January 01, 2017
Checking Your Emotional Hygiene
When someone has bad breath, or a skunky body odor, you just have to back up a bit and get out of range. Well, our negative emotions can be just as offensive. Someone who is always complaining, raging, or who puts a negative spin on every circumstance, ends up alienating themselves in much the same way. There are also people who try to control others through their criticisms of them. Regardless of whether there is intent behind these behaviors, no one wants to be caught in someone’s cyclones of pain and manipulation.
Emotions are something all normal people feel in response to the ups and downs of life. They have an energy that is meant to be felt, released, and moved through, as feedback about our circumstances. They are real, and feeling them is healthy. We all vibrate according to the emotional states we are in. If we are sad, or angry, we vibrate at a very low vibration. Alternatively, if we are in holy reverence, gratitude, or feeling love, we resonate at very high vibrational frequencies. The thing is, others feel our vibration, whether we can or not.
December 01, 2016
Starting With Acceptance
Most of us have some sense of the way we want things to go. We have a dream, a vision. And then the world, in all its apparent chaos, happens. For many this unpredictability seems random and unsettling. On occasion it can even feel devastating. We want to have control over our outcome, and we want the world to reflect our values.
The truth is we are not in control. We may Co-Create with the Universal Force, but we cannot control it. We are an extension of it, and as such cannot make poor choices without consequence. If we are out of balance, it sometimes takes great darkness and calamity to bring us back to center. Disastrous events rise up and teach us when we are not listening. They help us evolve, clear karma, and ultimately, they restore balance.
November 01, 2016
We are in a time of great turmoil. Deep fears, based on an impending sense of scarcity, run through our communities. Is there enough? Fears around who should have power, and who should not, are surfacing in our political dialogues. Our world is getting crowded and our paradigm is shifting. Many of us who are not feeling safe are pointing fingers and drawing lines in the sand. Circle the wagons Boys! We need to fend off those wolves! But who are these wolves?
The primary directive of the ego is to survive, at all costs. The ego is the operating system for the human body we inhabit. Implicit within its programing is a divisive sense of self that sees all others as competition. A great point in our evolution came when we started gathering in tribes and working together, as a collective. We switched from being sole survivors, to being part of a complex, symbiotic collective that responds to, and supports, the needs of others for survival. While we have made progress, our continued struggles with race, creed and gender indicate this divisive part of the ego still flourishes within the collective unconscious.
October 01, 2016
Soul Contracts And Curses
Have you ever wondered why, try as you might, you cannot shift your financial status from living on the edge, paycheck to paycheck? As soon as any windfall comes your way your car breaks down or your roof needs repair. One thing after another keeps tugging at that hole in your wallet, pulling through it anything that sits there for very long. While it may seem like you are cursed, sometimes this is the result of a contract you made with your soul, long ago.
Poverty vows, for example, were a common form of initiation into monastic lifestyles. By choosing a life with few material trappings the initiate is free to develop a deeper connection to Spirit. In not having to invest in the competitive ego, ever striving for success, these vows open people to humility, as they must rely upon others for survival. This brings them face to face with the benevolence of their Maker. In the streets of India you still see Sadhus dressed in saffron rags, holding out begging bowls for rice.
September 01, 2016
Depression: A Spiritual Crisis
It is a gloominess that descends upon you like a thick, water soaked blanket. Colors fade to shades of gray, joy becomes completely inaccessible while sadness overtakes your body. While this is experienced briefly by many wading through loss or grief, to others depression takes up permanent residence in their psyches. The outside person sees their relentless sadness as unwarranted, as physically they look quite capable. While they may be on many levels, the depressed person is caught within a quicksand of hopelessness inside that pulls from them their very will to survive.
In science, animal models are used to study depression. In one model a dog is restrained by a cage on a platform where it receives a mild shock regularly. Once the animal realizes it cannot escape this shocking it withdraws, expecting it will never end. Eventually the dog is put on the platform without the cage, but it doesn’t leave, even when it can. It stands there and continues to be shocked. This is called “learned helplessness.”
