Some people seem to have very thick skin. Now the verdict is out still about whether those people are quite literally unaffected by disapproval or whether they are just very adept at suppression. But some of us on the other hand, have thin skin. Like a bullet, every disapproving thought or word or action directed at us by others penetrates us straight to our core. We are more than affected by it. We feel destroyed by it. We would love to be unaffected by other people’s thoughts and words and actions, but let’s face it. We’re affected BADLY. If you’re that kind of person, this episode is for you. If you know that kind of person, this episode is for you.
If you really do care what other people think, telling yourself that you shouldn’t care or should stop caring what other people think isn’t going to make you actually stop caring what other people think. And if you know someone who cares what other people think, telling them they shouldn’t care or should stop caring what other people think, isn’t going to make them stop caring what other people think. Don’t we all wish it were this easy? Also, there’s a great many people who will say you have to stop letting what other people think hurt you, as if it’s a choice you are making to let them hurt you. If you care what other people think it is not a conscious choice to not be hurt by something someone says. And thinking that it is a conscious choice, will simply make you feel bad about feeling bad. In scientific experiments, laboratory animals, like rats, are conditioned using sugar pellets, and electric shocks. Sugar encourages a desired behavior. Electric shocks stop the animal from an undesired behavior. Humans are not different from rats. In fact, many of us were conditioned in similar ways. We were rewarded for desirable behavior with treats, and punished for undesirable behavior by for example being yelled at, which produces a physical response in the body that is almost identical to an electric shock. For some of us, there were big consequences when the people in our early lives disapproved of us. Our boundaries were violated. We were either hurt by incoming boundary violation, such as spankings or insults or shaming. Or outgoing boundary violation like time outs and parental withdrawal hurt us. I find that people who have the biggest issue with caring what other people think, were most often damaged by outgoing boundary violations. They were punished in ways that felt like abandonment as children. The message we learned is that we did not deserve love if we were not pleasing our parents and everyone else for that matter. This is a big issue when we remember that love is survival for the physical human, especially when we are relationally dependent on others like we are when we are children. To our little minds, disapproval meant death. When we grow up, it doesn’t change. Disapproval still means death. How do you stop caring whether people disapprove of you or not if disapproval means death. A lot of people will tell you to "stop taking it so personally," which is a dismissive cop-out that minimizes how you feel. But why do we take things personally? Because back when we were children, when we did something wrong, we were taught that we were bad. When we did something that our parents disapproved of, our parents disapproved of us as people, not just the action that upset them. We learned it really WAS about us. Doing something wrong, made us wrong. Doing something bad made us bad. So now, we have serious issues with rejection, disapproval and negative criticism because our self-esteem was and still is essentially dependent on approval. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, he states that next to food water and shelter, love and belonging is the strongest need. No offense to Maslow, but I disagree. The single highest priority need for the human is actually love and belonging. This need is actually more of a priority than basic survival needs. How do I know this? Because when the physical human is deprived of love and belonging, they often stop eating and drinking and stop meeting their basic survival needs and sometimes go so far as to take their own life. Any of you who have had a particularly painful breakup know exactly what I mean. Before we go further, we need to ask ourselves, should we stop caring what other people think? I want you to ask that question of yourself, because I’m not going to claim to have the right answer to that question, but I think the answer is No. Try reversing the statement “I shouldn’t care what other people think” to “I should care what other people think”. How is it true? Also try reversing “I shouldn’t let what they say get to me” to “I should let what they say get to me”. How is that true?
If we stop caring what other people think and stop caring what other people think of us, we are meeting a distancing behavior (which is what disapproval is) with another distancing behavior. We separate ourselves from each other by not caring what each other thinks. We also deprive ourselves of the opportunity to see things from another perspective and we also deprive ourselves of the opportunity to see ourselves in a different light. Self-awareness will be much more difficult if we stop caring what other people think. So I think we should care what every person thinks and feels in our reality. We should not be belligerent or defiant to what other people think. That is just defense. But there is a difference between caring what other people think and letting our entire self-concept ride on what other people think. That there is the real problem. It's normal to be happy when praised or defensive when insulted but it isn’t healthy when someone’s insult spins us into self-doubt and self-hate. So what should we do? Here are ten steps to take if you care what other people think to the degree that what people think, puts you in a tailspin…
1. Acknowledge that you take everything personally, can’t take criticism, care what other people think and have terrible self-esteem. We can’t move forward until we admit to where we are. You would not believe how many people spend their lives trying to suppress and deny this truth about themselves because they think these truths are unacceptable. Ask yourself personally “Why do I care what other people think?” Not one person exists that doesn’t care what other people think. Everyone has at least one person whose opinion seriously matters to them. 2. We need validation. People assume that validation is the same things as praise or encouragement. It actually isn’t. Validation is to confirmation that something is logically or factually sound. Basically to validate someone is to say that they are truthful or right in their experience of a thing. Validation is the recognition and acceptance that your feelings and thoughts are true and real to you regardless of logic or whether it makes sense to anyone else. This develops a strong sense of self that is not dependent on other people. When we are children, validation from our parents helps us to feel and express our emotions, develop a secure sense of self, gain confidence, feel more connected to our parents and have better relationships in adulthood. But parents who are concerned with approval and disapproval, right and wrong, punishment and reward, are not concerned with validation. So for those of us who are demolished by what other people think, our parents (in their lack of awareness) really did a lot of damage and now it is up to us to validate ourselves. And validating ourselves is just what the doctor ordered.
To validate yourself, you need to acknowledge the truth of your internal experience, and validate that it’s normal and okay to feel that way or think that thought. Drop the idea of right or wrong. Here’s an example, if you killed someone, you are not validating that it was right to kill someone. You are validating that the feeling of wanting to kill someone is valid and understandable in this circumstance. There are two Ask Teal videos on YouTube that I want you to watch in order to start this process of validation within yourself, the first is Emotional Wakeup Call. The second is, IS Your Mind Friend or Foe? In the first video, I put forth a step-by-step process for addressing emotions. In the second video, I put forth a very similar process for addressing thoughts. Apply these processes to yourself. Remember, you always have a very good reason to think what you think, feel what you feel and be like you are.
As a side note, people who have trouble feeling validated, have resistance to disagreement. Expect that you will hate when people don’t agree on truth, especially when they don’t agree with you. It makes you feel invalidated, misunderstood, separated, alone, and worst of all… like something is wrong with you.
3. If we are injured by what other people think, it is because there is already a sore there. That sore that vibrates at the frequency of injury, is attracting injury into our life. Other people’s opinions are hitting up against a pre-existent bruise. This is an unhealed wound from childhood. When we feel hurt by someone else, it is the perfect opportunity to do inner emotional healing work. We need to use our charged emotion, especially the emotions like shame, mortification and humiliation that relate to the self worth, like a rope leading back to the original wound. Watch my video on YouTube titled “How to Heal the Emotional Body”. Apply the process I put forth in that video to heal and integrate the real source of your poor self esteem; experiences in your past. As we heal there are less and less raw spots for others to hit and hurt. There are less opportunities and reasons for us to react. Heal your wounds and it wont hurt.
4. If you really care what other people think you are living a life where you criticize the hell out of yourself and strive for perfection and rightness so no one else has the chance to disapprove of you. Become ok with being disapproved of. Easier said than done, but if we are no longer running away from the demon, it can’t keep chasing us. We must develop a willingness to feel. This is probably the most important part of this whole video. Quite naturally, we are trying desperately to get away from discomfort and pain. We are living our lives trying to avoid it. A life lived to avoid something, is no life at all. We have to stop trying to not get hurt, and instead, unconditionally sit with the feeling of being hurt. Shift your attention from what someone said or did to how you feel. It’s no longer about avoiding disapproval; it’s about sitting with and in the feeling of being disapproved of as it arises within your body when people disapprove of you. You will soon find that if you become ok with discomfort, because you realize (contrary to your current fear) that it isn’t going to kill you, you will become ok with whatever life throws your way. There is an unparalleled inner peace that arises as a result of knowing that you can trust yourself to be able and willing to experience and feel anything.
5. Anything you can do to increase your self-esteem will make other people’s opinions have less of a detrimental impact on you. Focus on approving of yourself. Write a list that you can keep adding to of things you approve of about yourself. Don’t involve anyone else’ opinions in this one. If you base your self-worth on how often people compliment and validate you, then you're allowing others to decide how you feel about yourself. Obviously it boosts our self-esteem to consider things other people have said they like about us, but this is part of the problem isn’t it? We’re dependent on other people’s approval. Pretend that you are an alien who just traveled to planet earth and you are observing an earthling called (insert your name here). What do you, as an alien approve of or appreciate about this earthling and this earthling’s life. Also assume you can peer into this earthling’s past as well. We were not born in doubt of our self worth, so we did not need approval to develop self worth; it was already there. It was simply covered up by the people in your life. This means your self worth is still there; you just need to uncover it. If you’d like to see more on this topic, watch my You Tube video titled How Do I Discover Self Worth.
6. Find the positive intention behind taking things personally, letting things hurt you, being dependent on what other people think, and giving your power away. What do you get out of it? This is a very individual thing that starts with the willingness to consider that your being is subconsciously getting one of it’s needs met by doing this thing that ultimately harms you. For example, one person might find that depending on what other people think, keeps them included by others. This person may feel that unless they are involving other people and their opinions in the process, that they would be all alone. A good way of finding out what the positive intention is, is to find out what bad thing you think would happen or what bad thing it would mean if you didn’t take things personally, didn’t let things hurt you, weren’t dependent on what other people think and didn’t give your power away.
7. Recognize how critical you are of others. Of course being critical of others is just a reflection of how critical you are of yourself, but recognizing how critical you are of other people and making a conscious effort to replace that criticism with a desire to understand them will go a long way. A great many of us become critical of others because it is the only way we can feel a sense of our own rightness. We are drowning in the pain of self-doubt and self-hatred. Notice how you feel when you’re being critical of others. Are those feelings draining or empowering you? Would you rather be right or happy?
All people, including us, do the things we do in order to meet a need. That means that the 'story' you've been telling yourself about how they or you could - or should - have done things better, or that their actions were a deliberate attempt to hurt, sabotage or damage you is fundamentally flawed. They (and you) had no knowledge of a better way to meet their own needs. Find out what those needs are. Try to understand them and even potential meet those needs for them or for yourself if you can.
On one level, when you sense disapproval from others, you are really just experiencing your own feelings about yourself and projecting them onto other people. After all, most of the time you have no idea what they are thinking, so the thoughts you attribute to them are speculation, so they come from your own mind. When someone disapproves of you or is critical of you about something, ask how you disapprove of that thing in yourself. If you are feeling defensive, that means there is a wound to defend. What wound are you trying to defend?
8. You will hear people say that how people act, is never about you. This is a very good deflection strategy that helps you not take things personally. But deflection is a defense strategy. We are looking to evolve beyond that. So rather than saying that what people do or say to you is never about you, it’s about them, let’s say that it is actually about both of you. We want to understand both how it relates to us and how it relates to them. If we are able to take care of ourselves through the emotional discomfort we feel, we can open up wide enough to see if there is truth to what they are saying about us and we can see if there are any useful aspects to their criticism. We can use it to gain self-awareness. If you’re interested in this concept, watch my video on YouTube titled Projection.
The other thing you can do however is to change the focus of the interaction by putting yourself in this other person’s shoes. Try to understand what the other person is feeling, thinking and trying to convey to you. How is what they are saying or doing really about them? A good technique is to change “Why did he or she do or say that to ME?” to “Why did they do or say that to THEMSELVES?” Consider the person's insecurities. Could they feel threatened by you in some way? Is this the way they treat all people? Perhaps they lack certain social skills and feel the only way they will be heard is by being rude or aggressive in their language, or by bullying to get their way. Is it a fear that is coming up for them, a jealousy, or a suppressed aspect of themselves being projected onto you? Perhaps they feel that by making you look bad, they will seem good and thus win other people’s favor.
Imagine that there's an inner child acting out, because the person hasn't learned how to deal with problems in a mature way. What is this inner child in need of and trying to get in this circumstance? Figure out their needs in the situation as well as their fear and hurt. If you figure those things out, their actions will make sense and you will see that their actions really weren’t as much about you or something that you did wrong as you thought.
When someone hates us, it isn’t about hate. It’s about hurt and pain. It’s about their hurt and pain. We shouldn’t use this as an excuse to cop out of looking objectively at ourselves, but we can use it to understand where they are really coming from better, rather than letting ourselves take full responsibility for it and succumb to a serious downward spiral.
9. If you are someone who is easily hurt by what others say, practice the art of letting the mud settle. When you disturb the mud on the bottom of a lake, the waters become cloudy. We have to wait in stillness and let the mud settle before the water becomes clear again. So don’t take immediate action if you’ve been hurt. You’ve got to cradle yourself through the hurt before you react. You are prone to knee jerk reactions, which will only hurt you even worse in the end. When you are less emotionally charged, respond in order to gain clarification and tell them how their words or actions are making you feel. Seek to find a meeting of minds.
If it becomes clear that a person can’t respect you and insists on creating a situation over and over again that’s meant to make you uncomfortable, feel badly about yourself, personally attack you, devalue and belittle you, and constantly attempt to bait you, this is abuse and you need to rethink the relationship, regardless of whether this person is family or not.
10. Meet your needs. Ask yourself “what do I need right now”, especially when you are feeling wounded by someone’s opinion. When we feel rejected or disapproved of, we immediately begin to reject or deprive ourselves. We exacerbate our feelings because we then feel bad about two things: The original incident and feeling bad about the incident. Those of us who feel bad when others express a less than favorable opinion of us, tend to feel bad about feeling bad about things. We need to figure out what will make us feel relief on a physical mental and emotional level. For example, You might need to take a walk to feel more energized, write to gain clarity or organize your thoughts, eat to feel more grounded. This is self validation in action.
You are not going to heal your wounds, learn how to validate yourself and stop being negatively affected by what other people think with one technique or with a magic pill. This is a healing process which gets better and better every day. Everything begins with the knowledge that it is valid and ok to feel hurt because of what someone has said or done. You can’t control what they do, what they say or what they think. But you can consciously choose how to treat yourself and what to do with yourself when you have been hurt by someone. And if you chose to approach that task differently, being wounded by others can open the perfect window to healing and self-integration. And once we pass through that window, we will not have the same painful reaction to what other people think, say and do.
No one is going to be able to tell you how much time you should spend on the Internet and how much time you shouldn’t spend on the Internet. But what we need to do is individually decide whether our Internet use or time on the computer, is interfering with our life detrimentally. After all, pathological use of the Internet can result in serious negative life consequences such as job loss, relationship breakdown, financial debt, academic failure, apathy, and an un-lived life.
If the Internet does have a detrimental effect on our life, and we would like to change that, we need to admit that we have an addiction to the Internet and take steps to move beyond the addiction.
The well-known addiction psychologist Mark D. Griffiths' created the six criteria of Internet addiction. They are: 1. Salience: When the use of the Internet becomes the more important activity in an individual’s life and dominates their thinking (pre-occupations and cognitive distortions), feelings (cravings) and behavior (deterioration of socialized behavior). For example, even when the individual is offline, they are thinking about the next time they will be online. 2. Mood modification: This refers to the subjective experiences that people report as a consequence of engaging in Internet use and can be seen as a coping strategy (i.e. they experience an arousing “buzz” of a “high” or paradoxically tranquilizing feel of “escape” or “numbing”). 3. Tolerance: This is the process by which users increase the level of Internet use they partake in to achieve mood modification effects. So, for someone who is engaged in Internet use, they tend to gradually increase the amount of time online, to increase further the mood modification effects. 4. Withdrawal symptoms: The unpleasant feeling states and/or physical effects, which occur when Internet use is discontinued or suddenly reduced. Examples of withdrawal symptoms could include shakiness, moodiness and irritability etc. 5. Conflict: This refers to the conflicts between the Internet user and those around them (interpersonal conflict), conflicts with other activities (job, social life, hobbies and interests) or from within the individual themselves (intrapsychic conflict and/or subjective feelings of loss of control) which are concerned with spending too much time engaged in Internet use. 6. Relapse: The tendency for repeated reversals to prior patterns of Internet use to recur and for even the most extreme patterns typical of excessive Internet use or addiction can be rapidly restored, even after periods of abstinence or control.
In my opinion, if you feel like you meet any one of these criteria, it is important to consider what is to follow in this article.
The Internet can serve as a facilitator or masker for multiple addictions because so many dependencies can be fed via the Internet. We can feed a porn addiction through the Internet, we can feed an information addiction through the Internet, we can feed a gaming addiction through the Internet and we can feed a gambling addiction through the internet to name a few. So the first thing we need to do, after we’ve admitted to ourselves that we have an addiction to the Internet, is to take a seriously objective look at what we chronically do on the internet. What are we really addicted to? What fix are we getting via the Internet? Keep in mind that we might simply be using the Internet to distract ourselves from something we would rather not feel or see or do.
Every addiction, no matter what it is, is the result of a need that is not being met. The question is what need? The answer will change depending on the person. We also use addictions to get away from things. Basically, we use them to move away from something unwanted, towards something we need or want to experience. We have to figure out what we are trying to use our addiction to get away from and what need we are trying to use our addiction to meet. Unless we stop running away from what we are trying to run away from and begin to meet that need in healthier ways, we will always have reason to relapse back into the addiction. Even though it is beneficial at a certain point to start physically weaning off or eliminating the thing you’re addicted to, it does no good to do so, unless you have addresses the underlying cause of the addiction.
Before we go further, it is incredibly important to understand that something does not have to be what the scientific community calls a physiologically addictive substance, in order to be addictive. This is especially because on a physiological level, we can become powerfully addicted to the chemicals our own body produces in response to something. It must be said that Internet addiction is particularly common among people who have social phobia and fear of intimacy. Basically, if you have a fear of connection and intimacy, but you need and want it, the Internet (especially social sites like Facebook and Instagram) provides a safe way to get it. You can be honest and close, while still maintaining your distance. Virtual online friends start to gain more communication and importance over time to the person becoming more important than real-life family and friends. This is why it is so important for our social healing, to begin to take our meaningful online relationships and making them physical or three dimensional in nature. We need to physically interact with other people.
People who are currently struggling with depression and anxiety are also at risk for Internet addiction because the internet provides a plethora of distractions from the pain of your own physical life. It must be said, that Internet addiction is a form of life avoidance.
So what should you do if you are ready to admit that you have an Internet addiction and you wish to move beyond the addiction?
1. As I said earlier, the most important thing is that we discover what we are trying to use our addiction to get away from and what need we are trying to use our addiction to meet. The true addiction that is at the heart of the Internet addiction, whether it is gambling or social networking or porn must be addressed. 2. Once we discover what we are using our addiction to get away from, we need to do the opposite. We need to dive head first into the thing we are running from. We need to be completely present with the negative emotions that are trying to get our attention. There are deep inner wounds in need of healing. There are fractured aspects of us that are in need of integrating. We abandon ourselves (the part of us that is hurting) every time we try to get away from what we are feeling. We have to stop the cycle of self-abandonment. We begin with practicing emotional Vipassana. To learn this process, watch my YouTube video titled “How to Heal the Emotional Body”. Practice this process when you feel the compulsive need or craving to get on the Internet or engage in your addiction. Any and all shadow work that you do will benefit you immensely when it comes to addiction. We have to make the subconscious conscious in order to have any choice as far as our actions are concerned.
3. We need to honestly ask ourselves if we want to commit to life or not. This may seem like an odd thing to ask ourselves, but just because you’re alive, doesn’t mean you’re committed to living. Our life will never really be lived unless we commit to being here and commit to doing the most that we can with our lives before we die. Take the time to answer this question. There’s no right or wrong way to answer. 4. If we wish to commit to our lives, we need to start making changes in our life. We need to ask ourselves, what am I missing out on as a result of spending so much time on the Internet? Internet addiction is a form of life avoidance. What is it about your life that you want to avoid? At some level, if we are addicted to the Internet, a part of us does not want to participate in the living of our physical lives. Do you feel powerless to your life? What has prevented you from making changes to your physical life so that it feels better? What has prevented you from making changes to your physical life so it is actually a life you want to live and are excited to wake up to every day? Now here’s the most important question… What changes would need to happen to my life for me to really want to live it and wake up to it every day? Start making those changes in your life. Involve other people in the process if you want to. Consider this a life crisis.
5. Find ways to meet your needs and wants that are healthier than the way you’re currently meeting those needs and wants. For example, if I’m using the Internet to facilitate my addiction to information because new information satiates me and makes me feel full or whole, what could I do instead to make myself feel satiated, full or whole? Maybe I could attend a meditation retreat. Maybe I could get a gym membership and exercise. Maybe I could find a way to contribute, like help someone or volunteer for a charity. Maybe I could pick up a new hobby. Maybe I could start going to therapy. Don’t be afraid to try new things. 6. Notice the urge. We have to commit to having awareness. When you notice the urge to get on the Internet, ask yourself, “Do I really want to do this, and why do I really want to do this?” Be aware that when you are addicted, you are very good at justifying your behaviors and at convincing yourself you have a good reason to be on the Internet when it is really just about being addicted to it. Don’t make a habit out of lying to yourself through justification. After you answer the question honestly, you can then decide whether to get on the Internet or not, but the important thing is having awareness of the urge and of why you’re getting on the Internet.
7. Notice your triggers. Assuming you’ve started to notice the urge and have started to pause to ask yourself why you’re getting on the Internet, start to recognize your most common triggers. Your triggers are the things that cause you to go check something on the Internet. For example, the idea of starting a work task might be a trigger (so you may be getting on to avoid or procrastinate it). Some other triggers might be feeling lonely, having arguments, other people arguing, eating, getting a notification on your phone or computer, being bored, stress, feeling guilt, feeling like a failure, or thinking of something you want to look up to name a few. Pay special attention to the trigger that causes you to get on the Internet the most. In the future, when you notice the trigger, you will be ahead of the game. You will know that you’re at risk for having the urge and so being ahead of the urge, you can either go straight into emotional healing work/shadow work or you can replace the urge to get on the internet with another behavior like doing pushups, drinking water, going for a walk, journaling or something else.
8. Limit your time on the Internet. You can do this however feels best to you. Commit to a time limit that feels doable and promising to you. Maybe you can only commit to taking a break for ten minutes every hour. Maybe you can limit yourself to only getting on the Internet two times a day and at certain times. Maybe you can limit yourself to only getting on the Internet certain days of the week. Commit to whatever feels doable to you and then hold yourself to it, or involve other people to help hold you to it. Having accountability helps when it comes to addictions. Admit you’ve got the problem publicly. Solicit people to help you maintain awareness of yourself so you can make the right choices for yourself. There is also content control software that can help you with this, should you want to buy it. Remember that a change that is not fully committed to, will not work. And no one can become a substitute for your own commitment.
9. If internet use is a particularly big issue for you, instead of limiting your time on the internet, you may benefit by scheduling things throughout the week that are not internet related or where you have no access to media. Stay as connected as you can to the offline world.
10. Reduce your Internet resources down to the most crucial and important for you in your life at this point in time. Some of us spend inordinate amounts of time on the Internet because we have so many things on the Internet to distract us. Delete the ones that don’t add to or enrich your life. Trim them down to the essential. You may need your e-mail account but not need your Facebook account. You may need your Facebook account but not need that computer game you’ve been playing. Limit yourself online to the things that are really important to you. But don’t forget to ask yourself why those specific things are indeed so important to you.
And when you do get on the Internet to do important things, treat the Internet like a tool. The Internet is a means to an end. The question is, what end is it a means to this time? Each time you go to get on the Internet, plan your strategy, regardless of whether you’re looking for entertainment or looking to do something related to work. And don’t let yourself deviate from the plan.
The Internet is an incredible manifestation. It facilitates the expansion of human consciousness in unparalleled ways. We should rejoice in the many gifts that it has given to the human race. But let us not forget that we have come here to live our physical lives and let our direct experiences become the platform for what we ultimately become. Let the Internet enrich your life, do not let the Internet become a way to escape your life. Your attention matters give it to the things that make your life better.
Anger is by far one of the most feared emotional states we experience. Both it’s passive and its aggressive forms of expression are discouraged socially because anger is notorious for creating social conflict. But our fear of anger, only causes us to resist anger and anything that we resist, persists. What is anger? Anger is an emotional response that arises in response to the perception that you have been threatened. Think about that for a minute, anger always comes as a result of feeling threatened. That means anger comes in response to the perceived infliction of pain, injury or damage either done or not yet done to you. If we are angry, our survival mechanism has been triggered. Remember that I don’t mean just physical survival mechanism; I mean emotional survival mechanism and mental survival mechanism as well. This emotion is partly responsible for the fight or flight response. Anger is an aversion. It is an impulse for self-preservation. Anger is the emotional response that results from being threatened into a state of fear usually about pain that has been inflicted on you of that you think is going to come.
Anger becomes the predominant feeling behaviorally, cognitively, and physiologically when a person makes the conscious choice to take action to immediately stop the threat of another outside force. Anger distances you from the threat. This is the real reason why anger hurts people; it puts distance between yourself and them. It is opposing oneness and love. It is the opposite of social cohesion. It separates us.
When we perceive a threat, we feel powerless. We either feel like we did have no control over being hurt or that we have no control over being hurt. This scares us. There is no lower vibration on our planet that complete powerlessness. And so the soul has imbued us with a self-preservation impulse. The self-preservation impulse comes in the form of what I call a cover emotion, an emotional state that exists to keep you from experiencing or staying stuck in the emotional state just below it. Anger and hatred are cover emotions. Anger is an emotion that covers hurt and fear because fear and hurt are powerless states. It covers them so that we do not stay in those vibrations and become a match to the many survival risk experiences that are a vibrational match to us when we are in a state of powerlessness.
