In the initial stages of embodiment we are called to become more attuned to the love, wisdom, and strength of the soul, so we can more fully live and express these qualities through our whole being.
As embodiment progresses, your mind gradually clears and quiets. Self defeating thought patterns shift and emotional healing occurs. The subtle connections between heart, mind, soul, brain, and body are gradually rewired so that authentic, healthy, and appropriate responses and interactions spontaneously emerge in the moment.
Outer circumstances have less influence on your sense of well being.
You feel a deep grounded presence.
The ups and downs of life gradually take on less significance.
Authentic and clear communication arises naturally through your conversations.
You shine brighter.
Clear intuitive knowing is a regular occurrence.
You feel gloriously hijacked by spontaneous waves of love coming to and through you.
There is a loss of interest in drama—yours and theirs.
Your magnetism increases and you feel truly beautiful.
Laughter and lightheartedness arise unexpectedly.
You look at the world through soft empathetic eyes.
Spontaneous miracles and unexplainable life enhancing “coincidences” occur regularly.
There is an apparent reversal of the aging process.
Expanded opportunities to share your unique gifts unexpectedly enter your sphere.
Creative surges take you into wild territory you’ve never known before.
You discover super powers you never knew you had.
Through embodiment, you find a new stability as you begin to feel solidly anchored in this fresh clear state. Even though you may still feel pushed around by circumstances from time to time, there is a newfound strength that is strong and consistent. You now have a deeper understanding of what is means to feel really centered.
In this stage, you are more fully yourself then ever before.
You appreciate yourself for who you are, rather than dwelling on who you would like to be. The fantasy projections that you can never quite live up to begin to lose power and influence in your life. The “not enough” illusion you have danced with for so long begins to fade away.
The constant effort to improve yourself gloriously dies down and is replaced by feelings of equanimity. You still want to explore and evolve, but these impulses come from a completely different place than they used to. They come from a genuine desire to learn and grow, rather than a sense of not being just fine the way you are.
This deepening self acceptance sparks strong feelings of self love, which is a powerful sign that this part of the embodiment process is unfolding in healthy ways.
This growing self love isn’t narcissistic or egotistical. It’s more pure and clear, emerging out of a deeper recognition of who you are in your fullness.
This is a time to celebrate yourself and all you have done to get to this shiny new place. It has not been easy. Yet it has been totally worth the struggles and egoic tug of wars; the tortured moments when you resisted surrendering to a higher way; and all the time and energy it took to stay true to your path. Especially when others scoffed at you or doubted you, and thought you were a little bit crazy. Or maybe even a whole lot crazy.
Delightfully, you come through this period with something totally unexpected. It isn’t quite the happiness you expected to feel, but something much richer and more nourishing.
You feel content. It is a soft sure comforting feeling that all is well, and it ALWAYS has been. Even when you were rocking and rolling in trauma and drama.
You find yourself in a more solid state, even as life presents you with a fresh load of challenges. Some that are bigger than ever. In the midst of it all, your mantra becomes, “I got this”. And you do. It isn’t always easy… but you know you will figure out how to deal with whatever comes your way.
This is a very different state than, “Everything is going to be all right”.
You KNOW, deep down and through and through: “Everything IS all right. Right here. Right now”. Even when life is hard and there are dark arrows coming your way.
You breathe easier because you are living and breathing as the Soul. This is your most authentic self, and all else is costuming and roll playing. And you totally know it.
As you live and breathe as the soul, you know the real you is safe and timeless and immortal. And all the other parts are coming and going, living and changing in order to awaken their inherent soulfulness.
There are still challenges. And really hard day when you want to give up and eat way too much ice cream and lay on the beach all day.
Yep, the challenges are definitely still there. But somehow you know you will eventually make it through all of them, triumphant and grateful for the whole process.
Your wounds become scars that remind you of deep truths and life changing lessons.
I’m sharing another blog about the post awakening experiences that are common for many people on a growth path. I’ve gotten so much positive feedback about how relevant and valuable these posts are.
Why have these posts struck a cord with so many?
Because we continually go through cycles of awakening and embodiment, often without even realizing we are doing so. And sometime we get stuck along the way.
In the post awakening period, you come face to face with our own fears and vulnerability. In the face of these uncomfortable feelings, many people doubt themselves and their choices.
After reveling in the vastness of awakening, you can suddenly feel really small and unsure of yourself. Yet the fears and feelings of vulnerability that naturally arise are a necessary part of the growth process. When this happens, please remember that everything is all right.
Let yourself feel these fears. Let yourself be vulnerable. Give yourself permission to be authentic to whatever is emerging… because that is the way of embodiment.
There is nothing to transcend anymore. Transcendence may have served you on the way toward awakening, but it is time to let it go.
The agenda of the embodiment process is embracing it all. Leaning in through the rough and ragged moments, as well as the unbearably joyful and throughly nourishing ones.
The feelings that get stirred up by awakening are stirred up for a reason. They have been with you for a long time. It is now time for them to grow and evolve, or to retire and move on. One way or another, it is time for change. Sometimes these parts naturally fall away on their own, but they often need help.
Awakening stirs up all that is not in harmony with the awakened state. The bigger the awakening, the bigger the pile of stuff that rears its head.
Stuff definitely comes up, yet after awakening you have greater strength and insight to deal with these feelings, beliefs and old survival patterns in more empowering ways. Maybe you call bullshit on them. Maybe you listen to these parts and teach them new ways of being. Maybe you comfort the part of you that is scared of playing in a bigger arena, and let it know the rest of you is committed to moving forward one way or another.
There are many effective ways to grow and evolve these parts of your psyche. Learning these new strategies is the essence of the embodiment process.
Whatever approaches you use, this is the most important factor to remember in facing post awakening tension….
Do not run. Do not hide, and by all means do not shrink in the face of those fears, doubts, or confusion.
Stand as the Awakened One… offering a healing hand to the parts of you that simply want to stay safe.
Stand as the Soul, offering your wisdom and radiance to the parts of you that have been hiding in the shadows.
Because after awakening, the rules of the game change. Staying safe by shrinking and hiding, controlling, competing, or manipulating no longer works. The old strategies that used to help you feel safe make you feel more vulnerable than ever after awakening. They fall flat… even if you have gotten really good at them.
After awakening we stay safe by leaning in and fully showing up.
You take care of yourself by growing bigger to meet the challenges of the day. You stay safe by sharpening your sword of light… until one day you realize that you have always been safe and always will be.
You realize the part of you that has been strategizing about safety and survival FOR-EVER is becoming obsolete. It is being healed and infused with the light of the Soul.
When you stand as the Awakened Soul… you are totally safe… always.
When you shrink as the fearful one… you will never ever ever ever feel truly safe.
Here’s why… the fearful parts are always using outdated strategies to face current challenges.
Imagine using a sword to fend off bullets. Definitely not an effective strategy. Even if the sword has worked in the past.
I repeat… the fearful parts always use strategies from the past. These strategies probably didn’t work very well way back when. Yet we keep trying using them again and again. We keep walking down those well worn paths over and over again, wondering why we feel so small and yucky and ineffective.
What kind of outdated strategies are you using to feel safe?
Do you hide, rather than shine?
Do you try to dominate and control situations rather then allow life to gracefully unfold?
Does some part of you need to be really good at everything you do, rather then allow yourself to be perfectly imperfect liked every other human?
Do you sell out rather then stand for what you really believe in order to be accepted?
Have you stopped going for what is really inspiring so you don't have to risk failure?
I invite you to notice and identify at least one of your strategies this week. This is the first step in liberating yourself from their influence so you can show up and face each day with greater strength, love, and presence.
In our most sacred moments of awakening, we feel open, expansive and connected with life in a whole new way.
In the days and weeks that follow, all of that can dramatically change. You may unexpectedly feel small and separate, alone and afraid. You suddenly see all the rough spot in yourself and your life.
After an experience of awakening, we suddenly come face to face with the differences between what we now know to be real and true, and what we actualize and experience in our day-to-day life.
We notice these kind of differences more then ever because our capacity to see clearly has so greatly expanded. This happens whether the awakening is a grand expansion that lasts for months and totally rocks your world, or a small aha moment filled with new insight.
Brings these sometimes vastly different experiences into harmony demands embracing both the expansiveness you have touched, as well as the more human and limited parts of yourself. These internal gaps dissipate as our freshly expanded awareness is integrated into new ways of living, loving, and creating. Sometimes this happens quite gracefully and you feel like you are living in the flow like never before.
And sometimes this post awakening phase can feel like being put through a meat grinder. You may feel totally raw, tender, and vulnerable as you flounder about in unknown territory, unsure of what is coming next.
