The second we realized that mind creates reality and the minute we became acquainted with the law of attraction, we took that to the worst possible place and became spiritual perfectionists to the degree that we were actually more self loving when we were unconscious and believed that the world was separate from us and bad things just happened to us. We believe everything is about positive focus and feeling good and that if we aren’t feeling good, we’re out of control and failing miserably.
The law of attraction essentially is the law of mirroring. It is a learning construct in this time space reality that enables us to clearly see ourselves in that whatever is inside us is reflected externally. In seeing things clearly like this, we can then change our thoughts and words and actions so the external reflects what we would prefer. It is the perfect platform for expansion, evolution and progression, all of which facilitates awareness and awakening. But so much of the stuff that reflects in our external reality are things within us we have no conscious awareness of, until it shows up externally. We call this post-manifestational awareness. And even when we become consciously aware of it, it’s not all that easy to change. You can recognize that your spouse leaving you is the reflection of the abandonment issues you have, but did that awareness cause you to feel good about your spouse leaving? No. The bottom line is, we don’t feel good all the time but we’ve been told it’s our choice to feel good or bad at all moments of the day and so, what do we do? We feel like failures because our life isn’t picture perfect but all we know how to do is try harder and so we become self-abusive in the name of spirituality. Let’s take a good look at what we really expect from ourselves and each other….
1. We expect ourselves to be aware of everything within ourselves so things never “surprise us” and thus we have total control over our reality. 2. We expect ourselves to consciously choose everything in our life. To intentionally create our life to the degree that nothing unwanted ever crosses our path. 3. We expect ourselves to be able to instantly change the thoughts we’re thinking and way we feel and thus feel good all the time, even if you fail at creating your reality and tragedy does strikes. 4. We expect ourselves to be the image of spiritual perfection we have in our heads. If you’re anything like me, under this kind of spiritual pressure, you’re thinking… I rue the day I ever got into this spiritual stuff. Consciousness isn’t worth it. And as if it isn’t bad enough that we expect this of ourselves, we expect it of other people too. We face the judgement within this community all the time. As if it isn’t bad enough that things aren’t going well, we get to add “and you’re creating it all” to the mix so we can essentially burn in the hell fire of self-blame. We have a belief that if we weren’t doing something wrong, our life would be going perfect. In other words, if life isn’t going perfect, we make it mean that we’re doing something spiritually wrong. You think “I should be feeling good no matter what is going on and if I’m not, I’m doing something wrong and bad things are gonna manifest. And I can’t seem to get it right cause look at my life… so something must be wrong with me.” Stop for a second and look at how terrible that kind of pressure and self-blame is for a minute. Even if you have to stop this video to think about that for a minute, do it. This is shame! And the spiritual community actually supports it! Speaking of which, I have a video on YouTube titled: How to Overcome Shame, I suggest you go watch it!
So, depending on your particular spiritual discipline, you have an externally imposed idea of how perfection should look and if you fall short of that, you make it mean that you’re failing. For example, if you are in some Buddhist circles, if you’re not at total peace in a state of non-reactivity, free from attachment and living as a minimalist in brown robes… There’s something wrong with you. Or if you’re in the positive focus law of attraction community, if you’re not a millionaire by now, with the perfect partner and the best possible career and wonderful friends and perfect health, feeling unconditional love as you drive your new Ferrari down the freeway with a positive forward thinking attitude… There’s something wrong with you.
Nothing is wrong with you. You’re not failing. It’s just that the ego has covertly hijacked your spiritual practice. The ego is the only aspect of you concerned with right vs. wrong, good vs. bad and failure vs. success. And the deeper truth is that you’re still desperately trying to get love by being right and good and successful. So give yourself that love. Have compassion and loving affection for the aspect of you that is so desperate to keep yourself good and right and successful in order to get love that it is now using spiritual practice to punish or pressure the rest of you into that mold. Realize that you’re dealing with yourself the same way adults in your childhood did. You’re expecting perfection from yourself in order to believe that something is right and lovable about you.
Sit down and have a come to Jesus moment about what you really expect from yourself and be honest about it. Get present to the pressure you’re putting on yourself. There is a difference between actually feeling forgiveness and expecting yourself to feel forgiveness. For example, I realized a while back that as a spiritual teacher I genuinely expected myself to feel good no matter what happened to me. I couldn’t do it. And so I felt like there was something wrong with me. So just so you get the spiritual pressure that even I put myself under, I believed something was wrong with me if I couldn’t feel love and joy when people were writing slanderous articles about me on the internet and burning my paintings publicly and sending death threats. Talk about self-abusive.
It’s also tempting when we aren’t genuinely honest with ourselves to resort to spiritual bypassing. If we believe we know how we should feel or should think or should be, to create a façade that we do feel that way and do think that way and are that way when the truth is we aren’t. So I suggest if you struggle with putting spiritual pressure on yourself to watch my video on YouTube titled: Spiritual Bypassing.
It is tempting to look at people you think are succeeding at actually being the spiritually perfected image you have in your head and making that the new standard you compare yourself to. Take it from me; I’m around other spiritual teachers all the time. So much of it is total pretense. For example, if I didn’t flat out tell you just then that I don’t feel good when I interact with the people who publicly slander me, you would have assumed I was fine with it cause my perspective is so transcendental. You don’t know what’s really going on with other people when they don’t flat out tell you and most people wont flat out tell you because they don’t want to be seen as failures and so you assume you’re the only one who can’t ‘get it right’. What if no one can get it right? And on top of that in this universe, there is no ultimate right. Let that set in for a minute. Right is a matter of perspective and if you haven’t noticed yet, no one agrees on that perspective. So right vs. wrong is an entirely subjective experience.
Let yourself off the hook. You can’t get life wrong because there are no words in the sky spelling out what is wrong. So there’s no way to get it right. What if you stopped expecting yourself at this very minute to feel good because feeling bad doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you, would it be ok to not feel good? What if you stopped expecting yourself at this very minute to have the perfect job or the perfect partner or to be a millionaire because not having those things doesn’t mean something is wrong with you, would it be ok to be where you are?
Right now, make a list of the things you disapprove of about yourself. Those things that mean something is wrong with you. The things you expect from yourself but just can’t seem to live up to. Find approval for each item on this list. And involve other people in this brainstorming process if you’re having a hard time with it. So, for example, how is it good to feel bad? How is it good to be reactive? How is it good to have no money? Etc.
When you look at the things you expect from yourself or desperately want to reach, have another come to Jesus moment, but this time about why you want those things. Also, take a look at what are you trying to get away from to the opposite end of those things. For example, a person may want a perfect partner because they want to feel a sense of being loved and valued because to the opposite side, they hate the feeling of being alone with the feeling of being unlovable and worthless.
The bottom line is, you’ve been trying it this way for a long time. You’ve been trying to get it all right and be perfect according to your spiritual tradition and it hasn’t worked. You’ve just added your name to the overwhelmingly long list of people who hate themselves and are looking to spiritual practice to make them better and more lovable. If you knew you were never gonna get it right, what then? What would be possible then? What would you do instead? So take the pressure off. You aren’t failing. Imagine a world where it was ok to feel how you feel and experience what you’re experiencing. A world where you felt like everything about you and your life, including the stuff that isn’t necessarily preferred was lovable and valuable the way it is.
Morality is about principles, fundamental truths or propositions that serve as the foundation for a system of belief, behavior or chain of reasoning. Morals are principals concerning the rightness and wrongness or goodness and badness of behavior. What is the problem with this? To start with Source or God never wrote a code of ethics and morals in the sky. You may believe a book contains these God given ethics and morals, but you cannot prove that God wrote them. You can only believe God wrote them. Or believe that whoever wrote them wrote them on behalf of God correctly. Or God forbid believe someone translated the original texts correctly. And the thing is, you can guarantee that even if you believe that a text on morality is the word of God, another group of people definitely does not. In fact they believe they have the word of God. This wouldn’t be a problem if both parties agree on what God said about morality. But guess what? They do not… what then? As much uncertainty as it creates to admit to it, the reality is that people do not agree on what is right or what is wrong. And God or Source does not have an opinion on the matter because what we call God or Source is a consciousness that exists in a state of non-judgment. But you can’t even prove that I am right about that can you… you can only believe that I am.
The concept of right and wrong is entirely subjective and it just so happens that sometimes multiple people agree. When they agree, they often collect into little groups and validate each other’s subjective viewpoint and become more convinced everyone else is wrong until suddenly they are at war and convinced it is perfectly morally right to be at war. Right versus wrong as it applies to morality is a very slippery slope. For example, many Christians believe it is wrong to kill. It is a tenant in their bible. And yet as we speak soldiers who call themselves Christian kill people in the Middle East and believe it to be morally right to do so. And so do we. We drive around with bumper stickers displaying our support of their efforts overseas. We also believe it is moral to support them. So which is it? Is it moral or immoral to kill? Is it moral or immoral to support those who kill? If so, when is it moral to kill and why? Just ask this question to a group of enough people and watch the fight over morality ensue. Why does this fight ensue? Because the minute we decide a code of conduct is moral, we believe it should be universal. We believe it should be a code of conduct that applies to everyone. In fact, we often assume it is the same for everyone and we’re shocked when we find this isn’t the case. This is one of the most shocking thing about traveling the world. The modern concept of morality is dependent upon geographical location. And guess what? Morals change over time. Just look at a brief overview of history. In Europe it was once considered to be immoral for men and women to have physical contact on the dance floor. They were expected to dance together from opposite sides of the room. In India, marriage between people of different Castes was seen as immoral. In America, it was immoral to say Blast or Wretch or even Gosh. So was educating women. At one point in history it was considered moral to burn widows with their deceased husbands. It was considered moral to stone people to death and to own slaves and the list goes on. Just take a look at history to see how much has changed about our view of morality. You can bet some of what we see as immoral today, will be seen as moral tomorrow and some of what we see as moral today will be seen as immoral tomorrow. Morals (which are completely subjective whether they are subjective to a person or subjective to a group of people) are based off of things like personally acquired values, cultural upbringing and religious affiliation. Some of these morals you may have consciously chosen to adhere to. But let me tell you, most of the morals you live by are not yours. Like scaffolding, they are the structure that you built your life upon within the society you live in and many of them do not serve you or society at all. These imprints are inherited. They are imposed on you. They need to be questioned. But questioning our morals makes us very uncomfortable. To do so, we must emotionally confront the consequences we fear we will face if we are wrong or bad.
Morals keep us from being condemned. Condemnation being of course the experience of being completely disapproved of, especially publicly. It is the ultimate form of shame. And it exists to help us avoid the consequences, especially punishments that may be accessory to that disapproval. Growing up in a moral household is an intensely painful experience, seeing as a child must go through the experience of condemnation at the hands of people who see condemnation as a way of loving their child. In this scenario, shame and love become synonymous and self-regulation becomes self-abuse. To understand more about this, watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Overcome Shame. We, who are negatively judged, grow up to negatively judge unless we intervene in that unconscious process within ourselves. Morals are dysfunctional because they close the mind and the heart down. If we hold too hard to an idea of right versus wrong or good versus bad, we shut our minds to seeing any alternative truth. We shut people with alternative truths out of our lives. Principals are rigid. They do not allow for the flexible flow one must develop in order to move through this life without creating suffering. Morals also destroy relationships as is evident in war. But even on a smaller scale, morality prevents us from really seeing our friends and partners and from understanding one another by standing in their shoes. As it applies to romantic relationships, nowhere is this morality issue more evident than in the argument over fidelity. To understand how this works, watch my video on YouTube titled: Fidelity and Infidelity in relationships. Conscience is an inner feeling or voice which is subjectively viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one's own behavior. Yes. That’s right. Conscience is subjective too. But it is concerned with the self instead of others. In other words, it is more concerned with right or wrong for you specifically versus right or wrong in general. There is an intuitive feel to conscience where as Morality is guided by reason. Think of conscience like a guiding light. That light is obscured and bent by morals. Morals are like a filter that the conscience is fed through. By questioning your morals and learning to hold the ones you do have loosely; you remove the filter that is obscuring the light of your conscience. You can feel your own inner truth as well as objective truth surfacing. You become a highly guided person who acts according to your internal sense of yes or no but who does not impose that internal yes or no on others.
There is a reason that ethics (moral philosophy) is an entire branch of philosophy. There is no solid truth relative to right or wrong and so, it is wide open for investigation. And let me tell you, if you ever want to wander way out on a limb mentally and emotionally, and open your mind way up relative to right and wrong, just start snooping around for information made available from this branch of philosophy.
What do you think is right? What do you think is wrong? What do you think is good? What do you think is bad? Open your mind up to alternative views if you haven’t. Remain curious of alternative views and stay open to your own views relative to conscience changing as a result of that curiosity. You can continue to share your way and share how you feel relative to specific subjects without making other people ‘wrong’ and condemning them.
A person who has high morals does not just make others wrong, they run the risk of making themselves wrong and living a life riddled with shame and guilt because of it. Any time you live your life according to how you think things should be, and life brings you a scenario where your inner compass says yes, but your morals say no, you will be in a world of torment as a result of self-condemnation. If you are one of these people who knows that you have made yourself wrong according to your own moral standards, watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Let Go of Guilt.
I suggest that you lay down your moral judgments and instead make a practice of curiosity and conscience. It is the perfect antidote to the Ego’s morality trap. Any time you are confronted with a view or argument that triggers your morality buttons, consciously pretend you are an extraterrestrial with no prior ideas of right or wrong, good or bad. Try to take on their perspective entirely. Let it enter you as if genuinely considering it from their perspective with their background surrounded by their influences. Rigidity is a painful experience within the body. By doing this, you will feel yourself softening. Many times your own view will not change, but your condemnation of the other will. And morality will give way to conscience. You may just be able to find a meeting of minds.
Play this game with yourself as well, any time your internal compass says yes when your moral compass says no. Take on the perspective of the one who says no within you and then the one who says yes within you as if you are an extraterrestrial with no prior ideas of right and wrong and explore those two distinct perspectives and the values and needs and desires associated with each of them. Feel your self-condemnation melt away.
Question your morals and perhaps your conscience can shine through as a reflection of your true self because the correct way, the true way and the only way… does not exist.
When we first come into this life, we experience the world entirely through felt perception. We feel the world before we see the world. Feeling and emotion is not only the heart of your life here on earth, it is also the heart of your relationships. Given this truth, it is obvious why it is such a big problem that we have a negative relationship with our emotions. Our relationship with our own emotions and other people’s emotions begins in our childhood. In today’s world, most parents ignore the world of emotion entirely. They adhere to typical parenting advice, which focuses on how to correct misbehavior whilst disregarding the feelings that underlie and cause the misbehavior. Regardless of how far we have progressed, the goal of parenting is still to have a compliant and obedient child, not to raise a healthy adult. The goal is to raise a child who is “good”. Our justice system takes the exact same approach with regards to misbehavior. We are concerned with correcting misbehavior and creating good citizens whilst being unconcerned with the feelings that motivate such misbehavior. Good parenting involves emotion. Good relationships involve emotion.
Today, most parents make three crucial mistakes, the same ones that were most likely made with you when you were growing up. 1. They disapprove of their children’s emotions, 2. They dismiss their children’s emotions and 3. They offer no guidance to a child with regards to their emotions. The parent who disapproves of their child’s emotions is critical of their children’s displays of negative emotion and reprimand or punish for emotional expression. The parent, who dismisses their child’s emotions, disregards them as important, ignores their child’s emotions or worse, trivializes their child’s emotions. And the parent, who offers no guidance, may empathize with their child’s emotions, but does not set limits on behavior or assist the child in understanding and coping with their emotion. The most damaging aspect of emotional dismissal and disapproval is as follows. When a parent disapproves of their child’s emotion or dismisses it, the child begins to accept the parent’s estimation of the event and learns to doubt his or her own judgment. As a result, the child loses confidence in themself. When emotional dysfunction rules the relationship, the child learns that they have no right to feel how they feel. They learn that it is wrong to feel how they feel. In short, they learn that it is wrong to feel the way that they feel. Now here’s the crux, the child believes that if it is wrong to feel the way they feel, but they feel that way, something must be wrong with them.
Because this is how our parents taught us to treat emotion, this is how we treat our own feelings and each other’s feelings as adults. Our friendships and romantic relationships are painful because we do not know how to emotionally relate with one another. We fail to develop true intimacy with one another. We dismiss each other’s emotions. We disapprove of each other’s feelings. We tell other people how they should and shouldn’t feel. We have no patience for the emotional needs of others. We see emotions and feelings as weakness. We call people who display emotions, sensitive. And as a result, our adult relationships are emotionally unhealthy.
When we learn one way or another over the course of our lives that it is not ok to have feelings, there is one particular strategy we use to deal with our emotion that is the most dysfunctional and damaging in the long run. We learn how to “tune out” our emotions, disconnect from them, deny them, disown them, suppress them and likewise banish them from our awareness. In other words, we stop feeling. It is as if feelings in their entirety are unacceptable and so they are delegated to the subconscious mind. At a more minor level, this is like a perpetual numbness and/or suppression and on a more serious level, this is dissociation.
Your feelings are not only the key to good relationships with yourself and others; they are your guidance system in life. So learning how to feel is as critical as learning how to use a compass in the open sea. The better you are at feeling, the deeper your connection with life will be. The better you are at feeling, the more clarity you have. The better you are at feeling, the faster you will heal. The better you are at feeling, the more aware you are of what you really want. The better you are at feeling, the more sensitive your internal navigation system will be and thus the easier it will be to come into alignment and thus experience the kind of life that reflects that alignment.
So here are some tips for how to start feeling:
Admit to where you are. You’ve got to be aware that you are not really aware of how you feel in order to turn your awareness deliberately towards feeling and begin to feel again. Reflect back on your childhood and life up to this point. What was it about your environment that led you to believe that emotions are threatening or dangerous? What experiences were you adapting to? I’ll tip you off… Lack of emotional awareness and connection is most often associated with what we call an avoidant attachment pattern in children, which develops into a dismissing attachment pattern in adults. This situation develops when a child does not get consistent or reliable emotional support from caregivers and adapts by emphasizing his or her self-sufficiency. An avoidant attachment pattern does not necessarily imply that parents were negligent. It does mean that parents, or other significant caregivers, exhibited a dismissing attachment pattern themselves. In that they taught the child that they were not reliable, especially emotionally and so relying on them and depending on that connection and intimacy with them was emotionally dangerous. A child might respond in childhood or early adulthood by distancing from that parent, adopting a dismissing stance towards that relationship and adopting the belief “I’m all good, I don’t need others and they aren’t the most important thing to me, I’m fine on my own”.