Obviously anger feels better than powerless states like fear and sadness because it is a higher vibration. But what about the people who feel like they feel better being guilty than angry or better being depressed or sad than angry? If this is the case, what has happened is that your social group (usually growing up) has made anger so wrong and so bad that you have a belief that anger makes you a bad person. You have perceived that anger hurts people and that hurting people makes you a bad person. And that bad people do not receive love. It is a holdover from the punishment and reward style of parenting you were raised with. People are relationally dependent so love equals survival. As a result, every time you feel angry, subconsciously your fight or flight mechanism is triggered. You begin to feel powerless because your core belief is that you will be abandoned or hurt and alone if you are angry. In other words, anger has become a trigger in and of itself for you. This is especially true if you have been raised in a religious environment. The various world religions, (even the core scriptures of such religions) are littered with warnings about the personal and spiritual implications of anger. This is not the dark ages anymore. Most of us are no longer living in caves and stoning our wives and sacrificing goats to the gods. So let’ catch up to the times. Anger is not wrong. Anger is not bad. Anger is not evil. Anger has been critical to our survival. Anger pulls us out of powerlessness and the pain of being hurt and being afraid. This is why people say that anger can be used as fuel. It makes dangers feel smaller and confidence seem higher and it is a huge burst of energy. It means we are taking our power back. It is motivating. Anger means we think we have a choice to make. And choice is freedom. This is why anger shows up in the orbitofrontal cortex of the brain during neuroimaging studies. Now as I said before, anger is enemy number one in society. Which is sad because the person that does not let themselves feel anger, is perpetually stuck in the lower vibrational states than anger. This is serious business when you consider that we live in a universe governed by the law of attraction. When we are angry, we are not a vibrational match to good feeling experiences. We are a match to things like fender benders and altercations and annoyances everywhere we turn. But if we are in a state of powerlessness, we are a match to much worse things, such as losing love, being victimized, and tragedies. It is better to be enraged than to be powerless because of what you are a match to when you are powerless. It is also serious business socially to resist anger. When people feel anger or rage or revenge and they are discouraged from feeling anger (in other words their anger is disapproved of, squelched or invalidated) they will immediately sink into a lower vibration than anger such as guilt or helplessness or victimization. And the energy of those emotional states keeps building until they have no choice but to act out to save themselves from those emotional states. This is when the world experiences things like murder. A person who is able to allow themselves to approve of and flow through their anger, is a person who does not have to take action on their feelings to feel better. They do not end up taking their anger out on other people. We spoke earlier about anger as a self-preservation emotion. It’s easy to see then just how much anger has to do with boundaries. Anger warns that your boundaries either have been violated or are about to be violated; yet another reason why it is such a valuable emotion. But what about the people who are angry at themselves? If you are angry at yourself, your emotions are telling you that you have violated your own boundaries. You have given yourself reason to fear yourself and not trust yourself. If you hate yourself, your emotions are telling you that you have hurt yourself. You perceive the threat as being you! I cannot go further without saying that if you are a chronically angry person, it is not a personality defect. You have every reason to feel the way you feel. It means there is omnipresent threat in your life. And it’s about time to take a look at your life and figure out what that omnipresent threat is. If you are chronically angry, you have been viewing yourself and your life in a way that makes you feel powerless so you pull yourself back to anger and you keep doing this over and over again. It is a vibrational holding pattern. What is it that is making you feel powerless? The people who feel powerless are angry people. The people who are the most afraid are angry people. But self-preservation is about more than just physical survival too. It’s about the intactness and integrity of yourself as a person. When we are disapproved of and loved conditionally, we cannot stay whole; we fracture. The people who are conditionally loved and who are invalidated and who do not get to be themselves are therefore very angry people. This is the real reason that teenagers are so angry. We need to stop using the cop out that teenagers are just angry or depressed because of hormones. This is grade A BS. Teens are angry because of the increase in social pressure. They have threats to their integrity coming at them from all sides. They are being pressured to violate their own boundaries by parents and teachers and peers every single day. The things that were acceptable in them as children are no longer acceptable. They must become only what is acceptable to society now and you had better expect that it will result in rebellion. But what is that rebellion? It is the rebellion to being told that the totality of who they are is unlovable and that they must dissociate themselves from that part of themselves that is no longer ok. We are asking them to conform to what we want of them and to make us feel good and proud, even at the cost of their own happiness at the same time as telling them they must become independent. It’s crazy making stuff. Conformity breaks a person’s heart. We are breaking our children’s hearts and we are making them powerless and then blaming it on hormones and punishing them for their rebellion.
If you are angry, that anger is right to feel. Nothing is wrong with you. You have valid reason to feel that way; otherwise you wouldn’t feel that way. You may not be conscious of why you are so mad, but once you realize why you are so mad, you will see just how right it is that you are mad. It doesn’t mean you have to act on the emotion of anger. In general, it is a good rule of thumb to not take action on our negative emotional states. So when you’re angry, it’s not a good idea to go punch a wall or get in a fight or to kill someone. But we also can’t deny, suppress or disapprove of our anger because that anger will never go away; instead it will result in an explosion or a physical ailment. We don’t have to suppress or deny anger we also do not have to take action on our anger. So what should we do about our anger?
1. Do not distract yourself from your anger. This is a popular suggestion that I disagree with completely. We must recognize that we are angry and name it as such. I am angry. 2. We have to care that we feel that way by seeing it as valid and important. We should never seek to control our anger; we should seek to take care of our anger as if it were a crying child. We have to acknowledge and validate our anger in a way that affirms that we have every right to feel the way we feel. The feelings are correct for us given our perception of what happened. We have to understand the real reason why we are angry. Understanding anger is actually quite easy, but it requires bravery because it requires that we are willing to feel vulnerable.
If we are angry, it means we feel as if we have been threatened. We need to ask ourselves “what do I feel so threatened by?” Once we figure out what it is that we feel threatened by, we need to ask ourselves “why do I feel so threatened by that thing?” And once we have answered those questions we need to ask ourselves the three most important things we can ask relative to anger the first is “what about that hurt me so bad?” The second is “what am I really afraid of in this situation?” and the third is “what need do I have in this situation that is not getting met?”
If we feel threatened, we feel vulnerable. The question is to what? For example, I might be super angry that my boss promoted the guy who sits next to me in my office but when I look for the vulnerable root of the anger, I might find that it hurt me because it made me feel like I’m not good enough and made me afraid that I’m going to be working at this same level, not succeeding or advancing for the rest of my life. Listen to you anger; listen to what it's telling you about what's wrong with your life and what you need to do or change in order to create a life that feels better.
You will find that just the awareness of the pain that is hiding underneath your anger, will take the edge off the anger. You will also notice that you are now able to deal with the real root of the problem, which is where real healing can occur. Also, the willingness to consciously feel the powerless feelings your anger is trying to keep you from is the opposite of resistance and anger cannot maintain itself in that atmosphere of allowing. 3. We need to be unconditionally present with the feelings, such as anger or hurt or fear that arise as a result of the previous step by sinking into and being unconditionally present with our feelings. We must integrate the feeling. For anyone who wants to understand this process refer to my video titled “How to Heal the Emotional Body”.
Once we have done that, here are some other techniques to try.
4. Now, I’m not one for breathing techniques and counting to ten. To me, it feels a bit like trying to carve at a glacier with a grapefruit spoon. But there is one technique that I have seen calm the hyper arousal of the brain very well and that is to breathe in for the count of four and breathe out for the count of eight. If you want, you can hold your breathe for the count of 6 in-between the in breath and outbreath. Continue to do this for at least 12 times before breathing naturally. 5. Put your pen to the paper. Write about your anger. When we are angry, we often get confused. Writing down our anger, helps us to get clear about our anger. Writing can help our mind and emotions to unite. Also, if we fully express the anger, we will find that we can access the hurt and fear underneath, much like scooping oil off of the top of water to get to the water. 6. Catharsis. There is a debate raging about whether it is a good idea or a bad idea to channel or express anger. Anger itself doesn’t necessarily have to be expressed in order to not be suppressed as long as we become completely conscious of the anger by dealing with the real hurt and fear beneath the anger. A lot of the study results involving catharsis and anger are not favorable towards channeling anger. Many of them find that if you redirect your anger, it only maintains or increases your state of hyper-arousal and can even make you even more aggressive than before. But this is because they are studying the act of catharsis when it is done alone, without the addition of cognitive therapy.
Catharsis is not healing unless it is done in tandem with addressing the real cause of the negative emotion. And indeed, when we do address the real cause of the negative emotion, we do not feel the need for catharsis.
People often channel their anger to avoid their anger and the hurt beneath their anger. For example, I could distract myself from it by exercising or playing a violent video game or punching a wall or working towards a goal or something of the sort. This kind of channeling can be very damaging because it never allows you to address the real cause of the anger and so healing is unavailable to you. It’s just a way of temporarily sedating the feeling. I have released energy but done nothing to resolve the underlying problems that are causing my anger. People, who are addicted to catharsis of emotional states like anger, are using catharsis to avoid directly dealing with the feelings of hurt and fear underneath the anger. To truly improve the negative emotional state, the underlying cause of the emotional state must be addressed. So don’t even bother with catharsis unless you plan to also address the underlying cause of your anger and create a cognitive change.
Catharsis in and of itself does nothing for long-term anger resolution. But let yourself decide if it is a good accouterment. There are ways to let anger out without avoiding or distracting oneself from anger. Art is an example. When we channel our anger in this way, we offer a vibration that calls other people who are powerless into higher vibrational states like anger. I am quite sure I would have died in my teen years in the states of powerlessness I was in were it not for bands like Limp Bizkit and Tool.
Some popular ways to channel anger are to scream into a pillow, go running, go to a place where there is no risk of harming anything else and throw rocks, make angry art, buy second hand plates or cups and smash them in a place and way where you and others wont be harmed, punch a punching bag, wrestle with a person who is willing, talk, dance, stretch or move our body in ways that release the energy, or cry. Remember you are looking for a release. When you are clenching your muscles or behavior, you are trying to control anger, and this only makes the situation worse. Don’t obstruct this energy. Anger wants to move, it wants to flow, it wants release, so let the energy flow. When you channel anger, make channeling the anger your only goal. Don’t channel your anger towards a goal. Think of it almost like bleeding yourself clean of the poison of the heated, buzzing, desperation of the feeling. Only you can know based on how you feel if you are channeling anger so as to avoid the anger and distract yourself from it, or whether you are deliberately letting the anger flow somewhere in a cathartic way. My observation is that catharsis works particularly well for people who have been chronically inhibited and who inhibit themselves. Only you will be able to tell if catharsis does in fact work for you with regards to anger. And we must remember that if we change our underlying perception, the emotional state of anger will not even be there anymore, so there will be no need to express it.
One popular idea is that we can turn anger into motivation. I’m not a fan of the idea of turning anger into motivation for one main reason; anger is a state of resistance. It is a state of resistance to lower vibrational states. Resistance clouds our judgment and intuition. We tend to make super crappy choices from a space of pain. If we are pushing forward from a space of anger, our forward movement is motivated by insecurity, fear and pain. Obviously with that kind of vibrational root, the results will not be great. We are just using the rush of our anger to run upstream towards our goals. We need to act on inspiration, which is the result of positive emotional states. Constructive action is not actually a vibrational match to anger. It could be that something that angers us makes us aware of a really good idea and that idea causes us to feel inspired. In that case, we are not acting from anger, we are acting from inspiration, we have moved up the vibrational scale. But channeling anger itself into constructive action is a contradiction in terms.
7. Develop empathy and compassion. Recognize aspects of yourself in others you are angry with. Try to identify with them. Look for the pain and fear behind what they are doing to make you angry. Compassion cannot be faked, but when it is real, when we really understand others and thus have empathy for them, it dispels our anger like nothing else. Another great thing to do is to become aware of your projections. To explore the concept of projection further, look at my YouTube video titled “Projection”.
8. Music. Music is pure vibration. By listening to it, we are forced to entrain with the vibration of the music we are listening to. If you are angry and you want to move through anger, listen to super angry music. If you feel like you are ready to move past anger, listen to music that makes you feel empowered and inspired. This kind of music counteracts the powerlessness of fear and hurt.
9. Seek out water. Water in its various forms, whether it is a lake or a stream or an ocean or a bath or a shower or a trickle from a faucet, is notorious for caring for anger. Think of anger like a fire, which is what it feels like in the body. What is the antidote for fire? Water holds one of the closest vibrations to source energy. It heals and balances and purifies. Put yourself in it and around it and watch what happens to the way you feel.
10. Pick something that feels better to focus on, especially things that cause you to feel safe and things that cause you to feel empowered. This can be as simple as watching the food network channel, or writing down positive aspects about the situation you are mad about or thinking about an aspect of your life that is actually going very well; something that makes you feel inspired or motivated or empowered. Figure out what the unwanted thing behind your anger is causing you to know that you want. Then begin to think and speak and act in the direction of that wanted thing. Negative emotion is the indication that you feel the deprivation of what you want and need, so what is it that you want and need? Take the direct route towards those things.
11. Sometimes we need to honor our boundaries by learning that it is ok to express our anger to people. Especially if we are doing it for ourselves to prove or demonstrate to ourselves that we will be there for ourselves. But we need to be clear about why we want to express our anger to other people. Ask yourself, what do I want to get out of expressing my anger to them? That is how to know if it is a beneficial thing for us personally to do it or not. If we want validation, chances are that they are not going to validate us for feeling that way towards them.
If we have decided that our goal is to become unified with other people, we should not be silent when we are angry. Instead once we discover the vulnerable pain and fear beneath the anger, we need to express that to them instead. We need to deliberately give them our underbelly. Yes, it requires as much bravery as it sounds like it requires. But you will be amazed at the results. This is the difference between swearing at someone who cheated on you and calling them names and saying that you hate them or are angry at them and telling them that cheating on you made you feel bad about yourself and like you aren’t good enough and betrayed, just like you were as a child. Let the other person know your needs, especially what need is not being met in this circumstance as well. This makes it easy to find ways to get your needs met in this circumstance. 12. It’s a good idea if the anger is so intense that you don’t feel like you can handle it on your own, to bring in someone else to help you with your anger. Be sure to choose someone who is comfortable with anger and who sees anger as valid and not wrong or bad. If you’re in an angry conflict with someone, involving a non-biased a third party is a good idea. There is beauty to anger. There would be no anger without free will. With anger, there is an acknowledgement of choice. And the best choice in the face of anger is to address the vulnerability hiding beneath the anger. But anger isn’t wrong and anger isn’t bad. It is just the reminder that something about your life experience is out of alignment and needs some unconditional loving care and attention.
Apathy is essentially the absence or suppression of enthusiasm, excitement, passion and inspiration. Even though apathy is seen as a lack of emotion, it is anything but. People, who are apathetic, have plenty of emotion. It’s just that early on in life, they learned that emotions (both positive and negative) are not valid and are not ok and as a result; they rejected their entire emotional side. They disowned, suppressed and denied their emotional self entirely.
One of the problems with apathy as a result of disowning one’s emotions is that emotions are your guidance system. They are what lead you in the right direction in life. How else is someone supposed to know what they do not want, except for that it feels bad and is therefore unwanted? How else is someone supposed to know what they want except that it feels good and is therefore wanted? Intrinsic motivation, which is the internal drive to do something when no external reward is present, is motivated by the positive emotion that something evokes. A monkey in a laboratory cage is intrinsically motivated to solve a puzzle. The act of doing it feels good. When we are young, we have no problem following our feelings and thus intrinsic motivation to the ends of the earth. But when someone our survival depends on, makes that selfish or otherwise wrong, we suppress those emotions as well as the motivation. Basically the person who struggles with apathy has learned that it is not safe to want. Pretty soon, we have no motivation to speak of. We don’t know what we want. We are lost. If you are struggling with feeling lost or with not knowing what you want, it might benefit you to take a look at two of my videos on YouTube. The first is “How to discover what you want”. The second is “Feeling lost and Ten Steps to Becoming Found”.
Let’s peel back apathy for you and look at the root emotion that is actually there; the root vibration that causes apathy. It is despair, the complete loss or absence of hope. This is sheer powerlessness. It is the ultimate form of discouragement. Look back at your life and try to see when you started to loose hope. Recognize how you were discouraged. You decided that there was no way to win or that there was no way to have what you want and so, the only option was to give up. Nothing will work. I have yet to meet a person who struggles with apathy, whose childhood and teenhood and then adulthood was not cursed with unmet needs. What needs did not get met for you when you were younger? Better yet, why were you absolutely powerless to meet those needs? These unmet needs are really why people who struggle with apathy cannot trust the universe. We are born trusting the universe completely. We are traumatized into not trusting it and we only begin to trust the universe again when we start to experience our needs being met by the universe. But we have to stop denying our needs and own up to them and give ourselves permission to get them met for that to happen.
Here’s an example of what causes apathy, a child is born into a family that believes that the children are not their own people, but rather extensions of themselves. Duty to the family is a big deal in this family. The child, like any child knows what he likes and wants to do, maybe he discovers that he loves dancing. But when the child wants to become more involved with dancing, the family says “no, you need to do your studies” and enrolls him in even more math classes. The child is shamed for being selfish when he protests. The child is even guilted for being obstinate based on the fact that he should feel grateful for having the family that he has and the schooling opportunities other kids don’t have. At this point, the child’s positive emotions have been made wrong and the child’s negative emotions have also been wrong. As the child cannot literally drive himself to dance class and cannot put food on his plate, there is no way to meet his need. Also, his need for love is not being met. And his need for encouragement is not being met. And his need for validation is not being met. And his need for significance is not being met. And his need for certainty is not being met. And his need for growth is not being met. His only option to try to get any of his needs met is to in fact please the parents in any way he can. So he abandons himself completely. He literally lives his life for them. But to do this, he must suppress any and all emotion within himself. Until the only one that remains is despair. But he tries to suppress and deny that feeling too and when he succeeds in making that feeling a subconscious one, what he feels is a pessimistic numbness. He becomes depressed. This is why apathy is one of the main symptoms of depression. The self-abandonment that is at the causal origin of apathy is also why apathy is a symptom of anxiety as well. The apathetic person does not feel safe with himself of herself because he or she has already demonstrated that they do not have their own best interests at heart. Most of us who are lazy as a result of apathy have suppressed all trying and striving within ourselves. To us, it was dangerous to strive especially in areas that are not acceptable to parents. We were either shamed for being selfish in our wanting or were told we would never succeed or had a limit or bar to what we could do. We were raised by discouragers, shamers and defeatists. So we learned that it is not safe to try and not safe to strive. We learned it’s safe to conform to what is wanted of you, because then you’re good. Or it’s safe to not strive because if you never strive you never have to fail and meet with abandonment, being criticized or being worthless.
It also must be said that those of us who are apathetic, have developed the skill of distracting ourselves. When we feel despair, like life is hopeless and meaningless and we can’t get our needs met, we loose our enthusiasm for life and we have two choices. The first choice is to take ourselves out of this life by committing suicide. The second choice is to distract ourselves from the pain of living. We develop addictions. Some of these addictions are quite overt, like addictions to drugs and some are quite covert, like addictions to porn or reading. Anything to sedate the pain. We become addicted to whatever distracts us the most.
So what should you do if you find that you are apathetic?
1. We need to realize that we are committing passive suicide. Just because we are living, does not mean we are committed to life. Instead of living our entire lives stuck in this state of living death, we need to decide if we are more committed to death or to life. Death is not wrong. So make this decision based on the truth of what you want, instead of what you think is right to want. If you decide you want to live, then you need to commit to life. Throw all of yourself in that direction. The following are ways to do that.
2. Stop distracting yourself. When we distract ourselves from the pain we feel, we are committing passive suicide. We really are making our life meaningless and not worth living. And what you are doing to yourself on an emotional level, is the same as someone deciding to leave the room and distracting themselves to tune out the sound of their baby that is crying to be held in the other room. When you feel tempted to distract yourself, recognize what you are trying to distract yourself from. Give loving care and attention to the emotional pain you are trying to sedate instead. If you have a particular vice for distraction, like the TV, disconnect your cable service. Do whatever it takes to commit to being present with yourself instead of escaping from yourself. Short cut your habits.
3. The emotional wound, which needs integration, is despair. When you do emotional healing processes like inner child work, the focus needs to be on despair. Unless this wound is helped to heal, any further steps will not succeed, because the despair still exists and so you will simply line up with even worse discouragement than before and an even deeper hopeless feeling that nothing will ever work out. 4. Anger is your best friend. Anger is the vibrational improvement from your current space of utter powerlessness. You need to access your feelings of anger and get mad. For more information about anger, watch my YouTube video titled “How to Deal with Anger”.
5. Start feeling your emotions. You have tuned out your internal guidance system long ago. You don’t even recognize emotions when you feel them. Start to familiarize yourself with the sensations in your body as you go about your day, especially when emotionally evoking things happen. For example, if you watch a movie, check in with yourself throughout the course of the movie, even pausing the movie to do it, to feel what sensations are occurring within your body. After you have felt these sensations without judging them, try to put words to the sensations like heavy, crushing, cold, buzzing etc. Once you have become familiar with the sensations, try to identify specific feelings. To do this, it is helpful to carry a small feelings journal and set your timer to go off at intervals throughout the day. Whenever the timer goes off, turn your attention inside your body to see what you are feeling. Write down in your journal the sensations and also the name of the feeling if you can identify it. For example, buzzing, imploding, in chest – Anxiety. Make use of circumstances that evoke powerful feelings too, write down how those made you feel in this journal as well.
6. Start following your emotional guidance system and taking action. You have to start taking action based on how you feel. This will be really rocky at first until you get your bearings back. And you will have to start trying new things. If you know what interests you or what causes you to feel positive emotion, you are way ahead of the game. It will be easier for you to think of things to do and actions to take. But most people, who struggle with apathy, have lost touch with what even interests them and with what causes them to feel good. And if you’re this kind of person you have to just try all kinds of new things. You have to prove to yourself that action changes the way you feel and is capable of bringing about improvement. You aren’t lazy, bored, unmotivated or even apathetic. These are just symptoms that do not define you as a person any more than a headache is who you are. It’s just how you feel right now as a result of what you have experienced in your life. When you are feeling apathetic, movement is what the doctor ordered. Don’t worry about making the right or wrong choice. Any change you make or action you take is better than staying stagnant where you are
Also, every time you take action to change some aspect of your life that gives you more information about what feels good and what feels bad, what you want and what you don’t want. The ship may sway back and forth until it find’s its proper course. Some ideas about actions you could take are making yourself go to the gym, getting a job, volunteering for something, signing up for a class, move to a different city, take a shamanic journey, go to a retreat, let a friend take you along for a vacation, go to therapy etc. Most importantly, SHAKE YOUR LIFE UP. Make little shifts and big shifts. Routine and monotony are your enemies at this point. Put yourself in situations that don’t feed your apathy. Once you get more clear about what you actually do like, it will be easier to pick something and really focus on that. 7. Notice positivity every day. You have lost your joy. You have lost your belief that life is worth living. Pick a time of day (before you go to bed or when you wake up is best) to write down the things you like about life. The positive things in the past, present and future. List good memories, especially the ones that made you feel excitement and enthusiasm and next to those, write the elements of those experiences that made you feel that way. For example, if I loved galloping a horse across a field when I was seven, I may have loved the fact that it made me feel untouchable and free and powerful and like I had companionship. List things about right now that you love, maybe you love the warm feeling of your bed covers, maybe you love the flowers you drive by on the way to work, maybe you love something that happened today. List things you look forward to, even if it is only a few minutes from now or later that day or tomorrow. Anything that causes you to feel positive emotion should go on this list. When you feel particularly stuck, go back to these lists and read them. It will re-inspire your commitment to life.
8. Look back over your positive list and especially at the elements you liked about those positive things and see if you can find some things you could do that would foster those elements. For example, if I liked the feeling of camaraderie I felt by riding a horse, I could either go ride a horse again, or I could attend a local seminar where I think likeminded people might congregate and I can talk to people there and form connections with them. It must be said that a good amount of your life purpose is revealed in the things you loved to do when you were very young and the elements of things you love doing. 9. Approach the world with a beginners mind. Pretend you know nothing about this life. As if you are starting all over again. You may have done something a million times, pretend you have not. Practice trying to see things with brand new eyes. I have people pretend that they are an alien, coming to earth for the very first time. You may have eaten an apple a hundred times, but what is the experience of eating an apple like, for an alien if an alien has never done it before? What things would you want to try if you were an alien on vacation on this planet in your house or in your city or world? Try those things. You may have been married to someone for five years, but what is the experience of being around this person like if you had never met them before? If we feel despair, it is a good idea to wipe the slate clean. Start from scratch and we can do this by adopting the perspective that we are starting from square one all over again and getting to know this world for the very first time. 10. Don’t expect yourself to know or believe that everything is going to work out. If you feel despair, don’t try to make yourself feel hope. Instead, decide you are so sick of being where you are, that it doesn’t matter if it is hopeless. It doesn’t matter if it will or wont work out, anything is better than this living death. And be patient with yourself. It took years for people in your life to run you this far off course; you’re not going to get back on course in one day. But each course correction you make gets you that much closer and that much closer, don’t quit just because you look up and notice you aren’t there yet.
It is safe to want. If you struggle with apathy, you have learned that it isn’t. But remember that children who are raised in bigoted households believed it wasn’t safe to interact with black people. So just because you have grown up believing something, does not mean that it is true. You came to this life to want and to follow your wanting into your expansion. You came to this life to feel; otherwise you could not know what you wanted. And your feelings are right. It is not your fault that people in your past invalidated your positive and negative feelings. It is not your fault that self-centered people in your past discouraged you and rejected who you were. You abandoned yourself to placate them. It was a genius strategy that saved you then and is killing you now. You have every right to feel hurt and anyone in your situation would feel complete despair. And now it is your choice, to prove them right by succumbing to that despair or to prove them wrong by taking back the wheel of your ship and following your own north star.
We must suspend our idea about right versus wrong as we learn about pedophilia because it doesn’t actually address the root of the situation at hand. It is as useless to debate whether pedophilia as a sexual orientation is right or wrong as it is to debate whether being homosexual as a sexual orientation is right or wrong. It is an urge, not an action. Many pedophiles feel the way they feel without ever acting out on it and molesting a child. When it comes to pedophilia, we are addressing a feeling. We are addressing an urge. And you can’t make a feeling go away just because you think the feeling is wrong to feel. I will be referring to people who experience a sexual attraction for children as pedophiles throughout the course of this video. This is for the sake of understanding, but the label of “pedophile” is not meant to shame, discredit or objectify anyone who feels sexual attraction for children in any way. We are born whole, but that wholeness is short lived because we are relationally dependent. Being born relationally dependent into families that socialize us into a society that is not fully evolved yet causes us to learn that some aspects of ourselves are acceptable, and others are not. What is acceptable vs. unacceptable depends on the perspective of the family you’re born into. The aspects of us that are seen as unacceptable (both positive and negative) are rejected by our family and the aspects that are seen as acceptable are not. So, being relationally dependent, in the name of survival, we do anything we can to disown and deny and suppress those aspects in ourselves that are disapproved of whilst exaggerating those that are approved of. We dissociate from what we disapprove of. This creates a split within us. This self-preservation instinct is in fact our first act of self-rejection. We have lost part of ourselves and so we begin to feel anguish and an emptiness inside. From this point on, we are attracted to people into our lives who mirror the aspect of us that we have suppressed, denied and rejected. We are a perfect match to them even though they seem to be the opposite of us, because that denied self is still part of us (it’s just suppressed from our awareness) and is still therefore, subject to the law of attraction. We fall in love with our lost self and as a result of connecting with them, we get to have our lost self back. For this reason, when we are with them, we feel more whole.
