Experiencing disagreements with those that we love is a natural part of being human. There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone, but it can be a deep source of pain, especially with those you love. In this episode, I explore the possibility of seeing a new perspective, where even if you both have a different viewpoint, they can still come from the best intentions.
When you experience these emotions, you are not in the high frequency state of peace.
Those feelings are indicators that you have unconscious programs – beliefs, ideas and stories – that need to be corrected.
Is there some aspect of your life that you’re not at peace with?
Have you ever wondered what’s preventing you from living in the high frequency of peace?
The core low frequency blocker to peace is unforgiveness.
Until you activate your soul’s superpower of forgiveness you have set yourself up for anxiety and a whole range of diseases and physical and mental challenges. A Harvard study showed that holding a grudge can kill you.
Before I tell you an extraordinary story, read this:
Love Letter from God
I've Been Thinking...
The other day, I went on one of my “walk and talks.” These are socially distant walks that I take in the late afternoon, either alone or with friends who also like to walk, talk, dream, ponder, and wonder about life.
I often walk with my friend Simon, an optimist and an astute student of leadership.
The other day, we were walking and talking about Simon’s online courses (you can learn more here and follow him on Instagram, too) and his upcoming podcast, when we came upon two other guys we both know. We stopped to chit chat, and just as we were about to leave, one of the guys said: “I’d like to ask you both a question. What are your three wishes for our country and the world right now? They don’t have to be achievable, but what are they?”
“Wow!” I thought to myself. I figured he was just going to ask which restaurants had good takeout service or something, but hey, okay. I knew I’d need a few minutes to think about how to answer.
Simon’s three wishes popped out immediately.
...... Setting your boundaries with people in your life is never an easy task.
However, in order to do so, you must know who you are and what your needs are.
In my new video, I share some simple ideas that will help you honor yourself and your needs more authentically.
How do you set your boundaries with loved ones?
How do you honor your needs and also set your boundaries while honoring your relationships with others?
In this video, I discuss how to set boundaries with the people you live with so everyone's needs can be met. With everyone on lockdown, this has become more important than ever. You want to use this time to get closer to loved ones, not farther away.
When we are in a situation beyond our control, and are finding ourselves highly annoyed or frustrated with someone’s behavior, that is the time to practice Wabi Sabi Love: this is about having a shift in perception and making up a new and empowering story about whatever you are perceiving as broken, wrong, or just not right.
For those of us that are stressed out, frustrated or are experiencing extreme cabin fever from the quarantine, finding the beauty and perfection in the imperfection can be a challenge.
I could make a long list of all the things I don’t like about being quarantined, but now that we are in week seven, I think for me, the good things are beginning to outweigh the bad.
By digging deep into my spiritual toolkit I have been practicing things I’ve often talked about but never really had to deal with….like turning fear into love and transforming judgement into compassion. The latter being the most difficult.
As I have watched many people filling social media with wild conspiracy theories, I find myself pinging back and forth between outrage and wanting to fix them.
For me and many of the people I’ve spoken to who are part of the stay-at-home population, it feels like one day is rolling right into the next with not that much changing in any given 24-hour period.
Of course, if we’re working from home or home-schooling our children or are caregivers for our loved ones, the details of each day are numerous and ever-changing.
But it’s the general tone of the day that I’m speaking about...
I’m wondering about that question mark that’s hanging over the planet.
What is this shaking up of the world as we know it ushering in?
What will our personal and collective lives look like in a few months…
And in a few years?
Though there have been a few other pandemics over the last hundred years or so, never before have we experienced the repercussions of a pandemic like the one enfolding the whole of the planet today.
“My father was a very strong man. It was his way or the highway.”
“My mother is a very strong person. She is the matriarch of the family and controls everyone. I never see her cry.”
These descriptions of strength do not fall under my definition of ‘strong.’
Strength and Weakness
Strength is reaching a place in your growth where you have the courage to feel and lovingly manage your painful core feelings of sorrow, loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, grief and helplessness over others—rather than avoiding them with various addictions and controlling behavior.
Weakness is when you are too afraid to feel and learn from your feelings, so you avoid them with substance and process addictions, and with controlling behavior toward others to get them to take responsibility for your feelings. Given these definitions, the above statements made by my clients about their parents are describing weakness, not strength.
Strong people are able to cry—to be moved by things and to cry as a way to release the energy of that strong emotion. Unfortunately, many people were programmed as children to not cry, since their parents didn’t know how to handle painful feelings – their own and their children’s. Many people were even teased, at home or at school, for crying, further programming them to avoid tears.
Creating authentic power requires distinguishing love from fear in yourself and choosing love no matter what is happening inside you or what is happening outside. Our evolution now requires us to create authentic power. The coronavirus is teaching us how to do that. The reality of the coronavirus is often lost in the fear of it (including denial). The reality of the coronavirus is that no one is immune to it, and it is extremely contagious. The mortality rate of the coronavirus is much lower than small pox or bubonic plague, yet it is a deadly threat. That reality demands that we bring our fears into our awareness so that we can choose responsibly between our fears on the one hand and love on the other. This is important because not only your health depends upon your choices, but also the health of others.