Practice coming back into your body. Sometimes if we can’t feel, it’s because we are not really embodied. Our consciousness is trying to avoid being in the body. As adults we’re conditioned to live outside our body, to always be focused externally. Also, if we were ever unsafe in our bodies, this motivation to live outside the body becomes stronger and stronger. We need to slow down and consciously imagine (which is calling the consciousness back) that our consciousness is sinking or dropping back into our body. Massaging or holding your ankles and feet while you do this is a good idea, as it can ground you back into the physical dimension. Lying in warm water can assist this process as well. Another good technique you can use is to take a breath and imagine that you are breathing that breath retroactively into your body as you exhale.
It is tempting to think that something about you is broken or that feeling is buried so deep you have no access to it. This is not the case. Your emotions are always giving you accurate feedback about yourself and your inner truth in each situation, whether you are allowing yourself to become aware of those feelings or not. Many of us simply bypass how we feel so quickly with our mind or actions that we do not stop long enough to become aware of how we feel. This habit must be broken. The first thing you need to do is to buy a little journal to carry with you during the day. Set a timer to go off at random intervals throughout the day and each time it goes off, close your eyes and scan the inside of your body. You are going to pretend that your skin separates your internal world from your external world. And the goal of the exercise is to “check in” with the internal world and write down the feelings you notice in this journal each time the timer goes off. These feelings could come with labels like emotions, such as shame or joy. If you’re confused about emotions, print off a sheet of paper that lists the various emotions and try to select the one that best represents your inner state at that time. Or the feelings could just be pure sensations, such as tightness or swelling or buzzing. After you get comfortable with simply reporting your emotion in the journal, reflect on what you think is giving rise to the feeling you are experiencing. For example, if you feel shame, you might become aware of the fact that you’ve been feeling this way ever since your boss put you on the spot at the company meeting.
Make use of particularly strong feelings to become aware of feeling. Use sensations that arise in your body in reaction to things as an alarm bell. Each time you feel a strong sensation that is the internal alarm going off saying “there’s something important here, pay attention to me”. So turn your attention inwards and sit with the emotion, give it your undivided attention and unconditional presence. Instead of trying to bypass, ignore, fix or heal the emotions, embrace the feelings and emotions entirely, no matter how painful they may be. Be with the feelings and emotions instead of trying to change them. Listen to them and what they need you to know. Observe the sensations and feelings and emotions in your body. They will intensify as you focus on them. Breathe continuously without unnecessary pauses between breaths. Breathe in and out of your nose. Notice the way you feel. Your entire goal is to be with your feelings, which is to fully be with yourself the way you truly are right here and now. For more detailed instructions about how to do this process, watch my video on YouTube titled: How to Heal the Emotional Body.
Create feeling experiences (both subtle and not so subtle, both positive and negative) for yourself specifically so you can pay attention to the feeling reactions you have to what is happening within your internal world. The whole goal of this exercise is to become aware of how experiences feel to you. Some examples of feeling experiences could be riding a ride at an amusement park, watching different movies that are designed to elicit different feelings within you, hanging out with different people from different cultures and social groups, climbing a mountain, having your skin rubbed with something soft, getting into an argument or another emotionally charged situation, swimming in the ocean, getting stuck in traffic, intentionally trying to or allowing yourself to feel someone else’s pain, visiting a homeless shelter or animal pound etc. See if you can notice not just the feeling from extreme experiences, but also the feeling from subtle, seemingly insignificant experiences.
Watch how emotion responds to thought. Deliberately think a thought that is horrible. Watch the feeling reaction you have to that thought. Deliberately think a thought that is wonderful. Watch the feeling reaction you have to the thought as if you were just observing it happen. Play around with different thoughts, both image thoughts such as the image of a coral reef and word thoughts such as “I am a failure”. And watch how the feeling response within you shifts and changes.
Address what you are afraid will happen if you do feel. Unveil the positive intention you have behind suppressing, denying, rejecting, or being unable to feel your emotions. We only ever engage in something that we subconsciously 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. Ask yourself… what bad thing will happen if I feel? The answer may be, I will be out of control. Then ask yourself, what is the hidden positive intention I have for not feeling? The answer might be, “I get to be in control”. You’ve got to make peace with or release resistance to what you’re trying to avoid by not feeling in order to feel. Also, you need to alter your perspective about getting whatever you’re getting out of not feeling in order to allow yourself to be conscious of how you feel. For example, you’ve got to release resistance to the idea of being out of control and/or see that feeling emotions does not mean you’re out of control and/or let go of the need to be in control in order to start feeling if the hidden positive intention of not feeling is to stay in control. 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.
Let yourself express emotions that you are aware that you feel. This eventually involves talking about your emotion to others in a meaningful way. For more on how to do this, watch my video on YouTube titled: How to Express Your Emotion.
Willingly feel for and experience the despair within you. Despair is a complete absence or loss of hope. It is utter powerlessness. Face it. A cover emotion is an emotion that exists to keep you out of a lower vibrational feeling. For example, anger is a cover emotion for fear. The cover emotions are like ice over a lake that prevents you from falling into the deep water beneath. Numbness or lack of feeling is in fact a cover emotion for the emotion of despair. The willingness and choice to acknowledge, feel and experience that despair, makes it so there is no longer a purpose for the numbness to exist. Anytime the feeling of despair surfaces within you, treat it like your doorway to freedom from disconnection and your doorway to feeling.
“Call off the Guards”. People, who have a hard time feeling, in fact use mental techniques in a very subconscious way to remove themselves from the experience of fully feeling. For example, they may immediately resort to spiritual bypassing or minimizing events or engaging in a focus or addictive behavior that gets their mind off it. They use their cognitive abilities and their intense sense for potential emotional trouble to “head major emotions off at the pass”. People who are that good at depersonalizing, or 'de-emotionalizing' their experiences recognize when emotions are about to occur, they are even more aware than most people are of the bodily changes in body language, skin heat and perspiration or arousal for example. But they are so quick to avoid the intensity of these experiences that they then use their mind to intellectualize the experience, which immediately cuts the charge out of an emotion! Your ability to feel depends on becoming aware of this 6th sense you have for knowing when emotions are about to occur and becoming aware of how you use your mind to shut them down before they actualize. Imagine these behaviors and thoughts designed to keep you out of charged emotion like guards and once you become adept at catching yourself in the act of this defense mechanism, choose to “call of the guards” by not employing those thoughts and actions and instead, letting yourself fully feel the hit of the emotion you were tempted to head off at the pass.
Feeling is the hallmark of being alive. A life without feeling is no life at all. So allow the feeling experience of life to move through you, if it scares you to do so, let the fear of feeling move through you completely and soon, you will feel yourself come back to life.
Way back when, psychics used to consciously allow beings to take control of their hand and write messages, letter and even books. This is when automatic writing became well known. Perhaps you are familiar with channeling. When someone channels, they are allowing the frequency of another being to come through their physical body and being. It works in a similar way to receiving a channel on a radio station. If you “tune into” the frequency being broadcast at 98.7 FM, you receive the channel and you can then hear it in your car radio. People can receive channels like that only they are specific streams of consciousness within the quantum field. When people dis-identify with themselves, those streams of consciousness can then speak through them or write through them. Some examples of famous channels you may know today are Bashar, Helene Smith, Neale Donald Walsh, Ramtha, Abraham Hicks, Theo and Seth. Automatic writing is the written form of channeling. And even though some people are particularly clear channels, whose own thoughts do not interfere with the signal of another being’s stream of consciousness, all people are technically channels who can learn the art of automatic writing. And it is one of the most useful therapeutic tools to access and become aware of your own subconscious mind. To begin, 1. Sit somewhere with a pen or pencil and paper totally free from distractions in a place where you are not going to feel tension. To begin with, you may wish to use the hand that you do not usually write with. The hand you write with is wired to neural pathways that are already set up within the brain according to thoughts you are used to thinking and things you’re used to doing. We want none of these neural pathway filters to interfere in this process. When you get more skilled at automatic writing, it will no longer matter which hand you use. 2. Adopt a position that feels “freeing” sort of like energy can move through you easily like a river. Relax all the muscles in your body, beginning with the top of your head and moving all the way down your body to your toes. Many people prefer to have the paper on their laps while sitting at a slight recline. Many people also prefer to do this process naked. 3. Put the pen to paper and consciously imagine letting go of control. Let go of all your inhibition. Just give it away, knowing that you can gain it back at any time you wish or if you wish to stop the exercise. It actually feels good to totally let go. Let go also of thoughts. If you need to meditate for however long it takes to clear the mind chatter, do so. In other words, meditate long enough that the gaps between thoughts become wide enough that you feel a kind of inner spaciousness. Do not think about the process of automatic writing. Simply allow your pen to begin to move. Letting anything come through the pen, no matter if it makes sense of not. It doesn’t need to make sense. Do not interpret what is being written, you can do that later. It is normal for the mind to butt in and try to take control. If it does this, simply stop writing and consciously let go of control again like you did at the beginning of the exercise. You can either do this with your eyes open or closed. And note that automatic writing can come in the form of doodles, pictures, symbols or words.
4. Allow the pen to move without your conscious will controlling it for as long as it wants to move. And when you’re finished, take a look at what has come out, feel free to assess what has occurred.
5. Become familiar with this process of letting yourself channel in general before you try channeling any specific stream of consciousness. Then when you are ready… Decide to either open up to whoever wants to come through you at this time (if you do this, you can ask for the to give you their name)… Or select a specific stream of consciousness to channel. Some examples of streams of consciousness you could try to allow to communicate through you are: Your higher self, your shadow self (subconscious), your child self, someone else’s child self, someone else’s conscious mind, someone else’s subconscious mind, someone else’s higher self, an extraterrestrial being, your spirit guides, your soul family, Jesus, the ascended masters as a group consciousness, the Buddha, a specific ghost or a deceased loved one. Keeping in mind that some are much more eager to be channeled than others. 6. Tap into their energy, attuning to it as if you were receiving a radio channel. Allow it to consume your being. Lose your identity and sense of separate self as if you’re dissolving into their frequency and breathing them through you. And repeat the same process described earlier, except this time with the conscious invitation for this specific energy to come through you. Imagine or sense or feel this stream of consciousness literally flowing through you as if it was a literal stream cascading through you and through your hand. You can either choose to let the writing flow or you can ask it questions (or have someone else ask it questions) and allow it to write the answers. If at any time you feel yourself listening to the answers and information or wanting to take the control back and answer how you want to answer instead of allowing the information to come through completely separate of attachment to what is said, simply stop and consciously let go of control again, it will feel similar to the feeling of swimming upstream in a river and then suddenly letting go and letting the current take you, limp and with no resistance whatsoever.
7. Come back to conscious awareness, reminding yourself of who you are in this current life and where you are and what year it is and then look over the information that was written.
It must be said that we are still subject to the law of attraction; if your frequency is bogged down with low frequency emotional wounds etc. it is not unheard of to attract a very low vibrational entity to come through you. This is usually what is happening when people are interacting with an entity that feels malevolent or when people allow possession. If this occurs, there is no need to slip into fear and panic. Just realize that this entity is reflecting an unhealed aspect of your being. If you are terrified of malevolent entities, watch my video on YouTube titled: Do Demons Exist? But the fact that we attract entities of like frequency means that it is absolutely crucial that anyone who wishes to develop the skill of channeling commits himself or herself to becoming the clearest channel that they can be. Adherence to a purifying diet, the practice of dis-identification, activities that raise your personal frequency and meditation is critical. For this reason, I want you to watch my videos on YouTube titled: How to Raise Your Frequency and Increase Your Vibration, Is There a Spiritual Diet, Dis-identification (the practice of non attachment), and Meditation to Release Resistance and Allow. Remember that if at any point in the process you become uncomfortable, stop. You can resume with the help of someone you trust to assist the process, such as a more experienced spiritual teacher, psychic, healer or occult practitioner if you wish.
Practice, practice and more practice! Certain things in our world become conductors of electricity. In the same way that electricity passes easily through them, with more practice you will become like a conductor of spiritual energy. The process will become more natural and effortless and the writing will begin to sound less and less like you as your thinking mind gives way. You will eventually be able to step out of the way for information coming from a non-physical dimension to come through you. It will be the most “in the flow” writing you’ve ever done. In fact, many of the greatest artists in history are in fact channels, who do not create art or writing, but instead, who allow the art to come through them.
At the very least, automatic writing sparks some serious creativity. But feel free to smile, I’m giving you full permission to become your own personal Ouija board and to get much more than a simple yes or no answer.
We cannot discuss political correctness without speaking about prejudice and stereotypes. After all, a person who is politically correct (or PC) is someone who seeks to set right the injustices done in the past by prejudice and stereotyping specifically by changing or avoiding language that may offend those people. Reality check moment…We are all prejudice to one degree or another. And we all stereotype to one degree or another. Regardless of whether we censor those sentiments or not. Here’s an example, you’re stereotyping when you say, black people are good dancers. It just so happens that this doesn’t offend most black people so it isn’t politically incorrect to say it. You’re stereotyping when you say, white people can’t dance. It just so happens that even if it does offend white people to say it, it isn’t politically incorrect to say it because whites are still expected to pay for the offenses of slavery. Now if you said, anything negative about black people, such as black people can’t swim, that would be politically incorrect because it is a social expectation that we redress the social injustice of slavery by never saying anything to offend black people.
In today’s world, speaking can be a bit like walking on broken glass. Political correctness is determined for you by the social group you interact with and grow up around. And you can bet different social groups do not agree on what is and isn’t politically incorrect. The more importance social groups place on appropriateness and social standards, the more dedicated they are to political correctness. But incase you haven’t noticed, it’s damn near impossible to genuinely express the truth of how you feel and what you think without offending someone. The desire to speak in a way that doesn’t hurt others is a noble enough cause. In fact, I did a whole video about the subject of speaking in a way that does not hurt other people. You should watch it; it’s called “Authenticity vs. Just Being An Asshole”. But let’s be honest, a genuine bigot will not be reading an article about political correctness, they’re not worried about offending people and thus looking bad, so this article is for the rest of you. Those of you who can’t stand the idea of saying what you really think and feel incase it offends someone and you come out looking like a bad guy.
So what is the problem with political correctness? If you’re being politically correct, you aren’t doing it to genuinely decrease suffering. You are not being honest, you’re being careful… Careful to look good. Being politically correct does nothing to address the real issues that political correctness is supposed to redress. It allows everyone to be covertly prejudice and covertly stereotype whilst condemning anyone else who does. I am going to offend people right now when I say what I’m about to say and that is that while there are always exceptions to every stereotype, most stereotypes wouldn’t exist in the first place if there was nothing backing them up. We can either become offended that the stereotype exists and demand to be dis-included from it, or we can live our lives out of accordance with the stereotype and simply allow people’s stereotyping to be disproven. For example, I am a spiritual person. It is a stereotype that spiritual people are all irresponsible. It may be offensive. I may not feel like I fit the stereotype. But if I’m honest, a ton of the people who I meet that identify themselves as spiritual are in fact quite irresponsible people. So I can either get upset at the stereotype and demand it isn’t true based on me or demand to be dis-included from it or continue to live in a responsible way and allow people to for a different opinion about spiritual people based on me.
Political correctness has fueled taboo. It has made certain topics off limits and so we can’t ever really express our sometimes painful emotional and mental truth directly enough to get anywhere with our communication or solve problems relating to those truths. It has made it so we can’t get comfortable with each other. We’re always in “performance mode” manipulating people’s opinions of us while hiding our genuine selves. It is important to see that we can’t engage in any meaningful discussion relative to taboo subjects if we are unwilling to reveal our true feelings and thoughts. We are fueling negative diversity and separation by prohibiting open communication in this way. When we are so careful about certain groups of people, we acknowledge and treat them as a separate group. Also, we are fueling shame. If we think or feel in a certain way that we have been taught is an unacceptable way to think and feel, we begin to condemn ourselves. The fact that we “shouldn’t” think or feel a certain way does nothing to change the fact that we do, so we’re convinced something is wrong with us or bad about us.
You want a harsh truth? There are a lot of deep truths that don’t feel good to face. There a lot of deep truths that may offend people and piss them off. There are a lot of deep truths within you that may not cast you in the greatest light. And it is important for the sake of authenticity to expose those truths so they can be meaningfully addressed. It is important to say what you mean and mean what you say. As a spiritual teacher, I find it discouraging that many of us would rather hear a direct lie than to hear someone say something politically incorrect. If we constantly censor ourselves relative to anything that might be controversial or offensive or taboo, we will end up in a prison of restricted expression and self-righteous moral indignation. Many of us are content to engage with others with not just one elephant in the room, but a whole herd of them in the room. If we can't talk about taboo subjects, If we can’t talk about our prejudices and stereotyping, if we can’t talk about the differences that puzzle us, or things we're genuinely curious about, without fear of giving offense, then how can we ever come up with actual solutions to problems? How can we overcome our internal pain or even our ignorance about each other?
I’m calling for an end to the constrictive gag order we impose upon ourselves and each other. I challenge you to be open about your prejudices and stereotypes. Be open about them and open to changing them. Be open about not wanting to state your current truth because of the fear of not looking good. Be open to talking about the taboo. Expose the elephant in the room. Expose the unsavory truths that you are tiptoeing around. Be authentic even if that authenticity isn’t going to be applauded by everyone around you and even if it isn’t going to guarantee the vote. If you get voted in by not meaning what you say and saying what you don’t mean, you didn’t win the vote anyway, your carefully crafted socially acceptable façade did.
The next time you feel yourself trying to carefully put things in a way that will not offend anyone and thus keep you looking good, just uncork the bottle and tell it like it is in it’s raw, unfiltered form. Say what you mean. Be brave enough to verbalize the truth as you see it. Be as brave enough to verbalize truth as you see it as you are brave enough to see a different truth or to have that truth proven wrong. Tiptoe talk is hollow. It lacks substance because there is none of you in it. It is like frosting with no cake underneath. And you’re never going to be able to be careful enough to avoid offending everyone. Besides, wouldn’t you rather be able to directly converse about something you actually think or feel, even if it is offensive, rather than pretend you don’t think or feel that way? Wouldn’t you rather vote or not vote for a political candidate based on the solid foundation of how they truly felt or thought? I urge you as part of your spiritual practice to care more about your actual raw, truth as opposed to looking good to others. I urge you to embrace the integrity of saying what you mean and meaning what you say. I urge you to expose the taboo and openly converse about everything, even if the subject is sensitive and might offend. Only then will we see any genuine or lasting positive change. Only then can we come together instead of fuel our differences. Take your political correctness and metaphorically set it on fire. See what it feels like to be free.
