Friday, September 28, 2012

The End of Spiritual Seeking: You Already Have All Your Answers

One of the central pieces to the spiritual path is this truth: you already have all your answers. I touched on this topic some time ago in the post called "The Difference Between True Teaching and Data Transfers." The essence of that spirituality blog is that wisdom comes from within and that spiritual teachers are only meant to help you return to your own wisdom. There's lots of information and data in the world around you, but only you have your answers. That is the beauty and simplicity of this path. Yet it seems to be one of the most elusive truths for a lot of people.

So where did we veer onto another course of thinking that sees answers as being external to us? Let's take a look at some of our social conditioning.

The Structures of Religions and Schools
Part of the big social problem has been institutionalized into religions and schools. These structures tend to teach us to accept everything as presented. Many people don't even touch on serious questioning and intellectual discussions until college if they happen to go. There are plenty of other ways blind acceptance of facts is present in our daily lives. It comes from parents when they order their children to do something "because I said so." It comes up whenever we don't believe in ourselves and what we already know. It comes up all the time unfortunately. You may have even come to this Web site hoping that I'll have your answers, but I don't.

Yet, from almost since birth, a lot of people have been taught to simply accept whatever it is someone in authority has to say. By being in a place of "authority"--teacher, parent, leader, etc.--there's this idea that somehow whatever they say is right for everyone all the time. Obviously, better teachers and parents help people to think for themselves, but clearly that's not going on for millions or maybe even billions of people. Instead, it's a lot of rote memorization. People try to swallow as many facts as possible and follow prescribed formulae. In following those formulae, they think that they'll get what they want. But how many people come to the realization that after doing all the stuff that supposed to make them happy, they suddenly notice that they are miserable.

The Deepening of Misery As the External Search Continues
Initially, people aren't really seeking answers either. They don't know what they're seeking. They just want to feel better. They don't like what they've got, and they think someone else has got something that they want. It's a miserable situation. It is the current plight of this planet if you really look at it. Why does anyone need a million dollars? They don't. They think it'll make them happy, but it doesn't. Money will come and go. Having the biggest country doesn't mean you have the safest or happiest people, but we went through several world wars because some people thought that getting that external goal would make them happier in life. Instead, it brought intense misery and death to millions.

This may seem overly macabre and morose, but that external world is just a reflection of the deep longing, desperation, and emptiness of the untended inner world inside all of us. It is often shocking to people when I turn them towards themselves. One of my students made a comment about how if she starts shoveling (i.e. writing in her journal) then she'll be at it for a couple of hours. It can be a little dismaying just how much crap we're carrying inside. But as a person who has shoveled a lot of his own garbage out, I can tell you it is critical, and it makes you feel soooo much better.

Becoming A Spiritual Finder
I really don't like the term spiritual seeker. Seeking often makes people get lost in searching externally for things. They don't know how to seek within. Seeking has not been set up right in the cultural consciousness, which is part of why I write this blog. Some time ago, I wrote a guest post on called, "Become a Spiritual Finder, Not a Spiritual Seeker." In essence, I'm advocating turning inwards because that's the only way you can find your answers. Everything else in the external world are just mirrors and reflections of you anyway. If you see and sense great light from me, you are most likely just seeing the wisdom you already have. In much the same way, if you are really angry and pissed off at me after reading this, you are seeing your anger within you. It's a humbling thing to realize how much of ourselves we project onto others, and then it's even more humbling to start to look at all the crap that we thought was someone else's is actually ours.

That's the end of spiritual seeking, and the starting of spiritual finding.

And this is a wonderful moment. Because now you can recognize that there's a problem. You're letting go of denial and the search as well as the blame game that you play with the external world. In so doing, you bring more of your attention and your energy back to your inner world. And it really needs it.

Getting the Shovel and Pick Axe Ready
Looking into the gunk of your soul can be intimidating, but the good news is that it's just one shovel-full of dirt at a time. There's no rush. Just start by bringing some gentle awareness to what is there. See what its story is, and see how it's influenced your life. This can often be the first and last step, and it purely depends on your own process. At the heart of the spiritual path is letting go. When you let go of pain and attachments, tremendous light and love can open and unfold in your life. It is that simple. But I also understand that it's nice to have some tools and other techniques to help with the letting go. In essence, a lot of this blog is simply a bridge back to yourself and to letting go of the things and pain that you don't need to carry any longer.

So the shovel and pick axe may be what you need. That can be journaling, breathwork, meditation, addiction counseling, energy healing, and many other things. There is a whole world of tools now available to you, and I encourage you to use them. Clearing away all this sludge and healing pain will make you feel so much better.

Answers and Spiritual Gifts Bubbling to the Surface
Then, something curious may happen. Those answers that you'd long sought elsewhere may start to bubble up to the surface. It may come slowly. It may come quickly. Some of your answers may be incredibly simple. That alone may blow your mind. Deeper spiritual revelations and realizations may suddenly burst to the top level of your consciousness, and after the initial rush, you may feel slightly overwhelmed as you realize all the things that now need to change in your life to come into alignment with those epiphanies. A lot of things may happen, including getting a clearer idea of your gifts that you are here to share with this world.

The good news is that it's still just one step at a time, just one breath at a time. And it will always be this way in life because you can only ever live in this one moment.

Finding the Next Round of Blocks and Issues
But often, we've set up different gates inside of ourselves. So we get out of the prison cell, and then we run up against a new set of iron bars. Sometimes, it's because we're still caught up in the illusions of the world. Sometimes, it's helpful because you don't have to integrate too much too soon. Regardless of the situation, after you've had a sampling of your own answers, you probably want more. It can be a little addicting, but in a good way.

So you dig deeper. Maybe you need different tools for a different set of issues or to more deeply heal a recurring issue. Or maybe these will release by just going back to that deep presence and your intention to let go. As I said, it begins and ends with letting go. It also begins and ends with love. So if you feel frustration and self-judgment nipping around the edges of your consciousness, go to your heart. Go to love. Let that help you to let go and to dissolve this next level of blockages so the deeper truths and answers you already hold within you can come up to the surface.

Today's picture comes from my reader, Becky Stiller. Thanks a bunch!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Announcing a Volunteer for Helping My Spiritual Awakening Web Site

I'm excited to announce that my student, Missy, will be my first Volunteer Web Communications Manager. She'll be helping me expand my reach beyond what I've been able to do. In these endeavors, I hope to be able to spread my work to more people, and I hope to create more of a financial footing so that this can be the only work that I do.

Some of the projects that she'll be helping me with include:

  • Web design
  • Branding
  • Social media strategy & social media implementation
  • Copyright violation monitoring (It happens. People try to steal my blog content or ebook and post it without permission. If you ever see this, please contact me).
  • Photo content development (combining pictures with quotes from me)
  • Video editing and improvements
As you can tell, Missy is going to be really busy, and as you might have guessed, I've been pretty busy. But her help is critical for me right now because she'll let me focus more of my energy back on quality blogs, videos, and sessions with you.

As always, all of you have greatly supported me and continue to be wonderful supports through reading my work, sharing it, and connecting with me. Thank you all very much.

Today's photo comes from my student, Jenn. Seriously, there are a lot of people's influences in this lil old blog. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

And the Spiritual Survey Says...

Thanks to everyone who filled out my survey. I wanted to share with you some of the results.

Jim's Spirituality Videos

I think one of my big take-aways is that many of you have yet to see my videos. While 60% of people had seen my YouTube videos, that meant 40% hadn't. However, for those who had seen them, 89% of people said that they were good or excellent. I appreciate those kind thoughts, and even as I'm working to improve them down the road, it's great to know that I'm off to a good start.

So if you haven't seen my spiritual awakening videos or haven't looked in awhile, here's my link:

Also on the right-hand side of this blog, you can find some of the latest videos. Just click to play directly on this Web site.

Favorite Spirituality Topics

Well, it's no surprise that for a blog about spiritual awakening that 96% of respondents said that topics about awakening were what they enjoyed most about this blog. Almost 50% said that they really enjoyed topics about healing too. (People could select multiple topics in this one, hence why the numbers add up to well over 100% :)

Talking the Spirituality Talk

People definitely want to hear about spirituality. The most popular choice for spiritual events was talks with question and answer sessions after them. A total of 82% of people opted for this with the next most popular event being workshops, which 50% of respondents selected (once again, this option allowed for multiple selection).

