Not As I Should Be

There is a comedy routine about married guys getting mad at the newly married husband who brings home flowers for his wife. The long time married guys know that each wife looks at the bouquet and with barely hidden scorn turns to her man and points out “He gave Her flowers,” which is directly interpreted as “You did not get me flowers. I have no flowers.” Comedians will put their own spin on it, including the likelihood of ever having sex again. They talk about if one guy buys flowers, they all have to, so better to show solidarity by not getting flowers at all. 

Its funny because its true. But what happens underneath that experience? 

I recently have pulled out of Facebook for a month.  Practical Priestess page is active because my blogs go up and because I post my inspiring thoughts there before I blog. But pulling out was a great gift.

On Facebook,  we post our peak moments. We get invited to things we can not attend but wish we could. We become overwhelmed by how much we are potentially missing out on. My beautiful rich life began to feel like a failure.  And instead of feeling connected, I felt more alone than ever. Not ok.

The joke about flowers, and my feelings around Facebook are versions of I Am Missing Out or messages of Not Enough perhaps. But even deeper is a sense of I Am Not As I Should Be.

When we buy in to the idea that our thoughts and feelings are true, the egoic self can wreak havoc. Its invested in you feeling like you are not enough so you need the ego’s protection. 

I was discussing the unreality of thoughts and feelings with Christopher Hareesh Wallis. He said to me “Thoughts are tools not truths.  Form not content. The only question worth asking about them is, did they point in the right direction or the wrong direction? They are not true in terms of what they say but they are sometimes true in terms of the direction they point you.”

When I think of I’m Missing Out, its related to my panic of not living fully,  of not expressing or experiencing my conscious awareness fully. Somehow, if I just do the next right thing, meet the next right person, or learn the next right technique,  I will be happy, enlightened and fulfilled.

This is the ego lying to me. First and foremost,  I am perfect, complete and whole , as are you.  Nothing more is necessary for that to be true. Second, the true self needs no conditions to be perfect.  And finally, all I need to be in that perfect awareness is stillness, silence, moving away from identifying with the experience of my thoughts and feelings. Which I can do right here. Without a post on Facebook. 



Conscious Couple


Is it possible to have a couple relationship,  a spiritual partnership, that is not driven by or reinforces egoic nature?

Looking back on all my romantic relationships,  there was always a point that I knew I loved the man, but didn’t have the “in love” feeling that made this man more meaningful to me than any other relationship.  That was usually where the anger and disappointment in me began. I would feel trapped and stuck.

That is an illusion of course. On the spiritual path, freedom and growth are not dependent on the other person. But I would put more and more energy into trying to re-energize the egoic relationship dynamics, and a part of me knew that was false. Eventually I could not sustain the relationship.  And I would blame Him for not trying or not being who I needed, what I needed.

Everything I’ve looked for in relationship is actually spiritual longing – my soul reaching and yearning to know itself. I’ve even selected men based on their depth of consciousness. 

Until I have become solid in my own Self, my own awakened soul, it is unlikely that I can envision that conscious couplehood.  And saying that out loud feels so freeing and peaceful. One day the temple priestess would like a consort. But not until I’ve become who I Am.

The Ego and Vulnerability

arena-quoteI have been “daring greatly” lately, to steal a term from Brene Brown.  I have been daring to be happy, to live my vision. I have been daring to challenge the internal voices that would like me to live in a hell of my own making. I have been approaching business completely differently than I have been taught to, and realizing I prefer to take these risks than live in the safe world that my ego would so love for me.

My inner healing in counseling lately has focused on a few things my body has signalled: one is exploring why I feel shame about my body, and the other is healing feelings of rejection from not being chosen by my partners. In other words, eventually my partners chose something other than the relationship with me, whether that is the partner that chose art or Bhikku choosing ministry, eventually they have left the partnership.  In hindsight, this is all for good reasons.  But the underlying fear of not being chosen is killing me when I am in a relationship with the Magus where he choses me every day and has expressed that more and more deeply. And despite this, I live 30% of the time seeing and feeling that, and the remainder waiting for proof he is choosing something or someone else.

The Magus and I were doing some deep energy work a few weeks ago, and despite the depth of our relationship, I found my mind wandering into shame.  Suddenly, like Adam and Eve in the garden after eating the apple, I felt shame for my body.  I felt ugly, and I expected the Magus to realize that I was ugly any minute in our sharing. So I pulled inside emotionally and just could not connect.  Other times we have done this work, I have felt openness, a blending of our energy and divinity, and a greater sense of love and consciousness. This time, I just felt shame.  And we have not done work like that or connected again since.