If it is poorly tended, it is the root of the damage that we do to each other on this earth. It is the heart of war. It is the destroyer of connection and as such, it ruptures relationships.
When conflict arises, we are being called to embody greater depths of intimacy and harmony. We are being called to become as aware as possible of ourselves relative to a subject. We can either answer that call or allow the conflict to drag us into deeper levels of unconsciousness. We can seek a meeting of minds or we can become reactive and try to end the conflict through power struggle. The struggle for power and control is the enemy of conflict resolution. Relationships involve the inevitability of rupture. The degree of security and joy felt within a relationship is really about our capacity to create repair. People, who cannot repair ruptures in relationships, cannot do so because they feel power and control over others is safety. When conflict arises their ego, which is in a state of fear, immediately seeks to win or to punish the other. Their ego seeks to stay safe and survive by being right, justified, good, and victorious so that the other person is the one who is wrong, unjustified, bad and loses. The down side is that this person cannot maintain relationships. This person also remains unconscious. This person lives in a state of starvation as they lack secure connection and intimacy.
If we are all like this as people, it is easy to see that our human society will never be in a state of harmony. We will all starve for connection and intimacy and our world will continue to see crime and war and atrocities. So, unless we want to live and raise our children in a world like that, we must end this pattern within ourselves. We must end the conflict within our own life. We do this by learning how to use conflict to become more conscious. We use conflict to awaken. It is not easy, because we have to be willing to become vulnerable, open and soft when everything in us is screaming to close off and become hard and defend ourselves. We must choose love over our own ego’s sense of survival. For this reason, I’m going to spell out a protocol for how to resolve conflict whenever it arises. You can apply this to any relationship, whether it is a one on one relationship, your family, your intentional community or the world at large.
1. Whoever feels that a meeting of minds is necessary, calls a meeting between the people involved in the conflict or for more challenging conflicts, between the entire community at the earliest time possible for both people. It is not an option to avoid conflicts. If even one person feels the need for conflict resolution, conflict resolution is needed.
The goal is understanding. This is not about agreeing or winning the conflict, this is about understanding. If both parties wish to understand the other, then both sides will be heard. Let it be known upfront that if this is not a time for anyone in the community to pick sides. It is an opportunity for mirrored growth and expansion of consciousness. Beware of seeing anyone as the “underdog”. This breeds defensiveness. The community stays quiet until asked to participate in the discussion involving the people who are at odds. If they wish to provide insight they must ask to do so. And the mantra going into conflict is “Everyone has a valid perspective.” And valid is not about right or wrong.
Remember that conflict is almost always caused by poor communication and poor understanding so the more questions we ask each other the better. The community is urged to ask both parties questions that lead the parties involved in the conflict towards greater understanding. Become interested and curious about the perspectives involved; do not walk into this like you already know the perspectives. We all need to be as open as possible. This requires bravery.
We also need to understand how to deal with emotions in other people before trying to resolve the conflict. To understand this, especially the steps involved with dealing with negative emotion, watch my YouTube video titled “Emotional Wake Up Call”.
#1. Become aware of the other person’s emotion
#2. Care about the other person’s emotion by seeing it as valid and important
#3. Listen empathetically to the other person’s emotion in an attempt to understand the way they feel. This allows them to feel safe to be vulnerable without fear of judgment. Seek to understand, instead of to agree.
#4 Acknowledge and validate their feelings. This may include helping them to find words to label their emotion. To acknowledge and validate a person’s feelings, we do not need to validate that the thoughts they have about their emotions are correct, instead we need to let them know that it is a valid thing to feel the way that they feel. For example, if our friend says, “I feel useless”, we do not validate them by saying “you’re right you are useless”. We could validate them by saying “I can totally see how that would make you feel useless and I would feel the same way if I were you”. #5. Allow the person to feel how they feel and to experience their emotion fully before moving towards any kind of improvement in the way they feel. We need to give them the permission to dictate when they are ready to move up the vibrational scale and into a different emotion. We cannot impose our idea of when they should be ready or when they should be able to feel differently, on them. This is the step where we practice unconditional presence for someone and unconditional love. We are there as support without trying to “fix” them. Do not be offended if they do not accept your support at this time. There is a benevolent power inherent in offering, that is love in and of itself regardless of what someone does or does not do with it. #6. After and only after their feelings have been validated and acknowledged and fully felt, help the other person to strategize ways to manage the reactions they might be having to their emotion. This is the step where you can assert new ways of looking at a situation that may improve the way the other person is feeling. This is where advice can be offered. 2. Commit to resolution. We have to be very honest with ourselves about whether we genuinely want resolution. If we do not genuinely want resolution, no resolution will ever be had. If we want to be seen as the one who has been wronged, because the one who has been wronged is the good guy, we will never be able to turn conflict into harmony. If the community suspects that this is the truth for someone involved in a conflict, this must be addressed prior to commencing a conflict resolution between two people.
3. The people involved sit down and agree upon the FACTS of the conflict. What happened? Nothing more, just so we can be on the same page about the facts and so both parties know the facts of what occurred that caused the conflict
4. The people involved in the conflict choose what they would like to do from there. Here are the options:
a. Each side takes a turn going through the “Emotional Expression Process”. Expressing their whole truth from start to finish. This tends to work the best when people are angry. This is Teal’s preferred method for conflict resolution. To understand this process watch my video on YouTube titled: How to express your emotion.
b. Both sides do a judge your neighbor worksheet (This is a process created by Byron Katie). Last time I checked, she makes these workshops available by download for free.
c. Each side takes a sheet of paper and writes down what they are feeling and why they are feeling that way in a way that they are exposing their deepest vulnerability. Using “I” statements. Why did this hurt me? What am I really afraid of in this situation? Instead of making it be about the surface story about why we are justified in being hurt or angry, we make it about what we are feeling and willingly expose our deepest insecurities. They do not talk. They hand their paper to each other. Open discussion may commence after that point.
d. The community gets to guide BOTH people individually one at a time through the “Emotional Vipassana Process” that was put forth in my “How to Heal the Emotional Body” video on YouTube. This is the best option if people are triggered to the point that they cannot lay down their defenses.
e. Both parties (and/or the whole community) do the “trauma release process” by David Berceli (PHD) before sitting down to be open about the vulnerabilities and fears and wounds behind the conflict one at a time so we can absorb each other’s words without counter arguing.
f. Both parties “switch roles”. They imagine fully being in the other person’s perspective and arguing the other person’s perspective so we may better understand the other person’s perspective as well as see ourselves mirrored in an extreme way. To understand this process, watch my Youtube video titled: Switch perspectives (A relationship exercise). This is perhaps my very favorite technique to use.
5. Conflicts arise from differing needs and the feeling that the ability to get those needs met is threatened. Both sides figure out based on the conflict what their true needs are and potentially even suggest ways with help of the community how those needs could be better met by themselves and by the others in the community.
6. The individuals and/or community helps both sides establish a vibration/feeling of moving forward by finding solutions so that the conflict does not arise in the future. This does not need to be a compromise. It needs to be a “3rd way”. We need to care about other people in our community enough that we find a way to make BOTH AND ALL parties feel good about what they are moving forwards towards.
7. Both people (or parties) involved in the conflict switch their focus to what they enjoy about each other. They write down what they love or appreciate about the other person and read it aloud. The other person practices the art of receiving what is being said. Only things each party genuinely enjoys about the other party are to be written down.
8. The conflict resolution is solidified in whatever way feels best to the people involved. Meaning once harmony is restored, integration must take place. Integration of conflict works best in the presence of others so this is not the best time to go away and process alone. It is best to process within the context of the group or with company. So the parties involved are fully present with one another doing an activity that is fun or taking notes on what they’ve learned or doing an activity that bonds them.
9. If conflict cannot be solved by an entire community, the community agrees to initiating a call or in person visit by a third party (uninvolved) meditator before deciding how to progress.
There are so many benefits of conflict resolution. We understand ourselves better, we receive insights, we experience growth and expansion, we come closer to unity and oneness, we experience healing for our wounded aspects, we become more aware and we stop fearing other people and we begin to feel a sense of being supported and belonging within the group just to name a few.
Don’t fear conflict. Embrace it. Concealed, avoided or otherwise ignored, conflict will fester and grow into resentment, create withdrawal or cause factional infighting within a person and subsequently within the world. Conflict that is embraced and faced creates harmony and unity within life and subsequently within the world.
You can see how the word responsibility is in essence the ability to respond. To become responsible is to step into this ability and chose to both create and respond to your life instead of to passively react to it as if it is happening to you. It is stepping into authority over yourself. It is a highly empowered state. It is a state of accountability. Responsibility is the opposite of the state of victimhood. In victimhood, one feels that they do not govern themselves or their own life. One feels no ability to choose and one has lost touch with their sense of free will. They are in a state of powerlessness relative to themselves and their life. Responsibility is when someone healthily claims their power over themselves and their own life. This causes them to feel a sense of their own free will and to consciously choose. If you have responsibility, you are leading your own life. You claim your ability to act autonomously without the authorization of others. This state of empowerment makes you capable of facing and owning the potential consequences of any choice you may make.
To be responsible, you have to see and own your part in the causation of the events in your life. This is like that moment in the movie the Matrix where the main character must choose between the blue pill or the red pill. If you choose to not step into responsibility, you get to see yourself as the good guy every time. You get to believe that things happen to you. There is no pressure involved in that stance. But it is a state of disempowerment. If you choose to step into responsibility, you get empowerment, you have power over your life, but you have the pressure of seeing how you created even the most painful things you’ve experienced in your life. If responsibility allows us to feel the empowerment of owning our life, then why is it so hard for us to take responsibility? Why isn’t it easy? Taking responsibility for our life feels good when our life feels like it is going right and going good. But it is very, very hard when our life feels like it is going wrong and going bad. When our life starts feeling like it is going wrong and going bad, we don’t want to be accountable for it. This is primarily because of what we make it mean about ourselves. Rather than straight up give you the answer here… just ask yourself, “If I am responsible for my life experiences and things in my life experience are going wrong or bad, what do I make that mean?” For more information about how meaning affects our life, watch my video on YouTube titled: “Meaning, The Self-Destruct Button”.
We are addicted to being the victim. Why are we addicted to it? Because we’ve been trained to be addicted to it. Society rallies around the one who is powerless. If you’re truly seen as the victim, everyone is on your side. The powerless one is the one that gets the validation, love and assistance. We mistake the concern and pity we get from others for love. It begins to become the only way we feel love. We become very scared that if we gain autonomy or our problems go away, we will be all alone. The problem is, people get tired of giving us attention and validation for our pain after a while. They begin to gravitate away from us and we feel abandoned. Then our only hope is to find someone new to validate and pity us.
The powerless one also doesn’t have to deal with the pressure of responsibility. The powerless one is seen as the good guy. If you are a victim, you don’t have to take responsibility for your present or your future. It’s hard to realize that no one is going to save you from your situation. One of the most painful realizations you can have is the realization that no one can rescue you from yourself or your life.
When you feel powerless already, the awareness that there is no one to rescue you but you is enough to push you right over the edge. Many people commit suicide when they come to this realization. Those of us who feel the most powerless are faced with the decision to either commit to life and do what we can, with what we have, from where we are, or to commit in the other direction and choose death. The bottom line is, we were raised in a society that socializes us within the model of reward and punishment. One of these punishments is the withdrawal of love, which means death to the nervous system of a physical human. So, love (or shall we say close attachment bonds) equals survival to us. The emotional system of the physical human sends us the message that if we are good, we will survive and if we are bad, we will not survive. If we are good, we will be rewarded and if we are bad we will be punished.
The ego is attached to the idea of itself as good, right, justified, and superior. It must see itself this way. So, if taking responsibility pushes a button inside you that activates your insecurity about yourself to the degree that you start to feel inferior, unjustified, wrong or bad, you will most likely automatically default to seeing yourself as the victim. You will do this so you can nullify the self-concept insecurity you are feeling. For example, lets say that a man chose to be with a woman who had two kids with an abusive ex husband. And lets say that this ex husband is actively trying to turn the kids against him by making him out to be a bad guy. If this presses a button within him that activates insecurities about being a good guy, he is likely to start to feel like a victim to the entire circumstance. He will feel like a victim to the ex husband and a victim to his lover because she is the one who drug him into this mess. Being a victim in this way restores a sense of being a good person and relieves the pressure of his authority relative to the situation.
Anywhere you are feeling like a victim indicates an area of life that is currently a threat to your self-concept and specifically a threat to your ability to feel like a good and valuable person.
Victimhood also allows you to be justified and have permission to feel sorry for yourself or to feel angry. Think right now about the emotional reaction happens in your body when you read the words, feeling sorry for yourself. What did you just learn? You live in a culture that believes it’s wrong and pathetic to feel sorry for yourself. You live in a society that teaches you that feeling sorrow and grief is self indulgent and pathetic and therefore inappropriate. This is especially true in the Law of Attraction Community. The minute you accept that you are creating your reality by virtue of focus and the minute you realize you are attracting the things you’re experiencing into your life, an idiotic belief that sets in. The belief goes a little something like this… It’s not ok to feel bad for yourself or angry if you are the one who created it. Or more simply put, it isn’t ok to feel sorrow and grief and anger if you the one to blame. But the thing is, whether or not we had a hand in creating a situation or not, we can’t stop feeling sorrow or grief or anger no matter how hard we may try. So we have to find a back door way to be able to feel those things. Seeing ourselves and being seen as the victim is this back door way. It allows it to be ok to feel sorrow and grief and anger. The next time you notice that you’re starting to feel sorry for yourself, stop yourself in your tracks if you start to feel bad about feeling bad and see that it is right to feel sorry for yourself. You are justified to feel sorry for yourself. It is valid and ok to feel sorry for yourself. It is the appropriate reaction to have given the circumstance. You don’t need anyone else to validate this. You are where you are and the part of you that feels that sorrow and grief and anger needs your attention like a small child that is crying out for presence and comfort. Then, only when you begin to feel a bit of relief as a result of really sitting with those feelings, find a proactive thing to do or choice to make that will cause you to come into your power and shift you (even if only a tiny bit) out of the pit of despair. We are in the role of the victim any time we feel powerless to something else, whether we feel powerless to a self-limiting belief, a person, a government, or a circumstance. It’s easy to slip into the belief that we aren’t in control of our own lives, but whenever we don’t see that we are in control of our own lives, we get stuck in the role of the victim and can’t access responsibility. So many of us who perpetually fall into feeling victimized, feel as if the world is against us. For this reason, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: “I Can’t Trust The Universe, I Feel Like God Is Against Me.”
I need to add here that taking responsibility, like all things, can come with it’s own potential pitfalls or shadows. For example, taking responsibility does not make it so we experience a degree of empowerment that nullifies sorrow, grief or anger. Some people use responsibility as a way to try to suppress and minimize their own emotion. This is a form of emotional bypassing. This is a potential shadow that could come with taking responsibility. Another potential shadow of responsibility is that we could begin to use responsibility as a way to gain control. Control is an inherently resistant and therefore out of alignment state. We start to take responsibility for other people and for other things that are not our responsibility in order to try to regulate our environment and feel in control of our lives and the people and things in our life. We don’t give people the opportunity to change and grow in this way. Instead, we disable others from taking responsibility for their own life so we can be the one in control at all times. But the biggest potential shadow of responsibility is that we could confuse it with self-blame and thus slip into the disempowered state of self-blame. Responsibility is actually at the opposite end of the vibrational scale from self-blame. But it takes a high degree of emotional awareness to see them as opposing states because both states recognize the self in a position of causation. For this reason, self-blame can disguise itself as responsibility like a wolf wearing sheep’s clothing. But one is self-hating, the other self-loving. One condemns the self and the other saves the self. If you are taking responsibility, you are feeling empowered. If you are self blaming, you are feeling bad about yourself and disempowered. But self-blame is in fact how we escape a feeling of genuine powerlessness to someone else. One of the hardest things to do in the process of healing from sexual abuse is to let go of self-blame. This is because the state of powerlessness induced by sexual abuse is so deep that self blame is actually higher on the vibrational scale and so a person experiences it as a form of empowerment. Think of it this way, at least if I caused it somehow, I’m not completely at the mercy of an unjust world or person. That is infinitely more frightening. It means I really didn’t have any control at all.
The universe does not recognize blame. Blame is an invention of the human psyche. It recognizes causation, but not blame or fault. But blaming others is in fact a way to get us out of self-blame, which is a lower vibration than other-blame. For this reason, I am not willing to say that blaming others is always a bad thing. Sometimes it is necessary for healing. But the very thing that can heal is also the thing that can poison. If we get stuck at the level of other-blame, we will always be stuck in the victim role. Even when we have encountered situations in our life where on a physical level, other people are causing what is occurring (and therefore to blame), we need to stop trying to get them to take responsibility and instead focus on our role in the situation entirely. We do this by accepting that we can’t do anything about them. We must accept what we cannot control through our words or actions.
There is a degree of empowerment in accepting that dead is dead or gone is gone or over is over or done is done. We cut our losses and work only with what we do have. We can’t control anything about what the other person is doing or has done. And so, we need to stop asking them through our blame to change something. It is profoundly empowering, provided we aren’t slipping into self-blame, to just focus all our efforts on our own role in the situation and on the lessons we are learning in the situation and on making changes we can actually make.
If you are struggling with a circumstance that makes you feel like a victim, you have been deeply hurt by something, and you feel powerless. You have to acknowledge the hurt and sadness and even get angry first before you can move forward and take your power back by taking back your responsibility. Once you have been fully present with these feelings, ask yourself the following questions…
How am I a match to this? (This does not mean to look for ways to blame yourself for it; it means to look for the power you had in lining up with it.) What am I meant to learn from this? What is this pain causing me to know that I want? What positive things have come or could possibly come from this? What can I do to change things for the better right here and now? What do I now know to do differently in the future?
