Monday, May 24, 2010

Grief and the Path of Loss

Grief comes in waves in awakening and healing like the tides of life.
I'm continuing to take my inspiration for these spirituality blogs from some of the experiences that my friends have had. One of my friends had tons of grief to work through on her path, so I wanted to dedicate this blog to her.

Why Am I Crying Again?
There are so many personal answers to this question, and I can outline a few that I've seen and a few that I've experienced. It's a very normal part of the process, and in this society, it can take some courage to experience this deep sadness. There's nothing wrong with you for crying, and typically, this is a phase that will pass as long as you engage fully with this spiritual awakening and healing process and get to know what's moving in you. It can happen a lot more than you expect and at odd times (how about hiking up a mountain--seriously, that happened for me). Do your best to have the courage to face it.

The Path of Loss
In many respects, the spiritual path is the path of loss. You lose everything. You lose everything because it was all piled on top of the stuff that is who you really are. All that ego you built up around being a mom, being a great lawyer, being a fantastic athlete, being able to remember your schedule and tie your shoes, it all breaks down. In many respects, some of this grief can be the grieving of your ego. You may be grieving all the things that you once were, and now you no longer can be those. It's a crazy feeling. It can plunge you down into despair, depression, or suicidal tendencies, depending on how hard your ego is holding on and the support network that you have. If the road gets too dark, it's definitely important to reach out to others. Obviously, if you're reading this, you can message me, but there are usually lightworkers not far away from where you are in whatever area that you live in. We all seem to be springing up faster and faster these days.

Ego Death
When I was hitting one of the early crescendo moments in my growth in August of 2007, I had these visions of six men beating me to a pulp in a dark, empty parking lot somewhere in Northern California. Being a very intuitive person, that image scared the hell out of me. In some ways, I feel like my ego-self took that beating even if that image never physically manifested. And in all the ways that I've held on to a former version of myself, I took that beating. But "who I think I am" is not me. An ego should only ever be a tool, and some tools have a lifespan. If you're grieving a lot, you may need a ritual to allow this ego-self to die it's natural death. Along the way, it's important to be actively developing the "who you are now" ego to replace it. With this authentic ego, you can hold it more lightly and give yourself a sense of greater space for what's emerging in you. This type of positive intention can also make the grieving less difficult as you're providing yourself that hope and that light at the end of the tunnel.

The Grief of Despair
Not all grief is necessarily good. Sometimes, it's a sign of things going horribly wrong. It can be a sign of reaching the edge of the chasm. I know that I was peering over that edge towards the end of 2008 with no job and a lot of energies draining me, making me weak and sick. Around this, I learned how important it is to listen to my body. If this grieving makes me feel lighter and healthier after I've gone through it, then that is definitely positive. But if it makes me feel more despondent and hopeless, then that's despair. Something is draining me too much, and I need help. I need outside inspiration. I need spiritual community.

Eventually, I hit the wall in February of 2009 and reached out to my mom and my teacher, and then suddenly, I was out of San Francisco and into my new apt in the awesome energy that is in Pleasant Hill. Soon jobs were easy to find again. When you find the cause of the energy drain and address it, the change in your life can be dramatic.

Journaling, Journaling, Journaling!
Many of my friends and students have this as a big part of their processes, and I can't encourage people to do it enough. I truly think that it's absolutely crucial to engage with your feelings, to hold them, and to know them. Bringing your intellectual awareness into those spaces helps you to heal and transmute them. The great thing about journaling is that no one else has to ever see what you write. You can even destroy your journals later if you're afraid someone will read them. It can be a great ritual for letting go of your past too.

Nonetheless, dealing with grief and grieving old wounds, an old ego-self, or even past lives (I'm not big into past lifes, but every now and then, huge things come up around this) is tough. I think community is always a huge help, and if you need certain types of spiritual people, they will appear for you if you look for them.