We also become sexually attracted to our subconscious definition of intimacy. This is why it is so common for people who were sexually abused as children to go on to become perpetrators of sexual abuse. This subconscious definition was set up in very childhood through our interactions with our attachment figures. As sad as it may seem, if the intimacy in our family is abusive, we often develop sexual fetishes that involve some level of abuse. It is true that for many of us, the craving for orgasm is the craving for relief, relief in the form of release. This feeling of relief becomes it’s own addiction. This is a big part of what we are addicted to if we are addicted to pornography. But ultimately on a higher level, the progression towards orgasm and the craving for orgasm is the progression towards and craving for oneness. Just like love is the movement towards oneness. To love someone, is to include them as you. To orgasm with someone as a byproduct of love, is to become conscious of the experience of being one. It is to move beyond the physical world, which separates us from one another and separates us from our eternal self. We do it to feel more whole. What does all this mean for a pedophile? The pedophile was hurt so badly as a child, that his or her entire child-ness and innocence had to be suppressed, denied and rejected for the sake of emotional, mental or physical survival. There is therefore an aspect of them that had to grow up way too fast and thus could not develop naturally and thus there is a part of themselves that they dissociated from that is frozen in a state of childhood. Now most people think that pedophilia cannot be cured, that the feelings will always be there, but that one can learn to manage those feelings so as to not act on them. But I do not agree. Pedophiles can eliminate their attraction to children if they regain their own innocence. This view upsets people who prefer the idea that sexual orientation is something that you are born with. But I can assure you that sexual attraction is much more complicated than we currently know and much more complicated than we are currently making it out to be. Sexual orientation is not as simple as “you’re born with it and you can’t change it”. There are also people who will point to developmental issues in the brain as a cause of pedophilia, but they fail to comprehend the possibility that consciousness exists beyond the brain and that the brain may form the way it does as a result of consciousness and external experiences that our consciousness encounters. What is innocence? Innocence is a lightness of being. It is a worry free state. It is a state where one has not compromised themselves or their morals in any way. There is a purity to the state because in a state of innocence, there is nothing obscuring our light. Most people associate innocence with ignorance or with weakness. Innocence is neither of those things. When we gain knowledge, we do not have to lose innocence. This only occurs if the knowledge we gain causes us to move into a space of pain or fear. And contrary to popular opinion, there is an immense bravery in innocence. Innocence is a state of openness. It is a fundamentally unafraid state. It’s light is not guarded. It is benevolent and untouchable. We may be able to obscure the light of our innocence to the degree that we have no awareness of it, but the light itself cannot be burnt out. We lose touch with our innocence when we become hurt and afraid. Under hatred there is always hurt and under hurt, there is always innocence.
It is sad to me that people associate naivety with innocence. It denotes the idea that people collectively feel that ignorance is bliss. It also denotes that there is a biblical holdover in society where we feel that knowledge is a sin. In fact the more wise you become and the more you understand about this universe, the closer you get to a state of innocence.
Pedophiles are not monsters. And not all pedophiles act out on their desires by molesting children. Many live in quiet desperation, unable to ever tell anyone. In many places there are mandatory reporting laws that say that if someone informs a therapist that they are afraid they might be a pedophile or that they have sexual inclinations towards children, regardless of whether they have or have not acted on those feelings, they must be reported to authorities. We hoped of course that this would cut down on child molestation. However, all this has done is cause pedophiles to stop seeking therapy entirely. Many people are too afraid of the legal consequences and the societal disgust to admit to their feelings and get help for them. And so there are in fact more pedophiles circulating in today’s society with no psychological or emotional support at all.
When a pedophile was young, they were hurt badly enough on a physical, mental or emotional level (or all three) that they suppressed, denied and rejected the aspect of themselves that was a child. First and foremost, they suppressed, denied and rejected their innocence. As a result, in order to become whole again, they are attracted to the aspect of themselves that they have lost. They are attracted to children because by being with a child, the innocence that they are missing can be a part of them again. It causes them to feel more whole. Pedophiles, who seem like monsters to the rest of us, are in fact just desperately craving to get their own innocence back. Ironically, by trying to get their own innocence back, pedophiles sometimes take innocence from the children they become attracted to, thereby inflicting the same wound on those children as was inflicted upon them. For this reason, it is best if the cycle of pain is stopped, but punishing the pedophile will not stop it. This punishment just makes their innocence even more unreachable. What needs to happen is that the pedophile needs to reclaim their own innocence again.
The person, who lost their innocence as a result of pain, often feels utter powerlessness. Assuming that they also lost their ability to really connect on an equal level with other people as a result of pain, their subconscious definition of love now revolves around subjugation, domination and often humiliation. Many truly believe that a person who submits to them, loves them. They feel a sense of power when they are dominating and in control and an adult can easily dominate and control a child. Unwilling to delve into their feelings of being powerless, insecure, incompetent and out of control of their own life, many pedophiles turn to sexual contact with a child as a way to feel powerful, secure, competent and in control of their life. There are some pedophiles who justify their sexual exploits with children as ok. While it is impossible to pick a definitive age after which children are capable of knowledgeable consent, most pedophiles do not understand sexual development in children and so they do not understand how damaging it actually is. It is easy to damage a person sexually as a child, either by equating sexuality to shame (such as making sexual curiosity wrong) or by doing the opposite and forcing sexuality on the child. As much as we may not like to admit it, children are sexual beings but this does not mean that children want to have sex with adults.
Children desire comfort, connection, and touch, and many are also curious about their own and other people's bodies. Children seek out this connection and express physical curiosity without a clear sense of the difference between sexual touch and friendly touch. But sexual offenders often confuse children's openness to touch and desire for physical attention as readiness or wanting to participate in adult sexuality.
Offenders even claim that the child initiated a sexual encounter or enjoyed the experience while it was happening. But children often find an adult's move to explicit sexual activity deeply confusing and harmful, and frequently they do not have a clear way to understand what is happening. The child in this scenario submits to what is happening regardless of whether or not they wanted or liked it.
Children's bodies physiologically have the capacity to respond to sexual touch, but that does not mean that the sexual touch was understood, wanted or that the child liked it. The child, who is usually nowhere near the age that their body is capable of conception, wants connection, not sex. That being said, it is not the sexual touch itself that is the most harmful thing to a child who is sexually abused. It is the other elements that accompany the sexual touch that are the most harmful, things like blame, shame, feeling powerless, secrecy, feeling like they do not get to have boundaries and do not get to choose what to do or not to do with their bodies etc. I do not enjoy the idea of aversion therapy. It may short cut a behavior, but it does nothing to heal the cause. But I am giving you this idea as a tool only because in our society, the damage you can do by engaging in a sex act with a child and the implications of being arrested for sexual abuse are too great not to mention it.
If you wish to program yourself in order to not act out on your urge to have sex with a child (knowing that this is not healing the cause, but is rather a behavioral control technique), you can set up associations in your mind between sexual excitement towards a child and negative things. For example, you can become sexually aroused and then switch to thinking about police arresting you or look at pictures of police making arrests. You can also become sexually aroused and then think about or look at pictures of snakes getting ready to bite or spiders. Choose something you have a very bad association with and use it to associate it with your feelings of arousal towards children. This can create a neural pathway where eventually, your arousal at the thought of having sex with a child, will ultimately lead to a negative reaction. Keep in mind that the damage done by aversion therapy itself may be something you will need help to heal in the future.
All this being said, how do we reclaim our innocence? We start with the knowledge that Innocence cannot ever be lost. Then we look to uncover our own innocence. Our innocence is hiding under our pain though. So to gain back our innocence we must stop trying to sedate our pain or escape from it and we must instead dive deeply into our pain. I have demonstrated a process for this in my YouTube video titled “How to heal the emotional body”. Somatic therapy is particularly helpful for people who struggle with pedophilia. We must rescue the child selves that have been suppressed, denied and disowned. The child self is the seed of innocence. For this reason, inner child work is literally essential for anyone struggling with pedophilia. Seek to fully understand yourself with compassion. You cannot regain your innocence if you are still looking at yourself like you are a bad person, like something is wrong with you and like you are a monster. The more you understand yourself in the context of someone who was hurt, the easier it will be to see your behaviors as what they are, a symptom of being hurt; rather than as a defect with no cause.
Develop self worth. If you are struggling with self worth, watch my YouTube video titled, “How Do I Discover Self Worth?” And work on developing healthy boundaries. If you want to learn about healthy boundaries, watch my YouTube video titled, “How to Develop Healthy Boundaries”. Boundaries will help you develop authenticity and integrity. And the more you develop authenticity and live from a place of integrity, the better you life will get and the less you will loathe yourself. Start meditating every day in whatever way works the best for you. Meditation benefit us in too many ways to mention, but one of these ways is that meditation gifts us with presence of mind and heart and thus gives us the capacity for great peace and great self-control. Most people, who struggle with pedophilia, feel utterly out of control of themselves and their lives. But control is such a resistant way of thinking about it. So instead of self-control, lets say that meditation puts us back in the driver’s seat relative to ourselves and as a result, urges do not compel us the way they once did. Start connecting with people with the intention of creating true intimacy. Intimacy is not about sex. Intimacy is about seeing into another person and letting them see into us. Practice being truly present with other people. Listen to them not just to understand them intellectually, but also to understand them emotionally. Begin to let yourself feel them and empathically connect with their experience. Be genuine with other people. Be authentic with people. And most especially capitalize on the bravery inherent within you by being willing to be vulnerable with other people. Connect with the aspects of yourself that are uncorrupted or untouched by doing things that cause you to feel light hearted… Do thing that make you laugh and play. But what exactly is play? Play is defined as engagement in an activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than for a serious or practical purpose. This is where we have to stop and think. In the very definition of the word play, we find the dysfunction of the society we have co-created. We have all grown up thinking that play is not synonymous with any purpose. We have been led to believe that there is something more important than happiness itself. Then we grow up and wonder why we aren’t happy without realizing that we aren’t happy because we don’t take the straight path to it by prioritizing enjoyment. Rather, we spend our lives beating about the bush hoping that our happiness will come as the end result of other priorities like keeping a reliable job or reaching our goals. Instead, consider that enjoyment has a serious practical purpose and ask yourself, every day, how could I play today? And do it.
If you’d like to protect your child from being taken advantage of, the best way to do that is to help your child understand his or her own sexuality as their sexual curiosity naturally develops. And even more than that, teach your child from a very young age about healthy boundaries. Keep in mind that we cannot violate our own child’s boundaries and teach them to have healthy boundaries.
I often see the parents of little girls, demanding that their daughters do what they want them to do; things like “kiss your auntie or uncle now” when the child doesn’t want to. Then expecting that when another adult comes onto them sexually, they will protest. They wont, we have trained them not to. We have trained them to ignore their own feelings and wants and needs. We must allow them to know its ok to set the rules for their own bodies and honor the rules other people have for their bodies. If you make your child obedient to adults, they will be obedient to every adult. Also, give them plenty of connection. See into your child’s heart and soul. Explore their wants and needs, likes and dislikes. A child who feels lonely or misunderstood or ignored or outcast is at serious risk for seeking that connection from an adult who in fact has sexual intentions towards him or her. See pedophilia as what it really is, which is a hurt person who is trying desperately to reconnect with their own innocence and the childhood that they lost and the inner child that they had to dissociate from to survive in the environment they were raised in. If you are a therapist, this is your prerogative when assisting someone who feels sexually attracted to children. This will be difficult because they will have to willingly re-visit and spend time with their own vulnerability and hurt, which is the last thing they will want to do. But it is doable. And it is also a beautiful process to facilitate. If you are suffering as a result of being a pedophiliac, you’re not evil and believe me, a much higher percentage of the population struggles with the same urges as you do than you realize. If you are a pedophile, reclaiming your own innocence is your new goal. Make innocence the central theme of your life. Allow the universe then to place people and circumstances in your path that will assist you to reconnect with your innocence. Treat everyone that crosses your path like they could be a messenger directly from source with part of the puzzle piece to reconnect with your own innocence.
We have been raised with the idea that some things are ok to want like a reliable job or kids or dinner or a raise or a wife. While other things are not ok to want like fame, power, lots of money or a sexy girlfriend etc. Obviously based on what culture or family or religion you were brought up in, what you are allowed to want is going to be different from person to person. But in our current society, we risk a lot socially by wanting what we want and by admitting to it.
For example, a person might want to be a millionaire so they can live a life of abundance. But in society, a person who wants to be a millionaire is seen as a materialistic person who has the wrong set of priorities. Or a person might want to be famous because they want to have significance, but in today’s society, a person who wants fame and significance is seen as a person who is shallow and self-centered. Another example is that a person might grow up in a family that is poor, that believes it is not possible to be in a powerful position within society, so if they desire to be a politician, they are discouraged because the family thinks it will lead to failure. The person then has to deny that desire for the sake of validating the family and also to prevent potential failure. Conversely, a person might be born to a rich family, where there is an expectation for him or her to choose a career that is seen as a high status career. But the person might truly desire to join a non-profit group and travel the world. Because the family finds this desire unacceptable, the person must deny that aspect of themselves and conform for the sake of approval. We have to be seen as good to maintain social favor and thus love, and we must maintain love to survive and so we do what we do with all other unacceptable aspect of ourselves, we banish it to the subconscious. We deny, suppress, reject and disown those desires. They do not go away, they simply take up residence in the subconscious mind. We still make decisions because of those desires and we still go after those desires, but we take detours to do it and we don’t really know why we are doing it. Desires that are suppressed in the subconscious mind, become compulsions and that is when our desires can become dangerous to us.
Let’s get this out of the way right now. It is impossible to un-want something you want. It is also impossible to make yourself want it less. When we believe that something is not ok to want but we want it and can’t un-want it, we have to make a choice. Either we conform completely to what others want us to want and literally die to ourselves and our truth or we go about getting it in covert, passive aggressive, round about ways. If we are confronted about our true desires or true priorities, we become defensive and deny it. After all, we can’t maintain a positive self-view and want those things. It is in fact quite damaging to not admit to what we want. Our lives can get surprisingly far off course doing that. Also, the subconscious mind does a good job of ruining the show instead of running it. Now, before you go on thinking that the concept of admitting to what you want and going straight for it is an adorable albeit trite self help technique, consider that if Adolph Hitler admitted to the fact that he wanted belonging, empowerment and safety, the entire Nazi regime would not have happened. When we feel powerless and alone and betrayed (like Hitler did during his childhood and also during WW1), but we cannot admit to our insecurities and vulnerabilities and wounds, the subconscious mind has to try to get our needs met in any way it can. Leadership gave Hitler that sense of empowerment. Being a part of a group (the Nazis) gave Hitler a sense of belonging. Getting rid of the Jews, (whom he had lifelong conflict with and whom he felt betrayed him and his country during World War 1) made him feel safer.
If we are unwilling to admit to what we really want, we may go about getting it in ways that are harmful to us and harmful to the world as well. For example, financial desperation aside, most prostitutes want to be valued. Their self worth is so low that the only value they feel they have is their sexuality. So, they have sex with strangers despite the risks so they can feel that brief feeling of being valued for the only thing they feel has value. Another example is a person who loves authority and loves to be the center of attention. They think it’s not ok to admit to that. So they go into a career where they get both of those things, like politics. Really they hate politics itself. They don’t really care about legislation or about taking care of people’s rights; they just want to be in a position of authority where they are the center of attention. They subsequently go on to damage people’s lives because they never cared about those things in the first place. If they would have been willing to admit to what they wanted, they could have found a job that really had nothing to do with legislation or taking care of other people’s best interests. It would have made them happy and the political position could have been left to someone who actually does like legislation and who actually does get a rush out of representing other people’s best interests.
We are often concerned about what other people want, fearing that it will not serve them well. But what we do not understand is that we do not have the power to cause them to not want what they want, no matter how much we may not want them to want that thing. We would do better to just help them to get what they want in any way that we can. We cannot do it in a begrudging way, because that is disapproval. But if we genuinely help them get what they want, their perspective will change and they will want different things. The person, who wants to be a millionaire and is willing to put relationships second to money, is more likely to put people first after he achieves his millions. If we try to get him to put relationships first when what his true desire is, is money, we will spend years with a resentful person, who never makes relationships his number one priority. Collectively, we have this idea that we have to deny our needs and wants because if we give into our needs and wants, we will be like a hungry monster… Nothing will ever be enough. But imagine that by meeting a need or want, the need or want might actually be met and so the person might actually develop different needs and wants. A cup that is empty might just be full if it is filled. Often, we can never get enough of something, when we are unaware of what it really is that we are wanting because metaphorically, we end up living on table scraps. To use a food metaphor, if we can’t admit that what we want is a bowl of salt, we will endlessly seek out foods that contain salt. But it will never be enough, because we aren’t just letting ourselves go get salt. If we let ourselves get salt, we would have a craving for something other than salt. We are never going to stop wanting something until we get it. So we need to help ourselves aim straight for what we want and we need to help others aim straight for what they want. The crux of the matter is that we, as people have essentially put a leash on ourselves and a leash on each other. We do not let ourselves run in the direction of what we truly want. We do not let other people run in the direction of what they truly want. People, who are on a leash, have no other option than to run sideways. We have go to take the leash off. We have got to be brave enough to admit to what we really want and brave enough to go for it. It is so refreshing and freeing to just stop trying to suppress, deny and disown the things we really want out of fear.
So I am asking you today to take some steps to let yourself off the leash.
1. Admit to what you truly want. Ask yourself, what am I ashamed to admit that I want? 2. Admit to why you want that thing, what do you really like about it? The reason why you want something reveals the most about what you actually want.
3. Ask yourself why you feel it is wrong to want that thing. Is it actually bad or wrong to want that thing? Why or why not? If people influenced you to believe that it was not ok to want, why did they hold that opinion, what were they afraid the result would be? 4. Question what the flip side of that desire is. What is this desire telling me that I don’t want? Another way to discover this is to ask yourself, What am I afraid will happen if I don’t get this thing that I want? For example, if I am ashamed that I want fame because I want significance, I may be afraid of insignificance. If we know why we think it isn’t ok to want certain things and what we are trying to avoid by going for what we want, we can then alter our perspective about those beliefs and start to release resistance and heal those wounds.
5. Pick at least one person to admit this true desire to and admit it to them. Come out of the closet about it. 6. Ask yourself, how am I holding myself back from this thing that I want right now? How am I trying to get that thing in round about ways? 7. Ask yourself what steps you could take right now to go straight for what you want instead? What would you do differently? How could you simplify your quest for what you actually want? 8. Take those steps.
If we want something desperately, it is because we have so much resistance to the idea of not getting it. We feel powerless to get it. So we need to release this resistance. Hardly anything in this universe is more powerful than the vibration of a clear desire, with no resistance to what is unwanted on the other side of it. If we admit to our actual desires, the universe is ten times more likely to provide us with opportunities that actually facilitate our desires. Opportunities where our actual desire is the main dish, not the side dish. Once we free ourselves to admit to what we want and go for it, we also give others the permission to do the same. The result will be a much happier society. We will heal our deep, unresolved wounds much quicker. Expansion will happen much quicker and we will all be living from a place of authenticity instead of pretense.
Take the leash off and I promise you, you wont ever be tempted to look back except to reminisce about what a good decision it was.
First it must be said that it is possible to experience heartbreak without actually breaking up. A lot of people live in a state of perpetual heartbreak even though they are still technically in a relationship. But when this is the case, the “break up” has still occurred. It has occurred internally. To love someone, is to include them as yourself. It is to come into a state of emotional oneness with that person. This feels like bliss. We are at our very best when we are in this state. In this state, we are essentially the emotional embodiment of source itself. In contrast, to break up is to become separated. This feels like torture. We are at our worst in this state. In this state, we are the emotional embodiment of the absence of source itself. All break ups are essentially a betrayal. A betrayal is the breaking of a presumptive contract or agreement. When we love someone, we enter into a kind of energetic agreement or loose contract to be one. When we experience a break up, whether it is an actual break up or an energetic break up this agreement is broken. As a result, we feel betrayed. All betrayals of the unspoken oneness agreement in a relationship (whether it is emotional withdrawal or cheating or criticism) creates a separation between two people. So why exactly are break ups so painful? Because if you include someone as you, to break up with them (regardless of whether you decided to break up with them or they decided to break up with you) is to lose part of yourself. On an emotional level, this feels like a severing. It feels like part of you is being severed from yourself.
Hatred is the cover emotion for hurt. What I mean by cover emotion is that your emotional self is intact with survival mechanisms just like your physical self is. When you are feeling hurt, your emotional self immediately tries to get you away from the feeling of hurt by moving you into a space of hatred, which is actually a vibrational improvement. This is why it is so common for two people to hate one another after they breakup. The hatred however is not what needs to be addressed, the hurt underneath the hatred does.
The heart chakra is the energy center of the body that corresponds to connection. It is the chakra that is concerned with wholeness and love and compassion among other things. The hear chakra is the unifier. This is why so many of the organs and biological systems associated with the hear chakra, are unifying systems like the circulatory system. They unify the whole body. When we experience the severing or separation inherent in a break up, the chakra and biological systems associated with it that is the most impacted, is the chakra that is in charge of connection, the hear chakra. On a biological level, emotional pain and physical pain involves the same regions of the brain. Many scientists suggest that when painful mental and emotional separation occurs between people, it causes an area of the brain to be stimulated that in turn over stimulates a nerve called the Vagus nerve, causing pain in the chest. This chest pain is why people say their hart has been broken. It is easy to see how the pain receptors in the body that would be the most effected by a loss trauma, are the nerves associated with the chakra and biological systems that deal with connection. That is after all, where the damage is.
I’m going to let some of you off the hook here before we go on. It is a very common thing that when our relationships go very south, to begin to wish that our partner will just die in an accident or something. The reason for this is that all break ups are a death of part of you. And when we do not feel like we have the strength to voluntarily create a death, we hope that it will involuntarily happen. That way, we do not have to face the guilt, we don’t have to doubt ourselves and we do not have to feel self-blame on top of the pain of the loss. Breakups are so painful because you have chosen to kill something that is a part of you. Even if it was the other person who chose to do it, you are going to experience a death of something that is a part of you. What ensues is a grieving process, much like the one that happens when someone we love actually dies.
You’re not just going to “get over” heartbreak. A break up is a trauma to the system and so the system has to go through a process of healing and integrating and readjusting when it loses a part of itself. You may decide to move on, but that does not mean you have healed anything. Trying to rush the process of healing after you experience a break up, does not work any more than it works to rush the process of grieving after someone dies. That being said, heartache does not have to last for weeks or months and the more active you are with regards to facing your thoughts and feelings and the more proactive you are about your own healing, the faster you will reach a state of wholeness.
So what should you do if you are suffering from a broken heart?
Before we get into it, it's important that if heartbreak is recent and you're in the wake of a major trauma, to reel it in and stop living your life for this day or week. instead, you have to plan your life in short increments. You have to think about what would make you feel better for the next five minutes or what would you do to feel a bit of relief in the next hour. Live your life minute by minute or hour by hour and only extend that as time goes on and you feel capable. And now for the list:
Do not try to distract yourself from the heartbreak. A lot of your friends might suggest this. It is a bad idea. This will backfire immensely. This is you leaving or bouncing out on yourself after you have already lost part of yourself. It will only compound the injury. Heartbreak is all consuming and it’s ok to let it be. Sometimes, to get to the other side of something, we have to go straight into it.
Recognize that if you have come together with someone so as to become attached to them in a partnership, you have most likely subconsciously done so in order to make yourself feel more whole in some way. This means there are aspects of yourself that are feeling insufficient, incomplete, empty or missing. We must embark on a journey of restoring our completeness in and of ourselves. We must turn our attention inward and become whole again. Do not mistake this for independence. This is an interdependent universe. Interdependence is not painful. Independence is. Autonomy on the other hand is a state of wholeness in and of the self. In a state of wholeness, we do not come together with other people to make up for what is missing within us. To be autonomous, we have to be in a secure relationship with ourselves. We have to take steps to establish a secure relationship with ourselves and become whole. The worst thing we could do if we are feeling heartbreak is to get into another relationship. This will be especially hard if you’re afraid to be alone. I’m developing a process that called the Completion Process that is designed to restore us to a state of wholeness. Hopefully by the time you watch this, I will be done with the process and you can incorporate it into your life. Part of becoming whole is coming back to yourself and finding yourself again. Who am I? What do I want? What do I need? What changes do I want to make to my life? Think back to a time when you were truly happy in an autonomous way in your life. What things were you doing then? Add some of those things back into your life. Often break ups call for starting over as if from square one and going in a whole new direction. Our priorities have to shift. We have to be willing to do that. We have to take steps to feel like ourselves again because we have lost ourselves. Even the people who decide to end relationships go through a period of feeling lost without the other person. If you are feeling lost, you can look up my YouTube video titled “Feeling Lost and Ten Steps to Becoming Found.”
Change up your life so it feels new. This might be as drastic as moving to a new city or house or it may be as simple as re-decorating or moving the furniture around or cooking new foods or changing something about your physical appearance. Changing things in your life around, especially the things that remind you of the pain of the loss is crucial. Don’t be afraid to put away the reminders you have of them. This may feel scary because you don’t want to lose any more connection to them. But remind yourself; you’re not getting rid of the reminder (unless you need to do that to let go). You’re just boxing it up so it’s out of sight. You can still take it out anytime you want to, or throw it away if/when the time ever feels right
We have to address the negative thoughts like core beliefs and worries that have developed as a result of the pain of the heartbreak. Things like “I’m never going to trust anyone ever again.” Or “I can’t make relationships work” etc. We especially want to address and shift the “shoulds”. Something that causes us extreme pain in breakups is the fact that we think it should have gone differently. We think something has gone wrong in order for us to be where we are. For example, it’s common to think that if we were married, we obviously should have spent the rest of our lives together. When we think we should have spent the rest of our lives together, but we aren’t spending the rest of our lives together, we feel pain. So identify the painful beliefs you have right now that are adding to the heartbreak and take a look at my YouTube video titled “How to Change a Belief”. Also look into Byron Katie’s process called “The Work”.