Internal tension emerges when parts of your psyche resist what you now know to be real and true. If the less evolved parts within are not integrated with the expansiveness you have touched, the inner tension grows. The old and the new perspectives come head to head inside of you. This can create an internal tug of war.
This internal tension can show up in many different forms. You may feel unsettled, anxious, or irritable. There may be a deep sense of loss as the old ways of thinking and living die off.
Once your world has been popped wide open during times of awakening, old behavior patterns are seen in a whole new way.
Your usual reactions and behaviors may now seem small, ineffective, or childish at times. Your typical responses may suddenly seem selfish, manipulative, or domineering. Even if the tired old ways are seen as limited and obsolete after an awakening, they may still be hard to let go of. You have taken comfort in them for a very long time. These strategies often led to getting results you wanted. At the very least, the old ways of thinking, feeling and relating created a sense of safety within the smaller sphere you previously inhabited.
Even when these immature parts are seen through the new lens of awakening, not all parts of your psyche are immediately onboard with the new vision.
In this stage of growth, consciously releasing and tenderly sending your old modes of living on their way is an essential part of bringing about integration and internal harmony. If these losses are not acknowledged and the needed tears are not shed, the sense of loss can easily turn into depression and hopelessness. When this happens, those precious moments of awakening can seem so far out of reach that you feel like you may never be able to access them again. It can feel like the thrill of winning the lottery one month, only to feel the sting of losing it all the next.
Even with times of expansive joy and profound well-being mixed in, the months after awakening can be incredibly difficult to navigate.
The inner tension after awakening can show up as an overstimulated racing mind, filled with conflicting thoughts and ideas about yourself and the world around you. One moment your thinking may be a clear aligned reflection of the expanded awareness of awakening. In the next, your mind may be filled with all kinds of wild crazy talk that runs counter to what you now know to be true. Nothing is stable in this phase, and nothing is certain.
When you are caught in this post awakening tension, you may be full of doubt and confusion. There is often a loss of direction. Somehow you used to know what you wanted and where you were headed. Yet the old desires and motivating forces that governed much of your behavior were often created and driven by a limited sense of self. Which means they were heavily influenced by survival needs, however cleverly dressed up or disguised these needs may have been.
What used to motivate you may now feel flat and uninspiring. Even so, these survival based driving forces may still influence major parts of your life. After awakening you are well on your way to creating a soul centric life, but you are not there yet. And you know it.
Spiritual bypassing is common at this stage.
In spiritual bypassing, we take refuge in spiritual practices, perspectives, roles, and masks in order to avoid facing and dealing with the unresolved shadow aspects of our psyche and behavior. Who wants to clean house and take out the garbage when you have basked in the glorious light of spirit? After the mountain top experience, some seekers don’t ever want to come down to deal with the messiness of their lives and the shadows within their own psyche. These inner shadows are the parts of our psyche that have not yet been brought into harmony with our divine essence.
In spiritual bypassing, the fear based and snarky parts get denied and pushed aside. It is simply too much to endure the tension between the realization that you are a vast benevolent spiritual being at one with all creation, as well as the less evolved, fear infused aspects of your nature. In the post awakening phase you realize you are the vast universe and a small vulnerable child all at once. That is a lot to hold in one breath.
Your sense of identity can split as you feel a new sense of wonder and expansiveness, yet can no longer deny the many shadows within.
On the way towards awakening, we often deny or avoid the shadowy parts of our nature. Or we intentionally rise above the shadows, as we strive towards the light. While those may be effective strategies when you are striving for enlightenment, they can wreak havoc in your life on the other side of an awakening. The blazing light you have touched demands that you see the shadowy parts within so you can consciously bring them into harmony with the light of spirit. Until these inner gaps are bridged, that spiritual light can seem illusive and inaccessible at times.
Integration demands that you continually accept that you are both a saint and sinner, the form and the formless, the wise and the wretched all at once. It offers a powerful opportunity to resolve any tension between these seemingly oppositional forces within so we can find acceptance for the fullness of our human nature.
As integration progresses, we learn to bring the inner shadows into the light of love and wisdom so these parts can grow and evolve into inner strengths and trusted inner allies.
Outer life changes are also common in the post awakening phase of growth. Sometimes changes in relationships, careers, homes, and friends are liberating and productive. Letting go of these familiar life anchors can feel really good and healthy…like taking off a pair of shoes that now feels way too tight. Sometimes this kind of liberating change may be just what is needed.
Outer changes can sometimes be unconscious attempts to shake off post awakening inner tension. Sometimes this strategy is successful, and sometimes not. This approach rarely works in the long run. It can be like a bulimic purging after eating way too much. Purging doesn’t really solve the problem, but it may bring about temporary relief of inner tension. All kinds of addictive behavior can bring about short term relief from post awakening tension. This generally this doesn’t work very well because the addictive behavior doesn’t give the real comfort you are yearning for.
Living with this post awakening gap creates inner tension until the fragmented and compartmentalized parts within evolve and expand, and are more fully integrated.
This integration process can be rapid or torturously slow. Oftentimes different parts of our psyche respond to revelation at different paces. Some parts release their limited perspective easily and are happy to go with the new agenda. The parts that dig in their heels need to be patiently taught how to grow and flow with the expanded life view that awakening revealed.
For some people the needed integration and embodiment never happens. The inner tension is simply to much to navigate. They don’t have the understanding, tools, or support to resolve the internal tension that is so common after awakening.
Sadly, this tension can build into a full blown psychological and spiritual crisis.
One of the reasons for the inability to gracefully integrate after awakening is the tendency to keep going back to the practices and teachings that led to awakening in the first place. They were effective, right?
Meditation got me to that point of awakening, so I should keep meditating, right?
Going on a retreat with that teacher helped open my eyes, so I should keep going back, right?
Fasting for days led me to a clear state of being, so why not keep it up?
Yet, we never know for sure what truly catalyzed our awakenings. It is often a combination of many factors that creates the perfect storm of awakening.
Some people repeat the practices of the past, while others try to chase more moments of awakening by finding new teachers, practices, potions, or mantras. They hope fresh inspiration will take them back to those clear, high moments. Wanting to revisit the bliss and clarity of mountain top experiences is totally understandable. Who doesn’t want to live in a clear expansive state all the time?
Unfortunately, constantly looking for the “high” of awakening or grasping at a sustained experience of awakening can sometimes create even more inner tension.
Once you have reached the mountain top and have been opened by the splendor of the experience, the next step is to integrate and embody what has been revealed. On the mountain top, the mental and emotional clouds part to make way for a new perspective and vision to emerge.
Embodiment is about what we do with that new vision.
It asks that we turn our attention away from awakening towards the creation of a bold new life. This is essentially an inspired creative process. It demands that we take the inspiration of the mountaintop and bring it into vibrant new forms of expression.
The first new form of expression you get to work with is yourself.
In the initial stages of embodiment you are called to recreate a more loving, connected, creative, and radiant version of yourself. This stage is about becoming more attuned to the love, wisdom and strength of your soul, so you can more fully live and express these qualities through your whole being.
We’ve all had them.
Those precious moments when you awaken to life in a whole new way. The inner clouds part and a vibrant new world opens before you. Suddenly everything is different. And anything is possible.
It seems like someone took off the blinders you didn’t even know you were wearing. You can now see for miles, and your view is fresh and clear, lighter and brighter than ever before.
These rare and precious moments of awakening are often the culmination of a long inner quest.
The journey may start with subtle feelings of discontent, or even deep trauma and suffering. Either way, you eventually find yourself in a full blown search for an often undefinable “better” way of life.
Happiness is the way some people define what they are looking for. Others are searching for enlightenment or liberation. Some are simply trying to create a more meaningful and purposeful life.
This quest may be the most significant guiding factor of your life, or it may be a subtle persistent undercurrent in all you do and in every decision you make. Either way, you are deeply yearning for what is fresh and unknown, real and true.
Maybe your quest started with reading self help books, or starting a meditation practice. Maybe you found a guru to guide you along the way. Therapy may have catapulted you into expansive unknown territory. Questioning your thoughts and beliefs can do it as well. Yoga may call you back to the mat over and over again as you are stretched in new ways. At some point you may have tried on wholehearted devotion and mala beads to see if they fit. There might have be a 12 step program thrown in for good measure.
In the midst of it all, you will never know for sure what the final catalyst was that blasted you wide open.
Maybe it was that new meditation practice you did every single day for months. Plant medicine can do it, and so can taking a deep dive in nature. Maybe it was months of celibacy, or it could have been the deep orgasmic ecstasy of high level intimacy that opened you in profound new ways. Childbirth can do it with a rare power and intensity, and so can birthing a creative project.
