Spiritual Partnership Growing Pains

As a young woman, I was enamoured with the idea of a soul mate. I blame Richard Bach for this. I have since learned that what Richard Bach presented as soul mates may really have been more of a spiritual partnership. I was very captivated by books like Anam Cara, because it captured a feeling of longing that has been with me for a very long time. anam cara

I believe that sense of longing was for something that is now being called Spiritual Partnership. Marriage can be portrayed as the union of life long lovers, and I think there are some times that occurs. “The archetype of marriage was designed to assist physical survival. When two people marry, they participate in an energy dynamic in which they merge their lives in order to help each other survive physically. The archetype of marriage is no longer functional. Marriage is being replaced with a new archetype that is designed to assist spiritual growth. This is the archetype of spiritual, holy or sacred, partnership.The underlying premise of a spiritual partnership is a sacred commitment between the partners to assist each other’s spiritual growth. ” Gary Zukav

Zukav says that what makes a spiritual, or sacred, partnership is that the souls within the partnership understand that they are together in a committed relationship, but the commitment is not to physical security. It is rather to be with each other’s physical lives as they reflect spiritual consciousness. As I look around, I am struggling to merge two ideals that call to me: the desire for a relationship that would allow me to grow old with someone, and the desire for deep spiritual growth and connection.

I have been married, and when I married it was to a man who is deeply spiritual, and committed to growth. But, where we are at on that path has changed, and it is no longer a path together. In our healing, we are co-parenting, and co-habitating in peace and deep friendship. There is an incredible amount of love and sharing. And there is a sense that we are supporting each other on the journey.masculine

As in the ideal of marriage, there is a commitment between spiritual partners. But the commitment is not to the relationship. The commitment is to the spiritual growth. “They cannot say that they will be together forever. The duration of their partnership is determined by how long it is appropriate for their evolution to be together. All of the vows that a human being can take cannot prevent the spiritual path from exploding through and breaking those vows if the spirit must move on. It is appropriate for spiritual partners to remain together only as long as they grow together.” Gary Zukav

And right there is my dead stop, at least for now. Is it possible for two people to commit to spiritual partnership and be together til death? Is it possible to grow through a relationship with just one person? Osho says “Love is a rare flowering. It happens only sometimes. Millions and millions of people live in the false attitude that they are lovers. They believe that they love, but that is their belief only. Love is a rare flowering. Sometimes it happens. It is rare because it can happen only when there is no fear, never before. That means love can happen only to a very deeply spiritual, religious person. Sex is possible for all. Acquaintance is possible for all. Not love. When you are not afraid, then there is nothing to hide, then you can be open, then you can withdraw all boundaries. And then you can invite the other to penetrate you to the very core.” If deep love occurs through spiritual partnership, through the healing of fear, then the boundary of time – life long partnership – is irrelevant.

foolI once asked the Magus if he would rather have the most perfect love with someone for a year, or to have a loving companionship for an entire life time. I recall he could not answer, although he may tell me when he reads this that I have repressed his answer. He asked me that question recently, and I could not answer it either. I have had perfect companions, and could not stay in the relationship despite my commitment because that longing for spiritual growth always pushes me. When I think of losing perfect love, my chest clenches and the fear is overwhelming. So in both choices is deep fear. But somewhere deep inside me, I think the answer is that perfect love is everything, and when that is achieved, there is no loss and no fear.

Osho says “If you can allow love to happen, there is no need for prayer, there is no need for meditation, there is no need for any church, any temple. You can completely forget God if you can love — because through love, everything will have happened to you: meditation, prayer, God. EVERYTHING will have happened to you. That’s what Jesus means when he says: Love is God. But love is difficult. Fear has to be dropped.”

Would I accept perfect love knowing there will be no fear? Absolutely. It is the fear I fear!

So, I step forward on this journey of spiritual partnership, feeling like the Fool in Tarot. I think that I know what this is all about, and I already know that is wrong. But, some part of me knows this is right, knows this is the path and all I have to do is take one step. And I can love. I am Love.

In the End, These Things Matter Most

In the end, these things matter most:

How well did you love?  How fully did you live?  How deeply did you let go? – Siddhartha Gautamasiddhartha

Off and on, I turn my attention to dying.  I have heard it said that our entire life in a preparation for our death, and I see the truth in that.  If you believe that we are a spiritual being having a human experience, then we will return to soul, and the life we spent in human form was a learning playground to return to awareness of our spiritual nature.

