Free Flow on Tending the Garden

I am allowing myself to write whatever wants to flow out of me for this blog, in service to your healing path. I feel idealess in Seattle. My mind is blank. Let’s see what comes out…

Music is healing because it speaks to the heart. We all know this. We all know how a song can validate the sorrow you feel, inspire joy, bring inspiration, make you feel alive. That alive feeling a song gives you is how you know you are connected to your heart, aligned to your soul, whatever you want to call it. Yet when it comes to making key decisions in life about relationships, jobs, homes, the big stuff…why is it we tend to ignore that feeling of aliveness, suppress it, deny it and instead look reasonably at the big huge life choice to analyze what is the “right thing”?

The actual right place to use reason and logic is in the daily moments…but before I get to that I want to say that listening to that feeling of aliveness is always most important when making the big decisions in life because that feeling tells you that it is the journey you are meant to be on…

This does not mean the journey that makes you feel most alive will guarantee protection from getting hurt, protection from divorce, loss, or failure if you want to judge it. Pain and loss are all part of the correct path for your soul to learn all it is here to learn. The alive feeling tells you the correct soul path to be on for all of your learning, healing, and growing. Sometimes that path does end in a terrible loss forever or for a stint. Sometimes the loss is due to your own behavior and sometimes it is not. All is meant to be when you listen to the aliveness because it is meant to be for you to learn what you are meant to learn.

I think about how my mom went through a brutal chemo journey battling cancer before the disease took her human life. I think back to the diagnosis, the suffering, the fight, the pain, the loss and it tears me up inside. Yet at the same time, I know her soul was meant to go through the experience of pain, loss, and hurt. How do I know this? It’s that feeling of aliveness I get inside when I tap into the memories. I feel how she was meant to experience the cancer chemo journey. The feeling of aliveness can be happy or sad, filled with grief and pain or levity and light, just like a happy or sad song brings out that feeling of happy or sad aliveness.

The spiritual path that I am on stems from the belief that the soul needs to traverse through pain and loss as much as pleasure and gain in order to grow and evolve and experience new experiences. You may not feel the aliveness in this belief and if not, no worries. This is my offering to you if you want. The comfort and security we all seek can be found in knowing that pain and loss are meant to be as much as pleasure and gain.

This is not to justify needless abuse on any level from personal to cultural, from parent to partner to government. It simply means that while we traverse through the abuse we grow as souls. To be able to change society for the better, abolish racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and every form of prejudice, the soul must be strong and soul strength does not come out of the blue. Soul strength is learned through facing very scary and unjust experiences.

Life is a weird paradox of having to traverse through suffering to reduce suffering.

I think about how we are in romantic relationships too. The marry for life thing. The one love forever thing. I don’t believe it is the only route to take but this route is a work of art because love and being in a relationship are two very separate things. To keep love alive in a life long or long term relationship requires work and tending just like you have to work in a garden to make sure it bears fruit, flowers, vegetables and not just a patch of weeds. The work you put into a relationship may be filled with loss just as much as losing the relationship.

In a relationship you lose your full freedom, you lose a sense of control, you lose time, you must face your insecurities and lose that armor that protects you. You may also lose the relationship itself. Both sides of loss are growth for the soul. What gets broken in relationship gets healed in relationship. Over and over and over and over.

I think about the abuse I endured as a child and how hard my healing path has been, how much of myself I have lost due to the abuse others did to me and I know I would not have become a therapist had I not endured those hard times. This is that paradox again. It is my calling to be a healer and going through pain is what brought me home to my calling and cultivated my soul to be a good therapist. Now, I thank my past because it made me who I am today and I am happy with who I am today. I am living my calling.

The way that you narrate loss is much more important than the loss itself. Narrating pain and loss as bad and to be avoided will only make you more fearful of pain and loss. Telling yourself pain and loss is bad will only make you inauthentically behave with yourself and loved ones to avoid causing pain and this inauthenticity will set up a ton of resentment that you will suppress into your shadow, cutting yourself off from your feminine energy. The energy of embodiment and feeling within all of us.

People pleasing, passive aggression, enabling others so they can avoid pain will all lead to the soul shrinking into the shadow while the ego learns to be functional only when things are going well, easy, flowing, expanding. Then, when a painful time forces itself into being, the ego crumbles and cannot endure, learns helplessness, becomes anxious, neurotic, and perhaps even cruel. I think the phenomenon of ego becoming disconnected from true self has much to do with how pain and loss is seen as bad, the true self is seen as bad, and all power is seen as existing outside of the self.

