FLY and be Grateful – repost

FLY and be GRATEFUL
Written by Carmien Owen on July 31, 2013

Learning how to First Love Yourself (FLY) can be a lifelong journey. Many of us start life with examples and challenges that are designed by our soul to instigate a search for self-love. For some, this journey takes us through the experience of someone else believing in us before we can realize love for ourselves. Others are born with a sublime clarity when it comes to love. Yet, no matter what your path or level of awareness, loving yourself is the answer.

Ernest Holmes, the author of Science of Mind, once wrote that, “The world has learned all it should through suffering.” Is suffering really about forgetting to love ourselves? If so, then learning how to FLY is an essential part of awakening to your spiritual magnificence.

If you have chosen the life-path of suffering, struggle or dysfunction in your younger years then you will have negative examples of love planted within the subconscious mind. While under the strong influence of powerful feelings it can be easy to underestimate and forget the power of past thoughts. Ernest Holmes clarified this when he said, “A [person] thinks and supposes [they] let go of those thoughts. But such is not the case, for thought becomes [embedded] in [the subconscious] mind, like a seed planted in the soil. And unless neutralized it stays there and determines the attraction, the impulsion and the experience of the one thinking.”

Neutralizing old thoughts planted in our subconscious mind is possible, even though they are the result of our inexperienced minds processing examples of how we should love. The first step is to consciously make a decision and set an intention. One approach to neutralizing old thoughts includes a series of exercises and mental attitudes summarized by the acronym, GRATEFUL.

G – Gentle with yourself

R – Reframe your thinking

A – Affirm positive thoughts

T – Trust yourself

E – Eliminate self-criticism

F – Forgive yourself for past mistakes

U – Unload worry

L – Listen to your feelings

Gentle with yourself

Being gentle with yourself is about learning how to love all that you are. Falling in love with your flaws or shadow is an opportunity that’s inviting you to awaken to your spiritual magnificence. Loving our shadow–our inner child and those aspects of our personality that are less than our aspirations–is the most effective way to dissolve and integrate it. In addition, wisdom comes from acceptance and integration of all that we are. Loving-kindness really is the answer.

Reframe your Thinking

Reframing your thinking can be as simple as changing how you greet people, or making the conscious choice to think positively. When I greet people I often ask them how they are. When I hear responses such as, “Not bad.” I counter with, “That’s better than bad then?” For many this elicits a smile and a correction of their own thinking. Thinking positively in all areas of your life really is a choice that can transform your life.

Affirm Positive Thoughts

Affirming positive thoughts about yourself daily is a powerful spiritual practice. Some of us make efforts to share our affirmations with others in order that they might be inspired. At http://www.knowtheflow.ca simple daily affirmations that can easily remembered are published during the week to support this practice. Whether you’ve borrowed the affirmations of others or create your own, repeating affirmations aloud several times per day is a powerful way to reprogram old false beliefs. You can extend this practice by visioning to clarify your heart and soul’s desire, and build your affirmations around this visualization.

Trust yourself

Trusting yourself is really about recognizing that when you put your heart into something, when you claim your deepest conviction of your unlimited potential, there is nothing you cannot do. I can is infinitely more important than IQ. Love is not about how clever you are. Your unlimited potential comes down to how certain you are.

Eliminate Self-Criticism

Eliminating self-criticism is making the decision to stop beating yourself up. You might recall an early scene in The Da Vinci Code. The movie opens with a monk whipping his back to a bloody mess as a way of purging his mistakes. This scene looks painful, but physical scars are not as profound as the metaphysical scarring we imprint upon the subconscious mind through mental self-flagellation. There is a delicate balance. We should not go into denial about our choices or feelings, but neither should we beat ourselves up incessantly either. It is important that we don’t do spiritual bypass, but find a way to compassionately mix self-honesty with spiritual authority.

Forgive yourself for past Mistakes

Forgiving yourself for mistakes of the past is a sibling to eliminating self-criticism. Regret is energy used destructively–a use of our unlimited potential that works against our aspirations. Forgive yourself and let your mistakes go. Give yourself the gift of seeing yourself as before.