I could make excuses, and say I need him to make me feel safe (why would another be able to make me feel anything? My feelings are my choice). I could say that since he also wasengagement-checklist doing some internal work, I was sensitive to this and therefore could not reach him (actually, I have said this but if I were in myself and fully present, where he was at would not matter and I could help him do the same with my own consciousness).  Or I could say that we have gone as far as we can and the differences are catching up (which is the ego making sure I have a reason to run away to protect myself before he leaves me).  All of these are sound and sane types of ego defense.  And they are not ok for me because I am committed to living in soul not ego.

Which leaves me with only one option: vulnerability.  Daring greatly.  Being open to the power of my soul, and being in the flow of divine consciousness.  Trusting.

It’s no wonder we avoid vulnerability. Look at these definitions:

“Vulnerability refers to the inability to withstand the effects of a hostile environment.”

” In computer security, a vulnerability is a weakness which allows an attacker to reduce a system’s information assurance.” – Wikipedia

BooksActivismAprilIf the ego could define vulnerability, those are the words I imagine it would choose. Words that tell you that without the ego defending you, telling you where the risks are, you will not survive.  The ego will feed your self talk with rational reasons for withdrawing.  Making sure everyone and every relationship has some form of disappointment in it so you will come running back into the Ego’s open arms and curl up in a fetal position in its comforting embrace.

At a strategic planning session last weekend, a respected and highly accomplished retired CEO advised us to be generative, and to lead with our hearts. To be open.  To be vulnerable.

What is worth doing, even if  you fail? What way is worth being even if you are vulnerable?

For me, it is knowing myself as an individualized expression of God, and knowing I am perfect, whole and divine.  Anything else is illusion, story, clues to make the script more interesting.  When I meditate, I don’t feel shame.  When I heal another, I don’t feel shame.  When someone shares their deepest fears and inadequacies with me, I feel valued.  I don’t see the person as less; I try to remind them of the divinity I see in them. (With the exception currently of Bhikku, my mother, and my father – I can see their divinity and love them but I am still fighting old scripts in my responses…but it is coming along.) So why, when I am in the loving energy of the Magus, and he is sharing himself openly and deeply with me, would I choose to shut myself off from that love?  Cause I am crazy, that’s why.

My brilliant counselor and I will be working on that…cause crazy people should see their counselors! *LMAO* Seriously, I value deeply the opportunities for healing, self awareness and deep excavation of the issues my body has been trying to get me to see that come from my relationship with her. brene-brown-i-live-and-love-with-my-wholeheart-badge

But, this week, the Magus is going to travel with me to see my family for a week (proving he is also crazy…). And I set the intent that this trip serves as a healing journey of awareness, consciousness and connection for us.  We are both Daring Greatly this week.  Let’s do it with intent, I say.

Thought creates…really

old youngIn psychology, we have identified a number of sources of error terms (things that mess up what we are trying to study). I think we have inadvertently done a good job of proving that consciousness creates. For example, the placebo effect describes the spontaneous healing that occurs when people are given a treatment that they believe will help them, even if what they are given has no therapeutic properties at all. There are also perception errors, whereby a person will interpret an ambiguous object based on preceding beliefs. So when you show the illusion of a the Old Young Woman Optical Illusion, you can influence a person to see an Old woman by showing them pictures of old women before hand, or vice versa for the young woman. This has been known for a long time, but we rarely speak about how that is a very tangible example of how reality is created, and hardly objective at all.

Quantum physics speaks of the Observer Effect. In science, the term observer effect refers to changes that the act of observation will make on a phenomenon being observed. As such, the observer needs to be considered as part of the system being observed. So, whether we look at social science or physical science, we recognize that something in our beliefs and understanding will impact that which occurs and is being observed. In other words, what we think and believe manifests in our reality.

Quantum physics aside, this shows up practically in many of the approaches psychology uses for counseling. Often, a client’s stories and assumptions are tested for logic. If you believe someone tried to give-a-man-a-truth-14916-1680x1050hurt you, why do you believe that? What happens if you stop taking it personally? What happens if we change the context or meaning you assign to something that happened? We find that if you reframe something, the emotional experience can change too. For example, if you hold a belief that you are not good enough, and you overhear a conversation between two sales people that goes like this “I knew she wouldn’t buy that dress”, you might believe they have decided you don’t have the money for the dress. If you hold a belief that you are selective, you might interpret it as a sign that they understand your specific style preferences. Both are viable interpretations, and your reality will be driven by your own thoughts.

