“We all feel pain when things don't go according to plan, but suffering is optional.”
We are all as humanity going through this enormous unprecedented time of COVID-19. We may not all be on the same boat, but we are in the same storm. Regardless of where you're at during this time, you don't have to suffer. Feelings are natural, and feelings will remain present until fully felt. Listen to this episode to learn how to navigate through these times with a new perspective, new focus, and choosing to look at what truly matters.
Your essential self is vast. it is pure consciousness, universal awareness, and it is the foundation of all expression, creativity, and expansion in this world. It is “you” in your most unadulterated form. You entered this world with this essential innocence and purity, but life’s events have distanced and covered over the core foundation of your being. You have forgotten the essential you.
When you forget, you do something very curious.You experience your mind thinking, your feelings arising, and your body functioning, and you conclude that those aspects of your experience are the totality of who you are. You say, “I’m fat,” “I’m depressed,” “I’m poor, broken, and hopeless,” “I’m angry,” or “I’m stupid,” as if you are the thought, feeling, situation, or body part.
Most everything that we have to say about life and our relationships with others -- and how we talk about the part of us that wants to smooth things over, keep them from being disturbed -- is a form of saying something nice about what is killing us.
Here’s the bottom line: We just don't want to go through the pain of doing what's right when it's right to do it. That’s the whole shebang.
It isn't you I'm afraid of, it's my own pain. It isn't the condition I don't want to get in and mess with. I don't want to get in mess with the parts of me that are going to beat me over the head with threats and all other forms of conditioned reactions.
Everything about your work is bringing you to a point where you understand the need to bear yourself and to do so despite being unable to do it. Then you are upon a cross. Then you go through what is required of you to have your own life.
“Your core wounding is separation from self-love, which results in deep feelings of unworthiness. The healing of that wounding is a journey back to your Essential Self..“
The details are inconsequential. in fact, you may not even remember what happened. What is important is that there was some pivotal juncture in your formative years when you first realized that your Essential Self did not fit into the conditioning of the world into which you were born. It was a moment of emotional torment and upheaval, imprinted on your being like a vibrational energetic tattoo. You were not safe.
Simultaneously with that event, a deep sense of unworthiness entered your vibrational sphere and became cemented in place by shame and guilt.
One of my most effective “surviving and thriving” tools is the practice of Wabi Sabi. Known predominantly as an ancient Japanese aesthetic that honors all things old, worn, imperfect and impermanent, Wabi Sabi seeks to find the beauty and perfection in imperfection.
Between Covid-19 and the crashing economy coupled with epic levels of uncertainty and instability, it’s easy to notice everything that is wrong in the world.
I believe it is the job of the spiritual warrior to look for what’s right, to see the light, in spite of all of the painful and dark circumstances.
When faced with any pain or grief -- past, present, or promised -- the first thing our lower nature, the "me mind," usually asks is: "What's to be done? Who can I speak to about it? What's the best way for me to handle it? Is there any way out?" And at the heart of these complaints, whether detected or not, is the me mind's favorite question: "Why does everything happen to me?"
But at the root of each of these fearful questions which seem to seek a way out of the sorrow lies a secret assumption, one that keeps us defeated and going around in sad circles. And the deception in this assumption of ours is so habitual that if it weren't for the existence of a higher order of self, with its powers of higher perception, this subtle betrayal would be complete. What is this unconscious assumption that almost none can see?
The deception begins with the assumption that whatever your current pain may be, it must be real. And, more importantly, hidden in this same unsuspected assumption, is the wrong reasoning that since that ache is lodged in your heart -- it must follow that that pain belongs to you.
Even if you doubt the existence of a higher, happier life level, the following is beyond all doubt: living from a mind that automatically assumes suffering is real, gives you no choice other than to remain a perpetual victim. This defeated inner condition is the same as being sentenced to a life of perpetual sadness and resentment. Our lives aren't meant to be spent in this wasteful way. Following is a new and much higher way to look at, and solve, this very old problem.
The next time any sadness, or worry of any kind, calls for you, slow the whole of yourself down and work to quietly observe yourself.
At first only a few voices spoke of positive change after the COVID crisis ends, or at least becomes livable once again. Now one hears a chorus calling for change, much of it from younger people. The main message is about global cooperation and preparing better for the next pandemic. But I think people are pondering personal change, too. In the midst of widespread trepidation, what are the new goals that each of us might start pursuing right now?
The first goal should be a settled mind. Fear is persuasive and panic easily goes viral. At the best of times most people turn their backs on worrisome problems rather than dealing with them directly. But unless you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, you can settle your mind and go beyond fear. The first steps to gaining mastery over fear are open to everyone, as follows.
