It is no secret that the relationships we have with our children teach us more than any other relationships we have. When it comes to evolving as a person, nothing provides a steeper learning curve than parenting does. Much of this is due to the attachment we feel for our children. The love that a parent holds for their child is its own, unique kind of love and it is true that you cannot know or learn from that kind of love unless you become a parent. But just because we love our children more than anything on earth does not necessarily mean that we love parenting. And disliking parenting does not mean that we do not love our children.
Universally, the parent child relationship was designed to be a relationship of contrast. It is a relationship that is meant to show us what we do not want and thus inspire us towards what we do want. As an infant (even if we are born to the best of parents) we still have to deal with the experience of being dependent on someone else. We have to experience being physically out of control of our own well-being. That is not an enjoyable thing to experience for any being. It is contrast, contrast that inspires us to desire autonomy. Staying focused on and lining up with that autonomy is what causes our physical structure to age and begin performing autonomous actions like walking and using utensils to feed ourselves.
As parents, we experience a great many things that are not enjoyable to experience. Things like changing diapers, cleaning up throw up, trying to train our children to get along in a society that we don’t even like most of the time, being responsible for another person’s physical well being, not being able to go somewhere on a whim at eight o-clock at night because we can’t leave our children at home, and listening to a sesame street song so many times in a row that it is now keeping us awake at night (the list goes on and on).
The relationship with our children is also meant to trigger unresolved wounds and suppressed memories and feelings from our own childhood, so that we may integrate those fractured aspects of our being and become more whole. To parent our children well, we must begin to parent our internal child well first; otherwise we will end up repeating the exact same pattern and style of parenting that our parents demonstrated towards us. Parenting provides us with the opportunity to externally parent our inner child. When we parent our children, we have a choice to either parent them the same way we were parented, or to make changes. The changes we make are changes that suit our own child within; a child that did not feel loved unconditionally.
There is a reason that parents have often felt like once they have children their life is over. It is because when we opt into the role of parenthood, we are opting into all of the lessons that go along with that. We are choosing the fast track. Every time we experience those unenjoyable parts of parent hood, it causes us to give rise to the idea of what we would prefer both for ourselves and for our children. For example, when we feel resentment because we have to take care of our children instead of do what we really want to do (like go dancing), we desire our child to be autonomous. Which is a desire that they, themselves share. And our desire for them to achieve autonomy is creating their autonomy. In essence, we co-create the experience of our children physically aging so they can become autonomous.
Childhood wasn’t designed as a purely enjoyable experience; neither was parenting. If it were purely enjoyable, there would be no expansion born from the experience. And there could be no integration of our own past childhood traumas. There would be no forward movement. You wouldn't be inspired towards anything. You wouldn't desire anything new and as a result, you wouldn't create or become anything new. As parents, we have been cultured to believe that the role of parenting is sacrosanct. We are cultured to believe that if we admit that we do not like parenting, that we are somehow betraying and abandoning our children. This is not the case. In fact many people, who are parents, don’t actually like parenting. This resistance to parenting happens because many people, who have children, have not yet integrated the suppressed emotions from their own childhoods and so their own children trigger a kind of post-traumatic stress reaction within them. What these parents love is the connection they have with their children. What they love is those magic moments when their child falls asleep on their chest or takes their first step or enjoys some part of life.
When many people say they love parenting, what they actually love is feeling valid. Being responsible for someone’s well being and being needed makes us feel validated. That is what most people actually enjoy, not the actual act of changing a diaper. For people who do not derive their value from being needed, and who simultaneously lived emotionally painful childhoods, parenting can feel more like torture. But this does not mean that we will be terrible parents. It does not mean that we made a mistake by becoming a parent. And it does not mean that we do not love our children as much as those who are actually validated by their role as parents do.
We perpetuate the lie that we all love parenting because we are so afraid of what it means about us as people if we admit that we don’t. We fear that it makes us a bad person. We’re afraid that other people will think that we do not love our children, and think that we are a bad person because of it. We’re also afraid that our children will personalize it and think that it is their fault that we do not like parenting. But we suffer when we perpetuate the lie that we all love parenting. We feel intense guilt, we feel as if we do not deserve our children and as if we are somehow defective because we don’t enjoy parenting. And the truth is, it is a rare, rare parent who does not secretively feel the same way. We just don’t want to admit it to each other. The real truth is that we are all too afraid to look at our own childhoods, uncover the suppressed emotions from our childhoods and feel them. But as long as we perpetuate the lie that we love parenting, we will never be brave enough to admit to how parenting makes us feel. We will also never face the painful emotional imprints from our own childhoods.
If we admit that we do not like parenting, we are admitting to where we are. We can only move to where we want to be, once we have admitted to where we are. And we can use what we do not like about parenting to re-define parenting. We can re-design our role in our children’s lives so as to experience much more of what we do love about our relationships with our children.
Just because society has defined what parenting is, doesn't mean that definition is correct. In fact, much of what we consider to be good parenting is not good parenting. Most of what we call ‘good parenting’ is in fact conditional love. It is time to ask ourselves if the idea that we have of parenting serves us, or causes us pain. It is time to ask ourselves what we want parenting to be like and start heading in that direction. Great parenting is not the result of doing things the way they have always been done. Great parenting is the result of change, innovation and the bravery to admit to and heal our own childhood pain.
The time has come to differentiate between loving people and loving the roles we play for other people. It might just benefit our children if they grew up understanding the difference between loving a child and loving the act of parenting in general. Culturing this understanding may just allow them to grow into the role of parenthood with eyes wide open, and with full knowledge that it will be a relationship of contrast that is meant to cause the old and buried childhood pain within us, to surface for integration.
We all want to find the key to letting go. After all, this is one of the most important steps when it comes to any form of healing. But most of us get stuck when it comes to letting go because we are missing a puzzle piece relative to what we cannot let go of. That puzzle piece is the piece that ties it all together and it is in fact, the key to letting go. The missing puzzle piece is the hidden positive intention. Every action that is ever taken and every belief that is ever held is taken and held for one reason and one reason only; because the person taking that action, or holding that belief, is convinced that it will enable them to feel better in some way. Another way of saying this is that we only ever engage in something that we think serves us positively in some way. But often this positive intention is buried so deep that we do not have conscious awareness of it. Our healing depends on us being brave enough to uncover and be honest with ourselves about those buried positive intentions. And our ability to live in an open, compassionate way towards others depends on our ability to recognize those buried positive intentions in them. We can take this concept of buried positive intentions even further by applying it to the understanding that we create our own realities. Some of our reality, we create consciously.
Some, we create subconsciously by default. But the truth remains the same that we create even the things that we feel as if we don’t create (things like illness and accidents); and even those things that we feel like we didn’t create are the result of a positive intention. The moral of the story is that there is always a positive reason for the presence of something in our lives. The first question we need to ask ourselves relative to anything that we are struggling with is, “how is fill in the blank positively serving me?” For example “how is getting sick positively serving me?” Sit with the question and allow the answer to surface. The answer may be something like “If I’m sick then other people pay attention to me and so I feel loved”. The second question is “what is the positive intention I have for: fill in the blank?” For example “what is the positive intention that I have for: being sick?” The answer may be that “I’m trying to feel loved”. The positive intention may be different for two people who are experiencing the same negative circumstance. But for the sake of understanding the idea that there are positive intentions behind everything, here is a list of potential hidden positive intentions:
I got fired. My positive intention behind getting fired is that I actually hated my job and I want an excuse to have to start my own business. So the positive intention is I want to start my own business.
I have the belief that I hate traveling. My positive intention behind having that belief is that I will decide to stay home where I feel in control of my environment and feel safe. So my positive intention is to stay safe.
I doubt myself. My positive intention behind doubting myself is that it will prevent me from making a decision so I can’t be held accountable for making the wrong decision. So my positive intention is to avoid shame and maintain external approval from other people.
I beat someone up. My positive intention behind beating someone up is that I felt a sense of power as opposed to powerlessness when I did it. So my positive intention was the desire to feel empowerment.
I lose my temper. My positive intention behind loosing my temper is that when I get angry, everyone shuts up and listens and I suddenly feel control over them. Having control over them makes me feel as if I control my world and that gives me a sense of inner calm and peace. So my positive intention is to feel a sense of inner calm and peace.
I relapsed and drank alcohol again even though I’m part of the 12-step program. My positive intention for relapsing is that I started to get scared that other people would start to expect me to take care of myself if I’m recovered and I don’t feel capable of that yet. So my positive intention was to feel the support of other people.
I cheated on my wife. I started to feel as if I was taken for granted. The other woman made me feel as if I was important and wanted. So my positive intention for cheating on my wife was to feel a sense of significance, to feel wanted and loved.
I have Multiple Sclerosis. I was feeling overwhelmed with all of the pressure that was placed on me at home. I did not feel good about asking for help from my husband who expected me to fulfill my duties as a wife, mother and homemaker. By getting sick, I had an excuse for why he had to help me. So my positive intention for having MS is to avoid having to do things that I don’t want to do and to feel my husband participate in our life together and support me.
I am fat. Being fat allows me to feel warm and hidden and feeling warm and hidden makes me feel not so exposed and therefore safe. So my positive intention for being fat is to feel safe.
I lie. My positive intention for lying is to make myself seem more impressive to other people because I do not feel as If the truth of who I am is good enough. So my positive intention for lying is to feel as if I am good enough and to get approval from other people.
I killed someone. I usually feel separate from people and separate from connection. When I killed them, it felt as if I owned them and as if I was suddenly significant in their lives and that is the closest I’ve felt to human connection. So my positive intention for killing someone was to feel a sense of human connection.
We can always discover higher and higher levels of positive intentions as well. For example, if we find that our hidden positive intention is to gain approval, we can ask ourselves “what is my positive intention for gaining approval?” And the answer may be “to feel loved”. Then we can ask ourselves “what is my positive intention for feeling loved?” And the answer may be “to feel at one with other people and therefore the universe”.
There is a positive purpose and function behind everything in our lives. Everything we experience serves us in some way. It is our positive intention that binds us to our current unwanted experiences. It is our positive intention that binds us to the beliefs and behaviors, which no longer serve us. It is the positive intention that binds us to the things we can’t seem to heal from. If we are brave enough to recognize the positive intention hidden beneath the negative rubble of the things that we are struggling with, we can untie the bond that anchors us to them. Our positive intentions point to our most basic needs. By discovering the hidden positive intentions behind the things we struggle with, we can find different, healthy ways to fulfill our needs so there will be no longer be a reason to perpetuate negative situations in order to meet those needs.
When we are brave enough to search for these hidden positive intentions within ourselves and within others, we can finally recognize the tenderness that is at the heart of every being. We can live from our hearts with compassion. We can finally let go of whatever is causing us pain.
In today’s society, people tend to look at disorders and think, “something has gone wrong”. But this is not the perspective that the universe at large holds. Everything that we experience, serves us in some way and anyone who is experiencing what human society calls “disorder” is being served immensely from the experience. When it comes to autism, it is not just the individual with autism that is positively being served by the experience; it is everyone who comes into contact with them as well. For thousands of years the human species has been left brain oriented. This is a term to describe the state of being limited to awareness only of the physical dimension. This left-brain orientation significantly reduced our ability to connect to source. But for many years the desire for re-connection has been a collective desire within the human species. And so, some beings choose to come in and NOT activate the genes that cause us to phase completely with the physical dimension. Autistic people are not completely phased with the physical dimension. We can compare this to having one foot in physical reality and one foot out of physical reality. When someone is un-phased with the physical dimension, much more source energy is flowing through their body on a daily basis. This increased flow of energy through the brain causes increased neural activity, which then causes the bodily system to become overcharged or over stimulated. This is why we begin to see the classic expression of autism which is: Impaired neurological functioning that is the basis for such things as seizures, aphasias, difficulty performing routine motor tasks, nervous gestures or tics, and other anomalies of nervous system functioning. The nervous system (especially the brain) is the translator between non-physical and physical reality. In other words, it is the translator between pure consciousness and the body as it operates in the physical dimension. When it is impaired in any way, that “translation” cannot take place clearly. The connection with the physical dimension is impaired.
And this is why in autism, we see difficulties with communication, strange thought patterns related to non-ordinary perception, difficulty forming coherent thoughts or forming thoughts whose sequence is intelligible only to the person expressing them. But it is important to understand that it is not their consciousness that is impaired. It is the translation of their consciousness into physical expression (such as language) that is impaired. Autism is always the result of the same thing, which is: Improper phasing with the physical dimension. But a great many things can trigger autism. In the future we will find that even environmental factors such as vaccines, pollutants and pesticides can trigger autism. These environmental factors destroy brain cells. In the first two years of life, myelin (which protects and isolates brain neurons) has not finished growing. This allows bacterial toxins, metal toxins, chemical toxins and other environmental toxins to reach and destroy the budding dendrites and axons; sometimes to the point that they do not grow back. The destruction of these neurons in the brain makes it so that the consciousness of the child cannot properly phase with the physical dimension through the intermediary device that we call “the brain”. We usually notice that a child is autistic when they enter the years where they are developing independence. These are the years that they are incrementally expected to interact with society, which is age 2-4. This is of course the point at which we recognize that the autistic child does not fit into the box that we (and their other caregivers) are trying to stuff them into. We have expectations about normal behavior and they do not fit into those expectations at all. Because of that, we immediately assume something has gone wrong. We try everything we can possibly try to get them to fit into the box. And guess what? They do not fit into the box and we end up making them and ourselves miserable in the process. The reason is this: They did not come here with the intention of fitting into the box. They came here with the intention of helping us to get out of ours! Humanity is moving into it’s next phase of evolution, a phase in which the vibratory rate of the species will increase and we will become much more of a fusion between our spiritual aspect and our physical aspect.
Autistic people are the species link in-between what we are now and what we are becoming. They come in like this for two reasons.
The first is because of the personal expansion that is the inevitable result of the experience.
The second is to force old society to become the new society that we are all in the process of creating.
Our current society is a match to our old left-brain way of being. Take the school system for example; it is a system with does not embrace diversity. Its aim is to get everyone to conform to a standard. This is a contradiction to the original intention for creating the physical dimension. The original intention for the physical dimension was that we would become UNIQUE physical expressions of our eternal selves, and through the variety of the physical reflections caused by that uniqueness, we would have a better idea of what we really desire and what we really are. Conformity is the exact opposite of unique expression. So conformity is something that is in resistance to source itself. Before they even project forth into the physical dimension, these beings that choose autism for their life experience, know that they will encounter resistance. They know they will encounter resistance because they know that many of us who are already manifested here, fear change
This is the very reason that they choose to come here with a visible “problem”. They project forth into the physical dimension in such a way that we cannot get them to conform no matter what. If they had no physical problem, they would be more easily persuaded off of their original intention. If they came in with no visible problem that we can observe, we would never stop trying to put them in a box. And if we didn’t succeed at getting them to fit into a box, we’d put them all in institutions.
But like I said before, they are not here to go into the box, they are here to get us out of ours and so they come into the physical dimension with physical problems that we can look at and say “nothing can be done to make this person conform, they are different”. When we accept their difference, we stop resisting their differences and instead begin to accommodate them. In the process of accepting and accommodating them, we are made to question everything about ourselves as well as the molds that we are stuck in. And now, they are coming into physical reality in such high numbers that our society will not be able to remain the same because society will be forced to accept and accommodate them also. Society will be forced to question itself and change as a result of it. For example, our school systems cannot stay the way they are if the majority of students attending school cannot learn in the way that they are currently teaching students. This is in fact the very reason for the astronomical influx of ADD and ADHD children. Nothing has gone wrong with these children. All that has happened is that beings have come forth with this message to share with the rest of us: “You can not get me to focus on anything other than what I want to focus on”. And it is time we asked ourselves, why should they focus on what we want them to focus on? Is it really in their best interest to try to focus on what we want them to focus on when they have come into a reality where thought creates reality? Do we really want to perpetuate all of the reality we have currently created?
Trying to get a child to focus on something that they do not enjoy focusing on is to put them in a kind of prison. And all too often, when they cannot or do not focus on what we want them to focus on; we corrode their self-confidence by making them feel as if something is wrong with them. In reality, something is wrong with us for trying to make them focus on anything other than what fascinates them in the first place. All learning should be self-initiated. When we, as a society become brave enough to let go of our rigid demands for conformity, it will no longer be necessary for beings to come in with “impairments” that force us to accept instead of resist change. Our race will be the best of both worlds. We will be a species that despite being physically manifested is completely in touch with our spiritual aspect. The health of our society will be the reflection of that connection. These impairments that we have labeled “autism”, are the stepping-stone for the future of the human race. Autism and many other rampant disorders such as ADD and ADHD are the necessary conditions with will cause us to change the way that WE currently are as a collective. When we can let go of our erroneous belief (and expectation) that other people have to change in order for us to be happy, we will have set ourselves free. We will create a world where the cohesive society that we live in, is the totality of everyone following his or her own bliss. And so, it goes without saying that if you take the time to focus on what is blessed about the autistic person instead of on what is wrong with them, you will come to find that there was never an autistic person on earth who did not have a precious gift to share with us. If you view them with the eyes that say that something is wrong with them and that they are limited, then they will come to believe that about themselves. That reality of tragedy and limitation will be the only reality that you can experience relative to them. If you choose instead, to look for the gifts that they bring to the table on a daily basis and choose to see their capability, you will enable them to find their own happiness here and what’s more than that; you will begin to get so far out of the box yourself that you will experience personal freedom. If one of these children has come to you, on one level or another, you have asked for freedom. And so, you are being stretched. So how brave are you? Can you trust your child to know what is right for them? Can you prioritize what you know in your heart will bring the most joy to the life of your child more so than you prioritize what the rest of society says you must do with this child? Can you set yourself free from the ideas that limit you? Can you let go of the illusions that society has sold you, and that you have bought?
Beings who manifest as people with autism are forerunners. They are the forerunners of this transition into a new level of human brain function. They are the forerunners of our new society. They are the forerunners of personal freedom. And they are both a gift and an opportunity to all who experience them. Conformity is the opposite of self-expression and let’s face it, the reason that we struggle with them is because they do not conform. They do not conform to our expectations of how they should act, how they should talk, how they should feel, and what they should focus on. But they have not come here to conform. They have come here to teach us to be who we are as individuals. And they will lead by example.
In 2012 I started a company called Teal Eye LLC. A company aimed at carrying out my vision for this earth. My vision is not mine alone; it is one that many people share. This vision can fit under one title: Positive World Change. I do not want this change because I am of the opinion that the world is somehow broken and needs to be fixed, because it is not. Instead, want this change because I see what is possible for humanity. And I have fallen in love with three little things: Health, joy and freedom.