Finally, if you are working with the grief around past trauma, please read this blog. This spiritual awakening blog post will help you through the fire of awakening, but the blog I just linked to you will help set the groundwork for pain and trauma, which you must also re-experience to release before you walk into the spaces of ego death.

The picture of the moon is generously given to me by Becky Stiller. You can find more of her work on this photography link.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Spiritual Awakening Symptoms, Signs, and Demands

This post has now undergone a dramatic renovation. Sure, I had a little bit of nostalgia for how I originally wrote this, but that isn't the way I'd express things now. And I am always striving to be clear about spiritual awakening and the shifts associated with it.

Misconstrued Healing Symptoms and Signs
Some of you know that I don't like the term "symptoms" in relationship to awakening. It's because that makes the awakening sound like a sickness. It's not. You're actually healing. You were sick. Here is a list of social symptoms that many people are healing from:
  • Greed
  • Fear of not having enough
  • Fear of being alone
  • Self-hate/lack of self-love
  • Sadness and despair
  • Hatred and discrimination of oneself and others
Humanity has been very sick and very much insane. If you've spent your whole life walking on a broken leg, you're going to be in intense pain at times when you stop taking the painkillers that were numbing the pain. This is often blamed on "awakening," but in truth, this is simply starting to see what is really going on.

Furthermore, all of our bodies and souls are very intelligent. They are all trying to heal anyway, so many people end up in deep healing processes. That's wonderful to be healing! But just because you have some of the listed "signs" of awakening doesn't mean you are awakening. However, I encourage you to embrace whatever shift is going on because you are going to feel so much better. And the identity that some egos are trying to create around "being awakened" just doesn't matter.

Another Annoying List of Spiritual Awakening Signs
One last note, while people in healing, purification, and other spiritual shifts have many of the same "signs" of awakening, the big, big, BIG difference is energetic. I can really only say that it feels different to be around someone who is awakened. They also have an immense understanding of the importance of the internal world, i.e. they may want to help others around the world, but they don't really want to "change" the world and make it the way their egos think it should be.

As for what I can put into words, the spiritual awakening is marked by these things:
  • Immense sense of love for all of life
  • Profound clarity and understanding of what is real and true
  • Profound sense of peace within yourself and with how the world is

Those are the two biggest signs of the awakening. Now here's the long list of stuff that can also be evidence of healing as well of embodying/integrating the spiritual awakening awareness into your everyday life. Oftentimes, spiritual awakening involves a lot of deep healing because of the shift going inside. It can be like healing the broken leg and learning to do the 100M dash simultaneously. Pretty intense.

Here's the aforementioned list:
  1. Fatigue, chronic fatigue, or exhaustion
  2. Increased sensitivity or hyper sensitivity to other people
  3. Increased sensitivity or hyper sensitivity to the local environment (city, home, etc.)
  4. Increased urges to connect deeply with others
  5. Appearances of profound soul connections to help you do what you are here to do (this may include soulmates, twin flames, your guides, and other helpers--Not all helpers bring easy lessons, however)
  6. Changes in diet, usually going towards vegetarianism, but doing whatever it is your body needs to have in a specific moment. It doesn't get caught up in a diet identity (i.e. making yourself Vegan or Vegetarian)
  7. Changes in sleep patterns
  8. Changes in your body and exercise routines
  9. Surges of energy in your body that can feel like vibrations, heat, and so forth
  10. Unable to think in old thinking patterns
  11. Lost focus on the physical world (which means you're very ungrounded)
  12. A tendency to go into solitude
  13. A tendency to get in touch with nature
  14. Emergence of spiritual and psychic gifts
  15. Body pain, tense, and occasional illness as old "density" or pain is shifted and cleared
There are plenty more. Everyone is healing and shifting in profound ways, so this isn't a comprehensive list.

What Do All These Signs Mean?
For those that are in awakening, it doesn't really mean much. All this list can do is encourage you to go within and pay attention to your needs. For those in healing or purification processes (which are equally beautiful), it also doesn't really mean much. All you can do is go within and pay attention to your needs.