Forgiveness is often a big part of taking responsibility. Forgiveness is the practice of making peace with where you were and are, thereby releasing you from the bondage that prevents you from touching happiness. When you forgive someone, it’s as if you are setting a prisoner free only to discover that you were the prisoner all along. I am going to be aggressive and say that you have not fully forgiven something until you are able to find genuine approval for it having happened to the degree that there is nothing left to forgive. All that is left in the wake of genuine forgiveness is gratitude. When we do not find a way to make harmony with the things that cause us to suffer, they become wounds of the mind. They become wounds that we carry with us in our consciousness and sub-consciousness every day. The pain becomes like shackles that we are so used to living with that we don’t even realize we have the power to take them off.
When we truly forgive someone, the negative emotion no longer exists. Instead, we sense a deep feeling of peace. Because of this, forgiveness is freedom. Sometimes though, simply for the sake of knowing the inherent goodness of forgiveness, we try to rush ourselves into forgiveness when we have not yet changed the thoughts we are thinking about whatever we are trying to forgive. It can never happen this way. Forgiveness cannot be forced. We cannot TRY to forgive. Instead, it is the natural byproduct of previous steps that we take. But you can begin this process by asking yourself these two questions. “What do I need in order to let go of this situation or what do I need in order to forgive in this situation?” And “What do I approve of relative to this situation?” You can write a positive aspects list about the situation itself that has you feeling like a victim. Forgiving other people isn’t the most important part of owning your life. The most important part of owning your life is to forgive yourself. In truth, forgiveness has nothing to do with anyone else anyway. Although forgiveness feels very good to a receiving party, forgiveness is only ever about yourself. Whether it’s someone else you are forgiving or yourself, forgiveness is only ever unilateral. So ask yourself, how do I approve of myself relative to this situation that has me feeling like a victim or blaming myself?”
Happiness and internal freedom is found in the alteration of the point of view you are holding about a subject. If you remove yourself far enough from the limited point of view of pain, you will see that we are all nothing but the victims of victims. Remove yourself even farther than that, and you will see that there is no such thing as a victim. When we succumb to seeing ourselves as powerless, we are letting the people and circumstances in our lives dictate how we will feel, and ultimately who we will be. We feel powerless to own our own lives and we waste our time asking, “Why me?” instead of doing what we can, with what we have, from where we are.
Own your life. Taking responsibility for your future means you have to drop the thoughts, words, and actions that aren’t getting you anywhere. It means you have to change, and let’s face it, change is scary. It’s scary to hold the weight of your own life in your hands. But our lives will only become lives of joy, freedom, and peace when we can own the responsibility not only for what was, but also for what is and what is to come.
The time has come to see that we have the choice. And to consciously chose instead of succumb to the idea that we are being drug along by some external thing. For example, you may hate your job and yet say, “I have to go to work”. In this situation, you are a victim. The truth is that you don’t have to go to work. You could just never show up to work again. If you go to work, you are consciously making the decision to be there because it seems like the best option to you. So, own the decision and go to work or own the decision and never go to work again. Any time you use the word “have to”, you are not taking responsibility for yourself and your life. Any time you make excuses for past failures or for why you can’t do something you want to do, you are not taking responsibility for yourself and your life. Instead, just admit to why you really didn't get that thing done or aren’t doing something you want. Were you too lazy, too afraid, too tired, or just feeling like doing something more fun? It's okay to admit it, even if it doesn’t feel good to admit. It's best to admit your real reasons for not doing something before you focus on progressing.
If you are feeling like a victim in a situation, you are avoiding something in your life. What is it that you are trying to avoid? Taking responsibility means facing something you don’t want to face. But in order to live a life worth living, you need to face that very thing.
Admit to your mistakes. Making the most of a mistake does amazing things for responsibility. It enables you to learn from your mistakes and thus set up the kind of future you really do want to live. Talk about owning your life. But it is a guarantee that if you have a hard time admitting to mistakes, it’s because you have a hard time letting go of them. For more on this, watch my video on YouTube titled: “How to Let Go of Mistakes”.
Short circuit your complaining. Complaining is a state of victimhood and it sets up neural pathways in the brain that predispose you for negative focus. It is also another form of blame. Take initiative to change anything you feel like complaining about or change your perspective about it. Another great tool is to short cut complaint with gratitude. When you begin complaining, scan your environment for things that are positive about the situation or even general things you are grateful for in your life. Gratitude is the opposite vibration from victimhood. Practice self-discipline. Set goals, take initiative and do not allow yourself to be distracted. No procrastinating. See things through to the end. And commit. Commitment is responsibility. If you are avoiding a commitment, you are failing to take responsibility. You are especially failing to take responsibility for what you are actually committed to. To understand more about this, watch my video on YouTube titled: “How To Get Over The Fear Of Commitment”. Look at your life and ask yourself this question: If I were to take full responsibility for my life and really own my own life, what would I do differently today? Then go for it. You do not have to improve all aspects of your life at once; just take the next logical step from wherever you are. Once you are done with that step, take the next one. Simply keep taking the step that is right in front of you—and one day, you will be living the kind of life that you do want to own.
The aim of this work is to bring the optimal version of your future self into the now so that your current self may merge with it. Before we dive right into this technique, I must give you a bit of fair warning. I have avoided offering this technique to the public for a few years because of the sheer intensity of this work.
When you are bringing a child version of the self into the now, it almost always feels amazing because you are taking an aspect of yourself that vibrates at a lower frequency (what you would call negative emotion) and you are exposing it to your current higher frequency aspect of self in the now. This causes it’s frequency to rise significantly and you experience this as positive emotion. On the other hand, when you are bringing your future self into the now, it doesn’t always feel amazing in the short term. Sometimes it can cause extreme effects mentally, emotionally and even physically. What you are doing is bringing a higher frequency version of yourself into the now with you, where you are currently in a lower frequency version of self. When you expose a lower frequency energy to a stronger high frequency energy, the lower frequency must find entrainment with that frequency. This means that anything that is not a match to that new higher frequency must be exorcized from your being. For example, things have the tendency to be flushed from the subconscious mind to the conscious mind and you experience an intense ‘shedding’ process in your inner and outer aspects of life. Doing this process forces this growth and to put it lightly it is not always comfortable.
But the merit of this technique is obvious and self-explanatory. This is a way to accelerate timelines, force healing, adopt a radically progressed perspective and considerably accelerate growth and expansion. Imagine the implication of embodying your optimal future self… now.
Your optimal future self is like your higher self. This is a more mature, wiser, more aware, loving, free, accepting, open, successful aspect of yourself. It is a self that is not suffering and is no longer experiencing your current problems and limitations. It is important to note that your optimal future self will never abuse you and will never be judgmental or critical of you. If you experience a future self like this, it is merely a projection of the fears your subconscious mind holds about the future as a result of the self-hate you feel in the now. If this happens, you can merely learn from this projection and start the process over from the beginning so that a genuine optimal future self enters the scene. Even if your experience of yourself is that you are not good at imagery processes, don’t despair because the most important aspect of any process is to have a felt perception experience. So even if I merely ask you to see your future self, you can choose to feel your future self instead.
You can use this technique as a general practice, allowing yourself to embody your future self for the sake of embodying the future self, or you can invite the future self into the picture any time you are facing a specific problem that seems insurmountable or you have a goal you want to reach that feels out of reach or any time you are not feeling clear about a situation. After all, they say that hindsight is 20-20. And for your future self, anything you’re currently experiencing will be hindsight. Whatever your intention is for doing this work of calling the optimal future self into the now, hold this intention as you engage with this technique and feel your open willingness to your potential being actualized in the now.
Just like you do with meditative practice, you are going to sink into a receptive calmness by watching your breath for a few minutes. Then, with your eyes open, but completely relaxed to the degree that you have lost focus, you’re going to imagine inviting or calling your optimal future self into the room. Whichever future self is the most perfectly suited to assist with the intention you set before sitting down to do the exercise will enter the scene. For example, if you are an athlete wanting to win a gold medal, perhaps the future self that is most optimal and thus will come to you is the one who has already stood atop the podium. But I do not want you to force this process and choose which higher self is going to come into the now. I literally want you to invite the optimal future self and let whichever future self that wants to come, come. Let any mental, emotional or physical impressions you may have of your future self arise. Imagining this future self in front of you, does he or she have a smell? What does he or she look like and feel like? What is different about him or her than you in your current state? Become aware of your reactions to this self. Do you have any resistance to this future self? What do you find attractive and want from this future self? What kind of person is he or she? Just let yourself notice and experience this self.
When you feel ready, begin to breathe deeply and intentionally. As you inhale, imagine breathing this aspect of self in with each in breath. Imagine inviting this future self to merge completely with you. So at first you experience yourself being inside your future self and then you become the future self. Your body is the body of the future self. You see the world as the future self. Your listen with the ears of the future self. Notice the difference between your perception of reality as the higher self. Experience yourself without the current problems you are facing. Imagine yourself in the space of already having the success you seek. Feel the love, acceptance, maturity or any other quality that belongs to the future self, belonging to you now. Do not try to think about this experience too hard. Let go of pre conceptions and expectations and just notice how it is to be your future self… now.
Experience this merging as deeply as you can to the degree that you claim this new future way of being as the new current version of yourself. If anything rises to the surface to be shed, let it shed itself without resistance. Allow anything within you that is not a match to this higher frequency energy, to be released. Allow insight about you or your life to come naturally to you as a result of merging in the now completely with this future self. Anything you experience is a valid experience while engaging this technique. You do not need to worry about getting this right or wrong. Anything that occurs while you are integrating the optimal future self is exactly right and what is meant to occur. Without having to know what is going to happen, just let this experience unfold within you. Allow yourself to do this for as long as feels good and right. Try to sit with it for at least 20 minutes.
When you feel ready, remain merged with this future self aspect and simply allow your eyes to come back into focus once more and slowly go about the rest of your day from this new perspective.
You may notice that as a result of doing this process, you will feel guided to make changes to your life, take different approaches to problems you may be facing or physical changes may seem to simply “happen to you”. This is a good thing. Just let those changes happen. Once you merge with one of your future self-aspects and allow the inevitable shifts to occur internally and externally as a result of it, you have integrated with the future self. You are now on an accelerated timeline. If the journey of self-growth came with seat belts, I’d tell you to put one on. But alas, it does not. Never the less, try out this process for yourself and watch what happens as a result.
We are universal consciousness that is temporarily projecting itself into the physical dimension as a person and as a table and as a plant and as a dog. Because of this, your perception that you are separate from the things in your environment and separate from your environment itself is just that… A perception. It is a perception designed to enable universal expansion through your individual expansion. This means ultimately, you do have the capability of literally stepping into the shoes of anyone and anything in your reality because at the most fundamental level, they are all you. You have to understand this concept before you can grasp the reasoning behind the method I am about to teach you.
This is a multi dimensional universe. Because of this we need to approach the reality we are facing from different dimensional perspectives. From one dimensional perspective, we need to learn to stop projecting onto others and fully receive other people as separate beings. To understand more about this, you can watch my video titled: Projection (understanding the psychology of projection). But from an entirely different dimensional perspective, your entire reality is nothing more than a projection and so, instead of trying to step outside of our own projections; we need to consciously indulge them. This is what we will be doing for this awakening process. Think of your entire reality as a projection. So you can either think of the world like a movie screen and that every image that appears on that screen, is a reflection of something within you. Or you can think of the world you live in as a 360 degree mirror. Everything that you perceive to be separate from you or external to you is in fact just a reflection of an aspect of you. This reality is designed in this way so we can have total and complete self-awareness. What better way to become aware of what is within us than for it to manifest physically and externally to us so we can look straight at it? Given this understanding, you can see how in order to gain awareness in general and awareness of yourself and clarity about an entire situation, you could choose to step into the perspective of the projection or reflection in the mirror and view the situation from there instead. Everything in your reality… is you. So you are actually capable of stepping into the perspective of anything and anyone else in your life.
A while back, I posted a YouTube video titled: Dreams (What Are Dreams and How to Understand Them). In that video, I explained that all aspects of the dream are in fact the dreamer. I then explained the best process for interpreting a dream. In this process, you write down your dream as if it were happening in present tense and then you go into the perspective/become every significant aspect of the dream and then explore and express your perspective from there as if it were taking place in present tense. For example, let’s say that I had a dream about an alligator in a swamp and there was a broken down shed by the swamp and the alligator ate my father. I would first record my perceptions and feelings as Teal. Then, I’d switch into the perspective of the swamp itself and say my perceptions and feelings like this… I am the swamp; I am ancient and full of sorrow. I am lonely and people are repulsed by me and I want Teal to wade into my waters, the alligator is my only companion etc. Then I’d switch into the perspective of the shed and state my perceptions and feelings. Then I’d be the alligator, and then I’d be my father being eaten. Do this with as many elements as you can to form the whole picture. See how this changes your perception of the dream. Every aspect of your dream is in fact an expression of yourself or your perception of life. But guess what? So is your waking life. So, to employ this process, you do exactly what you would do with a dream; except you do it with the waking life situation you are in. For example, let’s say that you are walking on the beach and you see a seal. You can consciously choose to go into the perspective of the seal and note your perceptions from there, especially your perceptions of the human that is standing on the beach (you).
Another example is this; say you are in a situation at work where there is a conflict between several people involving a business decision in a company. You could consciously go into the perspective of each and every person involved in the conflict. Then you could go into the perspective of the room where the conflict took place and perhaps into the perspective of the stapler on the desk in the room where the conflict took place and then into the perspective of the company itself as if it was it’s own entity with it’s own desires. Allow the awareness that you gain as a result of doing the process to naturally come to you. You’re not going to see the full picture until you experience these perspectives. So instead allow the puzzle pieces of understanding to fall into place naturally to form this whole picture instead of trying to get to the full picture by trying to find these puzzle pieces and force them to make a picture. To do this process, intend to suspend your own perspective as much as you can. Try to dis-identify with your perspective to such a degree that experiencing the other thing’s perspective is like literally becoming that other thing and leaving your own life and feelings and thoughts behind. This is a much more aggressive practice than “How would I think or feel if I were them”. This is “I am not myself, I am them instead”. At first this will simply feel like you’re imagining it all, like you’re pretending. But with enough practice, you will feel like you are literally taking off your perspective like a skin and stepping entirely into their alien perspective. On a vibrational level, you’ll develop the ability to literally match the vibration of the “other” and thus be able to fully perceive from that perspective accurately.
You can use this technique as a general meditative practice with any aspect of your life simply to gain more awareness and awakening. But I have to say that I have seen this technique literally change lives when it is applied to a situation in your life that is causing you to feel negatively, especially where there is conflict. Don’t expect yourself to immediately feel at home doing this process. Like anything it takes practice to suspend our own perspective. It takes practice to make use of the higher truth that we are all one. It takes practice to address your reality as a reflection of yourself. So practice!
A key thing to understand about polyamory is that it is known and consented to by all parties involved. When someone is cheating on their partner, it is not polyamory because one party does not know or even if they know, most likely does not consent. Cheating is in fact ‘social monogamy’.
People have a common misconception about polyamory and that is that polyamory is all about sex. This is not the case. Polyamory is about intimacy. Sex may or may not be a part of intimacy, but it is definitely not intimacy in and of itself. Intimacy is closeness; I even go so far as to say that it is closeness to the degree that you penetrate someone’s internal world. You see into them, feel into them, listen into them, and move to understand them. And Vice versa. It is a deep act of sharing.
Because polyamory is really about intimacy, there are many different kinds of polyamory. For example, there is emotional polyamory where people are emotionally intimate with multiple partners but are romantically and sexually monogamous. Most spiritual people fall under this category and are therefore technically polyamorous. There is romantic polyamory where a person is emotionally and romantically polyamorous, but is sexually monogamous. There is sexual polyamory (often called swinging) where one is sexually polyamorous, and may or may not also be romantically and emotionally polyamorous. There is bigamy where one person is married to two or more spouses. There is cluster marriage where two or more married couples cohabitate and exchange partners. There is complex marriage where all male members of a group are marries to all female members of a group. There is intentional family where a group of multiple adults decide to consider each other a single family regardless of the fact that no marriage or blood relation unites them. There are just too many types of polyamorous arrangements to detail each one in this article. So what is important to know is that polyamory is intimate relationship with more than just one person when all parties involved are knowing and consenting of those relationships.
It is true that the human mind thrives on single pointed focus. This is why the fixation with one primary partner feels so sweet. But it is often short lived and monogamy is in fact more a byproduct of societal structure than it is a natural state for people. And the world today is proof of it. Faithfulness to one spouse and life long monogamy (though it is a societal expectation across most of the world today) is in fact very rare. Let us not forget that physical humans are mammals and only a very small number (less than 5 percent) of mammals form life long monogamous bonds. As a species, we have not socially expected life long monogamy from one another until land ownership came about and suddenly women and children became extensions of property. Before that, females were more monogamous than males as their fidelity guaranteed a provider for them and their children for at least as long as it took to raise a child to the point that they could fend for themselves. To some degree, both males and females began to pair bond for the sake of the offspring. But sorry to say, it was natural to our organism for a male human to mate with multiple females.
Essentially both males and females over the course of history played a cost versus benefit game when it came to fidelity. And usually, women had much more to lose. A genuinely monogamous species does not address fidelity through the lens of cost versus benefit. So essentially there was a point in history (as we were becoming more and more modern) that the social cost of infidelity became so high that life long monogamy became a societal expectation. And society was built upon that monogamous structure. We then adopted the belief that life long pair bonding (otherwise known as marriage) was the end all be all of your life. Before we dive into more conversation about the benefits of polyamory, it is critical to know that we can override our more natural urges. Humans can maintain fidelity with one person without becoming miserable as a result of resisting themselves. We are after all a species that is capable of being conscious. But fidelity is something that needs to be a conscious choice and a conscious discussion between partners. To understand more about this, watch my video on YouTube titled: Fidelity and Infidelity in Relationships.
What we may do well to consider is the possibility that in our day and age the cost versus benefit of polyamory within our current societal structure may still be too high to make it a good decision overall. We also must know that regardless of our more natural tendencies, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with marriage. Marriage can be an extremely beautiful thing and even a beneficial idea in today’s age. To understand more about this, watch my video on You Tube titled: Marriage.
Let’s address some of the costs of polyamory first…
1. To engage in a polyamorous lifestyle, you are currently working against society. This is not going to be easy. People are going to harshly judge you for it as a result of their own societal programming and there can be serious consequences on a temporal level such as losing custody of children for example that can occur as a result of those judgments. They will think you are doing something wrong and bad. You will most likely grapple with a heavy dose of shame. And today’s society is set up to legally recognize only one partner and only a nuclear family unit. Given all this, it is difficult for your polyamorous lifestyle to not turn into a method of rebellion instead of a genuinely in alignment choice.