Spirituality Everywhere

This isn't news to me, but it might be interesting to many of you to find out how international this blog is. People from around the world filled out my spirituality survey. Here are some of the countries where respondents/blog readers live:
  • U.S.A
  • U.K.
  • Canada
  • Italy
  • Argentina
  • South Africa
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • India
Pretty neat, huh? It's amazing to see how the Internet and spirituality is bringing us all together. Thanks again for everyone who offered their thoughts as I approached the start of my third full year as an acting spiritual teacher. We're headed towards some amazing stuff together!

Today's pictures are gift from my regular reader, Ricci. Thanks so much!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Spiritual Awakening 2017, 2018, 2019 and So On

spiritual awakening, timelessness, pond, sunny day, clouds
There was some kind of enthusiasm going on for spiritual awakening in 2012 back when I first wrote this blog. It was definitely fun stuff. People were excited about the idea of peace, love, and harmony entering all of humanity in one fell swoop. People did what they usually do, however, which was to look for some external event to make life all better. Yes, 2012, many spiritual quests, techniques, and journeys were the latest sugar pill. Take two, and you'll feel better in the morning. I don't know how anyone can really believe this stuff except that the mental ego is always looking outside of itself for fulfillment. So I guess this was inevitable.

As 2012 ended and prophecies, portals opening, vortices closing, alien predictions, and every other kind of hoo-hah got to a fever pitch, life went on. Because life and awakening aren't a single moment or experience, and if this is a revelation for you, let me take a moment to explain what spiritual awakening really is.

(For those of you who are new to this spiritual website, I encourage you to check out my ebook: Everyday Spirituality: Cultivating an Awakening.)

(You might also want to check out my most popular spirituality blog posts when you are done reading here: 10 Most Popular Spirituality Blogs.)

Going Within for a Timeless Event
Here's the big truth about spiritual awakenings: they are timeless. They are always here in the moment. There's no lead time. There's no post awakening time. Now this may sound counter to what I blog about, but the truth of the matter is that this blog is dedicated to living from this awareness. It's not about the process of making a spiritual awakening happen or perpetually re-enacting a high-state experience and the associated feelings. Your state of consciousness will always change in the physical world. How awakened awareness feels as you integrate it into your daily life feels different than that first hit. Think of it like the first time you tasted something really good. As you get used to it, it's still really good, but it doesn't have the same kick.

Plus, you are still human after an awakening, which is why the furor that we had going on around 2012 was especially amazing. I think a lot of people were presuming that all human difficulties would be washed out of this world by the end of that year. I certainly was open to that possibility.

But the prediction I made at the end of that year was this: we would all still be human.

And that has been the truth. We all still have issues. We all still make mistakes. We love. We get angry. We get scared. We grieve because all of this is part of the great tapestry of human life. It is part of the whole, and awakening has no preference over any part.

It's all sacred.

The Great Hope for a Better World
But if there is one great hope for a better world, it is you. Yes, you. You are the only one in charge of you no matter what year it is nor what vortex is opening. You are the only one who can embrace all of you. If you don't do this, no one else will. If you don't chose to live life from a more conscious and kind awareness every day, no one else will. There's no time to wait for someone else or for some wave of global awakening energy to wash you along to a better or "perfect" life (whatever that means for you). If anything, if there is a wave of awakening energy, it's because others have walked through that door to embrace their greatest darkness and their greatest light. In so doing, they embraced all of themselves. This is one way to look at awakening. Another way to look at it is to let go of all attachments, including the ones that seem to make us feel good.

There are many other ways I can spread this pat of butter on this Internet bread, but it still comes back to you. If you are waiting on the sidelines for some perfect moment to jump in, don't. Don't get in. The water is not what you are expecting. You simply have to let go of the idea of the perfect moment, and then jump in. Or maybe you should just jump in anyway. If there are any kind of new super juju energies going on these days, then take advantage of them because only you can.

And Then the 2012 Party Was Over
And then 2012 was over. People went on. 2013 came, and then it went. I'm sure people have been cooking up plenty of new prophecies, predictions for opening vortices, parallel dimensions, and the usual stuff since then. There is always something going on in the universe. That's part of why I hold astrology very lightly and rarely use it as a reason for anything I ever feel on my inner plane of existence. There's always a planet in retrograde somewhere. You can't use the external world as an excuse for how you are feeling or if you are ready to awaken. In many respects, awakening is something your soul is already planning to do or not. Still that doesn't mean that there isn't value in preparing yourself for an awakening. And how do you do that? You follow your heart and you face your fears and darkness.

How to Face Your Inner Darkness

Because as years roll by, following your heart will help create the possibilities for spiritual awakenings in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and so on. Who knows what your influence will be on the world as you do your inner work and follow your heart? Perhaps your inner work makes space for your children to awaken or your friends or your spouse. You can't possibly know all the ramifications of this sacred work. And as I tell people, if you haven't had an awakening, then follow your heart. If you have had an awakening, then follow your heart. Either way, you can see where this spiritual path is leading you.

Spiritual Awakening 2018 and 2019
And let's not stop. Let's get excited about every year. Let's make every year an excuse to make space for spiritual awakening. Let's make space for there to be spiritual caretakers to those who have an awakening. Let's make space to have more love in our relationships. Let's do the work to clear away the old hurtful structures and patterns in our lives. So when  year after year, people prophesy that a great blue moon in alignment with Jupiter's retrograde in conjunction with the portal opening in the Pleiades has now created the perfect time for spiritual awakenings in 2021, we will make that prophecy come true.

And while we are the ones that have to walk through those portals into awakening, we also help create them with our intentions. So where are your intentions? Still waiting? I hope not.

Slowing Down and Removing Expectations
Let's take a brief breath as we look at this year and the years to come. Let's slow down. This planet is spinning really, really fast. You'd think there was somewhere to go. With spiritual awakening, there is no where to go. That's the point of this blog and part of why 2012 was a little silly (The Mayan prophecy at it's core is an astronomical prediction about when the sun starts a new cycle). Because awakening can't be at any other moment than now. Sure, I bet some people had some amazing spiritual experiences in 2012. When the moment was gone, many of them probably went back to their life and wondered why things were still the same. Some others may have had some big internal shift, and that truly is a beautiful thing.

When you do awaken, that's when the real work begin for you to embody it and live from that space in this world. That's part of what this spiritual awakening blog is dedicated to, and it's why I expect that I'll have plenty of people to talk to about spiritual awakening in 2017, 2018, 2019, and so on. Because it is one thing to wake up, and it is yet another to de-program all the unhealthy ways of acting and learn to live and act in loving harmony on this planet.

Letting Go of Prophecies, Coming Into the Moment
So let go of the prophecies and predictions. They're just ego games to put your hope for yourself, for life, and for this world into the future. Bring your hope and your happiness to this moment. Bring your awareness to this moment. Be here now.

Be Here Now

Perhaps you can make the spiritual awakening prophecies come true by embracing the fullness of you. Then, perhaps all of this enthusiasm and excitement will really grow into an unstoppable tidal wave of consciousness and love that will radically re-shape the whole planet into world of peace.

Thanks for reading. If you'd like to stay in touch, click below to sign up for my free newsletter:

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Today's picture come from my long-time reader, Missy. Thanks, dear one!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Spiritual Revelations and Realizations Roll Through You

The flood gates open. Spiritual revelations and realizations suddenly are tumbling through you at a dizzying pace. Any initial desire you had for these kinds of understandings may soon wane and be replaced by exhaustion and the sense of being unable to keep up with what you're now understanding about yourself, your energy, and all of life.

It can be exhausting because these kinds of spiritual understandings are going into every aspect and pore of your being. The mental part is the easiest part. The heart, body, and soul are learning in completely different ways. Those areas are often where a great deal of resistance lie, although most minds are still littered with unhealthy thought patterns resisting the truth you are now accessing. What to do?

Keep letting go.