Do you notice a theme here?

The big thing is not getting caught up in ego identities. I see too much of that going on these days. Mainly, it's happening to those who haven't had a big awakening, but you know that wiley ego likes to try and hang around even after big awakenings. Which is why those who have awakened must learn to constantly smile at it and lovingly say, "I see you little one, and I know what you are up to."

Reasons For Extended Solitude
Because everyone is different, these thoughts will strike each of you differently. Some people will only need a couple days of solitude because of their processes. Others may need years. I'm kind of in the "years" bucket. This definitely challenged my old ego self, especially since awakening made it so easy for me to connect with people.

Here are some other thoughts around why many of us choose solitude:
  1. Not many people understand the process, and it's horribly frustrating to have to explain it to people again and again when you don't fully understand it yourself.
  2. Opening up makes you extremely vulnerable on multiple levels. You can be taken advantage of by well-meaning and not-so-well-meaning people on every level.
  3. Some things need to be figured out in solitude without distractions and without having to worry about someone else.
  4. You need a lot of rest to integrate all the changes in your consciousness. This process is like having all your internal hardware ripped out, re-configured, and put back in. Lying on the ground may appear to others as doing nothing, but internally, it's like running 4 marathons.
  5. Despite the high need for rest, exercise is hugely important. I'm talking yoga, walking, hiking, and conscious movement practices. Especially if you're clearing some heavy issues out of yourself, this will help move it out of your body memories.
Eating and Your Body's Demands
Since you're tearing away the veils of "what you think is right for you" that you'd created or inherited from the expectations of your family, that will also include your eating habits. Suddenly, steak doesn't sit well with you. Potato chips make you feel sick to your stomach, and you're carrying around carrots and sugar snap peas in your bag everywhere you go (I know at least one person who is smiling about this line). You will need to experiment a lot and change your diet as needed to meet the changing needs of your body and soul.

Relationship Shifts
While your diet is undergoing a dramatic shift (there will be times when you eat hardly anything and times when you binge), you're also trying to figure out who your friends are. Because your relationship to yourself is shifting, how you relate to other people is shifting. You'll see everyone in a new light. It's dramatic. You'll find some people will now be drawn very closely to you, and you'll find that you'll have to let go of others. Some people do come back into your life later on, but there are never any guarantees.

Awareness Expanding
This is a super exciting time as well because you're becoming extremely aware on multiple levels. This is a point where intuition sharpens, healing abilities appear, and all kinds of amazing gifts surface. As your old self breaks down, new things can arise and emerge on the surface. It's so important to practice these gifts to hone them and to own them. It's extremely helpful to make connections with other people who have this gifts or at least have the space and lack of judgment to let you practice them.

Building Spiritual Community
While I've mentioned the importance of being alone, it is extremely helpful to build a spiritual community around yourself. If you're fortunate enough to already be immersed in one, then consider yourself extremely lucky. For me, I definitely had to hunt down a lot of people, and now, I have connections all over the country and globe. However, having people nearby was a huge help to me as I shifted.

It's Not Personal, But It Is

It's all very intensely personal. You'll be so present at one time and so knocked out that you may find it difficult to function. Honestly, if my life path were different, I would have wanted to be in a monastery for the last three years. But it's important that more people awaken within society and not be cloistered outside of it. So, I moved through it as best as I could.

And if you are in spiritual awakening, you will have to do the best you can and to simply be with what is. It is a beautiful, if not messy, process, but the feeling of freedom and being yourself is extraordinary. You'll wonder how you could ever have lived any other way.