There is a metaphysical mythology that says we are souls come in to bodies to be able to experience things you cannot experience in a spiritual form, such as pleasure, touch, movement, etc.  The myth says we used to take our bodies off like clothing, and go back in when we wanted to play again.  A little like the movie Avatar.  But, we became so engrossed in the human experience, we lost our ability to let go of the body, and over-identified with the physical form.  In time, we forgot we are spirits at all, says the mythology.  And so we do not stay trapped in human form, we each die, to ensure that we will return avatar16to our spiritual nature if we do not remember how to do it while we are in human form.  I like that idea very much.

I believe that the Siddhartha quotation is big part of preparing to die.  It is very important to me to live a life free of regret.  In many ways, those three principles are the guiding values of my life.  I love loving.  There is a quotation in Les Miserables “To love another person is to see the face of God.” It is through loving others that I feel most connected to the Divine.  So much so that I sometimes forget that the soul I can see in the person also has a layer of humanity over top, and that layer of humanity sometimes creates struggle.  It is true of me too – my layer of humanity, my pain body, gets in the way of loving purely and fully from my Divine nature.  But the goal still is to love well.kissing_the_face_of_God

How fully did I live? I do not feel I have lived fully.  I devoted myself to caring for others, taking on responsibilities and commitments, and I fear I have not lived as fully as I would like.  I am changing that this year.  I denied myself freedom, and set priorities that were “shoulds” instead of the truth of my soul.  I was struck yesterday in speaking to  my mentor that he could see the struggle between my calling and my responsibilities, and that if I do not resolve that by taking a risk and follow my calling,  I may wither and wane inside.  And I have set amazing creation in place, so I know I am on the path to living my fullest life.

How deeply did I let go? After many decades, I am learning to forgive and let go. There is so much to let go, and as I excavate my true soul from under the layers of rubble and scar tissue, I am sometimes overwhelmed by the work I have yet to do.  But it is in the letting go that the work ceases to overwhelm and the burden is lifted.  So my only real work is to let go deeply.  This may be the hardest of all three questions for me to face.

And in the end, those are the three things on which I will measure my life’s success.

TransparentTantra_8

The Reiki Grid and the Magical To Do List

It is so beautiful for me when I come upon the intersection of ideas that point to the same aspect of the Divine.   I truly believe that there is no one true spiritual belief, but there is One intelligent and infinite energy that imbues all of the Universe.  And sometimes the intersection of ideas makes that One very apparent to me.reiki pic

I am a Reiki Master and Teacher.  Rei refers to God Consciousness, and Ki is life energy.  Reiki is God Directed Energy, and is the connection with divine energy through our spiritual, mental, emotional and physical bodies.  The practice of Reiki is based in principles of Buddhism, but the philosophies of Reiki are accessible without any particular spiritual or religious dogma attached to it.

Just for today I will give thanks for my many blessings
Just for today I will not worry
Just for today I will not be angry
Just for today I will do my work honestly
Just for today I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing
The Reiki Handbook, Larry Arnold & Sandy Neviuscrystal_grid

In Reiki, there is a practitioner tool called a Reiki Grid.  A Reiki Grid is essentially a set of crystals (I use 8) that are charged and arranged in a  star pattern pointing towards a central crystal.  The idea is that the crystals will continue to energize and heal an issue or intent that you have set using the crystals.  You may meditate with the grid, or you may use a Reiki symbol with the grid to set a healing intention.  Some people write the intention on a paper which is put in the center of the grid.  Reiki practitioners have used grids for a long time, and know it is a powerful tool for manifesting a healing intention.  Most Reiki practitioners have a Reiki Grid somewhere in their healing room or in a sacred space.

I have occassionally been hard pressed to explain the Reiki Grid to a student without making it sound like an altar or a magical artifact.  The deeper you go into Reiki, you learn what I believe is the key lesson of the Distance Healing Symbol: the only thing needed for Reiki is intent.  A Master becomes a person who is continuously connecting to Reiki energy and using that energy with intent to heal and manifest.