Surrender, Surrender, and Keep Surrendering

The First Great Revelation

The first great revelation someone gets may feel amazing. It may also be incredibly disappointing or dismaying. Because oftentimes, this revelation simply shows how messed up your life is. This realization may be that "I am the cause of all my problems" or that "My life isn't okay. It's a huge mess." Depending on the individual, this can start a turn towards the spiritual path. It may also start the full spiritual awakening if it is profound enough. There's no way to know, but you aren't the same after it has come.

The Turn Towards the Spiritual Path

For others, the turn towards the spiritual path is a slight turn, and the realization (which to me is kind of a smaller magnitude revelation) is a slight course correction. It may happen when a friend mentions something that just clicks for you. And it's also really hard to ignore, although people certainly can do it. Human beings have a lot of practice with denial.

As such, spiritual revelations and realizations still can be ignored before an awakening. The ego has gotten good at this, as it thinks that holding onto familiarity is the safer road (which ultimately for most people is the path of pain). But after an awakening strikes, the revelations and realizations locked behind the walls of fear, doubt, despair, shame, and anger come tumbling out, and you will need to make space to understand them on every level.

The Healing and Awakening Cycles

I often have to define the difference between healing and awakening, although the lines get really, really blurred. Many of you are in purification, preparation, or healing cycles, and because of how confused people have become about "spiritual awakening signs" or "spiritual awakening symptoms," you may think you are having an awakening. The key thing is "think." When it happens, there's no doubt. But this doesn't invalidate the other processes. They're all important.

For me, I definitely had a purification and preparation process that helped heal old painful patterns before awakening came and found me. And for those who are in healing, it can be amazing to feel what it is like to be healthy. Consider if you have a broken leg. Standing feels awesome when you can finally do it. This "standing up" can be confused as awakening, but really, awakening is like being able to run.

Within awakening, especially for those who are unprepared, healing and awakening tend to happen simultaneously. The revelations and realizations that are flooding through your mind are helping you to understand yourself and how to heal and awaken further. They are things like:
  • Seeing where your pattern of self-abuse started and how it's influenced every relationship in your life
  • Learning why your family has been miserly and hard-hearted for generations
  • Discovering some old past-life (I think of these as concurrent lives, but that's a topic for another time) has been influencing your choices in this life in an unhealthy way
  • Understanding how you've hurt so many others and feeling that in your own heart and body
  • And sooooo much more
In turn, these realizations call you to action. You have to change how you think, feel, and act. You have to learn more about your energy field. You may have a ton of work to do to fully understand these realizations, and that often brings about the cycles that I mentioned in my post: "The Process of Releasing Pain From Your Energy Body." You're doing incredibly deep work, and for those with the spiritual awakening fatigue, I hope you're starting to understand why.

Resisting the Truth

For those not in this profound space, you can still resist the truth. You can bury yourself in your work, substances (including food, which can lead to binge eating), sex, relationships, exercise, adventures, and all kinds of other things. For those in awakening, you can't. Sure you can do the same unhealthy things, but you are going to feel new levels of misery, depression, and despair when you do things that are out of alignment with yourself. You can't imagine how bad this may feel unless you've been in this space.

Finding Alignment With Life

Why is this?

Because the deeper you is awake and moving. You are fully resisting and avoiding all of you. It takes a tremendous amount of energy to avoid and resist the fullness of you. It takes a ton of energy simply to let go of old resistance at times. I can't imagine doing the other. Which is why I always encourage people to simply let go of their ideas about how their life should look when this comes. It is being transformed in a way that none of us can exactly see, and you're going to need a lot of faith and discipline along the way without trying to resist it.

Spiritual Knowledge and Wisdom Descends

These revelations and realizations are often about you, but some of you may be gifted with a bigger picture. This is different for everyone. We are all here to be what we are. If you are a redwood tree, you share yourself with the world differently than the peach tree. No one is greater or lesser than the others. We are all part of an interconnected and interdependent system. So if you are gifted with greater vision about the world and the relationships around you, be grateful. But know that this is no place to let any remnant of an old controlling ego remain. That's why some of you go through more rigorous spiritual scrub-downs. Sacred knowledge can be abused to some degree, although there are repercussions. So that's also why our souls have selected some of these particularly challenging spiritual processes. Our true selves understand that it is important to clear the fear and hate in us that would use these tools and understandings for anything less than the highest good.

And of course, some people go through intense spiritual awakening processes because they are in so much resistance still. I suppose it's the difference between having more to let go of than others, but you can't think of it that way. There are no hard generalizations around this. So all I can really say is that if you're feeling really overwhelmed and in a difficult transition. Let go. And practice letting go of the part of you that is feeling overwhelmed and would prefer a different kind of process.

Breathing in the New-Old Knowledge

Ultimately, a lot of this self-knowledge is old news. You've always had it. And sometimes there's a grieving period that comes with that because you realize how much you've cut yourself off from your own sacred wisdom and how ought of integrity you have been with yourself and others. It is sad that we've done this, but this too is part of the greater unfolding of the universe. This is the sacred discovery process, which could only happen if we'd forgotten it.

So now you are finding all the wisdom that you have. It's not mine. It's not anyone else's. It's yours and is seen through your distinctive lens on the world. Enjoy it, but more importantly incorporate it into your life. That's how we change the world. We bring this wisdom into the world with kind words and actions. We bring this spiritual knowledge into the world by the clarity and presence of our being. It becomes effortless because we are simply being who we are.

Be who you are. Relax into this space. Find the supports you need to own the realizations and spiritual revelations pouring through you, and come into the inheritance of the wealth of your wisdom.

Today's picture comes from my student, Jenn.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Process of Releasing Pain from Your Energy Body

Today's topic is probably one of the more critically important topics in my mind. This is in large part because most people have never had a big release of pain from their energy. So they don't know what that feels like. In a world that is increasingly focused on avoiding uncomfortable things or only doing uncomfortable things with clear physical world benefits, this is a brand new space. It's easy to misinterpret things as going wrong when they may actually be healing.

In these interests, I'm going to share with you my experiences with releasing pain from my energy body and what I've learned from these experiences. Hopefully, you can better understand your own energy and your own healing and/or awakening process.

The Big Bang Comes and Goes: Embodiment and Healing Accelerate

If you've had a big spiritual awakening, you probably got to surf on these waves of bliss or profound inner stillness. Everyone has slightly different qualities to their awakenings, but generally speaking, it feels good. It's like getting your first full cup of pure water after being in the desert. However, your capacity to drink and hold this water of life is very limited. You have no practice in holding it in your space. So when the gallon jug of water comes next, you don't think you can drink another drop. You feel filled to your bursting limit, and burst you will.

Breaking Down the Ego and Pain Structures

A lot of our lives are full of "pain structures." These are the relationships, jobs, tasks, emotional tendencies, physical habits, and mental patterns that only serve to keep pain in our lives. Probably an easy one to identify with is codependence. This can keep an individual chained to an unhealthy and/or abusive relationship because the individual doesn't think s/he can make it on their own. With an awakening, that belief is being dissolved or may be completely destroyed. It's different for everyone. But now the individual has to learn how to live in a healthy relationship. The individual has to learn how to be with healthy (or at least healthier) people. This often brings about waves of new individuals through the person's life as the individual embodies more of the awakening, i.e. as the person is more able to live from this space of awakening on a daily basis. One wave of people will come; you'll learn the lessons; and then they'll leave. Then the next group of people will come. It will take a lot of focused dedication, and the old ego pattern of holding onto relationships simply won't work and may be intensely painful.

Because anywhere the old ego is still holding on, you're likely to suffer. The ego is perpetuating the split inside you that keeps you disconnected from yourself and from God because in awakening, the two are really the same. We are all part of God. We are all connected. The ego's story is always about "I" and being "separate" from others. It's not that we don't make our own choices, but we are so intensely interdependent that the story of independence really becomes laughable. And sometimes, laughter will be the best medicine even if you are laughing painfully at yourself.