I have deliberately formed this company in a rather unusual way. It does not pay anyone a salary; not even me, the owner of the company. Everyone who is working with Teal Eye including myself earns their personal income separate from being paid directly by the company. Let me tell you how this works. Let’s say someone has developed a cost effective way to get health food into school, but they do not have the money to start the program and no one is paying attention to them yet. Teal Eye will umbrella them, help fund their idea and help them get the attention that their endeavor needs. The people, who thought up the idea, will make their money directly from their particular idea. The only risk they take, is believing in their idea enough to really take a chance at making it work. Like any normal investor, Teal Eye will be making a small percentage of the income that they generate. That money will then be turned around and go towards other programs, centers or ideas; and process repeats itself. If you do the math, this company will soon build to the point where it is one of the wealthiest companies in the world. Except it will be unbeatable. It will be unbeatable because it does not pay out any wealthy executives. In fact, it has no expenses other than the normal one-time expenses all companies must pay such as lawyer or accountant fees. The real reason that I, Teal Swan am aimed at gaining fame on a worldwide level is that as the figure head for this company, the more fame that I have, the more attention I can draw to these positive endeavors. So the people, who have great ideas for positive world change, will piggyback on the fame that I accrue. And we all know that money follows fame. So it will only build on it ‘self. There will also be a non-profit associated with the company called “Headway” which accepts donations and whose goal is the exact same thing as it’s parent company Teal Eye; positive world change. The money that comes in through Headway will go in the direction of anyone who would benefit most by the money but who does not have plans to make money with their good idea, such as other non-profits, disaster relief organizations and humanitarian efforts. If you think of a company as if it is a giant ship, the more money that is being paid out, the more holes are poked in the bottom of the ship. My goal is to have as little holes poked in the bottom of the boat as possible. In other words, money is energy. I want as little energy as possible to drain out of this company. This will enable it to grow into a monster. But this time, the monster is on the side of the people. It is on the side of joy, equanimity, peace, unity, health and freedom.
As of now, Teal Eye makes its money from the workshops I hold and the things that I, personally create. None of that money actually goes towards supporting my personal life. So for example, when I hold a workshop, it doesn’t go towards my mortgage or towards a car payment or towards food or towards a shopping trip, instead it builds up in an account so that I can turn that money around and put it directly into investments and begin carrying out the vision of the company.
So you might ask, why have I created a company like this? Why do we need to generate as much capital as we possibly can? In today’s society, money rules the world. Money even rules and directs our governments. So if you want to have influence over things like the government and the medical industry (like I do), you need to build a formidable adversary. It is true that it is unusual for a spiritual type like myself to want to build a financial empire, but I came into physical life on the day that I did (June Sixteenth, which is the day of the capitalist) to teach by example what true capitalism is; and true capitalism is conscious capitalism. I love money. Money is a fictional idea that has the power to create incredible ugliness or unparalleled beauty, depending on the mind that wields it. It is true that we could change this society by “going off the grid” as many conscious spiritual individuals choose to do. But because of where most people are in their lives today and because of how plugged into the system most of us are, this will not happen in large enough numbers to make a difference. So, a better way of going about it is to stay connected enough to the machine to become an important part of the machine, and then to change the machine from within.
To give you an idea of some of the things that Teal Eye will be involved with here is a small list:
*End of life care
*The education system
*Food industry reform
*Criminal Justice reform
Everything is consciousness. A person is a unit of consciousness. A race is a unit of consciousness. A country is a unit of consciousness. But what most people don’t know is that a company also has it’s own consciousness. And so, in a way, a company becomes it’s own entity. And I intend to build a company so driven and so large in its quest for positive world change that nothing can come up against it. Not even the creators, directors and CEOs themselves. I trust myself completely when it comes to carrying out this vision without becoming corrupt along the way; but just so you understand the depth of my dedication to what I have created, I will tell you that I have put controls in place to ensure that if anyone involved with Teal Eye (even myself) should fall out of alignment it can not effect the intention or direction of the company.
I do not think of Teal Eye as my company. I may have given birth to it and even though the legal paper work won’t reflect this truth, Teal Eye belongs to everyone who is associated with it. The company belongs to the volunteers who lend their time to it, the accountants who make sure it’s numbers are in order, the people who participate in it’s programs, the people who create ideas for it to invest in. Anyone who benefits by this company, is contributing to the vision and survival of this company and so, it belongs to all of us. It is our baby so to speak. Everyone that is involved with Teal Eye, shares the beautiful idea that I personally am so dedicated to; and the idea is this: That we can live free and healthy lives here on this earth, supporting one another, following our bliss. I am dedicated to that idea. In fact, my life revolves around it. My joy is in turning that idea into a reality. And so I will.
Have you ever wondered why even the smartest people make dumb decisions when it comes to love? You have probably heard the expression “we are all fools in love”. But a little known fact is that there is an actual biological reason why.
Humans are born about three months premature. If we were born completely developed (the way that most other mammals are) we would not be able to fit through our mother’s birth canal. Because we are born immature, we have absolutely no way of meeting our own needs in the first few months of life, and so our survival is entirely dependent on our caregivers. More than that, our survival is entirely dependent on our caregivers loving us. The first thing we learn in our lives is that if our caregivers do not love us, our needs won’t be met and we will eventually die. Because of this, it becomes very important that we do anything we can to get love because our brain (the organ that is in charge of ensuring our survival) equates love to survival. The sympathetic nervous system is in charge of our survival response. The part of our brain called the hypothalamus (which is a very primitive part of the brain) triggers our sympathetic nervous system to react when it perceives danger. We call this reaction the fight or flight response. The fight or flight response is an intelligent design as far as evolution is concerned because it enables us to jump out of the way of oncoming danger in a split second; as opposed to using our more evolved, rational processes to asses whether something is in fact a danger to us before jumping out of the way.
The hypothalamus accomplishes this survival technique by “hijacking” the rest of the brain. It releases signals that override the parts of our brain that are in charge of reasoning (such as the cortex). The parts of our brain that are in charge of reasoning are the parts that we associate with intelligence. But those parts of our brain are not the parts that are in charge of our behaviors or actions when our survival is threatened. Only the most primitive parts of our brain are in charge of our behaviors and actions when our survival is threatened. So what does this mean for humans and love?
Because humans harbor a deep-seated association between love and survival, when we feel as if we need love from someone, suddenly our survival mechanisms are triggered. The part of our brain that begins to rule relative to the object of our love is our primitive brain. When our primitive brain is in charge of our behaviors and actions, we can no longer remain rational relative to whatever we want love from. Our evolution has primed us to act for survival before we act for logic. Our thinking mind is incapacitated. And when we feel threatened with the possibility of loosing love, our bodies react as if our survival is being threatened. In other words, when it seems as if we are loosing love, we biochemically react in a similar way to how we would act if we were being held under water. We cannot understand that the matter at hand is not a matter of life and death. This is the real reason that it feels so risky to stop seeking approval from others. This is the real reason that it seems so risky to end relationships that no longer serve our highest good. And this is the real reason that even the smartest people act like fools when it comes to love.
There is a belief among spiritual people that goes like this: “I should be able to do it all alone and entirely in my own head”. This damaging belief (though incorrect) is the by product of many universal truths. For example, it is a universal truth that lasting happiness, is happiness that comes from within (as the result of deliberate focus) as opposed to happiness that is dependent on what other people do or do not do. After all, we know that we loose our power to choose to be happy when we wait for and depend on the outside world to change first so that we can be happy when we look at it. But this often causes us to believe that we should never ask for what we want and need, instead we should simply submit to the way things are and try to force ourselves to love what we do not actually love. Another example is the truth that the world is a reflection of our mind. Though true, it gives rise to the idea that we should never ask for or take action towards a change. For example, we think we shouldn’t ask for a change in a relationship because if our partner or friend is behaving in ways that do not benefit us, it is our fault anyway. They are merely reflecting us. So we think the correct answer is to not take any action, withdraw and try to work to improve ourselves alone; instead of voice our needs to the people in our lives and take any action we feel inspired to take in order to go in the direction of happiness. We begin to think that the virtuous and correct thing to do is to do everything alone and take no action until we reach a state of mental perfection. Not only is this impossible, it was not how we were meant to live our lives. Actions we take have the power to improve our thoughts just like the thoughts we improve can subsequently improve our actions. To highlight this in an extreme way, think of a person who is being abused. We may understand that the abuse is a manifestation of their relationship with themselves. But that does not mean that they need to learn how to improve their mentality and love themselves while simultaneously “taking the punches” that they are manifesting. Perhaps standing up for themselves is the most self-loving thought and subsequent action that they could take. And I can tell you, it will not feel good to walk by a person that is being abused and say, “ Well I guess they chose that, I’d better let them live out the consequences of that choice”. Love is not inactive. It is also not independent. And we need to remember that they have manifested us showing up at the perfect time to defend them every bit as much as we have manifested them needing to be defended by us. They have subconsciously, non-verbally asked the universe for our arrival and managed to align with that desire enough that we could manifest into their experience to defend them.
Most of us who have committed to spiritual practice, forget that the most self-loving thing to do is to consciously ask for what we need and want. We also forget that sometimes the most self-loving thing to do is to take action. For example, we may find ourselves in an unhappy marriage with someone who has a number of personality traits we do not like. Because of our knowledge of spiritual truth, we may stay in that relationship for years, telling ourselves that we should be able to love that person unconditionally no matter what they do. We tell ourselves that we should be able to change enough about ourselves that the relationship will end up enjoyable. That may be true, that we are capable of loving people unconditionally, (and will be happier when we focus positively about them) but it is not self-loving to commit to a romantic relationship with someone who is not compatible with us and whose desires are not compatible with ours. In other words, just because you unconditionally love someone, doesn’t mean you’d choose to be married to him or her. Just because you can direct your focus positively and thus feel good, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t ask for what you want and need. It’s ok if the person you ask doesn’t provide that for you.
The point is that you need to learn to ask for what you need and want from the universe. Maybe the things you want and need, will be provided by the person you ask directly. Maybe you’ll provide yourself with those things, or maybe someone else entirely will provide you with what you have asked for. Either way, the only needs and wants that will be met, are the ones that we acknowledge, explore and allow. We need to remember that we are the only ones who are manifesting in our own experience. It is an illusion when we think that someone else is providing us with what we need because after all, we have manifested them into our lives and so, we are providing ourselves with our own needs whether that takes the form of another person giving it to us or not. We need to remember this truth! And then, we simply need to ask ourselves: “Does the way that this need is being met currently make me feel powerful or not powerful?” If the answer is powerful, things should stay as they are. If the answer is not powerful, it is time to change the way the need is being met. Here is an example: If my sense of security is coming to me in the form of a mate that is financially supporting me. I am the one that created that stability for myself because I manifested that person into my life. So, does it feel good and do I feel in control of my reality because I realize that I manifested my own security through them? Or do I feel powerless to security because I manifested it through another person instead of through a job that I hold down myself? If the former, there is no need to change the situation. If the latter, it is time to manifest a new way to provide myself with security. In this scenario, there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to manifest my security through another person who financially supports me. If I’m in alignment with that desire, I’ll attract someone into my life that enjoys doing that for me and thus wants to financially support me. If I’m in alignment with that desire, the desire won’t come from the resistant idea that I am incapable of providing myself with security. It will simply come from the pure desire to have the experience of being supported financially by someone else.
We forget the universal truth that this is an interdependent universe. Everything we ask for comes through someone or something else, but it is still us creating it for ourselves. It is still our manifestation if it comes through the venue of another person. So, if we align with what we want and need and ask for those things from others and they actually meet those needs or desires, it is still our manifestation. We are still in power. If we do not ask for our wants and needs, it is because we do not think they are meant to be ours. And we limit ourselves because of the way we think those things should and shouldn’t come to us.
It is time that we questioned our beliefs further. It is time that we stop measuring ourselves next to unloving expectations and standards. Independent manifestation is not in conflict with asking others for what you want and need. If other people are just a reflection of yourself, why not ask them for what you want and need. It is after all you… asking you.
You have most likely heard every spiritual teacher (including myself) explain that a key ingredient to happiness is to provide yourself with what you are looking for from others. For example if you want your partner to make more money, find a way to make it yourself. Or if you want love, begin to love yourself. And it is true that providing yourself with what you want to receive from others is away to gain your power back and to become the creator of your own life. But I want to offer you a brand new perspective on this topic.
You are creating your reality whether or not the things you create come through yourself or through the venue of someone else! The reason the first practice (providing for yourself what you want from others) works so well is because it puts the power back in your hands. It reminds you that you are the creator of your experience and what you give to yourself; the world will begin to reflect. But there is another way of going about this as well and that is to have the realization that even if you are lining up with others to provide you with what you need, it is you creating that experience in your reality. So ultimately it is you providing those things for yourself.
In human culture there is a lot of emphasis put on the idea that it is not ok to use people for our own benefit. This is why we don’t like to ask people for help. We worry that asking people for what we need and want is “using” them. The problem with this belief is that this is what we do every day. We use people. It is not possible to do anything other than this. You are using everything in your life and every one in your life as a tool to increase your happiness. For example, you are using your lover. You’re using him or her as a tool to increase your own joy and self worth. You are using your children. You are using them to feel as if your life matters. You are using your friends. You’re using them to feel a sense of security.
A healthy relationship is one that is mutually beneficial; and by mutually beneficial we mean a relationship where you are using each other in beneficial ways. And you know what? People want to get used! We all love being useful. If someone in our experience has a problem with being used, it isn’t because of being used, it’s because they feel as if their use is not valued. So, if you feel “used” by someone in the traditional sense of the word, it is not an issue of being used, it’s an issue of self worth. I am a spiritual guide. People use me to increase their happiness. People use me to feel better about themselves. People use me to gain security about their existence and the universe we live in. And being used by them in this way is my number one favorite thing to do on this earth. So I am using them to increase my happiness just like they are suing me to increase theirs. Everyone on this planet is out for their own happiness; and there is nothing wrong with that. Even those who self sacrifice do it because they think they will feel better about themselves if they self sacrifice. So even the most devout self-sacrificers of our time, self sacrifice because of the belief that doing so will make them happier. That is a selfish motive. There is nothing wrong with being out for your own happiness. That was the design of physical life. You came down into this separate perspective that you call by your name with one job and that job is to find your own individual happiness. Our problem on this planet is not selfishness. It is that we wont let ourselves be selfish. We wont let ourselves go in the direction of our own individual joy; and because of that, we get cut off from our joy to the degree that revenge and violence is a vibrational improvement from the powerlessness that we feel. If we did nothing other than selfishly chase our own happiness, we would never end up so vibrationally low that an improvement is revenge and violence. This world would be one of unity and love. And we must not forget that in a world where oneness is the truth of this universe and separateness is only an illusion, you can’t actually find happiness for yourself without finding it for the rest of all that is. We cause profound problems on this planet when we harbor the illusion that gaining happiness for yourself takes happiness away from others.
Most of us don’t feel like we’re creating our own reality. And so most of us feel powerless when we are getting what we need from others. But this is because we do not see that we are the ones creating the experience of these very people who are providing us with our need. This is an interdependent universe. It’s time to realize it. Step one… you come to earth and you’re dependent on it. You need what it produces to survive. And as you grow up, your dependence only increases. You are dependent on the mail carrier to carry your mail, the road workers to repair the roads, and the Internet providers to provide the Internet. You are dependent on the earth to grow your food, the farmers to bring the food to the market and the market to keep them fresh and available for purchase. The truth is, you are manifesting your happy life through all of these things. You created the earth and the food and the farmer and the store. You can choose to see them as separate entities and therefore feel powerless to them for your own survival, or you may see them as extensions of yourself and thus realize that you are merely manifesting your needs through them currently. This realization puts you in touch with the fact that you are the powerful creator of your own abundance. I can highlight this truth most easily by changing your perspective relative to a relationship that is popularly regarded as shameful; the relationship between a “sugar baby and a sugar daddy”. A sugar baby, sugar daddy relationship is an intentional relationship between woman who is usually younger and highly attractive and a man who usually older and financially wealthy. What most people don’t see is that the sugar baby and sugar daddy are not using each other any more than any other couple uses each other. Couples who love each other for societally acceptable things (such as character traits) use each other because those character traits (like a sense of humor or an affectionate nature) cause each respective partner to feel happier. The bottom line is, we are using our partner for our own happiness. A sugar baby uses a man for her happiness. It just so happens that what she has decided adds to her happiness is financial abundance and freedom. The sugar daddy uses a woman for his happiness. It just so happens that what he has decided adds to his happiness is having something beautiful to look at and the power he feels when his company is kept by something that other people perceive as valuable. But guess what? In this previous scenario, the sugar baby manifested her own abundance. She is not powerless to the man’s abundance. She has simply manifested her own abundance through a man; and there is nothing more or less virtuous about manifesting money through a man than manifesting it through a job.
So what is the variable? The variable is knowing that you are powerful instead of powerless. The variable is knowing that whether you manifest what you want through another person or not, it was still your manifestation. It was still your creation. And so, when we ask ourselves is it ok to use people? The answer is yes. We do it all day every day. And it just so happens that using people and loving people does not have to be a contradiction in terms. If we have lined up with someone who resents the way we are using them, it means that we, ourselves do not feel good about using them in that way. And this is nothing more than the byproduct of our unquestioned beliefs. Once you question your beliefs, you just might find that there is someone who would love to be used for that thing. You are not in this universe to do it all alone. You are not here to provide every single thing for yourself. The fact of the matter is simply that for most, it is easier to provide the things we want from others, for ourselves than it is to change our beliefs about deserving what we want from others (as well as change our beliefs about it being ok to use others by manifesting what we desire through them).
It’s impossible not to use others. You could become a hermit and you’d still be using something. If nothing else, you’d be using the earth to survive. That’s what we came here for. We came here to use one other. It is by using others that we gain expansion. But before we came here, we did not harbor the illusion that we were separate so we understood we’d ultimately be using our self for the benefit of our own expansion. We understood that our one self would merely appear in the physical dimension to be many separate beings. People should be used. They want to be used. And if you find alignment with this previous statement, you can only ever meet people whose joy will be satisfied by being used by you. If you find alignment with this previous statement, you can never again feel incapable of creating your own reality; because you’ll realize that you’re doing it whether it seems like someone else is doing it or not. Even if you use someone else to fulfill your wants, you’re the one doing it. You were the one that manifested that person into your reality in order to provide yourself with those desires. This is a very important shift in perspective if we want to live happy, interdependent lives here on plant earth. The question to ask yourself is not: Am I providing myself with my own needs and wants? because you are. The question is: Does the way I’m manifesting my experience (whether that be love or money or self worth) feel good to me? Does it make me feel powerful and capable? Or does it make me feel powerless and incapable?
