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.
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,
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,
As we approach the Winter Solstice here in the Western Hemisphere, the vibrant life giving force of the Sun is so clearly waning. Our souls know it. Our bodies feel it.
This year more than ever before, I am yearning for the warmth and light of a bright new season.
This fall has been hard. Full of shadows and conflict, rising hate and collapsing hope. I long for happier times, as do so many.
I am tired of politics. I am tired of conflict. I am tired of feeling that this human drama is taking another wrong turn.
Yet, in the time of long shadows, we stop denying the darkness that has always been here. In these trying times, the distance between the ideals we hold and what is unfolding right before our eyes is too big to grasp and hold, or make any real sense of.
We have all been stretched a bit too thin in recent weeks. I have fought for the light and prayed for the good until I was exhausted, fed up, and angry.
I have asked again and again in recent months: Where is the bold and loving new world I have been dreaming of and working to create since I was a child?
After having many restless nights, deep and jarring discussions with friends, and a few dips into hopelessness, I have found a new peace.
I have claimed this peace through surrender.
Not through surrendering to one side or another, but by surrendering to a greater force that embraces and includes the black and the white, the red and the blue, and all that lives within these polarities. I surrender, again and yet again, to the messy and sometimes painful process of birthing this bold new world.
I surrender, and I humbly bow to the vast creative power that sparked this magnificent life in the first place.
I surrender to the great unknown, and trust that amidst all the strife and craziness, everything really is all right.
I trust in living with my eyes wide open, embracing all with a heart that knows no bounds.
I trust in the small acts of goodness that are quietly healing the broken human heart which has felt so much suffering.
I trust in the returning light that is, in this very moment, giving birth to a whole new world. Right in the midst all this trauma and drama.
Standing in this eternal light,
Change has definitely been the keynote of the Summer of 2016.
Whether the changes have been sudden and jarring or long expected, transitions have been the name of the game over the last few months. Areas of life that seemed so solid, secure, and predictable a short time ago are now radically different. Whether the changes are related to your relationships, professional life, health, or living situation, day-to-day life is different than it was a few months ago. This may be happening in your life, or the lives of those in your inner circle. Probably both.
The interesting thing about these transitions is that they often have an unexpected twist or turn of events that you didn't see coming, and certainly didn't plan for. I have been watching myself, my clients, family, friends, and the global community navigate these sometimes jarring events. If you are reeling from recent changes in your life, be sure to read on for some perspectives to bring you back to a more solid center of joyful acceptance and gracious adaptability.
What's Not Working...
Resisting the events that have been thrust upon you never really works. It is easy to go into the tight jaw, white knuckle mode of meeting change when it isn't showing up according to the neatly scripted life plan in your head. When the scenario isn't unfolding quite like you imagined it would, the first response is often resistance. This very unhappy voice of resistance goes something like this:
"I sure don't like this."
"How could this be happening?"
"I didn't ask for this."
"Something went wrong."
"What did I do wrong?"
Shake Up Your Thinking...
If you're having these kind of grumpy and less than embracing thoughts about recent changes in any area of your life, it's time to reframe. These changes are not the result of bad karma, or part of some dark scheme to make you miserable!
The catalyst for these changes is the sacred force of evolution that is guiding us all to move on from life circumstances that no longer serve or support us.
Amidst the chaos, instability, and messiness, can you dare to trust that these changes are leading in a positive direction, even when you can't see it? Change is often a catalyst for a more fulfilling and juicy way of living.
Life on this planet is not about finding stable and solid ground to stand on. We live on a spinning planet! Success comes from learning to navigate the inevitable instability of life and turn it all into an exquisite, though sometimes clumsy dance.
Ask yourself a few of these kind of questions to shake up your thinking a bit:
"What if this change has no negative impact on my well being or happiness?"
"What if this truly is a positive change?"
"What if I could totally accept this new situation?"
"What if I could experience a happy, joyful, fulfilling, and creative life in spite of this situation?"
And then accept, embrace, praise the Lord, thank the Mother, do a happy dance, or whatever it is you do to show gratitude. In that place of gratitude, we see the light shining through the shaken up, unstable world we always live in. That light beaconing us forward into new territory.