Maybe it was dancing all night at a festival and then watching a glistening sunrise in the arms of people you love. Or maybe it happened in the last few miles of a marathon when you somehow found the strength to keep going despite the pain in every part of your weary body. Falling in love can open you like nothing else… and so can losing your beloved.
Whatever your unique path to awakening, those sacred moments feel really good. A deep calm settles within. Your body feels lighter, brighter, and more vibrant than ever. Vast wisdom and understanding emerge that weren’t there before.
Awakening takes you to an entirely new state of being, whether the awakening is large or small. In those rare and precious moments, we transcend the limitations that constantly condition our experience. And we are often shaken to our core as a vast new version of reality is suddenly revealed.
However you got there, one thing is sure. You will never be the same again.
Moments of awakening bring you to an entirely new place. There is something totally fresh, yet strangely familiar here too. You touch a sweet pure divine remembrance that runs deep and true. This new place feels like home. You feel like you have finally arrived where you have always longed to be.
As sweet as it is to revel in these delicious experiences of awakening, this post is not just about awakening. It is about what happens after awakening.
When we first awaken, we often naively think those precious moments will be the new normal. You feel rocked to the core. How could life ever be the same? The vast implications of the expansive awareness that suddenly flowed through you cannot be unremembered.
Once these inner doors are thrown wide open, they will never go all the way back to where they were before.
Yet all too often, those pristine moments of awakening dim as you settle into something approximating your previous state of existence. Sweet new waves of bliss and wisdom may come and go, yet in the midst of it all, there you are… very much like you have always been. And there is your life… with all the same challenges you have wrestled with for years.
Those sacred moments can never be erased or taken from you, but they can easily recede as the challenges of everyday life come back to the forefront of your attention. The precious moments of awakening can rapidly become faint memories and vague recollections. They are sweet, but also bittersweet because their fullness feels just beyond your reach.
In this phase of the journey, the days and weeks and even years after an awakening, you may sometimes feel a bit like a deflated balloon. When a balloon is first blow up, it is stretched and expanded by all the fresh warm air coming inside. After the air is released, the balloon never goes back to its original shape. It is somewhere in-between... not the virgin balloon, nor the full blown balloon. The in-between balloon is rather limp and uninspiring.
There is often an uncomfortable in-between space after experiences of awakening. The time of expansion is over, and you have contracted again. At least to some degree. This is often a time of great frustration, because you know what it feels like to be filled with fresh warm air. You know what it feels like to be bigger and brighter than ever. Yet, some days you are living like a deflated balloon because you haven’t discovered how to sustain these expansive states; or even better yet, how to burst the limitations of the balloon all together.
In many traditions, awakening is considered to be the coveted prize. Yet awakening isn’t ever really the ultimate goal. Awakening is simply a step along the way. It is most definitely a significant step, yet one that calls us to establish an even deeper state of sustained wellbeing.
When you awaken, a vast and expansive world view opens before you. Each cell in your body is set afire. Every trapped and unresolved emotion suddenly yearns to be set free. The thoughts you once held to be true suddenly seem limited and narrow, and maybe even a bit foolish.
In the blazing light of awakening, the limitations we have lived with for so long are brilliantly exposed.
This brings about a classic good news/bad news scenario. The good new is that the world is infinitely more vast and loving than you ever imagined. The bad news is that you are still living in a cage of your own making. You are still held tight by fears, twisted memories, distorted beliefs, and false hopes.
The next step after awakening is learning how to turn these most sacred moments into a life of sustained love, connection, and creativity.
This is rarely an easy or graceful process. It is often a deeply challenging phase of growth. As difficult as this stage can be, each experience of awakening deeply and persistently calls to be integrated, embodied, more fully lived, and creatively expressed.
Moments of awakening are not meant to become moments of lost splendor, never to be touched upon again. Awakening nudges us to find new ways to express the connectedness we have experienced.
Embodiment involves closing the gap between what was revealed in your most sacred moments, and what you are currently living.
Embodiment empowers you to gracefully deepen and expand those juicy 'aha' moments so they eventually became your new normal—the ground you fearlessly and naturally stand upon. Embodiment progresses as you integrate what was revealed in those expansive states of awareness.
These two interdependent phases of the path, awakening and embodiment, are meant to work harmoniously together. They are the polarities of growth that are meant to dance and move as harmoniously and gracefully as day and night, masculine and feminine, giving and receiving.
We continually go through cycles of awakening and embodiment, creatively weaving these sometimes seemingly paradoxical yet complimentary impulses into the beautiful tapestry of our lives.
A powerful spiritual opportunity is coming up over the next several days. The upcoming full moon is considered to be the spiritual highpoint of the year by many people around the world. This week is a powerful time for deep reflection, contemplation, and inner stillness.
On the day of the full moon, as well as a few days before and after, potent energies pour forth on subtle levels. This inner light can be consciously received, embraced, and used as a catalyst for awakening, growth, creativity, and the fuller embodiment of your most heartfelt vision for yourself and the world.
Illumination is the keynote of this full moon. The abundance of inner light present this week makes it an opportune time to be particularly open and receptive to the deepest impulses of your soul.
To make the most of this opportunity, take time to pause. Lighten your schedule if possible. Give yourself permission to do less and to simply be. Create time and space for meditation, writing, and quiet time in nature. Let yourself be carried by light and inspiration over the next week, rather than obligations and busyness.
The full moon is this Sunday, April 29th at 5:58 pm PDT. A group will be meditating here at Sweetwater Retreat at that time. I invite you to join us, and so many others around the world who will also be meditating at the time of the full moon.
In the light of love,
Heartbreaking loss is one of the most painful experiences of being human.
When you’re heartbroken, suddenly the world doesn't feel quite as safe anymore. Your trust in the goodness of life waivers. The connections you counted on become tattered and frayed, and sometimes completely severed.
Any of these experiences can be a catalyst for heartbreaking loss…
The death of a beloved spouse, friend, or parent.
A divorce, or an unwanted breakup (again!)
The death of a pet who has been there every single day through thick and thin.
A big empty nest.
Being abandoned or betrayed by someone you counted on and trusted.
Heartbreaking loss makes you reevaluate everything you thought you knew about life and love. It can tear you apart and brings you to your knees. Over and over again.
But only if you let it.
As hard as heartbreak can be, surviving and learning to thrive after a heartbreaking loss can be one of the most triumphant experiences of your life.
Heartbreak demands that we face the hardest parts of being human. It calls us deep into the shadows of our core wounds. It also offers a powerful opportunity to heal and become more authentically alive and engaged in life. It can be a powerful catalyst to courageously awakening our innate love, wisdom and spiritual awareness.
The essence of heartbreak is feeling the presence, love, and support of someone…. and then it is gone. The love is gone, and the support vanishes. The one you depended on, and maybe even cherished, isn’t there for you anymore.
When someone you love isn’t there for you in the ways they used to be, big empty spaces often fill the places in your heart once reserved for them. Sometimes those empty spaces are filled with a never-ending flood of tears. At other times the pain and anger feel like they have taken over every part of your life.
Our culture often denies heartbreak and the need to fully grieve and heal. In the midst of loss, we often quietly fall into the life diminishing habits of denial and repression.
We turn away from the pain. Or we fall so deeply into it we feel like we are drowning in a sea of despair.
We medicate. We binge. We sob until the tears run dry, or push the tears so far down everything grows cold and hard.
Yet, no matter how hard you try to “get over it and move on”, unless the wound is tended to, heartbreak lingers and it keeps right on hurting. In times of emotional heartbreak, the parts of the brain that registers physical pain are also activated.
Heartbreak hurts, deep down and all around. I know. I’ve been there. More than once.
I’ve gone to the depths of heartbreak, and eventually found my way back into the light. Stronger, wiser and happier than before.
The unexpected passing of my beloved five years ago was a catalyst for healing not only the grief about his death, but for also facing a lifetime of unresolved heartbreak and disappointment. My healing demanded that I come to terms with all the times people I loved and counted on weren’t there for me in ways large and small.
Each time I allowed myself to grieve, something seemingly miraculous, yet quite natural happened. Love and more love emerged within and all around me. As I embraced my grief, my heart continued to open and expand.
Most significant of all, instead of feeling like a victim of my beloved's death, I knew that healing this heartbreak was one of the greatest gift I have ever been given.
As I healed my own heartbreaking losses, I became acutely aware of the great cloud of collective loss that dampens many people's ability to fully and freely live and love.
Most people have multiple significant unresolved heartbreaks in their lives.