When we do Reiki, we attach intent to the healing symbols used.  In fact, one of the reasons we meditate on each symbol is to deepen our connection with the energy of the symbol and the clarify our intent with that symbol. We begin each healing session by setting an intent, and work to support the individual in their journey to heal the sense of separation from the Divine. The Reiki Grid is an extension of this, in that the intent is held and energized by the grid for hours and days.

reiki headWhen we do metaphysical work, we know that setting an intention and supporting it with emotion and energy are the keys to manifesting.  I was recently reading The Magic, and one of the exercises was the Magic To Do list. You are asked to make a list of some problems you are facing that you don’t have a solution to, and wish were resolved.  Then, you go through each of them and put energy into what it feels like once the problems are solved.  You focus on that, feel the energy, celebrate the solution with gratitude, and release knowing that the right and perfect solution to each problem is on its way.  Some would say you are using gratitude to attract the solution.  Others might say that you have aligned yourself with the Divine, and that the perfect solution can now come through with clarity.  But, each day you go through the list, perform the exercise and watch each problem melt away.

I have been doing the Magical To Do List, and it struck me how similar this was to the Reiki Grid.  (It has been some time since I have worked with a Reiki Grid, but I have a daily practice around intentions through journaling and meditation). In both cases, we are using energy and intent to bring a healing intention in to being.MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

What I really love is the idea that at least three practices in my life tell me the same Truth: Reiki tells me to use energy and intent to heal; The Magic tells me to use gratitude, energy and intent to manifest; and metaphysics tells me to use Intent, Awareness of my Beliefs and Energy through my connection to the Divine to manifest.  Same, same. And so it is.

When Hope is All You Have…Its Not

Generally speaking, it is considered good to be thought of as a hopeful person.  There are quotations like “Where there is life, there is hope”, or “Hope springs eternal”.  These sayings are meant to give us light when we are in a dark tunnel.  And I confess, I am a very hopeful person.

In this article, Romantic Comedies are Ruining Your Relationship, I was struck by the following:

warHollywood offers a counterfeit version of human interaction in which somebody clueless one day wakes up and for no apparent reason finally sees the light. In the movies, this person can mess things up completely but once they understand, they make everything right. To top it off, this same person suffers no consequences for their bad behavior no matter how badly they’ve hurt, deceived, manipulated or betrayed their loved one…In real life, we have to live with relationships going unresolved. Endings are messy, people are obstinate and there are misunderstandings abound. People don’t change unless they really want to. Heartbreak tends to lead not to forgiveness but to resentment and estrangement. It’s understandable that we buy into the messages these movies promote. They give us hope, false as it might be, that things will work out for us in love just because we want them to. As our own relationships crumble around us, we cling ever more tightly to the illusion of happily-ever-after.”

romeoThis very issue is at the heart of my current healing in relationship.  I stayed with Bhikku for 5 years, even when I knew it was not working.  I had a deep awakening of connection with my Magus, but because it didn’t look like what my relationship story was supposed to look like, I keep trying to work on things with Bhikku.  I blamed the Magus for not being able to fill the shoes of Bhikku.  I used to say I needed both of them to give me what I need.  I tried to become someone who either Bhikku would connect with, or the Magus could love. I did everything but look inside and ask a new set of questions: Instead of Who do I want, I needed to ask What do I need? I was worried about what those questions would mean for my child, worried about my capability to have a life of my own.  I am sure if you know me, this comes as a surprise to you.  I look like one of the most capable women in the world – what would I be worried about?

But, that is the core of codependence – being afraid of independence! It is the basic fear of separation from the divine, but projected on to the partner.  If Bhikku couldn’t make me feel connected to Source through him, maybe the Magus could.  If the Magus couldn’t, maybe Bhikku would.  And like a Hollywood movie, I kept waiting for one or the other of them to wake up and join me in a happily ever after.

For perhaps the first time in my life, I am asking questions about what I need, what makes me happy, what are my wishes? Instead of living up to obligations set by others, or obligations I have constructed in order to take care of others, I can be free to create my own path.  I had been afraid of the idea of moving houses, because of the icinderellampact it would have on my daughter.  In a recent conversation, she told me she wanted to move into a smaller house as long as we brought her dog and her toys.  So much for all the psychological tension I had created around the impact to her! What other falsehoods have I told myself?