It is a common and preciously tended belief in the spiritual community that balance in humanity will only be restored when divine feminine rises to power and the tyranny of man falls. This belief is held especially tight by women who have spent their lives feeling powerless to men; and men who have resisted the masculine energy within themselves out of mercy for women. But I’m going to tell you today that this perception is incorrect. The restoration of balance within the human race is not about decreasing masculine power while increasing feminine power; as if we were sitting on some kind of cosmic scale. Instead, it is about both rising to power simultaneously.
Now you’re probably thinking… “Wait, men have been in power for thousands of years.” What if I told you that this perceptions isn’t true? The truth is that men have not been in power for thousands of years; far from it. Instead, they’ve been stripping power from women for thousands of years. There is a big difference between gaining power in and of yourself and stripping power from another. When you strip power from someone else by brute force or by manipulative subjugation, you do not increase your power one bit. Instead, your power stays at the same level while you diminish the power of another. You are not powerful because someone else is weak.
Women have made a major mistake since the 1960’s woman’s rights movement and that mistake is to try to do the same thing to men that men have done to us for centuries… diminish their power. We have tied to take our power back by demasculinizing them. And it is coming from an understandable place. We have felt powerless to men for so many thousands of years that the natural step towards the improved feeling space is into anger and revenge. And so now, our western culture has stripped the masculinity out of men. While it is true that patriarchal misogynists still exist, many men (especially those who read articles like this one) are afraid to come into their power as men because they are sorry for what men have done to women in the past. They are afraid of becoming monsters. They associate their masculine power as negative instead of positive.
As women, many of us resist our femininity because we grow up in a society, which leads us to believe that it is better to be born a boy. We are objectified and many of us are brutalized. We are taught that there is shame in the functions of our female bodies. We are made to believe that there are just certain unfortunate things that come along with being born a girl that we must accept because they are “our cross to bear”. Whether we are male or female, we make an enemy of our gender, yet we cannot escape it.
Men and women today are locked in a struggle against each other’s power. We are determined to take it away from each other. But the buried truth is that we are not actually attracted to our polar aspect (whether that be male or female) when our polar aspect isn’t expressing its full power. Men try to take power away from women and find that they do not respect and are not attracted to ignorant, weak, subjugated lemmings. And women try to take power back from men only to realize that they do not respect and are not attracted to demasculinized, confused, over grown children. We are not attracted to weakness in each other. We only want weakness from the other sex when we, ourselves feel insecure and powerless to them. The truth is, we enjoy freedom (such as the ability to choose to work or to raise children regardless of what gender we are). We cannot remain happy and restrict free will by saying that there are things only women should do or things only men should do. But we all secretly love gender roles. They turn us on. Men and women simply have no idea how to express these gender roles without hurting themselves and each other.
It is true that all people, whether they be physically male or physically female have both male and female aspects present within them; this is why from an energetic standpoint, gender is inconsequential. It is also true that one day, our race will have no gender. But as of now, this polarity actually serves our expansion. We cannot resist what we are and where we are and find balance. Most of us (men) are trying to embrace femininity within ourselves because we resist our masculinity. And most of us (women) are trying to embrace masculinity because we resist our femininity. So how do we get out of this cycle? We embrace the very thing we’re resisting. The human race is not ready to come into a place of individual androgyny. We must first learn how to embrace the polar expression of ourselves as women and as men. And this has never been done. The human race has never experienced the tandem rise to power of both divine masculine and divine feminine.
When both sexes rise to power, one cannot triumph over the other because neither is more powerful than the other. There will be balance. Men need to learn to become men and to come into the full power of divine masculine. Women need to learn how to become women, and to come into the full power of divine feminine. To do this, we need to stop worrying about each other. Meaning that we need to embrace our own gender and let them worry about doing the same. Women need to forget about what men are feeling or not feeling, doing or not doing and come into our own power as women. Men need to forget about what women are feeling or not feeling, doing or not doing and come into our own power as men. It is time that we embrace the divine feminine as well as the divine masculine and allow them to rise together to a state of harmony and balance within the world.
Regardless of whether we are male or female, we all have divine feminine and divine masculine energy within us. And it is beneficial to draw on these energies within ourselves whenever they serve us. But it is time that those of us who who were born female, release our resistance to our own gender and begin to embrace and express our feminine essence. Women have been in resistance to the divine feminine within themselves for far too long just like human society has been in resistance to the divine feminine for far too long.
The dimension we are living in is a dimension designed for the purpose of expansion; and in this dimension, expansion is the byproduct of contrast. By contrast, we mean polar energies. This is a dimension of duality. And this is why as we digress away from the unity of source energy, we can see two polar energies arise. For centuries these polar energies have been referred to as yin and yang or the god and goddess. The goddess represents the divine feminine; the god represents the divine masculine. On a manifested level this translates to a physical woman and a physical man. Divine feminine energy represents these aspects within the universe: Restoration, life, renewal, creation, birth, healing, receptivity, openness, motherhood, nurturing, love, understanding, compassion, insight, intuition, wisdom, forgiveness, the moon, connection, harmony and sensuality. To allow the divine feminine within ourselves to surface, we need to search for these aspects within ourselves. You will find that you are more in touch with some aspects of your divine feminine nature and less in touch with others. For example, you may be fully in touch with your own sensuality but not in touch with motherhood. If this is the case, expressing the divine feminine within you, means connecting with and expressing the latent motherhood within you in your own unique way.
It is understandable how in today’s world, many of us would have suppressed these energies in order to cope with modern day life. For example, it is difficult to allow the softness of receptive compassion into our life when we are expected to maintain competitive careers in the work place. But our health depends on making the space in our lives to allow these inherent qualities to surface. Our Womanhood is unique. Every woman is a unique expression of the divine feminine. Coming into alignment with the divine feminine within us is not about conforming to an archetypal idea of what divine feminine is or isn’t. It is about releasing the things that disallow our own unique feminine essence from radiating through us. It is about re claiming who we really are.
Many of us have built our lives and our image either in resistance to the traditional idea of what “female” should be, or in support of the traditional idea of what “female” should be. This is a problem because neither course of action represents our true selves. Neither allows us to be who we really are. Instead of being genuine to our true feelings relative to our feminine identity, we spend our time either rebelling against expectations or embracing expectations that we don’t actually enjoy because we desperately want acceptance and approval. We should ask ourselves is there any part of the traditional female gender role that we actually enjoy? For example, do we actually enjoy wearing high heels or makeup? Are we using these things to highlight our femininity? Or do we do it because we feel we are not adequate without it, or must simply because we are female? Do we enjoy the idea of a man being the “provider” because it is fun to experience a person loving us enough to support our physical needs and wants? Or are we embracing the idea of a man as a provider because we do not feel capable of providing for ourselves? The answer will vary from woman to woman. We need to ask ourselves, does the answer we receive come from a positive emotional space or a negative emotional space? I’ll give you a personal example; I was raised by a devout feminist. My mother was a byproduct of the 60s. She was part of the woman’s rights movement and so my mother has been rejecting the traditional view of femininity for years. She dressed like a man. She burned her bras in public demonstrations. And so of course by virtue of her resistance, she managed to manifest a daughter who is all about lipstick, pushup bras and high heels. But what did this mean for me as a child? It meant that my mother went to great lengths to exclude anything pink from my wardrobe and toys. I got the message very young that pink was a color for girly girls and that girly girls were pathetic, powerless, weak, and to blame for the continual tyranny of men. Growing up, I was repulsed by pink because of that idea. I looked down on women who identified with pink as inferior. I saw them as a discredit to our gender. But when I was going through therapy some years ago, I was asked to visualize a color that felt safe to me and pink kept coming to mind. When I questioned my resistance to pink, I found my dislike of the color pink was not integral to who I was. I was rejecting the color pink because of what I was taught pink had to represent. When I was honest with myself I found out that I absolutely love pink. It’s easily one of my favorite colors. And it does in fact make me feel safe. The thing about life in general is that if we are committed to living the kind of life that makes us happy, we need to commit to only keeping the beliefs and practices that add to our happiness. This means that many of us will be embracing things that are traditionally seen as feminine; while some of us will be discarding things that are traditionally seen as feminine. The goal as far as embracing our own femininity goes, is taking the time as individuals (not as a female race) to decide what works for us and what doesn’t. We do not have to (and should not) get rid of beliefs and practices that work for us based on the fact that other people have decided it doesn’t work for them. We simply need to be very honest with ourselves about what does and does not work for us.
Here are some suggestions, which will help you tap into your own divine feminine:
Allow yourself to create. Women are natural creators. This is part of why we can create life. When we are out of touch with divine feminine, we do not allow ourselves to create. One of the best ways to awaken your creative energies is to begin to do art. Any kind of art will benefit you as long as you enjoy it. For anyone who is particularly blocked artistically, I suggest reading a book called the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.
Collaborate and come together with other women. Come out of isolation. It is profoundly healing if you’ve been in resistance to your own womanhood to gather with other women specifically to focus on healing yourself and each other relative to womanhood. Several cultures in our ancient world understood this. This is the thought process behind the red tent movement. You can hold a woman’s group that is centered on a feminine subject such as periods or motherhood and open up the floor for discussion. It is incredible the kind of healing that can occur when women are opening up about their own struggles and thoughts relative to womanhood with each other. There’s no right or wrong way to do this and you can trust that when you gather women in a room, the energy will always go in the direction of healing. It is important to note that the “no guys allowed” attitude that women hold towards these gatherings is not healthy in any way because exclusion is the opposite of divine feminine energy. Separation of the sexes is part of what fuels the fire and misunderstanding between us. If men want to participate in these gatherings, consider yourself in good company. This means the men in your life are not threatened by the divine feminine and so it will just be that much easier for you to express your divine feminine essence around them. It may be difficult for some women to express their divine feminine nature with a man in the room. This is not natural. It is simply a byproduct of women being taught to suppress their femininity. It is a byproduct of embarrassment and shame that we do not feel as if we can be open with ourselves as women when a man is present. But having an open minded, curious man present (or several present) for these gatherings, can actually help us as women to learn that we can unleash the divine feminine around men. Think of it as rehab! Besides, we are always complaining that men do not understand us, so help them out! Open up to them and maybe they will understand us.
Explore your sensuality. The divine feminine is known as beauty incarnate. This means it is time to appreciate and celebrate beauty in your life. Does your life reflect sensual pleasure? If not, it is time to re-decorate. Surround yourself in aesthetically pleasing things. Allow yourself to enjoy sensual pleasures whether it is a warm bubble bath or fragrances you like. Surround yourself in color. And, it is time to begin exploring your own sexuality. Our bodies should not ever be off limits to us. Get to know yourself intimately. For anyone who would like help opening up to this side of your body and life, I suggest “Getting Off” by Jayme Waxman.
Explore, question and heal your ideas and feelings towards motherhood and towards your own mother. It does not matter whether or not you actually want kids; most of us still have unhealthy ideas and feelings about motherhood. Either we are in an unhealthy state of resistance about motherhood, or we feel that it is our only way to have significance and justify our existence. Neither of these ways of being makes us healthy as individuals or as mothers. Your first introduction to the divine feminine is none other than your mother. If you have resistance to your mother, you have resistance to the divine feminine within you. This means that one of the most important parts of the process of coming into your own feminine essence is to examine and heal the relationship between you and your mother. For some of us, this is a tall order. This does not mean that we have to take action to re connect with your mothers. It does not mean we have to become best friends. Our mothers do not even have to be alive in order to heal our relationship with them. What we do need to do is separate ourselves from our mother so we can shed off all the damaging ideas they passed on to us and set ourselves free from them. We will find that once we distance our self mentally and emotionally from them, we can learn to be ourselves and only then can we make peace with our mothers. Only then can we truly embody the divine feminine within us.
Examine the current perception of womanhood in your family and in your culture. Examine what you learned while you were growing up in your family about what it meant to be female. Examine the traditional gender roles and associations with femininity on your culture. This will vary even from culture to culture in your own country. For example, where I live in America the traditional role of being female entails: Make up High heels Birth control pills Concealing Periods with tampons and pads Dresses Wearing bras Shaved legs and armpits Becoming a wife Pregnancy Birth Raising children Cooking Cleaning Kindness Caretaking Not expressing anger Allowing men to manage the household money Having hobbies but not a career Self-sacrificing to others in order remain virtuous Shopping Decorating the household Allowing men do the heavy lifting and manual labor jobs for us Allowing men to open doors for us Examine what it means in your family and culture to be female and decide which ones you connect with and enjoy and which ones you do not. Which ones do you personally feel reflect your divine feminine and which ones do you personally feel suppress it? For example, if we grow up in a culture that identifies womanhood as staying home to raise the children, it is easy to feel inadequate as a woman if we do not enjoy staying home to raise children. It may feel as if there is something wrong with us because we watch other women who love motherhood feel as if their soul is flourishing when they are at home raising children. Then we feel guilty about it. Because of guilt we may try to force ourselves to try to enjoy child rearing in the same way that these perfect stay at home moms do it. This is the time to remind ourselves that divine feminine expresses itself in different ways. Just because you’re a different kind of mother doesn’t mean you’re less of a mother for doing it your way instead of trying to conform to society’s idea of what motherhood should and shouldn’t look like. It could be that for you, staying home to raise a child while your husband works is not an expression of the divine feminine within you. For you, allowing yourself to have a career is allowing the divine feminine within yourself to express itself. Another woman might feel as if she is not valid without a career. She may try to force herself to enjoy a career in the same way other women do. This is also the time to remind herself that the divine feminine expresses itself in different ways. Just because she enjoys staying at home raising the children rather than having a career outside the home doesn’t mean she has sold herself short. She is no less successful and significant as a person. It could be that the divine feminine within her is screaming that its highest expression is to stay at home to raise children. For this woman, allowing herself to stay at home with the children, is allowing the divine feminine within her to express itself.
Get in touch with your intuition. Listen to your emotions. A woman who is run by logic is a woman that is profoundly out of touch with the divine feminine within her. Womanhood is a receptive state of being. Receptivity means taking down those walls that we have built around ourselves. Receptivity is a state of profound openness and part of what comes with that openness is receptivity to that which is beyond the physical dimension.
Cultivate openness, love, compassion and gentleness towards the world and towards yourself. I want to reiterate that this does not just apply to others. It also applies to yourself. In our modern society we push ourselves so hard every day, there seems to be no room for these qualities in our lives. But we are developing breast cancer because of it. We are dying because of it. Our delicate biochemistry cannot keep up with what we are doing to it. It is time for a change. Choose three changes you can make in your day-to-day life that would allow these energies to come through. For example, you could commit to calling a friend one time a week just to practice listening to them with compassion and without judgment. Or you could commit to doing one loving thing for yourself each day, such as getting yourself a pedicure, letting yourself go to sleep instead of finish that project or buying that new outfit you can’t stop thinking about. Trust yourself to know what would benefit you the most to do.
Do meditations that are aimed specifically at connecting to the divine feminine. There is no right or wrong way to do this. You can invent your own if you like, but hundreds of these meditations can be found on line. Guided meditations are effective and a lot of people have great ideas about how to connect with your divine feminine essence. Try any of them that you feel compelled to try. The worst thing that could happen is that you could find one that really works.
Examine your resistance relative to being female on the spiritual, mental, physical and societal level. Resistance is a word we use to describe the energy behind negative emotion. Do you have resistance (therefore negative emotion) relative to to your periods? Do you have resistance relative to being a wife? Do you have resistance relative to your breasts? Do you have resistance to wearing or not wearing makeup? Do you have resistance towards being open with others? Do you have resistance to natural birth? If you feel resistance relative to any aspect of life that you identify as “female”, you have something in the way of the divine feminine within you. For example, you do not need to wear dresses to embrace the divine feminine, but you are suppressing the divine feminine as long as you associate dresses with being female and continue to harbor resistance to dresses. Try to find your core beliefs relative to the resistance you feel and then release those core beliefs. Nothing helps divine feminine shine through better than releasing your resistance relative to the things you associate with femininity.
Embrace your body. Our culture is at war with the female body. As a result, we are at war with our bodies. Divine feminine expresses itself physically in unique ways. If you are resisting the parts of your body that make you female, you are resisting the divine feminine. There are many great books on the market that are aimed at helping women to embrace their bodies. My personal favorite is Woman Code by Alisa Vitti. It is a how to book, which empowers women to maintain health and vitality as well as rebalance their hormones and come into alignment with what it means to be a woman.
We need to be willing to heal our negative emotions relative to anything we identify as female to set the femininity within us free. Divine feminine does not need to be cultivated or created within us as women. It is us. It is the essence of our choice to come into this life as women. And so, it is an ever-present energy that is always there. It is merely obscured by our thoughts and actions. If we begin to clear our minds and lives of the things that are obscuring that essence, it will immediately shine through on it’s own. It is exhausting suppressing the essence of who we are. And so, it is time to quit suppressing it. It is time to embrace it and let it shine.
Regardless of whether we are male or female, we all have divine masculine and divine feminine energy within us. It is beneficial to draw on these energies within ourselves whenever they serve us. But it is especially important that we release resistance to the essence of the specific gender that we chose for this life. As it applies to men, the path of self-actualization asks that those who were born male, embrace and express their masculine essence.
In our modern society, masculinity has been seen as a problem rather than something that should be embraced, because it is rare that any man exhibits true masculinity. The only example of masculinity we currently have is the shadow side of masculinity. This shadow side of masculinity fuels the societal idea of competitive hierarchy. In other words, it fuels the idea that one person on top of another person. The shadow side of masculinity perpetuates vertical thinking. Vertical thinking is comparative thinking; where it is possible to be better than or less than someone else. And so, the power struggle was born. And so were the Abrahamic religions. The Abrahamic religions replaced the traditional view of divine balance in the universe (which up to that point had been represented by god and goddess) with a solo male god. When a solo, male god became the source of life and hope for salvation, the feminine characteristics of fertility, creation and life were now seen as masculine qualities and femininity held no more cards. It was diminished. The result is that for thousands of years, men who succumbed to the shadow side of masculinity (not those who embraced divine masculine) ruled the earth. The men that ruled the earth, ruled with domination, control and patriarchy; things that have nothing to do with divine masculinity.
WHAT IS THE DIVINE MASCULINE?
Divine masculine represents action, direction, movement, responsibility, strength, focus, fatherhood, the sun, generosity, encouragement, material abundance, clarity, intellect, transformation and growth. The divine masculine is what is going to support the birth process of the new earth, which is being brought into manifestation by divine feminine. Thus, the new earth is a co-creation that depends on divine feminine and divine masculine both coming into its full respective power. To allow the divine masculine within yourself to surface, search for these aspects within yourself. Every Man is a unique expression of the divine masculine. Therefore, coming into alignment with the divine masculine within you is not about conforming to an archetypal idea of what divine masculine is or isn’t. It is about releasing the things that disallow your own unique masculine essence from radiating through you. It is about re claiming who you really are. Ask yourself, “is there any part of the traditional male gender role that I actually enjoy”? For example, do you enjoy going to the gym? Or do you go to the gym because you think you’re not good enough if you’re too skinny or too fat?