Connecting, Healing, Releasing, and Expanding Further

With all that said, there is a tidal wave of energy that comes to you in awakening. This tidal wave is you--the fullness of you. In many ways, you are being overwhelmed by you, but let's take it one small step at a time whenever possible. One of the first most important steps is to tune into your needs, how your energy feels, and your cycles for expansion. I've found that I go through cycles of expansion and contraction. For several years, there would be these times of expansion in my awareness and opportunities and new relationships. Then there would be contraction as relationships completed, and I'd shrink down to the lowest energy level that I naturally hold. This is a great gift, and it's something that I can't emphasize enough. When you can't do much and nothing externally is working, this is the time to see where you are still holding pain and issues. These are where you core issues are still chaining you to old unhealthy ways of living. What is sitting at the bottom of your well?

Then if you clear this intentionally with love and awareness, the next expansion can be even fuller and wider. It will go until you get pulled back into a contraction by the next set of chains that are still latched on to you.

The Intensity Builds and Something Breaks Open

A lot of times for my students who aren't in this space, I talk about letting the energy build up inside. This can make you feel like a pressure cooker. For each person this is different. If you are used to 100 degrees, then 110 feels like a pressure cooker. If you are used to 150 degrees, then 110 doesn't feel like much of anything. Each level of healing and release takes different pressure and intensity.

For instance, you may know how to let go of relationships, so that may be easier for you than another person. So the next level of pressure will require you to let go of relationships, a job, and a living space all at once. Those reflections in the external world during this specific timeframe are often reflections of the inner changes going on. And you will also have to stayed tuned into what you need to do in terms of self-care beyond these outer world changes. Inner healing often takes a lot of intensity because we are so used to living in fear and anger and hurt. The intensity is also all the resistance we have to the change, flow, and life that is now moving in us. Consider this like a river hitting a huge dam. It can take a lot of water and pressure to break the dam open--to break you open.

Re-Meeting Old Issues and Finding New Ones

I've always found that each succeeding issue felt brand new to me. It got frustrating to the ego parts of me. Sometimes I was healing an issue on a deeper level, which I'd thought I'd already released. Sometimes it was a brand new issue--something that I didn't even know I had lurking in the basement of my energy body. So after having cleaned out something else, you may hope that the deep cleaning cycles are done...Nope. Still more to go.

And when something breaks open, a lot may go through you. You may feel an energy release, which can feel like a tingling, hot, buzz rippling through your body. You may feel lots of the pent up emotions releasing. You may start crying...A LOT. In these moments, you are releasing the pain of this issue or old karma. If it is really intense, you may need some energy support from something such as sound healing (which you can find on YouTube) or even a close spiritual friend of teacher. Most times, rest, meditation, visualized energy clearing (which is easy to learn), and drinking LOTS of water helps you to clear out what just broke open. Some people can get sick or very physically ill. And while I ALWAYS encourage you to check in with doctors for physical illnesses, when it's a spiritual healing in progress, they usually won't find anything wrong with you. You'll just get sent home to rest until it clears.

The Resulting Expansion from Released Pain

Here's a big sign that you are going through a spiritual process; when the pain/sickness clears, you feel amazing. I've seen it happen in my students. It's awesome. Their whole energy can shift if it's something really big that just cleared. They report feeling more open, more alive, and more like themselves than they've ever felt before. These are key indicators that you have released an energy blockage of some kind. I know that not everyone's process is the same, but I like to highlight this point. Because if you are just getting sick again after clearing the first thing, something else may be going on. You may need more support, or you may be getting the wrong support or be in an unhealthy environment.

Furthermore, don't rush into the next self improvement, mantra, or kundalini yoga exercise after a big clearing. It's important for you to settle into this new space, rest, and redefine yourself. Get used to your energy and the potentially new sensitivities you may now have. If you are in awakening, you can offer the intention to this highly intelligent life force, that you need a pause. I've always found  that my energy could give me a few more days of rest before the next wave shook everything up again.

Then the Next Wave of Awakened Energy Descends

For many of you in awakening, the next wave still may come quickly. That's also because you now have more space for more of you after you've cleared out some of the old karmic trash. So the energy comes to fill up and expand these spaces. In so doing, you get pushed to your next edge, issue, or karma. This energy starts to increase the pressure on those aspects of you, and you may now be drawn to new teachers, paths, friends, and ideas to find the tools that you need to deal with this new level of you. Consequently, the cycle I've just outlined begins anew.

For the old ego, this can get demoralizing, which is why letting go of the remaining parts of the ego become so critical. At each level of healing, we need to let go of ideas about how the process should unfold. So you need to continue to tune into your inner knowing/intuition. It's absolutely critical to determining what you need most to assist this amazing healing process.

A Quick Overview of the Healing Process As I've Seen It

Here's my attempt to boil down the process of releasing pain and healing into a few quick bullets. Keep in mind that everyone's process is different, and when the seas are really stormy, it's hard to get much of any bearings on the process. But here goes:

  • Expansion. You are venturing beyond your usual comfort zone. Life is filling you up.
  • The Turn. You hit an edge. You start to get pulled back. If you can sense when this turn comes, it can help you to identify what the issue is that is chaining you and is about to be healed.
  • Contraction. Your energy disappears for all or most external world things. This is when doing anything in the world blows up in your face. You feel like your body is a pressure cooker. You may feel pressure or extreme discomfort on parts of your body. It's time to self-nourish.
  • Dropping Into the Process. Grieving, sickness, or feeling all kinds of upset feelings (fear, anger, shame, etc.) arise. Gentle, loving awareness is needed to see what's going on as well as to help heal it. Find tools and support as appropriate.
  • Release. Depending on your process, the release can feel good immediately, or you may go further into grieving or potentially an illness (once again, please, please, PLEASE consult with a doctor for physical illnesses).
  • Clearing. You feel the pressure cooker let up. You feel more flexible in your body, more open in your heart, more clear in your mind, more clear in you energy and connections with others, all of the above, or something else.
  • Next Expansion. You fill up with more of your light and expand until you hit the next crop of issues and karma that needs to be healed. The cycle renews.

A Journey Up a Mountain

My first experience with this type of energy clearing came on a hike up a mountain about 7 years ago. It was such a brand new experience at the time. I was really struggling on this hike and drinking tons of water. I had a sense that something spiritual was up, but I didn't really know what it was. As I mentioned earlier, many people have no idea what it is like to clear an energy blockage, and I was definitely in that group at least as far as my experiences in this lifetime had taught me. I remember when the hike turned into a climb through craggy, crumbling rock. I remember the intense fear that rose up in my chest. It looked bad to me. I was scared to go down. I was scared to go up. So I kept going.

But one interesting thing I did was that I become extremely present when I was climbing.  I could find each hand-hold that I needed. Then when I paused, I'd descend into the fear until I felt something move. It was like this chunk of black stuff came up from the pit of my stomach. As it rose, I suddenly realized I was going to cry. It was way out of my experience. And it certainly was outside my comfort zone considering all the social conditioning that goes on about what it means to "act like a man." But it was unavoidable. So I started crying and crying. I'd climb. And then I'd cry until I reached the top.

My brother was there, so I collapsed into his supportive arms. I was so raw and wiped out. It was intense. Yet, I got a glimpse downwards into myself from that experience. I had no illusions that I'd in any way transcended all my fear. Instead, I suddenly saw how much fear there was inside of me, and while the hike back was way easier having let go of this burden that I'd been carrying, I knew there were more of these spiritual ordeals to come to heal my energy so I could just be me.

The Long Look Down

The spiritual path is always taking us inward, and I encourage you to look inward. Especially when one of these shifts is going on, it can take a lot of love and courage to do so. But we've all been looking away from ourselves for too long. We've ignored our inner space and ourselves to large extents. It's time to stop. It's time to see what all we are carrying. Whether you are just starting, healing, or awakening (which kinda combines healing and expansions simultaneously), you can do this. Pain can be released, and as you do, you will feel more amazing and open than ever before. You will finally get to feel like you.

Monday, September 17, 2012

2012 Spiritual Awakening Blog and Teaching Survey

Hi everyone. As many of you know, I've been asking for feedback as I finish up a second full year of active spiritual teaching. Below is a link that you can click to share your thoughts on what you like and what you'd like to see more of. It really does help me to post blogs and create videos that help you as well as expand my services to meet your spiritual needs.