Ask Why. A lot of people who coach about heartbreak will tell you not to ask why. I could not disagree more. It is critical that we learn from each experience we have in life. Whilst maintaining the understanding that there is a much more beautiful and positive big picture behind why it ultimately happened, it is crucial that we develop awareness. This will also help us to uncover patterns within us so we can stop repeating them. Even when we say we do not know why, we usually always do know why. We just have to admit it to ourselves.
People come in and out of our lives for a reason. We may be telling ourselves the story that they came into our lives for one reason (like because they are our soul mate) when in fact; they came into our lives for a whole other reason. Stay open to the idea that they have come to give you part of the puzzle and begin to look for what part or parts of the puzzle they may have come to give you. It is very tempting when we feel heartbroken to feel like the world is against us. Looking for the positive things that came as a result of the relationship, including what the relationship caused you to know that you want is a great way to get out of the feeling that you have been nothing but harmed.
Sit down and figure out what is RIGHT with you. When we experience a break up, usually our self worth tanks along with it and adds to the heartbreak. We tend to immediately begin to think about what is wrong about ourselves. For example, if we broke up with someone, we might be thinking that something is wrong with us because we can’t make a relationship last long term. On the other hand, if someone broke up with us, we might be thinking that something is wrong with us because obviously if we were worth something, they would have loved us enough to stay with us. We have to shift our focus to our strengths and the things that make us worth connecting with. If you need help figuring it out, call on your friends and ask them each to compile a list. Or take strengths tests on the internet. Then figure out how each positive aspect of you has helped you and will help you in your life. And figure out how each aspect may be something that would benefit other people in a way that they would want to be with you.
Feel the support and connection of others in your life. Allow community into your life. When we are feeling heartbreak, we feel it because we experienced a disconnection. This is a perfect time to work on receiving energy. If you’re having trouble with receiving, watch my YouTube video titled “How To Receive”. Connecting with others will also help you to feel like you are not alone so anxiety is less likely to be triggered. You may not feel capable of connecting with people in the state of pain that you’re in. But it will help you. Because you are suffering from the absence of someone, having the presence of someone does help improve the situation.
Think about the best-case scenario. When we suffer a heartbreak we usually go to the worst case scenario. Where would you be in a year from now, in the best-case scenario? Where would you live? Who would be there? What would your career look like? The more detailed you can get the better. Ultimately everything does happen for the highest good even when we cannot see it. And the reality is, when the door closed to the relationship you are grieving, another opened, potentially for the very future you’ve always dreamed about.
Let yourself cry when you feel the urge to cry. Suppression is the opposite of healing. Crying may feel embarrassing. Get over the social stigma and let it out. You will not regret it. Release the pent up tension and the pent up emotions through your tears.
Relax your body. Relaxing your body, relaxes the mind. Relaxing your mind relaxes the body; it’s a two way street. When we have experienced a break up, it is very hard to relax our mind, so we can approach relaxation instead on a physical level. The physically painful sensations in our body occur when our nerves are stimulated by stress hormones. We need to take whatever steps we can to get our body to a state of ease. This means, put on a song that positively alters the way you feel or get a massage or do yoga or exercise or paint or sculpt or have someone lightly brush your skin with their fingertips or buy a compression vest or do breathing exercises specifically for stress or take an Epsom salt bath. Do anything that would bring your body into a state of ease.
Meditate daily. Meditation allows the mind to release its thoughts. This is critical during a break up. It also connects us with source perspective, i.e. the bigger picture. We come into a state of allowing, which is the most healing of all states.
Write in your Gratitude and/or positive focus journal. When we experience a heartbreak, it is almost like the world has turned black. We feel terrible because we can’t see anything but the negative. So every morning and every night, we need to write a page in our gratitude journal or our positive aspects journal. This is a list of literally anything that you appreciate or that causes you to feel gratitude or that feels good to think about or look at or experience. When you are in emotional pain, it is best to think small. Write down the tiny things that you appreciate cause most likely the big things aren’t going so good right now. And be honest. You can only put things on this list that genuinely feel good to put down. Not things you think should make you feel good to put down. When we do this before bed, our sleep will be better and we will wake up in the same vibration we went to sleep in; which is improved. When we wake up and do this, we set the stage for the rest of the day. This is really important if we are going through heartbreak because when we are heartbroken, we usually wake up and the heartache hits us like a semi truck again and the rest of the day we spend just trying to cope and stay alive instead of living.
Practice the art of self-love. If you are going through heartbreak, someone telling you to love yourself feels the same as someone telling you that you will be alone for the rest of your life with no one to love you. This is not what it means. This universe operates according to the law of attraction. It is like a big mirror. So whatever vibration you hold, is reflected by the universe. This means the more love you send in your direction, the more people will come into your life who will also send love in your direction. Self hurt is what is behind self hate, so loving yourself will also prevent you from hurting yourself; which to add injury to injury, is a common side effect of heartbreak. I have written a book called “Shadows Before Dawn” which is all about how to love yourself. It is available as of May of 2015. So if you’d like to learn how to love yourself, pick up a copy of the book.
We need to allow ourselves to gain closure. Ask yourself, what do I need right now that will help me to gain closure? Define the loose ends and things that linger which are preventing you from moving forward emotionally. Maybe you feel you need to apologize, maybe you feel like you need to ask why, maybe you need to find out how to avoid the same mistake in the future, maybe you need to give something you’ve been keeping away. Maybe you need to have a symbolic ceremony. Let yourself gain closure in whatever way you need to.
Seek out therapy. There are many different kinds of therapy. Research and find the type that resonates the most with you. Some therapies deal entirely with broken relationships. If you have lost your secure attachment to someone because of a break up or betrayal, a therapist can serve as a secure attachment figure. This is in fact the main reason why therapy is so therapeutic. We need to be able to get help when we feel we need help and heartbreak is a valid reason to seek out help. Allow yourself to feel sorry for your loss. The people who stay stuck in heartbreak are usually the people who never fully let themselves grieve or feel sorry for the loss.
In reality, we are all made of the same energy. We are part of the same unified field of energy. So even if the circumstances and life arrangements change and even if we separate from someone physically, we cannot ever lose them. We cannot actually disconnect from someone, we can only create the illusion of doing so. Ultimately there is no coming and there is no going. You cannot lose your interconnectedness because it is the basis of all that is.
Pain is temporary. It doesn’t feel like it when you’re feeling pain, which is why pain is so excruciating. Embrace the pain as if it were a crying child. Your pain is not trying to hurt you, instead it is hurting and it needs you to help it.
The answer is no. Because when we are asking that question, we don’t actually love someone, instead we are in love with them. Love is a state of oneness. By loving someone, you include them as yourself. It is a state of appreciation for someone or something. Love in fact has no need to attach to someone or something (to form a singular relationship) because it does not recognize separation. When separation is recognized, what we get is this thing we call falling in love. Falling in love is a state of intense attraction towards someone. And with attraction, we must consider that there is much more at work in the situation than love. Also, we have a conscious definition of love and a subconscious definition of love. Our subconscious definition of love is often quite sad in fact. Love on a subconscious level, is all the association we have with home, our childhood home to be exact. So, if home meant disappointment and betrayal and loneliness, then our subconscious definition of love is those things and we will meet someone who makes us feel that way and our subconscious mind goes “Ah this must be love”. To become attracted to something, just like a magnet, there must be polarity between you and that thing.
But polarity is much more complex than two things being the opposite of each other. To have polarity, we must reject an aspect of the wholeness of ourselves. This means, to come into this life as a male, I must reject the aspect of me that is female and to come into this life female, I must reject the aspect of me that is male. This becomes my “missing self”. And so, in order to become whole again, I must reunite with my missing self. Now, the shadow side of my being is born. That aspect of me is now something I am unconscious of. I can reunite with my denied, rejected, suppressed aspect internally or externally. Externally, I fall in love with what I have lost.
Let’s take this to the new level. The things about us that we deny, reject, suppress and disown that cause the problems in our relationships are the aspects we dissociate from because of trauma that we have experienced. Being born relationally dependent into families that socialize us into a society that is not fully evolved yet makes it so that we learn that some aspects of ourselves are acceptable, and others are not. What is acceptable vs. unacceptable depends on the perspective of the family you’re born into. The aspects of us that are seen as unacceptable (both positive and negative) are rejected by our family and the aspects that are seen as acceptable are not. So, being relationally dependent, in the name of survival, we do anything we can to disown and deny and suppress those aspects in ourselves that are disapproved of whilst exaggerating those that are approved of. We dissociate from what we disapprove of. This self-preservation instinct is our first act of self-rejection. An example of this is that if we grow up in a family where we felt terror, but that terror was unacceptable, we suppressed it and denied it and now that terror and fear became subconscious. We overcompensate for whatever trait we have denied. For example, the person who suppressed the aspect of themselves that is a striver, becomes apathetic. The person who suppressed the aspect of themselves that was apathetic, is such a striver, they excel at everything. So what do we do? We become romantically attracted to people into our lives who mirror the aspect of ourselves we are missing. We are a perfect match to them. Together we feel more whole. This means the person who is apathetic will end up with a success freak and both of them will be caused pain by the other because each is a reminder of the rejected aspect of themselves. They reflect to each other, each of their lost selves. I briefly explained why this causes us pain in my video on YouTube titled Projection. But for the sake of this article, let’s understand that when we see positive aspects of ourselves that we denied in other people, it causes us to fall in love. It feels like our opportunity to become more whole. We want more of it. We become addicted to it. We glorify it and put it on a pedestal and even idolize it. Need is that starved feeling of craving something or someone. Desire does not hurt like need does because it is not necessarily coming from a space of lack. Our conscious self has desires. These desires are things we want but not things we feel we will die without. The subconscious mind however, has needs. Things we want and do think we will die without. Instead of getting too complicated with this, I’ll just say that your subconscious self has different needs in a relationship than your conscious self. And the subconscious mind will win out. That is where the all-powerful intense attraction to someone is actually coming from as opposed to the conscious intimate connection and appreciation of someone. Having said that, it is possible to feel that all-powerful intense attraction to someone that is motivated by the subconscious self and also have a high degree of conscious attraction. But more often than not, when we have chronically painful relationships, the conscious mind is not even factoring into our relationship choices. We are simply like a starving person, compelled by an inner void to find any way we can to fill that void. That spark we felt of attraction goes away in the relationship when we attach to the other person in the same way that the magnets, once they touch form a complete circuit. Because that point of attraction is now fulfilled and our partner has taken the place of what is missing. All we are left with is what’s left over after that. Sometimes we find that we actually consciously dislike the person we partnered with after our subconscious needs were fulfilled. Here is an example, a woman may consciously know that her motivation to have a partner is an intimate connection where she and he understand each other and are unconditionally available for each other. But the subconscious mind might have the motivation to be safe. Because of this, she never stays single long enough to find someone who fits what she consciously wants in a partner. Instead she may end up forming a relationship with the first person who crosses her path that fits her subconscious definition of love which is safety. And if safety is a relationship in general, she will have no discernment and will boomerang from one relationship to the next for the sake of safety. For most of us it is our subconscious that walks us into relationships, not our conscious and our subconscious mind is full of shadows. Then guess what happens? Those shadows are mirrored by our partner. And more than that, once our subconscious needs are met, suddenly we see that our conscious desires are going totally unfulfilled. So in the above scenario, once this woman is with a man who makes her feel safe, she will begin to be highly bothered that he is incapable of intimate connection and does not try to understand her and is emotionally unavailable. Ready for the extra layer? She has attracted this man both because of the subconscious need she has, but also because of her past wounds that she is trying to heal. We call this love reincarnation. If we had a primary attachment figure who did not love us in the way we needed to be loved, we continually fall in love with people who have similar attributes to that person so we can try to heal that wound. So chances are, our example woman had a daddy who was not emotionally available and who didn’t try to understand her and who was incapable of intimate connection. On a higher universal level, by being with a man who is like that, she has an opportunity to heal her own past wounds, become more whole in and of herself. On a lower level, she is convinced that if she gets a man like daddy, and get him to be available to her and understand her and form an intimate bond with her, she’s solved her past wound. It must be said that people with less wounds or less trauma, make better relationship decisions because subconscious wounds aren’t compelling them into relationships. There is much more conscious to the relationship than subconscious. Our intense attraction to other people has much more to do with past wounds and traumatic experiences than it has anything to do with real love. And it compels us to make life choices for ourselves that ultimately are a step towards healing but are also by default a step towards serious hurt. This is not to say that you should fear that feeling of intense attraction. It is to say that whenever we feel that intense feeling of falling in love, we must be completely aware that our subconscious mind is at work trying to get it’s needs met. We should put effort into finding out our subconscious motivations for the relationship. We must be prepared to encounter huge shadows. Hopefully, we have chosen a partner that is prepared to face those shadows as well and with us. It must be said that if two people were capable of working through the shadows that arise in their relationship so as to become two whole beings in one relationship, instead of two halves of a whole person, all that would be left in the wake is love. At that point, the choice of whether to be committed to one another exclusively in marriage for example would be a deliberate lifestyle choice rather than a choice motivated by internal compulsion. Yes, I know it sounds less romantic but anyone who has experienced the peaceful embrace of this kind of love will tell you how amazing it really is. If we become completely whole in and of ourselves, what is the point of coming together? You have to ask yourself that question, knowing that if you get to that point yourself, the answer may change. But maybe it will be to share our wholeness, to genuinely love one another, to witness one another and to share our life experience.
The studies done on arranged marriage have perplexed people because not only do they show a higher rate of long-term success, they also show higher rates of satisfaction among participants. If people aren’t choosing partners based on love, how can that lead to happiness? Let’s take the lack of freedom out of the equation and look at the real reason for these results. It is because in an arranged marriage, attraction is not the thing that is leading the decision to get married. That means, the subconscious and all the wounds therein are not leading the people into the relationship. Happiness therefore is really left up to whether the couple is compatible or not. If yes, genuine love is more likely to result from the union, if not, it will be an unhappy marriage. Genuine love is easier to develop when the subconscious and all its various wounds are not involved in the matchmaking business. The bottom line is, we must question our chemistry. When we say things like “It just feels right” or “We have great chemistry”, it means there is polarization present in the relationship and that means there are shadows at play that we are currently unconscious of. And if you felt empty before you got into the relationship, you will end up feeling just as empty after you get into the relationship. It’s just that those fairy tales you’ve been watching on TV, always cut out after they commit to one another, so you never get to see that part of the story. On a universal level, it serves you to leap on your feelings of intense attraction that you call falling in love. This, leads to expansion. Nothing will mirror your unconscious to you larger and thus cause you to become conscious faster. So it is not wrong to jump on those feelings. This universe benefits by you doing so. But great expansion always involves great contrast. And so we must beware of thinking that those feelings are any indication of a promise of relationship happiness.
When we are swept up in the intensity of the feeling of the intense chemistry or attraction, we often ignore the red flags and do not stop to examine the rest of the relationship. Once the attraction turns into a relationship, we are floored in the relationship. We fall from the cloud we were on and our life becomes about the challenging realities of sharing our life with another human being. Most people put more effort into deciding what they are going to eat for breakfast every day than they put into deciding who they want to have a relationship with. When we feel the intense connection and chemistry and all of the potential that holds for the future, instead of day dreaming about our future together, it is a good idea to imagine stripping that aspect of the relationship away and looking at what is left behind. If there were no attraction, would I be compatible with this person? Love does not conquer all when it comes to relationships. Think back to your past relationships and ask yourself… No problem or conflict is insurmountable if we love enough. Is this true about your past relationships?
It is possible to love someone and for it to be a bad decision to make the lifestyle choice to be with them in a relationship. For example, we may love someone in the army, but know that we are going to be miserable if we are left on our own for months if not years at a time with our partner overseas. We need to play the tape forward to see what our future might actually feel like when we are sitting alone in our house and when our partner is missing Christmas and Birthdays. Some people could do that, some people couldn’t. If you’re a person who couldn’t and you chose to be in a relationship with someone in the army anyway, your relationship is headed for pain. We should never put commitment before compatibility. But once we have established compatibility, we must commit for the relationship to work. Regardless of how much you love each other, your differences are going to matter. Relationships rarely ever end because two people do not love each other enough. They usually end because the two people were not consciously compatible or consciously committed. There is a saying “As long as two people want to make it work, they can make it work.” This is accurate. Love does overcome many things. But many things, it does not overcome. What we find when true incompatibility is present, is that the two people have desires that are pulling in two opposing directions. They are opposing to a degree that they cannot accommodate one another. So the desire to make it work goes away. It feels more like forcing oneself sideways. Some differences can be accommodated in a way where both partners are happy. Others cannot. We should always look for a 3rd option, or a way to accommodate differences if we have already committed and incompatibility is arising. But we also have to know that if there is no way to accommodate both people’s desires and stay together, the relationship commitment should end.
It is not any more or less smart to act on intense feelings of attraction as long as you are aware of what you want more. Do you want the fastest expansion and personal growth you can get? If so, definitely follow your intense attractions. Or do you want a peaceful, tranquil union for a relationship? If so, do not follow your intense attractions over sensibility. If your goal is not rapid healing and quick enlightenment, if instead your goal was to be genuinely peacefully happy in a relationship you have to practice the following mantra: Love is not enough. Love needs conscious compatibility and commitment.
Give the person you want to connect with your undivided, unconditional, focused presence. When you give someone your full attention, you are giving them the full presence of your consciousness and if connection is the prerogative, this is absolutely necessary. Do not confuse this with aggression, this is not forcing yourself on someone, this is gifting your energy to someone.
Use body language that is open to them. Smile, look them in the eye, uncross your arms and legs, make sure your chest is facing them and that you aren’t turned to the side. Your body needs to say, “I’m open to you and I’d like to connect and receive and be received. This body language is open and inviting, not aggressive.
Become interested in them. You will get more friends by becoming interested in other people than you ever will by trying to get people to be interested in you. Set out to learn about them. You can even pretend that you are mentally designing a manual for them. The energy you want to give off is that you really want to know them and relate to them, not that you want to get something from them. If you don’t have a genuine interest in the person you’re trying to connect with, stop trying. Everyone can pick up on the truth of how you really feel it’s just that most people aren’t brave enough to call it like it is.
Seek out your common ground. This builds instant rapport. It is also a great skill when you are trying to socially connect with someone who has very different viewpoints and feelings about life than you do. For example, let’s say one of you is getting a degree in accounting and one of you is getting a degree in archaeology but you both like climbing. Climbing is your common ground. Talk about climbing. Pay very close attention to what someone says and does in order to recognize the common ground between you.
Aim for intimacy. This is not surface stuff. This is knowing and being know n for who you really are. If you want a surface relationship, you don’t really want to connect with someone, you just want someone to share your space.
What is intimacy? It’s not sex. Sex can be intimate sex. But intimacy is a whole other thing. You can break the word intimacy down into into-me-see. Quite literally, to develop intimacy, we practice seeing into the other person, feeling into them, understanding them. With intimacy, you have a shared experience of emotional and mental and if the situation calls for it, physical closeness.
Ask them questions. A person, who does not want to answer questions, is either apprehensive about connection or does not want it and is therefore not receptive to connection. This does not work very well. You can learn to connect with someone who fears connection but whom wants to connect, but you will find it nearly impossible to connect with someone who literally doesn’t want to connect. So make sure the person you are trying to connect with actually wants to connect. And if connection is what you want, do not spend your time trying to convince someone to want to connect with you. Find someone who does. Ask deep questions that reveal the inner world of the person and their values and likes and dislikes, beliefs, opinions, dreams and struggles. A relationship is based on sharing, so be prepared to answer the very same questions you ask. Asking someone questions only feels like an interrogation if you are asking questions but are avoiding answering them yourself. Also, some people have the tendency to ask questions only so they can talk about themselves. Make sure this is not your intention. This is also a barrier to connection.
When they tell you about themselves, receive them without trying to fix them or change their minds. Listen to them with your eyes, ears, mind and heart. A huge part of connecting is providing a safe space to connect. This is the responsibility of both people. People are afraid to share the truth of themselves with you because they are afraid of the consequence and so, let there be no consequence. Even if you disagree with their opinion, treat their opinion as important for them and remind yourself that there is a valid reason they feel that way. Antagonism kills connection. Remember that people need their emotions received more so than anything else. For more information about how to approach emotions in relationships watch my video on YouTube titled “Emotional Wake Up Call.”
Initiate. This is especially true for men because masculinity is a forward moving energy and you’ve reversed your polarity if you have fallen into the purely passive, receptive role. Most of us spend our time waiting for someone to connect with us. We must get over this tendency and be willing to go to the places where people we want to connect with reside and initiate contact with people. Here’s a secret, nearly everyone on this earth is insecure and afraid to be the one to speak first so might as well be you.
Be honest, genuine and authentic. Transparency rules the day when it comes to connection. One of the best things to do when you’re trying to make a connection with someone is to pay them a compliment. But the compliment must be sincere and genuine for it to have any effect at all. You’re not going to be able to keep up a façade so don’t even think about putting your best foot forward, just put your usual foot forward. Also, if you try to play a role instead of be yourself exactly as you are here and now, people who connect with you are the ones who love the role and not you.
It’s better to go through lots of rejections upfront to get to the one person who loves exactly what they see in you, than to waste months connecting with someone only to have them leave or become disinterested the minute you settle back into being who you really are and saying how you really feel and what you really want. People are all sensitive to energy, whether they know it or not. The scariest thing in the world is pretense. They can feel it if you are acting and looking and saying one thing when the feeling of the you that is underneath is contrary to that.
Be open. Let yourself be an open book. Openness is emotional generosity. If you want connection, you’ve got to let someone into you and you’ve got to be willing to go into them. Vulnerability is a big part of connection. Vulnerability is scary but if you’re unwilling to be brave enough to be vulnerable, you will never truly connect with others. If you’re resistant to being open, figure out what you are trying to hide and why? What are you ashamed of or afraid of? The only reason you would hide something from anyone is because you are afraid of some kind of consequence. Should you really be ashamed of any aspect of yourself that is true?
You can’t hide things from people forever. I’d say it’s better to tell people upfront than to disillusion them later. Besides, you’re looking for someone who wants to connect with all of you. The real point of connection is to find someone who can be fully with you with the positive and with the negative, not someone who needs all of your life to be positive to love you. This is conditional love. Include them in your life. Sometimes, offering information about yourself even if they don’t ask for it, helps other people feel included by you and wanted by you. Share your passion with the person. Demonstrating passion opens people up to you and often makes them feel inspired and energized.
Relate to them. Empathize, be compassionate and find ways to help them to feel valid and convey that you understand them and relate. If we really want to connect with someone, we have to be willing to feel what they feel. We must be willing to step into their shoes completely. It may help to literally imagine experiencing their perspective in first person perspective so as to relate to them completely. Pay special attention to the fact that sometimes, we think we’re relating when we’re really just using their story as an excuse to tell our similar story. We’re much more interested in them hearing our story than we are about having them feel heard and understood. This makes them feel insignificant and like you’ve just used them as a stage to stand upon and crow. If you want them to care about your experience, you’ve got to genuinely care about theirs. Steer completely clear of reinforcing the idea that you don’t understand their viewpoint. Some well meaning people do this and it completely kills connection and makes people feel like they are all alone. Here’s an example: Someone expresses that they never knew their family. You jump in and say oh how sad, I loved my family, they were awesome I just don’t know where I’d be without them, especially my mom. You’ve just created separation not connection. You’ve just made them feel alone in their opinion or feeling. If they ask you about your family, you can be honest, but you can be honest without rubbing salt in someone’s wounds or establishing a feeling of separation.
Be thoughtful and mindful of the other person. Be demonstrative with your care. In other words, demonstrate that you know and care about someone. Extending energy towards other people is essential when it comes to connection. Remember important dates; remember things about them that are important so that they can see that you have really taken them to heart. Refer back to things they have said at earlier dates to show that you remember. Make them a priority in your life. It’s difficult to connect with someone when the message you keep giving him or her is “you’re not important to me”. So make sure the people you want to connect with are actually important and are actually a priority to you. Be helpful where you can be helpful. Before you help someone simply ask yourself the question “By helping in this way am I sending the message that they need to be fixed or that something about them is not ok?” If not, go ahead and help. Or help while making it known that you don’t need them to be fixed in any way, you simply thought it would bring them some happiness. For more information on helping other people, watch my YouTube video titled “To Help or Not To Help”.
Practice exuding warmth and positive energy to people; this helps them to feel comfortable and welcomed by you. People are very energy sensitive. Here is a good technique for doing this… As you are walking down the street, and you pass complete strangers, you have to specifically look for something in the person that you like or appreciate or love about them. And mentally say “I love you for (fill in the blank)". And then mentally say why you love that about them. And finish it with “I love you for that”. As you say those words, imaging sending that energy out your heart chakra towards them as if sending the message as an invisible signal to their hearts. For example, if you pass a woman you might say “I love you for the way you are holding your child’s hands because I can see you are nurturing and loving and it is helping him to feel secure, I love you for that. You do this exercise, like a silent practice as you walk around the town with as many people as you can. But it’s better to do 5 people in a really focused way where you’re really feeling the love and appreciation for them rather than 20 where you’re not really focused and only mildly feel the appreciation for them. A bonus is that you are causing a ripple in the collective consciousness. You’ll be blown away at how different your interactions with people will be.
And now for those of you who want to go deeper, and have a genuine experience of someone’s soul, I have a technique for you. Lets call this “The Connection Technique” because this technique is the ultimate form of connection. It can also be extremely difficult to do because it is so utterly frightening when you are not used to really letting someone in or going into someone. This technique must be done with someone who wants to do this exercise with you. It is critical to do this process with someone who is not a stranger until you have no more fear of connecting with others. Make sure the person you’re doing this with is someone you already feel a high degree of trust in. The new age trend of eye gazing with strangers, is not one that I support because people are not actually connecting with one another, they are simply encountering each other’s walls. A person would literally need to be in an enlightened state to be able to successfully do this with a stranger.
Choose a place with no distractions and sit down in front of one another cross-legged and across from each other. Take off all your jewelry; especially crystals, protective stones and leather. You want to be as naked a possible with the other, with no barriers between you. If you are doing this with a partner, it is best to literally do this naked.