2. You will be working against your deeply implanted societal programming. You are going to come up against all levels of insecurity relative to relationships within yourself. This is why jealousy is such an issue when it comes to polyamory. One example of the societal programming you will come up against within yourself is that you have been taught that love is a finite resource and so it needs to be exclusive instead of inclusive. When a person chooses to love you and only you, you are taught that this means you are good, worthy and lovable. Therefore, if your partner loves someone else too, it means there is something not good enough about you and so not only do you lose connection with them, you also lose face. I have gone so far in the past as to say that the human race will only be ready for conscious polyamory when we no longer have any of our sense of self worth wrapped up in relationships. In other words, we will be ready as a species when your partner loving someone else, does not have anything to do with you being good enough or lovable enough or desirable enough. And this evolutionary step has more to do with us altering our parenting methods with young children than it has to do with how we approach relationships as adults.
3. Polyamory is all too often the method people use to avoid intimacy and commitment. This is especially true for people in the new age community. Polyamory becomes a method of relationship anarchy. Relationship anarchy is a philosophy or practice in which people are free to engage in any relationships they choose. In this sense, personal freedom is all someone genuinely cares about. With relationship anarchy, a person believes that committed relationships restrict personal freedom and that no relationship should be entered into or restricted from a sense of duty or obligation which means that any relationship choice is (or should be) allowable, and so there is no clear distinction between “partner” and “non-partner.” If we are afraid of intimacy because we have experienced pain as a result of forming bonds with people in the past, polyamory enables us to never have to face that fear and never have to face the fear of committing ourself to anything. Instead, the minute the going gets tough, instead of facing our own shadows, we can immediately jump to a new partner. Most of the polyamorous relationships you see today are in fact not polyamorous relationships at all because they do not involve genuine intimacy. They are swinging relationships done specifically to avoid intimacy and commitment. Don’t confuse promiscuity with intimacy.
4. It is going to get complicated. There is nothing simple about relationships. It’s hard enough to have an intimate relationship with one person, much less several. If you want to avoid drama, polyamory in today’s day and age (with people where they are emotionally and mentally), polyamory is a bad idea. 5. Polyamory can be a way to try to incessantly fill the inner void. The same can be said for marriage. We believe a lover can fill the emptiness and loneliness we feel inside so instead of being present with and resolving that inner void, we continue to use people like an addiction to escape the way we feel. People and sex become a temporary fix. 6. Any downside you could imagine that could come along with sexual infidelity, or being emotionally or financially involved with multiple partners or cohabitating with people is possible with polyamory.
Now that some of the costs have been outlined, lets look at some of the benefits.
1. The idea that relational exclusivity or sexual exclusivity is always necessary for a deep, committed, long term relationship is inaccurate. Genuinely Polyamorous people experience deeper levels of intimacy with their fellow men. Human beings lived according to their less than monogamous impulses for thousands upon thousands of years. This was not something that was done consciously, it was done unconsciously. It was done from a limited perspective. Our own evolution caused us to gravitate away from unconscious polyamory to monogamy. This choice was made and passed on for both positive reasons and negative reasons.
Our own evolution will inevitably again take us back down the path of polyamory. Only this time, it will be conscious polyamory. Many people whose consciousness is awakening can already feel that this is the impending path of evolution for our species. We are meant to awaken to and practice inclusive instead of exclusive love. However, by becoming polyamorous because it is the inevitable path of evolution is to rush progression. It’s the same as trying to force a baby that is crawling to run before it is naturally ready instead of honoring that healthy monogamy may currently still be the path of highest progression for most people on earth at this time. It is not a shortcoming of consciousness to be monogamous any more than it is a shortcoming for an infant to crawl instead of run on two legs. Some of the most awakened people on this earth have chosen to be monogamous because it, and not polyamory is in alignment with their current highest good at this time. We are capable of having deep, long term, committed relationships with multiple people regardless of whether they are exclusive or not. Those of us who live in intentional communities can attest to that. 2. Consciously polyamorous people often experience much more support than those who are engaged in monogamous relationships or who have formed a nuclear family unit. Where there is more love to go around, there are more people there for you and greater support going into lifestyle and more financial contribution and more people available to support the children if there are any.
3. You get to experience much more of the gifts that come along with intimacy. You will feel much more connected to others and to the world and you will be closer to the living experience of oneness and inclusive love.
4. You will be forced to face all of your shadows involving relationships. This creates rapid expansion. You will have to separate your sense of self worth and self esteem from other people. You will also have to face all your shadows about control. The more people you bring into a relationship, the harder it is to control your external conditions. The ego has a difficult time thriving in an atmosphere of genuine polyamory the same way that the ego has a difficult time thriving in an atmosphere of healthy monogamy. 5. There are more people available to meet your various needs. Often in monogamous relationships, we end up emotionally starving because we try to get everything through one person who can’t give it all to us. We feel terrible and they feel terrible as a result.
6. You will become an expert at conflict resolution and you will be forced to see things from multiple different perspectives. You will have to create a meeting of minds between all those various perspectives. It is highly expansive. 7. It never gets dull. When life is full of drama and intrigue and you have multiple people available to you, you will never get bored emotionally, mentally, physically or sexually.
There is nothing inherently wrong with monogamy and there is nothing inherently wrong with polyamory. There is also nothing inherently right about either. We must guard against making things broadly right and wrong or good and bad when it comes to making conscious decisions. We must instead make decisions according to our own highest good at the time. We can be in a monogamous relationship to escape ourselves and we can be in a polyamorous relationship to escape ourselves. We can be in a monogamous relationship because it is in alignment with our highest good and we can be in a polyamorous relationship because it is in alignment with our highest good. What is most critical is that we objectively become aware of ourselves completely so that we are not allowing our own shadow to drive us into or out of relationships.
Do not use polyamory to avoid and bypass what is painful to face within you and do not use monogamy to avoid and bypass what is painful to face within you. And so, I urge you, instead to consciously consider the costs versus benefits of whatever style of relationship you are considering so that you can consciously decide in favor of whatever style is actually in alignment with your highest good. And allow that conscious decision to potentially change.
Having the truth allows us to have cognitive closure. It makes us feel more secure. It makes order out of chaos and meaning out of meaninglessness. So, as people, we are likely to arrive at what we think is a truth and hold onto it for dear life. The problem is that we do not realize that the most objective truth is that truth itself is subjective. If I live in the projects, my truth is “You have to work hard for money”. This is not the same truth for someone who is born into a trust fund. So what is the truth? Do people have to work hard for money or does money come easy?
When we have experiences, we have thoughts about those experiences and we make decisions about those experiences. If those thoughts and decisions come up enough, they become beliefs about people and about the world and about our self. And we begin to see the world only through the lens of those beliefs. We do not see that a belief is not the same as an objective truth. A belief is nothing more than a subjective truth. But like all things, beliefs are subject to the law of attraction. They begin to show up in our physical dimension as proof. When we look at that proof, it strengthens our belief, which attracts more proof, which strengthens our belief, which attracts more proof and so on and so forth until our subjective truth becomes so solid it is like a prison sentence. We can’t experience anything in our physical reality that is different than that belief. To understand more about this, watch my video on YouTube titled: Meaning, The Self Destruct Button.
We act in accordance with the beliefs that we hold. Our language and actions reflect our beliefs. This is a positive thing if our beliefs are positive and a negative thing if our beliefs are negative. We often struggle to try to change our words and actions to no avail because we have not changed the beliefs that are creating them. It’s a bit like trying to cut a weed down instead of pulling it out at the root. We need to un-root and change the beliefs that aren’t serving us if we want our reality to feel good to us.
But there is a tool that is useful because it is a short cut to creating a life that feels good to you. It’s the “Is It Useful?” tool. Imagine for the sake of this practice that there is no absolute truth whatsoever because you’re going to assume that for this particular place that you’re in, it isn’t useful to believe there is an absolute truth. From this space you are going to play a game of keeping what serves you and putting what doesn’t serve you in the trash. The tenant of your day-to-day life is going to be “Is It Useful?” You’re going to either keep or discard everything in your life such as beliefs, words and actions according to this question.
For example, is it useful to believe that the universe is out to get me? Is it useful to clip my nails? Is it useful to say I love you? Is it useful to believe I can do anything I put my mind to? Is it useful to hit someone? Is it useful in this circumstance to tell someone they create their own reality? And so on and so forth with everything and anything you can think of. In this exercise, there is no objective truth so there is no right or wrong answer to this question. You have to answer it for yourself according to the circumstance and moment you find yourself in. Keep in mind that what is useful today may be not useful tomorrow and what is not useful today may be useful tomorrow. Also keep in mind that what is useful to one person may not be useful to another and vice versa. One man’s trash is after all another man’s treasure. Some species within our universe live their entire existence according to this tenant. This is the basis of their discernment and there is no attachment within them to objective truth. Like anything, living only according to this practice, comes with a shadow side. For example, we may decide that something isn’t useful when in fact it is because our ego may use this practice to avoid anything that is uncomfortable to us like self-reflection.
It is true that if beliefs are deeply rooted, it may be impossible to simply decide to let go of them on the basis that they are not useful. If only it were that easy. So don’t get too concerned if you run into those. If you do run into them, I want you to watch my videos on YouTube titled: “How To Find a Core Belief” and “How To Change a Belief.” But for everything else, simply ask yourself if it is useful and if it is, keep it and if it isn’t discard it and put your focus elsewhere. Any tool can do either good or harm depending on how it is used and the intent of the user of the tool. But this tool is especially powerful for streamlining our life; simplifying, clearing out the clutter and cutting ourselves free of the chains that limit us. So try it out for yourself and don’t forget that there may be a circumstance in your life where even this tool “Is It Useful” will not be useful.
Most of us who chronically complain, grew up with adults who were either complainers themselves or more likely who completely invalidated the negative. Obviously complaint can be a learned behavior but the pathology of chronic complaining doesn’t go as deep. So let’s instead talk about those of us who had parents that invalidated our negative expression and even shamed us for it. When we expressed negative emotion or perspectives, they quickly turned it on us. They invalidated or shamed us for it. They did not make us believe it was ok to feel how we felt; see what we saw or hear what we heard. They made us feel as if there was something wrong with us for feeling how we felt. Imagine that negative energy is like a poison. When we tried to release this poison as children, the people in our lives disapproved of it and tried to squelch it. On an energetic level, it’s a bit like forcing someone to re-eat their own vomit. And we became more and more toxically negative internally as a result.
Chronic complaint goes hand in hand with low self-esteem. In fact, you will not find people who genuinely feel good about themselves and who complain. Obviously if the people in our lives made us believe there was something wrong with us because of how we felt, we develop a deeply wired belief that we are defective or bad. So, our egos become victim egos. They begin to find fault in everything relentlessly and blame others so as to try to feel and prove that we are in fact “good” by contrast and comparison. After all, if what we feel is justified, nothing is wrong with us. We find fault in other things so in contrast we can be good. If we are complainers, we have 2 glaring primary unmet needs. The first is for our pain to be seen, heard, felt and acknowledged. We feel alone with our pain. When we complain, we are desperate to have someone acknowledge our pain. In fact, we feel incapable of moving forward until someone does. And the second unmet need is to feel good about ourselves. We need to feel as if nothing is wrong with us and as if we are worthy and have value.
Here’s the thing, most psychological and spiritual advice out there treats complaining like it is unacceptable and wrong and bad. It tells people why complaining is so bad for you and how it is such a drag to be around for others. And then tells people to just stop it or to just separate themselves from people who are negative. I don’t need to tell you why chronic complaining or negative focus is a detrimental thing. For the most part, it is obvious and self-explanatory, especially if you understand the law of attraction. But what we have to get is that complaint is the byproduct of low self-esteem. You cannot reject this aspect within yourself or try to get rid of it because it is bad, without perpetuating self-hate and thus making yourself believe you are wrong and bad; thus adding to the very condition that creates chronic complaint. We further wound ourselves and other people with this approach.
So what should we do if we notice ourselves chronically complaining?
Love and validate the one within you (the hurt aspect) who is complaining. The truth is you are suffering and you are not wrong about your negative observations of feelings. This aspect of you that is in pain is trying to call you to be unconditionally present with it. It needs love badly. This is what pain does; it calls for your attention. So, be unconditionally present to the aspect of you behind the complaint itself that is in pain in the moment you have a complaint. Acknowledge your pain. Infuse this aspect of you with love.
You can also ask yourself, what really hurts me about this? Over and over until you get to the core hurt beneath the complaint. It’s a bit like finding a core belief. For example, say I had a complaint that the linens on the bed are not folded right. If I asked myself what really hurts me about this? I might realize that a part of me feels like whoever folded them didn’t put effort into the job. And If I asked myself what really hurts me about this? I might find that if they didn’t put any effort into folding the linens, they don’t care about me. And if I ask myself what really hurts me about this? I might find that I feel like it makes me feel I am worthless to them. You can take this questioning as far as you want and keep digging and digging. But for the sake of your understanding, what I just got present to is that the core pain behind the complaint was about feeling worthless. Then you can be present with that core pain. To understand more about how to be present with and thus transform inner pain, watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Heal The Emotional Body
Behind complaint is a feeling of disempowerment. The feeling that one cannot change one’s reality so that it feels good. We have to get completely present to the aspect within us that feels helpless and is begging through our complaint to be rescued. We need to then practice pivoting. Instead of focusing on what is happening that you don’t like, we have to use the awareness of what is disliked to inspire us towards the opposite. And then focus on and move towards what is wanted instead. This will create a feeling of empowerment. You are no longer stuck in the unwanted, you can use the unwanted to point you in the direction of and propel you towards what is wanted instead. Your complaints will tell you what is important to you. They will tell you what your priorities are and about what you need and want. You can even ask yourself when you are considering voicing a complaint or already have voiced a complaint, “What am I wanting to get as a result of voicing this complaint?”
Complaining is a passive process, whereby we aren’t taking action to make changes we wish to see. Changing the complaining into action can be incredibly empowering and life altering because those of us who had adults who merely invalidated our negative perspectives, never allowed us to make any changes so that we could feel better. We were stuck. Now, as adults, we aren't stuck. We really can take responsibility by moving into action to create what is wanted instead of unwanted.
We need to listen to and feel our own feelings beneath the complaint first before expressing the complaint or the feelings beneath the complaint. And then we need to express the emotions beneath the complaint to someone instead of just the surface complaint. This is not the same thing as suppressing emotions or complaint. If we merely take the action of not complaining, we are in the act of suppression. Instead, when we catch ourself in the act of complaining, we need to stop ourselves from doing it and become conscious of the true emotions behind the complaint. Keep in mind that complaining often begins internally and then we express it externally in verbal format. So we need to do these previous two steps before we express our negative emotion to someone. This way, our expression will be genuine and about the vulnerability underneath the dissatisfaction. The frustrating paradox of feelings is that they contain valuable information because they point to something that is very important to us. And self expression is crucial. While on the other hand, expressing them without metabolizing them, by using them to become more conscious first, rarely gets us the results we want because the electrical element to the emotional charge tends to hurt people and make them feel the emotions as a personal attack. This electrical charge is removed by our metabolizing process when we use the emotional charge up by using it to fuel our travel inwards and deeper with our own conscious awareness to see what is beneath the charge. In this way, our reactivity can become a meditation bell awakening us to an opportunity to become awakened. And it allows our expression to be much more authentic.
Directly ask someone to see, hear, feel and validate your pain. Complaint is in fact a form of manipulation. We’re trying to get our need met in an indirect way. That need being for our pain to be seen and heard and felt and acknowledged and validated. We are too scared to just flat out ask for someone to do this. But we need to get that it is much less off-putting to flat out ask someone for this need to be met than it is to complain near them so as to try to covertly get this out of them.
Address your low self esteem head on. Instead of letting your ego run the show in ways you are unconscious of (trying to feel a sense of it’s own value and goodness by making other things wrong, bad, inferior and faulty) just admit to where you are. Where you are,is feeling really bad about yourself. And work directly on improving your self esteem.
Start a positive aspects journal and carry it with you wherever you go. If your mind naturally finds fault with everything and you’re suffering, it will take deliberate focus to notice things that are positive. You can’t focus on something you don’t like and on something you do like at the same time. So, several times per day, pull out this journal and list things that you appreciate or like no matter how big or small. You can even do this for things that you dislike. In fact, people who feel very negative inside often find that this is the very best time to use their positive aspects journal. For example, I may hate waiting at the DMV, and I’m not trying to get myself to like something I don’t like, but if I were to do a mental scavenger hunt for what’s good about waiting at the DMV, what would I find?
Don’t set the goal of “never complaining again”. This will be counter-productive. Instead, try designating a short period of time where you can be particularly mindful. For example, decide to go just one day without complaining. Every time you are tempted to complain, go through the six steps outlined previously instead. This shorter time period will allow you to concentrate more fully on your goal. The shortened time frame is manageable and experimental instead of punishing and will create increased sensitivity. You can extend the time frame as your confidence with handling the emotional content below the complaint increases.
If you have someone in your life that is a complainer, nothing will ever work to soothe the pain beneath the complaining better than unconditional love and helping them to meet the two primary unmet needs that are present within this person’s being. I suggest that you re-watch this video and really get present to how you may be able to lend your energy to this person in a way that assisted the underlying issues below the complaining, because complaining and fault finding is nothing more than a surface symptom. Learn to see through and beyond the complaint itself to the vulnerability and the needs and wants and gold underneath.
Complaining is nothing more than a symptom. If it is a symptom that you have, use the symptom to look deeper into the cause of that symptom. Your pain is valid. You have every reason to feel negative about life. But the question we need to ask ourselves is, would we rather be right, justified, good and superior or… Happy?
Masturbation is a natural inclination when we are manifested in physical bodies because it is natural to be drawn to things that induce a sensation of pleasure. This is why children naturally begin to experiment with masturbation at a young age. But many of us alive today have been shamed for it. We were raised to believe that masturbation was immoral, evil, wrong, or an embarrassment. And many people, including spiritual teachers believe that masturbation is spiritually detrimental. So which is it? Is masturbation bad or good? The answer is like any tool; it can be both. So it all comes down to the conscious and subconscious intentions of the wielder.