The lovely picture on this post comes from my student, Jenn. Thanks so much, dear one!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mindfulness in Motion

It's been about 3 and a half weeks since I dove headlong into conscious dancing styles, and for all sakes and purposes, it feels good. I love dancing. I have since I pretty much exploded onto a dancefloor my freshman year in college at a fraternity (which would shortly be my fraternity) winter charity ball (they still have the charity ball to this day--that year was the first year they held it). However, as many of you knows, clubs--how can I put this eloquently--they suck. There's so much judgment going on that it's oppressive just in that aspect. Mix in alcohol and heck there may be some recreational drugs kicking around in the room, and you've pretty much got an environment that has almost no appeal to me. So I haven't danced as much as I might otherwise have done.

So Many Styles, So Little Time: How Can You Pick Just One?
The world of conscious dancing is a rather broad one here in the bay area. I've already checked out several different styles including:

There's a 5 Rhythms class in Mountain View that I'm started to fall in love with, and I recently tried Biodanza and am really intrigued by it. Both styles have a teacher holding the space, which to me is really essential. It helps to keep everyone's energy vibration at a higher level through intention and awareness. In other conscious dances that I've been at where there isn't a teacher doing this, the energy usually drops to the lowest level that the group naturally holds. Typically, this causes me to close up so that I don't feel drained. This has been an ongoing challenge of being so open; I have to be very conscious of what is going on in an environment, especially when I'm opening myself.

Spiritual Work for the Lower Chakras--You Remember Them, Don't You?
Most of the spiritual practices I've seen really spend a lot of time with upper chakra awareness:

Opening your heart (4th chakra)
Speaking your truth (5th chakra)
Learning to understand yourself & Truth and to intuit your answers (6th chakra)
Connecting to the divine (7th chakra)

But all the yucky stuff that really holds us back is down in the lower chakras. That's where all the developmental stuff, the old family issues, power issues, desire and sexuality issues, and plenty more hang out. Blockages for me often look black in my system, and I often run energy through my body to erode these. The dancing seems to do a great job of jarring things loose. It's been turning my dreams into an ongoing decompression session as I get down into this stuff. Two nights ago I was dealing with how much I hated high school. I sure thought I was done with that, but my body still remembers it. Even though my head and my heart may be reasonably clear of high school, my body now needs to heal from it and let it go.

Issues Moving: Eating & Shame
I feel like I'm only a few weeks old. I feel very new and at times, a little uncertain. My balance has been off at times, so I've been refocusing on how I move my feet with my dance. I'm also finding these interesting dichotomies of body shame and body confidence. I've felt this difference before, but I'd always thought it was more of a mental state. It's really fascinating to feel this difference and understand it through my body. When I'm in a deeper confidence in my body, I feel extraordinarily powerful in relationships, especially with women. When the shame aspect is kicked up, I don't want to interact with others at all. Everyone feels threatening in some way (I know, it sounds crazy coming from a six foot four guy, but this is the truth of the matter).

Also, when I'm dealing with low chakra blocks (especially in the 2nd), food becomes a real challenge because it all feels like it's pressurizing that area. It's super uncomfortable. So a part of me kinda doesn't want to eat, which is a horrible thing for me. My energy has such a delicate balance now that regular eating throughout the day is vital. I almost feel half-diabetic with how I have to manage my food.

All The Happy People: Where Did They All Come From?
I've already had an influx of new and fun people come into my life through dance. Intuitively, I knew this would happen for several months as I neared the end of my work contract. Dance has brought many super cool people into my life, and I expect that it will bring more. I'm just trying to keep moving with a light step and a lot of integrity to let people come and go into my life as things evolve. It's a beautiful practice thus far.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Food and Spirituality

Continuing onward in the practical side of spirituality, this blog is about food. There was a point where I think about half of my conversations with my one of my friends revolved around food. This really isn't an exaggeration. Both of us in our processes have been confronted by the continual need to re-evaluate what is okay, helpful, and sometimes devastating in terms of nutrition. I still don't really have this figured out, although I'll relay some of what I've learned from myself and others. The biggest part is to trust your own body to tell you what and how much it needs.