Most men associate masculinity with being a jerk and hurting people. Even though hurting people has nothing to do with masculinity. The goal for you, as a man, is to awaken the highest aspect of masculinity within yourself, not to become testosterone driven, competitive, egomaniacs. It just so happens that the standard example of the “masculine man” is the man whose divine masculinity is drowning in shadow aspects. In our society, the typical masculine man is also known as “the asshole”. A person most men don’t want to be. But it is because of this association with masculinity that most men don’t want to embrace their masculinity. You throw the baby out with the bath water, which is understandable because the only version of masculinity you see, is not an actual version of masculinity.
HOW TO INCREASE THE DIVINE MASCULINE ENERGY
Here are some suggestions, which will help you tap into your own divine masculine:
Explore, question and heal your ideas and feelings towards fatherhood and towards your own father. It does not matter whether or not you actually want kids; most men still have unhealthy ideas and feelings about fatherhood, which need to be healed. Your first introduction to the divine masculine is your father. If you have resistance to your father, you have resistance to the divine masculine within you. This means that one of the most important parts of the process of coming into your own masculine essence is to examine and heal the relationship between you and your father. For some of you, this will feel like a tall order a tall order but don’t worry; this does not mean that you have to take action to re connect with your father. Your father does not even have to be alive in order to heal your relationship with him. What you do need to do is separate yourself from your father so you can shed off all the damaging ideas he passed on to you and set yourself free from him. You will find that once you distance yourself mentally and emotionally from him, You can learn to be yourself and only then can you make peace with your father. Only then can you truly embody the divine masculine within you.
Examine the current perception of manhood in your family and in your culture. Is your concept of masculinity benefitting you? Examine what you learned while you were growing up about what it meant to be male. Examine the traditional gender roles and associations with masculinity on your culture. This will vary even from culture to culture in your own country. For example, where I live in America the traditional role of being male entails: Being the provider Protecting and defending women and children Managing money Either playing or watching sports or both Being the head of the household Responsibility Strength Hunting Weaponry Gaining power Being a husband Being a father Not expressing fears/other emotions (especially not crying) Having a successful career Achievements Owning a nice car Building or maintaining fitness and physical prowess Being able to fix things Doing the manual labor jobs around the house Opening doors for women Doing the heavy lifting for women Shaving facial hair or deliberately growing it out Standing up for yourself and others Keeping your hair short Confrontation Being goal oriented After you examine what it means in your family and culture to be male, decide what parts of that you connect with and enjoy and what parts you do not. Which ones do you personally feel reflect the divine masculine within you and which ones do you personally feel suppress it? The answer will be different for all men, because the divine masculine expresses itself in different ways.
Embrace forward movement. Imagine you were watching your life third person. Imagine following yourself for a day in your life. Are there areas of your life where you feel stagnation? What choices could you make (and enact) right now to bring forward movement into those areas of your life? Masculinity is all about direct, forward moving energy. When you make a decision, you open the door to what you want and close the door to what you don’t want. This prevents you from scattering your energy in different directions. It ensures that your vital energy will move in one direction with force and direction, like a missile locked on a target. A big part of moving forward is the willingness to take risks and learn how to turn mistakes into beneficial lessons to propel you forward even faster. Stagnation is the opposite of masculine energy. When you are unwilling to make mistakes, you stagnate and the divine masculine energy within you becomes suppressed. No more hiding from fears. If you’re committed to embracing your masculinity, it is time to face your fears head on.
Adopt a confident posture. Confidence is forward moving energy. Your confidence will naturally make your body language and posture change; but what most people don’t know is that you can deliberately use confident body language and posture to create mental confidence. Stand up straight and tall with your shoulders back and your chest exposed.. Walk with purpose. Look at people in the eye and hold your body in a posture that exudes purpose. Everything about masculinity is direct. This type of posture is quite different than using posture that is defensive. Divine masculinity does not actually manifest in the body as closed defensiveness (which is what many of us identify as masculine… we’ve all seen the gorilla guy at the gym). Masculine energy is not a wall, instead it is very open, and it rushes forward to meet you. Making sure your posture reflects masculinity goes hand in hand with making sure your clothes reflect masculinity. Wear clothes that fit you. If you are drowning in your clothes, you will naturally feel smaller and this can diminish masculine energy. Take a look at your wardrobe. Does your current personal style reflect who you want to be (which is who you really are)? Or does it reflect someone you don’t want to be any longer? Does it make you feel powerful and progressive? Or does it make you feel young, small and stagnant? If your personal style does not reflect the masculinity within you, it is time to change your personal style.
Be an active giver. Masculinity is not a passive receiver of love. It is an active giver of love. This means, learn how to initiate. Be a transmitter. Masculinity is generous; it isn’t stingy with itself or with its resources. This applies to sex as well. Masculine is to sexuality what feminine is to sensuality. Channel your sexual energy instead of repressing it. A real man does not let his energy get stuck in the sacral chakra at the level of lust. He is brave enough to let it move up through his heart and mind. When you feel yourself getting sexually stimulated, take the energy you feel in your pelvis and breathe it up through your body. Visualize breathing it up your spine and into your chest and neck and head. Visualize it flooding your whole body. Channel this energy towards heart-centered pursuits; let it drive you to action. Visualize that energy radiating through your heart chakra. You are not at the mercy of your carnal energies. Sexual energy is energy you can use. You can channel it towards anything you desire. In fact, many male athletes find that their most successful performances are the result of deliberately channeling sexual energy towards their sport.
Take on the role of the encourager. If you are the worrier or the skeptic, who warns yourself and others against going through with things (who warns against forward movement) you are suppressing the divine masculine. Don’t warn people around you off the path they are headed towards. Instead, encourage them towards their fears; encourage them to make the attempt. Honor their process. Allow them to make mistakes without rescuing them. The rescuer is not a function of manhood; it is a function of boyhood. The rescuer is a boy trying to prove himself. A man does not need to prove himself. Divine masculine is all about growth and encouraging others towards growth. Encouragement is the most divine manifestation of the masculine expression of love.
Take responsibility. To embrace the divine masculine within you, you must learn how to own your own life, mind and choices. Inner strength rides on the ability to consciously take charge of yourself. This means, no more blaming other people for your problems. You can only move forward when you discover what you are doing to hold yourself back. Divine masculine understands that you can only change yourself; so your only axis of power is what you do with yourself. Hold yourself accountable for everything you think, say and do. Catch yourself in the act if you are thinking and acting like a victim. Part of taking responsibility for yourself is coming to know yourself. A big part of the forward movement of divine masculine is the inner quest for self-actualization. If you are avoiding things, most especially yourself, you are suppressing the divine masculine.
Pick a skill, trade or specific expertise to fully develop. Divine masculine is about excellence. To excel means to move forward. It means growth. It doesn’t matter what you choose to turn into expertise as long as you have something in your life that you are determined to develop and master. It may be beneficial if you struggle with masculinity, to choose something to master that you already associate with masculinity.
Examine your resistance relative to being male on the spiritual, mental, physical and societal level. Resistance is a word we use to describe the energy behind negative emotion. Do you have resistance (therefore negative emotion) relative to how tall or short you are? Do you have resistance relative to being a husband? Do you have resistance relative to opening doors for women or paying for dates? Do you have resistance relative to your job? Do you have resistance to your level of fitness? Do you have resistance towards being direct with others? Do you have resistance to sex? Does some part of you believe that it isn’t manly to express your emotion? Or to really get your hands dirty raising children? If you feel resistance relative to any aspect of life that you identify as “male”, you have something in the way of the divine masculine within you. For example, you do not need to play sports to embrace the divine feminine, but you are suppressing the divine masculine as long as you associate sports with being male and continue to harbor resistance to sports. Try to find your core beliefs relative to the resistance you feel and then release those core beliefs. Nothing allows divine masculine to shine through better than releasing your resistance to the things you associate with masculinity. Many of the beliefs we hold about masculinity have nothing to do with actual masculinity; they are just the cultural byproduct of resistance. You need to be willing to heal your negative emotions relative to anything you identify as male to set the masculinity within you free. It is exhausting suppressing the essence of who you are. And so, it is time to quit suppressing who you are. Trust me, as soon as women stop accepting the role of victim and come into alignment with their own feminine power, they will all thank you for it. We are not actually attracted to what we have tried to turn you into. We disrespect what we have turned you into. We secretly love men!
Learn about women. Learn about our cycles, learn about our bodies, and learn about our minds, our cultural conditioning and our desires. In the past, the collective belief among men has been that if you want to be a true man, femininity is an off limits subject. But how do you intend to support the divine feminine and conjoin with the divine feminine if you know nothing about it? All that is, is child like ignorance. The more you learn about women, the more confidence you will have around them. This is especially important if you are in a relationship with someone. Every woman is different. We are only a mystery to you if you don’t take the time to understand us individually. So learn to ask us questions and pay attention to us. Continuing to propagate the belief that women are a mystery sets you up to fail. Once you become convinced that we are a mystery, it is my promise that we always will be. There is a little theory that goes like this, women like men that are either ass holes, or treat them badly. It isn’t true. The reality is that one of two things is happening.
a. We had a father that treated us badly and so we are constantly love reincarnating our fathers because our brains are trying desperately to get the love we needed from our father. Our subconscious minds are on an agenda. If we can make a guy who treats us badly, treat us well… we have solved our daddy issues.
b. We are biological creatures. We want to feel safe (most of us don’t) so we want to breed with someone who is a good protector and we are driven to create genetically superior children so that they will survive too. It just so happens that most men who are protective (therefore subconsciously make us feel safe) and possess the features that we subconsciously associate with strong offspring tend to be more “jockish” and aggressive. We are not attracted to the asshole within them. We are simply attracted to the little bit of divine masculine that shines through these men. And since so few men have learned to awaken their divine masculine, we take all we can get. We are not attracted to meekness in men, and it just so happens that many men, who are nice, are meek. That feels like weakness to us. It makes us feel vulnerable and it shuts down our biological sex drive toward you. We do not want to breed with weak men. And so we often find ourselves feeling sexually turned off by nice guys. But the truth of the matter is, it has nothing to do with your niceness; it has to do with your meekness. We want a man who is a perfect blend. One who is tender towards us and towards children, but who exudes the masculinity that we melt for. We’re simply convinced that this type of man doesn’t exist. So, we settle.
A MESSAGE FROM WOMEN TO MEN
As women, we tell you a very confusing story about what we want and don’t want from you. We want you to be men and do things for us but we want to do everything for ourselves. We have a “come support me” and then “now go away” type of attitude. This is not your fault. We do this because it is confusing to be a woman. We want you to open our door for us; most of us just don’t know it yet because we’ve been taught that you opening the door for us, makes us powerless to you and incapable. It has nothing to do with you. This is not your problem. We as women have not come into our divine feminine power and so we’re still fighting you for power. We are full of beliefs about the things that strip us of freedom and power over our own lives and bodies. And so, we’re afraid to let you be men. We have erroneously believed for years that the manlier you are, the more we get hurt. Why? Because our only model of masculinity is “the asshole” too! Feel free to ask those of us who are stuck in a fight against you for our own sense of power, to question our own beliefs. Expose us to your beliefs as well. It will aid our expansion.
Most of us haven’t questioned our beliefs relative to gender roles. So help us out. We hate fighting against you this hard. We’re too stressed in our own lives to keep it up and it isn’t healthy for us or for you.
LEARN MORE ABOUT DIVINE MASCULINITY
If you are interested in learning more about divine masculinity, I would suggest reading the book King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by Robert Moore and Douglass Gillette. It is a wonderful book that teaches men how to become the embodiment of the matured form of masculine energy within them. Divine masculine does not need to be cultivated or created within you as men. It is you. It is the essence of your choice to come into this life as a man. It is an ever-present energy that is always there, it is merely obscured by your thoughts and actions. If you begin to clear your minds and lives of the things that are obscuring that essence, it will immediately shine through on it’s own. And I can tell you as a sensual woman, there is nothing more intoxicatingly addictive than a man whose divine masculinity shines through.
In the new age, spiritual and astrological community, mercury retrogrades have a bad reputation. In fact, it has become a joke. Anytime a series of unfortunate events happen you’ll hear someone say, “mercury must be in retrograde”. Those of us who have suffered from the influence of mercury going retrograde find ourselves torn between wanting to know when they are coming so we can prepare for them and not wanting to know when they are even happening. You’ll often hear the saying “I just want to hide under the covers until it is all over." But fear not, mercury retrogrades are only frightening when you don’t know how to use their energy to your advantage.
You create your own reality completely; this means that nothing that you perceive as happening outside of you (even mercury retrogrades) can impose itself on your reality. Before coming into this life, you chose to adopt the planetary frequencies as part of your reality. That is part of choosing this life, in this particular solar system. You knew the planets would be an influence in the same way that you knew your parents would be an influence. You knew these influences would lend to your individual expansion. You picked the specific astrological arrangement for your life experience in the same way that someone would pick an arrangement of specific food items off of a buffet table. The planets influence us, but it benefits us to think of this influence as more of an offering. When the planets shift, the energy being offered from them to life on earth also changes. And some of these shifts and cycles are particularly intense and prone to create contrast for life on earth. We can either let that energy hit us and suffer because of it or we can learn how to use that energy and those cycles to our advantage.
A planetary retrograde is in fact just an illusion. Planets never reverse in their orbit around the sun; but because of our vantage point on earth, it can appear as if planets are traveling backwards through the zodiac. The mercury retrograde happens about three or four times a year. Since earth is further away from the sun than mercury is, there are times of year when it appears as if our transit surpasses that of the planet mercury and from our perspective, it looks like the planet mercury slows, stops and reverses. A good way to understand this is to think of driving on the highway. If you and a semi truck are traveling along the road, but you are traveling faster, there is a point when you pass it that the semi truck will appear to be going backwards. The truth is, you are still both traveling the same direction on the road. It is an optical illusion. It is very important to understand that retrogrades are just that… an illusion; because this tells us a lot about the actual retrograde period that we are experiencing. We will be confronting our own illusions. Anything that we suffer from is at its core, an illusion. It is something the ego has erected in front of our true self. When we have not felt resolution or integration about people, events, beliefs or ideas from the past, they will re surface during the mercury retrograde. This can lead to a sudden break out of “madness”. Meaning that mercury retrogrades can make it feel as if you are crazy and everyone you know has gone crazy.
Mercury retrogrades are famous for effecting electronic equipment, and causing travel delays and cancellations. Mercury is the planet of communication, so mercury retrogrades cause breakdowns in communication. You might notice things getting lost in translation, pieces of information going missing, the inability to finish sentences, arguments arising out of nowhere with seemingly no provocation, and the inability to form a coherent thought. Retrogrades can create some serious confusion. You may notice things getting lost and luck may seem to be against you. In fact, you can think of the mercury retrograde as the planetary manifestation of Murphy’s Law. Meaning that it can feel as if everything that can go wrong… is going wrong. Mercury retrogrades are famous for causing delays and postponements in all areas of life and this feeling of fighting upstream can lead to a sensation of severe restlessness and frustration. Mercury also particularly effects a lot of industries like publishing, writing, editing, advertising, sales, public relations & anything to do with transport, like airlines, the post office & cabs so if you have to interact with any of these industries, you can expect some mix ups to occur. Mercury retrograde can be a particular time of difficulty (or should we say opportunity) for anyone who enjoys control. If you are a person who needs to feel as if you have your life neatly organized in a predictable way, mercury retrograde is going to come in like a tornado and not so gently turn things upside down. Mercury retrograde is a metaphysical tornado entering your life. The good news is, you can ride out this tornado and use it to dig up things that are buried. Mercury retrograde offers us a huge energetic push to re-examine areas of our life that are not benefitting us.
Mercury retrograde is perhaps the very best energy for enhancing reflection. It gives us energy to reflect back on anything we have been avoiding or suppressing and see things from a new perspective. Because of this, we can use it to tie up loose ends. You can use it to re organize your life. This is really what it is asking us to do. It is asking us to clear away things that no longer serve us and re organize our lives to make way for new things to take their place. Mercury retrograde asks us to practice the art of flexibility and allowing and let’s face it; it is the only way to really survive the intensity of a mercury retrograde period. If you resist it in any way, you will amplify the chaos it causes and it will feel like destruction instead of clearing. Take some time and go slowly. We all go through cycles of movement in our lives. The mercury retrograde is a time to draw your energies in towards yourself and re-visit the things that need to be revisited and cleared. Do not expect yourself to be productive during the mercury retrograde. It is not a time to forge forward, it is a time to nurture and be kind to yourself and others. The gift of the mercury retrograde is the gift of inner revelation. This is in fact the reason why mercury retrograde causes so much upheaval. You could see the upheaval as the necessary condition for us to be able to recognize and receive the gift of revelation. After all, our greatest revelations come when our lives are uprooted to some degree.
Here are some great tips, which will help you to utilize the energy of the mercury retrograde to your advantage
Do not take things personally. Thinking and communication are both on the fritz during this period and everyone’s shadow aspects are surfacing to be healed. Projection will be at an all time high because of it. People will often say things they don’t mean during this time and if you can walk into social interactions knowing that in advance, you are much less likely to be hurt by other people’s often-bizarre behavior.
Pay close attention to what you say and how you communicate. This is a good time to practice speaking from your heart. It is a good time to practice being very deliberate about what you put out into the world. People will spin your words against themselves during this time and misinterpretations are likely. So we can use this time period to teach ourselves how to check our words against our own sense of integrity before we say them. We can also re-read our letters before we send them.
Practice the art of allowing. Set forth the intention to go with the flow. It will help if you maintain the awareness of what to expect during the retrograde. For example, remind yourself to expect delays. This will help you to to release resistance to the unexpected upheaval of your plans. Doing this will help you to feel much less like the world is against you. Do you know how much more relaxed you’d be if you knew the computers were going to shut down or the plane would be delayed? You’d probably pack an extra book or movie and take some time to just be where you are. It can actually be enjoyable to have the experience of being the one who is calm and at peace as you are watching the chaos go on around you. It also means that you will be much more capable of helping those who are caught in the storm.
You can’t put your life on hold, but try not to start any big deal projects, make big purchases without warranties or enter into contracts with people without reading the fine print. Communication is a mess during these periods and people (including yourself) are prone to changing their minds. Make sure you as many questions as you can and get as much information as you can before making big decisions if you have to make big decisions during this time.