There is a vast creative power moving through everything. When we see the beauty of that awesome force and dare to trust it, and maybe even wildly dance with it some days, so many delicious co-creative opportunities open up. When the changes come, you may cry and grieve and lament a while, but ultimately, surrendering to what is emerging is the catalyst for developing the strength, love, and wisdom to wisely navigate any new scenario.
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.
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!
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,
In recent weeks I have been taking plenty of time to travel, play, rest and rejuvenate. A lighter summertime schedule has given me more time to read, reflect, and to just be.
I’m home now, feeling deeply renewed and inspired by the growth and deep embodiment that have unfolded over the past few years, in my life and in the lives of my clients.
This is definitely a time for unveiling your unique brilliance, and daring to more purely and powerfully share who you are. We are all being called to do more of what really lights us up, and to empower others in the process.
Doors that have long been tightly closed are now ready to open wide for those who choose the way of liberation and creative contribution. The more we authentically step up and into fresh territory, the more we quite naturally become a catalyst for others to do the same.
I wonder, what is opening your bold and beautiful heart these days? Are you giving yourself permission to courageously follow your fiery inspiration? What inner impulses are you saying “YES” to?
Today I’m sharing what has been opening my heart and mind during these long, warm days of midsummer.
What I’m grateful for…
The opportunity to love deeply. This week marks the three year anniversary of the unexpected passing of my beloved partner. Since that day, I have faced the grieving process head on, over and over again, only to find ever brighter love, gratitude, and appreciation for the opportunity to intimately know and love, and be known and loved by a truly courageous and wise soul. It was, and continues to be, an honor to stand as one with Douglas Brady.
What I’m celebrating….
Having the opportunity to officiate at the wedding of my daughter later this month. There is so much joy in our family right now as we prepare for this grand love fest. As a mother, officiating will be the powerful completion of a cycle of nurturing my daughter’s growth in a very active way. It is fulfilling and exciting to joyfully release her into a new cycle of life with a loving man by her side. This is definitely a summer of love!
What I’m reading…
There is much written about emotionally dysfunctional relationships, yet this thought provoking article offers a clear and refreshing take on what is is like to be an emotionally healthy grown up:
With fiery love,
Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year in the Western Hemisphere, celebrated by humanity since time immemorial. As the outer sunlight fades, the Solstice period offers us a rich opportunity to turn inward to connect with and strengthen our inner light -- that pure radiant spark within.
That inner spark was here long before we were born 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, the catalyst for all loving acts and creative labors. This inner spark is essentially the light of Love.
The inner light is celebrated by cultures around the world through many different Winter festivals and rich seasonal traditions. Winter Solstice is a sacred time 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 Solstice represents the end of one cycle, and the beginning of the next.
How do we prepare for and make the most of this powerful cyclic opportunity?
We can learn much about how to live a harmonious life by observing the natural world. Many plants and trees shed their leaves in the late Fall. In the process of letting go and releasing what they no longer need, they enrich the soil and provide nourishment for the many lives all around them. By the time Solstice comes, many trees and plants stand naked and unadorned, quietly turning their life force inward to gather strength for the next cycle of outward growth that is sure to come in the Spring.
A powerful question to ask around the time of the Solstice is: "What can I shed in order to more fully nourish all life around and within me?"
Asking this question daily can be a wonderful preparatory practice which opens the way for your inner light to be kindled in new ways. For me, living that question for the last month has been a powerful catalyst for many great moments of inspiration, joyous celebration, and heartfelt connection with others.
It is also powerful to carve out some time for silent reflection and stillness each day during the Solstice week.
There is a window of opportunity that opens during Solstice week that allows us to touch into the light within more naturally and easily than at other times of the years. Many people are so busy with outer holiday preparations this opportunity for deep spiritual renewal is missed.
In light of this, I invite you to join me in silent (sitting or moving) meditation at the exact time of the Solstice, December 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm PST.
May you find great joy and loving communion with all life as the light of the Sun nourishes us more fully with each passing day!