Unload Worry

Unloading worry really comes down to surrendering the outcome. When we worry about something we are forgetting to trust that Spirit has the how. Instead, we might opt to think about how we can help ourselves, or others, in our thoughts, words and deeds. Worry takes away our peace. Unloading worry creates an opening for love.

Listen to your Feelings

Listening to your feelings is about being truthful with yourself. Feelings are good, especially those that feel horrible. We might not realize it at the time, but feelings are actually the messenger of beliefs we have and surface from old seeds that have been planted. It is our response to feelings that is the constructive or destructive (wholesome or unwholesome) element. Listen to your sadness as much as your joy. We should listen to all negative feelings. Anger, guilt, grief, boredom, loneliness, frustration or depression are all messengers for the purpose of our awakening. You can adopt a four-step process to listen to your feelings:

Name the feeling: When you listen to your feelings it will be easier to name the feeling. Acknowledge that you are angry.

Identify the cause: Then identify the cause of the feeling. Allow that inner intelligence that is God through you to inspire you as to the false belief. Perhaps your anger is offering you feedback that you’ve perceived something as unfair.

Address the cause: After you have identified the feeling’s cause face it. You might look at what is behind the feeling of unfairness. Has someone acted in unfair way? Have you bought into a story that is not actually truth? Once you’ve identified the cause act on what you’ve realized.

Affirm the spiritual truth: After you’ve acted in a pragmatic way on the cause look to the spiritual ideal and create an affirmation.

Being GRATEFUL

Being GRATEFUL offers a series of reminders and practices you can undertake to cultivate a deeper love for yourself. You already have everything you need. As Ernest Holmes reminds us, “We are dealing with the same power that molds the planets and all that is upon them. Our ability to use this power is not principle, but in our understanding of it.” Claim that power for yourself and remember that your understanding of love for yourself will dictate how love shows up in your life. Before we can experience the love we aspire to in this life we must learn how to FLY.

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Change the Reflection

mirrorIn some movie I watched as a child, there was a mirror that would show you your true self. It would drive most people mad, because they could not handle what they saw.  Psychology tells us that mentally healthy people view the world through rose colored glasses – we live in an illusion of seeing ourselves and the world in an overly positive way. Deepak Chopra tells us, in our soul relationships, that the one we love is a mirror.  If we don’t like what is being reflected to us, we should change ourselves, not break the mirror.

I have had a heck of a week.  Honestly, it has been a heck of a year, but that is what 2013 is about.  It is a year about release and clearing. A total life makeover. I have “lost” or ended a marriage, a deeply loving spiritual partnership, my job – which is safety and security for me. I put down two cats that have been with me for 15 years in the space of 4 days. I have let go of some people that I kept trying to have in my life and that isn’t necessary.   I have lost significant amounts of weight, and said good bye to some old pain I have carried in me for decades. So, it might be ok that I get grumpy now and then as I retool myself to be more present in soul than ego.tears

Except its not.  Yesterday, I was struggling with the grief of preparing to put my second cat down.  My daughter and I headed to the grocery store to get some Yop for her lunch bag, and she wanted to bring a tiny plastic toy with her.  I said we shouldn’t because last time we lost the tiny toy three times in the store.  She showed me it was too big to fall through the shopping cart and promised to take care of it.  I agreed.

My daughter is as close to the perfect child as I can imagine.  She is a wise soul, and she says things that are frankly impossible for her to know except through soul. I love her deeply and cannot believe how blessed I am to have this soul partnership with her.  Which is why what happened yesterday kills me.

When we started shopping, within a minute she broke her toy bird’s wings, and was crying non stop.  I looked at it, and realized I could fix it at home and told her so.  She perked up and we had a great shopping trip.  She loves scanning the items at the checkout so she did that.  We loaded the groceries in the car, and I took the cart back to the drop off site.  I could hear her pounding on the glass window as I walked back – what was wrong? I opened the door to a screaming child. “My bird is in the cup holder of the cart!”  And here is where I am ashamed: I lost my temper and yelled at her.  Not just a little – I told her this was all because she didn’t listen to me and that she always wants her own way no matter what, and here are the consequences.  She was crying, I was crying.

handWe talked it though and hugged within about 5 minutes.  And then she said “Mommy, can I ask you something? Can you promise to never make me feel unloved again?” I began crying uncontrollably.  And you know what? I couldn’t make that promise.  I knew I would break it.  And now how do I live with that?

