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You're Not Going To Get It Right

meditation-3963013_640.jpgYou’re not going to get it right.  Spirituality is about recognizing what is beyond the physical dimension.  To recognize what is beyond the physical dimension, you must be conscious instead of unconscious of it.  For this reason consciousness is the cornerstone of spirituality.  As a fractal of source consciousness, you are a mirror of the greater universe.  This means consciousness is not about “going out” it’s about “going in”.  It is inevitable that you will become conscious of yourself.  But consciousness is not comfortable.  It doesn’t feel good to see things about ourselves that we don’t want to see.  It doesn’t feel good to recognize truths that we don’t want to be true. 

One of the most painful things about this path is to recognize things about yourself that aren’t “as they should be”.  And the reason you think things should be a certain way is because you’ve been taught that they should.  Every spiritual tradition, just like greater society, comes complete with all kinds of values, expectations and beliefs.  These all add up to one thing:  A SHOULD STANDARD.  This is how you should be.  This is how you should feel.  This is what you should think.  This is the reality you should perceive.  And the reality is, you will always fall short of that should standard.

There is intense ‘spiritual shaming’ that exists in the spiritual world.  I get a front row seat to it when I open up about any of my own struggles with someone.  It instantly causes me to 'fall from grace' in their eyes.  They start to 'teach the teacher'.  They feel good because in that moment where I become a real person to them, they get to feel superior to me.  They fail to remember the strength when they see the vulnerability.  

allyyou.jpgThis attitude we have that the only thing that is really us is the light part, is in and of itself an illusion.  The ‘reality’ is that everything in existence is you.  You are not just joy.  You are not just connection.  You are not just truth.  You are also illusion.  You are also war.  You are also isolation.  If everything is source, if there is nothing that is not source, then illusion is part of the ‘reality’ of source too.  In one of my most painful experiences in this life, I spent 16 hours being forced to accommodate all the things I didn’t want and hated as part of myself.  I had to accept them as myself.  This is the forced practice of radical love.  This is the difference between selective identification and integration.  We will not be able to transcend anything by pushing it away from ourselves.  We need to bring it closer.  Treat it as part of ourselves and meet its real needs.

point-2234768_640.pngMost of people that call themselves spiritual have a clear idea of the goal that they are headed towards.  They want to be enlightened.  They want to be absent of ego.  Why do they want this?  For most people, they want it because they’re so sick of hurting.  And people have come to believe that spirituality is the way to break free of suffering.   People have a picture in their heads of what they think that enlightenment looks like, their perfect image of the spiritually enlightened person.  This becomes their “should”.  But what most people don’t know is that this image they are holding on to, is a lie that they keep telling themselves.  Spiritual practice is not like that.  And enlightenment is no kind of retirement from life itself.   It is no kind of retirement from the ups and downs.  We create the illusion of enlightened retirement from the ups and downs when we feel resistant to the ups and downs.  We invent the idea that enlightenment means perfect bliss twenty-four hours a day only when we are suffering and we want an end to that suffering.

Physical life is a learning hologram.  No one who is alive is exempt from expansion and so, no one is exempt from contrast.  And as long as there is polarity, there is the recognition of what is unwanted as well as the recognition of what is wanted present within you.   If we were to reach a state where we were magically transformed into a permanent state of bliss, it would mean ended-ness.  There could be no further expansion from that place.  What currently serves the universe at large is eternal expansion.  In enlightenment, your enlightenment is instantaneously gone.  You see yourself as all things in existence and so, if anything in existence is not awakened, you are not fully awakened.  And even once you experience enlightenment,  you still have to integrate what it has taught you.  You still have to integrate the spiritual awareness you have into your day-to-day life.  Even though the samsara waves never stop coming, the more enlightened you become, the more your thoughts change.  Your perspective changes to match the vibration of source perspective.  And so the meaning of your experiences change.

bypass.jpgAll religious traditions and belief systems have their own inherent pitfalls.  And one of the biggest pitfalls in the spiritual community is the pitfall that we call “bypassing”.   What I mean by bypassing is that we often bypass ourselves.  We bypass our true feelings.  We ignore or deny our true thoughts and feelings based on the spiritual beliefs and truths that we are trying to live up to.  Most of us, who are aware that we are creating our own reality by virtue of what we are paying attention to, fear that if we focus on the way we feel, it will get worse.  We have been taught to ignore what doesn’t feel good to think about or to look at.  But what we miss is that we are already focusing on what doesn’t feel good to think about.  And when we try to ignore it or deny it and rush in the other direction, we are actually resisting the way we feel; and anything we resist persists.  So we are holding ourselves in those bad feeling places by trying to avoid and ignore them.  The best way to deal with these kinds of negative states is to flip around to face them and embrace them completely.  They exist for a reason.  Negative emotion is always the red flag alerting you to the fact that there is something there to learn.  It is always alerting you that you have come to the crossroads of personal expansion.  But if you avoid the negative feeling, you also avoid the lesson and the expansion. 