POSITIVE SIDE OF MASTURBATION
First, let’s visit the positive side of masturbation:
1. Sexual stimulation causes energy to build within the body. The sexual response cycle is divided into four phases: Excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. Orgasm, also called sexual climax, is the sudden release of the accumulated sexual energy that has been built in response to stimulation. So it’s relatively easy to see how sexual stimulation (as a builder of energy) could be a useful tool to use. In fact I did an entire video about using orgasms to manifest. I strongly encourage you to watch that video titled: How To Use An Orgasm To Manifest.
2. Obviously, if a person can build life force energy through sexual stimulation, that energy is now readily available to channel towards whatever endeavor or creation one feels compelled to focus on. This is the aspect of sexuality that ancient yoga practitioners and that spiritual teachers are aware of and concerned about. But they aren’t the only ones to have discovered it.
A great technique is to stimulate yourself to the phase of plateau and instead of orgasming (which would release that energy), channeling that energy towards something else you wish to have more energy for. This technique is a favorite among athletes, who are known to stimulate themselves to the point of plateau but not let themselves orgasm, right before a big game or a race. This is also a favorite among scholars, who use this same technique right before a test or talk and performers who use it to enhance their performances.
For those of us who are interested in spiritual practice, it can be a great idea to deliberately use this sexual energy in a conscious way. We can channel this energy into our work, our emotional connection with our partner, our friendships, our meditation or our shadow work.
3. When we feel pleasure, we come into a state of emotional, mental and physical alignment and it brings us squarely into the present moment instead of maintaining a state of resistance where we are lost in the past or the future. This opens our chakras and energy channels and we have much more life force energy flowing into and through our being. When we are out of alignment, illness begins to manifest. So by bringing ourselves into alignment, we amplify the healing process. We add to our overall health. The body responds to that alignment by following suit. For example it releases oxytocin and endorphins, which relieve pain. The immune system is mobilized, blood flow increases throughout the body which further nourishes out body, our cells begin to have better respiration and the portion of our brain that is associated with fear and anxiety goes dormant. The bottom line is, masturbation can help keep us physically healthy.
4. Masturbation enhances self-intimacy and subsequently other-intimacy. Developing intimacy with yourself is critical if you want to be intimate with someone else. To be intimate with yourself, you need to see yourself, feel yourself, hear yourself and understand yourself. When you master this, you have a sense of self to bring into relationships with others. And you’ll be much more able to offer intimacy to someone else. It is important that you are familiar with yourself sexually and masturbation is one of the best ways to develop this self-awareness and self-familiarity. You’d be surprised how much you can learn about yourself just by engaging with yourself in a sexual way. It’s a travesty when people enter into relationships with no sexual experience or when people are alienated from themselves to such a degree that they avoid themselves sexually. This is a huge problem in the world today for women, some of whom have avoided thinking about, touching or educating themselves about any part of themselves that they consider sexual. When this is the case, in a relationship that turns sexual, you are at the mercy of inexperience. You cannot direct the experience in a way that would be pleasurable to you, you’re just basically at the mercy of your partner, who has no idea what you like and don’t like want and don’t want because you don’t either. This can make your sex life and even your relationship a complete disaster. To avoid yourself sexually is a state of resistance to yourself. This is not healthy and it fuels shame.
5. During orgasm, the awareness of the identity or ego is dissolved so in that moment, you are dis-identified and you can touch your infinite nature. This is why sex and orgasm has been used as a tool in spirituality to reach higher states of consciousness. It has been called the “mini death’ because it erases a sense of separate self. Tantra is the most well known example of sexual practice being used as a doorway to achieve enlightenment in fact.
NEGATIVE SIDES OF MASTURBATION
Now for the potential pit falls of masturbation:
1. It can become an addiction and thus end up doing more harm than good. It is true that for many of us, the craving for orgasm is the craving for relief, relief in the form of release. This feeling of relief becomes it’s own addiction. This is a big part of what we are addicted to if we are addicted to pornography. We often seek out pleasure, not for the sake of pleasure but to try to escape from pain. When done for this reason, masturbation (especially if it is chronic) is a form of self-medication. It blunts the senses and makes you forget everything else. It is hypnotic and trance like and makes you lose track of time. If you use masturbation in this way, you use it to get relief from something. It is used to escape a painful emotional state.
Addiction is an indication that there is something being covered up and avoided that needs to be faced and dealt with directly. For example, I’m not a fan of the idea of using masturbation to reduce stress (which it does do) because it doesn’t deal with the underlying cause of the stress; it just provided temporary relief from the stress like a painkiller. When we are using masturbation in this way, we are not using it to bring us into the present moment, we are using it instead to escape the present moment. If we are dedicated to maximizing our life, we can’t keep running from ourselves and escaping our pain through our addictive behaviors. If you fall into this behavior of using masturbation in an addictive way, it’s time to have a real heart to heart with yourself about what you are using it to get away from. And then it is time to face that underlying pain. You may or may not be masturbating in tandem with pornography or mental images you construct in our own mind to reach sexual climax. But because the addiction to masturbation is so closely linked to porn addiction, if you struggle with the addiction to masturbation, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Overcome Porn Addiction.
2. Orgasm releases oxytocin, which enhances our bond with each other. For this reason, people who have a healthy sex life (even if that includes masturbation and not just sex) are in fact more likely to stay faithful to one another and not cheat. But there is one demographic of people for whom masturbation is a way of avoiding this bond. If we have a fear of intimacy, we can fall into the behavior of
masturbating because we want to avoid intimacy. We condition ourselves to respond to self-stimulation so we never have to feel the vulnerability of connecting emotionally with someone else. In fact, we may become sensitized to the degree that our own touch is the only way we can become aroused and we may even render ourselves incapable of reaching sexual climax by being touched by another person. We are particularly at risk of this is we have what many psychologists call an avoidant attachment style. Before you count yourself out of this category of behavior based on the fact that you can and do have sex with other people, consider that it is possible to have sex that involves no intimacy as well. I like to call this type of sex mutual masturbation because the two people involved are not actually connecting during sex. They are using each other to get off. Unfortunately, most porn on the market today demonstrates this kind of sex and leads us to believe this is what real sex is, when it isn’t. So, consider looking close at yourself in the mirror so to speak and discovering whether masturbation is just your way of being sexual, without the emotional risk of connecting with another person. Our arousal circuitry is easily programmed to prefer self-sex involving sexual fantasies and self touch rather than intimacy with other people and this can obviously have devastating effects on our relationships.
3. As I said before, life force energy is creative spiritual energy and it is indivisible from sexual energy. When you become aroused, you are raising your sexual energy. When you orgasm for the sake of relief, you are releasing that energy. The question you should be asking yourself is what am I releasing that energy towards? Sexual energy is creative energy. If you are spending your life force energy by masturbating for the sake of release in and of itself, you are robbing yourself of creative energy. That energy is meant to be channeled towards creation, whether that creation is the creation of connection or the creation of actual life or the creation of ideas or the creation of the lifestyle you want to have. A state of atrophy or apathy is common for people who are unconscious about their masturbation and who masturbate habitually, because the energy they have to create their waking life is being spent. When we do not know how to consciously bring in an endless stream of energy because we cannot consistently maintain alignment, we can end up depleting ourselves through masturbation and our body will become unhealthy because of it.
THE TRADITIONAL WAY TO LOOK AT MASTURBATION
It is important that we set forth on the path of spirituality and self-growth as a result of intrinsic, internal motivation. It is a kind of natural internal evolution that will compel you forward. For thousands of years, we have been making the mistake of being on the path of spirituality and self-growth because we are extrinsically motivated. We hold a spiritual ideal in our head, a kind of idea of perfection that has been fed to us by other people. We wish to live up to that spiritual ideal mostly so we will be loved and feel good enough about ourselves. We chase it like a carrot on a stick. The traditions that taught you (or influenced those who taught you) that masturbation is wrong, are the very traditions that prefer to control your behavior with a carrot and a stick. They operate through punishment and reward and they don’t mind whether your spiritual practice is extrinsically motivated or intrinsically motivated as long as you are living up to a spiritual ideal. But the time has come to let go of these traditions because they no longer serve our progression as a species.
There is no giant man in the sky called God who is expecting you to live up to an image of spiritual perfection in his head and who is ashamed of you when you masturbate. There is no difference between life force energy and sexual energy. Whether you like it or not, you are a sexual being. That sexuality does not own you, because it is you. It is natural and no part of that sexuality is wrong. All energy can be channeled towards use that benefits or use that harms. But by embracing yourself as a sexual being, and becoming fully intimate with yourself sexually (including masturbating) the likelihood that that sexual energy will be channeled towards harm is greatly diminished. Instead, if it is done consciously, it can greatly benefit you and those around you. Sexuality is a beautiful thing, as long as it is conscious.
Dreams are a direct reflection of what is going on with you vibrationally. The things you’ve been thinking and the feelings you’ve been feeling in your waking life and what manifests in your reality are always a match. Your dreams are always a vibrational match to what you’ve been thinking and feeling as well. Anything you focus on or pay attention to could manifest as a dream. Because you have no resistance in your sleep, you are not tensing yourself against the conditions of your life or condemning yourself or pretending things are different than they are and so you are able to see the reflection of your vibration exactly as it is. Your subconscious mind (things you don’t know that you don’t know) can be revealed to you. What does this mean for those of us who have nightmares? It means that in our waking life, we are under stress. We are chronically experiencing states of emotional duress and most likely emotional duress that we are either unaware of or don’t know how to resolve. Sleepers dream about what they encounter in real life, especially about emotional concerns. However, in your dreams these vibrations play out as exact reflections. This means that your mind will choose structure for these dreams that is the closest match to the vibration itself. The expectations and therefore beliefs in dreamscape are different than they are in waking state, which is why they can manifest in this way. In waking life, we may hold a belief ghosts do not exist. In dream state, we do not. So, in dream state, a ghost can show up.
Another example of how the mind will choose structure for these dreams that is the closest match to the vibration itself, is that in your waking life you may feel as if your boss at work is mean and elicits fear from you every time he enters the office. In dreaming life, the closest match to the actual feeling you feel may be trying to avoid getting eaten by an alligator. So, you will dream about an alligator, having no idea that the alligator symbolically represents your boss. In waking life, you may not be willing to own up to just how afraid you are of your boss. You may be tensing against the awareness of that fear by thinking that it is normal to feel bad about authority or by avoiding him.
To understand dreams in general, I want you to watch my video on YouTube titled: What Are Dreams and How To Understand Them. In this video on Dreams, I explained that life is essentially a learning hologram that facilitates universal expansion. This is the function of the perception of linear time and space. By seeing your vibration playing out in a dream, you can make amends to it. Dreaming helps therefore to incorporate memory, solve problems and process emotions. Nightmares are one of the best facilitators of resolution. They are simulated rehearsals of threat so that we will be prepared to survive if we continue to encounter a similar threat in our waking life. But what should we do with those nightmares? What should we do if our nightmares are causing us problems?
1. After you have a nightmare, just as you wake up from it, deliberately go back over the nightmare in as much detail as you can remember as if you are replaying it. But this time, consciously imagine aspects of the dream changing so that if feels good. Alter the events, circumstances, characters and outcomes so the emotional tone of the dream changes. I promise you this technique, though it sounds simple, is absolutely incredible. For example, if I had a bad dream about being attacked by a dog, I may re-play the dream and shrink the dog and have the dog disappear at the snap of my fingers. You have full artistic license here to alter the dream in literally any way that causes you to feel good. You could face and conquer a threat or alter the entire story line. Don’t consider what is possible or impossible or real or unreal. But the more believable the resolution is to you, the better the result will be in waking life. I’ve seen people who suffer from chronic nightmares stop having nightmares completely as a result of using this technique. You are essentially providing resolution for yourself by doing this, which is the entire reason the nightmare exists in the first place.
2. In my video titled “Dreams and How to Understand Them”, I put forth my favorite technique for unraveling dreams. In this process, you write down your dream as if it were happening in present tense and then you go into the perspective of (or become) every significant aspect of the dream and then explore and express your perspective from that stand point as if it were taking place in present tense. I gave an example of how to do this process in that video on YouTube. I also made myself a guinnea pig and wrote a blog where I applied this process to one of my own recurrent nightmares. If you are interested, you can look up these blogs titled “Three Handprints” and “Handprints The Follow Up”. Apply this process to your own dream.
3. As you are falling asleep, deliberately think about positive things. You may want to imagine a scene or story line that feels good to you. Or employ the technique that I like best, which is to imagine things that cause you to feel positive emotion in as much detail as possible. Think of this like flash cards of mental images that cause you to feel at ease or to feel positive emotion. For example, I may imagine a unicorn. I may imagine the way it smells and the way it feels and sounds. Then I may imagine sitting in the sunlight on the beach. Then I might imagine a plate full of chocolate chip cookies. Then I might imagine a place I love to visit. Yet again, the sky is the limit with this one. Anything and everything that feels good to think about is game.
Alternatively, like mental flashcards, try to remember every positive thing that you encountered throughout the day. For example, re-play a hug or kiss you got, replay the feeling of eating a meal you particularly liked, or what it felt like to read a positive e-mail you received or what warm shower water felt like against your skin. Those of us who have nightmares tend to ruminate. We tend to unconsciously replay flashcards of things that went bad throughout our day. We obsess over the negative way we feel and negative experiences we had. This bleeds over into dream life. So consciously doing the opposite is a powerful tool for us. 4. Develop a unique soothing ritual for your whole body before going to bed and really stay present as if it is a relaxing routine. For example, you may wish to take a warm bath or shower, paint, listen to music or guided meditations or simply the sound of someone’s reassuring voice and breathe deeply to fully oxygenate your body. you may wish to lay in bed and starting with your toes, place your focus on and tense the muscles in every individual part of your body, holding the tension for about 11 seconds and letting go completely so as to deliberately create full body relaxation. If you create a ritual, you will train your brain to associate relaxation with going to sleep and it is much less likely that you will have nightmares. Choose whatever ritual works best for you and don’t be afraid to experiment to find what works best for you.
5. Don’t cause arousal in your body before going to sleep and cut down on things that cause arousal during the day. For example, don’t stare at computer screens, TV screens or exercise or eat right before going to bed. Cut caffeine and sugar out of your diet and don’t watch scary or suspenseful movies. Doing things like this trigger the body into arousal instead of relaxation. They can tell the mind and body that it’s time to wake up or to face a threat. This stimulation can predispose you towards nightmares. If you are one of those people who feels they simply must spend time on the computer up until bed time, download an app that alters the light coming through your screen so that your circadian rhythm is not negatively affected. My current favorite app for this purpose is called Flux.
6. Let someone in on your nightmare, even if it is just the pages of a journal. Get it out from inside you and put it on the shelf. Preferably though, expose it to someone else. Social support is a beautiful tonic for nightmares. It reduces stress to have someone witness the things we are subconsciously or internally struggling with.
A nightmares is a symptom of a deeper emotional issue that needs to be made known to the conscious mind. Dreams are a doorway to your subconscious. If you struggle with nightmares, it is essential that in waking life you start to be proactive about reducing stress in your life. This may mean cutting back on work load, getting extra help here and there, seeing a therapist for help with problems that are causing you stress or anything else that may help reduce your stress levels. You may benefit by watching my videos on YouTube titled: “How To Get Rid Of Anxiety, A Natural Cure for Anxiety”, “How To Stop Worrying.” And “How To Stop Expecting the Worst (Catastrophizing)”.
Use your nightmares as a tool for enhancing your level of awareness. This is the best way to approach nightmares, rather than to set the goal of getting rid of them. It is best to treat each one as an opportunity for expansion and an internal cry for resolution. Know that your mind is not against you. There is nothing wrong with you if you have nightmares. And each one holds important information about you and for you, which will improve your waking life. Nightmares may cause you to feel fear, but you do not need to fear them.
Thinking about suicide or attempting or committing suicide is just a symptom. It is a symptom of a deeper emotional condition. It is that emotional condition that needs our unconditional presence and conscious focus.
Before getting into the meat of this article, I will tell you that I am not just going to be talking to you from the standpoint of a spiritual teacher. I’m going to be talking to you from the standpoint of a survivor. Suicide is something I have struggled with since I was a child. I have attempted suicide four times. So what you can know going into this is that if anyone understands the kind of torment that you are in at this current moment, it is me. I’m going to tell you what most people tell you which is that if you’re genuinely suicidal, contact a mental health professional or check yourself into a hospital. This is an option if you really don’t feel you can trust yourself to not kill yourself. So I’ll leave that judgment to you, it may very well be the best decision for you at this time. But I also know from personal experience that being admitted to the hospital is a temporary fix that may enable you to be kept safe from yourself long enough for the extremity of the suicidal feeling to pass. And speaking for myself, I did not meet a single mental health professional that was actually able to help me to resolve the despair I felt, so the suicidal ideation kept coming back and I ended up making future attempts. This despair that seems absolutely unsolvable is the very reason you are contemplating suicide today.
Here’s the thing, I’m not going to be like every other person and freak out because I am afraid of death and tell you that suicide is wrong. I’m not going to flip out because I need you around for my sake and thus try to convince you not to do it from that self-centered standpoint. I’m not going to sugar coat this life for you by trying to sell you on all the good points of life and by trying to tell you it will all be ok. I get it that at this point life has not been good to you. Right now, you do not have proof that earth is anything but suffering and you have no reason to believe that it will ever get better. You’re right to feel this way. You aren’t wrong about your perspective. And you know what no one else will tell you? Anyone in your circumstance would have probably killed themselves already. There is nothing wrong with you for feeling this way. Right now, you’re in more pain than you can cope with. Suicide is nothing more than pain exceeding your pain coping resources.
A lot of what is making you want to kill yourself right now is the belief that on top of feeling this much despair, there is something wrong with you for feeling that despair. This causes you to feel more despair and ultimately to turn on yourself. But from the standpoint of a spiritual teacher, I am going to tell you that there is nothing wrong with you. Anyone with your experience would feel exactly this same way. Chances are if you are even reading this article, even from inside this internal torture chamber you’re living in, you are having your doubts about suicide. There is a part of you, maybe an infinitesimal spec that wants to believe that life could be worth living. And so, I don’t need you to want to live right now. All I need is for you to just try what I’m about to suggest instead of kill yourself right now. You are currently in a crisis, an emergency peak of emotional pain. And here is what I want you to try…
Know that you can always kill yourself tomorrow. In fact, you can always kill yourself in five minutes. What I want you to know is that for now, suicide can be your safety net or your re-set button in that it is always available to you. This will enable you to put suicide aside for a moment and instead, you can live with this in mind: “I can always commit suicide tomorrow, so what can I do with today?” Or if tomorrow seems too large of a timeline, make it “I can always kill myself in an hour. So knowing that, what can I do with this hour?” Then use that hour or that day to focus completely and totally on quite literally anything that makes you feel a tiny bit of relief.
