift, give someone a hug, spend quality time with someone, adopt a homeless pet, inspire others, quit killing the bugs in your house and set them free outside instead, stop using pesticides, encourage someone, donate money, and look for and create beauty in the world. There is an enormous difference between focusing on and resisting the problems and focusing on and going in the direction of a solution. You will know you are focusing on the solution when you feel emotionally empowered. You will know you are focusing on the problem if you feel emotionally in pain. When you look at suffering as a whole, you will soon realize that your suffering is a part of that collective suffering. It will then become apparent that the most important thing we could do to reduce suffering in the world is to reduce our own suffering as individuals. You are contributing to world suffering when you suffer as a result of focusing on the suffering of others. Because of this, it can easily be said that the single most important thing you will ever do for world suffering, is to do whatever it takes to enable yourself to be happy.