Loosely connect your hands or arms with each other in a comfortable and relaxed way.
Close your eyes and begin to imagine or sense or feel you opening up each of your chakras from the base chakra to the crown chakra. And after a time, imagine or sense or feel yourself breathing in the other person’s energy through your mouth, but also through each one of your chakras, so you are drawing their energy deliberately into your core.
Begin to imagine or sense or feel your separate sense of self, dissolving. In true connection, the ego (identity) ceases to exist. For some people, this and the steps to come will be a frightening experience. Because the ego often thinks that connection means that it will die. We have to quite literally decide that connection is more important than living and that connection is worth the risk of death. It takes immense bravery. We often have to decide that it is better to have connection and lose it than never to have it at all to be able to do this part of the exercise and the rest that is to follow.
Look at each other directly in the eyes, deep into the pupil of the eye. It’s ok if you choose to focus on one specific eye or you can relax your gaze to look at both.
We decide who is going first. Who will be the receiver and who will be the journeyer. The receiver is going to be the one who opens up for the other to spiritually enter them. The journeyer is going to spiritually venture into the receiver. The journeyer enters the receiver through the pupil of the eye as if sinking into a black hole. If you are really struggling letting each other in, lay or hold each other chest-to-chest so that the area just over each of your hearts is touching. Meditate for a time on the feeling of the energy between your hearts being exchanged as if they are beating energy into each other’s chests and then resume where you left off.
The receiver focuses on inviting the journeyer in, breathing the journeyer in and imagining or sensing or feeling themselves open up to take them in. The receiver simply focuses on allowing, surrender and on the feeling of the journeyer’s presence entering them.
The journeyer focuses on using their consciousness to penetrate deeper and deeper into the person, like a being that is exploring a foreign planet. Curiosity and non-judgment are crucial. The journeyer projects love and gratitude into the receiver as they move deeper and deeper. Conveying any messages mentally, emotionally or energetically that they feel would help the receiver to open up further or any message they feel the receiver needs to hear. These messages can be spoken in the mind or they can be spoken out loud. For example, if you run into a wall within a person that you feel is there because it doesn’t want to let something in that it may lose, you can say out loud to the receiver “I’m never going to leave you”.
If you (the journeyer) are struggling with your own fear, it is an option to let go of your own self interest for a time and focus entirely on performing the journey in the interest of what the other person needs and meeting those needs. When this is the case, your ego sees you as the helper, which boosts your self-esteem and so the ego supports the mission instead of resists it.
During this process, all of your walls or blockages (both the receiver’s and the journeyers) will come up. These walls are belief patterns and emotional patterns that have resulted from life trauma experienced by the receiver and yourself. Usually more walls come up for the receiver. These can be visual or mental or even just walls that you feel between you and the experience. You will both run into them. This is especially true because most people are multi layered, so as you enter into them you will experience layer after layer after layer. As you sink into deeper and deeper and deeper layers within them, some light, some dark, some positive feeling, some negative feeling you will find that in front of some of these layers, are energetic and emotional walls. When you encounter a wall within you or within the other person, your aim is to learn from it. The thing that breaks down walls the very best is awareness. You’ve got to know why the wall (which is a subconscious thing) is there. What is it trying to prevent? Why has it chosen this feel or appearance? Let your intuition speak to you and hand you insight about each wall that you encounter. Subconscious walls cannot withstand consciousness. They usually begin the dissolve once we are conscious of them and their purpose. You can then reassure the wall that it is ok to no longer exist and express your intentions for journeying deeper. Then imagine or sense or feel it dissolving in the way it needs to be dissolved. It’s a good idea if you are the journeyer to ask permission to go beyond the wall. Beware that some people will experience their walls being broken either by themselves or by the journeyer a trauma, and so these walls should be loved into non existence instead of broken. Some walls do not feel like walls at all, but more like funnels or plastic barriers or electric barriers. All of this is normal. If a wall absolutely does not want to come down, we need to honor that fact and allow it to be there instead of force our way in. But remember that if we cannot get past the wall, we can always ask the receiver to help us take it down and this will dissolve the wall.
As you move through these layers and walls, the best way to get through them deeper and deeper is to melt through them as the journeyer and for you to let the other melt through them if you’re the receiver. You melt and allow melting by completely being willing to experience whatever sensations of feelings or sights you see. For example, if you experience numbness, you surrender to the experience of numbness and you settle into the numbness without resisting it at all. If fear comes up, be present with the fear, like you are keeping it company and are open to feeling it completely, letting it consume you even. You keep breathing as you welcome the experience. If you feel resistance, you simply breathe while you remain completely unconditionally present with the feelings you are feeling. In the absence of resistance to the experience, staying with the experience no matter what for as long as it takes, it is as if your soul has nothing to come up against and so it melts through one layer to the next to the next to the next. A person who is afraid of feeling their own feelings will have a very hard time feeling other people’s feelings. Do not be alarmed if you experience severe visual distortions and feeling states during this exercise. It may at ties feel like you are hallucinating. This is all normal so remember to allow it completely.
You have a choice. Either you can match the frequency of the particular layer you are in, completely experiencing it in your being. So for example if you hit a layer of grief, you can let the grief become you. You can feel what the receiver feels at that layer and practice true empathy or, you can match the frequency of the person’s eternal soul (often called the higher self, which holds a frequency of pure appreciative love for the receiver) and you can descend through each layer lovingly embracing your way through each one. Trust your intuition to know which one is the most needed by the receiver. Either way you are matching their frequency (just a different aspect of their frequency) and thus making a genuine empathetic connection.
As the journeyer, we want to see and feel the receiver completely. We want to know them completely. As the receiver, we want to be seen, be felt and be understood completely. As fears come up, let them be there, let them occupy the space between you, as if you are both cradling each other’s fears between you, taking care of the fragile trust between you.
We are present with the exercise until we feel that we have reached a state of completion. Often this is when we have gone all the way through the person’s layers back to their source essence. Make sure that you do not stop or retreat until you have reached and explored the positive feeling layers that exist beneath the negative feeling layers. For example, say you are in a layer of anger or hatred. Remain fully and completely with that layer within the person and stay with it as you sink down into the layer innocence that is underneath it and spend time there, in that positive feeling layer before you bring the journeying to a close. Many people carry barriers and beliefs that people cannot truly connect with them or will abandon them because of their darker layers. And so, withdrawing from these layers will energetically re-traumatize the person.
When we have completed our journey, we switch roles and the journeyer becomes the receiver and the process is repeated. When we are done, we discuss what we each experienced. We begin to process what has occurred together.
Believe me when I say that I could never describe this process in enough detail for you to fully understand it, it is something that must be experienced instead. And each experience is unique because each person is unique. If we are ever struggling to understand each other or connect with each other, we should do this process. So don’t think that you should journey into someone only once.
Be prepared for all of your shadows of loneliness or isolation or loss to come up in the wake of this process. Connection flushes to the surface, anything unlike itself so that it may be integrated into our conscious awareness. This is the path of healing, but the path of healing is not always a comfortable one. So it is important if you have shared this connection to really be there for each other in the wake of the experience.
This is a sacred experience. It is to be treated with the utmost care. We are now trusted with the authentic truth of another human being. They have entered a vulnerable space so as to give themselves to us, both their power and their frailty. We must honor that trust or else we are not in a space of integrity.
Separation is the real hell on earth. And the worst version of this hell is when we are physically surrounded by people, but we are emotionally or mentally isolated inside of ourselves. so many people on earth suffer in this way. The antidote to suffering is connection. It is the willingness to join people where they are, no matter whether where they are is in joy or in pain and be with them there unconditionally. To do this is to say, I don’t care whether you are in rain or shine as long as I am with you. This is what we have always wanted. Give this gift to someone today.
Emptiness is like an inner void. Often times it is so painful that the word emptiness doesn’t really cover it. It feels more like a starvation or an inner vacuum or black hole or chasm. The most important quality though to recognize is the lack. Emptiness is a state of lack. And lack tips us off to the fact that we are missing something. The key is finding out exactly what we are missing, exactly what we are lacking. What is it that you lost?
When we are young, our consciousness (sometimes referred to as our soul) becomes fractured by traumatic experiences in our life. We suppress, deny, disown and dissociate from aspects of ourselves in order to be accepted and survive within the social group we are born into. These aspects of us are frozen in time and so they do not come with us into the present. I discussed this concept in the video on YouTube titled “Projection”.
Now here’s the best part and the part that applies most to emptiness. If in our past, we experienced trauma as a result of one of our needs not being met, the aspect of ourselves that could not get that need met, is still stuck in time unresolved. We experience that need being unmet in present time as well. So often, the thing we are lacking or missing, is that need that was not met at the time in our past that the trauma occurred. For example, say we were wounded as a child because we felt no sense of belonging with our family, that lack of belonging becomes a traumatic imprint. We feel the lack of belonging and that is really what the emptiness in our adult life is about.
When we feel emptiness, because it is like an internal starvation, it is so uncomfortable that we do anything we can to try to escape the feeling. Many self-help experts will say that people try to fill in the void. This is actually not true at all. The problem is that no one tries to fill in the void. No one tries to fill the void with what the void is lacking. They instead try to distract themselves from the void with things like drugs and food and shopping and sex. I will tip you off to the fact that most people who struggle with chronic emptiness had parents who were incapable of intimacy, especially emotional connection. As a result, their inner world did not feel seen, heard, felt, understood or validated, so not only did this wound them, it made them subconsciously conclude that there must be nothing there. Emotional neglect is the cause of the inner void. If you struggle with a feeling of emptiness, try to feel for what you are empty of, what you are missing. Is it belonging? Is it meaning? Is it love? Is it connection? Is it purpose? Are you lonely (lacking someone’s unconditional presence)? And then work on manifesting that in your life. Begin by looking for how that thing is already in your reality. For example, if you lack a sense of belonging, force yourself to think of ways that you do already belong. If it is a lack of self-love, practice self-love.
Also, meet your needs. This one is imperative. Now a lot of people have got it into their heads that needs are not ok. But everyone has needs, whether they want to admit it or not. What makes a need painful is when we think we can’t get what we need. And often the reason we think we can’t get our need met is because we think we have to meet the need ourselves by ourselves, as if it is possible to be an island unto ourselves. The river doesn’t drink itself my friends. Many times the empowering thing is not just to meet a need ourselves, it is to take action to get up and go find someone to meet the need; or to open up so someone can meet the need. For example, if you’re need is for company, don’t spend your time trying to figure out how to be your own company, just go find company.
Also, any time we feel that inner emptiness, we want to do the process I created for healing the emotional body. This process actually brings disowned, rejected and denied aspects of ourselves back to the present so the trauma is resolved and the emptiness goes away entirely. I presented this process in my video titled “How to Heal The Emotional Body”. We must sink into the emptiness and learn from it and discover all we can about it and fill the emptiness with our own unconditional presence.
We often think that emptiness is a difficult problem to solve. Actually, it is one of the easiest problems to solve because it is literally a matter of meeting our unmet needs.
The crown chakra is located at the very top of your head. If you place your thumbs at the top of your ears and extend your index fingers straight to meet each other, and then lower them to touch the top of your head, that is where your crown chakra is. The crown chakra is the chakra most associated with our spiritual connection. This is a fairly odd view because all chakras are in fact part of our spiritual connection. The physical body is a manifestation of source energy and so it is no less spiritual than the etheric body. But the crown chakra is associated with our conscious connection to source or the divine. It is seen as a bridge to the cosmos. When the crown chakra is open and in alignment, it’s appearance can look a bit like a halo, which is in fact one reason why so may of the spiritual drawings done thousands of years ago of spiritually transcendent beings like angels or saints show them with halos. As a person progresses through the path of awareness, the energy coming through this chakra (and all of the chakras in fact) has the tendency to change color from a deep violet purple, to a white light. The crown chakra is the center of consciousness, highest potential, intuitive knowing, integration of the whole, the opportunity to become a living embodiment of your higher self, the achievement of living enlightenment, the present moment, meaning, the bigger picture, devotion, trust, inspiration, the absence of ego, oneness and unity to name a few. Even though all chakras can be seen as a doorway for source energy to come into physical life, the crown chakra is the doorway for our conscious and eternal knowing and to come into physical life. When a chakra is out of alignment, meaning it is not letting life force in or is out of alignment for any number of reasons, it starts to affect your equilibrium. It becomes a serious imbalance within the system. When chakras are out of alignment, they appear small and do not absorb or emit much energy. They also change in their color, patterning, texture and sound.
There are a great many things that cause the crown chakra to go out of alignment. But for the sake of this video, it is important to note that the three biggest causes of blockages to the crown chakra are secular thinking, disbelief or distrust in spirituality, source energy or the eternal self and betrayal. It should come as no surprise then that atheists and to a lesser degree agnostics have the most out of alignment crown chakras.
An unhealthy crown chakra can lead to conditions like brain cancer, bone cancer, multiple sclerosis, apathy, epilepsy, chronic pain, glandular disorders, sleep dysfunction, lymph system disorders, nervous system disorders, migraines, coma, stroke, mental illness, loneliness, isolation, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, existential crisis and amnesia to name a few. If your crown chakra is out of alignment, your biological rhythm will also be thrown off. Why would you want to open your crown chakra, aside from the fact that you most likely want to avoid lining up with the various negative effects of an unhealthy crown chakra? Opening your crown chakra will allow you to see the bigger picture, which is critical when we are in a space of confusion or fear. It will give us the ability to receive insight and messages from other dimensional realities. It will give us a sense of peace. It will imbue us with wisdom, it will make us feel at one with our life and where we are, and it will help us to understand others. It will cause us to feel energized and inspired. It will dispel our confusion; it will allow us to reach our highest potential and it will help us to trust ourselves and the universe at large.
So how do we open our crown chakra?
1. Many of the dimensional realities outside the physical dimension do not have a time space aspect to them. This means to think something is to cause the thing to happen or to be instantly. It’s a “think china, in china” kind of thing. Where as in the physical dimension there is a time and space buffer between thought and thing. The chakra system influences the physical but is a multidimensional aspect of you (which is why they are invisible to most people). This means if you think of your crown chakra opening or visualize it opening, it opens. The visualization I see working the best is when people imagine their crown chakra as a rich violet colored vortex like opening in the top of their head. They then visualize expanding it to about a foot wide, spinning clockwise and pulling golden light energy from the universe, into it and down into their body. 2. Meditation. Meditation opens the crown chakra. Any stilling of the mind is going to allow the consciousness to open up to receiving. These meditations can be moving meditations, mindfulness sitting meditations, or guided meditations for example. I have designed a guided meditation specifically for opening the crown chakra so if you’re interested in that, click on the link. 3. Seek out things that cause you to feel inspired. Inspiration is your indication that your crown chakra is opening. This might mean listen to inspiring music, read an inspiring book, watch an inspiring movie, write positive affirmations that you actually believe, or take a walk in nature. Anything that inspires you will open your crown chakra.
4. Spend time in silence. Even though the crown chakra can be influenced to open by sound, it is also influenced to open by silence more so than any of the other chakras.
5. Mess with your own thoughts. The more rigid your thoughts and beliefs are, and the more closed minded you are, the more closed this chakra will be. So question your thoughts, try to see how the opposite of your thoughts are true, change your beliefs, open your mind to radical new perspectives, and seek out new knowledge and perspective anywhere you can find it. Make a habit of messing with your own mind. Develop a kind of willingness to consider than anything might just be true. 6. Spend time outdoors. Especially on mountaintops. The crown chakra is particularity influenced by atmosphere. I should say by the way atmosphere influences your thoughts. Fresh air and sunlight and large panoramic views witnessed from above in natural surroundings cause people’s thoughts to come into a frequency that allows the crown chakra to be open.
7. Practice appreciative notice. This means, look for things that you enjoy looking at and feel grateful for. Doing this causes your frequency to entrain with your eternal perspective. It opens a channel through your body, starting with the crown chakra so source energy can run straight through your body. My favorite way to do this is to make myself sit down and write a list of all the things I notice that I appreciate in the moment I am in. 8. Chakras are influenced by a great many things. One of the things the crown chakra it is influenced by is chanting and sounding. You may have your favorite chant already, if not go looking for some. Play with tones. The sound that the crown chakra tends to respond to the most is NG. So hum that sound and find the tone that causes the very top of your head to vibrate. Hold that sound for as long as you want to. Traditionally this is done with a specific mudra (hand position) that causes your energetic meridians to come into a specific alignment, this time with the crown chakra. To do this put your hands in prayer position in front of the pit of your stomach. Then, leaving the ring fingers touching and pointing up, cross the rest of your fingers with the left thumb under the right. Chant the NG sound while your hands are in this position for about five minutes. Some people prefer to use the chant OM, I do not think that OM works to open the crown chakra as well as NG does.
Alternatively, you can cross your fingers of both hands in a prayer position where the fingers are down instead of up and then extend your pinkie fingers to touch one another outstretched. Then rotate your fists so your thumbs are pointed towards you and your pinkie fingers are pointed up and away from you and chant NG. See which mudra works the best for you. Crystal bowls and binaural tones designed for the crown chakra also cause the crown chakra to open.
9. Head massages and headstands actually help your crown chakra to open. It is not the physical manipulation of the head itself that is doing it though, it is the fact that by massaging your head or standing on your head, you are bringing your conscious attention to that area of yourself and then by virtue of the way that massaging or downward blood flow feels, you are releasing the mental tension that is prohibiting the energy from entering in through your chakra and so, the energy can flow in through the chakra. 10. Surround yourself with things that vibrate at a like frequency with the crown chakra. Here’s a list of some of these things: The color violet purple, Amethyst, Sugilite, Charoite, all clear stones especially Apophyllite and Danburite, frankincense, myrrh, lotus, sage, juniper, lavender, amber, copal, purple cabbage and the all powerful red mimosa flower to name a few. 11. Spiritual medicines that contain DMT open the crown chakra. I prefer to teach people how to reach states of spiritual awakening, including an open crown chakra through less drastic measures that can be controlled by consciousness alone so we do not need anything outside ourselves to achieve these states. But you may feel called to try those medicines. So trust your own inner guidance when it comes to this decision. 12. Acts of love. When we are expressing love, both towards ourselves and towards others we are in a frequency that causes the crown chakra to open. The best way to do this for yourself is to write a list of all the ways that you are lovable. Really dedicate time each day to self-love in whatever way we feel called to do it. Also, do acts of kindness towards others. This connects us with each other, which is like food for a chakra that is all about oneness. It may sound a bit trite, but go ahead and try it. Do something nice for someone and close your eyes and pay attention to how your body feels after you’ve done it. You will notice that it has caused you to feel better about the world and more inspired and this is how you know the act has opened your crown chakra. 13. Fasting. Fasting in a healthy way affects the crown chakra particularly well. Put some effort into choosing the right fast for you. Be sure to prepare you body for it in advance and to monitor your body during the fast and also to gradually break the fast. If simply opening the crown chakra is your prerogative, try a six-hour or a twelve-hour fast only. You will notice that when people feel confused and in a state of despair or fear most people lose their appetite. The same goes for animals that are unwell. This resets the body and it also allows for the body to have to defer to the crown chakra to gain it’s energy and as a result we have greater access to insight and clarity and solutions. This is also why fasting has been a spiritual practice in so many spiritual traditions for so many thousands of years.
We have to remember that we are not just a body made of flesh and bone. We are also conscious energy. The healthier the flow of that energy, the better our life experience will be. So try out these tips and by doing so, allow yourself to open up to a much more comprehensive and transcendental perspective.
When you were young, you came into a society. Socialization is a must in an un-awakened society. In an un-awakened society there are collective social and cultural values. When we value one thing, we often condemn the opposite. For example, self-sacrifice may be a social value and selfishness is condemned. We deem one good and the other bad. In order to keep the social order, we socialize children, which basically means we train them to behave in a way that is acceptable to the society we live in. We indoctrinate children with our social and cultural values and reward them when they adhere to those values. We punish children when they demonstrate behavior that contradicts our social and cultural values. So as a child, if we want our needs to be met, survive in society and have a chance at feeling things like love and belonging and contribution and safety, we have one option… to adopt those values of the society we are born into and hold ourselves to them!
Let’s say that when you were younger you ran out into the family room naked. And let’s say you were raised in a society that valued modesty and condemned public nudity. The adults in your environment would immediately react by discouraging the behavior. They might get angry or send you back to your room or doll out a consequence. The disapproval would be painful enough that you would feel embarrassment and humiliation. This would be a painful enough experience that you would want to avoid it in the future at all costs. So, what you do in order to avoid it in the future is that you adopt the social value of modesty and you make it your own standard. From this point on, you get to be your own “police officer” holding yourself to those standards. This is much more empowering than having other people police your behavior and punish you. Basically, you become obsessed with keeping yourself good. Being good after all means getting your needs met and being loved and belonging. Being bad means not getting your needs met, being ostracized and punished and being unloved. From this point on, shame takes over. It takes over to save you from negative future consequences. It exists to keep you in check. It is a function of the conscience. Anytime you violate your own adopted values, you slip into shame. The people who struggle with shame the most were often disciplined by adults who made a direct correlation between doing bad and being bad. For example, a child who steals a cookie off the counter top and is told “bad girl” or “I told you no, what the hell is wrong with you” is going to be unable to differentiate between their negative action and themselves being bad. Shame is about being bad instead of guilt, which is about doing bad. This is painful enough when shame comes on occasion in direct response to something you have done that makes you feel like a bad person. But there are times when shame is a permanent state of being. If the truth of yourself as an individual violates the social values you have adopted, you will feel a permanent sense of shame because you have determined that if something about you conflicts with social values, something is wrong with you and it is in fact you that is bad. Early on in life people develop an internalized view of themselves as either adequate or inadequate within the world. If we find that something about us conflicts with the values of our social group, especially if we experience negative consequences for those things, we get the message that we do not fit in the world. We are inadequate, inferior, unworthy and not good enough. So you can see that shame is the root of low self-esteem.
For example, lets say that you are born into a typical Christian family but you are gay. For the sake of survival you adopt the social values that have been put forth by the bible and subsequently your family and you believe that being gay is an abomination (bad). Your standard will be “I must be straight”. But internally you know you are not straight and so you are going to permanently fall short of your own standard. You will feel shame all the time as a permanent state of being. As long as that is in fact your standard. And keep in mind that you can have conscious standards but also subconscious standards. If you feel shame but don’t know why, it’s because you have a subconscious standard that you are unaware of. It must be known that shame manifests as some vicious, vicious physical ailments in the body. The first and foremost being AIDS. The number one energetic cause of AIDS is in fact perpetual shame, usually with regards to one’s own sexuality. Some other ailments that can be caused by shame are chronic fatigue syndrome, acne, addictions, eating disorders, impotence, kidney problems, cancer, yeast infections, stuttering and other speech problems, shin bone injuries, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, bi polar, all immune system disorders; most especially disorders where the body begins to attack itself.
When people feel shame, they often defend themselves against that shame in certain ways. The first is, they become incredibly defensive. It can feel like you are walking on broken glass or thin ice around them. They blame others often aggressively. Blame diverts attention from one’s own insecurities and flaws. It makes someone wrong so we can feel right. And when people struggle with shame, they become consumed by contempt for others. Other contempt sometimes prevents us from feeling self-contempt. Contempt protects us from feelings of shame because it gives us a way to deny the fact that in truth, at our core, we feel beneath consideration, deserving of scorn, worthless and as if something is bad or wrong about us. People who feel shame often become highly narcissistic (do not confuse narcissism with self love, it is anything but) they become obsessively preoccupied with their own self-interests and their own needs and wants. They go on a quest externally to find approval, superiority, admiration and significance. The quest for attention is an attempt to fill the void of feeling worthless. To understand more about narcissism, watch my video on YouTube titled “Narcissism”
So how do we stop feeling ashamed if we are struggling with shame? 1. First and foremost we need to become fully aware of what our standards actually are and decide if we want to change those standards. Just becoming aware of the standards and social values we are holding ourselves to is enough to decrease the power they hold over us. But we have to be brave enough to be willing to admit to them even if it makes us embarrassed to admit to them. If we do not want to change the standard we have then acknowledging that we don’t at least gives us some power because it makes the shame bearable, something we are choosing to let stay with us. 2. If we want to change the standards, we need to change our beliefs. A social value or standard that you have adopted like “I should be straight instead of gay”, is in fact a belief so is “If I’m gay, I’m an abomination”. So once we find the beliefs we have about the standard we are holding ourselves to, we have the opportunity to change them. To find out how to change a belief, watch my video on YouTube titled “How to Change a Belief”. Also apply these beliefs to Byron Katie’s process called “The Work”.
3. We need to have a serious think about right vs. wrong. If we feel shame, we have already wandered into the land of stigma. Question your social and cultural values. It seems straightforward enough but hardly anyone ever does it. Hardly anyone recognizes that their beliefs may or may not be true, and that they are full of beliefs they simply picked up from their environment. For example, few people born into a Catholic community question their beliefs, they simply adopt them as true. This way of adopting beliefs is so unconscious it is more like we contract our beliefs in the same way that we contract an illness. This is dangerous if the beliefs you contract do not benefit you or the world. You need to question the rightness and wrongness of everything; even the things that seem obviously right or wrong in order to reach full awareness and also in order to stop feeling like you are bad. 4. We need to integrate the feeling of shame. If we feel shame in our adulthood, that is because we were pushed into feeling shame as children by the adults in our society. These are traumatic wounds to our emotional body. For this reason, when we feel shame, we need to sink down into it and be unconditionally present with it, find the child in the memory where we are being shamed and then re-parent that wounded inner child. To understand how this process works, watch my video on YouTube titled “How To Heal The Emotional Body”. 5. We need to be disciplined with our self-approval process. Every day, we need to pick one thing that we disapprove of about ourselves and we need to find approval for it. We are looking to feel better about what we reject about ourselves. For example, if you think you are dark, you need to find approval for being dark. If you think you have cellulite, you need to get way outside the box and find approval for cellulite. We can invite other people to contribute by brainstorming ideas about how we can approve of what we disapprove of. Ask yourself “how is this thing I disapprove of good?” We can also do this relative to other people. If we hold ourselves to standards, we also hold other people to standards and tend to be quite condemning of them or at least of aspects of them. So we can do this same exercise relative to them. How is this thing I disapprove of about him or her good?