Know that the way our body is wired makes it so pain has a way of doing two things. The first is to convince you that you are the only one feeling this way, so you are alone in it and with it. The second is to convince you it will never end. Neither is true. There are people going through this exact same thing at exactly this minute. Think about it. On the other side of the world, there is someone reading this exact same article.
In your life, you have learned that happiness is transient and unreliable. It always goes when it comes. But what you aren’t noticing is that unhappiness is the same. It too shall pass. As unbelievable as it may seem at this minute, this extreme feeling state is temporary. If you didn’t do anything at all about it, it would eventually pass on its own.
Consider that your thoughts and feelings come and go, like messages from somewhere deep within this universe. But you do not have to believe them. They may seem true, but just because something seems true, does not mean that it is. Just ask a magician. You cannot know 100% that this pain will never end and you cannot know beyond a shadow of a doubt that no one else is experiencing this exact same thing. You can believe these painful thoughts are true, but you cannot know that they are. Your pain may just be creating an illusion.
Right now, you feel as if you are trapped inside yourself, in a torture chamber built for one. A part of you is crying out for you to see your own pain and understand it. This is what pain does. It calls our attention to a problem that needs resolution. Chances are, you can see other people smile and seem happy and it feels like you can’t touch that happiness. You feel an unbearable isolation. You’re stuck in your pain as if it were a vat of poison. You need your pain to be exposed to the light of your own consciousness and then to other people’s consciousness. So first, express the hell out of these emotions. My favorite method for doing this is to write. Some people prefer to yell or to sing about it. The point is, you need to get it all out. Express how you feel and why you feel that way. Imagine you are emotionally vomiting.
What you really want is for someone to see your pain. You’ve got to let someone in on your pain. Express what you discovered in the previous step to someone else. But choose wisely. You may have a lot of people in your life right now who are so afraid of pain themselves that they will only enhance the feeling of loneliness and make matters worse.
Involve someone who is capable of being fully unconditionally present with your pain. If you feel like you don’t want to use someone who is in your life already, know that I have personally trained a group of facilitators who are experts in doing just this. You can subscribe to my newsletter. The link is on the homepage of this website. On www.thecompletionprocess.com I have a list of these facilitators. You can look through the list and let yourself be drawn to whichever one resonates with you the most and reach out to them. Alternatively, you can reach out for someone’s presence on befrienders.org, which is an international organization that provides support for anyone who is suicidal; no matter your time zone.
Right now, you feel completely powerlessly hopeless in a state of despair. The state of despair is the feeling state that follows the thought that you are trapped in an intolerable situation and powerless to do something about it… permanently. Whatever you do, do not try to focus positively and do not try to think happy thoughts. Don’t write a single affirmation or even look at one. This will only serve to make matters worse and make you feel more hopeless. Despair functions like a spider’s web. The more desperate you feel to try hard with effort to get out of it, the more ensnared you become. So just stop wherever you are.
Lay down on the floor. I mean completely collapse on the floor and give up. I want you to imagine dying. If you are suicidal, you’ve been toying with the idea of fully giving up on life and killing yourself. I want you to get much more deliberate and conscious about it and consciously imagine killing yourself. This is different than suicidal ideation, which is just a subconscious reaction to an emotional state.
Imagine how you want to kill yourself and where you want to kill yourself. Imagine every grizzly detail. Imagine who is there and how they will react. Become aware of the impact you want it to have on other people and why you want your suicide to have that impact. Imagine watching every detail of your funeral and what happens with your body. Imagine watching people grieve and move on with their life. Imagine you watching it all. Then imagine yourself going back to source. Becoming part of the universal mind or God again. Imagine that now you have the relief you were seeking. You’re not in pain anymore. You’re watching earth from that removed point of view. You left it all behind. You’re just objectively viewing the madness down on earth. Let yourself imagine that peace for as long as you can. And when your mind begins to fidget in that peace, I want you to ask yourself this question… “Now what?” Stop reading this article and do this exercise before going any further and when you are done, keep reading. What you have found out by doing this process is that there is nowhere to go from the peaceful stillness of death. Instead of permanently wonderful, it is a kind of ended-ness of expansion. And so what do we feel compelled to do as souls? Come back into that movement by coming back into life once more. This is the drive that fuels reincarnation. Death is nothing more than a halting of all forward momentum and from that place, we find we desire momentum. And so, if after death the only place to go from there is towards life once more, why leave? Why not do the most with what we have already built and learned instead of starting over from scratch with a new life?
Some part of your soul wants to be here; otherwise you would not have come into this life in the first place. What did this exercise teach you that you really want out of life that is different than the life you’re currently living? So far, you’ve been passively committed to life. You’ve had one foot in and one foot out and this can never lead to a life that is worth living. Your inner most being may be putting you in this horrible crossroads so as to force you to stop being passive and make a choice to align with your original intention for being here by completely committing to life. Just because you are alive, does not mean you are consciously committed to life.
I had a moment the last time I was suicidal where I realized that I could no longer straddle the fence. I needed to commit one way or the other to death or to life and that if I didn’t make that choice, I would not have all of me behind the creation of my life. With the safety net of it always being an option to kill myself, I was able to set suicide aside long enough to give life my all. I committed consciously to life. It was really nothing more complex than making the decision “I’m all in” and caring more about how I felt in with the minute I had in front of me than about anything else. I started to make decisions in my life according to the criteria of whether it felt better and nothing else.
When you are in this amount of emotional pain, it is critical that you stop thinking about the future. Reel it in and live five minutes at a time. What can you do with the next five minutes that would feel a tiny bit better? And do that. And when those five minutes have passed, ask again. What can I do with the next five minutes that would feel a tiny bit better? And do that. Right now it is quite simple, all you have is now and all you have is the option of thinking and doing something that feels better or doing and thinking something that feels worse. If you just chose the step in front of you that feels better and then the step in front of you that feels better, you can cover some serious emotional distance from this place of complete despair.
Only after you have found some relief and the immediate desire to kill yourself has passed, you may feel the desire to put a tiny bit of energy into improving the way you feel. Do this slowly. Start by doing anything that feels just a little bit better. For example, play music, watch a stand up comic or a movie, sit in a salt bath, go on a walk, distract yourself from your thoughts with anything that causes you to feel a hint of relief. Then, when you feel ready to really dig into consciously improving the way you feel, watch four videos on my YouTube Channel the first is: What To Do If You Feel Hopeless. The second is: The Self Soothing Process. The third is: How To Feel Better. The fourth is: How To Raise Your Frequency and Increase Your Vibration.
The bottom line is that if you’re genuinely suicidal, you need to treat your life with the same approach as you would if you were terminally ill. Suicidality is like a terminal illness. If it is not handled appropriately, it will end in death. So what would I tell someone to do if they were terminally ill? I’d tell them to stop in their tracks. I’d tell them to re-evaluate their life. I’d tell them to make every minute of their life about how they feel. I’d tell them to start doing those things that they have on their bucket list and to literally quit doing things they think they have to do that aren’t adding to their happiness.
You may have a list five miles long of things you think you have to do, but would those things really matter if you were dead? Would that sparkly clean house or college degree or promotion really matter if you were dead? The bottom line is that when we are terminally ill, priorities change. And they change into what they always should have been. The absolute gift of surviving a brush with suicide is that you can make this change in priorities without being physically ill or dying. You have more of a shot at really living life than most people ever do. If handled right, suicide can get you out of the prison of a box that so many people live their life in. If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do with today? If we want to be happy in our lives, all of us (especially you) need to start living our lives as if next year may never come.
When and if you ever feel ready to really create resolution, become acquainted with and begin to resolve the underlying emotional condition below the suicidal impulse you feel. As I said earlier, suicidal feelings and thoughts are merely a symptom. You are trying to find resolution for an internal wound. You need to become aware of that wound. You need to seriously explore why you are feeling this way. When you feel ready, I want you to watch some specific YouTube videos that I have created. This will set you on the path of resolution. The first video is: Today’s Great Epidemic and How To Solve It. The second video is: The Emotional Wakeup Call. The third video is: How To Heal The Emotional Body. And the fourth is: Nervous Break Down (what to do about a mental or emotional breakdown). I have created a process that heals the underlying cause of suicide. I am calling it The Completion Process. My book, which explains exactly how to do this process is quite literally titled, The Completion Process. It is released as of fall 2016. I strongly encourage you to purchase a copy of this book and try the process for yourself. If you need help with resolution before fall 2016, I encourage you to subscribe to my newsletter (the link is on the homepage) so you are sent a list of facilitators that I have trained to facilitate this process. Contact one of them and have them teach it to you.
It may not seem like it right now, but there cannot be a problem without a solution. One polarity cannot exist in this universe without the other. And it may not seem like it at this moment, but you are a critical puzzle piece of this full picture of life here on earth. Your absence would be a devastating loss for us all. It would create trauma in a ripple effect for all of us, most especially those who are closest to you. And I completely understand that you may very well want to create that impact because you want them to see the pain you’re in and perhaps even hurt people because of how they have hurt you. This how I felt in fact. The thing is, they will see and feel that pain if you kill yourself, but the sad part is that you wont be around to feel that feeling of being seen. You wont be around to experience that impact. You don’t want to die, you just want to stop hurting and right now, you think dying is the only way you can stop hurting. But what if that wasn’t true? And what if you weren’t actually alone in this? What if there was actually an end to this pain and what if instead of trying to hurt you, your pain was instead crying out for you to help it?
When you feel upset it is critical to know that you cannot control this emotional upset once it has occurred. You can only respond to it. It is how you respond to an upset that makes the difference between going further off your due north course or back on your due north course. When we do not use an upset to alert us to awaken or to become fully aware, we tend to immediately unconsciously react to the situation at hand. For example, we slam doors or smoke a cigarette or yell at people or take an action that we feel gives us power over someone else. This reaction is a resistance to what is happening and so; it only serves to make matters worse. So, I am going to give you a formula to follow to create resolution once upset has occurred.
1. Re arrange the order of the conjunct words that make up the word upset and you arrive at an interesting truth. An upset is in fact a set up. It is a set up on behalf of the universe at large to make you completely aware of something you are currently unaware of. You are being set up to awaken. You are being set up to integrate what is un-integrated or heal what is unhealed within you. Because it is a set up, acknowledge that this is not the universe working against you; this is the universe offering you an opportunity. Because the universe is alerting you to an opportunity to awaken, you can treat an upset like an alarm clock going off, a red flag popping up or my personal favorite… a meditation bell. Let the discomfort of the upset snap you awake and bring all of your focus to the present moment so that all of your conscious attention can be placed on the situation at hand. Approach the upset with an attitude of “I am being called to become aware of something in this moment.” You must address each upset with the awareness that the upset is valid. It isn’t a matter of whether it is right or wrong to feel that way. So let yourself feel your feelings completely without suppressing them or trying to force them to go away.
2. When you are upset, the nervous system kicks into high gear to remove you from what it perceives as a threat. You can calm down the nervous system by doing the following things: Breathing deep into your diaphragm and belly, inhale for a count of four… hold the breath in for a count of two… exhale gently, counting out for eight… and finish by holding the breath out for a count of two. Keep your breathing even and smooth. Make sure the exhale is longer than the inhale. Then, fill your mouth with warm water and while seated, bend your head forward into a basin of cold water, submerging your forehead, eyes, and at least two-thirds of your cheeks for as long as is comfortable. Breathe in and out your nose in between dunkings. Repeat this process for a few minutes. Then, begin to sway or rock your body back and forth for a few minutes. Rocking on your hands and knees or while sitting with your arms hugging your knees tight to your chest seems to work best. After this, seek out deep touch or pressure anywhere you can find it. This could take the form of firm holding; firm stroking, cuddling, hugging, or squeezing. Perhaps wrap yourself tightly in a blanket, even covering your head so that you feel a sense of containment. And when you feel ready, move on to the next steps, which involve facing the upset.
Before we move on however, I want to mention that the human nervous system is especially soothed by singing. It stimulates one of the primary nerves involved in the fight or flight reaction. So if you feel inspired, sing (even in you have to sing along to a song or someone else’s voice to do it). Also, you may wish to create a playlist of music that you find soothing or calming and put it on while you do take all of these steps to enhance the effectiveness of all of them. 3. Look at the recipe of an upset to isolate the actual ingredient that is causing the upset. There are three main ingredients that create the recipe of upset.
a. An intention or desire that is opposed or prevented. b. An expectation that has been unfulfilled c. An unsuccessful communication
All upset is comprised of one or all of these ingredients. And all of these ingredients revolve around the fact that we think something should be a certain way and it isn’t. An example of an intention that is opposed or prevented is “I want intend to get to work by eight o’clock but the traffic jam opposed that desire and prevented me from getting to work on time.” Opposed or prevented intentions and desires cause us to feel emotions like hatred, rage, anger or if you are feeling especially powerless, feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and despair. An example of an expectation that is unfulfilled is “I expect that my husband keeps me emotionally safe, but he told me something negative that someone else said about me and it caused me to feel bad.” Keep in mind that expectations can be highly unconscious. Expectations give rise to feelings of disappointment, sorrow and grief. An example of an unsuccessful communication is “I wanted to explain myself to my best friend but all she did was hang up the phone when I called”. Unsuccessful communication is a two way street. It can be about us communicating to them or them communicating to us. Perhaps we failed to be able to communicate with the other person because of the way we worded something or the fact that they were not open to the communication. Perhaps you withheld some authentic truth from them, or they withheld some authentic truth from you. When we experience unsuccessful communication, we feel abused, stuck, trapped, rejected and violated. When we feel an upset, we need to get completely aware about what intention or desire is being opposed, what expectation is going unfulfilled and/or what needs to be communicated that is not being successfully communicated. And those things are what we need to seriously examine. We need to find a way to communicate directly with ourselves and with the people we are in conflict with about these deep roots of the upset we are having so we are no longer dealing with the surface of things. In other words, if my husband leaves his socks on the floor, my anger is not about the socks being on the floor. My anger could be about the fact that I expect him to respect me instead of take me for granted and when he leaves his socks on the floor so I can pick them up, he is failing to meet my expectation. If you would like to get deeper into the actual root of any of your surface upsets, I suggest you use your upsets to find the core belief that is causing you pain about the situation. I set out an exact process for how to do this in my video on YouTube titled: “ How To Find a Core Belief.”
4. Take a close look at what you are making this upset mean. Humans suffer more than any species in the universe. They suffer more because they add painful meaning to experiences they have. This week, I had a traumatic event occur. I looked out my window to find a deer that had been struck by a car and had sought shelter in my backyard. Her hind leg was broken in five places. While the other members of the intentional community frantically tried to figure out the best option to help this deer, I decided to stay completely present with this animal. I went into its perspective and was surprised. It was experiencing severe levels of pain as it bled out onto the snow. But it was not suffering from any emotional angst in conjunction with that pain. The deer could not be in the past or in the future. It was only concerned with the now. The deer was not making the experience mean anything. And so, it was not emotionally suffering. The deer was not thinking about how this would effect it’s future. It was not worried about dying. It was not making the event mean that the universe is against it or that the world is a dangerous and bad place to be. A human on the other hand immediately assigns painful meaning to painful experiences. And so, any time you experience an upset, I want you to consider that the experience itself is separate from what we make that experience mean and ask yourself “What am I making this mean?” Make your steps towards resolution (such as communication) be about this deeper meaning you are adding to the experience. To understand this concept more in depth, I urge you to watch my video on YouTube titled: Meaning, The Self Destruct Button.”
5. Consider that the way you can know that something should be happening is that it is happening. And so rather than resist the unwanted thing that is happening, approach it with an attitude of allowing or curiosity. An upset is ultimately the result of thinking that something should be that isn’t or shouldn’t be that is. That attachment to how things should be is a rigidity that puts you at war with what is. It puts you at war with the present moment. So, when you are ready, pretend you are a philosopher who must get way outside the paradigm of your current thinking and explore the question, assuming this is supposed to be happening, why should this be happening? You can enhance this practice by trying to find and list all the positive aspects of the negative situation at hand. 6. If the upset cannot be eased by doing any of the previous steps, it means there is a deep emotional wound which is being triggered. The upset is calling you to take the light of your consciousness into the darkness of that unconscious pain in order to integrate it. So, instead of trying to feel better, get better at feeling by dropping into and being unconditionally present with the feeling, let it lead you back to the original trauma that is unresolved and create some resolution. For instructions about how to do this, watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Heal The Emotional Body.
An upset is always a call to awaken. It is always a set up on behalf of the universe to call us to make a change… a change to our thoughts, our communication, our actions and our situation. So use the upset to become aware of the ingredients that are actually causing the upset and make your adjustments based on those things that you find. An upset is not here to thwart your progress; an upset is here to enhance your progress.
When we are young, so many of us stop following our own internal compass towards the things that cause us to feel alive in favor of the approval we get from adults around us when we do what they want us to do instead. To survive this self-abandonment, we tell ourselves that those things they want us to do make us happy. But what really makes us feel good (like a drug covering up the pain) is having their approval. But eventually, just like a drug, their approval cannot numb out the pain. The side effects become too much to live with. We realize that we may have external approval for the choices we have made in life, but something is missing. We do not know what we like and don’t like. We don’t know what we want.
If we try to numb out this internal pain for long enough and continue to ignore our internal guidance system, our soul will create a crisis for us to try to get us back on track. And sometimes, this crisis brings us face to face with death. We are match to this experience because we have been preventing ourselves from really living anyway. We have been living a waking death. I have spent countless hours at the bedside of people who are terminally ill for this very reason. And those who tend to recover are the ones who can manage to let the visitor of death educate them about life. The ones who let a brush with death bring them back to life. The bottom line is that when a person is terminally ill, priorities change. And they change into what they always should have been. The absolute gift of surviving a brush with death is that you can make this change in priorities without being physically ill or dying. You then have a shot at really living.