More and more I have been clearing out old false beliefs as they come up for me, and they are coming up fast and hard. In my childhood, I developed a few beliefs driven by the violence and instability of my household. I believe that Men Leave. I believe that if I am not in control of things, something bad will happen. I believe that I cannot trust men, and that they will disappoint or hurt me.

So, as I look back, I brought all of those beliefs into my marriage with Bhikku. Coupled with his own similar and reinforcing beliefs, we have been unable to trust and connect in certain ways. In others, we are divinely guided and inspired, for which I am grateful.

aurapolarity_jpg_w300h300I knew from my experiences at The Shake that all those beliefs now show up as a form of Betrayal Consciousness, and they are now showing up with the Magus.  I could argue that in practical terms, our relationship is too unusual, our expressed values are too different and that of course I have good reasons to feel insecure and not trust him.  But that is not the consciousness I have decided to be, so that way of thinking does not serve me any longer.

The Magus and I did some profound work together on Sunday. It was spontaneous (we were sidetracked from our plans by rain) and so I did not have time to prepare myself for the energy work that would occur.  In that process, I experienced love and trust and openness in ways I have not experienced before.  (I don’t even let my students practice Reiki on me because of my false beliefs around trust!). I was not in control, and a flood of negative self talk took over.  I felt myself pull inwards and at times, I was not participating as deeply as I can.  And since the Magus is as good at energy as I am, he was aware of it and it impacted him as well.

The more we spoke, the more afraid I became. He wanted to talk with me about an experience of his, which is an unusual thing for him to initiate.  I became very very worried. I felt Betrayal Consciousness rising, and worried I would resort to my old patterns of rejection and withdrawal of him.  I used my best tools (thanks to my brilliant counselor) and thought I was ready to calmly show up and talk when The Magus was ready.

He began to tell me the story of how a woman he enjoys learning with and sharing with crossed a boundary with him, and he didn’t expect it or know how to react.  He was working through those thoughts when we did our work on Sunday. They had a few important conversations where the boundaries were reset.  During that process, some of his concerns were that what happened with his friend must not effect me or our relationship.rejection

So here is what I heard: a woman he has an interest with showed up intending to move the relationship from friendship to romance, and the Magus not only didn’t stop her, he didn’t tell me, and was clearly open to something happening with her.  He was telling me now because he wanted to be honest and I have told him I cannot stay if he is in another similar relationship.  There you go – I opened and trusted and loved and all that did was speed up betrayal. I stood up, and said goodbye.

The Magus is most usually the sane one between us (not always,  but thankfully our crazies don’t trigger the other person’s crazy), and in this case, the look he gave me as I said goodbye melted the part of me that is soul.  As I stood at the embracedoor with all my rage firing up (think spitting goose running and hissing at you), I knew inside me I was wrong.  I just knew.  I also didn’t know how I was going to drain enough adrenaline to have a loving conversation in line with my consciousness.  So I left for a while to cool down.  I really didn’t want to come back, but I did, and to show you how incredible the Magus is, he let me back in peacefully, lovingly, with an open heart.

I listened again.  I can’t say I was kind – I said things that were still projections of betrayal…a betrayal that didn’t happen. But if you watched me that night, you would believe that the Magus had run off and married this woman over the weekend.

So what happened? My beliefs were fully and completely triggered.  I was vulnerable from the positive side of opening myself in a new way with the Magus and had stuff triggered from the “good” day.  And I was loaded with my lifelong false beliefs about men, and experienced a traumatic betrayal that didn’t happen.  I actually made him try to PROVE to me everything he said. And again, with his usual love, he patiently did just what I asked.  What makes me the most ashamed, and there is plenty I am not proud of in this false belief of mine, is that this gentle Aspie who struggles with social norms, had been presented with a very challenging set of social circumstances by his friend that required very fine social discrimination – something he is not good at.  And instead of compassionately supporting that journey, I attacked him. This Magus, who has shown up as love over and over and over…I attacked him.

highres_8140576If I was not ready to address these false beliefs before, this absence of love from me for a man who has been pure love for me is NOT OK.  It just can’t stay.  I will take on the ego death not because of the Magus (he deserves my love on this, but he knows I must reject ego as my truth, not because of him), but because the truth he reflected to me in his eyes was the Soul Me that he can see.  And when I look at the Soul Me versus this Ego Me, I have a clear sense of how false that Ego Me is.

Do you know what he said after all that? He asked me what I needed, held me and loved me.  So while one set of thoughts needs to change, I am grateful beyond words for the consciousness I have, he has, that moved us to today.