August 01, 2016
The Unforgiven: Beyond Crimes and Punishment
We are often bound to people we do not like, trust or respect through our grudges, fears and hatred. These are people who have hurt, rejected or abandoned us. Some crimes are personal, others hit at the hearts of our race, gender or sexuality. Some have done unthinkable things, others have just offended us. In any case we hold court in our minds and then execute sentences that keep them forever accountable.
We know we are supposed to forgive and move on but we feel that excuses their behavior. If we stop holding our grudge, who will they answer to? Someone has to remember. If we let them off the hook how will we know they have paid for their transgressions? We punish them so we know someone has, because we fear they will do it again. This takes great energy, however, even when it is simply a dialogue in our minds.
July 01, 2016
Looking For Love
Looking for that ultimate soulmate, someone who loves you unconditionally, even the darkest bits you so skillfully tuck away? This is the goal of a lifetime for many. When we find it we feel we are finally “home.” So often, however, this perfect relationship takes a turn in the night. Studies show this often happens about 18 months in. Something happens. Someone pulls back or starts trying to control the other, temperaments wear or a job takes front seat. Illnesses set in or our needs go unmet. Judgments flare and we polarize, pulling back. This, however, is when the real journey to finding unconditional love begins!
The hardest thing to accept is that this disharmony has everything to do with you! Whatever the other person is seemingly doing wrong, you see it through your filters and react to it based on your experiences from the past. We… are creating half of the dynamic. A person may be unavailable for some reason, perhaps because they are overwhelmed or because they are are distracted by an obligation. Their pulling away may have nothing to do with you… or it may be in reaction to you, but because it has happened so many times in your life before, you react in anger. How dare they abandon you? What is most interesting is that the other person is reacting to your actions through their filters too.
June 01, 2016
The Perfectionist’s Trap
You see it in the fine print of advertisements, the subliminal messaging that there is a state of perfection that you have yet to achieve. It may be your looks, your ability to earn, your social status or even your health but something is amiss, and until you fix it, expect to hide in shame.
Many of us are indoctrinated into this belief system by parents who know that part of mastering their own drive for perfection is having the perfect child. You were marched into formation and asked to tow the line, given rules to live by and standards to achieve. In the process, however, you rejected the parts of yourself that aren’t perfect. When we put our imperfections in shadow we can only see them externally, in our judgements and pity of others. Many, ironically, try to overcome these divisions by helping others change to their ideal.
May 01, 2016
Sorcery is the darkness that thrives in the shadow of Shamanism. While shamans use their powers to heal, sorcerers, like Darth Vader, take that same wisdom and turn it inward for personal gain. The sorcerer can make an enemy suddenly sick or curse a family for generations. They thrive on having power over others because their wounds drive perceptions of their own shortcomings. Our emotions tune our vibrations. The essential differences between the sorcerer and the shaman, then, is simply the nature of their intent.
In the days of old sorcery and shamanism were often entwined. Using shamanic wisdom to do harm to another was an acceptable form of survival between waring tribes. As humans have evolved many have come to recognize that having power is a responsibility that comes with a set of ethics and a code of honor. There is difference between having power and having ill will. Today’s shaman believes evil lives in the hearts of men and women, not as an independent principle.
April 01, 2016
The Modern Shaman
Some people believe calling yourself a shaman is akin to saying “I am God.” A Shaman, they say, is a trickster who takes many magical forms, transcending space and time. Only others, they say, may call you one!
If we look at the word “shaman,” we find it is simply the (Siberian) Tungus tribe’s word for “medicine person.” Every indigenous tribe, from the beginning of time, has had a person, or two, whose role it has been to connect with the Creative Force on behalf of the tribe, to ensure their survival. They were everyday people with emotions, egos and even relationship problems to work through, but they were sensitive to energy. Their sensitivities helped them to heal the sick and help track down animals for food. They could see the dead and they could hear the spirits of Nature. Their job was to be an intermediary between the seen and unseen. When their skill sets were first recognized as children, they were pulled aside and trained to be of service to the tribe. There have always been these people, every culture, ours included, has relied upon them.
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