If you were driving along a road and your tire went flat, you would not keep driving and ignore the flat tire.  You would stop, acknowledge the flat tire and then improve the state of the tire.  But continuing to drive on a flat tire is symbolically what we are expecting ourselves to do when we try to avoid the way we really feel and what we are really thinking in favor of how we think we should feel and the way we think we should be thinking. 

dove-3426159_640.jpgIn the spiritual community, it has become a kind of unwritten cultural expectation that you need to act like what we think a spiritually enlightened person would act like; even if it is not true to how you really feel.  In other words, it has become a cultural expectation that you should ignore where you are in pursuit of where you think you should be.  The result is that most people feel as if the only acceptable emotion to feel is happy.  And if you feel less than happy, you feel as if you have somehow failed.   As if the pain of the struggle you are facing in and of itself is not enough, you frost the cake of that struggle with shame and embarrassment that you are even suffering in the first place.

Because of this shame relative to struggling, we do not want to own up to the depth of our suffering in the current moment.  So, the words that come out of our mouth are not true to us, they are rehearsed principals we are beating ourselves up with.  For example, the truth of where you are right now may be that what you’re experiencing hurts.  Sometimes it hurts so bad, you can’t believe you’re still breathing.  You’re in pain emotionally or physically and you don’t know what to do about it.  If this is the case, it is self-abusive to gloss over the reality of that experience you’re having by saying something like “Oh, so many other things are going well and I know something great is going to come out of all of this”.  Because at this moment, right here and now, you don’t know that!  What you’re doing is regurgitating that spiritual principal because that is the way you’ve been taught that spiritually ascended people see struggles. 

sad-214977_640.jpgYour emotional selves are children.  This never changes regardless of whether or not you have reached enlightenment.  We just learn how to parent our emotional selves better.  If you deny the way you actually feel, you are invalidating the small crying child within you, which is desperately trying to express the way he or she feels.  If you deny the way you actually feel, you cannot ever get to a better feeling space.  You have to know where you are as well as where you want to go if you want to know which direction to start walking.  Could you imagine trying to use a map to find out what direction to walk if you were unwilling to admit to where you were?  Could you imagine a doctor trying to help you to feel better but being unwilling to assess your current state to discover what is causing you to feel bad?

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to own up to how you feel and to say, “I am where I am”.   Saying this does not mean that you have failed.  It does not mean that you’ve given up and that you’ve surrendered to feeling crappy.  It means that you are brave enough to embrace where you are so that you are no longer resisting where you are.  And because of this, ironically you will no longer be stuck where you are.  No matter what your “should standard” would have you believe, the truth is that there is no shame in struggling. 

Having problems is not a character flaw.  You have not failed if you have a bad day or a bad decade.  Buddha had bad days.  Jesus had bad days.  Muhammad had bad days.  You will not meet a single physically manifested being (whether they are an ascended master or not) that is exempt from contrast and so you will not meet a single physically manifested being who is in alignment twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  To expect this from anyone is cruelty.   To feel embarrassment or shame if you are out of alignment is cruelty.  To expect yourself to be in alignment twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week is cruelty.   And it’s time that we stop perpetuating cruelty in ourselves as well as within this spiritual community that we ourselves are responsible for creating.  The reality is, with standards like this, you're not going to get it right.  You're not going to get it right because no one can.

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Teal, please see that people project sooooooo much shit onto you!!!!! You have an extremely strong sexual presence, you are drop dead fucking gorgeous, you are the smartest motherfucker out here... OF COURSE MEN WILL DROOL OVER YOU AND BLAME YOU FOR THEIR. FUCKED UP SEXUAL DESIRES. that's their shit though, sucks to be them. Lucky you aRE you. Please please please see how much incredible change and love and hope you bring to this world!!! Please please please ignore the projectors and be grateful you've given them A REALLY REALLY POLISHED MIRROR TO REFLECT THEMSELVES ON!! You're an actual human crystal .... and people are really ugly so they're going to hate what they see when they look at you. Xoxo love forever always 

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I love the photo with the head in the sand. It's so funny it reminds me of me thanks for that. When you talk about teaching the teacher it can be a caring message not a teaching. Just to remind you what you already know. Love Mark x

Just wanted to let you know I appreciate you Teal and I'm thinking about all the great work  you have done and knowing how one day it is going to change this world's view on living a joyful life. Love  Mark x

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Where would I connect with people who are willing to listen.  Just listen... maybe some feedback... not asking for much.  I am going though a rough time.   I am experiencing an overwhelming feeling.    Have had some  deaths in the family.   Rellationship breakup, loss of friends... feeling very isolated.   I am an oversensitive lonely male, saying this because it seems men are expected to be ok at all times... no matter what. 


