Expansion, Integration, Contraction, Repeat.
We set out for most destinations hoping to reach them directly, without inconvenience. On our spiritual journeys, however, we climb many steep aspirational mountains, hack through tangled interpersonal jungles, and descend down into the depths of our internal fog laden valleys, before we finally find the peace we are looking for. The spiritual journey is not actually one of destination, so much as it is a painstaking iterative process of refinement, the rugged but delicate unfolding of mighty wings, the pure evolution of the soul. For those of us in a time crunch, it seems to take an eternity. But that is just it, the soul knows not the limits of space and time. In fact, many believe that is why we take form, to learn from the causality of the three dimensional world. If there are no walls to bang into, no feelings to hurt, how will we develop the strengths it takes to evolve?
This is a path where we realize the expansiveness of our divinity within the limits of our humanity. In our expansive moments we open up and all is possible. We see where we have hobbled ourselves. We see our fears for what they are, simply phantoms rattling the chains of ancient thought: the fears of our ancestors, our culture, and thoughts we have put in place as children to feel safe. As we start to see through our them, and dismantle our defensiveness, all is good, all is forgiven! We are divine light, we have finally come home. It all feels so good... until it all happens again...
Selfishness, A Path To Enlightenment
We think of a spiritual path as being one of austerity and principle, of selflessness and even martyrdom. We carry rice bowls and give our gifts away for free. Many choose vows of poverty and chasteness, even. Give up your worldly pursuits and prostrate yourself in Service! If you look deeply into the spiritual path of Andean Mysticism, however, you will see that all this self denial actually takes us out of alignment with Source.
The worst thing we can do is put our needs in shadow insisting we have none. Many wives, mothers, and healers find themselves here, many overworked fathers and indulgent husbands, many social workers. In not defining strong boundaries, and a vibrant sense of self, however, our persona becomes entangled in a web of self denial. This is very different than selflessness. Self denial is just that, saying we have no needs when in fact we do. From the Andean perspective we are each souls who came in to evolve. The journey, from this perspective, is about being in integrity with ourselves so we can be congruent with what created us. This means we must be keenly aware of who we are.
Articles - April 01, 2019
Heaven On Earth
Most of us were raised by being rewarded for good behavior, and punished for bad. This is how we learned right from wrong. As children there were usually adults to steer us, someone who executed a parental interest in our outcome. Through their guidance we internalized a sense of morality. And then we became adults.
In most cultures religion becomes the guiding hand once we leave the nest. We are taught early that our deeds will be judged and recorded by some unseen force. In the traditional Judaeo-Christian perspective we go to “heaven,” or “hell,” depending upon how we behaved. Are you a sheep or a goat? In more eastern traditions the law of karma keeps us in line: bad deeds in this lifetime are paid for in the next. What is interesting in both perspectives is there is a reward system for behaving properly, but it is based on the judgements of an external source, and only pays off once we die.
The Andean prophesies say there will be a day when the Upper World and the Lower World will meet, in the Middle World. This will be Heaven on Earth. While the different worlds are “places” in their system of belief, much as in ours, they also represent our personal psyches. Thus the prophesies speak of a time when the unconscious of the Lower World, and the higher conscious of the Upper World, are both collectively owned, and integrated...
Articles - March 01, 2019
Changing Paradigms Instead of Chasing Monkeys
When we open up to the world of “spirituality,” we open to the unknowns of an invisible energetic world. What we find there is largely based on the beliefs we drag in. Humans tend to project what they are familiar with onto blank screens. If we were raised believing that Good and Evil are forever locked in a fight over our world, we will surely find these embodied in the invisibility of the energetic realm. But what if the spiritual realm is really just conscious energy, with no real moral overlay at all, just intelligence forever unfolding itself in a myriad of ways?
If you study physics you learn that the universe is an intelligent matrix of intelligence, completely interconnected and entangled. There are no good and bad particles, no evil forces nor good ones, just exchanges between things. Understanding their different natures allows one to predict their interactions. An electron, for example, has a negative charge, while a proton has a positive charge. This does not mean that electrons act from evil, running amuck, destroying things, while protons are good and patiently put them back together. Both are equally corrosive without the balance of the other to negate its charge, but neither have an intrinsic morality.
Articles - February 01, 2019
Love, Connection, and Attachment
Love. It is everywhere! It is in the air, the birds, the bees, the trees. It’s the wind riffling through your hair, the rain falling gently on your face. A vast and infinite reserve of care, delight, and support, love is the essence from whence all Creation comes. And yet, we tend to think we can’t have it unless another agrees to give it to us. This leads us into scarcity, dark alleys of soul numbing negotiations for connection, and mistaking our attachments to others, for love.
Many people block love because it makes them feel unsafe. You can bring wheelbarrows of it to their doorsteps and they will continue to bemoan their barren existences, never recognizing that they have created this dearth themselves by shutting it down. The real work starts inside. If you are blocking a connection to love because people you have loved in the past have harmed you, or extracted an unbearable cost from you for it, start with connecting to something safe. Nature loves all her children, no exceptions, and asks nothing in return. Try sending a pulse of goodness out to a tree, for example, and wait. She will respond in kind, but it is up to you open up and let it in!