As promised, I am sending you messages of love this holiday season. The first one I sent, 360 Degrees of Love, struck a cord with so many people.
Today, I offer you an opportunity to be steeped in a vast love that transcends time and space and the sometimes narrow confines of how we often conceive of love.
This video is short, intense and amazing. It left me speechless and unsettled in a way that only deep truth can do. It shouts of 360 degree love; of a love shared by two that is so big it blesses the entire universe.
If you have ever loved... watch it.
If you have ever lost someone you love... watch it.
If you have ever yearned to define or touch Spirit... watch it.
With bright starry love,
This has been an amazing week, filled with many different experiences; with great highs and lows. Tonight I feel compelled to share my Thanksgiving experience with you.
I opted to stay home last week rather than travel. On Thanksgiving Day I feasted with dear friends, had Face time gatherings with family members who were miles away, and joyfully communed with the magnificent evergreens in my neighborhood. It was all rich and deeply satisfying. Gratitude pulsed through me, getting stronger as the day unfolded.
Feeling full and warm all over, that evening I snuggled down to watch a DVD with a Native American theme, thinking this would be fitting for Thanksgiving night viewing. After a few minutes of watching I was quickly carried away by the beauty and peacefulness of the native way of life so beautifully portrayed. The characters soon made their way into my grateful heart. All was well until the tribe was suddenly brutally slaughtered. I felt shock go through my entire being. It was all so wrong! Sobs wracked my body as I continued to watch and grieve.
I gently reminded myself that the Natives Americans were simply actors who hadn’t really been slaughtered, yet this theme was hitting too close to home. Last year, my beloved partner suddenly passed away. Since then, I have deeply grieved. Several months ago the oppressive sadness began to lift as gratitude and acceptance settled into my heart and mind.
Suddenly there I was in full blown grief again, dealing with it all alone on a holiday. As hard as it was to feel this depth of pain yet again, I knew this was right where I needed to be. I had come a long way, yet there was more grieving to do. Amidst the sadness, overwhelming waves of love for my beloved partner engulfed me. These were intense moments of feeling both the depth and height of human love all at once. Love and loss, all in one breath.
As I sobbed and breathed, I remembered an experience that happen shortly after my beloved died. In the weeks following his death, I felt overwhelming love for him, sometimes even more powerfully then I felt when he was alive. I often felt his presence encircling and comforting me. At times I could hear and feel him communicating from afar.
On one particularly hard afternoon I felt so much love for him I thought my heart would burst. Although I believe he received my love on some level, it felt like my intense love didn’t have a place to land. I was silently asking about what to do with all these feelings when I heard my beloved’s voice say, “Let go of the “you” in “I love you”. Live in “I love”.
As I heard these words I felt like a lightening bolt went right through me. I knew exactly what he meant. Living in “I love” meant letting go of my narrow focus on him, a singular object of love, and instead, expanding to love all. Of course! Instead of focussing my love on my partner like a magnifying glass, I was to be a vibrant ball of love radiating in all directions. He was calling me to be a vibrant sun, shining upon all life within and around me, shining 360 degrees of love!
My crying stopped and I began to get excited about living 360 degrees of love more fully than ever. As I paused and breathed, I also understood a deeper meaning to his words of wisdom. “I love” was not just about love as an expansive way of being. Living as “I love” was about more fully identifying as love, as in “I am love”.
To live fully in that mode would demand letting go of my illusions about who I think I am, which all negate my identity as pure love. All of the moments when I think I am: a woman, a therapist, a coach, a mother, a lover, an American, aging, sad, angry, and on and on, negate the truth that I am essentially love.
I am love, temporarily manifesting as a woman, a mother, a therapist, and so forth.
On Thanksgiving night, as I remembered this experience from months before, I was filled again with gratitude and peace. In this moment of sacred remembrance, I felt love flowing more freely within and around me. This expansive awareness was yet another precious parting gift from my beloved.
If you are on the path of growth and awakening, the idea of being love is definitely not new. Maybe is isn’t even very interesting any more. We aren’t often interested in the ideas we think we already know about.