6. Recognize your insatiable desire to be good and also ponder why you desire so badly to be good. Then you need to look for proof that you are good. Positive self-focus is of paramount importance. Again, we can involve other people in this process by asking them to tell us what they like about us. Ask yourself “How would someone benefit by having a relationship with me?” And “How am I a good person? I’ll start by telling you that people, who experience shame, have a very strong conscience. This means you have strict morals and internal discipline. And throughout history, people with a conscience have been seen as good people because it means they’re not going to hurt anyone intentionally.
There is an innate yearning in people to connect, to belong, to be seen and felt and heard and understood and valued. If we feel chronic shame, we have not felt these things in our life. We have been met with the opposite. As a result, we withdrew and closed ourselves off and shut down to the world. Now there is a split within our heart, between the insatiable yearning for those things and the fear and pain of opening up and being hurt again.
We need to address this split within ourselves with empathy and compassion. Many people within society carry this same split and you have the opportunity to heal it in yourself by practicing the art of seeing, feeling, hearing, understanding and seeing the value in yourself. And you also have the power to heal it in other people by practicing the art of seeing, feeling, hearing, understanding and seeing the value in them.
We did not end up this way because something is wrong or bad about us; we ended up this way because we experienced hurt (as so many people do) during the process of socialization. And the more we see that we were hurt because of ignorance and also because the people who hurt us went through the exact same kind of pain once and merely perpetuated it, the less personal that hurt will seem. We will see then that maybe we have come to shift the social values and standards in our society, which is why we could not adhere to them in the first place. In fact if we could have conformed to them, our society would never evolve.
To protect something is to keep it safe from harm. It is a state of preservation. Therefore if you want to protect yourself, you’re interested in self-preservation. Protection is in fact a state of defense and the state of defense is a state of resistance. What do we know about this universe? Whatever we resist, we get more of, so the more concerned we are with protection, the more there is in our reality that we need to be protected against. You cannot in fact create protection without simultaneously creating something that you need to be protected against. That is merely the flip side of the coin. Protection is what we call a mixed vibration. It’s pattern contains both what is wanted and what is unwanted. Safety is not a state of defense. It is a state of emancipation, emancipation from fear. Emancipation from fear is a freedom. It is the state of being uninjured and unexposed to danger or harm. Because safety is a state of freedom, it is considered a pure vibration. The vibration of safety does not include the frequency of what you need to be safe from. Therefore creating safety does not automatically create something you need to be kept safe from. Now remember that the universe does not care about the words you use, it cares about the feeling you have. So some people may think they are focused on safety when they are really focused on protection and some people may think they are focused on protection, when they are really focused on safety. You will know which you are focused on based on how you feel. If you are focused on being protected, you will feel relief because you will feel shielded, but within that shield, you are constricted; a bit like the security of hiding. You will feel like you are still an underdog to the world, but one that at least has some armor. You will begin to feel brave. Remember that bravery only exists in a state of fear. With no fear there is no bravery. If you are focused on safety, you will not feel fear. You will feel empowered. You will feel like the world is a good place to be. You will no longer feel like an underdog to the world. You will feel as if the shackles have been removed and you can become expansive.
With this in mind, the answer is straightforward. It is not wrong to think of protection because it is a vibrational improvement from victimized exposure. But it is not a state of freedom it is a state of contained powerlessness. So if you want to feel emancipated from fear, think about safety instead. And keep in mind that if you have felt unsafe all of your life, this is going to take some practice. Think of the concept of safety vibrationally. This particular universe is governed by the law of attraction, which is simply the law of mirroring. Think of this like a mirror hologram where whatever thought you place before it materializes. When you are feeling inspired and when you are seeing all the positive in the world and when you are feeling free and when you are feeling capable and when you feel good about yourself, you are not feeling fear and you are not feeling like a victim or an underdog and you are feeling like this is a good place to be. That there will tell you the best way to quote on quote protect yourself… To get into a vibration that is literally beyond the vibration of fear. If you can do that, you will not be a vibrational match to anything you need to be protected against. Your world cannot reflect danger unless fear is already in your mind. That is like tuning your radio dial to a channel that can’t even receive danger. That is a whole lot better than protecting yourself against danger. For this reason, it is a really good idea to take a look at my YouTube video titled “How to Raise your Frequency and Increase your Vibration” So other than that, how do you create and maintain the feeling of safety?
1. Begin to identify when you feel unsafe and when you feel safe. I will give you a hint that a lot of people are so acclimatized to feeling unsafe that they do not even know they are feeling unsafe. But to achieve a space of true safety, we need to become aware of what safety feels like and what un-safety feels like. Periodically check in with yourself throughout the day to see how you are feeling. I will also tip you off that if you are angry, you are really feeling unsafe. Anger is the cover emotion for fear. And once you identify the feelings, try to become aware of what it is that makes you feel unsafe and conversely, what it is that makes you feel safe. 2. Create a safety list. This is a list of things that make you feel like the world is a better place to be. What makes you feel free from harm? I will give you a sample of one such list:
Being held in a blanket den Warm baths The sound of Ducks on the pond Chest Compression Writing Lists that make me feel good about myself (how am I lovable, why would someone want me for a friend or partner) Cooking Feel good movies like Legally Blonde Funny You Tube Videos Soup Outer Space Ski resorts Food Network Channel Music that holds a high resonance and changes the feeling Making a Vision Board Looking Through “Joy” Pictures Stand Up Comedians Warm air from the Blow Dryer Christmas Lights Cat Purring The smell of rain in the summer The smell of apricots Inspirational films The smell of chamomile Mountains Closing my eyes underwater The smell of bread in the oven Lying in tall grass or fields Angels Dry rice or sand running through my hands
Make this list as comprehensive as you can. Put both big things and little things on it and when you begin to feel unsafe, go to the list and pick something or multiple things off of it to seek out or do.
3. If you feel up to it, the feeling of un-safety is a great opportunity to integrate your emotional wounds and this will go further for establishing a personal sense of security than nearly anything else. To do this, instead of trying to do something to make yourself feel more safe when you feel unsafe, sink into the feeling of unsafe and integrate the feeling. To understand this process fully, watch my YouTube video titled “How to Heal the Emotional Body”.
4. Do shadow work on the things that are making you feel unsafe, especially techniques where you question your own thoughts and look for new perspectives that would shift that feeling of un-safety entirely.
5. Think of all the ways you are safe. When we feel unsafe, we seldom if ever shift our focus to the ways we actually do feel safe and are safe. For example, you may feel unsafe relative to relationships but you may have the safety of having enough money. You may feel unsafe because you do not have enough money but you may have the safety of being able to rely on the companionship of your dog.
6. Create the feeling of safety in your body by creating a feeling signature in your body that feels safe. To understand this technique watch my video on YouTube titled: How to Feel Better (feeling signatures)
7. Think of taking any actions to protect yourself in terms of releasing resistance. Before you do it, ask yourself, “Is this going to make me release resistance to the thing I think I need to be protected against so I am no longer thinking about it or is this fueling my resistance to what I feel like I need to be protected against?” This is going to be a very personal decision. For example, when we have genuine fear that we have not fully integrated yet, we might feel real danger driving down the road. You could say that the seatbelt in your car is a way of protecting yourself and it is. But here is the question you must ask yourself, when I put the seatbelt on, does that help me to stop thinking about and worrying about a car crash so that I’m not a vibrational match to things that make me worry or to car crashes? If so, put the seatbelt on.
8. Having said what I just said about safety and about thinking of protection less about protection from unwanted things and more in terms of releasing resistance to unwanted things, because protection is a vibrational increase from a space of victimized exposure, I will now teach you some energetic protection techniques. A. The ever-popular technique of visualizing yourself surrounded in white light. It is a popular technique amongst energy workers because it works. White is reflective and reflection is a deflection technique that works awesomely for attack. On an energetic level, if you think something, it happens. So literally thinking about a white light surrounding you like a cocoon makes the energy field around you take on this appearance and shape. Make sure if you are doing this that you pay special attention to feeling where you have any open spots in your auric field and focus on filling those in. The spine tends to be one of those places that people leave exposed. And don’t be afraid to use other colors besides white. See and feel yourself going about your day with an energetic force field in and around you. Doing this creates a sensation of containment. Containment feels safe. Containment is an important vibration for people who struggle with creating healthy boundaries. The empowerment of getting to choose when to be exposed and when not to, is an aspect of safety. That personal choice is safer and more free than any armor you could ever fashion. And you will come to learn that you can be contained within an energy field and not be alone at the same time. My number one problem with energy workers relying on this particular protection skill is that of all people who need to learn to achieve a frequency that is beyond needing protection, it is people who work in fields where their connection to other people is paramount, like energy work. I want to paint you an image to explain what I mean here. Imagine Jesus walking into the leper community in a HAZMAT suit. The very beauty of his life was that his frequency was so high, he did not need to protect himself for in his mind there was nothing that he needed to protect himself against and this gave off a frequency of total approval and love to the lepers and so they became well. I can promise you that if you are an empathy, your emancipation from pain will come when you stop trying to protect yourself from the influence of energies in this world and begin developing a high enough vibration that those energies are instantly transmuted when they come into contact with you.
B. Visualize surrounding yourself with mirrors that face outward so that anything that comes your way is reflected. This is a good technique to use if people are projecting onto you and those projections are making you feel unsafe. I like to use this one with people who are particularly not self-aware. You can see them as walls as a bubble with a mirror exterior or like reflective liquid mercury. Be ware that this will also increase your own self-awareness. Anything you do to another, you are also doing to yourself, so make sure it is worth it.
C. Visualize a violet flame. The violet flame energy has been used for thousands of years for nearly every ailment in existence. As new-agey as it sounds, it is in fact ancient and is one of my personal favorite techniques. See and feel a stream of violet fire flowing into your crown chakra down into your heart and from there being pumped through your entire body, consuming all negative energies in it’s path, just like fire consuming paper. And see it flow out of your solar plexus to engulf your whole body, both filling and surrounding you in a force field of violet flame. D. You can use your guides or angels by either setting the intention of praying or straight up asking them to protect you or better yet to achieve safety. Even if you have not had direct contact with them yet, realize that they can hear you and interact with you even if you cannot yet perceive them. E. Utilize physical things that create protection and create a shield around you. I’m going to list some of my personal favorites for this task. 1. Raw salt used in baths and also sprinkled on windowsills 2. Black tourmaline and eye agate, tourmilated quartz, black obsidian, black kyanite, dravite, onyx and obsidian. 3. Palo Santo wood which is amazing no matter how it is used but is especially great when used as a smudge, mugwort and of course the master protector angelica.
Better yet, use things that create a feeling of safety. My favorites for this task are: 1. Agate, especially blue lace agate, pink rhodochrosite, sardonyx, rose quartz, sunstones, coral and amber. 2. Inspirational and soothing music or tones (according to personal taste) 3. Chamomile, angelica, apricot, holy basil, Acacia, and yarrow.
Given that you have just learned the importance of creating a sense of safety in the world as opposed to protecting yourself from an unsafe world, it might be tempting to feel a great deal of pressure to bypass your fear and expect yourself to be fearless. For this reason, it is important to remind yourself to not expect yourself to be fearless. If feeling fearless becomes the standard you hold yourself to, it will be very tempting for you to either deny your fear, which will only make you more of a match to dangerous experiences or to feel like a failure when you are afraid. I’m yet to meet a person who has achieved this state. But make it an intention to feel the empowerment of safety and try out these tips to get you there.
The topic of porn is a difficult one to wrap our heads around because it involves human sexuality. And human sexuality is so profoundly out of alignment at this time (mostly as the result of the world religions) that we cannot yet separate out porn from our currently out of alignment human sexuality. Indeed porn in and of itself as a concept, could be very in alignment, it just so happens that today it usually is not because it is an extension of our out of alignment sexuality that then fuels and magnifies our out of alignment sexuality.
Pornography is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexual arousal. Why would we watch porn, because sexual desire and sexual arousal is usually a pleasant experience and pleasure is not wrong. So it must be understood that seeking out pleasure is also not wrong. It is useless to discuss the rightness or wrongness of porn. We must instead develop perspective about porn. First, lets take a look at the shadow side of porn.
The number one shadow aspect of porn is that we often seek out pleasure to try to escape from pain. Porn is self-medication. Like any addiction, porn serves as a way to avoid pain. It blunts the senses and makes you forget everything else. It is hypnotic and trance like and makes you lose track of time. We use it to get relief from something. Porn is used to escape a painful emotional state. For example, we may use S&M porn to escape powerlessness by feeling a sense of power over someone. When it comes to porn addiction, the most common feeling one is trying to escape from is the feeling of emptiness. I am yet to meet one single person who watches porn on an ongoing basis who is not using porn to avoid a feeling state within them. The chemicals our own brain produces in response to certain stimulus can be many times more addictive than eternal substances that we put in our bodies like cocaine. So our body can develop a dependency on the very chemicals that it releases while watching porn similar to the way that we become addicted to something like cocaine. It throws us out of balance to the degree that when we do not watch porn; we begin to experience withdrawal symptoms. So even though porn feels like it fulfills a need, it actually simply creates a new need. In other words people think porn is a sexual outlet, which is fulfilling the need for release and satisfaction of the sex drive when in fact it is creating sexual craving. Porn can absolutely become an addiction. I do not think it is beneficial to draw an arbitrary line in the sand between addiction and compulsion. If you feel a lack of self-control relative to something, especially if you can’t discontinue something despite negative consequences, it is an addiction. The second major shadow aspect of porn is that the industry itself is so out of alignment. It is possible to portray sexual subject matter in an in alignment way, as a pure expression of source consciousness in a physical body. The religious fanatics around the world, who would turn all nudity into porn, are completely out of alignment. They are attempting to make your body and your sexuality, which is absolutely a part of who you are, a matter of shame. So leave the conservative view out of it for a time. What you’ll find is that regardless of whether we are conservative or liberal, we all know at our core that when sex is in alignment with ourselves as expressions of source consciousness, sex is much more than just physical gratification.
The majority of porn today truly is only about physical gratification. The people in the scenes cease to become people to us and become more like objects or things to us. This objectification of both men and women in porn is a huge problem because when we watch them on the screen, we are in essence disconnected enough from it being another human being that we are now able to use another human being for personal gratification. We begin to vibrate at the same frequency as objectification and as soon as we objectify, we open ourselves up to feeling and even being objectified. What we will experience immediately as a result is a severe decrease in our sense of self worth and self esteem. This will come across as a feeling that your soul is being taken, and you may not even realize that the one is linked to the other, the porn is linked to the sudden loss of self esteem. The thrill of the interaction with porn covers over or masks the internal destruction that is occurring. A really good way to see just how much you objectify people in porn is to ask yourself, how would I feel if people were viewing my son in the same way that I am viewing this person on the screen? Or how would I feel if people were viewing my daughter in the same way that I am viewing this person on the screen. If you want, you can make it another family member, other than your son or daughter. The point being, when you know someone personally and when you care about him or her, they matter to you as a person. And objectification no longer feels ok. Those people on the screen are someone’s daughter or son, brother or sister, father or mother. So what does that tell us? It tells us that we have to be disconnected from someone to use him or her purely for physical arousal and relief and so you cannot prove that that is in alignment unless you first prove that disconnection is in alignment.
You could argue that porn stars are willing participants and so, it is ok to use them for such personal gratification. But here’s the thing, most people who work as porn stars, were raised in unhealthy environments both sexually and emotionally. Many of them were sexually abused as youth. Their sexuality became their only sense of worth. They see their bodies as commodities. They have become comfortable with objectification. I want you to just think about where someone has to be emotionally to become comfortable and approving of themselves being objectified. Most of the porn stars, directors and producers etc. of porn are so out of alignment relative to their own sexuality that they could not make in alignment porn if they tried. The third major shadow of pornography is what it does to relationships. Now before I get too deep into this shadow, I will tell you that if you were completely in alignment with your own sexuality and you completely approved of using sexual arousal or sex merely for physical gratification, you would attract a partner who felt the same way. But when we are out of alignment with our own sexuality and we do not completely approve of using sex for physical gratification, we will attract a partner who does not feel the same way that we do and our use of porn will be a huge problem for them. It will hurt their feelings. So you could say that perhaps you need to find approval for it, so as to find a partner who does not mind and even shares our interest in porn. But what is more likely is that you need to acknowledge that deep in the seat of your soul, you have a knowing that you are gravitating to porn for reasons that in and of themselves are very out of alignment with your true being. Your disapproving partner may just be a reflection of the part of you that knows that your integrity and authenticity is in the opposite direction of where you are headed in those moments. Porn destroys intimacy. Intimacy is to see into someone, to feel into them, to hear them and to understand them. Sex can enhance intimacy. Sex can provide a widow into someone’s soul. But if we objectify the person on the screen or our partner (which is what we are doing with porn), we have no intimacy with them. If we objectify our partner, we are just two meat suits rubbing up against each other for our own individual pleasure. On an energetic level it appears more like sexual/energetic vampirism (where you’re trying to get something from someone) than it is like connection. Even if we watch porn as a couple, so as to become aroused, we are having more intimacy with the fantasy in our minds than we are having with each other. I will also tell you that porn and subsequent sexual escapades are a close personal favorite of those of us who fear intimacy. We get to connect with another person or at least the idea of another person, without actually connecting.
The fourth major shadow of porn is that porn sets up neural pathways. When we become aroused by a specific kind of stimulus, we seek it out again and again. We may even lose our ability to be turned on in any other way. If we associate orgasm with our partner or with a light kiss, this is what will turn us on in the future. If we associate orgasm to the things we observe in porn, those things start to be the only way we can become aroused. Most of these sex acts are not only objectifying, they are un-pleasurable to our partner, especially emotionally. Many of them involve domination and submission power dynamics.
I think one of the worst things porn has done for male-female sex is to give men a false idea about how women like to have sex. The porn stars in many of the films men watch are acting. They are faking orgasm specifically because the porn is being directed at male gratification. In reality, most women will not become aroused or feel good or orgasm if you mimic what you are seeing on the screen. Also what has made me sad again and again is that the neural pathways that are so often set up by pornography disable people from enjoying the art of lovemaking. When porn is used chronically, some people lose their ability to become aroused by anything that is not objectifying or impersonal.
In past years, access to porn was difficult. Now due to the online presence of porn, it is only a click away and so young kids are now watching porn and porn is setting up their expectation about what sex should be like. And this includes not just vanilla pornography but also extreme pornography and dysfunctional fetishes. Pornography is becoming the only reference for sex and intimacy that the youth of today’s world have. This has serious social implication. The fifth major shadow of porn is that it is a huge distortion of sexual energies and often a waste of sexual energy. You have most likely heard of kundalini. Kundalini is your creative spiritual energy and it is indivisible from sexual energy. Sexual energy is merely one expression of kundalini. When you become aroused, you are raising your kudalini. When you orgasm for the sake of relief, you are releasing that energy. The question you should be asking yourself is what towards? Sexual energy is creative energy. If you are spending your kundalini by watching and getting off to porn, you are robbing yourself of creative energy. That energy is meant to be channeled towards creation, whether that creation is the creation of connection or the creation of actual life or the creation of ideas or the creation of the lifestyle you want to have. A state of atrophy or apathy is common for people who are addicted to porn because the energy they have to create their waking life is being spent. When we become addicted to porn, just like any other addiction we stop investing in our life. We stop engaging with real people.
The sixth major shadow of porn is that our focus creates our reality and more than that our collective reality. You need to ask yourself, what is it that I am creating when I look at that thing that I am watching? The answer is always more of it. And like a drug, you need more and more extremity to get the same level of arousal. So the extreme nature of porn will keep going up and up. Compare a horror film of the 50s with a horror film today. They aren’t even comparable. What satisfies someone today sexually will no longer satisfy them in the near future. Then think about the implication of this human need for the next level of intensity as it applies to porn. If so many eyes are focused at the distorted and out of alignment form of sexuality, we are creating a collective reality of sexual distortion.
The seventh major shadow of porn is that when people watch porn, they often compartmentalize the experience from their normal, daily life. It serves as a mental escape zone. They think that the law of attraction is somehow not applicable to that time period that they are watching porn and so that time is not part of the “I create my own reality” actuality. They think they can keep that aspect of their life secret and contained. So they do not realize that their porn watching is in fact not a separate reality, it is part of their every day reality, and it will absolutely merge with and effect their day to day life experiences, their values, belief systems, relationships, career etc.
So what should you do if you have a porn addiction?
1. Ask yourself the question, is porn adding to my life or is it taking away from my life? You have to be really honest with yourself in response to this question. Take a good look at where and what it has gotten you. If you struggle with porn addiction, you may spend years defending your addiction and justifying it. You may spend years telling yourself that everyone is doing it. Only you can decide if porn is negatively impacting your life but if you are convinced it is fine, you will not have the motivation necessary to shift.
2. Become aware. Find out what you are trying to escape from by indulging in porn. The next time you feel the urge to watch, sit with the uncomfortable feeling as if you were exploring the sensation and try to identify what it is. Also, identify your triggers. A trigger is something that causes you to feel the compulsion to watch porn. Think about the last hours or minutes leading up to the moment when the urge occurs. Can you identify any triggers? For example, did you get into a fight with someone, which caused you to feel stressed and need release?
3. Go in the direction of your negative emotions instead of away from them. Porn is an escape from a feeling state that you are trying to avoid. Instead of self-medicating, be unconditionally present with that feeling state. Integrate it. To learn how to do this process, watch my video on YouTube titled “How to Heal The Emotional Body”. Also, if you discover that the feeling of emptiness is the root of your porn use, which is often the case, watch my video on YouTube titled “How to Stop Feeling Empty”. 4. Change your life in accordance with whatever you discover about the feeling state you are trying to avoid. For example, if you are using porn to avoid boredom, get busy. Find a healthy preoccupation that requires your focused attention and energy. Or, if you find that you are using porn to escape stress, figure out what is making you the most stressed and either find healthier ways to manage the stress or change that aspect of your life entirely so the stress is no longer there. Basically, we have to face and work with the thing we are using porn to avoid if we want to stop feeling the urge.
5. If you feel the urge to use, play a game of fast forward. You may be swept up in the excitement or arousal of watching now, but how are you going to feel after you have watched it? When you feel yourself wanting to watch porn, close your eyes and actively remember the feeling of the exhausted crash of disgust, shame or disappointment that you will feel afterwards and allow those anticipated negative post porn viewing feelings to sink in to the degree that they water down the heated excitement of the moment.
6. Get into the mentality that porn does not exist. If you do the steps listed previously, the reason for indulging in porn will go away and so your urge will not be there which will make this step much easier. When it comes to addictions, the actual addiction is a symptom of the underlying problem and if you deal with the underlying problem, the symptom will go away. But especially when it comes to porn, we can tackle both the cause and the symptom at once.
In my opinion, the best way for most people to address the porn addiction itself is to go cold turkey. In other words, don’t try to limit your time watching porn just stop watching all together. Get rid of your outlets for the addiction so you literally can’t access it and then think and act as if porn does not exist. Out of sheer necessity, you will be forced to replace the porn use with other things to direct that energy towards.
7. In alignment with the last point, when you feel the urge to watch porn come up, recognize the rise in energy levels that you feel as the urge and re-direct that towards something that you deem to be a healthier and more beneficial. Pick something deserving of your energy. You cannot suppress the urge to watch porn, you can only re-direct it. Suppressed sexual energy is literally the mother of sexual dysfunction; this is why porn use is always the highest in areas like Utah, where sexuality is suppressed. Think about harnessing that energy. Ask yourself, “if I could harness that energy and put it towards something else that would directly benefit my life, what would it be?” And do that instead. If you do this enough you will realize that you have actually got a life. You are no longer watching porn feeling terrible about yourself and feeling like you need to get a life.
8. Increase your self-esteem and practice self care. Porn use leads to low self-esteem and low self esteem leads to porn. If you are addicted to porn, it has become a self-hate spiral. So to pull yourself out of that, start to live healthy and alter your perspective so you can see yourself in a positive light. Take a look at the values you do have and the things you really do believe in and begin to live according to those values. Live from a space of integrity with who you really are. Do things you enjoy, eat a diet that makes you feel good about yourself, exercise, groom yourself in a way that makes you feel proud to present yourself to the world. Get outside. Help others. Helping others increases your self-esteem five fold. Seek out things that make you laugh. Start meditating or going to yoga classes. Listen to motivating music that inspires you to really live. Start focusing on things you like about yourself and find approval for the things you dislike about yourself. These are just some examples.
Raise your frequency. For more information about how to raise your frequency look up my YouTube video titled: “How to Raise Your Frequency and Increase Your Vibration”. Remember that the more you can replace your porn use with more beneficial pursuits, the better and better your life will get. Also, if down deep you think watching porn is not a good thing to be doing, you can not watch porn and feel good about doing it.
9. Now I am going to give you the most important tip of all. When scientists studied rats and drug addiction, they figured the substances were to blame for addiction. Until one scientist in the 1970’s Bruce Alexander discovered something interesting. In every test with rats and addictive substances like cocaine, the rat was isolated in a cage alone. He became curious about what would happen if he put rats in a healthy environment with friends. What was the result? The rats avoided the water that was laced with the addictive drug. The addiction was an adaptation to a painful environment, most especially one that is void of connection. Emotional isolation is the number one cause of all addictions on this planet. Sobriety is not the opposite of addiction. Human connection is. So connect with people. For more information about how to do this, watch my YouTube video titled “How to Connect With Someone”.
It is my desire that sex not be associated with sin in the minds of men. We cannot be at war with our sexuality and become whole and complete beings. It is not my desire for porn to become the scapegoat for society’s dysfunction, which is how many would paint it to be. I’m all for being free and open minded and for embracing things that should no longer be taboo. But being free and open-minded is not the same thing as simply celebrating the taboo because it is taboo. I am open to the idea that in the future, when people come into alignment with the healthy relationship to and expression of their own sexuality, that porn could be beneficial. But the vast majority of pornography today is an empty package. And you deserve some substance.
When something is not known or not decided relative to a circumstance that causes us stress or pain, we feel vulnerable. There is no sense of resolution. This lack of resolve in and of itself adds to the distress you feel. There is no relief. It feels like you are stuck in a powerless place with no sense of control and completely at the mercy of the world. This puts you into a kind of despair and from that despair comes hopeless desperation. The most common secondary feeling to experience as a result of uncertainty is desperation. Desperation feels like an inner panicked clawing against the hopelessness and towards a solution that you do not have yet and can’t seem to get hold of. Uncertainty is one of the most painful emotional states a person can experience. It can come in response to a certain scenario you are in like a relationship or and illness or a loved one being in the ER, or it can be more generalized like the uncertainty we my hold about our future. Either way, uncertainty is something we will all encounter in our lives and so it’s important to know what to do about uncertainty.