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” – Marianne Williamson

I have long believed that quotation to be true.  Except I have held on to fear disguised as hope, when I should have been connecting to my power.  I put all my energy into hoping for a happily ever after, instead of realizing I am living my happily ever after every time I chose to take care of myself, to provide myself with the things I need and want: travel, creative expression, emotionally intimate connection, opportunities to grow spiritually and emotionally, fulfilling work, entrepreneurial opportunities, spiritual partnership, physical affection, and laughter.  I am on an incredible journey, and I have been looking at the light at the end of the tunnel (hope!) instead of noticing that my tunnel was filled with light – I just had my eyes closed.

Sun_Light_Energy

Faith, Hope and Love

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 

In metaphysics, we know that the creation recipe is Thought-Word-Deed.  What we think energetically messages the universe and tells it what it is we want to have more of in our lives.  What we say becomes a truth.  And finally, when we act, we manifest. Since the creation cycle starts with thought, the non-conscious thoughts we have can manifest when we don’t want it to if we do not challenge our false internal beliefs.  For example, if you are creating more abundance, and you feel fear every time you buy groceries, you are putting more energy in to the fear of not having enough money than handsyou are about knowing your abundance.  To be abundant means not feeling fear of the flow of abundance.  So you may manifest more blockages instead of abundance.

I have spent so much time reflecting on relationships in the last few months, and examining my non-conscious beliefs that are manifesting over and over again in my relationships. There is an area of psychology called Transactional Analysis. It suggests that all relationships and discourse reflect ego states, and the ego states posited are Parent, Adult, and Child.  At times, we have reciprocal and complimentary interactions.  But, when we fall in to a relationship pattern that is not reciprocal, such as one person taking on a Parent role and another the Child, eventually the basis for partnership and for adult relationship becomes eroded. (This is an extremely simplistic description of TA.  It is fascinating and worth looking in to more deeply).

 I became a psychological parent when I was 13, and even my relationships with my siblings has elements of being their parent more than their sister.  I realized yesterday I have related to Bhikku as a parent to child, and my compassion for him now is as a child or someone in my care as he heals.  This is dangerous as we resolve our relationship and move into what our roles will be as a family and co-parents.  And if I am not careful, I may be in a relationship with the Magus which is still reflective of my parenting beliefs. He is younger; he experiences the emotional world differently than I do; he relates to intimacy differently than I do; and his long term needs in building a life are different than mine.holding_hands

So where does that leave me? I am so worried that what will happen is a perpetuation of my psychology as a parent. So far, I have gone back to my old pattern of repressing my needs and over-owning them in order to keep peace and harmony in my relationship.  My non-conscious belief has left me manifesting as a parent in my deepest relationships.  I need to know what I must change to be whole enough to have an adult relationship.  And I am praying that it is not too late to be able to make this change and keep the beautiful loving elements of the relationship.

Faith, hope, and love.  I must have faith in knowing that I am whole, and that a mutually fulfilling, loving adult relationship is mine!  I must recognize that hope is the hallmark of love.  And I know that there is great love in the relationship.  Today, I am struggling.  I continue to uncover more and more areas that need healing.  I am losing my excitement about how this year will change. I know that the quotation says the greatest of these is love – but today, I need more faith and hope than anything.

Living in the Story: Why Happily Every After is Dangerous

AHA! moments happen when you least expect them, and often where you least expect them.  (I know I am not the first person to have an epiphany while in the washroom, but it seems indelicate to include that in my tale…lol).  Last night, I made a connection between a few random ideas that I suspect are profoundly meaningful for me.  They are about The Story.

dragon-1877I have always loved to read, and I read Science Fiction and Fantasy the most.  My favorite authors all probably tell some version of a romance story in what appears to be a larger story.  Paul Atreides and Chani from Dune; Tolkien had some love stories in Lord of the Rings; Sharon Shinn’s books are all romance novels; Anne McCaffrey Dragon series have romantic matings through their dragons; and so on and so on.  And these books were key parts of my adolescence…

As I grew up in violence and other dysfunction, reading was the ultimate refuge.  It was escapism, and it was encouraged.  I appeared studious and mature because I loved books.  I was an easy child to care for because I spent most of my time reading.  And the books provided me with heroes who could be my father, my mother, me, my lover, my future.  They gave me hope.  They gave me a life so much better than the one I was in.