Maybe it was the breakup or divorce you never really got over. Or the death of someone significant and trusted. Or even a major life transition that felt like a loss.
Whatever the unresolved losses, we pay a great price for not embracing and healing them. Depression, addiction, and the inability to create supportive relationships are but a few of the common results of unresolved loss.
From my own experience of grieving my beloved’s death, as well as grieving a divorce that occurred many years earlier, and other lesser losses, this is what I have come to know…
The deep pool of unresolved grief that so many people carry within every single day can be transformed into an infinite source of love.
Since my time of deep grieving, I have supported many others in navigating the sacred journey of grief so they can thrive again after loss.
Through a series of energy psychology and relationship coaching sessions focussed on healing their losses, clients find acceptance, peace, and more love than ever before.
This is the kind of support and guidance I needed when I was deep in the shadows of grief and heartache, which I now give to others.
If you are interested in finding out more about how you can heal unresolved loss and heartbreak, click here to schedule a free introductory consultation.
P.S. Please feel free to pass this message along to a friend who is suffering from a heartbreaking loss.
Happy Summer to you, wherever you are!
These early days of summer at Sweet Water Retreat have been filled with so many joyful times already. Slowing down and catching up have been front and center in my life recently. I have had cherished friends and family come to visit from far and wide. We have been basking in the long warm days and cool nights that are common in the Sierra foothills of Northern California, throughly enjoying sweet summertime activities. Sharing relaxed meals on the deck, hiking in nature, dangling feet in the cool creek, and enjoying live music in this charming small town have been deeply satisfying. Life simply doesn't get any better.
Our most joyful experiences often occur when we feel deeply connected with others in nourishing ways. Yet, we sometimes unconsciously stop ourselves from deeply connecting because the pain of disconnection can be intense and hard to move through gracefully.
We have all felt the sting of disconnection, in large and small ways. At some time or another, you reached out to someone and they turned away. A once cherished relationship ended or radically changed. Someone you believed in betrayed your trust. Maybe your child grew up and moved away. Or your beloved partner, parent or friend died.
And there you were feeling the pain of disconnection, longing for the warm glow of healthy intimate connection. Instead you felt empty, alone, and sore to the bone.
The unresolved pain of feeling disconnected robs us of joy and sometimes keep us from creating new connections.
Yet, disconnection isn’t inherently painful or sad. Sometimes holding on to the ideas about how life should be unfolding is more painful than the actual experience of disconnection and separation. One of the reasons disconnection can feel so bad is that we often believe in the myth of 'happily ever after'.
The myth goes something like this...
Anything good should last forever, right? And if it doesn’t, something went horribly wrong.
But, what if the myth of 'happily ever after' isn’t even remotely true?
What if the temporal nature of experience is one of the elements that makes life so good?
What if the experiences of connection and disconnection are essential parts of the natural cycles of life?
Connection and disconnection are like night and day. They are complimentary polarities, each with unique gifts to give. What if it is perfectly natural for one cycle of connection to end and another to gracefully begin?
We don't cry when the sun goes down, because we have faith that it will rise again. And in the meantime we get to enjoy the cool dark of night.
Can we learn to face the pain of disconnection with calm abiding, confident that we will again experience the warmth of intimate connection?
As hard as it can be, disconnection also opens the door to creating rich and nourishing new connections.
Maybe the biggest myth of all is that disconnection even truly exists.
When we really get that we are always connected to everyone and everything as parts of this one magnificent life, that's when the real 'happily ever after' begins.
In loving connection,
This week I’m honoring the bountiful life of my beloved, Douglas, who passed away suddenly five years ago.
We had a deep soul connection that is rare and precious. On his birthday I scrolled through photos of our rich time together. I smiled all the way down to my toes as I remembered the nourishing and crazy beautiful times we shared. And then the waves of tears came. They were tears of remembrance for all that was, and tears of deep longing for all that might have been. They flowed even move intensely when I thought of all the life experiences he is now missing.
As I was remembering and loving him, I suddenly felt his strong presence all around me. An intense quickening moved through my whole being that brought goose bumps and overwhelming gratitude.
I felt his presence, his love and support, and his deep acceptance of the turn his life had taken.
It felt like his strong hand was on my back, holding me and reassuring me of the power of the connection we share, then and now. In that moment I was humbled by the strength of his soul and his ever-present commitment to loving. It was a moment to cherish forever.
Feeling his presence since he passed out of his body is very different from being hugged by Douglas while he was alive in his tall strong body. Yet, the essence of the connection is clearly the same.
The outer connections from body to body may be severed, yet the true connection, soul to soul, never dies.
This is true whether someone has crossed over or not. So why not take a moment right now, and send a wave of love to someone you are connected with, soul to soul. You might just make their day.
In loving connection,
Recently, I went to the birthday party of a bright and beautiful 16 year old. Rather than having the typical sweet 16 birthday party, this free thinking young woman wanted the dozen or so people at her celebration to sit in circle and share.
After feasting and listening to music, we came together and were asked to answer a series of engaging questions. Each questions brought out delightful answers from those gathered. The more people shared, the more everyone in the group opened into deeper trust and authenticity. As time went by, eyes lit up and smiles got brighter. Fond memories, deep wisdom, and much laughter were shared that day.
It was deeply nourishing to be part of this birthday gathering. I came away feeling inspired and over the top optimistic about the future of our planet after months of grim political and ecological news being blasted from every media outlet. Being at the party felt like being rubbed down with a deep healing salve.
One of the questions asked that day was: “What do you wish someone had told you on your 16th birthday?”
At the time I said something about the importance of following your heart and soul. I still stand by that answer. Absolutely. Always.
Since that day I have pondered this question many times and have found another answer that resonates just as deeply with me.
So here goes. What I wish someone told me on my 16th birthday:
Develop the habit of turning towards connection. Connection is what matters most in life. Connect and you will be fine.
Connection has the power to heal and soothe whatever ails you.
Deepening connection with yourself and with the people around you is the powerful catalyst that transforms us into what is most real, valuable and true.
If you lack anything, connection is the next step, and the ultimate answer.
Master connection and you master life.
Wishing you a beautifully connected holiday today.
In loving connection,
These past few weeks have stirred up intense feelings for so many people. Have you been feeling this, too? I sure have. For a few days last week I felt inner turmoil on every level; spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Fortunately, after doing some clearing and embodiment practices, a renewed sense of peace, calm, and clarity returned.
Many of my clients have been rocking and reeling with these intense energies as well. You may be wondering what’s going on. In a nutshell…
The incompletions, failures, and losses of the past have been front and center, demanding to be noticed, uplifted, resolved and released.
Unresolved situations from the past are calling to be integrated in new ways, which can be an uncomfortable and painful process. Yet, facing these situations and the associated feelings doesn't have to be torturous. Really, I promise. Within all painful experiences are opportunities and gifts of great value.
One key to gracefully navigating these intense times is to change the way we relate to pain.
Pain comes in many forms: physical pain and tension in the body, painful emotions, as well as distorted and obsessive thought patterns. We often do whatever we possibly can to turn away from pain. Yet, pain is like the internal warning lights on the dashboard of a car.
These warning lights are simply giving us important information about something that needs our attention.
Sometimes pain is a mild warning that is calling you to do some routine emotional maintenance. Maybe it is telling you to take a day off to rest, or to speak more boldly in the face of possible criticism, or to put yourself out there in a situation where you risk being rejected.
At other times these painful signals are warning you that something is seriously wrong. Your intense anger may be a signal that your boundaries are being violated yet again. Your deep sadness or depression may be a signal that a loss has occurred that you have not fully grieved.
In spite of the great value of these warning signals, we often turn away from pain rather than turn towards it to discover the deeper message it is trying to convey.
Pain avoidance often leads to ongoing drama as we repeatedly relive a distorted version of the original situation which gave rise to the pain in the first place. Think of how ridiculous it would be if you were to turn away from a flashing “check engine light”. If you kept doing this, you can be pretty sure that at some point your engine is going to fail. And it isn’t going to be pretty!
As a young woman, I actually did this. I had a bright orange Honda Civic that I loved. I zipped around town in a bright fiery blaze of color. One day the oil light came on, and stayed on for several weeks. Being totally ignorant about these things (someone else had always taken care of this stuff for me), I ignored this light until one day while I was driving on the freeway, my car began to smoke and sputter. That was the end of my sweet little Honda! Needless to say, the pain of being stranded on the freeway with a smoking broken down car, and then having to buy a replacement car was way more painful than it would have been to pay attention to the warning light.
The avoidance of pain is often worse than the pain itself.
When we change the way we respond to pain and begin to see it like the warning lights on the dashboard; these signals become valued allies that can help keep us running smooth and functioning well. When we truly embrace, accept, and feel our internal pain, it often dissipates very quickly.