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I've struggled with this a lot too. It is so hard for people to simultaneously see me as a teacher and see me as a person with real flaws and a real journey. Just because I've had some amazing spiritual awakenings and come to realizations of great magnitude doesn't mean that I've transcended all vices, ego, and human suffering. 

I find the fake pretend-enlightened behavior at various social events highly frustrating. At Kirtan, at Ecstatic Dance, at Meditations . . . Everyone seems to feel the need to parrot gurus and speak about being pure love and joy. It feels unreal and I can see the fear in people's eyes while they pronounce themselves pure beings of love. What a sad situation when the more "enlightened" people can't ask for support and receive what they really need -- listening, kindness, understanding, real intimacy -- but rather have to pretend to never feel anything but joy.

Thank you Teal. As usual, you express beautifully in words the inner workings of my heart and mind.

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The 'new age' movement has been crippled by "should thinking". This thinking serves to cause pain and fragmentation. It is endlessly frustrating to be surrounded by well-meaning people, who insist upon being the end product of integration, while pretending not to see the steps to get there - or to deny them any acknowledgement at all, creating an abyss where there should be waypoints. The should thinking is a barrier to integration, as long as one holds onto it, and not it's equal opposite as well. Without question, the highest vibrational people that I have ever met in this lifetime have been unapologetically authentic (that is to say, completely honest in their feelings and words. This authenticity is far from being limited to only positive emotion). Please know that those who claim that one can reach integration with only loving and positive thoughts and feelings are unable to be honest with themselves at this time. Authenticity is a HUGE leap in ones progression to integration, and attunement to the higher vibrations that flow from the perspective of the eternal I AM. Thank you for being a warrior of truth.

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On ‎4‎/‎3‎/‎2017 at 6:17 PM, Cherry said:

Omigawd.  Men fall in love with you because you're freakin' beautiful and have an amazing presence.  This is not your fault!  It is each individual's responsibility to manage our own disjointed thinking!

Great post, Teal, everything you wrote feels spot on.  I love the saying, "Don't 'should' on yourself!"

I also am reminded of the zen saying, "Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.  After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."

Thank you for always keepin' it real.

*With a little gained perspective I've totally realized how it takes time and consistency to get better at parenting my emotional self, and it does get better, but I'm okay with not becoming full blown enlightened 24/7 in this life,  I'm more than okay with journeying with the love and the tragedy of my being.  And my being is ever expansive, there is no standard or value based on "shoulds" that can contain that aspect. 

Very thoughtful response. People are self-indulged, on the most part, in my opinion and would rather place responsibility for become enlightened on someone else. And then criticize them. I like the sayings, you wrote down about carrying water and "Don't should on yourself." I do not. I do what I want. I do not have to deal but very little with guilt.

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Thank you for writing this--it's a truly brave post, given how the spiritual community reacts to statements of vulnerability. I just finished your 2nd book and it was like balm poured on my soul. No one in the spiritual field until now has really felt to me like they were writing for survivors of terrible abuse as well as for most spiritual seekers. What a gift--to feel included for once! 

That must have been utterly maddening to hear the words you did for that man who said such terrible (and ridiculous) things about you. I hope someone who actually has a clue gave you a big hug. I think that guy hit a new low in men's treatment of powerful women and I'm glad you shared it. That was brave.

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Thank you for being så honest and authentic! I really love and respect you for that!  I have a thing about shame. To me shame is when there is something about me that I do not want others to see. There is, as far as I know, not much I am afraid to look at myself, because I see myself as an experiencing beeing that holds, for the expansion and experiecings sake, both light and shadow, and are trying to balance them. There are many things I look back at with a wish that I had known better, because I caused harm to others, like child upbringing. I see myself and my patterns to an accelerating degree, wich both is sweet and sour, as I see where I have caused damage and where not to repeate. Seeing where it comes from gives me the opportunity to bring the aspect of me that left back home. This will allways be work in progress, and accepting myself as an experiencing being this way relaxes me. I am here to ground higher frequencies and hold space for myself and others in progress. I ask myself when strong emotions arises " Where is this coming from? What is my part that is being mirrorred?" Connection is a big issue for me, because even if I have a rather good self acceptance, it is hard to connect with people in the region where I have moved to. This is both because people here cling to their families and friends from childhood,  and ofcourse me being spiritual and a challange to their comfortzone. It also is mirroring something in me. It just recently dawned on me that connection is something I have never learned how to do! I will explore that further! Thank you, Teal, for being! ?? You are a gift to humanity and I feel blessed to be able to hear you sharings!

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