The Fastest Way to The Heart Is Through the Belly

Chicken Kiev, homemade mushroom risotto and tabouli salad. Organic mushrooms and thyme baked in filo dough. Spring greens, watermelon, feta and cashew nuts tossed in lime, ginger and sesame oil. Arugula tossed in lime juice served with a poached egg and prosciutto.

Not the menu from a restaurant – my meals this week, all homemade. 

I have always loved good food and I really enjoy cooking excellent food. I had a long standing belief that I had to cook for someone else to invest in cooking amazing meals. So if I was alone, I ordered in garbage or I ate popcorn.   The clear message was that I was not worth the investment. 

Flash backwards about 3 years ago as I prepared to go to John of God in Brazil: I have to set an intention so I chose loving myself. I have no idea what that feels like. 

Shortly after, my whole life came into alignment around loving myself. Many of the relationships I was in all dissolved away (romantic and friendships), leaving only my deepest friendships. My career changed. My health changed. My home and garden changed. My spiritual process deepened exponentially.

When I was growing up, my grandmother used to say that the fastest way to a man’s heart was through his stomach – meaning men loved good cooks. For me, one outer proof of my love for me is the food I am eating. My meals are a celebration of my creativity and my recognition of what I deserve – true nourishment.

I Love My Body

Lately, my 8 year old has taken to sneak attack hugs. We can be walking or sitting,  and there is a kamakaze hug attack! I love it.

The other day, I went to morning yoga and really enjoyed the opening in my shoulders. I told my daughter I would be doing more because it made me feel healthy and strong.

Her face looked panicked.  “But are you still going to be squishy? Please don’t make your body stop being squishy!”

To her, my round bits are comfort and love. They are a reflection of my heart. In truth, they also reflect my karma, my genetics, my choices, my issues,  my joys and my potential.

In that moment, I promised her I would stay squishy. She loves my body. If I release any story generated by the media or any perveyers of control, I love my body too.

Unapologetically.  Without justification or rationalization . I am beautiful. And I love my body.

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How Do I Hate Me? Let Me Count The Ways

“Underlying our sense of unworthiness is a sorrow.  The experience of unworthiness is an inward expression of anger, and hatred and blame, turned inward.  It isSelf pic an inward attack upon yourself. When you attack yourself with judgement or blame, it gives rise to a sense of unworthiness. We internalize these emotions, and they turn into a form of unworthiness. There is a kind of sorrow that comes with this unworthiness and attacking of self.  It lies underneath this unworthiness and fear and blame.  This sorrow is caused when you turn away from your Self.  It comes from following along the conditioned ways and conditioned responses we have to anger and upset and blame, as they are converted to unworthiness.  We often skip this underlying sorrow when we try to heal.  This sorrow is there because underneath is something you really love, something you really care about.  Sorrow arises from this deep sense of caring, this underlying sense of love.  The sorrow arises from not honoring this care and love. “- Adyashanti

What are the ways that I do not align with self love? The one I notice the most is the way I relate to my body.  I have internalized and identified with all the beliefs we have about how the body should be.  I know that I am not this body – that is a core part of awareness and consciousness.  I am experiencing this body.  Once, I believed that my self beliefs caused how my body behaved, looked, moved, etc.  That is the ego version of creating: if my body is not how I wish it to be, I have somehow failed to clear my consciousness to manifest something.

So, I find myself unconsciously engaging in a version of self hatred.  I looked at the picture of the former girlfriend of a man I am interested in.  She was perfect. Beautiful.  Incredible.  I began to shrivel inside as I looked at all the ways I was not her.  I remember a time when I would look around the room to see how I compared to the women in the room.  I always managed to convince myself I was the ugliest, fattest, least athletic, etc.

Then I would begin the actions of self loathing.  I would consider surgery, extreme starvation, diets that put my health at risk, weight loss supplements that at best wasted my money or at worst, risked my health.  I never followed through, thank goodness.  But I noticed the self hatred. 

My body is not a reflection of who I am.  It isn’t a compilation of false beliefs and good beliefs.  My body will react to what I eat and how I exercise, but even there, people’s responses to food and exercise vary based on metabolism.