My romances were story book as well.  I believed in love at first sight, and entered into long-term committed relationships in a matter of months.  And I loved telling the stories of how we met, the adversities we had to overcome, and the happily ever after we were building.  Yet these relationships failed, they ended, they ate away at me with loneliness.  I remember saying to Bhikku that I was seeing the same themes play out with him that had been there in my first long-term relationship.  Little did I realize that was the co-dependency pattern playing itself out.  But the loneliness being covered by all the choices and commitments I had made was killing me…slowly, with golden handcuffs and words of love…and no emotional connection.  But if I had written them up, they would have been beautiful stories.  I have to fight myself daily in waiting for the moment that all my current relationship stuff turns around and that happily ever after that comes after the dark night of the soul in books. 

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX A503I am wise enough to know that the root of this starts with me.  I know that the reason I loved living in The Story was it gave me control and predictability.  Of course it would be ok…every hero and heroine has to face adversity to find true love…if I hold on, if I wait, if I believe in true love…if I am good enough, if I am enough, it will follow the way all stories are supposed to go. The illusion will fall away, the magic will turn out right, and in the end it will all be ok.

Except, it means I have never truly lived in my experience.  The Magus tells me his fear is that I don’t truly see him.  That I try to fit him into my story.  I think that is a valid fear.  We met under auspicious circumstances, and I have often retold the story as proof that there is some divine hand driving our relationship.  I took comfort in a story told to me by a tarot reader that made sense of the things going on for me with Bhikku, and with the Magus.  And when I could not figure out a way to get to my Happily Ever After,  I have tried releasing both of them to find a new hero in my tale.

But in the end, all I am doing is denying my own experience, my own divine nature.  I don’t need the story.  I am the Goddess, the hero.  I am the bliss and the sweetness in those stories.  I am the depth of love I long for.  I am all that I need. 

And so it is.

Self Healing and Self Love

reikiThe first level of Reiki is focused on self-healing.  We teach that you can only heal others to the extent that you have healed yourself.  (This may or may not be true, as sometimes intent can supersede all of this, but that is for another post).  Most people look at Reiki Level 1 as a necessary hoop to jump to get to work with others and have a Reiki practice.  As a Reiki master teacher, I have learned that Reiki Level 1 may be the most important level of all.

What manifests in our lives, whether it is our bodies or our relationships or any part of our lives, is a reflection of our beliefs.  Thought creates. And it can be non-conscious thought.  The more ingrained, unaware, and emotional the thought, the more powerful it is in playing out in the things we experience.

“Life, until now, has created you. You’ve been acting according to ingrained mechanisms wired into your brain before you had a choice in the matter, and it’s out of those automatic mechanisms that you’ve created the life you now have. It is time to re-create: to choose a different life”. – Gabor Mate, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts
 
Self healing is about listening to your energy and connection to the divine, and asking yourself questions on all levels: body, emotions, thoughts, and spiritual connection.  Life will provide all the clues you need, and the practice of self-healing creates the opportunity for you to listen and see the patterns.  It gives you a practice for being whole, and looking at these sign posts as little signal lights, like the dash-board in your car.  If your shoulder hurts, what have you been carrying emotionally? If you cannot move your breath, what is stuck in your belly or your chest? reiki heart
 
I find myself asking “What do I need?”.  I have built so many coping mechanisms and defense mechanisms based on others that it is very easy to think I need all of them replaced as I currently tear them all down.  For example, do I need a relationship? Do I need a senior leadership role? Or am I used to them looking a certain way and do everything possible to keep it all the same? One of the elements of codependency is making things look normal, keeping it all the same.  Is it possible to hide behind the trappings of relationship, and miss the opportunity for depth and courage and love? I think it is.  And I come dangerously close to that often.  I have spent 5 years straining against these very constructs, and now that the ties are severed, I have to not only grieve, I have to prevent myself from going right back into them. 
 
I had no idea it would be so hard to choose a different life, even though it is exactly what I have been moving towards for years now.  And here I stand, doing my self-healing, feeling my wholeness, and it is frightening.  Overwhelming.  Exciting.  Exhausting. Awe inspiring.
 
The Reiki Master is finally learning the lesson of Reiki Level 1.  Took me long enough!
reiki prayer