Get together with people who crop up from your past in order to heal old wounds and re visit outstanding issues in your current relationships. It is a time of closure. If they haven’t come forward to you already, reach out to people and say what needs to be said so you can both find peace. If you can, find time to reminisce and laugh as well. Just about the only communication that does go well during mercury retrogrades is communication, which facilitates healing between us and circumstances from our past.
Look at what the universe is trying to show you. It is going to push you in unusual directions. So, if you find yourself being pushed off the path you were on, instead of trying to get back on the intended path, develop a curious attitude, sit back and watch where the universe wants to take you. What can you learn from the situation?
Catch up with yourself. Often it can feel like we can’t catch up to our own lives. Dreams and goals get drowned out in our hectic lives. Take time to finish the projects you’ve already started. Tie up loose ends and re-organize your life. This can be a great time to clear out clutter. It is a great time to complete things you’ve already begun so you can officially cross them off your list. The mercury retrograde asks us to re visit our destiny. It allows us to catch up with our truest desires. So, re examine your true desires. If there are aspects of your life that aren’t actually that satisfying, it’s time to clean house and re define what you actually desire. Use what you’ve discovered from your past and what you discover about yourself during this period to form a new vision of what you want your future to look like. Do you like the path you’re headed down? Now is a great time to decide to change course. And when mercury goes direct again, it goes quickly. This means that once mercury goes direct, we will be propelled towards our new vision for ourselves.
Back up your computer and any other electronic information that is important to you.
Because delays are so much a part of mercury retrogrades, give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re trying to go. It’s a terrible time to cut things close. It is a good idea to do things slowly and deliberately during this time.
Practice self-love. This is a preparatory phase, just like the butterfly inside a cocoon. What have you been putting off that you really need to do for yourself? What would re-vitalize you so you can be productive and proactive when mercury goes direct again?
Allow the shadow within you to rise to the surface so you can observe it, reflect on it and integrate it. Anything that is an important part of moving forward in our lives will surface and it is best if we jump on board and allow it to surface. Some of us may even want to use this energy to deliberately go looking for our shadow. This means, do shadow work. Search for harmful core beliefs. Express your emotions. Purge what is suppressed within you. This is a time of contemplation. A time to see what you have not been seeing.
People feel the need to control their lives. We think that controlling our lives and creating our lives is the same thing, but it isn’t. When we feel the need to control our lives, we want to dictate what does and does not happen in the external world. We are in a state of resistance against what is unwanted. We are at war with the world. Creating is the opposite. When we create, we allow both wanted and unwanted things into our life because we learn to use both wanted and unwanted things like clay. We learn to shape and mold both to our advantage; because of this, we are at peace with the world and we see all things in the world as a gift. This is the mindset the mercury retrograde asks us to assume. If we can use the period that mercury is in retrograde as a time to practice this mindset, we can learn how to find the eye of peace within the storm of chaos.
You have heard many spiritual teachers (including myself) talk again and again about allowing. The state of allowing is perhaps the highest spiritual state to exist in. But what does it mean to be allowing? To be in a state of “allowing”, means to deliberately choose thoughts, words and actions that allow your desires to manifest in your reality. In order for you to allow your desires to manifest, your thoughts, words and actions must line up with your desires. For example, you can’t desire money and simultaneously think the thought “there isn’t enough money” and have money manifest in your experience because the thought of money and the thought of there isn’t enough money aren’t a vibrational match; they aren’t in alignment. We cannot be thinking a thought that feels emotionally negative to us and be in a state of allowing. We cannot take an action that feels emotionally negative to take and be in a state of allowing. And no amount of action that we ever take can make up for what we lack in thought. But is action a contradiction to allowing, or is action a key ingredient to allowing?
Most of us have the same picture in our minds when we think of allowing. For most of us, the picture we have is a person who is blissed out and meditating in a state of complete, passive surrender to the universe. We picture in our minds, a state of inactivity. We imagine that allowing means letting the universe live out our lives for us. We treat our lives as if we were chess pieces here to be played by the universe according to a pre determined game and we call it “destiny” or “purpose”. But this picture of allowing is a misunderstanding. The state of allowing is not a state of inaction; it is not a state of spiritual laziness and surrender. It is a state of deliberate focus and inspired action. You could think of the state of allowing as the state of total non-resistance. And the state of total non-resistance is not stagnant energy; it is forward moving energy. There is a saying in the spiritual community, “whatever happens is meant to happen”. And it is true that the way you know if something should be happening, is if it is happening, but we in the spiritual community use this saying to cop out of the responsibility of being the creators of our own lives. When we feel utterly powerless to our own lives, the thought, “whatever happens is meant to happen” is a comfort to us. It helps us to release resistance, but that there is the problem. Those of us, who live our lives according to this belief, often feel deep down that we are powerless to our own lives. We live our lives at the mercy of the universe, which is to forget that we are extensions of this universe. In essence, we use the passive surrender statement of “whatever happens is meant to happen” when we have given up. We have created so much resistance relative to our lives and we distrust our ability to create what we want to such a degree that giving up and turning it over to the universe feels like relief.
The entire reason you are here is because the universe at large knew that it would benefit by projecting itself, in the form of you into the physical dimension, which is the leading edge of expansion. Did you catch that? “Leading edge” means that you are the one leading the universe, not the other way around. You are the one telling the universe which direction you want your life to go, not the other way around. The universe is merely arranging your reality so that it is an exact mirror and match to your current thoughts. Whether you are thinking something negative or positive, you are telling the universe what to become and thus what your reality is to become. The universe is no more God than you are God. The universe is learning through your perspective and your desire what is right for you. The universe is not playing us like a chess game full of inanimate chess pieces. Instead, we are like animated chess pieces that tell the player (the universe) which direction we want to move and through that, the player (the universe) learns about itself. The chess player learns about itself through the chess pieces because the chess pieces are just a projection of itself. The chess pieces and the chess player are different manifestations of the exact same being. You did not come here so the universe could live your life for you. In fact, that would be the sure fire way to stop the expansion of this universe. When you spend your life turning your life over to the universe, there is no real point to living. It is as if there is a lull in the game because the universe can’t play the game when you don’t play the game. The universe keeps waiting for your move because it’s your turn and you keep waiting for its move because you think it is the universe’s turn. You wind up stuck. You are not giving the universe the energy or momentum to direct. It is important to remember something; you have to throw the ball for the universe to throw it back. Another important thing to remember is, the more balls you throw, the more chances that one of those is going to be a home run. When we are attached to the idea of needing one specific thing to pan out so we can meet our desire, we develop a lot of resistance because we fear that if it does not pan out, we will not achieve our desire. And so, we can’t stop worrying about it. Worry is resistance. And so, if we can instead throw energy towards many options, we will have less resistance and therefore we will be in a state of allowing towards our desire and thus, it will manifest much faster and easier. On a practical level, we can see this issue playing out amongst the demographic of people who play the lottery. If we become convinced that the only way we are going to make millions is if we win the lottery, we put all of our energy towards the lottery. But we also care so much about winning the lottery that we worry about the potential of not winning the lottery. And thus, we resist the very thing we desire; and because of it, we do not allow ourselves to create a situation in our lives where we do win the lottery. And what’s more than that, we disallow all other potential avenues for financial abundance to come into our experience. Via our beliefs, we have told the universe that the only way that money can come is via the lottery, which is the very venue that due to our worry, we are in resistance to. We cannot allow our own abundance when we are doing that. Instead, we limit ourselves. We are not throwing multiple balls to the universe, we are throwing one ball to the universe; and because of our own resistance, we are throwing it poorly. It is sort of like throwing a ball into a gale force wind. And thus, the chance of that ball becoming a home run is very low. Spiritual living and allowing does not mean a state of blissed out laziness. That very idea is a direct opposition to the truth that you are the creator of your reality. Action feels good; it feels good because you manifested physically specifically to act. The sweetness of the experience of taking action as the result of an inspiration is the reason we choose to come into the physical dimension again and again. And so, it must be said that sometimes the highest form of allowing is taking action. Passive surrender is not always the most allowing state. Passive surrender can be the result of disbelief and distrust in the self. It is all too often the indication that we are trying to cope with the feeling of being overwhelmed and powerless. We use the modality of passive surrender to escape the pressure of being in charge of a reality that we feel is out of our control. The time has come to ask yourself: Am I trying to let the universe live my life for me, or am I the one living my life? In order to be the one living your life, you must first deciding what you desire and then use inspiration to take action to move in the direction of that desire. The most allowing state to be in is not the state of surrender. The most allowing state to be in is the state of positive focus. And the second most allowing state to be in is the state of taking inspired action. To take inspired action, is to take action that is inspired by a positive emotion. This is opposed to an urged action, which is the byproduct of a negative emotion. Though urged action may feel like temporary relief, it will not yield positive results because it is caused by a negative emotion. The law of attraction, which is the most powerful law in the universe dictates that negative emotion can only be a match to negative action, which can only be a match to negative results. You can see this easily by examining the behavior of a heroin addict. When I am feeling afraid or powerless, I may feel the urge to shoot up heroin. The idea and action of shooting up heroin may feel like relief because it is an improvement from the feeling of powerlessness and fear. But it was still an action that was the result of powerlessness and fear and so, due to the law of attraction, only more powerlessness and fear can be the result of taking that action. On the other hand, if I was feeling afraid or powerless and I was to deliberately look for better and better feeling thoughts to think, (thoughts that in the thinking of them felt like relief) I would eventually find myself thinking a thought that felt emotionally positive and empowering to me. Maybe that positive thought would cause me to suddenly feel the inspiration to go on a hike in nature; and because that action was inspired from a positive thought that felt like empowerment, it would yield positive results that would only lead to more empowerment.
Living a spiritual life does not mean taking a back seat to God or a back seat to the universe. It means allowing yourself to work with the universe instead of against it; to work with yourself instead of against yourself. What is meant to happen is what you want to have happen! The universe will arrange all necessary conditions for you to achieve your desires and because the universe doesn’t have resistance, it will arrange those conditions the second you desire them. If anything other than what you think you want to have happen occurs, it is because of one of two things:
1. You yourself, are resisting what you desire with something you are thinking or believing.
2. You are in denial of what you truly desire, while you have been simultaneously subconsciously informing the universe of what you truly desire; and so the universe is responding to the deeper, stronger truth of what you really desire.
In either case, you are the one calling the shots. You cannot live your life without taking action. Learning to surrender and just “be” is valuable because it helps you to release resistance and re connect with the truth of who you are as a spiritual being in a quantum universe with no time, where the present moment is all that exists and it is perfect as it is. But to try to “just be” in the physical dimension is not possible. It is ended-ness. It means that you are not allowing yourself to be the creator that you came here to be. This is your life. Now live it.
Powerlessness is the cause of nearly all human suffering. But there must be a cause for this sense of powerlessness within the human race because powerlessness, is an emotion which is the reflection of a thought pattern. So what thought pattern is the real cause of all this powerlessness? Is it the thought “I don’t create my own reality”? The truth is, while this thought causes immense suffering, it is not the real core of the problem. The thought “I don’t create my own reality” would not cause suffering if we believed that whoever does create our reality, loved us and therefore would not make us suffer. The thought pattern that causes all this powerlessness is: "Pain is good for me". And this is a belief that nearly every human being on earth believes. Allow me to explain. Way back when, (too far to even trace back through history) a being forgot that the mind is what created reality. The physical dimension became too real; much more real than the mind. As a result, they could not understand why unwanted things were happening to them. Instead of feeling like a victim to their own mind, they felt like a victim (or like prey) to the external reflection of the mind; lets call this a physically manifested predator. The being felt powerless to their own reality, and began to think that whoever was in charge of their reality, was causing them to suffer. They began to think that the only way to ensure their own safety and happiness was to manipulate the external world so that they could be happy when they looked at the external world. For example, If I dig a physical hole deep enough, I will be safe or If I kill the predator I will be happy. This idea bred it’s way through species after species like an infectious disease, until most species on earth shared the belief that they didn’t have control over their realities, and the only control they do have is to take physical action to change the outside world. This belief became part of what it meant to be incarnated on planet earth. Since the beginning of time, humans have been trying to get other people to behave in a way that makes they, themselves feel good. Since the beginning of time, we have told the story that it is not ok to be selfish. Why? Because if we think we don’t create our own reality, it begins to really matter what other people do and don’t do. If they are acting in their own best interest instead of in our best interest, we have no control over feeling good or bad. And so we formed governments and religions to try to keep each other behaving in a way that would make each other feel better. Our happiness was dependent on other people. We glorified the idea of selflessness. But being selfless while being incarnated in an individual identity is impossible. So we began to lie to ourselves and to each other that it is possible to be selfless and that we are being selfless, even though it is in fact impossible. Fast-forward millions of years into the future until we arrive at your parents. When you were growing up, your parents (like everyone else) felt powerless to their own realities. They could not live with themselves if they thought of themselves as “selfish”. So they couldn’t admit that the reason they were doing things “for” you and wanted you to behave in certain ways was for them, not for you. They found a way to preserve their own self-concept. And the way was through feeding themselves as well as you with this belief: “It’s for your own good”. It’s for your own good, is a concept to cover all manner of evils. We are fed this lie from day one. Even those of us who grow up in the most loving households and fed this belief. We shoot our children up with painful vaccines and tell them it is for their own good. We make them sit through hours of lessons in the prison we call school and tell them it’s for their own good. We discipline them in ways that are painful to their minds and bodies and tell them that it is for their own good. We tell them that their desires are inappropriate and that they need to choose other desires and we tell them that it is for their own good. We cannot ever know what is best for someone else; it is impossible to know what is good for someone else. It is only possible to know what feels best for ourselves. And so, we are doing all of these things that we think we’re doing for the good of our children not for them, but for us. We think doing those things to them will make us feel better. But here in lies the problem. As children, we begin to believe that maybe our parents are right. Maybe it is for our own good. We think “they must know more about the world than I do, they are bigger than me and stronger than me and I am dependent on them for my survival”. We come to believe that something that causes us pain is for our own good and so we begin to believe that pleasure is bad for us and that pain is good for us. And this is the number one problem within the human race. We see pain as good. Our parents keep saying “I love you; I’m doing this for your own good” as they cause us pain so we start to believe that love is pain. We start to think that we can’t trust ourselves, that our internal, emotional guidance system is leading us astray; after all It’s telling us we feel joy when we are doing something mom says is bad for us and it’s telling us we feel pain when we are doing something mom is good for us. Eventually, we think something has gone wrong if we are experiencing ease or pleasure. We distrust our desires. We let go of the idea that happiness is important.
Philanthropy in the sense of selflessness is impossible. You cannot do something for someone else in this reality. You are locked into your own individual perspective, which was the entire point of coming into the one perspective of this one physical life on planet earth. We can show love or kindness to someone else, but when we trace the root back all the way, we find that the reason we want to show other people love and kindness or see them happy, is because it makes us feel happy to see them happy. If a mother takes a child to the doctor’s office deliberately to solicit the doctor to shoot her child up with vaccines, she does not do it for the child. She does it because it would make her feel bad to see her child dying of a disease. She thinks that injecting the child with vaccines will prevent her from experiencing that pain. In truth, she can not know how the child would or wouldn’t feel if they were to catch a disease, she can only know how it would make her feel to watch them be sick or how she would feel if she were sick. That is what she’s trying to avoid. We never really do anything for other people. We only ever do things because it makes us feel better to do them. This is perfect. It is perfect that we are all selfishly oriented beings because identification with our own joy, is what is causing our expansion and the expansion of the universe. The universe would not have it any other way. But if we are to lead happy lives here as members of the human race, we need to admit to the fact that we are only ever doing things for our own benefit. What’s more than that, we need to admit to the fact that everyone else is only doing things for their own benefit also. Because of this, we are the only ones who can have our best interests at heart. No one else can have our best interests at heart. The minute we believe that pain is love, that pain makes us good, and that therefore pain is good for us, we can’t let go of pain because we think it serves us. We become dedicated to perpetuating it and defending it within ourselves. We are convinced that if we let go of pain and go in the direction of pleasure, we will be a menace to society, we will be bad, we will be forsaken, and we will be unlovable. The belief that pain is good is compounded by our punishment reward mentality. The child is often rewarded for conforming to our idea of happiness, especially if it causes him or her pain to do so. The child is rewarded for undergoing pain. Think about it this way, If I want my child to do something they don’t want to do, something that will make them unhappy to do (which is to ask them to go against their own internal guidance system) because it would make me feel better for them to do it, I reward them with a lolly pop or something else. So they come to associate going against their own internal guidance system, going against their own emotions, and experiencing pain and struggle with reward. If we were rewarded for pain as children, we will grow up believing that we only deserve the reward if we suffer first. Because of this, we are a world full of self-abusers who can only justify being nice to ourselves if we’ve punished ourselves first. You’ve heard the expression “save for a rainy day”, well the problem is that we think we need the rainy day to justify letting ourselves have whatever we’ve been saving. We think saving is healthy, when a lot of the time we use it as a form of self-punishment; self-punishment in the form of self-deprival. We have created religions to mirror the belief that pain is good for us. Think of the story of Jesus. Most of the world religions teach you that life is supposed to be about struggle and being tested. They tell you that if you pass those tests by struggling and bearing the pain, you’ll be rewarded after death with heaven, Olam Ha-Ba, Baikuntha, Jannah or with enlightenment. Our human society glorifies those who have been the most out of alignment. It glorifies those who suffer. Watch the Olympics sometime; we glorify tragedy to triumph because we believe a person only deserves triumph if they have experienced tragedy. We suffer through grueling college courses for the degree. We suffer through careers we can’t stand for the reward of money and promotion. All the rewards, gold medals and memorials are awarded to and erected for those that have struggled the most.
You can tell a lot about culture, based on language, so take a look at all these common sayings:
No pain no gain
Good comes to those who wait
God hates a quitter
Save for a rainy day
Enlightenment comes from suffering
You can only taste of the fruit of your labors
A man will eat by the sweat of his brow
Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do, its just part of living
Pain makes you stronger
God never said it would be easy, but he did say it would be worth it
Life is not supposed to be easy
Nothing that’s worth having, comes easy.
It’s time to stop the cycle. Close your eyes and visualize watching yourself for a week in your life. Look at what causes you pain. Look for the ways you are married to that pain. How do you perpetuate that pain? How are you committed to that pain? What are you doing that causes you pain, but that you continue to do because you think that there will be a reward for that struggle eventually? What pain are you subjecting yourself to because you think it makes you good or lovable or because it gets you approval from others? How are you holding onto that pain and defending it because you think it makes you good? What desire are you going against because you fear that allowing it will hurt other people or make you a bad person?What ar e you telling your children or your friends? Are you teaching them that they need to ignore their own joy or desires for their own good when it’s really because you think you’ll be happier if they do or don’t do something?