My personal and most memorable experience of accessing a state of FLOW was entirely unplanned. It occurred while snow skiing, finding a single focus, through repetitive, harmonious movement, carving left to right, left to right, like a snake down a slope. No resistance. Moving in fear, to move past it. (Fear is after all just our ego (false-self) trying to protect us).
It was Valentine’s Day 2002, I was on a ski trip in the Alps with a boyfriend, but we were in no way having the romantic experience that information might conjure up.
We were staying in the same ski resort in Austria I’d honeymooned at in my early twenties (it was disastrous as honeymoons go and a catalyst for our divorce just 6 months later). But it was here, where I had fallen in love with skiing.
Just a few weeks before this trip, I had chosen to abort a pregnancy. While making this choice very consciously, I was still recovering both physically and emotionally. I was not in love. Our relationship was already over. I still harboured unreconciled feelings for someone else back in South Africa. And on this day, the 14th of February — being the birthday of my childhood sweetheart and soul mate who had died in a car accident at the age of 23, while drinking and driving — to say that I was a walking, breathing emotional volcano, showing tangible signs of erupting, would not be an over dramatisation. The seismic activity in my system was real.
Every action has an intention. Even not acting and not speaking are actions, and each has an intention. Your intention is the most important thing, not what you do. Your intention is why you do what you do. For example, imagine that you are hiking with a friend, and she suddenly pushes you violently off the trail. If she pushes you because she sees a rattlesnake, and she intends to keep you safe, her push comes from love. She cares about you. If she pushes you because she intends to keep herself safe, her push comes from fear. She cares about herself.
Are you feeling frayed around the edges, like you’re not sure how much longer you can hold it all together?
If so, you’re not alone!
A lot of us are starting to feel like we’re nearing the end of our rope. I mean, this has been going on for a long time now! The daily anxiety, the death counts, the news — it just seems to go on and on.
Even those of us who started out really strong (or maybe just in denial!), and we thought, “This will be over soon…” Well, “soon” has come and gone and here we still are! Depending where you are in the world, you may not even have passed the peak yet, and you may be wondering how much more you can take.
The news wants to feed the Fear Virus and paint a picture of doom and gloom, and we have to counter it with signs of hope. Yes, there is devastation around us — I don’t want to ignore or downplay that. But I also want to remind you that there is a pattern here. And as hard as it is to believe, this too shall pass.
We each come into our human lifetimes with an individual soul plan, which we then forget at birth. God, however, remembers, and God’s presence as the soul continuously reminds us of that plan. What may seem a complete falling apart of everything in your life is really only a divine rerouting to keep you on course for what you agreed to experience, and expand with, before you incarnated. Your soul always remembers. When you begin to live consciously as your soul, you won’t feel so blindsided by life events. At the highest and deepest levels, everything is unfolding as it is meant to.
We’re living in unprecedented times. Every day brings new challenges and new STUFF… it truly is an extraordinary time in human history. It’s easy to feel like we’re lost. We don’t know what the heck to do with what’s happening all around us because we’ve never been through this before!
Especially if we or someone close to us is ill (or we think they might be…), it can be hard to pull our focus from the negative.
Just a few weeks ago, I got really sick. I had just come back from Chile, and I had all the symptoms… but no one was really talking about Coronavirus at that point. I had all of it — the fever, the bronchial stuff. And because I have asthma, I was especially concerned.
There was a moment there where I literally thought I was going to die. I lost my eyesight and actually fell down in the bathroom. It was scary. I couldn’t do anything, just lie in bed. I had no voice, no energy.
It could have been easy to sink into that, and then compound it with guilt over having to cancel events (and I NEVER cancel events!).
But I remember saying to myself, “I can either bemoan what’s going on for me and get scared, or I can sit in gratitude, yes, even for this.” So in the worst of my illness, I kept saying, “Okay, Spirit, if it’s my turn, just… okay.”
And three times a day for half an hour, I’d just sit there and listen to uplifting music like Deva Premal, Enya, Joni Mitchell, and Stevie Nicks. I would put my hand on my heart and stay super grateful and get really chill. And it helped.
Listen, I’m not saying that Enya can cure COVID (but who really knows, right?!).
What I am saying is that we can find comfort, even when we’re living in uncertainty.
For many young people, the COVID virus outbreak will bring their first experience of fear and anxiety as a pervasive mood. As a society we are afraid of fear, and most of the time we can turn our backs on it. But this kind of denial is unworkable in a crisis. As bad news mounts daily and society becomes ever more anxious, countless people become enmeshed in the matrix of fear without knowing how to escape.
Social forces can drive you to participate in the matrix of fear, but society cannot get you out of it. Escape is something each person must confront on their own. I believe that freeing yourself from fear and anxiety is possible. More than that, you can learn how to be free of fear long after the COVID crisis has passed.
The key is to cultivate emotional intelligence. The term had a burst of attention some years ago, but the value of emotional intelligence never changes, and when you focus on it, you will achieve something worthwhile for life. Here are six principles to guide you through the process.