True power always comes from deep within.

I think about the pandemic right now and how hard it is for many people to adjust to not being able to flow, get pleasure, expand, experience the fun. If you have not built up a tolerance and appreciation for pain and loss and learned how to endure and grow through it then you will suffer too much and all sorts of mishaps will birth from the fear. Weird beliefs birth from the fear of loss and pain such as beliefs in a fiery hell or conspiracies of doom or any belief that encapsulates the fear into one externalized power source holding you captive.

The deeper truth I feel is that we all are connected to a true source of power within. The divine is within all of us. Our soul essence is within all of us. And the only way we wake up to this inner source of transpersonal power, wisdom and love is to have the external world hurt or restrict or deny us because then we are forced to go within. When not forced to go within the ego will always look outwardly to get everything it wants. Money, sex, attention, food, drugs, success, a thin body, accolades, pleasure, a partner, a career, a family. The ego when not connected to soul seeks everything on the outside and forgets the inside is where all the power, security, love, and wisdom originates.

This is not to deny that when outside forces deny you equality and rights due to your race, gender, age, sexual orientation, ableism, body size, and any form or prejudice, that you are dealing with a whole other layer of pain and loss that makes your journey harder than the those who culture gives privilege to in the toxic system we are working to heal.

This also is not to deny that we are here to have external experiences, relationships, families, jobs, and all the things this earthly life offers. And some people are more externally driven in an authentic way too.

I speak more about balance. What about the inside?

The inside is much more vast, deep, and endless. From the ego self we expand into the soul essence, then the group soul essence, then the universal essence, nature essence, archetypal essence, divine essence and the essence of oneness. You go within and wind up nestled in the oneness where you can feel your self always connected to the whole like a single cell of the liver feeling itself as part of an entire human body. You look outside of yourself and you get a very short term limited experience whether it is one of pleasure and gain or loss and pain, whether it is one of abuse or love, justice or a crime against humanity. The outside short term experiences are the fodder but not the be all end all.

The experiences on the outside are supposed to wake you up to the inside of you to develop your inside experiences. Your true self and connection with all of life, however you call it. When you wake up to your soul and the divine inside you feel the true power coursing through you. It’s that feeling of aliveness. The same aliveness you feel from a song is the aliveness you can feel drumming up the courage to protest against racism, ask the one you love to be yours, start your own business, escape an abusive situation, or any circumstance large or small, awful or awesome.

To narrate pain and loss as fodder to awaken your true self and divine power within brings growth, healing, and expansion. That feeling of aliveness is the most natural feeling and key to the inner awakening journey. We have no guarantee in this life other than we will die and the soul will leave the body forever. The little losses lead to the big loss and loss is prevalent throughout life, yet all of the losses are of the physical form and not the essence.

The essence remains fixed, eternal and always transforming and shape shifting. The essence lives on. The essence evolves and expands and recycles and moves from one body to the next, one incarnation to the next, one experience to the next in an infinite procession of love. You may not feel this to be true and that’s alright, these are only words on a page. I feel the aliveness in this truth every day and this is why I am so spiritual. It is the feeling of aliveness for being a soul coursing through me each morning when I rise that makes me feel happy inside.

This is why you want to listen to the feeling of aliveness inside of you at all times concerning every important choice in your life. It is your internal compass that assures you are following your soul path and not putting your soul in the shadow while letting your ego run the show. When ego runs the show it will try to keep you safe from pain and loss and your life and sense of self will stagnate or be on repeat, go into depression or feel like an ennui.

The place to use reason and logic is more in the day to day tasks. Get on the mat whether you feel like it or not. Brush your teeth whether you feel like it or not. Regulate your nervous system whether you feel like it or not. Do your practices and do what you need to do whether you feel like it or not because these daily actions will support the feeling of aliveness and your soul direction in life. Pull out the weeds. Fertilize the soil. Water the vegetation. Don’t follow your feelings on tending to the garden. Follow the feeling of aliveness in choosing what you want your garden to be.

 

New Moon Channeling

Today is the new moon in Cancer (opposing Saturn in Capricorn) and I am compelled to write a blog inspired by the energies. I am going to be playful and ask the new moon in Cancer to speak through me and provide a message and then ask Saturn in Capricorn to provide a message. These words below are channeled….