There is no way that I find that acceptable.  I did a ho’oponopono (deep forgiveness) exercise last Monday, and one thing that surfaced is how deep my anger is inside me.  And I don’t know why.  I cannot tell you the source.  I cannot tell you the triggers.  But it is the anger that means I cannot promise my daughter that she will not feel unloved by her mother.  And that must change.  Now.

I know that in this case, I was feeling helpless around my animals.  The second cat suffered greatly this weekend as we waited for the euthanasia appointment, and there was nothing I could do. I had no support, as it was just me and my daughter this weekend.  I was feeling sorry for myself.  And when my daughter was suffering around her toy, there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t stop any of the suffering.  I reverted to many old patterns.

The thing I aspire to was to stop, accept what is, and find the yoga in it.  I could not get myself to that place.  I started searching wildly outside of myself for a solution, for a reminder.  I went to church, which helped somewhat, but my little one can’t handle church and so I had to leave half way through.

How will I find a way to go to that place inside me where it is all  ok? Where I do not need anger? Where I am not helpless? Self Love by mario duguay

I think it starts by looking my daughter in the eyes, and promising her I will never make her feel unloved again.  Then looking myself in the eyes and making the same promise.

Teach me how to be loved

Teach me how to be loved.

It’s scary. This love thing. The sweet vulnerability of extension. The naked of ‘here I am’. The tentative reaching of outstretched arms. The wide open of hope.

We all get a little lost here. Wish we knew how to do it better. Wish it were cleaner and more gentle and a little easier to understand.

We welcome the head long rush of it just as we try to run away.

Teach me how to be loved. We all say this over and over again, in different words or with the shift and sway of our bodies or in the silent spaces where words are left behind.

Teach me how to be loved. Let me show you how to love me well. School me in the workings of your heart, in the language of your bones. Let my open palm memorize the shape of your face. Tell me the stories of your scars so I can trace them with the honor of understanding.

Do you see this fault line? It is where I was broken, over and over again, by the ones who came before you. Are you willing to take that in? My wide open eyes? My truth lives there, if you look for it.

I have been loved by those who didn’t care to discover all that I am. Will you be the one to see me whole?

It gets tangled sometimes. The purity of beginnings become a hazy twist of expectations, the intermingling of past hurts and future fears.

We are the product of all that has already been, and of all that we hope will one day become. We carry with us the bone memory of the loves that we have held and all that has been lost. We don’t ever come into love without the echo of our past singing its siren song.

Can we do this? Can we find in this love a gossamer thread of redemption to coax into a late night tangle of limbs and lazy Sunday mornings? Will you follow me into the interplay of light and shadow? Will you dance with me here, where the light and dark within me can mingle with the good and bad of you?

Teach me how to be loved. It is a relentless forgiveness that allows us to return here, again and again. Past the tears and the leaving and the broken spaces. Back into the hope of more, the possibility of again.

We are made for this. For the sweet vulnerability of now, for the outreach past fear and into unknown. For the extension and unwrapping. Even for the fault lines and the bittersweet of no longer ours.

We are an ancient sort of resilient. Made for the falling and the rising. Made for rose colored glasses and honeyed lips and finding new home in another. Made for the burning down and rebuilding from ashes. Made for the holy wonder of beginning again.

Teach me how to be loved. Show me how to love you well. Our hearts speak fluent optimism even when we try to cloak the hopeful whispers in layers of pessimism masquerading as protection.

We are here to love. To speak our mother tongue to lovers who may stay or may go. To learn the body rhythms of forever and of just for now. We are here to open to the bliss and the risk and the possibility inherent in every beginning.
Teach me how to be loved. Let me learn how to love you. Start now. I’m paying attention. I was made for this.

So were you.

