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.
April 01, 2018
Are You Still Apologizing For Your Existence?
You decide to wear something a little daring today but in your head you hear “Take it off, you will call attention to yourself, what will people think?” But some other voice inside says “DO IT!” So you do, but all the way to work you prepare for all the apologizing you will have to do today. Or maybe you volunteer to do something at work, or in your social circles, that calls the spotlight to you. That voice inside you starts asking who the heck you think you are, and you scramble to find reasons to justify your actions. Maybe you take a stand on a spiritual or political belief that is different from those among you, or perhaps you are just saying “No!” to something that is not right for you. It can even be the way you raise your children. Why must you always apologize?
The fear of judgement, conflict, not belonging, and of losing love makes us quick to retract our self expression. Many of us were shut down as children, and told not to be so loud or sensitive, for example. We were rewarded instead, for being the children our parents wanted us to be. Fearing a loss of love, or a feeling of ostracization, we begrudgingly complied. We will not ever be able to reach for the stars, however, if we are still trying to please an imaginary counsel of naysayers in our heads. When we express ourselves, people who feel threatened by it will judge us, there is no way around that. It is what people do in fear, they judge and control. The work for us is not in kowtowing to the demands of their low self esteem, however, it is in digging out what our fears of expressing ourselves are, and sorting through our own shame. What is it rooted in?
July 01, 2015
Romanticizing the Victim
Within each of us lives the potential to feel helpless and powerless as we navigate a world where our safety seems tenuous at best. Events are forever out of our control. Our foods are sprayed with pesticides and infused with hormones, unscrupulous people hide in the anonymity of an over populated world, stealing our identities and scamming money out of our elders. Dangerous pedophiles stalk our children. It is easy to see ourselves as victims. In fact, the Victim archetype is an integral part of the cultural paradigm we all have been taught to unconsciously construct our worlds around.
The seeds for this thinking start early. Most of us were raised on old stories of Heroes and Villains. We have Superman, Prince Charming and the X-Men all coming to save the day; we have the Wicked Witch, Evil Stepmother, and the Joker trying to destroy some form of our innocence. Implicit within each of these stories is a Victim that needs to be saved. They have been tied to train tracks, locked in stone towers, and fed poisoned apples. As we grow into adults we hear these stories morph into victims of crime, natural disasters, and disease. In a very reflexive way we romanticize the victim, we feel sorry for it and want to save it from its pain.
June 23, 2014
Looking at an upgrade in the way we "pray," something more empowering than waiting for the Big Guy to pick up the phone... There is a quote from the bible that says only drowning men can see him (Jesus)... What if we all have the power to manifest and we do not have to put this power in the hands of someone more... enlightened... than ourselves... What if we do not need to be drowning to see God? What if we do the personal work that keeps us stuck in lack and limitations... and then find, and hold, the vision of what we want instead... what if we consciously co-create what our heart desires instead of waiting for someone else to "save" us...? That God you are praying to... is within you too! What if praying is now tapping into the part of the Creative Force within you and manifesting what you need from there... it saves a whole lot of suffering... just saying...
December 08, 2013
The Shame of Imperfection
Reflecting on the great shame our culture asks us to feel about not being perfect...So many crimes against self, and others, start here. The crimes of self include not recognizing our own imperfections as our medicine. As Lao Tzu reminds us, true perfection seems imperfect, yet it is perfectly itself... but we are taught early that if we don't align with arbitrary standards we should be punished or feel shame.
The crimes against others shows up as seeing our own unowned "perfection" in others and resenting them for having it. When we stop seeing our imperfections as flaws and can instead see them more like the way the addition of lead to glass creates beautiful crystal, we can dance in the light our prisms shine instead of hide in its shadows.
December 04, 2013
Who Is Keeping Score?
The Creative Force creates always from a neutral place of Love... It is not punitive, it does not punish us for past deeds...
Instead it is we who punish ourselves... It is we who interpret things "going awry" as punishment... In fact, these are just moments for growth and evolution, no more, no less...
And it is we who perceive others' actions as punishment when we feel less than... because we have been taught to live in shame...The shame that comes from the sense of punishment has long been used to control people. Doesn't our cultural mythos say we were all born to "original sin"? This creates an uphill battle for salvation from the get go... It creates a person who is easily manipulated by shame... When we can accept circumstances without overlaying cultural morality onto them then the focus shifts to awareness and responsibility. Yes, karma exists... but WE create it, good and bad...Be responsible for your actions. Be aware of how your actions affect others. Forgive. Forgive others and forgive yourself. No one else is keeping score!
December 02, 2013
Control Your Vision, Not Your Neighbor!
It is not ours to control the thoughts and actions of another. It is ours to trust in, and envision, the highest outcome.
December 01, 2013
Are you Thriving or just Re-carpeting Your Dungeon?
Someone asked me recently how a shaman truly heals and why the average person would need a shaman.
“The level shamanism works at is subtle yet very profound.” I replied. “Do you have patterns in your life that re-occur over and over again?” I asked. “Are you stuck in a loop or cycles that you cannot seem to break, do you have an injury that won’t heal or a chronic illness?”
“Oh, I don’t know, not really,” he said. “Right now everything is going pretty well; you never know when that other shoe will drop, but hey, I get along OK.”
“Exactly!” I say, “There it is...!”
Embedded in the very way you see the world are limits that keep you merely coping instead of thriving. While shamans remove the imprints behind illness and injury they also work with the subtle beliefs that keep you locked into un-empowered lives. Waiting for the other shoe to drop is a coping mechanism designed to avert unmet expectations. It says things may be going well now but don’t get your hopes up, disaster is around the corner. Believing this we avoid disappointment when things go south, but woven into it is the next disaster, waiting to happen. We all have countless maps like this in our psyche shaping our lives, some personal, some handed down to us through our families.
November 13, 2013
Authentic Self Love
It can be painful to see the subversive plots we lay to attract attention and love... When we are still hiding it from ourselves we will have this undercurrent of self loathing... because our higher self wants to be authentic and we know we can't respect ourselves for being inauthentic. This keeps us looking outside ourselves for the validation we know we can't give ourselves yet... and the cycle continues... But when we see our grand schemes for what they are, wanting to be loved, and when we can own them, we can drop the subversive behavior that sickens us about ourselves. In the end we find we love ourselves much more because we are authentic, and we can then look to others for it much less...
November 12, 2013
What You Deserve
Reflecting on the concept of deserving... My question is this, Who is keeping score? Who decides if in fact we do deserve something or not?! The whole concept of deserving is based entirely on a tally our ego keeps. None of it is real. We all deserve the moon! It reminds me of the concept that if we are good we will go to heaven. The rewards for living a good life are a good life, not some external pat on the back. And if we do deserve something... that implies someone else may not... What is that about?!
"No, I am sorry, you cannot have that... you do not deserve it"??? WTH?! Are we in kindergarten here?
And what if we 'don't deserve' something... He 'didn't deserve to be treated that way'... Again, who is keeping score? Stuff happens... the concept of deserving it makes it personal when in fact the unfolding of the universe is... just that... There is nothing personal about it.
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