Here are some more questions you can ask yourself to help identify how you are perpetuating your own pain. Are you part of a religion you don’t enjoy just because you want to get to heaven? Are you self-sacrificing for your children, spouse, friends or co-workers? Are you giving up something you want to do under the guise that you are giving it up for someone else? Do you self abuse by saving for a rainy day? Do you punish yourself so you can justify allowing yourself to do or have something you want? Do you work at a job you hate for the reward of money? Do you try to live a self less life so you can deserve love or deserve to have what you want? Are you sticking with a relationship that is painful because you believe that it makes you a good person to do it, or because you are confusing your choice to stay with them (even though they treat you badly) with loving them? Do you make yourself unhappy by worrying about things that haven’t even happened because you think that worrying about them will somehow enable you to avoid them or because you think the universe wont blindside you with something you already saw coming (let’s call this keeping myself unhappy in order to try to outsmart the universe or god). Do you not do things that you know make you feel better because there are more important things to do (such as make breakfast for everyone even though you are happier when you start your morning with yoga)?. Do you deny yourself your needs because you think your needs are an imposition on others? Are you not allowing yourself to do something you’ve always wanted to try because it isn’t practical or conceivable that you could turn that thing into a profession? Do you continue to spend time with people who make you feel bad about yourself? Do you resist other people comforting you, showing you affection or complimenting you? Do you use guilt to keep yourself good? Do you lie to yourself that you enjoy something you really don’t enjoy because you think you should enjoy it? Do you keep commitments no matter how much pain keeping them causes you? Do you say yes to things you want to say no to? Do you have an addiction to painful self-improvement exercises because you think the only way to deserve love or get love is to improve? Do you keep and defend beliefs that cause you pain just because you think they are true? Do you have to be doing something productive, because you think that doing something just because it’s fun is not a good enough reason to do something? Do you live your life according to what you have to do not what you want to do?
There are a great many more ways that we remain married to pain and continue to propagate pain in our lives due to the misconception that pain is good for us. Simply observe your life from third person perspective and when you find something that causes you pain, look to see how you are perpetuating that pain. When you find out how you are perpetuating and causing that pain, decide what you could do differently. What would allow you to go in the direction of joy in those scenarios? Choose three of the scenarios where you chronically perpetuate pain, but where it was obvious what you could do differently and this week, commit to doing those things instead. If during the week, pain arises in the moment, stop and ask yourself “how am I causing this pain to myself? What is my part in perpetuating this pain?” when you get the answer, commit to doing something different. We will only solve this problem within the human race if we solve it within ourselves. We can only solve it within ourselves if we are willing to recognize it and allow ourselves in our own individual lives to prioritize joy above all else, and go in the direction of joy. We will only solve this problem if we give permission to others to do the same. We really are a precious species. We hold onto and defend our pain at all costs because we think our pain makes us good and we want so badly to be good so that we can be loved. But pain and suffering is not love; it the opposite of love. And pain and suffering does not make us good. In fact at the heart of every serial killer, child abuser, rapist, gang member, criminal, mass murderer and war monger is pain and suffering.
Desire has been a big topic of controversy within the spiritual community. Spiritual teachers (Like the Buddha) say that desire is the root of suffering. They say that happiness is the result of learning how to rid oneself of desire. But even the desire to rid yourself of desire, is a desire. So you can never truly rid yourself of desire and you can never lie to yourself enough to convince yourself that you don’t want what you want. So why is it that thousands of people have experienced relief from supposedly ridding themselves of desire?
When you desire something, that desire is the emotional indication that you have given birth to a brand new improved idea. That improved idea holds a frequency. And your higher self matches that new frequency the minute you desire it. So now, there is a gap between the frequency you hold, and the frequency your higher self holds. There is a vibrational gap between you and what you want. If you think a thought that feels negative, it is because that thought has a vibration, which separates you further from your higher self and therefore your desire. If you think a thought that feels positive, it is because that thought has a vibration, which is closer to the vibration of your higher self and therefore your desire. So there are two ways to close this gap between you and your higher self; between you and your desire. The first is to understand that anything you can ever want is meant to be yours and will be yours the minute you think thoughts and take actions that line you up vibrationally with it. The second is to want the now. If you want the now, your higher self joins you where you are. There is no gap between you and your higher self and therefore, no negative emotion can arise from you. Over the centuries, though no one has managed to rid themselves of desire, many have managed to appreciate the now to such a degree that they were no longer suffering.
The desire that is emanating from every being in existence is what is causing the expansion of this universe. To come here and to not desire is to promote ended-ness within the universe. It goes directly against the reason you chose to come into physical existence to begin with. You are designed to desire. Desire is as true to you as pure being-ness. So why does desire cause us pain? The answer is, it doesn’t. Desire never caused pain. It’s what we add to desire that causes us pain. What makes desire painful is thoughts like these: I can’t have what I desire. I don’t deserve to have what I want. I’m not good enough until I get this thing that I desire. What causes pain is continuing to focus on what you don’t have or don’t like or don’t want after you have already given birth to the idea of what you do want.
So many of us think that desire is about wanting what we do not have and so when we think of desire, we do not think of the feeling of inspiration and forward movement. We think of the feeling of desperate dissatisfaction with where we currently are. We call that the feeling of desire, when it is not the feeling of desire; it is the feeling of the negative thought we’re thinking after we desire something. We associate desire with the feeling that the desire is not currently ours and may in fact never be ours. The feeling we associate with desire is actually the feeling of resistance to our desire. It is not desire that causes suffering, it is resistance to your desire that causes suffering. Desire causes you pain when you contradict your desire with thoughts that prevent you from it. Desire causes you pain when you continue to focus on what is unwanted (what inspired you to that desire in the first place) even though you already know what you want instead. Desire causes you suffering when you do not understand that desire will never end. It truly is the finish line that you will never reach. The minute you reach the point you thought was the finish line, it will move and you will be chasing something else that you want. Once you accept that you can never reach that finish line, you open the door to joy in your life. You experience the joy of the journey instead of the destination. If you know you will never reach the end of the line, you will no longer think something is wrong when you don’t reach the end of the line. You can enjoy the feeling of the process of hatching that new improved idea and the process of lining up with that idea mentally, emotionally and physically until you are living the reality of it.
There is no reason to feel as if desire is the enemy. Everything that you love about existence, from living in houses (instead of caves), to that perfect piece of chocolate cake, is available to you now because it was once the byproduct of someone else’s desire. And now, it is the byproduct of yours.
Love is an identical vibration to appreciation. And appreciation is nothing more than positively focusing towards something. This means that unconditional love is the same as unconditional positive focus. A simpler way of putting this is that unconditional love is positive focus (appreciation) that is not conditional upon how another person acts.
Now it is time to get real for a minute. How many of us on this earth are capable of that right now? How many of us are capable of focusing positively towards the person who has a gun aimed at our face? How many of us are capable of focusing positively towards the person who just mutilated and murdered a child that they stole off of a city sidewalk? How many of us are capable of focusing positively towards the elementary school bully that made our school lives hell or towards our father who left us when we were very young? Not many of us. And this should not make you feel bad about yourself because unconditional love and enlightenment are the exact same state. We know how difficult it is to reach enlightenment. It is a lifelong practice if not a multi lifetime practice for most beings. And we also know that enlightenment is not a goal that we reach. Instead, it is a horizon line that continues to move further into the future with every desire that we have and with every new perspective that we are introduced to. It is the same with unconditional love. Unconditional love is a practice, it is not a state we achieve and are then done practicing. There is no retirement from the practice of unconditional love. And the minute you think you’ve reached it, you will find yourself in another situation where you are challenged to find alignment with it. There are beings that have achieved the experience of enlightenment; and who are dedicated to continuing to stay in alignment with that enlightenment. There are people who have felt unconditional love; and who are dedicated to continuing to stay in alignment with that unconditional love. But there is no such thing as a physically incarnated being who is permanently in a state of enlightenment. There is also no such thing as a being that is permanently in a state of unconditional love. If we reached this state, we would no longer be physically incarnated. It would defy the entire point of being physically incarnated because that individual could feel no further contrast. And if no contrast is felt, no new desires are born from them and so no universal expansion occurs through them. Universal expansion is the entire reason for experiencing the physical dimension.
In the spiritual community, unconditional love is a standard that we hold ourselves to. It is a standard that is no different that expecting ourselves to be enlightened. When we are not yet enlightened, asking ourselves to be enlightened is the same as asking ourselves to lie to ourselves in favor of pretending. In favor of acting like we think an enlightened person should act. Asking ourselves (or others) to be unconditionally loving is no different that expecting ourselves to lie to ourselves about how we really feel and instead act like we think an unconditionally loving person should act. We strip the genuine-ness out of ourselves and expect ourselves to pretend so we can maintain the lie that we are the spiritual people we think we should be. And all the while, we send ourselves a damaging message. We send ourselves the message that we are not good enough. You cannot lie to yourself no matter how hard you try. Deep inside you know you don’t actually feel unconditionally loving and good about another person. But you think a truly spiritual person should feel unconditionally loving, and so even if you go through the motions of appearing to be unconditionally loving, inside you feel like a fraud. You are acutely aware of your own shortcomings. We all maintain the lie that we are unconditionally loving and that we need to be unconditionally loving when the truth is none of us are unconditionally loving. If we were, we wouldn’t be physically incarnated here on planet earth. It is a perfectly fine practice to dedicate yourself to, but unconditional love cannot be forced and you cannot talk yourself into being unconditionally loving when you are currently feeling negative emotions towards someone (like fear or guilt or hate). If you feel fear or guilt or hate towards someone and you say to yourself “be unconditionally loving” all you are doing is shaming yourself into good behavior. Behavior that is in no way genuine. And guess what? You are further away from unconditional love if you do that than if you would just let yourself be in a place of fear, guilt or hate relative to that person. So how do we become unconditionally loving? First, we must understand that unconditional love is no different than enlightenment. Enlightenment is the state of being completely in alignment with the perspective of source itself. Source’s perspective is the most objective of all perspectives., because it is the unity of all perspectives. And it just so happens that this unified perspective is an unconditionally loving perspective towards everything in existence. So, anything we do to reach enlightenment, will culture unconditional love within ourselves. There are thousands if not millions of roads to that one destination that we call enlightenment. The same goes for unconditional love. There would be no way whatsoever to give you the way to reach the state of unconditional love. There are many roads there; and many left yet to be invented. So all anyone can do is give you suggestions that may serve you to close the gap between where you are and unconditional love. By now you know that if you really want to unconditionally love the world, you can’t start with the world. You must instead start with yourself. So get off your own back. If you really do want to maintain alignment with unconditional love, the first step is to stop expecting yourself to be unconditionally loving when you aren’t. In other words, the first step is to stop expecting yourself to be where you aren’t. If you continue to measure yourself next to a destination you haven’t reached yet, you will continue to highlight your own shortcomings and that is not unconditionally loving to yourself. Instead, it is self-hating. You are giving yourself the message that where you are, is not ok. All too often, unconditional love becomes the excuse for keeping ourselves in painful situations; or not taking the actions we need to take to ensure our own happiness. For example, let’s say someone is emotionally abusive to us and we see that they are hurting. We have the tendency to tell ourselves to be unconditionally loving to them and stay in that situation despite the fact that we are being abused, but this is not unconditionally loving to us or to them. If we allow ourselves to stay in abusive situations, we aren’t unconditionally loving ourselves. And remember that part of caring about someone is about fostering their growth. Making sure they are always emotionally comfortable and preventing them from experiencing pain or the consequences of their own actions is the same as denying them growth. Unconditional love is love without limits. Unconditional love is the byproduct of perspective. If your perspective is limited, your love is limited. We must expand our perspective if we are to reach a state of unconditional love. To do this, we need to prioritize feeling better. Question your thoughts instead of blindly believing them. Deliberately choose to think whatever thoughts feel good and focus on whatever makes you feel relief. But be aware that if you feel fear, relief may be an angry thought and if you feel anger, relief may be a pessimistic thought. Trust your emotions and let yourself think those thoughts without judging whether they are good or bad thoughts to have. You cannot lie to yourself; so make sure to pick thoughts that you actually do believe. If you are the one who controls how you feel by controlling what you focus on, you are not dependent upon another person acting in a way that feels good to observe. This is the most important step when it comes to unconditional love. If you control how you feel, your love will not be conditioned upon other people acting in a way that evokes love from you. You will be able to radiate love no matter what they do or don’t do. Once you start feeling positive emotion, practice looking at the situation through the other person’s perspective by pretending to be them. This process cannot be forced or done prematurely. Trying to understand the other person’s perspective too early or from a negative emotional space is self-invalidation. It is self-abusive. If we are to learn unconditional love, we must practice detachment. Detachment does not mean not caring. It means detaching your happiness from them so they are no longer responsible for how we feel. If we are attached to the outcome of someone, or if we are attached to them behaving in one-way or another, we are now unable to be unconditionally loving. Our positive focus now depends on them. Our love (which is no different than pure appreciative focus) is now conditional upon them. If you are attached to them, it is a parasitic relationship. And yes, most current human relationships are parasitic. If you are attached to them, it becomes important to control the other person and how they act so that you can be happy. If they must change to make you happy, you don’t unconditionally love them. The first step as far as detachment is concerned, is to admit that we are attached. Admit that you feel totally powerless over other people and do in fact feel as if your happiness and therefore positive focus and therefore love is completely dependent upon them, on how they act and what they say. Learning detachment is a lifelong project. And the more you detach, the more you will love. Remember, it is easy to love someone or something that is easy to love. But we are powerless if we can only love someone based on the condition of them behaving in a way that is easy to love. Unconditional love is in fact the state of being completely in alignment with source perspective despite the external conditions. To love conditionally is to say, “When I look at this part of you, I feel bad about you and when I look at this part of you, I feel good about you and so I need the parts of you that feel bad to go away so I can feel good about you all the time”. To love unconditionally is to say, “I am in charge of what I focus upon about you. You are not responsible for how I feel. I trust myself to find a way of looking at you that feels good to me no matter what you are doing and so nothing about you needs to change. Because I not only can love regardless of the condition, I am love, regardless of the condition”. And our lives here are a continual process of re-discovering that we are that love regardless of any condition.
Ego is not your enemy. It is a necessary tool. Without the ego, we could not be aware of oneness. It is our separate perspective, which is allowing us to see and understand the big picture of this universe. In other words, ego is contrast and contrast is necessary for expansion. Pretend you are an athlete. The person who is responsible for pushing you to be the best athlete you can be is none other than your biggest rival. And so is that rival an enemy or a best friend? But for the sake of this article, we will be addressing ego like an adversary in order to highlight it’s strategies and how it tries to trap you.
Ego is the term we use for the separate identity and the separate identity has one prerogative; survival. Because the ego thinks that its survival is at stake, the ego has become intelligent. It is intelligent enough to know that sometimes a full frontal approach is not the best course of action. It is smart enough to know that sometimes the best choice is to come in the back door. For thousands of years this back door entry has been called “the final trap of the ego”. Some examples of the final trap of ego are: Trying to eradicate ego by becoming completely humble, only to become egotistical about being humble. Or trying to eradicate ego by becoming selfless and dedicating oneself to service, only to become convinced that you are the only one that is capable and strong and that others are weak and in need. There are many of these back door trappings. But we are going to address the one that is the most covert and the one that has a chokehold on so many people in the spiritual community; especially the “I create my own reality community”. The birth of the new world we envision depends on unity. And this ego trapping divides us. It is no joke that the way to make a society weak and easily controlled is to “divide and concur”. And so, this particular trapping must come to the forefront of our minds. We must see it for what it is. The spiritual truth that has opened the back door for ego is the teaching, “I create my own reality”. The ego’s strategy in this particular case is isolation (a byproduct of the ego’s perception that it is separate from others).
One of the most important spiritual steps we can take is to move out of the role of the victim by recognizing our personal power and making changes in our life that are in accordance with that power. We must recognize that it is our minds which create our reality. We must recognize that as an extension of source energy, we are ultimately god incarnated physically. We must recognize how we have given our power away so that we can begin taking our power back. And we must realize that our dependency is killing us; but that there is where ego traps us. Ego comes in the back door and tells us that we must rely only on ourselves. It isolates us completely by telling us that we are the only ones who can do it right. It tells us that everyone else will fail us. It tells us that we have to suck it up, accept the reality that we are alone in our creation of our reality and that we must do everything ourselves. In other words, it swings the pendulum from the desperate, invaded powerlessness of dependence to the desperate, lonely powerlessness of independence. To understand this concept further, let’s look at the difference between the message that the ego gives you and the message that the spirit gives you about the exact same subject. The ego says, “suck it up, you are the only one that can love you and that has to be enough because no one is going to do it for you.” The spirit says, “begin to love yourself and your vibration will change enough that your reality will begin to reflect that new state of being and others will suddenly demonstrate the love you’ve always been wanting from them.”
It seems contradictory that so many spiritual teachers promote individualism (individual empowerment) simultaneously with interdependence and oneness. But it is not a contradiction. We live in an interdependent universe where everything in existence is one. But we have projected forth into the physical dimension, where our individual perspectives are creating our little subjective realities. Separation is something we are trying out so we can understand oneness for what it is. For most of us to come into alignment with our higher selves, we must become self-focused. We must follow our happiness and take back our personal power. But once we do this, we will inevitably discover the fact that the next step in our happiness is to see that everything in existence is an extension of the self. It is all one. It is as impossible to be independent in a universe that is “all one” as it is impossible to be dependent in a universe that is “all one”.
We are all completely dependent on other things. We are in no way self-sufficient. We depend on the food we eat. We are dependent on the cars we drive. We are dependent on the air we breathe. So how can it be true that we have personal power if we are this dependent? The answer is, because we create that which we are dependent on; so ultimately we are not dependent on what we seem to be dependent on. We are no more dependent on our manifestations than a painter is dependent on his paintings. He can always create more.
So where does this leave us? It leaves us with the truth that your power is all about knowing the power that you have. The victim forgets the creative power of his own being. He forgets he is creating everything, including the things he thinks he is dependent on. In other words, the victim forgets that if he manifests help from others, it is not they that are helping him; it is him that is helping himself. If I am this stuck in victim mentality, I will wait for others to create what I want and this waiting game is powerlessness. The one, who is trapped by the ego in personal power, is the one who forgets that we live in an interdependent universe; where our creations will always come through the venue of other beings. If we are trapped in ego, we will see getting help from others as powerlessness. We will live lonely, tiring lives due to the fear of dependence. The ego will bate us with the promise of feeling good about ourselves (we can feel strong and feel powerful because we’re the only capable ones). We will live in a world that is full of people who seem to be incapable. We will trust no one and nothing. We are isolated and cannot feel the oneness inherent in symbiosis. Oneness is reflected in symbiosis. We are not dependent on what we live symbiotically with because we know if the other party is not a willing participant, it is perfectly fine because we can create another who is. And we know that because we create them, we are never powerless.