There's No Official Spiritual Diet
Sometimes I get the feeling from people that I've met that being vegetarian is somehow better than having meat in a diet. Then of course, there's the vegan movement. And there's the raw foods diet. And there's raw foods vegan diets. There's something call pescatarian in which the only meat someone eats is fish. The proliferation of different types of nutritional beliefs is kinda fascinating, but none of them holds any intrinsic value over each other or over the burgers and fries diets. I suppose if your body works best on burgers and fries, then that's just as "spiritual" a diet for you as any other. In my experience though, it really doesn't work, but that's my experience.

Hi and Welcome to Your Body
The biggest first step starts with your relationship to your food. Most of us don't have a relationship with our food. This sounds pretty cheesy, I know, but bear with me. It's important to be mindful when you're eating, but that's not exactly what I'm refering to. It's more along the lines of selecting the right nutrition for you (and not just following a random nutritional pyramid set up by a gov't agency or eating what your family has always eaten). I have learned to trust the different foods that I get attracted to during the day, and then I monitor myself to see how I'm feeling. Do I feel tired? Do I feel energized? Do I feel sick?

Over the course of time, my diet has shifted pretty dramatically. This is one aspect of my process that I've kinda had to run alongside with and catch up to at different points. There was about a month where all my body seemed to want was bran (my brother is currently laughing because he probably remembers that February because that was all I talked about on the phone). Other segments have had me completely into sugar snap peas, carrots, granola, dark chocolate, and blueberries--essentially, I was in a pretty serious detox mode and was looking for just about anything with antioxidants.

Nowadays, I seem to have settled down considerablely. The staples have become apples, corn, yogurt, chicken, rice to some extent, and beans. I also drink OJ like it's going out of style. But because I'm in a shift right now, my diet is libel to change again, and lately, it's been rather difficult to figure out what I want to eat in the mornings. More and more, my appetite before about 12pm seems to be evaporating, which is requiring another round of experimenting with foods for me.

What Not to Eat/Put in Your Body
If you want to get yourself moving into an awakening process or are already in one, you can grind things to a halt by drinking alcohol. I feel pretty awful pretty fast with around half a beer. I don't feel drunk like a light-weight drinker--I just feel sick and heavy and awful in the stomach. Heavy red meats can be problematic; I've noticed that I have almost no natural craving for those types of foods. Fish and chicken work best. After that, other meats (lamb, pork, beef) make me feel lethargic and less healthy. There's a little bit of a recovery time for my body to digest it and get rid of it. It should go without saying that drugs, cigarettes, and all that type of stuff will screw things up. I know some people have found interesting higher states with stuff like LSD (Ram Dass--I'm looking in your direction), but ultimately, that stuff is temporary and potentially damaging. It can also screw with your perception. Anyone in an awakening can attest to that fact that it's damn hard to figure out what's what with the re-wiring that goes on internally as it is. Adding another layer or filter can make things even more challenging/harrowing.

The Upper Division Spiritual Dietary Class
For those of us with lots of stuff moving inside, you may get into high states that you just can't handle. It's easy to end up in a freak-out mode. I probably could have a whole post about what I mean by "freak out," but it's enough to say that with so many changes going on to how you see, experience, and relate to the world that it gets damned scary. Here's what I've heard and experienced for myself to get out of a jam:

  1. Sugar--Sometimes a little ice cream or dark chocolate gets you out of a jam. I don't use this too much. Sugar can also make me really unbalanced and cause more problems.
  2. Coffee--Also something I've been told, but I haven't used.
  3. Corn--This brings me back down to earth faster than just about anything.
  4. Baby spinach--Another fast track back to some kind of stability.
Bon Appetit
But above all, it's really important to figure out what works for you. Starting from a clean slate can help. So a 3 to 7 day fast can be really helpful. As you go through a fast, things will start to move, and you'll probably get a sense of what issues you've been keeping locked down. In many respects, food often gets used to hold stuff down. A fast can get things moving up and out so you can heal and make space for more of...well, your true you. I'm not a huge fan of fasting, but it can help. After that, start experimenting with different foods and figure out what works for you. It will change during the process, and that's okay. Change is part of the whole process after all.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My Spiritual Awakening Process: Part 1 of Many