If you're interested in me speaking or holding spiritual events in your area (not just the SF Bay Area), then this is also the survey to click on.

Thanks to everyone who has already offered their feedback and to all that soon will. Much love to you all!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

3 Favorite Spiritual Awakening Blog Posts

Today's post is written by my student, Jenn. As some of you may have noticed, she's supplied a number of the beautiful pictures that have been accompanying my spirituality posts, including this one. In this post, you now get to hear some of her words.

Favorite Spirituality Blog Post #1: Taking Responsibility for Your Life 

I found this blog Taking Responsibility for Your Life, to be extremely helpful. This blog clearly points out the importance of taking honest ownership of ones’ life. Like Jim mentions in the first paragraph,"But many people aren't trying to see what the world is. They are lost in trying to make the world be something other than it is, and they don't want to take responsibility for what their projections onto other people and their actions are doing and have created in their lives." It is refreshing to hear a spiritual teacher speak about accountability and fearlessly dive into uncomfortable issues such as “owning your own crap.”

He writes, “At first, you may feel really vulnerable, and you may confuse this as being a victim. But this is far from the truth. Being non-reactive in situations is a way to take time to make conscious decisions. It's a way to stop fueling cycles of pain in your life. It's a way to fully see what's playing out in your life and to see what your role has been in the whole drama. Because when you come from that space of awareness, you actually will start making conscious decisions, potentially for the first time in your life.”

When I read this it felt like a bowling ball was dropped on my stomach. Instantly, I could feel my ego become defensive, and then it hit me--that “ah-ha moment.” I realized by taking responsibility for myself I can live a life of true freedom.

I really enjoyed this reading, and I find myself re-reading it to center myself when I start to fall into old behaviors. 
Favorite Spirituality Blog Post #2: Understanding the Difference Between Self Love and Ego Love 

Possibly one of my favorite of Jim’s blogs is, Understanding the Difference Between Self Love and Ego Love. It describes the major differences between self-love and ego-love. First, he uses water when referring to love. This reference really helped me understand my misconceptions about love. He writes, “Many people have been drinking from the toxic swamp water, so when you think about love, you may not even believe it exists because it's been so toxic in your family relationships and your romances. While not everyone has had such a hard life, much of the rest of love has been contaminated with expectations, desires, fears, and attachments. This water makes you choke a little to drink it, but if you drink enough of it, you acclimate. It's kinda like drinking alcohol--most people don't really enjoy it at first, but if you swill enough of it down the ole gullet, you think you do like it. Then, you expect that this is simply how love tastes until one day you get a taste of the pure water from the spring.” Jim’s writing has a way of turning me upside down so I can see what I have been looking at for decades with a fresh perspective.
Later in the paragraph, Breaking Down the Walls to Your Heart, he writes, “Every now and then, someone uses the term "heart-break" in a way that resonates for me. I like thinking of it as a reason to break through the callousness and get to your feelings. Of course, not all feelings are going to be enjoyable. That's part of life, and loving all feelings within you is an important step on the path to true self-love. Ego-love will say, 'I enjoy being happy, excited, and pleasured, but not angry, scared, or hurt.' Self-love will say, 'I enjoy being in whatever state I am.'" This is such an incredible way of looking at how I dealt with painful experiences. This blog has helped me to remember to stay open to life by truly loving. Of course, I only want to feel “good,” but Jim has reminded me to feel what “really is.” 

Favorite Spirituality Blog Post #3: The Maturation of the Awakened Heart 
Early this Spring I started to feel a huge shift in my ability to feel. At first it was terrifying. I started to feel things I never had before. I started to lose my idea of separation. I could feel a deep connection to everything. It was all really overwhelming. Then at the perfect time, I read his blog that called me to listen to my inner-self. Jim writes, “The initial phase of heart awakening is to fall in love with everything. The melting of our inner separation leads to a melting of outer separation for our hearts. When we love the whole of ourselves, we can love the whole of humanity even if it does not love us back.” Later he mentions, “The old ego self still may not fully believe in you. It may try and tell you that going back is better, or that somehow it will be safer. But the more awakened your heart is (and I really am just talking about the heart, not the mind, body, or how the overall energy awakens), the more you know that there's nothing to go back to except lies and illusion.” This blog helped me to listen to my heart and quiet my ego's illusions.

I hope you enjoyed Jenn's thoughts. As always, I'm interested in what you've enjoyed reading most, and I hope you are finding your way on your spiritual paths!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mindfulness and Starting a Spiritual Practice

I occasionally like to start at the beginning again with these blogs because I know many people are coming here with no spiritual practice whatsoever (BTW, if you are brand new to the blog and to spirituality, please click over to my Starting Out section). Sometimes people have an awakening and have no spiritual tools at all. And furthermore, it's never a bad thing to stop and start over again no matter where you think you are in your spiritual path.

So here are a few of my spirituality blog posts to encourage you to develop more awareness in your regular practices and to potentially begin again...because ultimately every day, we are beginning again.

What Is Mindfulness?
Well, you probably haven't seen this term too much in my writing. It essentially means to bring awareness to whatever it is you are focusing on. I don't use it because it has the word "mind" in it, and I don't want you to get stuck in thinking that the mind is doing all of this. It really is a limited tool, and it needs to be understood for both its strengths and weaknesses. For instance, I had the best carrot cake of my life this weekend at a cafe with some friends. It was moist, and the carrots were tender. The icing was creamy and rich, but not overly sweet. I mean it was just plain awesomeness in my mouth, but with all these words, can you taste this? No, of course not. This is a limitation of the mind. My thoughts and words cannot convey taste (although maybe a few of you are now craving carrot cake).

Hence, I usually encourage you to bring "awareness" to something. How your body feels when it is alive and aware can tell you so much. Sure, your mind can help interpret it. However, as many of you in awakening have found out, there's all kinds of messages and sensations locked in your bodies that get released, and those messages may make "no sense." Essentially, the mind doesn't know how to interpret them. And that's why we learn how to be with those sensations. We can be aware of them. In this same way, we learn to be with our feelings and with energetic/intuitive impulses that may move through us.

Mindfulness for Your Body Blog: Creating a New Relationship With Your Body

Since some of you may be brand new, the whole idea of being mindful and aware of your body may be also be brand new. No worries. The spirituality blog post linked above will help you to take a step back and see a bigger context. Some of the statistics are probably a little dated now, but I honestly don't think the number of people overweight has gone down. Maybe it has. I would love to see a wave of health conscious take hold the world.

And it can. It can start with you. Because your body is sacred, and it's the only one you get in this lifetime. Make the best of it.

Mindfulness for Your Heart Blog: Falling in Love with Yourself

This next spiritual blog post may be more than you are initially ready for, but it's still a great starting point. It emphasizes the critical importance of self-love. I know that many of you may be unfamiliar with self-love. You may confuse it with ego-love, so I will say this before you read that spiritual post: self-love is complete acceptance of yourself as you are. Ego-love always comes with strings attached and reasons to like yourself or not.

Mindfulness for Your Intellect Blog: Taming Your Intellectual Power

Of course, we also have to get the mind back in line. So this blog helps you to see what's happened here, and it can help you to build a framework for looking at how you think and view yourself. Learning how to compassionately question ourselves creates space for change and growth. We have to get away from the reactive defensive mechanisms that keep us locked in cycles of pain and avoid discomfort (which is really ironic, right? By avoiding what we think is uncomfortable, we continue cycles of pain). So click on to that spiritual blog post to start seeing how you can be more mindful with your mind.

The Beginning of Mindfulness and the Long Road Ahead
Just noticing where you are is a big first step. And every day wherever you feel like you are in your path, it's important to just notice where you are. Bring awareness to this moment. Each moment is precious, sacred, and fleeting. There will never be another one like it, so I encourage you to be mindful of the temporariness of it all and bring your awareness to things that truly matter most to your heart and soul.

Thanks to my student, Jenn, for the lovely picture.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Awakening Is Always Right Here

Awakening isn't a goal.

And there's no where to go to get it.

It's right here. In this moment.

All you have to do is stop doing and be. Let it all go--all of the attachments--and be fully here.