– Jeanette Leblanc

Longing to Belong

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There is an emptiness in the world, a void that lay within the soul of every individual. This is not a feeling. It is real, it is present, it is the now of every person who is searching for a sense of belonging but to what exactly? – Steve Smith

If you met me, you would never guess that I do not feel like I belong.  I have a large social circle.  I am active in many projects, and I have an uncanny ability to attract exactly who I need at precisely the time I need them. And since my deeper healing, that has increased ten fold.  Yet there is one relationship that continues to elude me, no matter how much else has changed in my world.

I felt a loneliness and a longing nearly every day of my life, except in the presence of the Magus. As a child, I felt like I was watching the world. As a teen, I knew I was seeking more than other kids. I bought books about yogis and tried meditating. I would try to move things with my mind. And I saw patterns and meaning when others didn’t. In university, my best memories were friends with whom I could discuss deeper spiritual truths.

And then I fell into seeking safety and security through traditional relationship and marriage. With Bhiku I had the perfect marriage. Even seeing us today, strangers would see a better relationship than many couples have. And it wasn’t enough. The spiritual connection with the Magus was enough to make me look at my whole life in a new way. Since it was deep healing, I resisted it. Sometimes strenuously. But I moved miles from 7 years ago.

The Magus taught me to cry when I refused to open my heart. He opened my eyes to my codependency and taught me to recognize my own needs. He supported me in every way as I created my life. Still, my ego defenses would not allow love to flow. But the healing since ending that relationship has been profound and so I know even that was part of our soul work.

As I work on my vision and creation, so much of it has focused on relationship. I tangled romantic relationship with spiritual evolution and with that feeling of belonging that has eluded me, other than with the Magus. I am loved by so many. But very few understand my personality and my spiritual path.

I just don’t fit with most people. I have some I teach. Some who love and support me. But those who get “me the personality” and “me the soul” are few and far between. If there is any deep loss today, it’s the loss of the Magus’ seeing me. And me seeing him.

When we did energetic blending, I felt more alive and energent. Of course, my unhealed personality got in the way and limited that. What I fear is not the idea of not having another romance; I fear never being seen again. I fear returning to the feeling of longing to belong. That is the next healing. I ask the universe to guide me. I’m willing to be patient and let the right path reveal itself to me.

“And when the time is right, I
hope that you’ll respond
like when the wind gets tired
the ocean becomes calm
I may be dreaming but I’m
longing to belong
to you.”
-Eddie Vedder

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Space to Grow

giftsI was asked if I could have a tantric relationship that did not have a relationship attached to it.  Like anything that gets a strong reaction from me, it is worth playing with.  And since I am learning to listen to my head, my heart, and my body, this is a great question to work through.

The idea that resonates in that question was could I have an energetic and spiritual experience with someone without having a relationship with them, and would that be a good fit for my desire for spiritual evolution and sharing of that with someone.  On the surface, there are a few assumptions to explore.  Tantra uses sexual energy but is not necessarily a sexual relationship in my mind.  I have been in classes of people that were clothes on individual experiences, and had the exact same experience that I did doing tantric exercises with a partner.  So, could I do that? The answer is that I already have.

But to me the deeper question is could I have a relationship with a person that is tantric, designed for spiritual evolution, and that may be our only intersection point.  We would not share much more than the spiritual practice. And my body screams out No.  It is not the spiritual practice that draws me to some sort of relationship.  What I have not done in this lifetime is experience myself deeply and intimately with another at all levels WITHOUT the burden of false beliefs or conditions.  So, it is that experience I want, rather than worrying about the conditions, norms, expectations of relationship.  I don’t want to worry about marriage, or about who takes out the garbage.  I don’t want to go through attraction, infatuation, communion and intimacy. I have done that over and over, and while it is lovely, it is not interesting to me.