We are going through some intense times right now in the world.
Many of us are worried about our safety and how we take care of ourselves and those we love.
I believe that we will get through this together, and we can get through these times stronger.
In dealing with COVID-19, it is important to be smart, discerning and intentional in doing our part to ensure we take care of ourselves and those around us, our loved ones, our elderly and our children.
It is important that we focus on what we can control, not on what we cannot. This will only create more fear and panic. We can take responsibility for building up our immune system with rest, sleep, hydration, supplements (i.e: Vitamin C, echinacea, ginger, turmeric, oregano oil, etc.).
What you focus on expands.
Corona usually refers to an aura (visible appearance) of plasma (ionized gas) around the sun. The coronavirus that is infecting humans for the first time (which is why we have no immunity) is covid-19. It is a type of coronavirus, just as “rose” is a type of flower. Yet covid-19 is a bloodless, lifeless term with no emotional relevance to human experience. That is why, in my opinion, we continue to call the virus that has infected us the coronavirus. We sense that it is intimately related to us humans.
As we become multisensory – able to perceive beyond the limitations of the five senses – we begin to see that everything around us is symbolic. The world is no longer random and meaningless. It is filled with meaning, and we can learn about ourselves from it. What can we learn about ourselves from the coronavirus?
The corona of the sun extends millions of miles into space and is hugely hotter than the visible surface of the sun. It is not detectable without instruments, except during a solar eclipse, but it is real and its effects upon the Earth are real. Is there an invisible part of us that extends far beyond what our five senses can detect and whose effects upon us are large and real? Yes. There are many, and we call one of them our collective consciousness.
I've Been Thinking...
This was the week when it really dawned on me that life is never going back to “normal.” Well, at least it won’t be the normal we knew just a few short weeks ago.
It wasn’t any one thing that made me come to this realization. Let’s just say there were enough different things this week that brought me to this place. The rise of infections. The doomsday predictions that the worst is yet to come. The pictures of makeshift hospitals and funeral homes. The new recommendations to wear face masks if you go out of your house. The rise of domestic abuse cases. And the startling number of 10 million new unemployment claims!
In the last few weeks alone, 10 million people in the U.S. have filed for unemployment benefits. Ten million individuals. Ten million of our neighbors, our friends, our fellow families. It seemed like almost every conversation I had this week involved heartache and loss. The loss of a job, the loss of a business, the loss of a dream, the loss of a friend. And in my own family, the loss of a child and grandchild.
By acknowledging and facing fears, we can reach the other side.
By all accounts, Nelson Mandela was one of the greatest people ever to walk the face of the earth. In his 95 years, he rose from small-town law student to President of South Africa, all despite being held as a political prisoner for 27 years.
As someone who could have easily lived the rest of his life in fear and bitterness, Mandela took the high road, overcoming and embracing his fears for the betterment of the world.
Among his many memorable quotes is one that really stands out: “The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
It’s a powerful statement.
I believe if you examine your own life, you’ll probably find that it rings true for you, too.
The fact is, fear is a learned behavior.
When we’re born, we only have a natural fear of two things: loud noises and falling backward.
There is so much fear ricocheting around the globe now. Fear of the deadly coronavirus and fear of disease and dying. Basically, fear of survival. This survival-based fear is embedded deep in our cellular memory as a species on this planet; it is a powerful force affecting everyone. Our collective consciousness holds the emotional residue of every event—wars, famine, pandemics, natural and man-made disasters, etc.—and all that is coming up to be released so that we can reach a new planetary balance. Mostly we aren’t aware of the rebalancing yet, but it is happening. As the virus spreads, we feel both present and cumulative fear, as well as other strong emotions like sadness, anger, or panic.
One afternoon we went for a walk, searching for a beach, to take a swim in the refreshing, sparkling Mediterranean sea.
We eventually found one and hiked down to a sweet little cove with a sandy beach jammed packed with men, women and children, in all shape and sizes.
As we waded into the water, I noticed a small canoe-like boat that was painted red and on the side were the words, in big block letters, Salvatore.
My first thought was,
“I wonder who Salvatore is and why does he need his name so boldly on the boat?”
And, even though I don’t speak Italian, I soon figured out that it Salvatore wasn’t some man’s name but rather it means “Savior,” and that this was a boat used by lifeguards.
As all of us navigate through these scary and difficult times of the COVID-19 virus, it’s becoming clear that there aren’t enough lifeguards right now, and it’s really up to us to figure out how to rescue ourselves and our loved ones.
During challenging times, such as the one we are currently experiencing, it is often quite difficult to remain calm and centered. Fear and anxiety dominate the collective consciousness, and we start to slide into negative thinking and feelings of overwhelm. We forget that at our core is unshakable calm and peace.
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