Independence is an illusion. It is ego. Personal empowerment is much different. We have the tendency to confuse the two. It is time to separate truth from the ego’s shadows. The healthy mind that is un-trapped by ego, recognizes at once it’s connection with all things as well as it’s own power to create anything it likes in the physical dimension. Since most of us are isolated to our one perspective, we are in alignment when we take the power that we do have as an individual to find our joy; without simultaneously buying into the ignorant illusion that we are in fact individual. The perspective of me vs. you is just a temporary illusion that we are using as a tool to aid our expansion. And it is a valuable tool, until the tool is using us more so than we are using it.
Your consciousness exists on all dimensions. As your consciousness streams through the dimensions, the parts of your consciousness that are focused into one dimension or another are called “aspects”. To ground yourself means to fully connect and phase with the perspective of your physical dimensional aspect. Your consciousness is not as much a finite clump of energy as it is an infinite current of energy. For this reason, it can easily be compared to electricity. Removing the excess electric charge from an object is called grounding. Removing the excess emotional charge that is the result of getting lost in the non-physical dimensions of thought is also called grounding. When we pull our focus back to our physical aspect, we entrain with the frequency of the earth itself. We allow energy to move through our root chakra. And we allow ourselves to be fully present here with our physical bodies and physically incarnated perspectives. For this reason though, grounding is particularly difficult for anyone who feels unsafe in their bodies. Those of us who have dealt with physical or sexual abuse, cope by detaching from our bodies and from the earth and instead prefer to spend time in alternative dimensional realities. Ironically though, this coping skill continues well past the point that the danger is present and then, being ungrounded interferes with our ability to function and interact in the physical world. At this point, grounding would provide sanctuary from the emotional pain that we are suffering. When we have suffered in the past, we tend to frequently go back to the past in our minds. Grounding pulls us out of those traumatic memories and into the stability and safety of the present moment. Grounding is the perfect remedy for anyone who is feeling stressed, triggered, regressed, rushed, overworked, confused, overwhelmed, panicked, angry, clumsy or drained. Here are eleven easy ways to ground yourself:
Walk barefoot on the earth. The Earth maintains a negative electrical potential on its surface. When you are in direct contact with the ground (walking, sitting, or laying down on the earth's surface) the earth's electrons are conducted to your body, bringing it to the same electrical potential as the earth. In other words, when you are in contact with the earth directly, its tranquil energy naturally is conducted through you and you become grounded. Throughout history, humans have walked barefoot on the ground, which naturally discharges and prevents the buildup of electrical stress within the body. Also, your immune system functions optimally when your body has an adequate supply of electrons, which are easily and naturally obtained by barefoot contact with the Earth.
Bring your attention to the present moment. Do a body scan even. Begin your body scan by diverting your thoughts away from any mental chatter. Notice the soles of your feet, your toes, in-between your toes, the top of your feet, ankles, and heels. Do they feel hot? Do they feel cold? Do they hurt? Are they numb or swollen? Can you feel the blood circulating through them? Are they feeling tired? Don't judge how they feel, simply notice how they feel. Wiggle your toes. How does that feel? Once you have a made a strong connection with your feet move your attention upwards past your ankle, switching all your focus from your feet to your lower legs, then move onto your knee caps, the backside of your knees, your thighs, and so on all the way up through your body without rushing. Then, begin listing things that you see in the room. Be where you are physically. Pick up objects in the room and notice the way they feel. You can even run cold water over your hands or eat something and while you are eating it describe the sensations, flavors and experience of eating that thing to yourself mentally as you eat it.
Eat root vegetables. Anything that grows underneath the surface of the earth will connect you with the frequency of the earth and thus, will have a grounding effect. Some examples of grounding foods are: potatoes, turnips, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes and radishes. Some people say that eating meat is grounding. This is not actually the case. Meat simply decreases your frequency so that you cannot access the higher dimensional frequencies of your consciousness. There is a big difference between grounding your frequency and decreasing your frequency.
Use grounding stones. When we share space with a mineral, our frequency must entrain with the frequency of that particular mineral. If a crystal, gemstone or other mineral holds a frequency that is grounding, keeping it near you (in your pocket or hand or worn as a necklace etc.) will help you to ground your energy. Some examples of grounding stones are, hematite, smoky quartz, obsidian, red coral, onyx, black tourmaline, ruby, garnet, pyrite, tiger iron and black opal.
Use grounding scents. Certain aromas will also influence you to become grounded. In my opinion, the best way to entrain with scents is to use essential oils. Everyone has their own opinion about what the best grounding essences are. But in my opinion, the essential oils that are the best to use to ground yourself are: Cedar, vetiver, benzoin, myrrh, sandal wood, cypress, oak moss, patchouli oil, rosewood, chamomile, elemi, ylang ylang, and lavender. Lavender is particularly good at convincing the consciousness to relax into the physical. You can use them on their own or combine them. You can get a metal or glass spray bottle, fill it with spring water (not tap water or any other kind of water that would corrode the precious oils) and add a few drops of each of your chosen oils to it. Then, shake up the mixture and mist yourself with it throughout the day. You can even put grounding stones in the bottle to amplify the grounding frequency of the mixture.
Use Color to ground yourself. Colors, offer powerful vibrations. Being near certain colors will influence your frequency to become grounded. Red is the color that is associated with the root chakra. Red tones will help your energy to ground. Black and brown will also cause you to ground. You can visualize filling your body up with a light that is red, brown or black. You can even dress in these colors.
Use sound to stimulate your root chakra. Certain crystal bowls, metal bowls and alchemy bowls have been designed so that the sound that they emit stimulates and balances your root chakra, which grounds you. Binaural rhythms also do this. You can find binaural beats and rhythms made specifically for the root chakra and for grounding for free on youtube. You can also purchase binaural beats to listen to when you go to sleep at night. But toning with your own voice is perhaps the most beneficial. When you hum deep, low notes you will notice that they vibrate in the pelvis. Start by humming a high tone and pay attention to the sensation you feel in your body (it may be like a buzzing). Try to use the tone to direct that sensation down in your body. Direct it between your legs or to the base of the spine. This will cause your root chakra to come into alignment.
Spend time around other grounded individuals. People work the same way as minerals do. If one person is particularly grounded, they can influence another who is not grounded, to ground themselves. It is especially beneficial if the grounded individual either holds the ungrounded individual’s hands or feet. The best remedy however, is if the grounded individual can place the palm of their hands, first on the occipital ridge for the count of eight and then on either side of the hips for the count of eight.
Do grounding visualizations and meditations. There are many of these grounding visualizations and meditations available. So if you enjoy guided meditations, do a search result for grounding meditations and grounding visualizations and give them a try until you find one that works for you. My personal favorite is to visualize myself as a tree. I begin by raising my arms on the in breath, and lowering them on the outbreath four times. Then I see myself becoming a tree. I visualize my energy flowing down into the center of the earth so far that it hooks into the center of the earth. If your focus is developed enough, you will feel the earth’s rotation when you do this. Then I visualize my roots growing deep into the ground and I visualize pulling the energy of the earth up through those roots and especially up through my root chakra, which is located just in front of the base of the tailbone. I then focus on pulling that energy up through my entire body.
Take a salt bath. I’m not talking about your basic table salt. I’m talking about salts like sea salt, solar salt, sulfur salt, Hawaiian salt or Himalayan salt. It is no mistake that salts are notorious for healing the physical body, they hold one of the most purifying vibrations around; which is why we use it to neutralize energy in healing crystals. Add 1 to 2 cups of high quality salt to your bathtub while you are running the water and just like you did with the essential oil mister bottle, add your favorite grounding stones to the bath and immerse your body for at least 20 minutes.
Maintain and strengthen your body. We spiritual types are so focused on the spirit and mental aspect of our lives, that we forget to focus on the body. We tend to be the most un-grounded of people. We tend to forget that the body is an integral part tour spiritual practice. Exercise and healthy eating will help you to focus your awareness on the body. It forces you to interact with the physical dimension and thus, it is profoundly grounding.
The ability to consciously ground yourself is an important and valuable tool to learn. The true master of consciousness is he who can decide (at will) what dimension to focus into and interact with. The true spiritual master is not just a master because he can transcend the physical, he is a master because he can choose either to transcend the physical, or to fully engage with the physical.
Potential is inherent in everything and everyone. It is a very admirable thing to be able to see the potential in people and in things. After all, It us the underlying truth of who we are. We are potential energy. The problem sets in when we decide to commit to a relationship with someone based on potential. It has been drilled into your head by our human society that the heroes and heroines of relationships are the partners and spouses that see the potential in their lovers even when they don’t see it in themselves. Society would have you believe that those partners and spouses are the very reason that they “make it to their goals”. This is not an accurate portrayal. These spouses are not in love with what their lovers could be. They are actually in love with what the person is. Here’s an example, you may have watched the movie called The Time Traveler’s Wife. Society would have you believe that Clare is a heroine because she sticks by Henry’s side despite how difficult it is to be married to someone who disappears (sometimes for weeks at a time) before your very eyes and mostly at inopportune moments. Society would have you believe that she stays by his side for the promise or for the potential that someone could cure the genetic disorder that causes him to spontaneously time travel. But this is not the case. The only reason Clare did not end up divorcing Henry, is because despite the difficulty of being left alone with no notice whatsoever, she fell in love with Henry for who he is and what he is; as a time traveler. We see those stories all the time during the Olympics, about spouses or partners or family members who believed in the athlete (that now has a gold medal) even when the athlete didn’t believe in themselves. It’s tempting to think that the spouse or partner or family member stuck by that person because of their belief in the person’s ability to be a winner or to get that gold medal. The truth is, the spouse or partner or family member may have had faith in the athlete’s ability to get the gold medal on day, but what they were actually in love with was who the athlete was right then and there. Sticking with the example of the athlete, the spouse of an athlete that is a happy spouse, is not in love with them because of the potential of them being a gold medalist one day. They are in love with them because of their drive and ambition and how tight they hold to a dream. With or without a gold medal, this is who they are, so the spouse can be happy right here and now regardless of whether the promise of a gold medal comes true or never comes true.
The only way a relationship will ever be enjoyable, is if your love of who someone is right here and now, outweighs any promise of who they could be. And the only way a relationship will work out long term, is if you love who they are right now. In other words, if you were to freeze them in time and nothing ever changed about them, the only way a relationship will work out with them long term, is if you love that person. It will never be a satisfying relationship long term if you love who they told you they could or would be and it will never be a satisfying relationship long term if you love who you think they could or would be.
When we first meet someone, many of us make the mistake of seeing what they could be instead of what they are and so, in the beginning when our focus is purely positive towards them, we are happy with them. We are happy when we are still banking on them becoming what we actually want them to be. We look forward to our future with them. The relationship feels like it is full of promise. And the promise of a better future makes our current lives more enjoyable to live. But eventually, we begin to notice where we are instead of where we want to be. We notice who they are instead of who we want them to be. Our illusion is shattered.
This is especially true when we have fallen for someone who is a “rainbow seller”. To explain what a rainbow seller is, I’m going to play out a scenario that is rich with metaphor. A rainbow seller is a person who cannot love themselves for who they are; they only love themselves for what they could be or will be one day. It is as if their merit and worth is on the other side of the rainbow. They don’t really believe in themselves. And after years of chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to no avail, they no longer truly believe that they can reach the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So they ask you to believe that they can reach that pot of gold for them. They sell you on the idea that there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They promise you all kinds of things that even they don’t truly think they can achieve; because they become convinced that with your support and belief in them, they may actually be able to reach the end of the rainbow and enjoy the pot of gold awaiting them. And for a while, you get to share in the excitement of the chase. For a while you believe there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow also. In fact, you are in a relationship with them for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And when you begin to notice that the end of the rainbow just keeps receding and receding, you finally notice that you don’t like where you are very much. You start to doubt that there is in fact a pot at the end of the rainbow. You begin to take notice of all the ways that you aren’t yet at the pot of gold. And then a funny thing happens; you blame them for it. Not only do you blame them for it, you punish them for it. Not only do you punish them for it, they punish you for it. They get really, really angry (and usually self destructive) and try to make you think you have betrayed them. Your lack faith in the idea of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow makes them feel like you lack faith in them. They will shame you and guilt you into thinking that you are a bad person for loosing faith in the endeavor. Eventually, you end up calling yourself stupid, feeling like you are in fact a bad person for abandoning the dream and them, and the relationship ends. Or worse, we stay in a miserable relationship of mutual punishment and dissatisfaction for the rest of our lives and die of some disease that our body has manifested because of it.
This is what we do in relationships once the illusion begins to crumble. We blame them for the illusion and for the fact that it is now crumbling. We punish them for not living up to what they promised us that they would be or what we wanted them to be. We punish them because they aren’t yet what we want them to be. This relationship mistake is especially prevalent because society has told us that it is not appropriate to prioritize some things in a partner; such as money or looks. I’m going to get really stereotypical and explain two scenarios to you.
Scenario one is a woman who wants to be with a man that has lots of money. She loves the feeling of being provided for and being with someone who is successful. But society tells her that this is a shallow and therefore inappropriate desire. Society calls her a gold digger. So she does not hold out for a wealthy man. Instead, she settles for men that have no money, but whom promise her that they will have money and will financially support her. She settles for men that sell her rainbows. She does not realize that these men would not actually prioritize money if they were left to their own devices. Instead, they are trying to gain money… for her. Eventually she will realize that they are getting nowhere, because the motivation doesn’t come organically from within them; it comes entirely from her. She starts to feel duped. She begins to vent her frustrations about them and loose faith in them. And the men begin to feel resentful because they realize that she does not love them for who they are right here and now, she “only wants them for money”. In reality, this isn’t the case; it’s just that she has fallen in love with the potential of what they could be one day instead of what they are. And she still wants the kind of man that she wants (which happens to be a wealthy man).
Scenario two is a man who wants to be with a woman who is physically gorgeous. He loves the feeling of getting butterflies in his stomach when he’s near her. He loves the feeling of other men giving him props for being with such a beautiful woman. But society says that this is an inappropriate desire. Society calls him a “dick” or a “misogynist”. So, he does not hold out for a physically attractive woman. Instead, he settles. He settles for women who have some attractive qualities about them, but whom he doesn’t consider beautiful. Now, he spends his time trying to get her to join exercise programs or trying to get her to go get her hair done. He finds himself watching other women who he finds beautiful when his partner is there and in turn, she feels unappreciated and ugly. He subscribes to pornography web sites because he has no sex drive relative to the woman he is supposed to be in a long-term relationship with. He is dissatisfied. He begins to vent his frustrations about her. And she becomes resentful. She believes that she is worthless because she isn’t pretty enough. Which is not the case. It’s just that he has fallen in love with the potential of what she could look like one day and not what she really looks like right now. And he still wants what he wants (which happens to be a physically gorgeous woman).
We especially fall into this pattern with people who we think have “problems”. We get into a relationship with them or stay with them because of the promise of the day that their problems are all gone. We stay with them because of the potential that they could stop beating us and decide to love us one day. We stay with them because of the potential that they could be drug free one day. We stay with them because of the potential that they could be happy one day. We feel extra good about ourselves because we get to be the rescuer and the loyal partner. But eventually, we realize that we really don’t want to be with a person with those problems. We realize that we are staying with them, not because of who they are, but for the potential that they could get better and not have those problems one day.
You can’t buck the current of your own expansion. Once you desire something, you can only amend your desire, you can never cause yourself to not want something that you want. And it must be said that those of us who tend to get into relationships based on potential also tend to be the people who think that it’s inappropriate to desire what we truly desire; or that we don’t deserve what we truly desire. The person that you want to choose to be with is the person who is already doing and already being the person you want, before you showed up in their life. If that person isn’t already doing what you want them to do, they are doing it for you, not for them! You cannot be their motivation for them. Those of us with low self esteem fall into this trap of trying to become what the other person wants us to be, instead of letting ourselves be ourselves completely, so as to find someone who wants us the way we are exactly. Take a good look at your partner. If you froze them in time and space and for the rest of your relationship, they were exactly like this (this temperament, these looks, this much money), would you want to be with them? Or would you not want to be with them? If not, you can’t be in a relationship with that person and be happy long term. And you can’t get them to be responsible for your happiness by trying to change them into what you want them to be. Now take a good look at yourself. If you froze yourself in space and time and for the rest of your life you were exactly like this (these moods, these looks, these flaws, this much money), would you love yourself? If not, you run the very real risk of selling rainbows in your relationships and setting yourself up for relationship failure. If not, it is time to learn how to love yourself.
Fall in love with what is, not what could be. This doesn’t make you a person of little faith. You can still have faith in someone; just don’t base your decision to be in a relationship with someone off of faith. Because if you do, you don’t really love them, you love what they could be. You have fallen in love with an illusion. You have fallen in love with something that does not exist. All that truly exists is now. The past does not exist and the future does not exist. Eventually, you will find yourself in the now and all you will see relative to your partner, is the lack of what you want them to be. You can try all you want to, but it is not possible to get yourself to not want what you want. It is desire that is fueling universal expansion. And universal expansion is the purpose of life itself. So the best you can do, is to become clear about why you want what you want. Figuring out why you want what you want helps you to come closer to your truest desires and closer to manifesting the specific desire that you have expressed. Regardless of what society tells you, it is ok to want what you want in a partner. Anyone who tells you otherwise, is grappling with insecurity; usually the insecurity that they can’t be (or are not) what you want. So they would rather tell you that you shouldn’t desire what you desire, so that they don’t feel bad about themselves. Falling in love with the future potential of who someone could be, instead of who someone is right here and now, is a recipe for relationship disaster. And think about it, you don’t really want to be loved by someone else for what you could be one day any more than they want to be loved by you for what they could be one day.