“Romantic love is like a drug. It produces euphoria, energy and  vitality. You think you’ve found someone to complete your life –  it’s  a high. But when that drug wears off, everything you felt before you  took the drug returns. That is the moment of disillusionment. You  think love is gone, but the illusion is gone.  This is the time that  most people go back and look for someone else to provide this feeling  of euphoria.   But you will eventually see this person for who they  really are, and the feeling of romance will again fade. When you find someone you think is completing you, make a list of the  things you love about that person. Those traits are qualities that you have the capability of cultivating within yourself. Another person can never give you those things.  The disintegration of romantic love,  is not a tragic loss. Rather, it is the beginning of the possibility  of real growth within you.”  Gary Zukav  I am already a person who is deeply loving, wise, and able to grow and heal.  I do not need a romantic relationship.

I want the spiritual experience of surrender, higher levels of awareness and reality, and the ecstasy of communion with deeper love.  And I want to experience myself in that relationship.  Which means some level of vibrational harmony with another.  It means having some level of committed relationship so that growth can be triggered. (But it is the nature of that relationship that MUST be outside of societal norms and expectations of traditional relationship.) Zukav says when you interact with another, an illusion is part of this dynamic. This illusion allows each soul to perceive what it needs to understand in order to heal.

“Each time you choose not to act on a frightened part of your personality,  you create authentic power—and you grow spiritually. The frightened parts of  your personality come less frequently and with less intensity, and the loving  parts fill more and more of your consciousness. Eventually the frightened parts  of your personality lose their sway over you entirely, and only the loving parts  remain. When this happens, jealousy, resentment, inferiority, superiority, are  no longer obstacles to your spiritual growth. They are opportunities for it!  They are broad avenues that lead to exactly where you want to go, to fulfillment  and joy, awareness and freedom—if you choose to take them. The hardest times to  choose love become the very times that you can most grow spiritually. In fact,  they are the only times you can grow spiritually!” Gary Zukav

Honestly, I am getting tired of spinning my wheels on this, and on the how. I just want to say STOP (to my egoic mind).  I saw this on Facebook today and it hit a home run with me:

“I have heard so many theories on the question of whether we are complete on our own, or only complete if we are with another. Because of all the pressure to be partnered, so many people walk around feeling badly if they are on their own, and many others stay where they don’t belong for fear that they will be seen as a …failure outside of relationship. All of this misses the point. What is most important is that each of us lives a life that is true to path, whatever that means to us. For some, their sacred purpose is inextricably linked to love relationship. It is there that they excavate and manifest their deepest meaning. Yet others are called in a different direction and find their purpose in their creative life, in their work, in their individual spiritual practice. Everyone’s soul-scriptures are unique to their own journey. The important thing in life is not whether we find the “one”, but whether we find the path.”

So instead of questions about the HOW of my experience, my space to grow right now is about The Path.  I am trusting and will be patient enough to let all possibilities to be present for me.  I don’t think questions about relationship, or tantra, or any form at all are the right ones for me.  Instead, the right questions are about my Self.  My infinite self. That is the only place that matters.

“In this expanded state, spiritual solutions spontaneously emerge. Instead of trying to relying on the limited resources of the ego-mind, you let yourself be guided by your true self, which is the source of all peace, clarity, and wisdom. With clearer vision, you no longer feel confused and conflicted.  As you continue to evolve, you enter the level of pure awareness. In this state, no problems exist. You are aligned with the infinite field of all possibilities. There is no struggle, and your desires are spontaneously fulfilled. Although it may seem like it takes a long time on the spiritual path to reach pure awareness, exactly the opposite is true: At every moment, pure awareness is in contact with you, sending creative impulses.  All that matters is how open you are to the answers being presented. “DeepakChopra

And so it is.

meditationlotus

Relating as Relationship

satnamWhenever I get defensive, it is a good sign that I have not fully examined something.  And lately I am really defensive about conversations about me and relationship.  Don’t get me wrong – I am not boiling in anger or feeling judged by my friends and blog-mates; I am seriously examining my reactions as a means of healing.  So this is a good opportunity.  Good enough for me to blog twice in a day…but its my blog and I can do what I want to! Plus I have been on a month hiatus so I am really just making up ground…Lol.

I have shared my vision for relationship far and wide because that is what you do when you create – thought, word, deed, right? Except, there is an underlying issue in my creation this time: I am not fully committed to it.  There are parts I really love, but I am asked about what I am creating for me by people…not what I am creating in relationship. Is this just because I have not put words to everything? Is it because people don’t know everything there is to know about me? Or am I missing a big big hole?  Dunno, but that is a really important question.