That's it.

And even if some earth-shattering, teeth-rattling huge energetic eruption doesn't come to dissolve the dream world you are living in, you will feel so much better than living constantly trapped by your attachments, desires, and fears.

Grounding and Integrating Your Spiritual Awakening

One of the common sensations people have during a spiritual awakening (also called ascension, kundalini awakening, and enlightenment) is being unable to focus. You may feel light-headed and floating about in a daze. It may be very blissful, and at other times, it may feel like you're lost in a fog with no way to focus yourself. Congratulations. You are extremely ungrounded. So let's talk about how we can get you back down to earth. :)

Houston, We Have a Problem
The first couple of times we feel like we're floating off in outer space, it can be a jarring, foreign, scary, or super blissful feeling. A lot of it depends on how much ego baggage is still attaching to the person who is now floating in the stratosphere. None of this is bad, per se. But we do live in this world, so the real question is how do we integrate this awareness.

Lots of people talk about this process in a variety of terms that you may have run across, and I want to be clear about what I'm talking about as always. Here's a list to hopefully help you understand that ultimately we're all talking about the same thing. So integrating a spiritual awakening is also called:
  • Embodying a spiritual awakening
  • Ascending (i.e. spiritual ascension)
  • Raising your vibration & anchoring your energy
  • Grounding
The more confused ways of discussing this natural process is to put it into these kinds of signs and portents or disease terminology. That's why plenty of you read stuff out there about:

  • spiritual awakening symptoms
  • spiritual awakening signs
  • ascension symptoms
  • ascension signs
I'm extremely cautious about saying "spiritual awakening signs" and listing them out because everyone is different. Ultimately, you know in your heart if you are having an awakening and not a nervous breakdown or severe depression, where many of the signs can be similar. And in regards to "symptoms," you are not sick or having a disease. You've been sick, and now the awakening is actually healing you all the pain inside of you. And there is a lot of pain that often has to come out no matter how good a life we think we've lead. It's just a lot of karmic and cultural baggage, and it needs to be dealt with.

Landing the Rocketship: Coming Back Down Through the Layers
Just like the atmosphere has many layers, so do you. So you may feel some resistance as you come back from these upper realms. But in being mindful and aware of yourself and where you are resisting, you are bringing this awareness down into the world. This is a new way of being (well, ultimately it's our natural way of being, but it'll probably feel new initially). However, it needs space; you need space to be you.

I've often talked about healing multiple layers.  We have to clear out things on each level of us to make space for the fullness of our awareness. As we do that, we are also healing a split that often happens within many people during awakening. It's like a part of us shoots up high, and we kinda leave a lot of trash and junk in the kitchen as the stopped up drain backs up with water, which is running everywhere. To touch so highly and deeply and then come back into this mess is a shock.

Time to get out the shovel and scrub brush.

Facing Your Inner Resistance
Yet, you'll notice that a part of you may be hanging onto this inner mess, and that's going to cause resistance. Resistance makes it supremely difficult to ground and embody this awareness. So oftentimes, people get stuck. The first main area is the mind. When you deny this awareness, you really can get lost. I spend quite a bit of time helping people to simply accept this process. The next part is usually the heart. People don't really want to open themselves to love. It stirs up all the things that they haven't worked out and all the ways that they haven't acted from the space of love. This often ignites a process of grieving to clear these wounds and forgive ourselves. Then the stickiest and nastiest issues are often down in the body. Some of them have been there for so long that they don't have names. They're just like dense, black gunk in the joints and different places of the body. This is where physical practices like hatha yoga become wonderful additions to your practice to address these levels of resistance in the terms on which the body communicates.

Appreciating the Awareness of Each Aspect of You
I don't think I've mentioned this recently, so I want to encourage you to appreciate the wisdom and awareness of all of you. Your mind can be very, very wise when you re-train it in service of spirit and Truth. But so too is your heart, and so too is your body. Your body is so smart. It can tell you how much to eat, how much to exercise, how to make love with a partner, and so forth. Anyone who loves dancing knows what it's like when two bodies really start talking to each other. There is no leader and follower anymore. You're simply dancing in the rhythm shared by you both. Isn't that absolutely beautiful body wisdom?

But too often the mind run by the ego is trying to maintain a hold over everything, and that idea has to be let go for you to integrate the fullness of your spiritual awakening. Until then, you are in resistance, and the pain can be excruciating.

Physical Activities and Tips for Grounding
So let's talk about the body specifically, although all aspects of you have to integrate to fully embody this awakening. If you are looking to get a little bit clearer and focused in this world, conscious movement is really helpful. Each one of you will have to decide how much you can do because I want you to honor that a lot of your energy still needs to be focused inwards. Don't get caught up in too much external exertion unless you are intuitively guided to do so.
  1. Walking/Hiking. There's nothing like a short walk, especially in nature, to help you find your feet. If this isn't enough, really focus on your breath and the sensation of your feet in each step.
  2. Hatha Yoga. All I mean by that is physical yoga--yoga includes a lot more than poses, but Western Culture uses this word in a very narrow way. Find a yoga teacher you like or a yoga video you like. Do some poses. Find out what you need. Do you need to focus on areas with resistance and stiffness? Do you need a long or short session? Really tune into yourself. Don't just do what the teacher says. A good teacher will remind you to go at your pace and stop when you need to.
  3. Running. I've had good luck with this. All my life, working out has been a way to shed out internal debris and get clear. But as I said, keep it short. You're not training for a marathon. There's no where to get to, and you certainly aren't using this to maintain a body shape ideal.
  4. Conscious Movement & Dance. Where I live, there are new types of free-form dance that really allow you to explore the fullness of your body. If you don't have this nearby, set aside time to dance to music in your house/apartment/living space. Give yourself permission to fully explore your range of motion; don't just stick to what you think makes you look good.
  5. Meditation. Honestly, if I'm in really, really high energy, meditation helps me the most. Sometimes, I need to do this before doing anything physical to get the benefit of the physical activity. It's like it takes me down through one layer of the atmosphere, and then the physical activity can take me the rest of the way back to earth.
Calming Yourself During Really High States
You can really get up into high spaces, so I just want to let you know that you'll be all right. Sometimes, it's actually perfect to just allow yourself to be there. In this instance, it's important to let go of the judgment about where you should be in this process or how you should feel. There is no where to go. Just rest in the outer reaches of space if that's where you are. You will come back to this world. It's natural, but it won't feel the same. Embodied spiritual awareness doesn't feel the same as we integrate it. When you're first flopping around on the beach, you can only dream of it. And then when you finally find water, you think you're drowning. But after awhile, you simply get used to living and breathing in this element...this element which is simply you in your fullness and which is simply love.

So relax. You are going to be okay, and hopefully some of these tips will help you to get grounded and focused when you need to and to properly integrate your awakening as you need to.

The lovely picture for today's spiritual awakening blog post comes from my student, Jenn. Thanks so much!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Impatient with Your Awakening? Take Another Breath

Depending on how your spiritual awakening is going, you may feel very impatient at times. For some of you, all of the old ego really was blown away, so this isn't really a concern. You probably are in more of a rebuilding mode, as you craft a life developed around love and integrity. But for those of you where the old ego keeps hanging on and is the house guest who totally can't take the hint to leave, you may fall back into patterns of impatience.

And what is impatience? It's simply an unhappiness with whatever this current moment is. So the best way to face this impatient is to stop and take another breath.

Linking the Breath with the Current Moment
Breathing is such a simple thing, is it not? You do it all the time, and when you focus on it, it can be profoundly relaxing and purifying. It's here all the time, but we somehow forget it. We seem to end up living our lives breathlessly. Constantly running from one thing to the next, we can barely keep up with it all. And you absolutely can't do this in awakening. While I often describe a spiritual awakening as running 3 marathons internally, you can't actually do that by "doing" things. A lot of space is needed simply for being in the moment, which may be lying on your yoga mat, couch, or a grassy hill.