Yet I believe there is no more noble or worthy pursuit than living and embodying 360 degrees of love.
Understanding this idea is very different from actualizing it as a way of life. We embrace the ways of love and then we forget them, again and again. I have dedicated myself to the embodiment of love; to living 360 degrees of love as fully as I am capable. Maybe you have done so as well. If not, I invite you to join me.
This is a group effort that cannot be done alone. As each of us endeavors to shine love into all the dark places within and arounds us, we spark each other in ways unimaginable.
I feel compelled to share my journey of embodied love, as well as tools and practices to inspire our collective radiance, which is what “I love” is really all about. This season of gratitude and giving is an ideal time to go deeper into living 360 degrees of love. In the coming weeks I’ll be sending you “gifts” to spark the embodiment of love. I invite you to savor these gifts and freely pass them on.
I also invite you to send me your stories and insights about living 360 degrees of love. I’ll be passing on the juiciest ones.
I believe that we all made a commitment to live 360 degrees of love when we came into these physical bodies. Yet it is so easy to forget this sacred promise. During this holiday season, let’s gently, lovingly remind each other of what we are really here for…. to live 360 degrees of love!
here is a particular flavor of love that grabs you firmly, lifts you up, and takes you for a wild, tumultuous ride.
When you touch the earth again you realize all the bumps and bruises and otherwise painful moments of your entire life were all part of love’s caress. Every touch was kneading the fear and sadness from deep within; leaving you open and tender like never before so you could, at last, truly know big, bold love.
After this kind of love has its way with you, your whole being feels soft and supple like babies’ skin; free from the inevitable weathering and scaring that used to tell your story. This kind of love writes a new tale on every cell of your body.
When it ripples through me I want to shout out my delight and tell everyone I meet the good news about how totally freakin' amazing life can be. This super charged kind of love reminds me of my favorite flavor of ice cream, Mint Chip. Refreshing, sweet and creamy, interspersed with the stimulating promise and richness of dark chocolate. Yum.
Being deliciously cherished doesn't mean you wake up one day to discover the ideal mate or the perfect relationship; or that the inevitable challenges and flaws that take you away from love's deepest pulse aren't regular visitors in your home. It simply means that everything that transpires in the relationship is held within a particularly rich and satisfying context.
Imagine having a warm cup of cocoa on a cool winter night. Are you savoring it? :-) Well, now imagine that same cup of cocoa with a dollop of whipped cream on top. Assuming you love whipped cream (and doesn't just about everyone?), that cup of cocoa is going to rise from being really good to being magnificent. That is what being deliciously cherished feels like. Love with whipped cream on top!
I first experienced being deliciously cherished when I was a young woman. At that tender point in life I didn't recognize this kind of love for the rare and precious gift it was. In my ignorance, I let it go. To be more accurate, I repeatedly stomped on it, and then ran far, far away. Years later I came to know this kind of deeply penetrating love in a more mature and enduring package.
My deepest wish is for all women (and all men!) to know this kind of bold love, and to be liberated by it potent force. This is the most profound and enduring kind of Women’s Liberation, having nothing to do with equal pay or equal opportunity. For once a woman is deliciously cherished, she inevitably becomes a liberating force for others, magically opening doors to greater love and kindness and creativity wherever she travels. And the man who cherishes her becomes the recipient of gifts unimaginable as her particular flavor of feminine magic is sparked and set free.
Deep love between men and women is quietly accomplishing what our political and educational systems have not been able to do with much success. It is ever so slowly and quietly changing our world for the better.
I say to men everywhere: if you want a better life, if you want to make a difference, if you want to experience all the riches of this world.... then love a woman like she has never been loved before.
When you discover a woman who is ready to be cherished and is longing for You, and only you (and only you can know if this is so), soften the protection around your heart and love her with “no pads on”. Silently lay down your defenses, and risk to love with everything you've got. Love her as if this is the most profound and significant action you could ever take.
When you love her wholeheartedly, despite her particular flavor of “craziness”, her love handles, or her neediness; your world will be rocked and enriched like never before. And so will mine and every other creature on this planet. The ripples really are that big.
Shining Big Love,
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.