It would seem that the obvious solution to being uncertain is to make a decision or to find resolve or to learn all you can, so that you do know whatever it is that you do not know. The problem with this is that when we are struggling with uncertainty, we begin to resist uncertainty and so we get to the point where are not a vibrational match to certainty at all. We quite literally find ourselves in situations where no matter how hard we try we cannot find the solution. No matter how hard we try, we can’t make a decision and no matter how hard we try, we gain no new knowledge. When we reach this point, our one option is to release resistance to uncertainty. How do we do this? We embrace uncertainty.
This may seem like a contradiction to the idea that you create your own reality. Some of you might be asking, “If you know what you want to have happen, why not just focus on that and create that?” The answer is, when you are in uncertainty, you often get confused about what you want. And also, you cannot create what you want if you are full of resistance to what is. Trying to create what you want while being in resistance to what is, is like trying to paddle a canoe forward when your fishing line is stuck on a branch at the bottom of the lake. Embracing uncertainty and adopting the subsequent attitude of curious surrender in this circumstance enables us to metaphorically unhook ourselves from the bottom of the lake and move forward. In other words, embracing what is (including the uncertainty of our current situation) releases our resistance to what is in such a way that it enhances our ability to create our own reality.
So without further ado, I ‘m going to simply jump right into what to do if you are suffering as a result of uncertainty.
1. Instead of trying to feel certain or find solutions or gain knowledge, you need to really dive deep into the painful feelings that have come up as a result of the uncertainty and grace them with your unconditional presence. If we find that we are struggling with uncertainty, it is highly likely that we are being called to integrate the aspect of our emotional selves that was wounded in our childhood by feeling hopeless, out of control, at the mercy of others and desperate. To understand this concept as well as the process to use to do this, watch my video on YouTube titled “How To Heal The Emotional Body”.
2. Live by this truth… “Whatever is happening is obviously supposed to be happening because it is happening, so I remain open to seeing why”. The circumstances you are experiencing are not the cause of your suffering. The cause of your suffering is the thought that what is happening should not be happening or is not supposed to be happening. I am going to remain silent for a few seconds so you can ponder this truth and really see how this is the case for you in your current circumstance. Let it impact you. Even if you are a scientist at heart, you can at least acknowledge that you cannot know 100% if what is happening is supposed to be happening or not. So you must remain open to the possibility that what is happening is supposed to be happening. Do you feel the lightness that comes on the heels of that realization? I am going to ask you to take it a step further and adopt the belief that what is happening is in fact supposed to be happening. Even if you believe you create you own reality, this is in fact the case. This is why… The universe knows the quickest journey between where you are and what you have been asking for and so what may seem like a detour away from what you want, might be the shortest short cut that the universe could lead you on to get to the very thing you want. For example, say you were in the process of creating the perfect relationship because that is what you desire the most. But then, your husband or wife walks through the door and says, “I’m not in love with you, I’m in love with someone else”. At that moment you’d feel like you messed up. When in actuality, what you wanted was the best possible relationship and so as a result of the divorce, you might gain self awareness and self esteem to the degree that you might go on a trip to a foreign country, where you meet a partner who suits you a thousand times better than the spouse who left you. We must surrender to some degree to the fact that while we create our own reality by virtue of our desire and focus, the universe may bring us to what we desire in ways that we do not understand when we are in the midst of the journey. If we adopt the idea that “Whatever is happening is obviously supposed to be happening because it is happening.” We suddenly become open to seeing how our current experience might be leading us towards our desires or giving us powerful gifts instead of leading us away from what we want and causing us to suffer. 3. Realize that we do not fear the unknown. And discover what it is that you actually fear. The saying, “I fear the unknown.” is a popular scapegoat. No one fears the unknown because one would not know what to fear. We only begin to fear what we do not know when we think that we DO in fact know what the unknown contains. For example, I may say that I fear the unknown when I’m talking about my future. But the truth is in fact that I’m afraid that there is a potential that my future could be painful because of accident or failure or any number of things. What painful or scary thing is it that you think the unknown contains? Face those fears, release resistance to those. 4. Let go of your attachment to outcomes. The universe already knows what you want. You already put in your order with the universe the minute you wanted something. Sometimes uncertainty is the most painful when we really know what we want but those things have not come to fruition yet. For example, I may really know I want to go to school at Stanford, but Stanford has not sent an acceptance letter or a rejection letter yet. So I am in a space of uncertainty and in this scenario, what is torturing me is the attachment I have to the outcome I want. I become hyper controlling of everything in my external world when I have an attachment to how things have to turn out. I obsess about how things are supposed to be. This also prevents me from noticing the other gifts, potentials and opportunities around me.
So one of the best practices is to let go of our need for things to be a certain way. My favorite way to do this is to have people imagine the scenario they really want to have happen in their mind. Create the image of that outcome or thing you want as if it were a scene contained in a balloon. See yourself tied to that balloon in some way (maybe picture it tied to your wrist or around your heart by a ribbon) And then, untie the string or ribbon and watch it float up and away from you to be claimed by the sky. Knowing that the outcome is in the hands of the universe. And also knowing that the universe knows that the way to get you to that outcome the quickest, might be a completely different way than you thought you would get to that outcome. Then, having released that outcome, go about your day in the name of joy, placing your mind on the things that bring you pleasure in real time.
5. Notice the positives around you. This involves some discipline. When we are in uncertainty, we are stuck. If we are stuck somewhere, we have one option and that is to try to appreciate where we are. In uncertainty, our mind is paralyzed by worry. We become so negatively focused towards ‘what is’ that we spend our life trying to get somewhere else. We also spend our time worrying and expecting the worst. It is exhausting and it turns our world completely black. Doom sets in; we can even experience anxiety, anxiety attacks and depression. So what we have to do is to begin to deliberately look for things to enjoy about wherever we are. To get aggressive with you, this is what I call the moonlight in the jail cell exercise. If I am stuck in a jail cell, everything is super crappy. But if there is a sliver of moonlight in the jail cell, I have the power to focus on the moonlight instead of on the jail bars. Scan your reality for what you DO like about it. Especially survey the situation that is causing you pain for what you do like about it. Keep a journal where you list positive aspects. Pull it out any time you feel yourself spiraling negatively. For more ideas about how to counteract the doom and worry inherent in uncertainty, watch my videos titled “How to Raise your Frequency and Increase your Vibration”, “How to Stop Worrying” and “How to Stop Expecting the Worst.” I will tip you off that if you find the gifts inherent in the experience that is causing you to suffer, it minimizes the suffering and can even do away with suffering entirely. 6. Begin the practice of riding the rapids of the current of life. Become curious about where this life is going to take you. If our life journey were a river, most of us spend our lives trying to control the current of the river. We do not consciously know where the river will take us. Some of us only know where we would prefer for it to take us. We can develop practices and take actions and think thoughts that make the trip down the river, a journey of more ease. But in order to embrace uncertainty, let go of the idea that you can control the river itself. This is what we are trying to do when we try to find and hold on to certainty in life. But the only certainty is uncertainty. If you adopt the idea that the only certain thing is uncertainty, you will stop trying to control your life. You will head in the general direction of the things you know you want and instead, let the current of life take you. Instead of fighting against it, you will see what it wants to show you and where it wants you to go. A curiosity develops, a willingness to change course completely. Instead of fighting the ups and downs of life, you just let yourself ride the rapids and because of that lack of resistance to the ups and downs, you do not suffer as a result of them. If you could not know where life would take you and if you could not control the current of the river, all that would be left was curiosity. Instead of certainty, live with curiosity about what will happen. Approach the world with an attitude of I wonder what will happen and then watch the story unfold. 7. See the beauty in not knowing. One form of certainty obsession is the obsession over right and wrong and subsequently the obsession over knowing everything. If we are struggling with uncertainty, we need to embrace the idea that we can never be 100% sure. The ego is obsessed with knowing because it thinks that if it knows, it can prevent unwanted things from happening. But the state of learning is a higher state than the state of knowing because it is a state that is open to all possibilities, including possibilities that will offer much more peace than knowing. Knowing in a way is a state of ended-ness. Questions lead to answers, which lead to more questions, which lead to more answers which lead to more questions and this is the way of it. “Maybe” can be a powerful tool to adopt in this circumstance. If you are obsessed with being right, develop the habit of thinking “Maybe” relative to every one of your truths. Doing this means that you are open to the idea of adopting a different and better truth down the road. Having an open mind is like having a life vest on in the river of life.
8. Let the mud settle. A true master of your physical dimension knows when to embrace movement and when to embrace stillness. There is an old Buddhist philosophy that when we are uncertain and when there is chaos, it is like being in a lake when the mud is kicked up in a cloud by our feet. Everything is murky, we cannot see through the water clearly. We especially cannot see clearly enough to make good decisions. Finding the solution is like thrashing around to try to get the mud to go away. All thus does is stir up more mud. But if we just stand still, the mud will settle and we will see clearly again. Practically this means that if you are in a state of uncertainty, it is a time for stillness. We need to come back to ourselves and not take rash actions and make rash decisions. You see, we don’t know until we know. So by letting the mud settle in our lives (instead of endlessly and frantically searching for the answers and solutions) we allow the answers and solutions to come to us. This also allows our intuition to be heard by us. If we do not let the mud settle, we cannot hear our intuition beyond the loudness of our minds. Quieting your mind through meditation is a very good idea to enhance this phase of stillness. Add meditation to your daily routine, preferably first thing in the morning. 9. Question yourself and question everything. When we are struggling with uncertainty, we are already in a phase of questioning, whether we are conscious of it or not. So, dive right in and become conscious of your questioning. Sometimes involving other people like therapists of friends in this process is beneficial because they can come up with questions and perspectives we have never seen. One of my favorite activities to use when someone is in a space of uncertainty is to have them write the situation they are uncertain about and then to ask people in their lives to look at the situation and write down key questions they would have the person ask themselves or think about relative to that situation. You wouldn’t believe how the right question can lead you to the answer you’ve been looking for. In my opinion, one of the most important questions to ask yourself is: What can I learn from this? Another form of questioning to imply in times of uncertainty involves questioning your own beliefs and painful thoughts. My favorite process for this is Byron Katie’s process called “The Work”. Try all of these ideas to see which one helps you the most.
10. Play a game called “What advice would I give to someone else in my exact same situation?” We know much more than we think we know. Our intuition gives us much more access to a sense of certainty than our questioning mind. We just have to allow it to speak. Often times when we are in 1st person perspective, we feel the pressure and risk of our situation to the degree that we become paralyzed by it. So we can dis identify with ourselves by imagining that we are sitting in a therapist’s chair and that a duplicate of ourselves walks into the room and sits down and shares with us the scenario that they were struggling with (the scenario being of course the exact one that we are struggling with) And then we imagine, what we would tell that person. What advice would we give about the situation? This practice can bring about great clarity. 11. Seek out healthy stress reducers. Uncertainty sends us into fight of flight mode. We need to allow our nervous system the things it needs to come back into a state of ease. This includes eating a diet that calms the nervous system instead of stimulates it. The things that reduce your stress may be different from what reduces someone else’s stress, so stay open to finding your perfect cocktail of stress reduction techniques. Here is a list of some ideas to start with. Go for a walk somewhere in nature, write, take a hot bath with incense and candles, watch funny video clips, get a massage, go camping, do progressive relaxation techniques, take a yoga class, dance, listen to stress reducing music, cook, spend time with animals, drink tea (especially black tea). You get the idea. Also when we are in a space of uncertainty, our stress is greatly amplified if we are isolated. So repeat after me: “It’s ok to get support”. Almost anything is tolerable if we have someone to go through the uncertainty with us; or at least be with us while we are uncertain. So, unless people greatly increase your stress at this point in your life, connect with people. If you have difficulty connecting with people, watch my YouTube video titled “How to Connect With Someone”. We will not win the fight against uncertainty by becoming certain. We will not find our stability by trying to make the unstable, stable. Instead our certainty and stability comes from decidedly embracing uncertainty. Embracing uncertainty, does not mean that we stop wanting. It doesn’t mean that we stop creating our lives and it doesn’t mean that we stop taking action to create what we want in our lives. What it means is we untangle our intention from our attachment so as to let our attachment go. The universe is always carrying us towards our highest good, even if the road to our highest good takes us straight through hell.
The future is not certain. Not for anyone. Even those of us who can see it, will tell you that it changes as you go along. If you change even one perspective, that can alter your entire destiny. Life is like a journey into uncharted waters for all of us. If we become preoccupied with avoiding potential pain, we resist the waves at our own peril. We miss the glory of the sunsets on the ocean of our lives. So I say, embrace the uncertainty of your life, send the universe the message “bring it on” and you will begin to see the sunsets.
I really don’t have to go into any detail about how to know whether you are having a nervous break down because if you’re having a nervous breakdown, you know it. It is very similar to an anxiety attack that doesn’t seem to end. You may feel like you’ve lost touch with reality. Exhaustion consumes you. It is debilitating to the degree that you can’t carry on with day-to-day life, even the smallest task is too difficult. Instead, it feels like you are forced to simply surrender and allow the feelings to take over your body like an emotional version of the flu. The most common causes of nervous break down are past traumas, problems in intimate relationships (such as break ups or divorces), experiencing the death of a loved one, problems relative to occupational pursuits like career or schooling (such as sleep deprivation or a schedule that is too rigorous or inter office conflicts), health problems (such as injuries or chronic illnesses) and financial problems (such as debt or poverty).
Why did I list these common causes? Because it is important to realize that breakdowns happen for a reason! When you’re in the middle of the breakdown, you will be feeling crazy or mentally ill and like you’ve lost your capacity to control yourself, you will feel like the potential reasons for it happening are not big or bad enough to justify the way you feel. And most importantly, you will not feel like it is temporary. You will feel like you have lost it for good.
So what should you do if you’re having a breakdown?
1. A breakdown is like a rip tide. If you fight it, you will only drown quicker and be drug under the water in such a way that you can no longer breathe. So, let it take you. Do not resist a break down. Treat it like an emotional flu… Like a healing crisis. If you had a bad viral illness, you literally couldn’t function. Treat your breakdown the same way. Intentionally let go to the experience. The worst thing you could try to do during a breakdown is try to function. You may fear that if you give into the breakdown and what the breakdown is compelling you to do to cope (like curing up in bed) that it will never end, but the opposite is true. So don’t go get a psychiatric medication prescribed. Try to get help from others with the things that “have to be done”. Of course question whether something has to be done or whether you’re choosing to do it because you’re telling yourself it has to be done. If you haven’t yet, watch my video titled “How to Heal the Emotional Body”. During a breakdown, you may choose to apply the technique presented in that video or give yourself permission to not do any personal work on yourself, but you will notice that the most interesting thing about a nervous breakdown is that during a nervous breakdown, your body is forcing you to involuntarily do the very process I ask you to voluntarily do in the video because it is attempting to self generate a healing. Instinctive healing forces are at work during a breakdown. And remember, these feelings are not trying to hurt you. They are not something happening to you. They are instead like small, completely powerless and frightened children begging for your help. 2. The breakdown is telling you that change must be made to your life. You cannot let your life go back to normal. So don’t think that just surrendering to it for a while and letting it pass and then returning to life as normal is going to cut it. Once you identify the stressor that tipped you over the edge, brainstorm changes you could make to that specific area of your life to reduce the stress level of it. Seek help with it from others. Both trusted friends and/or professionals. A nervous breakdown happens when stressors uncover your deepest fears. So the time is ripe to discover what those fears really are and to address those fears directly when you feel capable. 3. Stop living for the future or for plans. Literally reel it in and live five minutes at a time or an hour at a time. Live for whatever decreases your stress. Live according to the question: What would feel like just a little bit more relief at this moment? Maybe it’s eating a bowl of mashed potatoes, maybe it’s watching a funny move, maybe it’s laying on a blanket in the forest, maybe it’s crawling under the covers. Whatever it is, do it and then when you feel done with that, ask the question again. When you begin to feel more energy and less incapacitated, you will naturally begin to do normal daily life activities again, so contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t have to be forced.
4. If you have a tendency to have chronic nervous breakdowns, you can be sure that there is a chronic stressor that needs attention in your life. Most often this chronic stressor is unhealed trauma left over from childhood. And on this note, I’m going to expose a common pattern amongst those who have chronic breakdowns. That common pattern is un-safety. People who feel chronically unsafe have a diminished capacity to deal with other stressors. It’s a bit like trying to tightrope walk when you are also piggybacking an elephant. The likelihood of collapse is much higher. And on top of that, when we feel unsafe, we tend to use people to feel safe. Many people who chronically experience nervous breakdowns have the subconscious belief that there is going to be a negative consequence to being well or happy. So, if you chronically experience nervous breakdowns, ask yourself this question and think way outside the box to discover potential answers: “Why do you need to be weak or unhappy or in need of rescue? What bad thing will happen if you’re powerful, happy, and healthy with no need for rescue? Put yourself in the position of being happy and powerful and healthy and see if there are any negative feelings associated with that condition. Some of us find that being well means being abandoned by others so only by being unwell, can we guarantee connection or support. Some of us find that by being well, we feel we will be attacked, so by being unwell we send up a white mercy flag that says to others “I’m the underdog, have mercy on me”. Don’t take this to mean that you’re faking nervous breakdowns in order to have people around, rather see that you can’t stop having breakdowns because of the absolutely incapacitating fear you have of abandonment or harm. 5. When we are having a nervous breakdown, something in our life is going really crappy. And we have begun to spiral as a result of that. One exercise you can do that is really beneficial is to look at the situation that is really bad and ask yourself “what has this caused me to know that I want” or “what possibility exists as the exaltation of this circumstance?” And then brainstorm both things you could think and also things you could do to bring you closer to that possibility or thing this situation has caused you to know that you want. Make sure you do this when you have the energy and inspiration to do it. This should never be forced. Forcing something during a breakdown will actually just cause further breakdown. For example, say you’re having a nervous breakdown and you realize that the trigger for that breakdown was that your husband just said that he wanted a divorce. Potentially the circumstance has caused you to know you want to be valued for who you are and to feel like you have value. To get closer to that state, you could perhaps sit down and write a list of valuable attributes that you possess that others might find attractive. You might buy and read a self-esteem book and try out the exercises provided in the book. You might get a makeover. You might sign up to a life transforming workshop or seminar. You might fill your schedule with things that you know cause you to feel more confident, like a hobby you are particularly good at. Or maybe you could get on a plane and go visit a friend who makes you feel valued.
6. Do things that make you feel safe. Safety is a difficult feeling to access when we are feeling unsafe. But if you’re having a nervous breakdown, you are feeling unsafe and need to find ways to feel safer than you currently feel. For this reason, I like to have people make a safety list. A list of all the little and big things that cause you to feel safe, like listening to the sound of a cat purr or the smell of cinnamon or warm towels fresh out of the dryer or the sound of someone’s voice etc. Make this list as long as possible and whenever those feelings of un-safety arise, go pick something off of the list and do it. One of the things that feels the best to people who feel unsafe is the feeling of being cocooned. So allow yourself to be cocooned. Visualizations of being cocooned in light or in a flower bud, or any other type of thing that creates a safe sense of containment are great. Letting yourself hide under the covers is a good thing. Potentially even creating a secret hideout for yourself, regardless of whether or not you are an adult is good too.
7. Do trauma release exercises. If you are having a nervous breakdown, your nervous system is shot. One of my favorite techniques for helping your body to release trauma was designed by David Berceli. It is called the “Trauma Releasing Exercises” or TRE. So look them up and try them.
8. Give your body something to build upon. Go for a walk, even if it is just around the block. During a nervous breakdown, you may lose your appetite entirely. But you need to try to sip and nibble so as to not feed the cycle of your stress hormones wreaking more havoc on your body than they already are. Do NOT indulge in junk foods; this will only exacerbate the problem. Instead, eat tiny bits of healthy foods or protein shakes that require no preparation. And get out into the sun for 20 minutes a day. Just pull a blanket outside to a chair or to the ground and lay out in it. Vitamin D is a mood stabilizer.
The way our society is set up is ripe to cause nervous breakdowns. And the worst part is, it’s not set up to allow for them, the very thing it creates. Many of you might watch this video and say, “Teal obviously doesn’t live in the real world, where things have to be done and so I don’t get to have a nervous breakdown… I wish she’d just tell me how to stop a nervous breakdown so I can get on with life as usual”. But trying to get on with life as normal is why you’re having the nervous breakdown in the first place. We need to create a life for ourselves and eventually a society that allows for things like breakdowns and illnesses. We can’t expect ourselves to function under the stress of most of our lives. The serious reality is that if we do not allow ourselves to have a nervous breakdown if it occurs, our body will find a way to stop us and usually it does this through debilitating chronic illness so my question to you would be, do you want to willingly do it today and make hard changes that guarantee you a life that feels good, or do you want to wait for your body to literally force you to do it unwillingly? Also, I hear the excuse often that “I can’t have a nervous breakdown because of my kids”. The question to ask yourself then is, “what message do I want to be sending to my kids with my actions?” Do I want to be sending them the message that they need to cope with life and do what has to be done, no matter how they feel? Or do I want them to thrive as a result of sculpting a life according to what feels good to them? Children do not need you to be perfectly strong for them all the time, what they need is a secure connection with you. They can handle the reality that people have a hard time and get sick, what they can’t handle is the repercussions of you treating them like they are just one more reason that you have to keep it together. Can you feel the guilt and pain of being saddled with the perspective that you are a burden or one more item of pressure from your parent? The parents, who handle breakdowns the best, reassure their children of their unconditional love and the security of connection while still allowing themselves to have a breakdown.
Letting yourself intentionally melt into the breakdown, is the quickest way through. There is no way to come out the other side the same and time will only ever show an improvement as a result of it. So repeat after me, “It’s ok to not be ok”.
We are born whole, but that wholeness is short lived because we are relationally dependent. Being born relationally dependent into families that socialize us into a society that is not fully evolved yet, spells trouble because it causes us to learn that some aspects of ourselves are acceptable, and others are not. What is acceptable vs. unacceptable depends on the perspective of the family you’re born into. The aspects of us that are seen as unacceptable (both positive and negative) are rejected by our family and the aspects that are seen as acceptable are not. So, being relationally dependent, in the name of survival, we do anything we can to disown and deny and suppress those aspects in ourselves that are disapproved of whilst exaggerating those that are approved of. We dissociate from what we disapprove of. This creates a split within the person that we call the conscious and the subconscious. This self-preservation instinct of dividing ourselves into conscious and subconscious is in fact our first act of self-rejection. Years ago, the revolutionary psychologist Carl Jung (while studying with Freud), observed the fact that there were parts of his patients that they, themselves were aware of and to the contrary, there were parts that they, themselves were unaware of. Consciousness has long been referred to as a light. To become conscious of something is to be able to see it in the same way that we see something that is exposed to light. When something is unconscious, we cannot see it. It is as if we are trying to see it in the dark. And so, Carl Jung began to refer to the unconscious aspects within a person that they, themselves are unaware of or could not see as their ‘shadow’. The human shadow is any aspect of a person that is not exposed to the light of consciousness.
The reason that the human shadow contains mostly negative things is because we tend to reject or deny or suppress or disown the least desirable aspects of our personality. For example, we are more likely to suppress jealousy than to suppress a talent we have. But the most common misconception about the human shadow is that it contains only negative things. In fact, the human shadow often contains disowned or rejected aspects of a person that are truly positive. This is especially true for people who struggle with shame and low self-esteem. I’ll give you an example of how the positive could end up in the human shadow: Let’s say that a little girl is born with a definite sense of self. She is confident and asserts her opinion. Now let’s say she’s born into a family that thinks little girls need to be obedient and sweet and quiet. The aspects of her that are confident and assertive will be rejected by the family. So for the sake of survival in the social group, she will also begin to reject those things in herself. She will deny that aspect of herself in order to get love to the degree that as an adult she will most likely be sweet, quiet and obedient. Her life will be painful because she has exiled part of herself. She is divided. As an adult, she may work with someone to discover what feelings or beliefs or memories are part of her subconscious and discover that she is in fact confident and assertive. When she re-owns that aspect of herself, she will have the confidence to create a life that feels good and assert herself to those around her instead of remain obedient to those around her. Now I’ll give you an example of how the negative ends up part of the human shadow: A child is born into a family where anger is not an ok emotion to express. When the child gets angry, he is shamed for that anger so the child suppresses and denies his anger for the sake of survival within the household. But the anger doesn’t go away. He just consciously denies it. It becomes subconscious. As an adult, he will most likely not have any awareness that he has any anger in him at all. He will not and cannot see himself clearly because he has denied that aspect of himself. So when people tell him that he is angry, he will not relate to that at all. He will probably only relate to himself as easy going. If he works with someone to discover the feelings and beliefs and memories that are part of his subconscious, he may discover that he really is angry and that that anger has been coming out all along in passive aggressive ways and hurting the people around him. If he addresses the anger directly, his passive aggressive behavior will cease to exist and his relationships will become much more enjoyable. When we deny, suppress or disown something, it doesn’t disappear. It just fades from our awareness. This is the reason we do so many things that we feel out of control of and this is why we feel so many things but don’t know why and this is why we do so many things without knowing why we are doing them. To acknowledge whatever we have suppressed or denied or disowned into the subconscious, brings up the same fear of rejection that we were met with the first time around, by our parents and caregivers and so it makes us feel like we are going to be exiled or punished again. It sets off our survival mechanisms and thus, makes us feel like we are quite literally going to die… No wonder self-awareness isn’t so easy to attain. Every human in existence that was ever socialized (which is everyone), went through this process of splitting themselves into parts. Parts that are owned and parts that are disowned. This self-rejection is the birth of self-hate. The emptiness that we feel is the result of those missing rejected or disowned parts of our self. And the soul wants one thing, to make us whole again. We will be provided every single opportunity to become whole again and to make the subconscious conscious. But in order to become whole again, we need to see and accept the aspects of ourselves that we disowned and denied and rejected. This is what shadow work is all about.