Articles - January 01, 2019
Taking Power Through Shame
On the path to self empowerment we meet many villains along the road who challenge our authority and try to take us down. They do it because they have not yet mastered their own true sense of personal power, so they feel threatened by those who seemingly have. One of the subtle ways they do this is through shame.
Shame is a crippling emotion that walks hand in hand with guilt. Both give us feedback about the consequences of our actions. Killing someone, for example, usually evokes a sense of shame, remorse, and guilt, so we don’t indulge in it much. Many of us will feel this about stepping on a spider as well. These emotions are hard wired within us so that we will treat each other with respect. They can, however, be exploited.
Much of what we feel shame about comes from not fitting into cultural norms. Institutions, like churches and schools, teach us to suppress our emotions and conform to an external authority from an early age. Without the full spectrum of emotions to draw from, we can no longer hear our inner voices. This opens us to letting an external authority define the lines we must color within, if we want acceptance. Anyone who does not toe the line is “too:” too easy, too loud, too forthright. The list is endless but we all know when we have crossed that line. Stereotyping is an extension of this. Anyone outside our comfort range is fair game to be made fun of.
Articles - December 01, 2018
The Gift Of Listening
It is that time of year when we give gifts and share from our hearts. What about a giving something very few others do this year, the act of listening? Most of us hear, and engage in conversation, but how often do we put our motives, and opinions aside, put our discomfort in park, and just listen? Usually when someone speaks it is open season. Either party can throw into the ring whatever they have going though their minds. The other then reacts, or takes the conversation someplace else entirely. More often than not we cut each other off mid sentence and rush in to prove our point. We judge, we one-up. When we are struggling, however, we don’t want feedback, we just need to feel heard and held.
If someone is expressing feelings that make us uncomfortable, we may put the breaks on and try to shut the conversation down. We find ourselves wanting to fix them, or the situation, or perhaps we start intellectualizing about the circumstance to make the moment more abstract. It isn’t easy to really listen to someone’s pain. The question we need to ask ourselves is, are we helping them by trying to alleviate it... or are we shutting them down because we are uncomfortable with it? Perhaps their floundering makes us feel helpless. Alternatively, we may have been exposed to unpredictable emotional outbursts in our families that make us wary of instability. If we were taught to put all “darkness” aside, however, we may never have learned how to navigate these realms.
Articles - November 01, 2018
Why People Don’t Heal
You have been to every healer on the block and still you find yourself in the same rut. It may get better for a while but you always land back where you feel you started. You have spent hundreds of dollars on healers and are starting to lose faith. Why can’t you heal?
There are many reasons we do not heal. First of all, spiritual healing is a journey, not a miracle intervention. It usually takes the work of Spirit, the practitioner, and the client, although it can just be the client and Spirit. We go to a healer when we get stuck trying to do it ourselves. There are things in shadow that we cannot see when we are invested in our lives being a certain way, so sometimes, a healer is necessary to move past these blind spots and blocks.
What keeps us from healing? Much of it is based on limited beliefs. We do not believe we “deserve” to heal or are worthy of a healthy vibrant life. When these beliefs are running unnoticed in the background we will sabotage our wellness unconsciously. We may eat foods that are bad for us, or overindulge in self medications, of one sort or another. We may emotionally eat or run other kinds of addictions that run against the current of wellness. Until we get to the bottom of why we feel unworthy and get the healing we need to move out of it, we will stay stuck in that eddy at the edge of the river unable to show up and be a part of things.
Articles - October 01, 2018
The Art Of Intention
“What is my purpose,” we ask ourselves. “What am I supposed to be? What is God’s will for me?” We expect that there is a set answer, written on a sacred scroll somewhere, wrapped in red velvet ribbon. If only I knew... If only I had a sign, I would dedicate my entire life to it, I would have direction... My life would matter.
What is interesting about this query is that it is suggests there exists a specific destiny out there that has been hidden from us. Somewhere it has been written, if only we could access that file. The quest to locate it can become all consuming; we will not rest until the mystery is solved. Numerous workshops, self help books, and a sea of spiritual empowerment podcasts later, we find ourselves speaking fluently in spiritual idioms, but still seeking our destiny. The truth must be out there somewhere, how do I find it?
What if the truth is not outside us somewhere, but actually inside? What if we are all aspects of the Creative Force and each of us is expressing Creation in all its possible ways. What if a seed of that Creative Force lives within each of us as a compass, or internal knowing, and it connects to our hearts, leading us along our path. All we really have to do is clear away all the cultural programming, ancestral patterning, and personal defenses that keep us from aligning with our true North. As we anchor into our truths, the question then becomes, “What is it I want to create?”. What if God’s will is simply for each of us to express our soul’s calling? What if there is no written scroll, just an empty one waiting for you to fill it?
Articles - September 01, 2018
You have awakened! You are learning to trust and open to the intelligence of something greater than yourself. You feel lighter, more secure and connected. This is a journey, however, one you can’t really take shortcuts on. We want to skip straight to multidimensional ecstasy, but bliss can’t be sustained by bypassing what keeps us from it.
As humans we come equipped with a set of emotions that make navigating the earthly realm challenging. We have wired within us feelings of jealousy, possessiveness, insecurity, sadness, fear, and anger, all of which keep us locked in the past. They are uncomfortable, so we are quick to pack them away. We pave them over with affirmations, or reach for higher ground with our yoga or meditation practices. We even feel better for a while and tell ourselves we have transcended our pasts.
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