January 01, 2018
Pride and Power
There is much talk about owning our power these days. From spiritual teachings we find our power lies in our authenticity and willingness to surrender our agendas to an intelligence beyond our own. There is also the will of ego, however, based on a need for personal gain and status. While spiritual power requires getting out of our own way, this kind of “power” is driven by pride, and lends itself toward abuse. When someone is spiritual, but has not done their personal work, sometimes the two are confused.
Pride, at its best, is a positive sense of self. We are proud that we are the first one in our family to graduate from college, for example. While good self esteem is essential, pride has an uncanny capacity for over indulgence and abuse. In fact it is considered one of the seven deadly sins. At its worst, pride seductively lures us in to defend our inadequacies, at any price. We may choose to lie, or fight dirty, for example, just to claim a victory. While we have won the argument, at what cost is this to our soul? Feeling dirty, we look for another win, and so it goes.
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.”
October 01, 2015
Who Is Driving This Bus Anyway?
Many of us have profound connections to the Divine. Some people hear guides, some channel and some just “know“ things. It is brilliant and exhilarating to actually receive messages from the Divine! It is important to know the voice of your ego too, however, for your individual consciousness has a sneaky way of trying to jump in and steer that bus!
As any spiritual disciple knows, the first stumbling block on the journey to genuine connection is the individual consciousness or ego. In fact, it is probably the only real obstacle in our path. Many try to stamp out their egos, or deny them, in an attempt to make that connection clearer but the ego isn’t going anywhere! It is the part of us that oversees the day to day operations of our survival on the planet, part of the software that comes with the body. Its job is to identify with the things that will insure our success and survival. It defines itself by roles, gender, race, job, birth order, etc. It also evaluates its standing and rank in any environment in an effort to find the niche it can survive in best. In fact, when it retracts from its duties we find ourselves feeling lost and depressed.
April 11, 2014
Your Mind Is Not the Path to Your Soul
Trying to navigate our spiritual development through our intellect is like trying to teach a fish to ride a bicycle! In fact, it is our intellect that gets in the WAY of our spiritual development by shoving our lessons into shadow and trying to "claim" spiritual prowess without having done the work.
When we come, instead, from the compassion of the heart, we bypass the ego's claim on victory and align with the truthfulness of the soul.
It is here that our deepest work is done.
March 03, 2014
The Price of Visibility
Looking at success and the part that is ego driven verses the part that is a reflection of a job well done... Spiritual Leaders are often confronted with choices on how visible they want to be and what they are willing to "pay" for that visibility... Entertainment celebrities are faced with this dilemma daily. It is a slippery slope...
December 18, 2013
Cockroaches and Termites
We are remodeling my bathroom to put in a tub (!)...but as we tore out the old nasty shower stall and uprooted the flooring we found the pipes had been leaking for years... the old wall wood was riddled with termites... and under the flooring lived a colony of cockroaches... It got me to thinking about shadow.
December 15, 2013
Ah, Spiritual Materialism.... having the better path, the clearer connection to Spirit, the better guides... the more vivid visions, the prettier or most powerful tools the most advanced techniques, the more renowned teachers or Master Teachers... the most workshops under our belts, the most initiations by sacred orders or tribes... Knowing the most "spiritually advanced" people... That ego, it is a sneaky little monkey! "Spiritual work" without the "personal work" of learning to detach our ego from the way we connect to the Divine is not spiritual work! As Lao Tzu says, do your work and then step back...
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.
October 22, 2013
Making Friends With The Ego
Thinking about ego this morning and how to embrace it. Some people misguidedly think if they suppress their ego, knock it down and sit on it, they are being more spiritually "advanced," which is really the ego's backhanded way of coming out on top again... The ego has an agenda, to succeed, to survive, to be number one. We all have one. It isn't going away... It is the one who gets us up in the morning and says "let's do this again!" Instead of squashing this voice and have it become some kind of demon lurking in the shadows we want to embrace it... listen to it like we listen to a two year old. Love it. Thank it... and not act on its voice until we know where our actions are truly coming from.