In other words, the coronavirus is the perfect teacher of responsibility. The coronavirus is contagious days before its symptoms appear in you. You do not know when you become infected! During that time you can infect others without knowing it and without them knowing it (because they do not know when they become infected, either), and they can (will) very quickly infect others and on and on and on and on. These are the things that make the coronavirus very dangerous. It is extremely contagious, everyone can unknowingly infect anyone else, and it can kill you. In other words, if you mindlessly endanger yourself, you mindlessly endanger others. If others recklessly endanger themselves, they recklessly endanger you. To echo Lakota wisdom, the health of one is the health of all, and the illness of one is the illness of all.
Beliefs are tricky, especially in times of uncertainty. They can be a source of inspiration or a heavy chain around your neck. They can uplift you into possibility or weigh you down, keeping you from open-hearted expansion. Historically, beliefs have been the cause of cycles of planetary polarization: renaissances and wars, connection and separation, coming together and tearing apart, hope and despair. Humans have yet to reach the evolutionary tipping point of being present in experience without filters of any kind. Maybe now is the time to let go and see everything as light, including ourselves and our beliefs.
Jerrod, in his late 30s, consulted with me because he was feeling frantic about his relationship. He and Leslie had fallen deeply in love just over a year ago, but now the relationship was falling apart.
“Leslie and I are very attracted to each other and really enjoy each other’s company. But something happens after we’ve been together over a weekend. We have a great time and then during the week I’m miserable for a few days. After a few days, I feel okay again, and then we get together and it starts all over. I don’t want our relationship to end, but I can’t stand what happens after we are together. Maybe we are not supposed to be together.”
Are we really so separate?
Love the world.
To simplify and summarize, our brain has three primary motivational systems – Avoiding harms, Approaching rewards, and Attaching to “us” – that draw on many neural networks to accomplish their goals.
Lately, I’ve started to realize that a fourth fundamental human motivational system could be emerging as well.
Our hunter-gatherer ancestors depended upon their habitats for food and shelter. Today, over 7 billion of us are pressing hard up against the limits of Lifeboat Earth. To survive and to flourish, cultural and perhaps biological evolution are calling us to love the world.
The world is near to hand in the food you eat, the air you breathe, and the weather and climate in which you spend your days. And then in widening circles, the world extends out to include complex webs of life and the physical characteristics of the land, the sea, and the sky.
When you love the world, you both appreciate it and care for it. Each of these actions makes you feel good, plus they help you preserve and improve everything you depend on for your health, livelihood, security, pleasure, and community.
During most of the last several million years, our human and hominid ancestors did not have much capacity for harming the world. Nor did they have much understanding of their effects on the whole planet.
But now, humanity has great power for good and ill. And we have inescapable knowledge (no matter how much some try to deny it) of what we are doing to our own home. As the earth heats up, as many species go extinct, and as resources such as fresh water decline, it is critically important that a fourth major motivation guide our thoughts, words, and above all, deeds:
Love the world.
I've Been Thinking...
The other day, I found myself thinking and reflecting on life as I took an evening walk through my neighborhood.
“When this is all over, what will I remember?” I pondered to myself. “What thoughts and images will be seared into my brain? Who will I be when I am no longer told to stay at home?”
Will I go back to the same schedule I had before? Will my work and voice in The Sunday Paper be needed now more than ever, or not at all? Will my work at NBC News be the same, or will it change now that every show has been cut back? Will I go back to being on a plane all the time, rushing from coast to coast?
Will my work at The Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement survive in a post-pandemic world? Will people still want to fund research into women’s brains when millions of Americans are struggling to eat and pay their rents or mortgages? Will people want to be educated about brain health and Alzheimer’s prevention when one of their most pressing concerns is protecting themselves from the coronavirus? I wonder.
“Each relationship serves a different function and purpose in your life. Ultimately, every single relationship you are in is for your growth, evolution and learning.”
When we spend our time trying to control the lives of those we love, we’re putting our power, our freedom, our joy, our happiness in the hands of someone else. Listen to this episode as I share the secret to real freedom when it comes to changing other people and how to shift your focus to a more empowering way of thinking.
Some Questions I Ask:
- What is the secret to getting other people to change?
- How is trying to change other people taking your power away?
- How can I stop controlling other people?
- Am I ready to receive what others are ready to give me?
- How can I accept another without judgment?
- What does this person mirror to me about myself?
In This Episode You Will Learn:
- 3 key questions to ask yourself when you are challenged by someone.
- A key element to all relationships that will change everything.
- How to honor and love yourself unconditionally.
- How communication is a key element to honoring your relationship.
- How acceptance of another is an important part of your own evolution.
People often say that love hurts so much. It’s not love that hurts, it’s the expectations of our love.
When you hold back what’s natural, loving those around you, it blocks the flow of your heart, the flow of your creativity, of your Aliveness and life force.
You are love.
Love because it’s your nature.
To love is great freedom.
It’s the most natural impulse of your being.