However, the breath can help you out a lot when this impatience issue arises. Breathe into this feeling. See what it is about. You always want to know what these feelings are about. If they didn't have some kind of message, we wouldn't send these signals to ourselves. If it is simply the ego complaining that life isn't working within its worldview, then breathe that out. Just let it go. If the impatience is actually telling you that you're neglecting something, then that may be something that actually requires action. But by pausing to breathe and bring awareness to it, this moves you out of a reactive space. Reactive spaces are always fear driven. Something happens, and we impulsively (not intuitively) react to do something. It's essentially an inner fight, flight, or freeze mechanism that doesn't allow us to properly respond to a situation.

So pause and breathe. Then decide if an action is truly necessary.

The Many Stories of Ego Impatience
Oh, there are so many stories egos tell us. They're kind of like ghost stories. They're just meant to scare you into action most of the time. Some of these inner mechanisms got built up onto of other issues, which is why it's important to journal and take apart of the pieces. In a spiritual awakening, a lot of that is already happening, which should help you along in the process. That's part of the gift of this time of your life. You are already being unglued and opened up, and that makes it easier to release and heal old pains.

So when the ego impatience comes and you think you should be doing something else somewhere, delve into the stories. Find what truths may be twisted up in them, and draw them out. That way you can leave the rest of the nonsense in the trash where it belongs.

Here are some common ego stories during a spiritual awakening, but I really encourage you to see them as shell issues. You've got to open them up.

  • I'm being lazy just lying here. I need to be doing something.
  • I need to be making a living somehow.
  • I need to have a relationship with someone other than my floor.
  • My body is uncomfortable. I want this feeling to go away. How do I make it go away?
Of course, there are plenty more. I'm sure you've thought up a few as you were reading this. I encourage you to write them down.

Taking Apart the Ego
You know, one of the things I intuitively did in my process before awakening was to start taking myself apart. I wasn't holding on to every aspect of my ego, although there were still plenty of parts of it that had to go out kicking and screaming. Taking apart the ego starts by bringing awareness to yourself and how you are moving through your life. Then you start questioning assumptions. Let's start with the first bullet above about "laziness."

In a society where being "productive" means doing something all the time, not doing something is considered lazy. It's given a negative social connotation. I can't tell you how many people say to me that they feel lazy when all they do is lie around or just go for an occasional walk doing this process. That's part of why I use the marathon metaphor; it gives the current ego that's being destroyed a sense of being productive. And it is and it isn't. This is just the paradox of being. Being simply is. It isn't a doing, but yet, things in life shift dramatically (a kind  of doing and action) when you move into that space. And that space if very fluid, changing, flowing, alive. So it's one of the ways where the ego that is being created has to be comfortable with the reality of paradox that we live in.

But to go back to the laziness thing, people become scared not necessarily of being lazy, but of social disapproval. And because they accept this as the right way of thinking, that kind of approval also becomes inner disapproval for not doing anything. So part of the healing and awareness needed is around letting go of the myth of "doing" and being always "productive" as a good thing to do.

Meeting Your Needs During Awakening
Now I will say that it is important to find a space where your basic needs are met. That kind of "productivity" is important. If you can't work, then it is important to find friends, a spiritual community, family, or some set of spiritual caretakers to help you out. They are out there if you sincerely look for them. Others of you may be able to do what I did which is to work and save up a bunch of money and then collapse into the awakening again. It is a tough road to travel, however.

Some of the core messages around always doing is that you will meet your needs and therefore not starve to death, homeless in the cold night. It sounds dramatic, right? But really, there's a fear of death issue that underlies a lot of these core issues, and because you're healing and opening in such a deep way, a lot of core issues will be ignited as they are being released from you. I definitely felt at times like I had some terrible disease or I was dying. Fortunately, I had enough awareness to know that none of that was true. It was just my old ego that was dying as were a lot of other old karmas and issues that I'd identified with. Bringing my awareness to these truths helped me out a lot and allowed me to look at my situation more clearly. My situation was that my basic needs were met, and I was healthy. I was truly okay.

So I let go a little more into the awakening process.

Still Impatient: Selectively Funneling Your Energy
Okay, this is coming with a big ole caveat. This is only something you should do if you really feel intuitively guided to do it. Remember that it is always about checking in with your inner knowing (as with all things including when you read my blogs or talk to me).

Many of you are trying to put the cart before the horse. I see a lot of this happening with healers who try to offer their services too soon. They can become easily drained and depleted, and they can also unconsciously take on other people's issues because they don't fully understand their own space and capabilities.

Okay? Message received? Start "doing" things only if this feels true to your intuition.

Yes. I really am belaboring the point. I just understand how ingrained this "doing" mentality is in many of our egos. That's why sitting still and breathing into the present moment is both the most infuriating and healthful thing you can do to deal with it.

All right, then find a little bit of work that is aligned with your heart. Just a little. Writers may start up a blog to share with close friends. Healers may take a class on healing. Businesspeople may listen to teleseminars about sustainable businesses. Wherever your heart is and your intuition is leading you, that's a good place to put a little bit of energy. It will help you start to create a new foundation in this life, and you may be able to placate the whining, impatient ego that thinks it needs to be doing something during this sacred process.

Last Thoughts on Patience and Cultivating Your Awakening
Always remember that this is a sacred time of life. It is like when the rains come. Sure it may seem stormy, and there may be flooding in your basement. But this is the water of life that is going to help you grow a beautiful and bountiful harvest. In no other place of life could cultivating patience and your awakening be quite so important. I know life is now suddenly very uncertain. I know you feel a little lost and adrift, but trust me, you are going in the right direction if you are finding the tools to care for yourself and to live from this deep space of love. In some ways, you are pregnant with you. That's rebirth, and you have this amazing chance to remake yourself in a way that will feel tremendously amazing and true to who you really are. No more fake smiles and attempts to do things you don't want to do.

So when impatience comes and rattles through your bones, breathe it in. Look at it. See it fully, and then let it out. Don't rush a beautiful thing.

All will unfold perfectly as it should.

This beautiful picture comes from my student, Jenn.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Frequently Asked Questions About My Sessions

spiritual places, spiritual awakening, crater lake, Oregon, nature
The following are some common topics, concerns, and frequently asked questions (FAQ) that people have about working in a session. Below I've offered some insights to better prepare you for connecting with me as a spiritual teacher. Hopefully, you've already read this blog about "How to Work with a Spiritual Teacher" as well as the services I offer in my "About Me" section. If not, please check it out after reading this FAQ.

What Does a One-On-One Session Entail?
The session is a fluid and intuitive connection, where we talk, meditate, or do whatever else needs to happen. It totally depends on what you need and what I have to offer in that moment. Relaxation and focused breathing are central tools to a session, but where things go from there is entirely a spontaneous arising in that moment.

As I mention again later on this post, there's an energy connection that happens when we're together regardless of if we are in the same place. That energy is a teaching. It's like a tuning fork to help you find your own harmony. Additionally, we talk about whatever needs to be talked about. This, too, is important, but I may answer questions or I may not. Generally speaking, I'm operating out of my intuitive guidance about what to share and how to teach. You can bring questions that you may have, but oftentimes, they become less important once the session starts and the ego lets go of its incessant need to fill itself with information as a form of safety.

In general, I ask you to trust the process. It's not trusting me so much as what we're joining together to create in the moment. It can be intensely healing, and it can also help you to jumpstart your own growth or potentially a spiritual awakening (Although that should NEVER be expected. Awakening comes when your soul is ready. No one can force that process, nor should they try).

At times, you may feel very comfortable or very uncomfortable. I will often bring your attention to your discomfort so that our focused awareness can bring up what is upset. That's part of how healing works. This can be very gentle, or it can be very intense depending on the issue. You will need to learn how to dedicate yourself to this type of work in between sessions to truly embrace your spiritual path.

Deep healing can also occur, and after an intense session, it becomes critical that you maintain a practice and take care of yourself to rid yourself of any of the internal toxins that have been released during the sessions. You may even get sick for a few days as things clear, but the key becomes how you feel after the clearing. Typically, releasing anything that toxic can make you feel immensely better.

What May I Feel in a Session?
Obviously, everyone feels differently in these one-on-one sessions, and I would point you towards my "Testimonials" post for thoughts from past and current students.