My body is the experience that my consciousness is having.  My awareness is experiencing the world through this vessel.  It is not a self.  It is not healthy or unhealthy.  It is not anything other than an experience.  There is nothing about my body that is good or bad.  It is the body that allows awareness to experience itself.  My experience is a reflection of my vibration.  If I want a new experience, I change my vibration.  But my Self is not the body, or any belief I have about my body.

My Self is love. 

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Saying Yes to Me

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My ideal night out is dinner at Quails Gate in Kelowna after a day of touring and wine tasting,  exploring and shopping.  I love amazing food and exquisite environments. I love travel and trying new experiences even outside of my comfort zone. I love planning trips and finding unique hidden spots,  like living in a treehouse in Hawaii. 

Planning and overviewing for a trip or selecting off a menu is one way of manifesting. But its a body-mind manifesting of likes and preferences.  It can be an expression of True Self. But when I began building my life and relationships like one selects items off a menu,  it was an expression of mind and ego.  It became a way of feeling like I was missing out if the relationship didn’t vary according to my feelings in a given moment – like wanting chocolate one day and raspberries the next, so you look for a restaurant with broad options. But Quails Gate doesn’t have broad options – it has superb complicated offerings that may surprise you when you get them.

I have stopped having goals and outcomes. I am not looking for a relationship.  I am not planning my career. I am sitting in openness to each moment and allowing who I am to flow and cascade me into the next experience and expression.  I’m just letting what I feel from my consciousness be expressed. No holding or even assigning meaning. Just being who I am.

As a result,  a friend told me he liked and loved “Gail 2.0”. He said it was like a reboot. I think that is a wonderful way to have the universe confirm that I am being who I truly am, and it is perfect.  In honesty,  I’m not that attached to his view of me, or anyone’s,  as I have found that my relationship with my self is more important. Being a true and full expression of myself and seeing what happens is in fact the delight of Consciousness.  

I am in gratitude as I experience this beautiful flowing of who I am.
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Meeting Me at Me

What’s your biggest fear? Death? Illness? Loss? Regret? Poverty? Being alone?

When I was asked that question, I considered those possibilities.  Each of those is unpleasant to consider but my fear, the one that screams at me in most moments,  is more esoteric.  My fear is not knowing my true self, my divine conscious nature. And not living from there.

I suspect I live about 20% of my life from true self. I really felt it the day I taught a workshop on consciousness.  I have flowed from there when I’m on retreat or doing healing.  But mostly it is the anomaly or dependent on a unique activity requiring consciousness.

When it comes to relationship,  I doubt any of my partners have seen alot of that Me. If they did, it was accidentally.  And that makes me sad. Not for the missed opportunity with them but for what it says about my alignment with my Self. It means I’ve lived and expressed in a non conscious and conditioned way. 

I’ve set the intent to clear away egoic self image and create more openness for my true Self to express. I have to tell you – its easy to do and incredibly hard to do! When I remember,  it’s beautiful and simple.  When I forget and conditioning takes over,  it’s not so good. It grieves me.

No wonder I can’t visualize relationship right now. I want to be at least 60-70% true me in all aspects of my life. In intimate partnership, I want to effortlessly share that growth and opening and awareness – even if it’s challenging. 

The real Me is amused watching my earnestness,  with the knowledge that is still kinda egoically driven. And yet, it is time. My wisdom says it is time to Be. To stop efforting. To allow What Is To Be. There is an enormous relief, freedom, peace and expansion that happens when I do that. 

I invite you to go into the stillness,  the silence within,  and greet your conscious awareness. That relationship has become more important to me than any other. Its worth the surrender.

Not Now, Not Yet or Never?

spiritual-path-300x209One of the best parts of the experiences of life is how contrasts in experience help us become clear on what we energize and attract.  It has been an interesting week of contrasts, and it has made me look at a few possibilities that I simply could not be open to before.

This week I taught a fantastic class on consciousness, and I was blowing my students away! Seeing how much they experienced opening and healing was incredibly fulfilling.  I found myself shifting out of possibilities in a few relationships as well – some things are just played out as far as they can go even in friendship.  I was asked out, and I immediately felt a loud NO inside me.  I had memorable and loving moments with my daughter.   I had old traumas get triggered.  I laughed as I realized my Valentines Day was filled with people who wanted to spend time with me – and I had been dreading that day not for its romantic significance but because it was the day I met the Magus. I experienced moments of rejection this week, all within myself and a reflection of the unhealed pain from relationship dynamics that don’t belong in my field anymore.  And the biggest focus of the week was deepening my spiritual self.