Love because you are love your self.
Loving mothers know instinctively that when their children are hurting physically or emotionally, what they need is to be gently held with loving arms and soothed with loving words. Those of us who have raised young children know the magic of “kissing it and making it better.”
Discovering the Healing Power of Loving Holding
Years ago, Erika and I discovered the healing power of mothering, and we wrote about it in “Healing Your Aloneness.” What we discovered has now been verified over and over. In his excellent book, “In An Unspoken Voice,” author Peter Levine tells a heartwarming story. When National Guard soldiers were ordered to remove Elian Gonzales – the young boy who became a pawn in a political battle in Florida – from the hands of his Cuban exile cousins living in Miami, they trained a female federal agent to caringly take the boy from the cousins and angry onlookers. Knowing he would be extremely frightened, and not wanting to further traumatize him…
“The agent held him firmly enough to not be ripped away by the angry mob, yet gently enough for her embrace to match the words she calmly recited in Spanish,”Elian, this may seem scary right now, but it soon will be better. We’re taking you to your papa…You will not be taken back to Cuba [which was true for the time being]…You will not be put on a boat again [he had been brought to Miami on a treacherous boat ride]…You are with people who care for you and are going to take care of you.’” p.265
As she rocked him gently and spoke soothingly to him, he relaxed.
Levine goes on to describe another dramatic mothering scene that occurred during the East Timor conflict. As dazed and disoriented refugees wandered into a refugee camp, a group of Portuguese nuns greeted and gently held and rocked the children and the most shocked adults, whispering soothing words to them, thawing them out of shock with their love.
I've Been Thinking...
I was catching up with a friend by phone the other day when she said to me: “I need you more than ever right now.”
“Same here!” I replied, without skipping a beat.
The truth is, we all need each other more than ever right now. We need each other in so many ways, both big and small. We need to rely on one another. Lean on one another. Trust one another. Be compassionate, understanding, and patient with one another. We need to basically focus on being there for one another the best we can.
I’ve been thinking a lot this week about just how tied we are to one another. This historic moment is showing us how interconnected we are. It is showing us how we all have similar needs. And yet, as we live through this big, collective moment together, we are also going through it in very individual ways.
When things don’t go the way we want them to, our tendency is to turn negative on the spot. It’s as if something in us throws a switch and, the next moment -- like being caught in the surge of a tidal wave -- resistance carries us away. But this unconscious resistance to reality never shows itself for what it is; it can’t, or the show would be over! After all, who sides with something that is perpetually against life?
Resistance is the unseen father of all lingering negative states. It derives its power to trick us into embracing its painful presence by a kind of misdirection. It hides behind a host of associated images that always appear with it -- certain thoughts and feelings that promise either to protect us or to provide us with plans to escape our situation. But we must learn to see that the true nature of anything -- whether a newly opened leaf or a fearful thought or feeling -- is inseparable from what it serves. So, regardless of how it may appear, any disquieting state in us that “says” it wants to lead us away from a fear is leading us toward one instead.
Rebecca Winn is an artist with words and her new book, new book One Hundred Daffodils; Finding Beauty, Grace, and Meaning When Things Fall Apart, proves the underestimated power of beauty to heal our deepest wounds.
Using her garden, nature, and a delightful smattering of wild creatures, she weaves her midlife catastrophe into a beautifully written story of raw vulnerability, courage, and transformation.
I was totally captivated and entranced.
Today she is guest blogging to share her thoughts on love during this time of crisis:
“We are all connected.” A phrase so common, it has become a meaningless spiritual cliche. Or has it?
Four months ago we could watch the news unfolding in China with a detachment that distance and depersonalization afforded us. Today, we are sheltering in place, surrounded by fear so palpable even the skeptics are panic buying, and the most committed introverts confess that they only want to be alone when it’s their choice.
And yet, only a few days into self-quarantine, something magical has also happened. Musicians are sharing their music for free during social media Live events. Authors whose book tours have been cancelled (including my own) are reading from their books online. People are reaching out to help one another in ways heretofore unimagined. Some property owners are telling restaurants to pay their employees instead of their rent.
Amidst the recent worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are in uncertain times.
Worry, fear, and panic have swept across the planet, as the virus has threatened our health, well-being, economy, societal norms, and sense of safety.
Many people are quarantined at home, and social distancing has become a temporary norm.
During this time of such intense stress, sex is likely the farthest thing from many people’s minds. How can we make love when the world seems to be falling apart? Shouldn’t we spend our time watching the news and figuring out how to navigate these challenging times?
As a Sacred Sexuality Teacher with over 20 years of experience supporting clients, my #1 recommendation during this global pandemic is to make time for pleasure and sex.
Sex is not a luxury for when things are good in the world. Sex is a necessity. It is vital to our health, well-being, and sanity. Sex is important at all times, especially in times of stress and difficulty, like this current pandemic.
If you have a partner, set any differences aside, and get into the sheets for some essential self-care and stress relief. If you are stuck at home without a partner, no worries. You can self-pleasure and bring yourself the same benefits.