How would life change if you began to see pain as an opportunity to unwrap a great gift?
It is up to us to unwrap these gifts, which are many and varied. The gift may be a greatly needed new perspective, an invitation to forgive someone, an opportunity to resolve hurt feelings from long ago, inspiration to live in a new way, or an opportunity to heal and move forward with new strength. Whatever the gift, you can be sure of one thing…
Pain always contains hidden treasure, yearning to be discovered.
Only you can unwrap it and fly free.
Have you ever felt expansive, yet grounded; connected, yet free; autonomous, yet deliciously united with the people around you?
You were touching into a state of wholehearted connection.
Why is connection so important? Research show that developing strong social connections correlates to higher self-esteem, greater empathy for others, and the development of more trusting and cooperative relationships. The bottom line it that connection generates greater social, emotional, and physical well-being.
Enhancing your capacity for connection is not simply a skill to develop, but a way of life to embrace. It is a way of life that rocks. Some of the brass rings you get when you ride the connection merry-go-round: more satisfying relationships, better health, greater affluence, and security.
Sadly, the opposite is true for those who lack social connectedness. Low levels of connection are associated with declines in physical and psychological health, and increased violence behavior.
Really smart and well educated researchers have spend a lot of time and money verifying these claims. Studies have shown that developing greater social connections leads to lower levels of anxiety and depression, a stronger immune system, faster recovery from illness, a better brain, and even greater longevity.
Where connection lives, happiness follows.
Are you in yet? :-)
Knowing connection is really significant and deeply fulfilling is very different then being able to cultivate more of it in your life. This connected place is a sweet spot we may visit at random and sometimes unexpected times, yet all too often we don't know how to recreate it on demand. There are particular skills and capacities involved in creating deeply fulfilling and wholehearted connection. Most of us are in the process of discovering and honing those skills, so I've dedicating a series of blogs to the elements that go into that process.
There are three significant dimensions of wholehearted connection: connection with self, connection with your inner circle, and connection with your extended tribe.
Deepening connection in all three spheres creates a vast doorway to a bigger life.
Living a wholeheartedly connected life opens this door so that ever deepening connection becomes your new normal. Not just the place you visit briefly on vacation, or tip toe into from time to time, but the place where you are deeply grounded no matter where you travel or who you are with.
The most significant first step in creating wholehearted connection is getting more connected with yourself. With your body, your mind and soul; with your heart’s deepest longings, and even the fears and sorrows you have encase in tired old tragic stories and quietly tucked away.
When we stop dodging and hiding what lives authentically inside of us, life gets really interesting.
Connection quite naturally thrives as you discover the truer stories of who you are; the rich tales inscribed upon your soul that are waiting to be translated into the language of this time and place.
What does self connection feel like?
Being present. Body awake. Heart, soul, mind, brain, and nervous system aligned. Heart leading, and persistently beating you towards what matters most. Feeling alive and embodied as love. Your inner powers activated.
What does healthy connection with your inner circle feel like?
Safe. Safe. Safe. And did I mention safe? Love and respect. Acceptance. Authenticity. Room for vast differences, yet cut of the same cloth. Truth is the language spoken here. Warmth. Sharing it all; the burdens and the beauty.(Be sure to check out the shot below of some of my inner circle at a recent holiday brunch).
What does healthy connection to your extended tribe feel like?
One human family. Inclusive. A place for self expression. Gifting. Either no expectations, or crystal clear win/win expectation. Owning and sharing Your Superpowers. Being a loving stewart and protector of all people, the Earth, the leafy ones, and our many legged friends. Alignment with a greater power, whatever you may call it. Basking in the mystery and embracing the many facets of this complex and sometimes perplexing life.
If any of this sounds intriguing or maybe even downright compelling, you can open to a fuller experience of wholehearted connection right here, right now.
Today I'm sharing a really simple yet powerful practice for Grounding and Presence to access greater self connection.
Try the Practice for Grounding and Presence Here
In loving connection,
We all long for connection.
Most people want connection more than just about anything else, whether they realize it or not. For some, this longing lives as a roaring demand of the universe and its many inhabitants; a near constant invitation to engage. For others it is a tender, almost inaudible plea that doesn’t expect to ever be fully heard.
Whatever your habitual connection style, you’re hardwired to reach out for connection. Healthy connection, vibrant connection, or whatever quality of connection we can possibly get. Because life in these bodies is all about feeling fully alive and totally plugged in.
When we feel wholeheartedly connected, we feel energized, creative, and ultra magnetic.
We were all conceived in a blaze of connection between a hard driving sperm and a willing egg. Some part of us always wants to revisit this juicy creative place of vast potential, even when the connectedness has nothing to do with sex.
When we’re in this connected place, anything is possible. ANYTHING.
The cute sexy partner, the bulging bank account, the groovy new digs, the work that really matters, the trek through the Amazonian wilds, the flat belly after the baby, or the award that says you’ve made it.
Within all these desires is the longing to feel more wholeheartedly connected. The things we want the most are simply doorways to deeper connection; connection to our self and to our tribe, local and global.
We’re all wired a bit differently, but it goes something like this:
The dream guy makes you feeling more connected to love and self worth.
The sexy toned body connects you to feeling desirable and confident.
Extra $ in the bank opens the door to connection with the infinite number of possibilities you can buy with all that cash.
The island get-a-way with your sweetheart equals connection to cool surf, warm sand, and the juiciest parts of both of you that only come out to play in the spaciousness created by island time.
The shiny new car connects you to feelings of freedom, confidence, and success.
Professional opportunities create connection to challenges that are yearning to meet up with your unique genius.
And on and on it goes. Creating healthy nourishing connections is a key elements to accomplishing anything and everything: a loving and supportive romantic partnership, professional success, jaw dropping creative expansion, and more influence or affluence in your life. Connection is the key element that empowers creative manifestation in every area of life.
It is the full tank of gas on your long awaited road trip.
We yearn for connection because when we feel connected, life gets better. Not just a tad bit better, but exponentially, extravagantly, way, way, better.
When we are wholeheartedly connected we feel like we are plugged in, turned on, and shining in all our glory.
My wish for you this holiday season...
Deeper and more authentic connection in every situation; with the barista you will never cross paths with again, and with the toxic family member who drives you absolutely crazy at every holiday gathering. It all matters, and it all offers another vast opportunity for wholehearted connection.
Holding you in the heart of love,
So many people are raw right now. Many are deeply disappointed, confused, sad, and angry. Some are rejoicing, while others are shocked and horrified with the election results. I have been rocked and swayed by all of these feeling during this excruciatingly long and conflicted election cycle.
Despite the polarization and what many people feel is a step backwards for the United States, this divisive and contentious election is revealing a dark side of our country that cannot be denied. Many see the shadows of racism, sexism, corruption, ignorance, and greed rearing their ugly heads in every direction.
Yet, the real shadow we are facing is not racism or sexism, conservatives thinking or progressive views, corruption or greed.
The real shadow is the vast collective fear that gives rise to all of these seemingly oppositional forces.
Fear is at the core of all the darkness that is showing itself in blatant ways across the country. That shadow isn’t just in those who voted differently than you did, or in those who are in the streets protesting or perpetrating hate crimes; that fear is in each and every one of us. Yes, everyone.
We fear for our safety and for the safety of the people we love. We are afraid of being harmed, persecuted, or held back because we are different. We are afraid to lose what we have worked hard to build, and afraid to lose hope for the grand dreams we have for our future, and our children. We are afraid that our beautiful Earth is being looted and polluted beyond repair. This really scary primal stuff is rapidly and sometimes violently cycling through our world right now.
We all have a unique blend of fears, conscious and unconscious, that is being stirred up by world conditions. As fear arises, we don’t want to feel it. We create simple and elaborate fear management strategies. Chocolate chip cookie, anyone? We project and blame others for making us feel unsafe. We hide. We lament. We live in bubble worlds of like-minded people so we can feel affirmed and safe. We eat too much, and we drink to much. We get numb in any way we can so we don’t have to feel afraid.
What if we stopped running from fear and instead, simply felt it? What if we could find a place to stand that is bigger than fear? My body relaxes as I write this. Just brushing up against the awareness that there is a place bigger than fear is comforting.
The place that is bigger than fear is your own heart.
In the face of fear, we can all find our fearless heart and take sanctuary there.
That is the solid ground that never fails you, and never deserts you.
It is right here, right now. As close as the next breath.
I invite you to pause for a moment, take a deep breath and feel into your tender, yet fearless heart, right in the center of your chest. Breath into this place and trust the magnificent and mighty force it safeguards.