There is a vibrational discord at the root of all ailments. Sometimes that discord shows up in the body as a sore throat, sometimes it shows up as cancer and sometimes it shows up as allergies. The person who has allergies, is a person who has been insensitive to their thoughts and emotions to such a degree that they de sensitized to the discomfort of the emotion and so, their body had to develop the sensitivity. If we have allergies, we have been stuck in negative emotion and we simultaneously believe or have believed (around the time that the allergy developed) that there is no resolution and no answer to improving those emotions. Because of this, we deny our own power. We also feel (or have felt at the time the allergy appeared) that is was not appropriate to express those emotions. The suppression of those emotions (whether it be fear, weeping, sadness, hurt or anger) builds up and builds up until it manifests through our body. If you are paying attention to your emotions to the degree that you recognize what feels good and what feels bad; and if you direct yourself towards feeling good (and thus spend your time predominantly in alignment), the adverse reactions would subside. Allergies are not about what you’re eating or what you are spending time around. It is your beliefs about the things that you are allergic to that cause the allergies. And we can believe things on a conscious level and on a subconscious level. The bottom line is if we have an allergy, we have a thought pattern that is out of alignment with whatever we are allergic to. There is always some kind of trauma or fear at the heart of whatever it is that you are allergic to. This fear or trauma can be emotional blocks in your subconscious or bad experiences that you link to the certain things that you are allergic to. A great many things can cause trauma or fear, which is why every allergy must be deal with on a case-by-case basis. There are many one size fits all remedies for symptom relief when it comes to allergies, but there is no one size fits all remedy for curing allergies. Here is what mean: I could have had a negative experience with a cat when I was a baby (in many cases so long ago that I don’t even consciously remember it) and so now, I fear them and because I fear them my body mobilizes it’s defense mechanisms to them and now, I have an allergy to them. Or, I do not believe that becoming “allowing” and “relaxing” brings things to fruition. I think that allowing and relaxing means that I will fail and be rejected by everyone for that failure. Because of this, when I am around the allowing, relaxed energy of a cat, I feel resistance towards it and that extreme level of resistance, causes my body to have an allergic reaction. Another example is: I am afraid of conflict and negative emotions and so I go to great lengths to avoid both. Sage is a neutralizing energy. It is used to neutralize conflicts and negative energies, which is why people use it to clear houses and facilitate harmonious conversations. But because it holds a vibration that confronts and neutralizes energy, I cannot harmonize with it. I want to run the other way. So now, I have developed an allergy (a vibrational incompatibility) with sage. Many children are born into families that reinforce the belief that the world is not safe. And so they develop allergies to reflect that belief in their incompatibility with the world at birth. Many of these parents who believe the world is unsafe, happen to be hyper clean. Which is why so many children that are born into overly sanitary homes develop allergies.
People in the modern world, subscribe to the Newtonian model of viewing the world as purely a mechanical, physical world. Because of this, they only like to tell the physical story behind ailments. But that is a very narrow view. It’s a bit like saying that light comes from a light bulb when the story of where light came from, started way before we got to the part that involved the light bulb. We like to tell the story that allergies are genetic, when the real story is that thought patterns are adopted and inherited by family members and our bodies react similarly to those thought patterns. This is why adopted children show the exact same likelihood to develop things like cancer despite being genetically unrelated to the families they are adopted into. Everything holds a vibration. If we do not harmonize with something, it is because that thing holds a vibration that does not resonate or harmonize with ours. It is a vibrational incompatibility. But the thing that creates that vibrational incompatibility is thoughts. You will notice that when you are thinking thoughts that are holding you out of alignment (not feeling good), you are drawn together with foods and animals and pollens and materials that you believe are out of alignment for you. When you are in alignment (feeling good), you are drawn together with foods and animals and pollens and materials that you believe are in alignment for you. For many people, it just so happens that when they are drawn together with things that they believe on a subconscious or conscious level are bad for them, the body’s natural defense mechanism (the immune system) releases histamine which triggers an inflammatory response in the body. On an energetic level, the reason the histamine reaction so often affects the bronchial tubes and lungs (the culprit in the characteristic allergy or asthma attack where someone can’t breathe), is that breath is the doorway to life. If we think life is dangerous, we don’t want to take life in. So that resistance to taking in life, manifests as the body not wanting to take in breath.
Here are some suggestions that may help you find relief from your allergies.
Hydrate yourself with good water. Alkaline water, spring water or artesian well water is best. Allergies indicate that the body has increased its production of histamine. In a well-hydrated body, foreign agents that cause allergic attack are neutralized quickly without the body needing to create an exaggerated increase in histamine. Histamine is the cause of so any of those nasty allergy symptoms. Histamine activity becomes exaggerated in a dehydrated body because the toxins within the body are high. So, carry water with you all day long. On an energetic level, water holds one of the most in alignment and allowing vibrations that there is. So attuning to the vibration of water decreases your resistance and thus decreases the manifestation of allergic reaction.
Try Bio-Resonance Therapy. I have had several clients with allergies who have tried this therapy and swear by it. I will warn you that the mainstream American medical community sees Bio-Resonance Therapy as pseudo science and quackery. But as you know, I have very little respect for the mainstream medical community when it comes to anything other than physical trauma. Most of the promising studies relative to Bio-Resonance Therapy have been done in Germany and other European countries. So I think it is worth a try. This therapy is used to erase the cell’s vibratory memory of a particular antigen, thus it annuls the body’s allergic response to that antigen all-together.
Cleanse your liver. Your liver de-toxifies your body. A person who has allergies, is resistance to their environment, they feel that they need to defend themselves against it. The manifestation of that defense reaction is an overactive immune system. An over active immune system, leads to allergies and allergy attacks. Your liver is a crucial component to the function of your immune system. Improving your liver will help your immune system to balance itself out so the immune system can function without creating an exaggerated histamine reaction. Allergies are one of the main reasons that people do liver cleanses. Most of you know that my favorite liver cleanse yet is offered by Andreas Moritz. It is called the amazing liver and gall bladder flush. It is important to do a liver cleanse exactly in accordance with the directions. Liver flushes can be likened to internal surgery without the use of a knife. And the liver cleanses needs to be done month after month until no intrahepatic stones remain. Cleansing your liver is like changing a pool filter that has been in place for over twenty years years. You cannot imagine the amount of ailments that can be cleared up by liver cleanses.
Burn 100% beeswax candles. Some people choose to burn them in their homes throughout the entire day. Here’s the theory as to why it works; burning beeswax produces negative ions. Negative ions purify the air. Airborne particles are attracted to the negatively charged electrode in a similar way that static electricity causes things to stick together. They then seek an earth conductor such as walls, floors or ceilings and cease to float around in the air. Most beeswax candles contain only half beeswax and the rest is a toxin called paraffin wax. So, remember that these candles must be 100% beeswax.
Cut milk, wheat (especially white flour) and meats (especially red meat) out of your diet. Eating foods that are not designed for human consumption stimulates your immune system to protect itself. Your body perceives these foods as a threat to homeostasis and so your body becomes inflamed. The immune system is put into hyperactive mode. When it is in this hyper active mode, you are especially prone to developing an exaggerated histamine response relative to all kinds of things such as pollen, animal dander, grasses, and other foods.
Use Neti pots daily. Irrigate your sinuses with salt water and gargle with salt water. This dislodges the irritants that may be causing upper respiratory allergy symptoms. And it prevents inflammation that is caused by those irritants
Drink peppermint tea and Green tea. This is one of the oldest remedies for allergies. These teas act as a detoxifier, an anti inflammatory and decongestant.
Eat honey produced by bees in your region. This is especially helpful if you have seasonal allergies or pollen allergies. The bees transfer pollen from flower blossoms to honey. Honey is full of enzymes, which help you to metabolize the pollen inside the honey; so if you eat a little honey every day you'll gradually become inoculated against the irritating effects of pollens in your area.
Use colloidal oatmeal for skin irritations caused by allergens. This remedy is particularly good for hives. It doesn’t only sooth skin, it also protects it from irritants. The chemicals found in oats reduce the skin inflammation caused by allergens.
Use cold potato slices for swollen, puffy eyes. Slice raw potato and lay one slice over each of your eyes for a few minutes. This decreases swelling and tightens the skin around your eyes.
Don’t just accept the surface, physical explanation for what you’re allergic to. Do a little digging to find out what it is that you’re resistant to about what you’re allergic to. Learn everything about what you are allergic to. Look for your trauma or your fear relative to that thing. Then, release resistance to that thing. Transform those painful feeling thoughts the same way you would any other thought. Question the thoughts. Reverse the thoughts. Change the thoughts.
I will demonstrate what I discovered when I dug deeper relative to my own allergy to cilantro. I hate cilantro. It tastes like industrial cleaner. When I was young I often accompanied my childhood abuser to slaughterhouses. Part of his job was to bring old animals from the dairy farms to the slaughterhouse. The slaughterhouses are infamous for hiring illegal immigrants and in the area where I grew up; illegal immigrants are almost entirely Mexican. I did not understand at that young age that the slaughterhouse jobs were the only ones that would hire these men who were “illegal”. I had a deeply intense connection to animals and all I knew was that as I opened the door to the slaughterhouse, I was starting at a football field long line of Mexican men hacking up pieced of cow, with blood covering their white aprons. The sight traumatized me and I thought that all Mexicans must be the most barbaric, terrible kind of people. It did not help that later in my teen years, many of the more sexually aggressive men made sexual advances towards me while covered in all of that meat packing plant gore. Cilantro was not something that we ate in our home. The first time I ate cilantro, my mother had taken me unwillingly to a Mexican restaurant. I associated cilantro with Mexicans and I associated Mexicans with the feeling of standing there in front of that line up of men covered in blood, slaughtering and carving up cows. The aversion developed into an allergy. On top of the terrible taste, my mouth swells up and tingles, my throat itches and my gums get irritated. My body tries to protect itself from the cilantro by creating an immune response. But that “I have to protect myself” reaction is not in response to the actual food, it’s in response to the association I have with the food.
At the core of allergies is a belief that there are good things and bad things. If you were to see the food or animal or pollen or material from the perspective of source (which holds only pure positive focus towards all things in existence), you would move the vibration relative to that thing into a different space. On a practical level, this means if you know that you have an allergy to something, improve the way you are thinking about it. This doesn’t mean run out and expose yourself to that thing. It just means that the more positive you feel towards that thing, the less your body will react to that thing with an attitude of needing to defend itself against it. And remember that once you have it in your mind that you have an allergy, your aversion to that thing and negative focus towards that thing gets stronger. In other words, the fear gets worse and then, the allergy gets worse. Think more good feeling, empowered thoughts about allergies in general and about whatever you think you are allergic to and your condition will not only improve, it could disappear entirely.
The idea of incest sends shivers up our spine, so it is understandable how so many of us would rather deny that sexual feelings exist between parents and children. But the truth is, though not every one is effected by it to the same degree, the Oedipus complex is alive and well within all of us. And until we recognize its patterns, and accept them, we are doomed to neurotically repeat the same pattern in all of our relationships that we originally had with our parents.
Let me first explain the legend of Oedipus. Oedipus was born to King Laius and Queen Jocasta. Laius visited The Oracle at Delphi, who prophesized that his son would grow up to murder his father and marry his mother. Thus, he staked his son out in a field to die of exposure. The baby was found by shepherds and raised by King Polybus and Queen Merope in the city of Corinth. Oedipus visited the oracle at Delphi later in his manhood and again, The Oracle prophesized that he would kill his father and marry his mother, but believing he was fated to murder his adoptive father Polybus and marry his adopted mother Merope, he left Corinth. Heading to Thebes, Oedipus met an older man in a chariot coming the other way on a narrow road. The two quarreled over who should give way, which resulted in Oedipus killing the stranger and continuing on to Thebes. He found that the king of the city (Laius) had been recently killed and that the city was at the mercy of the Sphinx. The sphinx would kill anyone who could not give the correct answer to a riddle. Oedipus answered the monster’s riddle correctly, defeating it and winning the throne of the dead king and the hand in marriage of the king's widow, Jocasta. Oedipus and Jocasta had two sons and two daughters. In his search to determine who killed Laius (and thus end a plague on Thebes), Oedipus discovered it was he who had killed the late king (his true birth father) and married Jacosta (his true birth mother). Jocasta, having realized that she had married her own son and Laius's murderer, hanged herself. Oedipus seized two pins from her dress and blinded himself with them.
The lesson inherent in this legend is multi fold, the first lesson being that we are fated to experience the very thing that we resist. This is a concept that adheres perfectly to what we know about the law of attraction, as it applies to the principal that whatever we resist persists. The second lesson being that we are destined to have a sexual relationship with our opposite sex parent and to develop rivalry with our same sex parent. Oedipus complex is a deeply ingrained part of our psyches and it’s dynamics play out in every one of our relationships. If we were made to feel guilty and shamed for our sexual feelings (for masturbation or for nudity etc.) It breeds neurosis because we have two contradictory states within ourselves such as desire and resistance to that desire based on guilt. It puts us at war with ourselves. Neurosis is an in internal war of conflicting ideas within ourselves. We begin to resist ourselves, which cuts us off from the source current that flows from non physical to physical, supporting our life functions. The Oedipus complex can cut us off from life itself.
As a woman, you are destined to be in a romantic relationship with your father. As a man, you are destined to be in a romantic relationship with your mother and play out the painful dynamics that were present between you and that parent again and again and again. Oedipus complex simply put, is the subconscious desire to unify with the parent of the opposite sex (that desire to bond, manifests in the animal kingdom as the desire for sexual involvement) and an accompanying subconscious rivalry with the parent of the same sex. On occasion, homosexuality can be caused by the Oedipal situation that occurred in one’s childhood. On occasion, if someone is homosexual, the Oedipus complex is reversed and the desire to unify is directed at the same sex parent, while the rivalry is experienced towards the opposite sex parent.
The bottom line is, we will play out the dynamic we had with our parents over and over again in adulthood so as to try to find resolution for the feelings we had to suppress as children, because there was no way to resolve those feelings as a child. This concept goes hand in hand with the idea of “love reincarnations”. The idea of love reincarnation is that as people, we get into relationships again and again with people who remind us of the parent that we didn’t get the love we wanted from as a child. Usually this is the opposite sex parent. We then try to get them to love us in the way we needed that parent to love us when we were young. Doing this, is our subconscious attempt to resolve our daddy or mommy issues. This is why you keep having the same issues in relationships over and over. You see the same patterns come up. And you keep dating the same person over and over even though they have different faces and different names. Our system reincarnates our parents and plays out the Oedipus complex again and again to try to find resolution and healing. When your psyche comes up against pain or trauma it cannot resolve, it must suppress the feelings associated with the experience. But suppression does not heal anything. Instead, your entire personality becomes “stuck” on that experience. It plays out like a skipping CD. And the cd cannot resume playing (you cannot progress past it towards something else) until the pattern is recognized, the original pain is revisited and that part of you is accepted.
We are attracted to people based on our expansion. The universe hopes that if we come up against the same reflection over and over and it gets bigger and bigger, we will eventually recognize the pattern and shift our vibration so as to be a match to new things. In other words, we will expand. When we are young, we don’t deal well with nuances and contradictions. We can’t conceptualize that the person who gives us pleasure and the person who gives us pain can be the same person. So we split our idea of them into two, the good parent and the bad parent in one body. We always find ourselves attracted to our mates because they represent “the good parent”. And our relationships degrade when over time we begin to see in them more of the traits that we associate with the “bad parent”. We act out against them in a way that we couldn’t as children. We have suppressed our feelings about our parent so deeply that we do not experience those feelings towards our parent, we experience the suppressed feelings we feel for our parent, towards our spouse or romantic partner (the reflection of our parent) instead.
If you want to change your chronic relationship patterns, it is essential to take a serious look at how your childhood relationship with your parents plays out now in your adulthood relationships with lovers. Let go of caring what us true or not true about your childhood. Your current life and feelings are only the result of one thing, your perspective. Healing is only ever the result of addressing your perspective. Write a synopsis of the way that you felt relative to each of your parents as a child and relative to your siblings. What caused you pain? What did you need or want? What was it like to be you as a child? Admit to your family dynamics from your subjective perspective. Then look at the patterns in your romantic relationships. Can you identify a correlation between the patterns in your relationships and the relationship you had with your parents, especially the opposite sex parent? Then write down a list of positive things about your opposite sex parent. What did you like about them? What did they do that was nice? After that, write a list of negative things about that same parent. What did you not like about them? What did they do that hurt you? And compare those lists to your previous relationships. Do you see any patterns? Again, your suppressed feelings towards your opposite sex parent, will often not surface relative to the parent themselves, but instead will surface in your relationships towards the women or men you’re romantically involved with. For example, a woman may have suppressed their rage at being abandoned by their father, so they don’t feel that fear and rage when they think of him, but that rage will instead surface and be expressed towards every man she becomes romantically or sexually involved with.
The most important part about the Oedipus complex however, is about our relationship with fate. Sometimes we believe negative things to be true and unavoidable to such a degree that no one can convince us otherwise. This occurs when our problems have become so much a part of us, that they are now a part of our personality. When this is the case, our fate has been decided; and anything we do to try to escape that fate brings that fate ever closer. If you struggle against fate, it wraps its coils around you even tighter than before. For example, if we were rejected by one of our parents as a child, we may do everything we can do to avoid being rejected in the future. And in the process, our fear may make us so difficult to be around, that people won’t want to be around us. And so, we have ensured that our inevitable fate is that people will reject us.
We suppress our pain relative to our childhood relationships because we cannot change them; we simply have to live with them. But when we suppress something, it becomes part of our personality. To try to ignore or deny a problem that is part of one’s personality is impossible. This only suppresses it and ingrains it into the personality further. To try to overcome a problem that is part of one’s personality is to turn part of yourself against another part of yourself. By trying to overcome a problem that is part of your personality, you are unintentionally waging war with yourself. And when we resist something, it persists. We unintentionally commit ourselves by our thoughts, words and actions to the very fate we are trying desperately to avoid. This is the heart of neurosis. The defenses that we erect to protect us, create the very condition we are trying to avoid. Our resistance is so great and our problems have become an integral part of our personality to such a degree that we cannot align with what we want to create. We are locked into a creation pattern.
The remedy for intense resistance is counterintuitive. We must accept that whatever we are resisting, is our fate and find a way to approve of that fate. We need to understand what we are doing and why we are doing it, re visit the old, suppressed pain, express the feelings associated with it, and ultimately fully accept it as part of us. For example, if one of my parents made me believe that I was forsaken, I might believe that it is my fate to suffer. I identify with suffering even though I do everything I can think of to get happy. I’m desperate to get happy, but being unhappy is part of my personality. If I want to overcome that part of my personality, I will suffer for the rest of my life. The remedy is to accept that even though I try to be happy, I believe my fate is to suffer. I must accept that I will suffer for the rest of my life and find a way to genuinely approve of that. For example: If I am destined to suffer, then I can know that nothing has gone wrong if I do suffer, I can just let myself experience it. If I am destined to suffer, I will know exactly how to help people when they suffer. If I’m destined to suffer, the happy times will be much more meaningful to me. If I am destined to suffer, it means I am stronger than other people. If I’m destined to suffer, I will be full of compassion. If I am destined to suffer, I will be humble and that is an admirable quality. If I’m destined to suffer, I am experiencing so much contrast that my desires will be greater than most other people’s desires and so, my expansion will also be greater. I will be adding to universal expansion more than most people do, etc. Accepting one’s fate or despair, is not resignation. It is an acknowledgement that one cannot overcome what is part of the self. And the minute you do that, the coils of that fate loosen around you. And you are free from it.