I have come to a place in my life where strengthening my identity and self-image are no longer what I want.  In fact, I am having the time of my life stripping away self image and looking closely at who I really am.  Relationship as a couple, at this moment and how I conceive of it, takes me away from my true path and Conscious awareness.  That is not to say I can’t love.  I do love.  I love giving love, being love.  But right now, my spiritual life is everything to me.

So it made me ask myself about my true beliefs about relationship.  The Law of Attraction says we have in our lives exactly what we want – which is defined as what we feel and energize. I reflected on how much has changed in my life. When I look back over my previous visions for relationship, and even my vision board, it just doesn’t feel like me.  I honestly cannot see myself in those visions any longer.  I have thrown out my vision board, in fact.

What I have is many companions.  I have a few profoundly accomplished and gifted spiritual teachers.  I have people asking me to teach them, and asking me to create a community. I have strangers responding to my light. I am letting go of layer after layer of self image. And I am not interested in creating a couple relationship. I am equally afraid of that.

buddhist treeIs that Not Now, Not Yet or Never? Why does Never scare me? I know I take joy in the flow of giving and receiving love. That can happen without being a couple. I value my spiritual partnerships. That can happen without being a couple. I miss having someone I really like who enjoys the things I enjoy: music, theater, travel, dinners, deep introspection and consciousness learnings, yoga, dance, art and creativity.  While that can happen without being a couple, it begins to get into couplehood.  Add in energy work, intimate emotional sharing, physical touch, and now we are in the realm of couplehood. If I miss anything, it is that person who can hold me physically and/or energetically at the end of the day as I process and integrate my spiritual insights from the day.

At best, it is Not Now.  I really don’t want to live what I have lived again.  The pain from the repeated and unhealed patterns with the Magus, or with Bhikku, are draining, distracting, and not in alignment with who I want to be. At worst, it is Never but that will be a choice made from my heart’s desire for spiritual evolution – a feeling of answering a Calling.  The middle path would be Not Yet, and that still goes back to it cannot be at the cost of my spiritual deepening.  And yet, I cannot help but wonder if I am giving something up that I don’t need to give up.  I just don’t know for sure if I have shut something down that could be fulfilling emotionally and spiritually.  Many of my spiritual teachers are in long term couple relationships which means it does not have to be either/or on the spiritual path. So that is the question I set to the universe to provide direction, clarity and insight to me about.  Its kind of exciting to ask that, and be open to more possibilities.

Out of My Mind

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Some days I don’t believe in anything.  I don’t believe in divine loving consciousness.  I don’t believe in my ability to create and manifest.  I don’t believe that consciousness and thought create. I don’t believe I can be happy.

It starts as a thought and then builds into more thoughts.  I start to make the rational case for randomness,  the need for control and the causal reasons why things are the way they are in my life. Pretty soon I am angry, or sad then angry again as I fight the terror that it is all meaningless. That there is no consciousness at all. And if there is, it is bullying me.

I’ve done this dance many times. I see it coming. I know its untrue.  I know that the challenge of spiritual awakening is that one’s self image, the many faces one takes on, were designed for protection and feel very real.  There is a terror as you begin to drop those illusions of self image, and grasp at trying to find yourself in the illusion. I know that identification with the self image is the source of pain and fear.

Where there is peace is in the opening and surrender. When I sink into my heart, and breathe three deep breaths, the terror fades. When I have time to meditate, the terror dissolves.  As I connect to consciousness,  it all seems so funny to ever doubt. Its like doubting there is air because I decided to hold my breath for a minute.

Peace comes when I am out of my Mind and in my Self. Lately, I have recognized that my joy comes from allowing more and more of my Self to flow in all I say and do. I used to think love was about something special in the Other. I see my love flowing all day with everyone and it is spectacular.  My happiness is no different in loving my daughter than it is in loving my best friend or my reiki student.  Or in the absence of those, in loving myself.

I just need to be out of my mind.

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