Cancer New Moon Speak:

Good morning, child. I am here in my newness, my darkness, my beginning…to seed love as unconditional and tender love, love that is full of compassion and understanding, love that knows that humans are fallible and have their shadowed side and are capable of betraying, lying, hating, harming and losing sight of me and of tuning into love and giving love. When a human loses connection to me then they suffer and harm, it’s really that simple. I don’t judge. I don’t take away my love just because a human is mean or vicious or harmful. I love all of my children the same whether they are on one side or the other side of awareness and love. I love those who hate and betray and harm the same as I love those who love, help and benefit the whole of you, the heart of you. When you tap into me you can do the same, you can love everybody the same. Loving does not mean allowing or liking or justifying. You can love while you say, I don’t like what you are doing or how you are behaving. You can love while saying, you are causing harm. You can love yourself too in that way. You can say to yourself, I love me even though I am not doing a good job right now. Love can be there no matter what. I am the love that is there no matter what so when I meet an angry hurt scared human my love connects to them and fills them with medicine. Love is medicine. Maybe the human does not receive my love but if they don’t it does not hurt me because I know their own pain and fear prevents them and it has nothing to do with me. I might retreat from them and focus on where love can be met instead but I will continue to love everyone the same. I have my moods, my cycles. I may reveal more or less, I may express from a quiet and moody place or a tender and open place. I have a strong veil around me, a shell, a protection. Yet this veil is not armor or defensive. It’s just my nature to make sure I can feel safe to express my love and if I cannot feel safe, I still feel my love but will hide it from you. Sometimes I can be defensive and my veil does turn into armor but this only happens if my own wounds make me see you wrongly because you see, my parents in the sky did some really crappy things to me a long time ago and now I suffer from insecurities I am still trying to heal. I heal through you, humans. You heal through me, moon. We heal each other. We get defensive and put on our fighting armor when how we were treated as children rises up in our heart feeling threatened by the others. Don’t you see it? You are all a bunch of scared hurt children when you get defensive and mean or judgmental. I get it because the sky lords have their drama too but I am here to love and not war so I work through my pain by taking good care of myself and I hope you do the same. Take your walks, baths, and find your cozy places to nestle and eat your medicine and find the one person you can open up to and be seen and heard and make art or something beautiful even if it’s just photo you snap in the world. Be at peace with something. We are beings, you and me, of a different kind and yet I am inside of you and you are inside of me. I am all reflection, you see. I am a reminder that we are all connected and part of the grand design, interdependent at all times. Tune into your heart and the hearts of everyone who you like and don’t like and even hate. Not one of you is above the other even if some of you are lovers and others are haters. I know that’s hard for you to grasp but my counterpart Saturn understands the harsh realities of human life best so let him speak now and may you be blessed.

Saturn in Capricorn Speak:

Good morning brave humans. It is brave to be alive in your reality. It is not easy to be alive in your reality. The amount of pressure inside of you is great. The pressure is the way all of the mistreatment you and your bloodlines have faced lives in your body as fear, helplessness, confusion and pain meeting your head’s thinking place that is always strategizing ways to solve and fix and turn what hurts into something grandiose and bad to separate from completely when in reality, it is not so. There is no devil or a hell place where all the bad can be contained as separate from the good. Wouldn’t that be convenient? Your churches and psyches try so hard to contain all of the harm and pain into this one place or being that can represent it all and yet this is causing more suffering and more harm and more pain because it winds up scapegoating types of people and parts of yourself the same. Be careful of your projections, human. You may judge those who seem so different and yet they show you what you have shadowed in your own consciousness deep beneath the surface. You may not overtly try to contain all of the harm into a place like hell with a devil but in your shadowed consciousness you may feel an existential dark abyss that will swallow you whole if you do not do good and work for the light. It’s complicated. Keep fighting for what is loving, just and right so all humans can be treated with equal value and get rid of those parasites feeding off of your vulnerabilities and… just don’t become a zealot with your ideas because you fear what is harmful, wrong, and cruel so deeply that you think you can eliminate harm from the human species once and for all like some utopian place opposite the evil place because….you can’t. Humans are both light and shadow. By light I mean aware, loving, and caring and by shadowed I mean only that you have shadowed the part of you that is naturally unaware and instinctual and like beasts of the earth are. Those connected to earth, the indigenous as you call them, understood this and they did not shadow their animal side. They performed rituals and rites of passage to honor their animal side which prevented too much harm, violence, crime, hatred and lust for power to grow and they allowed for their animal part to mix with their soul part and live in a balanced marriage within and in the tribe, until…they were defeated by the people who came to use abuse them. But these users and abusers are not the devil, they are ignorant and greedy and lost and feel helpless in their shadows. You see, you were meant to fall and lose balance and war and learn and grow from it. Learn that your power is within and learn to come together in a new way and how to love again after pain and unjust defeat. You humans are animal and soul and your modern societies have shadowed and marginalized and oppressed and bullied and abused your animal side so much that you are all sick in the head and causing way too much harm and hurt. The animal is just as spiritual as the soul. The animal is the feminine nature aspect of spirit and the soul is the masculine nature aspect and by masculine and feminine I don’t mean man and woman, I mean what you might label yin and yang or magnetic and electric. There are two polarities to your original natures and they don’t go away even when you flower into the variety of expressions of that. Polarity is the skeleton of your realm. You cannot oppress half of your polarity nature by judging the animal as savage or base or less-than while putting the ethereal infinite soul on a pedestal and trying to turn yourselves into saints and angels made of all softness and light. Light and dark are equal polarities that rely one one another within you, at all times. Darkness is not the shadow. Shadow means what is hidden. Darkness is the soil that nestles the seed and the night that replenishes the day and death that rebirths life and instinct that keeps life growing. Your animal nature is meant to birth into a limited human beast and be part of a creature eating creature interdependent world and to decay and to poo and pee and copulate and feel pleasure and pain and cause blood and crave and lust and feel with instincts that are sacred in the domain of the goddess who has been completely shadowed and turned into the devil in your psyches and this is causing so much war and suffering that even I, Saturn, cannot take it anymore and you know me. I will take away your freedom in service to your freedom. I will force you to face the reality of life that you are both animal and soul and to heal by facing your limitations and ignorance. You are meant to be both animal and soul and to birth and die and to experience all human life has to offer. I hope for your kind to heal and unify and then I can be set free inside. You see, I am suffering too because I am bloated with all of your karma. I hold it all for you until you work it out. So please set me free by listening to mother moon and finding your way back to love soon. Let the animal out of the shadows. Remember your indigenous animal roots connected with Earth and bring back the rituals that expel the energy, cravings and pains from the psyche so that animal part of you feels valued and safe and held in the temple of the soul. I will tell you what to do but only you can do it. I will take away your freedom but only you can set yourself free.

End of channel…

Back to me writing again. That was fun and I wanted to write from a different place this morning, not just explain what the energies mean but engage the energies and speak them into being much like we do in therapy when engaging in parts work or journeying.

Do you channel? I am sure many of you reading this do. Channeling is a natural human ability to bring through the consciousness of other life forms. When you channel, the other life form you connect with mixes with your psyche’s language and consciousness. It is through the imagination that we channel. The imagination is not only “make believe” it also a gateway to translate other energies, life forms and parts of Self in the shadow.

Channeling is a dance between two forces and meant to be taken lightly. Exploring the new age realm of channeling and working with metaphysical energies opens new doors of perception and intuition. Channeling is not meant to be taken as a dogmatic truth or to compete with science and reason. I like to see channeling much like poetry that inspires and awakens an inner sense of wisdom and connection to all of life.

If it feels right take it in and if it does not feel right, toss it out. No big deal.

New Moon Energy Blessings.

 

How to Connect with Loved Ones in the Spirit World

This blog is inspired by the death of my mother. We all go through the journey of saying goodby to our mother or a dear loved one when they pass on.

Per usual, I disclaim this blog by prefacing that I will write it as if it is truth. It is my truth. Maybe it is your truth too. If not, no worries, mate. Carry on. There are many aspects of grief, death and dying to explore. This blog will be about making contact with loved ones on the other side.

On a side note I would like to mention that as I type these words I am bathed in my mother’s favorite perfume because I bought it yesterday when I spotted it at the drugstore. It was the last box of L’air du Temps left. Means “The air of time. ” How appropriate on a metaphorical level. Wearing her scent brings me comfort and also helps me to feel her soul in my soul.