What I do know is that my vision board is about my happiness.  Yet this week I learned that happiness is attached to the external, whereas joy is about my nature. So, my  idea of relationship seems to be attached to happiness….oops, that is a problem.  Not good enough.

I have a million sources of joy in my life.  I have a beautiful soul in my daughter, I have a prosperous business, I have great friends.  I value those things and I see them as aspects of myself and my creative energy manifested in the world.  My friendships have been life long, and  change and evolve as I do. They reflect the Law of Attraction: like attracts like. But those are joy not happiness: I am as joyful about them in my life when they are challenging as when they are flowing with happiness.  In the moments that my daughter challenges me the most, I am deliriously in love with her.  When my business is intense, I am joyful for the challenges and growth they offer me.  My friendships remind me of my Oneness.20130308-100728.jpg

Tonight, as I was talking to a friend, I expressed that I had no interest in starting a relationship; I do not want to do the dance of getting to know a person, building through the levels of relationship to get to what I have had before.  I am really clear that I do not need an intimate relationship. In meditation yesterday, I felt the completeness of my being.  I was so clear that the things on my vision board are possible without a relationship.  In fact, they may be more possible because I do not have a relationship. So why do I keep going back to talking about relationship?

In yoga, our teacher told the story about deciding he wanted to learn about relationship, so he made a pact to stay in the relationship he is in, that has the same patterns he has left relationships for in the past.  He knew that if he doesn’t work through them in this relationship, he will have to work through it in another.  I can say the same thing.  In my three major relationships, I have achieved more and more healing, and taken each relationship to a deeper level.  But I have not learned about relationship.

Let me clarify that: I am really good at being a friend.  I will listen  to you and know you at a deeper level than most people.  I will go above and beyond for you.  I will feed you and house you and work on your deepest issues.  I will value you and be loyal to you.  I will love you, and walk with you into your shadow.  As long as I am not in a couple relationship with you.  That is when all my false beliefs show up.  That is where I am out of my element.namaste

So, my purpose in relationship is to grow and learn in a space that isn’t my forte. Could I relate to someone intimately without it having the trappings and conditions of relationship? I know I have gone into uncharted territory in my Spiritual Divorce.  I have a deep spiritual partnership with Bhiku.  So, I know that I can move into a relationship that has no societal context or conditions to work within.

What I have not done in this lifetime is experience myself deeply and intimately with another at all levels WITHOUT the burden of false beliefs or conditions. And possibly, for me to be free, to pursue my spiritual path, and to grow, that means relating deeply to someone without the word “Relationship”. Without the social norms and conditions.

Could I do that? If my spiritual practice and evolution comes first – and that is one thing I know for sure – then I have no room for traditional relationship, expectations, etc.  It would be about committing to love, and to my purest self expression.

I know when I read my vision for relationship that my friend is right: if a man showed up and offered me the relationship I described a few weeks ago, I would run the other way.  I am not actually committed to relationship.  (I signed up for a soul mate course and dropped it after two days – what does that tell me?)The part I am committed to, that moves me to tears is this: My purpose in relationship with an intimate other is to create a space that supports both of us in exploring and expressing our emerging selves. To support and be supported in purpose. To evolve in consciousness together, moving from intimacy to divine bliss and bringing that forward to the world.

omAnd I am so scared to say that out loud.  Terrified, because it is true and I have no idea how to BE that.  Of course, a part of me does, and I will connect with that.  I know I can get to spiritual evolution on my own – it fact that is the only way.  And then I want to share who I am as I do that.  It is said we are individualized expressions of the divine, and that we exist so the divine can experience itself.  It is natural I would want to experience my self expression as an evolving soul with another – it is the nature of the divine itself.  But if you can imagine me right now, I am sitting here with a manic look on my face because I know this is a deeper truth than I have ever acknowledged before.  It means throwing away all my safety nets.  Ugh.  Ouch. Oy vay. And Amen.

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” Goethe