“But I can’t feel my heart right now," you say. “I am gasping for breath. I am cowering and grief stricken at the thought of what is happening in the world. The doorway to my heart is closed and I can’t get in,” you say with great conviction.
With deep tenderness, I say, “There is another way."
When the door to your heart is closed tight with fear, the only away to disarm the lock is to face the fear, known or unknown, head on. And then simply be with that feeling. Feel the tightness, feel the discomfort. Feel it in your body and keep breathing. Move it. And keep breathing. Dance the fear until it is exhausted. Do whatever it takes to keep being with it rather than distracting or running. Simply bringing your awareness and acceptance to fear is a catalyst for its evolution and eventual disillusion.
I invite you to feel your fears and also to share them with the people you love.
It is much easier to face your fears with beloved companions by your side. Our hearts thrive on connection. They beat stronger in unison with others.
If you want to plant yourself firmly in your fierce and fearless heart, lean into those who are willing to stand with you as you tremble and embrace your fear anyway.
Lean into those who can hold you as you tentatively step into your tender heart and learn to inhabit this place more often.
When the world feels untrustworthy, lean into those you can trust, and take sanctuary there.
This is the place where you will be soothed and calmed, energized and uplifted so can find the strength to keep on keeping on, no matter what is happening in the world.
In the heart, we find the strength to gracefully and courageously navigate the many changes that are happening right now in the world.
In the heart, we are instantly connected with the vast number of people around the globe who also stand in the heart and are guided by love and goodness, authenticity and inspiration, kindness and compassion.
In the midst of the heart we realize that as the old ways are dying, a new world is simultaneously arising.
Despite the changes in the world right now, there is real cause for celebration. Beyond blue or red or green, beyond racism, sexism, and divisiveness, beyond wiki leaks and corruption, the glorious life force that moves through all of us is still doing what it always has.... expanding and contacting, loving and creating.
As we move forward, let’s find a deep well of sweet surrender to bathe in together. Let's practice radical acceptance of a vast power and plan that we can't always understand, much less control. Because no matter who is in the White House, life will continue to expand and contract, love and create, moment by moment. We might as well add our love to the mix.
From the one heart,
How often does the voice of “not enough” whisper that you should be doing more, or doing better? How often does the perfectionist within rear its head to invalidate your accomplishments because things haven't turned out quite like you imagined they would?
Contrary to what the voice of “not enough’’ sometimes tells us, we aren’t meant to do everything perfectly. You already know this, yet it bears repeating. Often.
We are all evolving in our own perfectly imperfect way.
We are all here to learn. We don't have to have it all figured out right from the start. We learn by experimenting, playing, creating, striving, sharing, and, yes, by making mistakes. Sometimes really big clumsy ones.
This is the path of engaged evolution. The foundation of this path is knowing that everything is already well and good in this very moment, even when pain, sadness, or hurt are involved. Even when we feel alone or vulnerable. Engaged evolution is firmly anchored in this fundamental sense of all rightness. Yet at the very same time there is a subtle awareness of something fresh emerging, moment by moment.
The ultimate question becomes: Can we truly nurture that freshness, and with fiery passion engage in this naturally evolving process; or do we keep doing the same tired dance on the same worn out ground we have intimately known for a very long time?
A fulfilling life is all about progress, not perfection.
I feel the most joyful when I am making progress. For me, progress means learning new things, being more authentic every day, nourishing precious relationships, trying on new moves, tastes, spices, and colors, going deeper, taking solid steps forward with my creative inspiration, and being more present, vulnerable, and loving.
There is no perfection whatsoever in this process. It is messy. It involves stumbling. And pain. And correcting course. Often.
Even with all that messiness, this process is also dynamically alive and joyful, fulfilling and beautifully expansive. Simply taking your next step in a clear and positive direction is deeply satisfying.
The challenge of engaged evolution is to step forward knowing the ground you are standing on right now is already perfect.
When we do this, we are lovingly catapulted forward by the mighty and unstoppable force of self acceptance.
With true love,
Our hesitation to really know and be known by another is the greatest hindrance to full blooded, exuberant love. Yet knowing and being known by another comes with the territory.
Revealing yourself, especially your tender parts, is inherent in love, and it is rarely easy.
We have tender hearts that can be broken. We have egos that can be bruised. We have long standing wounds that do not want to be disturbed, much less be poked at. So we hide.
We hide our tender parts. And rightly so sometimes. There are times when self protection is a healthy practice. When you are in a hostile environment, self protection may be the best approach.
Yet, an open heart knows that which is real can never really be hurt.
Feelings come and go, thoughts come and go, and life circumstances come and go. The internal stories we tell come and go. Yet the essence of who you are is resilient and enduring, and strong beyond measure. Realizing there is something within and through every part of you that cannot be wounded can bring about an openness that invites deeper love and connection. This knowing can give you the courage to love boldly, even in the face of an unpredictable response. Even in the face of possible rejection, hurt, or abandonment.
If you want to love more (and who doesn't?), a great place to start is by letting yourself be known more fully. And to honor the inner longing to know life more fully, even when it comes in a crazy array of expressions; some dark and some pretty, some barren and some lush.
The answer is always... just love.
What does this mean to just love? It means being willing to open and unite with all that is within you and outside of you (as if there really is an “outside”). It means loving every sensation, every person, every sound, every sight. With nothing resisted and nothing blocked out. Nothing.
Can you embrace every experience, trusting all has come into your sphere of awareness with a reason and a purpose; as a gift and an opportunity for awakening?
To your beloved’s messiness… say YES! Merge with it until it doesn’t matter.
To your longing for peace.... say YES! Embrace it in the midst of chaos.
To your children’s whining... say YES! Unite with it and really hear it for the first time.
To your anger... say YES! Allow it the space it needs to teach you.
And most of all, to your pain…. say YES! Embrace it and allow it to make you more humble, real, and tender than ever before. Just love.
The invention and wide spread use of PCs was definitely a game changer. The world wide web was another game changer that most people couldn't have imagined not that many years ago. The iPhone was another game changing technology that has radically changed the way we live, connect, and create.
It is hard to imagine what communication was like before these game changing technologies became as commonplace as telephones, paper, and pens.
Most of us are plugged in most of the time now. Maybe you love your devices and all they do for you, or maybe you simply tolerate their necessary presence in our cyber drenched, fast-paced culture. Either way, there is no denying their usefulness in our day-to-day lives.
In recent years, these kind of rapid advancements in technology has been happening in many other areas as well. In medicine (think X-ray to MRI), in transportation (the gas guzzling 1960s station wagon to the new Tesla), and also in the area of psychospiritual growth and transformation.
In this field, which I so dearly love, powerful game changing technologies have emerged that can radically changing the way we live and grow. There are innovative new techniques available to reduce stress, rewire your brain, and heal unhealthy relationships patterns so you can experience greater health, well being, and happiness. These innovative techniques can help you choose more positive and life enhancing responses to day-to-day challenges.
These powerful tools are key elements in the emerging field of Energy Psychology, which is being hailed as a powerful new force in individual and collective transformation.
One of the keynotes of Energy Psychology is that it can actually change your physiological responses to stress, leaving you calmer and more capable of finding healthy, life enhancing solutions when challenges inevitably arise on a day-to-day basis.
In 50 peer reviewed scientific studies of numerous techniques of Energy Psychology, there were positive outcomes in 48 of those studies!
These are overwhelmingly positive results, suggesting Energy Psychology is a power force for healing and growth.
I have found Energy Psychology techniques to be powerful tools for creating rapid positive changes in my life and in the lives of my clients. Energy Psychology has helped clear long standing, debilitating issues for my clients, sometimes in as little as one or two sessions. These techniques are easy to learn and practice with a trained guide. Once you have been taught the techniques, you can use them on your own to accelerate your growth, healing, and awakening. Contact me if you would like to explore this leading edge psychospiritual technology.
The collective heart is getting warmer every day.
We sense something is different about life these days, but we can’t quite find the right words to describe the changes. The trivialities that once consumed so much of our attention are quietly fading away. A bright new loving radiance is playing upon our isolated personal kingdoms, quietly breaking down protective walls as it weaves new threads of unity and community through our lives. These awakening heart forces enlivens us and bestows the strength to give and forgive anew.
Yet, amidst the warmth of the awakening global heart, there is confusion and pain, deeper and more easily felt than ever before. If our collective heart is opening, why are we still suffering? Why is there so much strife in every corner of every land?
We may naively assume heart awakening could only bring peace and serenity, comfort and joy. Not so.