I like talking about my spiritual process because I think it helps others contextualize their own spiritual processes with terms that are in use today. Buddhism, yoga, Christianity, and many others have lots of terms, but I think many people are off-put by the archaic nature of them. Hence, we've had a plethora of new teachers suddenly erupting since somewhere in the mid-nineties (Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer, Pema Chodron, and many more). I believe that they've helped to re-frame the process in today's terms. It's not that the old traditions lack anything, but it seems like there's been a needed translation.

From my point of view, I'm interested in the emotional, psychological, and physical rigors of the process, and a lot of what I'm writing is straight from the maelstrom, the eye of the hurricane, the pavement beneath the running of the bulls (seriously I've felt completely trampled at parts of this process). I am sure that in years forward my perspective will change, but at least it'll be recorded of what it was like at this point. Hopefully this will be helpful to you.

Ringing the Bell
The spiritual awakening process seems to need to ring the bell. This is when you make some big connection to the divine or spirit that alters you. But you probably have some very practical questions like: How the hell do I do that? and Where is the bell and how do I ring it?

Personally, I find it helpful to break things down into the chakra system as I understand it (this system seems to be widely adopted, and yet I think there are lots of different kinds of understandings. Subsequently, I'm sure a purist would have some different interpretations). Anyone into Mazlow's Hierarchy of Needs will see similarities in this post. I tend to see cross-over with spirituality across many disciplines.

To get to that spiritual turning point (at least without having a major trauma that forces you to the divine or to sever your connections with your body and ego), here's the rough path that I've followed.

1st Chakra: Survival Stuff and Family Concerns
Taking care of a home and earning enough money to meet our most basic needs is essential. Anyway, it's enough to say that I took care of this stuff. I got a job; I get along reasonably well with my family. That type of stuff was in hand. Plus, it didn't hurt that I took care of my body and didn't have to clean out lots of drugs and alcohol, which can really screw up your perceptions (And being able to interpret all the new information you get on this path is hard enough).

2nd Chakra: Sexuality and Creativity
I've always been very creative, and I've had one or two lovers that allowed me to express myself in this space. This area didn't seem to be mandatory for me to hit that spiritual tipping point, but I see it as an important space that will expand as I manifest this spiritual presence in me (more on this in a later blog).

3rd Chakra: Personal Power and Ego
I've always had a very strong sense of self since about the time that I started picking out my clothes and saying "Mommy, do self." My mother is smiling as she reads this. If anything though, the opening for my spiritual process involved a dismantling of an overly controlling ego in myself. In most of the chakra levels, it was about meeting those needs. With this one, it became about minimizing the amount of energy I had in it.

4th Chakra: Heart
Will the 3rd chakra was getting shrunk or reigned in, this part was vastly expanding. Most of my friends post-2007 see me in a very open-hearted way. Maybe more of my older friends saw me in that light than I realized, but I definitely didn't move with my heart in most of my decisions and ways of being as I do now.

5th Chakra: Voice and Self Expression
I've always been pretty good at expressing myself, but what happened here is that I was talking about spiritual topics. It's stuff that I've always known, but hadn't verbalized much outside of my family. Having a community to discuss this with and be a sounding board for me really helped, and I believe this was my accelerator into a spiritual awakening. While I was talking about a lot of stuff, I really hadn't had that big ring the bell moment. (There are lots of ways that you can accelerate into an awakening. Sexuality actually can be one of them; it's one of the ways to enlightenment. Usually, there's too many issues in that space for someone to focus that energy that way, or perhaps that's just this culture.)