Unfortunately, shadow work has become a controversial practice, especially in the positive focus community. For this reason, I urge you to watch my YouTube video titled: Shadow work vs. Positive focus. Shadow work can be painful. Self-awareness does not come naturally to those who make a practice of avoiding pain because to become aware of those aspects, you must stop trying to escape the pain and emptiness within you where those missing parts should be. But it is also the key to a consciously aware and free life. In summation, shadow work is now a term used often in spiritual and psychology circles to describe any process (of which there are thousands) that makes the subconscious conscious. The more aware you are of your shadow, the more embodied you are as a conscious being. And no one ever reached enlightenment without confronting their shadow and exposing it to the light of consciousness. Ultimately, shadow work is bringing attention and love to those things that have been previously rejected. And so, if you ask me, shadow work is in fact the highest form of light work you can do.
A long time ago, I was over at a friend’s house for tea. We were discussing the fact that people tend to have a relationship with Source or God that is distant. A bit like the relationship you might have with a distant authority figure like the president or a king. But deliberate manifestation depends upon having a close relationship with Source or God. I confessed that day that I had a love hate relationship with Source because at times, I felt like the universe was on my side and at times, I felt like the universe was against me. This friend of mine suggested that I start having conversations with Source directly, like a wife would speak to her husband. Basically conversing with Source as if I were in an intimate relationship with Source. The idea of speaking directly to Source felt difficult and forced to me. But I am a writer, so I turned this idea into a practice that I still use to this day. I’m going to share this practice with you today.
At the most ultimate level, the level we call Source or God, all is one. All essentially is God and is indivisible from God. So, the living room table is God, your mother is God, your dog is God, the grass growing outside is God. You are God. Everything is just a different expression of this one energy, which is imbued with consciousness that we call God or Source. What does this mean? It means you can mentally bypass the person or the dog, or the grass or the table or your mother and talk to the God in them. It’s a bit like pretending that the only relationship you do have is with Source and that this being called Source is simply expressing itself to you in all these different ways for the sake of your own awareness and growth. So, for example, if you get in a fight with your mother, you can write directly to God about why God (as your mother) decided to make you feel the way you feel.
To do this exercise, purchase a journal. Then every day, write a letter to Source. You may not have had any real connection to Source or God before and that is ok… you will not be ignored just because you’ve never interacted before. And be prepared to find out how you really feel about Source or God or the universe. Pay attention to how you feel writing these letters. This is your time to let yourself really be known to source and to let yourself be honest and to be heard. Be prepared to express some really strong emotions. What you will find is that we overlay the personality of our authority figures in childhood (usually the one we were the most afraid of) over our idea of God and so we expect the same treatment from the universe as we got from them. This means, if you had authority figures who punished you, prepare to discover that down deep, you feel the universe wants to punish you. Remember that Source can handle any and all of your negative emotions, even hate and revenge and anger. It is not like your parents, it will not punish you for the way you feel and it will not hate you for hating it.
These letters can be positive or negative or both. They should be true to however you feel at the moment. Perhaps you will write source a love letter one day or a praising letter the next or a letter asking for something or a letter to express how much source has hurt you and why. Ask any questions you’ve been dying to know. This exercise is like prayer on steroids. Here are two example letters that my clients were so kind to lend me for this episode:
1. Dear God, When I was standing in line today at the grocery store, you smiled at me as a little boy. It made me remember that I am taking life too seriously and that I need to play again so I made a decision, I decided I’m going to take my son mountain biking this weekend. I need you, as my boss to let me have an extra day off. I’m going to ask you for that day off tomorrow. Please say yes. I don’t want to be put into the position again where I have to choose between making one person mad to make another one happy. Why do you do that to yourself? Put yourself as me, in between two people who want two different things so you, as me have to choose between them? I hate this feeling. It makes me feel like I’m 6 years old again choosing which parent to go with after the divorce. What decision did you want me to make? Why keep putting me in the situation over and over again. I don’t understand it, please help me understand it. Thank you for becoming the sunset tonight. I love when you turn into a sunset. I am proud of myself because ever since I started trying to notice the little things in my life that make me happy, I am seeing things like sunsets again and life feels more livable. I hope that you are proud of me too. I really want you to put more little things to appreciate in my path this week. I’ll be looking for you in them. Thank you for the little things. 2. Dear God, Why do you hate me? Why do you want me to hurt so much? You know what I want. I want safety and belonging and to feel valued, so why did you, as my husband leave me today? Why have you, as my husband been ignoring me, shaming me, punishing me and making me feel like I’m unlovable for months? Why did this have to happen? I do not understand what you want from me. Leaving me is not loving me. Why does it have to be the hard way? Why do you, as people have to find out how to feel love before you get love to feel rich before you get rich. Why can’t you just help yourself out once in a while by becoming a man who will love a woman even if she’s never felt loved before? Why are you so unfair? Sometimes I think you want me to suffer. What do you like about suffering? I’m tired of the idea that suffering leads to enlightenment or happiness, I don’t think it’s worth it. Please stop torturing me. Stop leaving me through all these people. Please stay with me instead. I need your help, please help me?
After you write your letter, just remain open to receiving answers or messages to your letters in the world around you. Some will be subtle; others will not be so subtle. If you don’t recognize any return messages, don’t stop the exercise; simply write letters asking why you aren’t seeing messages, or why Source is ignoring you.
Also, when you have finished each letter, do a little exercise in self-awareness. After you write your letter to Source, mentally exchange “Dear Source” with “Dear Self” and then each time you say “you” referring to source, mentally exchange it with “I”. So a line that read “why are you punishing me?” Is changed to “why am I punishing me?” We do this to see how a great many of the things that cause you to suffer, are in fact things you’re doing to yourself. And also how a great many of the things you credit to God, you are doing for yourself. Once you have done this, exchange “Dear Source” for Dear Mom” or “Dear Dad”(try both to see which parent you overlay with source) and then read the letter over as if you have written it to that parent. This exercise will show you the true origins of your feelings towards God and also what unresolved wounds are still present from childhood. This exercise can release trauma we’ve been holding for years. If you don’t like writing letters, you can speak or think your messages out to God as if you’re talking to the universe directly. If any of you saw the amazing scene in Forest Gump where Lieutenant Dan is screaming at God from the crows nest of the ship and the peace he felt after the interaction, have a picture of how this can go.
After a time, you will begin to feel like you have a connection to source everywhere you go, and a secure one. You will begin to feel source in everything and everyone. It may even turn into your primary attachment relationship. You will feel much less alone and your manifestations will be amplified greatly. You want to work towards a relationship of trust and closeness and connection with the universe itself. It will make life seem livable and safe and abundant. But for some of us, this journey to closeness with the universe will begin with the realization about how disconnected, distrusting and hurt we feel with Source or God. Screaming at God is still a better relationship than no relationship at all. So try it out for yourself.
You have one option when it comes to your needs and that is to meet them. I’m going to repeat what I just said so it sinks in… Your one option when it comes to needs is to meet them. Why is this your one option? Because if you do not meet those needs consciously, you will meet them subconsciously. This is what manipulation is. Manipulation carries a big stigma and makes it sound as if someone is malevolently controlling someone else. In reality, it is highly subconscious and also quite innocent.
MEETING OUR NEEDS SUBCONSCIOUSLY
Manipulation is what we do when we feel we cannot meet out needs directly, so instead we try to meet them in round about ways. We try to influence others to do what we want them to do so our needs are met. For example, a person who needs to feel safe but who cannot ask directly to be protected, may create a situation where they have to be rescued by someone else or paint the false picture that they are in danger so other people will step up and offer their protection. Or, a person who needs help or needs to feel supported, but who cannot ask directly for help or support, may develop an illness that makes it so people have to help or support them. Or a person who needs to feel accepted, but who can’t seek that out directly, will become a chameleon to try to influence people to accept him or her. Every one of us manipulates. The question is to what degree are we conscious of that manipulation?
Some common ways of manipulating people are lying, dropping hints, guilting others, self sacrificing, being passive aggressive or using emotional punishment against them, flattering people insincerely, being a chameleon, being seductive, making false promises, doing favors, making yourself out to be the victim and making threats etc. Keep in mind that we all use what we have, so we will usually manipulate people with whatever is currently working to our advantage. For example, a spiritual medium may use their abilities to “divine” messages for you from God simply to keep you dependent on them and thus guarantee that you will never leave them. Manipulation doesn’t make you a bad person, but dare to take a look at your life and ask yourself, how do I manipulate? In what ways do I ensure that I will get the reaction I want from others instead of just asking for what I want upfront? In what ways do I think I can meet other people’s needs just so that they can meet mine?
Manipulation will always feel out of alignment with your own sense of integrity because if you are manipulating, you are not being authentic. So a good question to ask yourself might be… What things cause me pain or make me feel ashamed of myself that I cannot give up or get over or stop doing? For example, a person might find that even though it causes them pain to cut themselves, they cannot give it up because when they cut, they get people to stop what they are doing and attend to them with concern. Therefore the cutting is a way of meeting their need to be seen and understood. Also, take a look at what was not ok to need or want in your family. We tend to manipulate to get the needs met which we feel are not ok to have, especially emotional needs. And once you find those needs, ask yourself one by one, how do I go about getting this need in my life currently?
BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO BE VULNERABLE
Stopping ourselves from manipulating is difficult for one major reason… it requires us to be brave enough to be vulnerable. We have to be willing to admit to needs that we feel are not ok. Once we become conscious of our manipulation, it no longer feels good to do the manipulative thing that we were doing and we will naturally find ways to replace our way of meeting that need. When we catch ourselves in the act of manipulating, we can ask ourselves, “What is it that I am trying to get by doing this?” And then we can express that need directly or meet that need directly in another way.
Get in touch with what you want and what you need. You’ve got to take the time or take pauses over the course of the day to ask yourself what you really need or really want. If you need help, look on the Internet for a list of needs. Physical, mental and emotional needs. And from those lists, make a list of your individual needs. Then, when you feel negatively, go to the list and identify the need you have and find ways to fulfill that need or express it to others. In my community, sometimes we bring these sheets of needs to someone in the community and ask them to point to the one they need. Another good exercise to do throughout the day is to ask the inner child what it needs. Inner children are better at picking out the need they have from a list than they are at verbally expressing it. With each and every need, you can then brainstorm ways to meet the need yourself and have the need met by others. Involve other people in this brainstorming task if you get stuck. If you are truly clueless about your needs and wants, take a look at what you know that you don’t want. To the other side of those aversions, are preferences. You may have heard of the hungry ghost, which represents greed… the concept that if you begin to give into your needs, they never stop and you just keep wanting more and more. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. Imagine for once that a need that is met is a need that is met and that if you meet a need, you will feel satiated. The truth is greed is not a natural state… because starvation is not a natural state. If one’s needs were met consistently, one would not become concerned with the self-centered desire to hoard resources. Hoarding only occurs in the presence of the fear of scarcity. So not meeting your needs is a great way to become greedy.
No need is too childish… It’s tempting to see needs like being held or like being comforted as childish needs. But these needs often exist because they were not met within us in childhood. If a need isn’t met in childhood, we never actually mature past that point. And it may be tempting to think that if we start to meet the needs of the inner child as an adult, that the inner child will never be satiated. But it will and the result of satiating the inner child’s needs is that the inner child grows up. In other words, if needs were not met in childhood, they must be met FOR us to grow up. And as a side note, they will be met by us in round about ways whether we like it or not, in fact most of the sexual fetishes in the world are actually about unfulfilled childhood needs. I’ll tell you personal story. I was not protected as a child and some time ago, I realized that I needed to feel safe and didn’t especially when I was sleeping at night. So I directly asked one of my housemates to sleep next to me. I found that the next day, I felt much more secure in the world. Now let me ask you a question, would it have been better to deny this need because it was childish? Would that have made me a “better person?”
YOU ARE DEPENDENT ON OTHER PEOPLE
You may think you are needless, want less or anti-dependent. You may think you don’t need anything from anyone. But in this world, you are dependent on other people. You need them and they need you. This doesn’t mean you are powerless. When you are in the space of thinking you don’t need anything from anyone, you are too afraid to be vulnerable and so you don’t ask for what you need and so your subconscious runs the show, getting you what you need in all kinds of round about and highly manipulative ways that you may not even recognize.
The reality is it’s scary to acknowledge your needs to others, after all someone might say NO to your needs. But I want you to think about it this way… If you were honest about your needs from the get go, people who could not meet those needs would gravitate away and people who could meet those needs would gravitate to you and your life would look a lot different than it does currently. And guess what? It makes us happy to meet each other’s needs. And meeting someone’s needs, might just meet your own simultaneously. For example, one of us might feel happy when we are meeting someone’s need for comfort. Meeting their need for comfort may in fact meet our need for connection. On the flip side, another of us might feel like meeting someone’s need for comfort is as pleasurable as getting our teeth pulled, meeting their need for comfort may in fact conflict with our need for autonomous achievement. So we simply need to allow ourselves to line up with and select people whose needs are met by meeting our needs. You might just be surprised… the people around you might just be relieved to know what your needs are and to be able to meet them. A good question to ask yourself is, what needs make me happy to meet?
MULTIPLE RESOURCES TO MEET YOUR NEEDS
And for those of you who are wondering, what if the person you have chosen for a partner doesn’t want to meet your needs, here’s your answer… Ideally, your needs would be met through various people, not just one. Powerless dependence happens most often when one person is your sole resource for your needs getting met. But you have to be very honest with yourself about what needs you specifically want to have met through a partner and which ones you are ok with getting through someone else. This is an individual preference. And if you find that the needs you specifically want to have met by a partner cannot be met through your partner, let yourself find another partner. Honoring a person when they say No to meeting your needs is a very important thing because it means you can put them in the proper place in your life. For example, if one of your needs in a partnership is emotional availability and your partner can’t be emotionally available, you can now choose to take them out of the role of partner and place them in a friendship role in your life or you can choose to alter your expectation of a partner if that is possible or you can choose to be unfulfilled in that partnership. In my opinion, it’s better to not make each other miserable, resenting each other for things you aren’t providing for each other.
To expand upon the idea of needs, I want you to listen to my video on YouTube titled: The Zebra and The Watering Hole. And I also want you watch my video on YouTube titled “dependence vs. independence.”
There is nothing spiritual about denying yourself of things you want and need. Letting yourself have what you want and need does not turn you into a selfish, entitled, or otherwise bad person. Letting yourself have what you need is food for the soul. So my challenge to you this week is to discover your needs, admit to them and then meet those needs directly. Yes, it will require bravery because it will make you feel vulnerable. But it will also place you squarely in your authenticity and it will give you the best shot at feeling nourished that you’ve ever had.
The best way of describing indecision is that you are in a “frozen state” where you are stuck and you feel powerless to get free. The course of our lives is determined by decisions and so the happiness of our lives, depends upon them. We are on this earth for the purpose of expansion and progression and so when we are stuck where we are, especially if where we are is uncomfortable, our soul pulls at us to move forward and expand and the resistance we have to that movement is felt as extreme negative emotion.
First off, it is important for the sake of awareness to be aware that if you have a difficult time making decisions as an adult, you often find that as a child, you experienced one or both of two traumatic “freeze states”. The first is an experience (or many) where you felt like you couldn’t win no matter what you did. The classic damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario. The second is an experience (or many) where there was a high degree of value placed on right or wrong, success or failure. So you experienced painful consequences as a result of making the choice that your adult caregivers thought was wrong. This created a fear of making the wrong choice.
Let’s just jump right into it… what the hell should you do about you indecision?
1. If we can’t make a decision, it is because we fear the consequences. So ask yourself, “What do I think the consequences are of each potential decision?” In the western world, when we feel stuck because we can’t make a decision because we fear negative consequences on both sides, we call this being stuck between a rock and a hard place. So the question to ask yourself is, “What is the rock and what is the hard place?” What bad thing will happen if I make either decision? What does this consequence mean?
2. When you find what you are afraid of… face it. You will find that your worst-case scenarios deal directly with childhood wounds. Re-visit these wounds. Grant them your unconditional presence. Let’s say your worst-case scenario is abandonment. If you can feel the feeling of abandonment, be with the feeling of abandonment and use the feeling to access the memory of abandonment that is being triggered by the scenario you are currently in. To learn this process, watch my video on YouTube titled: “How to Heal the Emotional Body”. When we integrate these childhood wounds, we will not feel the same way towards what we are afraid of. Potentially, if you chronically struggle to make decisions, you will even be lead to memories where you suffered as a result of making decisions as a child or memories where you are stuck in a lose lose scenario. Also, release resistance to the fear by allowing yourself to go to the worst case scenario and deliberately find thoughts to soothe yourself into feeling better about the worst case scenarios so they don’t preoccupy so much of your focus. The more aware we are of what we are afraid of, the more conscious we are and the less power these fears have over us. Find the beliefs you have about those worst-case scenarios. For example, if I think a consequence of making a decision might be, I’ll lose my whole family, then I ask myself, “Why would that be so bad?” and “What am I really afraid of about this worst case scenario and what it means?” The answer might be, if I lose my family, I’ll be all-alone. This is a belief I can work with. I can question the belief and change the belief. My favorite process for questioning a belief is offered by Byron Katie, it is a process called “The Work”. If you want to change a belief, you can watch my video on YouTube titled ‘How to Change a Belief”.
Remember that the meaning you give something controls how you feel. We have to be willing to alter the meaning of an experience if we want to feel better about it. And how we feel about something controls the decision we will make about something, or whether we will make a decision at all.
3. Once we have done that, we can take a look at each of these worst case scenarios and ask ourselves, “What is this potential consequence making me aware that I want?” Any time we are experiencing negative emotion or fear, we have keen awareness of what is unwanted. To the opposite side of that unwanted experience, we are coming into the awareness of what is really wanted. This is one of the main gifts of indecision. When we are in a space of indecision, we are gaining clear awareness about what it is that we truly want as well as the awareness of who we really are. First and foremost, we are becoming aware that what we want is clarity and to know ourselves and what we want. From there, our job is to focus on what we want. Focus is everything when it comes to decisions. If I focus on the fact that I don’t know, I’m giving more energy to not knowing and so I get more of that in my life. If I focus in an unconscious way on what I don’t want, I get more of that in my life. And so, I must focus on what I want, for the clarity of what decision to make to come into focus. If you’re struggling to figure out what you want, watch my video on YouTube titled “How to Discover What You Want”.
4. If we really can’t make a decision, we need to release resistance to the idea of having to make a decision and instead focus ourselves into alignment. In layman’s terms this means we have to deliberately focus at anything that causes us to feel good. In the universal sense, the minute we know what we want (which can be conscious or subconscious), our higher self already becomes the vibrational equivalent of that thing and we are then pulled towards it as if by a huge magnet. When we are focused on things that cause us to feel bad, we are turned in the opposite direction of it and when we are focused on things that cause us to feel good, we are turned in the direction of it. So if we will focus upon anything that causes us to feel good about any subject, we are allowing ourselves to flow towards what is wanted and then the opportunities and people and circumstances that are a match to what we want, come into manifested reality. It is very easy to then feel clear about the decision we need to make. The decisions made from a space of feeling good, are always the right decisions for you personally. The actions taken from a place of feeling good are always the right actions to take.
When it comes to making an important decision, unless you feel so inspired about taking an action that nothing could keep you from it, you are not ready to take action yet and so the order of the day is to just focus positively and release resistance to the negative that arises until the action you need to take feels undeniable. So, how does this look practically? Let’s say that you have to decide whether to end a relationship or not. But you just can’t decide. It seems like pain either way. You face and release resistance to the potential consequences of both staying in and ending the relationship by revisiting and integrating the wounds that are being triggered from childhood. You soothe yourself into feeling better about the potential consequences and question and change your thoughts about the consequences. You then focus on what this scenario is causing you to know that you want. So let’s pretend that it is causing you to know that you want to know yourself and what you want so clearly that you are confident of what decisions to make. Perhaps it is causing you to know that you want a partner that you are sure you want to be with because the relationship feels supportive and safe and consistent. You visualize what already having those things in your life would look alike or feel like. You think about why you want those things. You deliberately choose thoughts and things to focus on that make you believe it is possible for you. You look for ways you already do have those things you think you lack in your life already. OR if it’s too hard to focus on what you want, you focus on anything general that feels good like gratitude lists, funny movies, exercise, inspirational speeches etc. What you will find is that eventually, with enough alignment, the decision will become clear to you. You may find that when you are in alignment and thus feeling good, you know that the best choice is to end your relationship and instead of it feeling terrifying, it feels right. Then, you might feel the impulse to call your partner and ask to meet up so you can end the relationship. In other words, your inspired action or inspired decision will become clear to you. And it will be the decision that will bring you to the doorstep of what you want. And then, instead of trying to go find the opportunities and circumstances and people who you think will fulfill your desires, they will come to you and all you will have to do is say yes or no to it. But because you are already in alignment, the saying yes or no to the opportunities will be an easy choice or as we say in America, a no brainer. If we are in alignment and feeling good, the decisions we need to make come to us with no effort.
That sums up the way we intended to make decisions in this life before we came into this life and decided that making decisions was terrifying. But here are some more tips that may help you with your indecision.
1. You need to recognize that no decision is in fact a decision. It is a decision to not decide and this takes you out of the driver’s seat of your life completely. When you decide to not make a decision, a decision will be made for you by life and by those around you. You cannot stop the stream of life and you can’t stop time. There is no pause button on life and so, you have to ask yourself, is it serving me to be in the back seat of life and let the universe or other people decide my life for me right now, or does it not serve me? We have to be really honest with ourselves about the answer to that question but keep in mind that sometimes it absolutely is the best decision to just sit in the back seat and let life make the decision for you. Other times, it is absolute self-sabotage to let life make the decision for you. You already intuitively know whether your decision to not decide, is a beneficial practice of allowing or whether it is self-sabotage and the unwillingness to take responsibility for your own life.
2. No matter what decision you make, you can always make a different decision. Knowing this will help you to feel less stuck and trapped by the decisions you make. This universe is a free will universe and so, you retain the freedom to change your mind always. You can change course at any time and go in a radically different direction. You always have the ability to choose again. Choice is in fact the freedom that no one can ever take away from you. And every single decision we make, brings us closer to knowing the right decision for us specifically. Every decision brings us closer to knowing what we really want. This is important because to create the life we want, we first have to know what we want.
3. You can’t get this life wrong. Because every decision you make only brings greater clarity about what you really want, you are only ever moving closer to the life you came here to live. If you make a choice that feels emotionally wrong to you after you make it, all you did is gain more clarity about what you wanted and thus ads more to universal expansion. And the universe has not decided what is right and what is wrong for you. Free will is about your ability to choose and know what is right for you personally and not anyone else. So, you ultimately can’t make a wrong decision.
4. Take a serious look at your addiction to rightness and goodness. Why do you have to be right or good? What are you trying to get out of it? You cannot struggle with making a decision without first having an addiction to rightness and goodness. You need to look at the universal truth that there is no right or wrong because right or wrong is a matter of perspective. Right and wrong is born out of cultural relativism. Don’t believe me? Look at the world today. If you lived in an Eskimo culture, you would believe there is nothing wrong with killing your infant if you could not reasonably support it. If you lived in American culture, you’d believe someone who killed their infant should go to jail for murder. Your definition of right and wrong depends upon the society and family you were raised in. Hope they were right! And if you’re searching for a universal truth that will allow you to know what is right, here it is… there is no such thing as right or wrong. You can only make decisions based off of what feels in alignment for you personally and we may call that a ‘right decision’. Even if you just took any action and made any decision, that would be progression and movement and would give you more information about what is right for you and what you want.
5. The thing that we may hate about indecision is in fact uncertainty. Sometimes, when we feel the need to make a decision so strongly that we begin to resist indecision itself and feel the desperate urge to make a decision, we hold ourselves in a place of indecision. Whatever we resist persists. When this is the case, we have to take an opposite approach to indecision and become ok with it. For this reason, I want you to watch my YouTube video titled “How to Deal with Uncertainty”. I also want you to get outside the box and think of as may reasons as you can think of for why it is ok to not make a decision. The bottom line is, you will eventually make a decision. As your desires become more obvious to you through your life experience, they will gain strength and momentum and so it will simply become more and more uncomfortable to stay where you are until one day, you will know and the decision will be made. So, if you are feeling desperate to make a decision but don’t know what decision to make, repeat after me… I’ll know when I know. 6. Make your life practice, the practice of increasing your self-concept. The more self worth and self-esteem and self-love you have, the easier it is to make decisions that are right for you. You will have the confidence to know your heart and mind and other people’s approval or lack thereof will not factor into the decision making process. You will no longer be obsessed with how you appear. If you struggle with self worth, watch my videos on YouTube titled “How To Overcome Shame” “How To Develop Healthy Boundaries” and “ How Do I Discover Self Worth”.
7. Trust Your Gut. Trust your intuition. Most of the decisions we are faced with, we already know the answer to; we just don’t have the courage or readiness to act according to the answer we already have. Your intuition will not compete for airtime with your ego, which is ruled by fear. So it will often be the stable, solid, subtle knowing that is always there, just below the surface. The more you live according to your intuition, the louder your intuition will become. Your logical mind is ruled by a very limited perspective where as your intuition is ruled by an objective perspective. Analyzing your choices, often paralyzes you instead of helps you to make decisions. And often no matter how much information you have, making a decision does not get any easier. No matter what, your intuition will never lead you in the wrong direction. But know that the eternal soul has no intention to avoid pain. What it is after is expansion. And so, it often leads us to a learning experience that will provide us with the most expansion and growth. Sometimes this will feel amazing. Sometimes, this will feel like pain. But pain is often the greatest teacher and pushes us to become so much more. So ask yourself, “Is my goal to avoid pain, or is my goal to experience the things that I am wanting?” They are very different things. Also, if you struggle with intuition, you struggle with self-trust. For this reason, it is a good idea to watch my video on YouTube titled: “How to Trust Yourself.”
8. Flip a coin. If you simply must make a decision, you can flip a coin to make the decision and one of two things will happen. Either you will end the stalemate and move forward in the direction that the universe has decided for you, or by flipping the coin, you will become aware of which choice you truly wanted to make and then you can make that decision you are now aware you want to make.
After having outlined my suggestions for dealing with indecision, I could not fail to mention that when we think we have to make a decision between two options, it is often because we are inhibited and limited by our own perspective. If you get outside the box, you will find that almost always, there is a third option or more. So, when you feel trapped between two extremes, practice the art of thinking outside the box and looking for this third option. It is often a blend of the best of both options.
Once you make a decision, do everything you can do to find alignment with the decision you have made. As a creator, do not waste any energy doubting or second-guessing the decision you made. Do everything you can do to find ways to feel good about the choice you made and you will experience joy as a result of consciously allowing yourself to flow with the current of your own expansion. And remember, you cannot make a wrong choice.