October 01, 2019
The Empowered Empath
People who are drawn to do healing work, counseling, and social work are often very empathic. They instantly feel the emotional state of another. This can be a great gift in these fields, as it helps create instant rapport, but for many this can also be a burden. We are not born knowing how to deal with the overload of all of the incoming information, nor how to sort through what is ours, and what belongs to another, we are just wired to pick it all up.
In youth an empath may not even recognize that they are different; we all assume our normal is everyone else’s. After some time, however, we find we cry easier, melt down easier, and are singled out as “overly” sensitive. Depending upon how supported we are, this “oversensitivity” can become a journey of self medicating and not fitting in. As the overload redlines our stress response capacity, our anguish often leads people uncomfortable with emotion to reject us. This, of course, affects our self esteem.
September 01, 2019
Soul Work, the Evolution of Consciousness
We understand, intuitively, that the soul is the deepest aspect of our being. When we have been emotionally wounded we feel it is “sick”. Sometimes this manifests as physical sickness as well. To heal our soul is not just a lighthearted jaunt though a well groomed garden, plucking dead blooms from their stocks, it is hacking through the densest, darkest, jungle to find our light again. It’s looking into the abyss of who we truly are, claiming the darkness these wounds have generated, and its reclaiming our divinity.
As our souls heal, by our transcending and integrating our dualities, they evolve. In the Andean traditions this is called increasing our state of ayni, our highest state being when we are congruent with Source. It doesn’t work to emphasize our light aspects, while burying our darkness through negation, that fuels more separation and duality. It is about taking ownership of what we externalize. Whatever we perceive happening outside is happening inside first. Perhaps we are in scarcity, for example. Were we cursed by some angry or jealous family member, or is it because we are unconsciously punishing ourselves for things we have not yet forgiven ourselves for? Perhaps we are blocking abundance because we are uncomfortable receiving, or we believe we are unworthy or undeserving. We cannot heal when we externalize these problems, putting them at the feet of others, instead of owning them.
August 01, 2019
Doubt, the Kryptonite of the Soul
We need critical thinking skills. We need to be able to plan, discern, and distinguish right from wrong. All these skills come from a well developed logical mind. But that mind, when traumatized, can fold in on itself and collapse. Overbearing internal voices develop, questioning everything and derailing our simple ability to choose. We loop in circles, no longer able to find our true north. We lose our footing, our personal authority, and we find ourselves spiraling forever inward, to a place some liken to “Hell.” Others call it “depression.”
Trauma doesn’t have to be a violent affair with blood, guts, and gore, it can be a simple sense of abandonment, or chronic verbal abuse by a loved one. It makes us doubt our safety. The mind then goes into overdrive trying to secure a safe passage through the world, often by developing these cautious voices inside. Unchecked, however, they can take over and override the intuition. The intuition is our personal guidance system. It guides us from our own internalized divinity, from within our personal place of deep inner “knowing.” Once lost, the fearful mind goes unchecked and folds in upon itself.
July 01, 2019
The Seduction of Seduction
There is a romantic narrative in our culture about being swept off our feet and succumbing to some sublime pull from the Mystic, to be overcome, ever entwined, and enthralled... It is the theme of many a mad love story. We long to surrender our cautious minds and merge with the infinite world of our hearts, if only we could. It’s hard to put your finger on it but there is something sexy about seduction, about someone pulling us into compliance, oblivion, about the surrender of our will to an infinite One...
It is almost as if we come preprogramed for it, and perhaps we do. Who hasn’t felt a biological attraction to someone who really does not have long term partner potential. When we have been seduced by someone we find compelling, we feel transfixed, taken under their spell, pulled in beyond our control, charmed. Perhaps our innate biology has embedded within it this override button that says “To heck with it, YES!” Perhaps this is how we have continued to exist as a species... seduction, the ultimate mating enigma, creating endless strains of biological diversity. For many there is something magical and intoxicating about this. We will override our morals and ethics to comply. We give up our riches and our bodies, our marriages, our minds, even our hearts. It is a strange phenomena indeed.
June 01, 2019
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...
May 01, 2019
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.
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...
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.
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!
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.
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