6th Chakra: Intuition and Intellect
Opening the mind to intuition and the messages from God/the Universe/Great spirit/[insert your favorite deity's name here] allows you to find the flow in your life. You can discover what your truths are, and then you can talk about them. My 5th and 6th chakras definitely worked in tandem on this. The intellect is also extremely important in this puzzle. Mine was already super-strong, which allowed me to contextualized, own, and deeply realize a lot of my intuitions. I did have to work to let go of judgments around what I'd intuit, but my family's openness to intuition had already given me a lot of space to do that.

7th Chakra: Connection to the Divine
This is very simple. It's faith. It's profound trust. I'd had a couple moments in my life where I felt that God had revealed something to me or protected me. So, I always felt reasonably open.

And Then, Ah-Ha!
Activating all these chakras, fulfilling them, then the space gets set up for something to happen. There's no magic moment that I can describe that will make it happen. I've found a lot of tools such as meditation, community, a spiritual teacher or three, fasting (although I never really go into it), aligning to your body's true needs for health and diet, journaling, journaling, journaling, and being willing to jump like a damned idiot into the fire (spontaneity/faith/kamikozi-ness). It all lined up in a motel in Oregon of all places in August of 2007, and I haven't been the same since.

However, your moment will come only when it's ready. But if you work through your different chakras to clear and open them, then a lot of stuff can move into your life. You'll find out a lot about yourself in the process, and God save you, a spiritual awakening may suddenly ignite in your life.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Permission, Forgiveness, and Relationships

I am still exploring the topic of spiritual relationships. I'm also still exploring exactly what "spiritual relationship" means. In general, what I mean is that both people have a deeper sense of service to the world around them and a focus on how they are in relationships with the divine and with themselves as well as their romantic partner.

Lately, I feel brand new to everything, and I'm shaking out exactly what I'm feeling and how I'm moving through life. The things that attracted me before don't have as much hold now, and I feel like I'm getting all kinds of new attention, feelings, and people in my life. I'm sorting things out at this point and working on getting my arms around it all.

Permission & Invitation
One of the things that has become increasingly important is permission. A lot of dating has been set up in this paradigm of the hunter stalking some chick, knocking her out, and dragging her back to his cave. Seriously, if you hang around a bar for awhile, you'll see just how primitive "modern courtship" can be. But the more I move through my own spiritual process, the more useless something like that becomes. It's not that you aren't assertive in finding someone for a romantic relationship, it's just that the importance grows considerably of how two people invite each other into each other's lives and give permission to one another to be in certain spaces. This of course predicates a lot of communication.

Forgiveness
Spiritual relationship acknowledges that there will be a lot of intense moments of union and a lot of intense moments in general. I've found that the more open two people can be, the more issues and problems move into two people's awareness. In some ways, this type of relationship is expected to get messy. Where a lot of times romantic relationship gets idealized, I think an authentic spiritual relationship ends up in the mud a lot more, and both people know it. This is where forgiveness as a practice becomes critical. You both know that you're heading for the dirt, and you'll both be upset. But to practice continual forgiveness as one of you or both of you work something out becomes one of the saving graces of this type of relationship. Then it lets you move back into those higher energy states, where we all want to go anyway.

Curiosity
I am also finding in myself that I move into relationship more from the space of curiosity than anything else. My levels of attraction to women ebb and flow, but moving from curiosity is a whole other thing. To me, it's this element of child-like play that is maturing and evolving in different areas of my life. It largely is getting igniting from the subtle energies that I may feel from someone. It's like a part of me says, "What's this?" It's really kind of fun and beautiful, and since it feels that way, I'm interested in seeing how I bring curiosity more fully into my relationships.

The Wrap Up
All-in-all, I feel different, and I don't fully know what to make of myself. I feel very solid in many regards, and I really don't know what's going to happen next. I'm very much in a period of rest and recharge, but at the same time, I feel like a whole new segment has just opened up in my life. I feel like I've only been operating on this script for a week and a half, so I'm sure that my perceptions around it all will vastly change as I get to understand what this new energy is that is moving through my life.

I welcome your thoughts and comments as always.
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