When you die your soul travels to the other side of the veil. We can have no literal concept of the other side so we must allow the imagination and intuition to give us pictures and concepts that are a metaphorical version to help us understand as best we can. The key is to feel the other side and this is done through creative visualizing and feeling the intuition.

Imagination is not an empty thing that is pure make believe. There is a make believe element but imagination is how we communicate with the layers of existence undetectable through the five senses.

Intuition is the feeling of knowing we all have and the other main faculty that helps us access what cannot be detected by the empirical senses.

It is what is is. I don’t want to convince you of my truth. There are many layers of consciousness beyond the five senses. To claim the five human senses are the only detectors of the vastness of existence is very limiting though you may still not believe or feel what I am sharing as the truth. I honor the differences.

This blog is for those who wish to understand and contact their loved ones on the other side and who resonate with these words. Trust yourself.

Souls do different things when they pass on. Existence is vast and not a factory where every soul goes through the exact same process. Most earth bound humans, upon death, do spend time resting (especially if the death was sudden, severe, or the life before death very trying) and then they have a period of life review. Read “Journey of Souls” to delve deeper into this process.

The rest and life review part of the journey helps the soul metabolize all that happened in the lifetime, without the limitations of the human suit.

The human body is a suit of emotional heaviness and density. All stories we tell about our life and all feelings live in the body not the soul. Betrayal, abandonment, depression, despair, rage, suffering,  fear, hatred, resentment (etc etc) are all based on attachment to what is right and wrong, painful and pleasurable, and these dichotomies and attachments do not exist in the spirit world.

The spirit world soul tells a different tale and knows that earth is a school to learn how to love as a separate being and work out the karma that builds up as a result of being an individual body.

Karma is the emotional residue we collect through lifetimes when we don’t let go, forgive, accept and free the soul of the stories and feelings that attach to it from the human experience.

On earth the soul takes on a body and is able to play with being separate, able to cause hurt and being hurt by other separate individuals. Same goes with causing joy, pleasure, and every emotional experience. This is a big deal because once the soul enters the spirit world it is no longer an individual.

I mean, it is to a certain extent. The soul holds on the art project of being a singular being for growth and experience’s sake but the soul experiences true connectedness to all of life from being an aspect of a soul group all the way to being an aspect of oneness.

The more the soul ascends the more collective it becomes, all the way until it returns to oneness. As the soul descends, it takes on the costume of being one individual to experience, learn, grow, and play.

Both ascension and descension of the soul are equal in the evolution of the soul because the soul is an aspect of oneness descending to play the part of being embodied to evolve through the journey back to itself as oneness. Forever this goes on like the infinity symbol demonstrates.

Once we die on earth we lose our human suit, rest, review our life and see what’s next.

Some souls have a choice about what is next and others are sucked back in to the next life with no choice. The ability to choose has everything to do with how conscious the soul becomes in a lifetime.

The more conscious and aware you become during your lifetime on earth, the more you have the empowerment of choice to create your destiny. You can say no to what comes your way or not allow what hurts you to take all your power and you can use your inner source of power to create your life as best you can in the circumstances you are given. Those with little awareness live by the whims and patterns of external fate.

This process is the same when the body dies and the soul travels to the other side of the veil.

The more self awareness, love, and letting go we achieve in a lifetime, the more choice we have on the other side. Those who live unconsciously die unconsciously and those who live consciously die consciously.

Nature is being nature here as life never truly dies but always transforms and changes based upon the living experience.

There is no static place called heaven or hell that you go to forever based upon the judgement of an external god. That is a story of the mind. If you believe in that myth that is your right and this blog is not for you.

Once the soul has rested and reviewed they either choose what they will do next or they are magnetized into the next lifetime by the power of their attachments, to work out their karma.

But this process is not linear. Linear time does not exist in the spirit world. We cannot literally conceptualize the vastness of the other side of the veil. A soul can exist in the spirit world and reincarnate at the same time. A soul may choose to become a spirit guide and stick around the earth plane while also reincarnating. A soul may have several individual bodies on the earth plane and not all of them human. The variety is endless.

Communication with a soul on the other side is almost always possible if the soul is not in a deep sleep or has left this universe completely.

The deceased soul may be trying to reach you too.

A soul on the spirit plane may have a hard time contacting a soul embodied on earth because we create energetic blocks with our thoughts and feelings.