As the global heart stirs to greater life, every person is inwardly asked to choose to join in this planetary heart warming, or not. When we make choices that are aligned with the heart, joy enters in. When our choices emerge from a heart constricted by fear, suffering rears its head. Joy and suffering dance side-by-side as we repeatedly wrestle with this choice over and over again. We are repeatedly asked to choose to be part of the new radiance of the awakening heart, or to wither and die on the vine, clinging to fear generated patterns that outlived their usefulness long ago.
When we freely give, we make a choice that strengthen the global heart. When we boldly create, we make a choice that expands the global heart. And when we recognize the pure essence of whoever is right before us, we quicken the pulse of the global heart. Sounds like a really simple plan, doesn’t it? So why isn’t it easier to consistently do these things, moment by moment? Why the uphill fight, with ourself and others, to pump new life into the collective heart? Why is it sometimes so hard to actually live the good, the true, and the beautiful; the magnificent, the wondrous, and the extraordinary?
Our collective amnesia keeps us from remembering the real intention of the game we are playing. No one pulled us aside in the delivery room to say, “This is Heart Awakening 101. Love gets you an 'A'."
To truly be free, we are called to consciously and repeatedly choose the red pill… the bold and brazen truth pill that reminds us of our real purpose for being. When we swallow it whole, all the illusions we have swallowed for so long suddenly seem rather silly.
What exactly was so interesting about “looking good”, "staying safe",“having more”, or “being better than…”? When we seek truth, love, and kindness rather than our fear induced illusions, we instantly wake up and remember we are here to joyously reside in the warm and vibrant pulse of the awakening collective heart.
Anything else is merely a distraction, a contraction, and a disconnect. These twisted byroads are sometimes interesting, but never truly satisfying.
The interesting twist to this tale is that we can’t awaken the heart forces alone. The very essence and fiber of the heart is unity, and community.
Every doorway into the heart demands a password infused with loving communion. Every expansion of heart demands greater connection.
Love really is the answer we’ve all been looking for. For where there is love, there is unity. When we make choices that awaken heart, we get connected to a wider, richer sphere of experience where love and unity naturally flourish.
As the collective heart warms and expands, it releases wave after luminous wave of loving kindness upon the world. And as we dare to open and move to its powerful rhythm, the radiance of the expanding global heart penetrates our lives anew and nothing is ever quite the same.
We often go looking for love, longing for its delicious warmth and glow. Yet our release from this ravenous desire comes from remembering that the journey of the heart begins with loving connection with yourself. The first step is opening in loving communion with every part of yourself—the depth of your own breath, the warm delicious feel of your own skin, the rawness of your pain and hurt, the inspiration of your grandest vision, and the fiery radiance of your own expanding heart.
As we create a sea of love within and around us, we open to a force of love beyond what we’ve ever known. This is the heartfelt path that beckons us all.
With big love,
The last tree in the yard finally opened its tiny green buds in honor of Spring. The rest of the land came alive weeks ago, vibrant with tight buds of the exquisite shade of green that only reveals itself as a beaconing of the warm days ahead. As the rest of the trees were dancing in the delight of Spring renewal, this one tree was still stark and bare. This one tree was still resting while the other trees were boldly awakening.
As I looked at this still dormant tree one day, standing in stark contrast to the verdant finery all around, my perception of the tree suddenly shifted. Instead of seeing it as a dark barren tree, I suddenly saw it as the most beautiful love infused tree ever. Its dark bare branches suddenly became the embodiment of love. Its sap was dripping with pure love, and its root were wrapping the earth in love.
Sometimes love is dark and barren on the outside, as a tree in winter. A person or situation may seem to be void of love, without vibrant green leaves, fruits, or flowers. All you can see from the outside are stark, bare branches. Yet deep within, love is resting quietly, waiting for the return of the warmth and light to help it branch forth in new ways.
The naked tree in winter is love, despite its barren appearance.
The vibrant tree in full flower is also love, through and through.
It is easy to recognize love in its fullness, yet can we also recognize love when it is resting or slowly unfolding?
Resting love and awakening love are both still love. It is our judgements that separate one version of love from another, and convince us one form of love is better than the other, that a tree in full flower is more beautiful than the bare, still tree in winter.
The mind separates and judges, yet the heart includes all, and sees beauty in all. That very capacity to see beauty in the way life is unfolding right now, even in its bareness, is a powerful force that comforts, awakens and inspires.
At ten years old I was a pretty miserable child.
A latch key kid from a “broken home”, I was pretty shy and awkward. My older brother picked on me, my parents worked a lot, and I was throughly bored in school. A creative type at heart, I was not amused by worksheets and multiple choice tests. I couldn’t sit still in class and got in trouble quite a bit. I yearned to sing (even if it was off-key most of the time), and paint and play in the orange grove in my back yard.
All that changed the day my new teacher arrived wearing ultra cool John Lennon glasses and a ponytail down his back. Richard was pure magic in my ten year old world. His smile hinted that he knew every secret in the entire universe worth knowing. He was unlike any teacher I had ever known.
In Richard’s class we explored color and sound, and created delicious sensory feasts of all kinds. We painted and sculpted and danced. We sang “Here Comes the Sun” at the beginning of class as he played his guitar. We made stapled together booklets called Poor Dickie’s Almanac, and filled them with the prose and poetry we wrote. We even made a super 8 movie. One of the high points of my childhood was when he cast me as The Queen, surely to coax me out of my shyness.
That classroom was alive. I was alive. We were alive… together!
As a gift for each child’s birthday, Richard wrote a poem. When my birthday came, he reverently read my poem, and then presented me with a calligraphy copy of this brief and touching verse. Decades later, I still remember every word.
Winter in and frozen stream,
but sunlight sees right through,
To a world of warmth beneath,
and lives come true.
When I heard the verse I was stunned and elated all at once. I instantly knew that Richard saw me in a way no one else did. He saw deeply into the shy and fumbling little girl I was pretending to be.
Richard really saw me! He recognized my heart and soul. He saw me as the warmth that could make lives come true! The moment I realized Richard saw deep within me, I saw myself in a new way.
Love is sometimes hidden deep inside; crusted over and frozen. Yet in the tumultuous ebb and flow of life, we have infinite opportunities to recognize and bow down to love in its many forms, within ourselves and all around us.
We all have the opportunity to be the warmth of love that "flows and makes lives come true". Richard did this for me, and in so doing invited me to recognize the incredible power of my loving essence.
He was a catalyst for my tender heart awakening. Before Richard came into my life I knew I was loved, but he helped me to know that I am love. In this simple and magical way, Richard changed my life forever. After that birthday, my young heart would never beat as it had before. I could never again truly believe I was less than I was, or small, or insignificant.
The simple act of courageously recognizing the heart of love in one another is a deeply significant gift, which is so easy to forget as we whirl through life, trying to grab the many shiny and tempting brass rings in our ever spinning lives.
And yet, what is the alternative? We can go on judging, condemning, and criticizing each other. We can be competitive, petty, and uncaring. We can even be angry because the people in our lives don’t always give us the love we want, in just the right package.
Or we can be the "sunlight that see right through", even in the deep cold of winter.
As a young woman, my ideas about love were throughly conditioned by the romantic notions of Western culture. In my young mind, love was all about "happily ever after." The height of love was an idealized version of romantic love with my perfect partner.
As I went through life’s inevitable challenges, I began to have a wider, richer understanding of love. As fulfilling as romantic love can be, a bigger and bolder version of love began to bubble up in my awareness. As my internal vision of love expanded, I looked for ways to bring fuller expressions of love to each moment and situation, rather than perpetually looking for love to show up in the ways I expected and projected.
As I began to look at life through more loving eyes, situations that used to seem hopeless and disappointing became powerful opportunities to share love.
How I defined love kept getting bigger and bigger until one day I realized love encompassed every interaction, every thought, and every feeling I ever had. Period.
Love truly is everywhere, in everyone.
Even the painful disconnected moments that don’t feel very loving are part of love's ever present dance. Every heartache has love at its core. And every person is the embodiment of love’s ever expanding grace.
The moment we realize love really IS everywhere, wanting more love shifts to realizing you already have it.
When we really get this, the ultimate love challenge shifts from finding love, to igniting a fuller, richer expressions of love in every situation.
Searching for the perfect lover is transformed into exploring ways to activate the sometimes hidden and elusive love within and all around you. Wanting love is transformed into being love, and shining its warm radiance in every direction.
Love is the very substance of our world. It is the essence of earth and air, fire and water. Love is the essence of every human heart, mind, and body, however ailing and pain ridden they may be.
Love is the essential force that unites all and make us whole.
Love's mighty force is activated simply by recognizing it. In a world that seems to be turned upside down with perpetual suffering, recognizing love can seem like a small and insignificant act.