Because the energy of the session can be intense, many people initially feel uncomfortable. The discomfort can range widely, although increased body heat and sweating seems to be fairly common. As we combine our attention to a particular source of discomfort, things often move. This may increase the discomfort, but when an issue or blockage releases, there tends to be the movement of several feelings and sensations as things come out. Often the student comes to rest in a sense of expansiveness and relaxation after a big release. At which point, these sessions often feel very comfortable, connected, and loving (loving in the more pleasurable sense, but ultimately, the whole session is an expression of love).

How Long Is a Session?
Typically, the session is 1 hour.

What timeslots do you have available?
My sessions are held at 9 am, 11 am, 1 pm, 4 pm, and occasionally 6 pm Pacific Standard Time.

How Does the Session Take Place?
For most people, I do my sessions via Skype, which is free for computer-to-computer phone calling. For those with webcams, we can have video chats. For people who are local to wherever I happen to be living, I hold in-person sessions for long-term students only. In some cases, I also set up email exchanges as well.

For more about email exchanges, you can read my FAQ about Email Exchanges on this link.

For Skype Sessions, Does It Matter Where I Am?
Generally speaking, it's important to be in safe space where you feel like you can be open and vulnerable. Vulnerability is our greatest strength, but it's not one that most of us know how to be with. Additionally, having a session with me while you're at work or in a cafe with WiFi probably isn't the most conducive place to going into to deep sacred places.

What Will I Get From a One-On-One Session?
This is a problematic question because it comes from the ego. The ego always wants to get something. On the broadest level, you are embracing your freedom, but that often involves a lot of letting go. So at times, you may feel like you're losing stuff, not "getting" anything, per se. Consequently, working with me is going to require a new mindset where you aren't focused on what you'll get, achieve, fix, or improve. Instead, it's a focus on how to simply be you. We work together to find all the old habits, patterns, and blockages that you have within you. Then I may suggest different tools to help you develop in your own practice to let go of those issues.

At all times, there is an energy connection between myself and a student, and that is always providing a mutual teaching to us both in our journeys. A lot of amazing stuff happens on that level that neither of us may ever fully mentally be able to comprehend because energy is much greater than any idea that we can create in our minds.

For those in awakening specifically, the energy connection can be the most important because the newly awakened individual often has trouble holding their new vibration. It's kinda like they're running water, but running water is going everywhere. In this way, I am a being who shows how to hold an awakened vibration, and I also offer tips and techniques to help with this as well.

How Often Do You Do Sessions With a Student?
For those who are making a long-term commitment with me, I typically work on a biweekly basis with a student, i.e. every two weeks. You can read more about the importance of regular sessions here:

The Importance of Regular One-on-one Sessions

Do You Work With People Who Aren't Ready to Make Long-Term Commitments?
Absolutely. I do single sessions with people all the time. However, I encourage people to always see the spiritual path as a long-term commitment, not necessarily to me or any specific teacher, but to themselves.

How Much Does it Cost?
I work by a suggested donation, and my suggested donation is $150 USD/hour session for those with financial means. For everyone else, it's whatever you can offer within your financial means. Lack of funds is not an issue; I don't believe in denying my spiritual services because of money. I accept  donations through PayPal.

When Should I Donate?
Please only donate AFTER we have agreed upon a day and time for our session. DO NOT donate money for a session before discussing whether we are working together and before we have finalized a time to meet.

Once we have finalized a time to meet, then you can donate any time before the session.

Shouldn't Spirituality Services Be Free?
My answer to this is that spiritual teachers have always had some kind of reciprocity and support from their communities. In other times, food, clothing, and shelter was all provided. Tithing and donations have long been a custom to support spiritual teachers, and hence, I've created a flexible system that also honors that the way Western Society offers most of its reciprocity is through money.

For more on the topic of money and spirituality, please check out this blog: "Mindful Money Use and Reciprocity"

Do You Ever Not Work With Someone Who Wants a Session?
Yes. I simply follow my inner knowing. If I am guided to not work with someone, then I don't. I can't say why this may happen, but on this path, we all learn that there is so much we can't know. I have to trust my inner knowing because there's no way I can intellectually ever have all the information in the universe to know how things may or may not work out with someone. It may simply be that a person isn't ready on the soul-level even though their ego thinks they are ready for a teacher. It can be a lot of things.

What's Your Refund Policy?
All ebooks sales and session donations are final. However, I am happy to entertain requests for refunds and most likely would provide a refund when kindly requested for one. By and large, I am not interested in money as much as helping other people. The refund policy is part of setting an appropriate boundary for those who may be upset that they didn't get what they thought they needed from a session or an ebook. Oftentimes the most important lessons we do receive on our spiritual paths are the uncomfortable ones anyway. So for the sake of general policy, I don't do refunds.

Can I Reach Out to You if I Have a Spiritual Emergency?
Occasionally, I hear the term spiritual emergency, but more often than not, it is simply the ego having a big tantrum. I won't say that it is fun, but I do encourage you to keep breathing and relaxing into whatever is coming up. I can schedule sessions on short notice for those of my regular students, but I am otherwise not set up for this kind of impromptu work. Instead, I would simply point you back to the importance of building your local spiritual community to support you when things get challenging.

Other Important Topics for Working with a Spiritual Teacher

Preparing for a Session

Generally speaking, all you need to do is to relax and be yourself. If meditation and other practices beforehand help you center and ground, I recommend that you do them. I do advise against adding in mind-altering drugs or substances. Many people believe that drugs like marijuana make them "more spiritual," but instead, they add another layer of illusion on top everything else. A body clean of substances is the most open and receptive vessel to the deeper spiritual truths that are within you.

For more thoughts on how to prepare, please read this blog post from my students:

Getting Angry With the Teacher and Falling in Love With the Teacher

This topic is actually two sides of the same coin. In one aspect, the teacher is hitting on a story the student doesn't like. In the other aspect, the teacher is connecting with a story that the student does like. In these instances, it is important to remember that the student is actually projecting themselves on the teacher. In the instance of being angry, they're projecting their upset feelings onto the teacher. In the other, they're projecting their love onto the teacher.

Additionally, as a teacher, there is only one way to truly teach...with love. Because so many people don't understand love, the first time they connect deeply with me they may confuse wanting a sexual-romantic relationship with the feeling they are experiencing. Consequently, a lot of work is around helping the heart to mature and the mind to open up to different forms of love. This deep love with a teacher is actually a gift because it's helping the student to tune into the vastness of his or her own love.

For more about this sacred relationship, you can read this blog post:

The Spiritual Teacher and Spiritual Student Relationship

Post-Session Self-Care

After a session, things may move internally. That can mean lots of stirred up emotions. It can feel really good for awhile, or it may get really messy and confusing for awhile. It's important in especially the 2 to 3 days after a session to be really mindful of your self-care (meditation, journaling, breathwork, yoga, or whatever you are doing for yourself). Not being mindful can break the momentum of the inner work that you are doing, and it can simply make life even more uncomfortable.

As I often remind people, things are likely to get messier before they get clearer in this process.

Becoming My Friend

Because of the deep connections that often arise in this work, one off-shoot is that people try to categorize me as a friend, a soul brother, or some other term. The nature of this work is in part to help you understand the nature of deep connection within you, and when someone feels deeply connected in a session with me, I encourage them to see that as simply discovering how much love they already have within themselves. It should be used as a basis for sharing that depth with others and sharing love appropriately in your life.

It is rare that any students become friends of mine, and I have my personal preferences as to whom I add to my personal spiritual community. As such, this work should be considered to be strictly as a student and teacher relationship, and any attempts to fit me into other parts of your life no matter how well meaning are unlikely to be shared by me.

Self-Sabotaging the Work

Because self-sabotage is so common in this work, I wrote a whole blog just about this topic. It truly is important to learn how to go into difficult moments, especially in sessions with me. By leaning into discomfort, many students have released big issues and come into deeper levels of love and spaciousness than they've ever known before.

For more on self-sabotage, you can read this:

Sabotaging the Healing Process and Running When It Gets Tough

You may also want to read:

5 Signs You're Ready to Work With a Spiritual Teacher

Spiritual Tests from a Spiritual Teacher

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