It’s hard to look unflinchingly at the full extent of racism in the U.S.; it’s ugly, brutal, inhuman. The knee on the neck that chokes the breath out of a living person, the lynching rope that has choked the life out of generations of African Americans. White people have looked away, not wanting to see that cold-blooded brutality or the systemic racism built into American institutions created by white men and slave-owners. Black people don’t have that choice, that privilege; they face racist reality full-force every second of their lives. Parents have to instruct their children how to behave when they encounter a police officer (“hands up”). The adults carry fear in their hearts just living an ordinary life because they know they could be killed no matter what they do or don’t do (George Floyd, Breonna Taylor). Black lives have never mattered in the history of this country; the inability or refusal to see that is white privilege. This is the harsh reality of racism in America.
“When you start to be present for yourself and feel what there is to feel to completion, you begin to embody higher frequencies, and you become lighter, freer, and more at peace.”
For too long, you have been frenetically racing around to mend a self that you believed was broken. You’ve read countless self-help books, talked through your issues numerous times, and completed a slew of workshops. But most of this was focused on changing your thoughts or building up an impressive repertoire of nice spiritual concepts. The process we are discussing is an experience of energy changes within you. It is less about knowledge and more about living in connection with your authentic self in each moment.
At first, it can be hard to just be with yourself, as you are awash in internal discomfort. You are so trained to get somewhere, to have or create a point for everything. You are a professional human “doing,” programmed for high performance, low maintenance, and fast delivery.
I have worked with many people who sought me out after years and years of talk therapy without finding the healing they sought. I’ve also worked with people who have spent years in various forms of emotional release therapy, such as Primal Therapy, without finding the healing they seek. I myself had years of both forms of therapy without finding the inner peace and joy I was looking for – until Inner Bonding.
Peter A. Levine, in his excellent book, “In An Unspoken Voice,” states that
“…feelings accessed through body awareness, rather than emotional release, bring us the kind of lasting change that we so desire.” p. 345
In my experience, it is not an either/or situation – either we access our feelings by being present in our body, or cry or pound in emotional release, or talk about it.
In order to combat the Fear Virus and negativity that can be so prevalent, I’ve been making it a practice to think about positive aspects of our current situation. Not to downplay the very real struggles that people are having, but in order to put myself in a space where I can bring my best to those around me.
One of the things that I’ve been thinking about is how we’re now using tools like technology in new ways. I just read this article in Wired magazine about this very thing. The global challenges we’re all facing have forced us out of “life as ordinary” and made us find new ways of being, including new ways of communing.
And that’s exactly what the founders of the Internet had envisioned: The idealism that we could use this extraordinary tool for positive social connection, for support, for enhancing each other’s lives. Isn’t that so much better than just using it to have political flame wars on Twitter? (Don’t get me started on Twitter…!) More and more of us are now using these tools to build something positive, something helpful, something uplifting.
This time has also helped me personally evaluate the role I want technology to play in my life. I can’t just say, “I’m not going to go online.” It’s an essential part of our lives, especially right now. While we can’t spend all day online — that’s just not healthy! — we can be very intentional about what we choose to allow into our environment. For instance, I have no tolerance now for negativity. None. My goal is to create a collective community where everyone feels safe and supported, and that is positive and meaningful.
That doesn’t mean we don’t make space for people who are hurting and are scared. You are so welcome here. I’m sending you a huge virtual hug. I want you to know that you are not alone.
Down deep, do you feel at ease?
Pet the lizard.
I’ve always liked lizards.
Growing up in the outskirts of Los Angeles, I played in the foothills near our home. Sometimes I’d catch a lizard and stroke its belly, so it would relax in my hands, seeming to feel at ease.
In my early 20’s, I found a lizard one chilly morning in the mountains. It was torpid and still in the cold and let me pick it up. Concerned that it might be freezing to death, I placed it on the shoulder of my turtleneck, where it clung and occasionally moved about for the rest of the day. There was a kind of wordless communication between us, in which the lizard seemed to feel I wouldn’t hurt it, and I felt it wouldn’t scratch or bite me. After a few hours, I hardly knew it was there, and sometime in the afternoon it left without me realizing it.
The longer we are isolated the more we want to be together. But we do not gather because we love the people we are isolating ourselves from. That is why we are isolating. So the coronavirus is showing us new ways to express our love, creative ways, ingenious ways, joyful ways that expand the bounds of cocreativity and redefine togetherness away from the five-sensory understanding as physical proximity to the multisensory experience that is far beyond that.
The coronavirus is showing us how shallow were so many of our relationships that we thought were deep. Before the coronavirus reshaped our lives, we exchanged countless hugs, blew countless air kisses, and smiled countless smiles without inner warmth. Now, in our isolation, we are beginning to see that togetherness is more than these things. When I was addicted to sex I thought it was the ultimate experience of togetherness until I realized that the women I was attracted to and who were attracted to me did not care about me any more than I cared about them, and I did not care about them. They were all replaceable to me, and I was replaceable to all of them.
There’s a misconception that focusing on the positive means we’re in denial about the struggles we’re facing. That’s not true. We’re all a little bit meshugenah, screwed up, right now. And COVID-19, it’s a serious topic. We want to protect ourselves and protect each other — but staying home can be terrifying for some of us as well. We can’t go to work. We feel disconnected. There’s an increase in many issues related to mental health, and we need to acknowledge all that. This is a heartbreaking time for a lot of people in a lot of ways.
But even when we’re sitting in the middle of it, there’s still a choice — a choice to feel the fear, and then decide to do something positive. One thing I’m concentrating on these days is creating opportunities for us to come together and be together in community. Yes, it’s online and it may not be a hug in person from your BFF, but it still can be high vibe. We can still use the internet to create something magical.
These two things — the fear and the high vibe — can co-exist.
“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.
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