Yet, the simple act of recognizing love unleashes its miraculous healing force and activates the creative power we’ve all been searching for, whether we know it or not. This simple act can have profoundly positive consequences in our collective evolutionary journey.
The simple recognition of love has the power to heal, to awaken, and to transform lives.
On this Valentine's Day I recognize you and me, and all the chaos and suffering in the world as love in the process of bursting through into greater expression.
In the light of Love,
I like to write. When I write I feel calm, clear, tuned in, and vibrantly alive.
A few friends and clients have mentioned that some of my blog posts are too long for this fast-paced, plugged in era. So I will be writing periodic posts that get right to the heart of the matter. Short and sweet. I love digging deep and getting to what is essential. So here goes!
Trust is one of the most significant qualities needed to cultivate healthy relationships. Trust takes time to build, nurture, and sustain. In this humorous and insightful video renowned researcher, Brené Brown shares powerful insights about how to cultivate trust with the significant people in your life. It is well worth taking the time to watch.
On the first day of the new year I played at the beach. I walked upon the sand on a bright and sunny Southern California day, pondering how I would navigate the year ahead.
Contemplating a multitude of attractive options, I felt like the man on the beach waving a metal detector, patiently waiting to hear the sounds that would hopefully lead him to gold. As I walked, I keenly listened with heart and soul to discover where the rich veins might lie in this new year. Few concrete goals or intentions called out to me this year. Instead, I felt drawn towards more fully and completely leaning in to my life, just as it is.
In 2016, I will lean into the vastness of life. Not just the pleasant, happy, or consciously chosen experiences, but all of it.
So many times I turn away from what is right here, right now. There are moments when I turn from fear, and also pain. I even turn from love sometimes because it can be all consuming and jarring to my sense of safety. The shift away is often slight and subtle, yet this turning is clearly a way of saying "no" to what the vast intelligence of life is constantly offering. Turning away is softly saying “no” to the fullness of the sacred journey I said “Yes!” to long ago.
Turning away comes from a lack of trust. Trust in myself and in life itself. When I am harnessed by a lack of trust, I miss so many incredible gifts and opportunities that are sweetly being offered in every moment.
Each time we turn away from what is right in front of us, our lives shrink. Our hearts get a bit smaller, our choices more limited, and our sight narrows. Each time we lean in as fully as possible (especially when some part of us doesn’t want to), we find unknown strength, fresh wisdom, and wide eyed expansion. Always.
In 2016 I vow to lean into confusion and not knowing, as well as clarity and vast knowing. I will lean into tedious tasks and mundane moments, which I often try to avoid. I vow to lean into bill paying and wild ecstatic dancing with equal enthusiasm.
I will lean into kale with as much passion as I give my favorite salted caramel dark chocolate bar. I will lean into my reckless yearning for love and my pettiness; my trembling guarded heart and my bountiful giving heart.
But most of all, I vow to lean into trusting that whatever is right here, right now, has a place in this wild sacred ride. What are you willing to lean into in this new year?
Winter Solstice is a deeply sacred time of the year when humanity's quest to live in greater light converges with the cycles of nature to create an opportunity for great insight, inspiration, and spiritual renewal.
The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year in the Western hemisphere. It represents the end of one cycle and the beginning of the next. As the sunlight lessens each day, there is a natural impulse to turn inward and go deep within to connect with and strengthen our inner light - that pure radiant spark within.
That inner spark was here long before we were born into these bodies, and will be here long after we die. It always has been and always will be. It is the true point of cause in our lives and the catalyst for all loving acts and creative labors. This inner spark is essentially the ever present light of love.
This light is celebrated by cultures around the world through many different Winter festivals and rich seasonal traditions. During the window of opportunity that opens during this period, we can more naturally and easily connect with the inner light than at other times of the years. How do we prepare for and make the most of this powerful cyclic opportunity?
During the season of light it is easy to get caught up in the busyness and hectic nature of the season and miss the insights and revelations that are there for us in the stillness and dark of the this time. Here are a few tried and true practices to savor and help you experience the fullness of this powerful time:
Pain is the inner darkness we often run from, afraid it will overcome us and steal our aliveness and the precarious sense that all is well. Yet in every experience of pain and darkness is the potential for liberation and the revelation of greater light. The ongoing cyclic process of contraction into darkness and expansion into light is a powerful catalyst for grow and evolution.
Rather than avoiding the painful situations or feelings in your life, simply allow them to be, with full and loving acceptance. Loving acceptance often dissolves the pain and contraction, and creates the optimum conditions for the next cycle of growth and expansion into greater light.
A powerful question to ask around the time of the Solstice is: "What can I shed in order to more fully nourish life within and around me?" Maybe you are ready and willing to release a negative habitual way of thinking or an addictive tendency. Maybe it is time to release a friendship that is no longer enriching in order to create space for a more nourishing friendship to grace your life. Simply being willing to let go is a powerful first step.
Now imagine traveling through the same tunnel. This time you are holding the hand of someone you love. Your companion is not there to save you or show you the way out, but is simply there to share the experience. The darkness may still be oppressive, the ground still uneven, and the dripping water still startling, yet somehow it doesn't seem as scary or difficult. That is the power of connection.
Who needs you to take their hand right now? Love and connection may be exactly what is needed to rekindle their light... and yours.
The call in phone number is: 1(302)202-1104 (your usual long distance charges apply). The conference code is: 910612. Be sure to add this to your calendar!
Until then, may these practices be a powerful catalyst for many great moments of inspiration and heartfelt connection with others.
With love and holiday cheer,
Autumn often sparks a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for the joy and abundance of this crazy beautiful human journey. As our lovely Mother Earth ripens and graces us with the bounty of yet another growing season, I am moved to celebrate the many blessings of my life.
This year, I feel a deep and pervasive gratitude not just for the “blessings”, but also for the many challenges I have faced in recent years; the tests and trials, the grief, and ultimately, the letting go it has demanded.
As the season turns, I remember and celebrate the heart wrenching times when life has been anything but joyful; the days when I felt anything but strong, wise, and awake. These were the days when I felt like I was going through a meat grinder, over and over again. Despite the pain, I am grateful because these trying times have broken down yet another layer of protection around my heart, led me to greater self awareness and compassion, and tenderized me like nothing else could.
As the season turns, I also celebrate the colorful foliage dropping all around me. As these freshly liberated leaves dance on the soft wind, I am gently reminded to shed all that I no longer need. In those sweet moments of remembrance, I know that just like the falling leaves, the released parts of me are on their way to becoming the compost that will nourish the new growth that is sure to follow.
My mantra for this fine, crisp new season: “let go, let go, let go”. These simple words reaffirm my commitments to embracing the fullness of life which includes fresh beginnings as well as completion. I notice how much I prefer fostering new life rather than allowing that which has completed a cycle to fall away. Who doesn't prefer falling in love to breaking up? We want to hold on to the freshness, and run from the endings.
Yet, the urge to let go is always an appropriate response; to joyous births and rocky deaths, to all that feels good and all that hurts. Letting go is a nourishing way of life and a powerful pathway to more fully embodying and expressing our deepest essence.
As I say this powerful phrase to myself over and over, “let go” somehow morphs into “let glow”. This brings an inner smile because letting go allows the inner light to shine brighter than ever.
Finally and most significantly, as the season turns and the nights grow cooler, I celebrate the inner warmth that is sparked each time we reach out to touch another by courageously being real. When we are willing to be vulnerable and authentically offer up whatever we have been hiding or quietly holding back, whether it is our shadowy parts or our magnificence, we claiming our true strength and power. In the instant we choose to authentically share, love enters in and changes everything.
All transitions, from the rhythmic change of season to major and minor work and relationship transitions, call us to adapt, to let go, to release, and to open up to whatever is next. The change of season offer a delicious opportunity to consciously say yes to the impulse to move, to shift, and to free ourselves from yesterday’s feelings, habits, moods, and obsolete creations.
Using flowers essences is a great way to support this process. The essences help set a new tone and vibration within your energy field, making it easier to gracefully let go of whatever no longer serves you. My favorite flower essences come from Findhorn Flower Essences in Scotland. They provide a wide variety of essences that are effective and easy to use. A few drops in your water glass once a day is all you need to provide the healing and transformational support to make changes more gracefully.
Simply chose an essence from their website and use it each day until it is gone. Check out their website here: www.findhornfloweressences.com.
With love and good cheer,
An energy therapist, relationship and spiritual life coach, Ariana is a lover of love in all of its many delicious forms; self love, couples love, family love, community love and ultimately, the universal love that pervades all.