Some of us are catastrophe thinkers. We feel we are always mentally and emotionally in a life or death scenario. And we are always living life like tomorrow may never come. The downside to this is that we are not happy because we are always in a state of fear. If you are this kind of person, I urge you to watch 2 of my videos on YouTube. The first is titled “How To Stop Worrying”. The second is titled “How To Stop Expecting The Worst”. The upside to this is that we often live our lives like tomorrow will never come. And it is this mentality that we can teach the world. It would benefit all of us, but especially those of us who feel like our life is routine, empty, stuck and unfulfilling, to start to live our life like tomorrow may never come. So, I’m going to give you a practice. This practice is to be used as a tool to get your life back on track. I urge you to throw yourself into it with vengeance.
Close your eyes and imagine that you died yesterday. It’s over. How did you die? Try to see the way that you died and try to see who was there with you when you died. What circumstances surrounded your death? Spend some time really making this imagined experience believable and real to you. And when you are ready, I want you to ask yourself the following questions…
What do I regret the most about my life?
Who do I most want to say I love you to?
What am I incomplete with, or what do I desperately wish I could have gotten complete with before I died?
What was I the most afraid of? And if I weren’t afraid of those things, how would my life have been different?
Regardless of what my priorities were while I was living, looking back on life, what do I now see is the most important thing in my life?
Was there anything I worried about that in the end did not really matter once I died?
Is there anything I needed to say to someone, but didn’t?
Was there a time in my life that I chose something else over love? Would I have made a different choice?
What am I the most glad I did in my life? What was the best decision I made?
What were the top three best memories of my life and why were they the best memories?
What fed my spirit, what did I love doing that I didn’t do enough of? Think about those things that make you fall to your knees in awe or give you goosebumps and make you feel full of life. Why didn’t I make that thing or those things the center of my life?
Knowing now that I could chose anywhere on earth, where would I have moved to and lived?
What will people remember me for? What legacy am I leaving behind? (Keep in mind that the truth that arises may not be a positive one)
If I could have chosen, what legacy would I have liked to leave behind and be remembered for?
Now that I am dead and looking back at my life, if I could have written a bucket list, (essentially a list of things I want to experience, accomplish or do before I die) would be on that list?
What life that other people lived, was I envious of and didn’t give myself the permission to go after?
Now that you are dead, what advice would you give to anyone who is living, especially your children?
Looking at life now that I am dead, what would I say is the meaning of life?
If I were given one more shot at life, what would I do differently?
If I were given one more shot at life, what would I now have the courage to do that I didn’t have the courage to do before?
Now imagine for a minute that an angel or some other transcendent spirit being comes to you. Imagine this being informing you that it is going to grant you a second chance at life. You are going to wake up to live another day. Imagine this being doing so. And as you open your eyes, imagine that you are coming back to life after having died. You get to live life from scratch. Everything was put into perspective. Look back over the answers you gave to the questions you were asked while you were dead.
I am not concerned about you making the right decisions for your life now that you have been handed this perspective. You know based on the answers you gave what you need to do and what you need to change and you even have the awareness you needed in order to be brave enough to make those changes. Make those changes and make them today. Your world is being created through you and the decisions you make every single day. You may think that you have lots of time. But the truth is, you can’t know that. The truth is, you may not be alive in an hour or a day. So there is no time to waste. You cannot afford to live a minute of your life thinking or saying or doing something that is not worthy of your life. You may have a list five miles long of things you think you should be doing. But would those things really matter if you were dead?
This is your life and you came here to live it. And no soul on earth came to this life to play it safe. None of us are getting out of this life alive. So all that will happen if you don’t follow your passion to the ends of the earth, including all the risk, is to arrive at death safely. Which is not much of an accomplishment if you ask me. All of us need to start living our lives as if next year may never come. So if you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do with today?
Thousands of years ago, Siddhartha Gautama (who would come to be known as the Buddha) stumbled upon a truth about the universe. The truth was about the danger of extremes. At the point that he discovered that truth, he was very much living a life of extremes. He had dedicated his life to the path of asceticism. This way of life was so extreme that it was said he grew thin enough that he could feel his hands if he placed one on the small of his back and the other on his stomach. While seeking enlightenment in this way, he overheard a teacher speaking of music. He heard the teacher say, “If the strings on the instrument are set too tight, then the instrument will not play harmoniously. If the strings are set too loose, the instrument will not produce music. Only the middle way, not too tight and not too loose, will produce harmonious music". This perspective changed everything for the Buddha. As a result of this awareness, he developed an entirely new spiritual practice that he called the “middle path”.
One could easily say that the middle path is a practice of balance through moderation. But when we think of balance through moderation, we think of taking away from extremes so as to achieve a kind of equilibrium. As a spiritual teacher myself, I have never liked the idea of balance through moderation. Trying to find or create balance in your life through moderation is a difficult task and it is a task that slows expansion. It causes people to temper themselves. For example, if I want a balance between work and play and in my life, I must cut back on work. Often when following the traditional practice of the middle path, it feels internally like you are putting the brakes on.
Some months ago, I had the pleasure of visiting with a particularly talented somatic therapist named Diane St. John. In that meeting, she introduced me to the concept of “And Consciousness”. Essentially, ‘And Consciousness’ is a state of mind where you develop the ability to hold space for extremes. She explained that from her perspective, this is an important part of the development of both mental and emotional maturity. For example, if I am starting a new job, I may be afraid and reluctant to start that new job but also excited and ready to start that new job. If I have not developed the capacity to be present with that contradiction, I will be desperate to side with or line up with one or the other of these contradictory truths. It will lead to confusion. I will want to make rash decisions to release me from this feeling of wanting to swing to either extreme instead of feel torn.
Well, this meeting with Mrs. St. John got me to thinking about ‘And Consciousness’ in a more expansive way. I began to see that that feeling of being torn between two extremes or seemingly opposing truths felt a lot like being stretched. And this stretching is in fact a feeling often experienced in conjunction with personal expansion. And this got me to thinking about the teaching of the middle path.
I now believe that the practice of ‘And Consciousness’ has the capacity to be the modern day replacement for the middle path. ‘And Consciousness’ does not call for you to limit any extreme so as to find a state of balance, so it does not put the breaks on any aspect of being. Instead it requires you to expand wide enough to be able to accommodate these extremes and contradictions. This in fact makes the contradictions complimentary. And there is another, deeper truth behind ‘And Consciousness’ that is even more promising. In the moment that we acknowledge a contradictory truth or state of being and expand wide enough to be able to hold both, as if holding both is ok, we have dis-identified with both extremes. We have ceased to become either or and instead have become the thing that is holding both. By holding both, instead of aspects of our self being separated by them, we have created a state of integration or wholeness within our being. Essentially, ‘And Consciousness’ becomes the unifying factor.
It is quite possible that ‘And Consciousness’ was the idea that the Buddha had in mind all along, a conscious state of un-attachment to either extreme. Middle means upright, unbiased, neutral or centered. This is the very mindset one achieves when practicing ‘And Consciousness’. For example, in life I could say, I am both living and dying everyday and so I am neither living nor dying. What does all this boil down to? Whenever you feel stretched or torn between two extremes and you feel the need need to either pick an extreme or to strike balance between them, practice ‘And Consciousness’ instead. Instead of taking the approach of moderation and tempering either extreme (which is a control tactic), consciously imagine yourself expanding large enough to accommodate or hold both extremes. And ask yourself… If It was ok to contain, hold space for or embody both extremes and thus be attached to neither extreme, what would I think or say or do that was different?
The conscious control of your breathing induces various mental, emotional and physical states. This is the basis for the therapy modality called breath work. Today, I’m going to focus on one method of conscious breath control that is my own personal favorite. Breathing through the pores. You can use this technique as your daily meditative practice.
It is common knowledge that as humans, we breathe through our lungs. But what the average citizen is unaware of is that we also breathe through our skin. It is called cutaneous respiration. We can use our skin to breathe in much more than just air. We can use our pores like mini chakras to pull non-physical energy into our embodiment. Our skin also exhales. It helps the body release toxins. It sweats. This is wonderful on an energetic level because it means we can use our pores to inhale any positive vibration and exhale any negative vibration. The baseline technique for pore breathing is to begin by watching your breath as it is drawn in and out of the lungs. Then gradually, shift your conscious focus to your skin. Begin to intend that your skin take on the quality of a sponge. See the breath coming in as energy. Consciously focus on your skin beginning to soak in that energy with every inhale so your whole body is breathing it in, not just your lungs. Feel it accumulating inside you. This is a Prana practice. You can keep the practice like this. Or you can add the element of exhalation.
To add exhalation to your practice, intend that with every exhale your skin exudes whatever energy is stagnant, negative or unneeded within the body. Alternatively, you can imagine that you inhale energy through your skin which accumulates and with each exhale, the un-needed, negative or stagnant energy is exhaled like a channel through just your your lungs, throat and mouth. Keep in mind that this technique works better when you are in warm conditions unless you specifically want to work with the cold or vibrations that directly involve corresponding cold temperatures. Now that you have the baseline technique, you can modify it any way you intuitively feel guided. My favorite use of this technique is to breathe in and breathe out specific feeling signatures. Every feeling state is unique, like a signature. The way it feels for you to be kissed by someone you have a crush on feels a very specific way in your body physically and emotionally. And it feels differently to be kissed by someone you have a crush on than it does to be hugged by a friend as they are saying goodbye. These individual feelings, though we may give them names, are ultimately something we feel. We know and remember them by how they uniquely feel inside our body. I call these feeling states, feeling signatures. To learn about feeling signatures in depth, watch my video on YouTube titled: How To Feel Better (Feeling Signatures).
To use a feeling signature in tandem with the technique of breathing through the pores, you imagine an experience or circumstance that creates the feeling signature of your choice in as much detail as you possibly can. Make it real to yourself as if you were experiencing it right now. When you feel the sensation of that specific feeling signature strongly, imagine it spreading out into your aura so that it is around you like a cocoon. From there, imagine your pores opening wide to suck in this feeling signature every time you breathe in. Imagine that each time you breathe in with your lungs, the suction created internally functions like a vacuum and sucks the feeling in through your pores so it accumulates inside you.
The sky is the limit with breathing through the pores. Allow yourself to be creative with how you want to use it in practice. Here are some suggestions of ways to use this practice:
Breathing in and out states of being. Such as breathing in peace and breathing out confusion or breathing in joy and breathing out grief or breathing in health and breathing out illness.
Breathing in and out the location you are in. Such as breathing in and out Chicago or breathing in and out the beach or breathing in and out the concert.
Breathing in and out the elements such as breathing in fire or water or earth or air.
Breathing in the essence and personality of people whom you wish to understand so you can “walk in their shoes and see through their eyes” so to speak.
Breathing in the energy of people who inspire you and whom you want to emulate in specific situations. They could be living or not. For example, breathing in Buddha, or breathing in angels or breathing in Jesus. Or breathing in my grandmother or breathing in Ghandi.
Breathing in and out thoughts such as breathing out the thought “I am a failure” breathing in the thought “I don’t have to accomplish everything this red-hot minute”.
Breathing in nutrients your body needs or breathing out things your body is excessive in. For example, breathing in Vitamin D, breathing out toxins. Or breathing in water, breathing out fever.
Breathing in the essence of specific herbs or minerals or natural things that would assist you. For example, breathing in frankincense or moonstone or mountain or tree or glacial lake.
Breathing in light and breathing out shadow
Breathing in consciousness and breathing out unconsciousness
If you are struggling with this technique, you may want to try a full body relaxation technique first before attempting to breathe through your skin. Though simple, you will find this technique to be particularly powerful. So go ahead and add this powerful tool to your repertoire.
At one level, we are one with everything in this universe, at another level; we are individual expressions of that oneness. We perceive ourselves to be singular and to exercise free will. These seemingly contradictory desires create an endless push and pull within us relative to other people because we think we have to choose between them. However, if we are traumatized at some point in our early lives by relationships, we tend to polarize towards one or the other desire. If we are traumatized by enmeshment or by being controlled, we tend to polarize towards independence to the point where we are terrified of relationships and our boundaries are too strong. On the other hand, if we are traumatized in our lives by disconnection and loneliness, we tend to polarize towards merging to the point where we are terrified of autonomy and our boundaries are too weak. This week, I received a letter in the mail that struck me. It was from a girl who wanted to know why she is so afraid of autonomy. She wanted to know why self-help feels so bad and why it feels wrong or even sad to create healthy boundaries for herself. The spiritual and self-help field is all about helping yourself and it is all about the development of a strong sense of self. Think of it, the self help and spiritual community is littered with ideologies like “fill up your own cup” and “everything you could ever want or need is inside you” and “the only approval you need is your own” and “no one else can make you happy, only you can do that”. These are essentially self-centered ideologies that exalt the idea of spiritual, emotional, mental and physical independence. For some people, these ideologies are entirely liberating. For other people, these ideologies are incredibly painful. And I’m going to explain why.
Having a sense of self vs. other is part of participating in this physical dimension. The individual perspective and experience is what is currently serving the expansion of this universe. And so, we perceive a difference between ourselves and the rest of the world. This individual perspective is a kind of boundary that defines us from everything else. This is why in a world where we operate from an individual perspective, it is important to develop healthy boundaries. But what are boundaries really? Boundaries are not walls between you and the world. In fact boundaries are nothing more than a defined sense of self. If I say I like chocolate ice cream and you say you like vanilla ice cream, those preferences are in fact boundaries we both have. Those boundaries do not conflict with each other. A person may say, “I want to keep my life private” and another may say, “I want to be open about my life and you are part of my life”. Those boundaries are in conflict and it is these conflicting boundaries that cause the conflicts in our relationships. A sense of self (therefore boundary) includes a sense of how someone relates the self to the rest of the world. They are rules of conduct built out of a mix of beliefs, opinions, attitudes, past experiences and social learning. Personal boundaries operate in two directions, affecting both the incoming and outgoing interactions between people. Personal boundaries help to define an individual by outlining likes and dislikes and what is right for them personally or wrong for them personally. Defining these things helps us to know how we will and wont allow ourselves to be treated by others.
How do healthy boundaries develop? They develop as a result of parents allowing you to have a healthy sense of self when you are developing and being socialized. Not many parents are in fact knowledgeable enough about boundaries to accomplish this. Also, most parents are so identified with their children that they forget the child is an actual person who is different to them and thus has his or her own likes and dislikes, wants and needs (boundaries). Parents often violate a child’s boundaries again and again by trying to make the child a mini version of themselves; a reflection of their desires, likes and dislikes. When a child in this kind of environment tries to express a boundary, the parent feels invalidated. And if it is an unconscious parent, the parent then reacts defensively to this invalidation. They react by violating the boundary in an incoming (intrusive) way or an outgoing (distancing) way. When most people think of boundary violation, they only think of intrusive violations, such as someone controlling someone else or calling names or hitting someone else. But there are also distancing violations as well. These are sometimes the most painful. A distancing boundary violation occurs when you have a connection with someone and they withdraw to leave you isolated, which is to cross a boundary away from you.
The child who experiences intrusive boundary violations as a part of the process of socialization, is the one who learns to fear relationships and thus becomes unhealthily independent as an adult and avoidant of intimacy. This child has been educated that it is not ok to have a sense of self or to have boundaries. The subconscious message growing up was “you can’t have you and stay emotionally or even physically safe around me at the same time.”
On the other hand, the child who experiences distancing boundary violations as part of the process of socialization, is the one who learns to cling for dear life to relationships and closeness because they develop such an extreme fear of the starvation and loneliness caused by isolation. This child has been educated that it is not ok to have a sense of self or to have boundaries. To have a sense of self or autonomy was to be isolated. Isolation is a form of torture.
Let’s take a look at how this takes place in a real life scenario. A mother and her 3-year-old daughter are about to go to church. The little girl decides that she wants to wear jeans, cowboy boots and her lucky Star Wars shirt. She asserts this boundary, but her mom wants her to wear a dress because she wants people to see her as an appropriate mother and her daughter’s outfit choice conflicts with this desire. So, instead of explaining the situation to her daughter and coming to a meeting of minds or lovingly enforcing a limitation where neither party has their boundaries violated, this mother chooses to shake her head in disgust and walk away. The message this mother has sent her child is “you can’t have you and have me at the same time.” If you are a person who has found their way to spirituality or self help because you are looking for a way to feel better in life, but spiritual truths like “fill up your own cup” and “everything you could ever want or need is inside you” and “the only approval you need is your own” and “no one else can make you happy, only you can do that” cause you to feel deep grief, it is because these self-centered ideologies (that are liberating to the person who feels trapped by connection with others) are re-triggering the trauma of isolation. They are reinforcing the idea that you are all alone and always will be and that needing connection is not ok. We tend to be people who view our boundaries as bargaining chips that we can use to bid for connection. We will take our boundaries down or abandon them entirely if only it will guarantee that we get to be close to someone and escape the potential of falling into the grips of that demon isolation. The most common forms this takes in females is that we abandon preferences for other people’s preferences, so we can just be with them. We also have loose sexual boundaries because sex becomes our transactional way of guaranteeing we will not be lonely. So, today, I have news for you. It is news for not only you but also for those of you who LOVE those self-help sayings and are terrified of the trapped feeling you feel when you are in relationships… The door to your heart will be unlocked the minute you get that you have adopted a very unconscious and extremely painful limiting belief that you cannot have yourself and have other people at the same time. And guess what? It isn’t true. There doesn’t have to be a conflict between your sense of self and connecting with other people. Right now you don’t have much proof to back this up. But you have to start somewhere. So start here. What if you can have a sense of self and also merge with others? What if you can have boundaries and have connection. What if you can have yourself and have other people at the same time? What if these seemingly contradictory desires are in fact complimentary? To deepen your understanding relative to this topic, I want you to watch two videos I created on YouTube. The first is: “How To Develop Healthy Boundaries”. The second is “And Consciousness, the Modern Day Replacement For The Middle Way”. We can think of a boundary as an imaginary line that uniquely defines your personal happiness, your personal integrity, your personal desires, your personal needs and therefore most importantly, your personal truth relative to the rest of the universe. But none of that means you are all alone. You can have that and have intimate connection and companionship at the exact same time. Sometimes when we are with people who are incompatible to us, there are too many boundary conflicts to stay united in the physical dimension. But if we can live according to our own values, desires, needs and truths, we will not end up all alone. Instead, by living in alignment with our own boundaries, we are no longer abandoning ourselves and so we are a match on a vibrational level to deeply committed, consistent, present relationships with people who are so compatible with us that they will never abandon us and we will never feel alone. You really can have yourself and have other people at the exact same time. You don’t have to choose between one and the other.