If you are still in the stage of grief where self pity, depression, anger, bartering, feeling abandoned or betrayed are still active stories and feelings, it will be hard for the soul to make contact. These dense feelings and stories are like a thick wall for the soul on the other side. This is not always the case because anything is possible and no judgement for being in whatever stage of grief you are in for however long you are in it.

Acceptance is a process of grief with its own sense of timing and all of our feelings are valid.

Souls on the other side often make contact through scent, electronics, and dreams.

We used to get the strong scent of cigarette smoke when Grandma would visit. Toward the end of my mom’s human life we smelled it a lot. My mother expressed fearing Grandma was coming to escort her into death (even though she was also ready to go).

Death is such a huge transformation from the human perspective because we’ve lost our memory of the connectedness and infinite continuation of soul life. This makes letting go really hard and scary for both the dying and the living.

Electronics may reveal a visit from a loved one. My father has received calls twice on his house phone from his own cell phone. He still has my mother’s cell phone active on his plan. This could very likely be a visit from his wife. I know it is a visit. But usually we doubt because we are conditioned to need more proof externally to tell us what is really occurring.

Dreams may be easier to trust if the soul visits clear and strong but often the dreams don’t come or are strange and muddled. It all depends on the deceased soul’s ability to enter a dream as well as living dreamer’s openness. Both souls still have a relationship ongoing where communicating is a skill to learn.

We are not conditioned in culture to understand the continuation of the soul as a natural process of existence because religious dogma has turned the cycles of nature (nature is spirit) into a mental spiritual belief system. Science as the polar opposite narrow extreme has discredited life beyond the five senses because it cannot be measured empirically.

Truth cannot go away because belief systems try to sway the human mind away from it.

To contact a loved one on the other side you want to train yourself.

The first step is learning how to still the body, detach self from the thoughts and feelings, and begin to go within to develop the intuition and imagination.

This needs to be a practice. Just hoping you suddenly can be skilled at contacting the other side is the same as expecting to lift a fifty pound dumb bell when you have never lifted weights in your life and your arms are weak. Skill is the key, not how evolved or awake you are.

To develop the intuition and imagination it would be a good beginning to meditate for five minutes twice a day and also to spend time taking journeys within. The meditation will develop your ability to detach from thoughts and feelings so you can let go and travel. Taking regular journeys within will build your concentration, focus and imagination. This is how to meet your loved one.

You also need to learn to still the body. This prerequisite may require yoga, stretching or maybe all it takes is setting time aside to do nothing but sit and stare out the window. Don’t do, just be.

Be. Meditate. Take journeys. Be consistent about these three aspects. Practice regularly. It does not need to be hours. Five minutes of meditating. Ten minutes to take a journey. Half hour to sit and be, doing nothing.

Journeying to the other side of the veil has a basic structure to it. First, you relax the body completely by focusing on breath and scanning all your body parts, consciously relaxing each part.

Once relaxed, visualize yourself at the bottom of a staircase and walk up the steps slowly, noticing what the steps to the other side of the veil or upper world look like, feel like, smell like and any other details. Trust what your imagination shows you.

When you arrive at the top you will find yourself in the upper world sanctuary that appears before you. Trust what you see. This is a big aspect to learning how to journey. Trust what you see without question. After you have taken a few minutes to explore your upper world sanctuary, paying close attention to all you see, touch, smell, taste, and feel….call the loved in to enter.

They will appear. If they do not appear, they are resting or busy and the time is not right. If they do appear, allow the connection, dialogue or whatever is meant to happen….happen.

If you are not able to focus enough to journey, work on stilling the body and meditating. You will get there.

After six months of grieving my mother, I came to a deeper acceptance of her death and of my dad’s fate to be left alone. I was ready to journey and begin a regular practice.

In my imagination she shows me an image of her that is easy for me to connect with. Souls will appear how it is best for you to see them.

In my first vision, she let me know she is done with her life review and that she exploring much more of the universe than she ever knew existed. When I asked her about the details of my life she gave me a big message. She said each lifetime is so short in the scope of the vastness of the soul, that it truly does not matter if we get what we want, find success, fail, lose, or never get what we want and suffer as a result. She said that the point of each life is the experience itself and not how this or that it was (good or bad, mistake or success, etc).

Vivian was filled with bliss and joy as she shared this message with me. I felt my mother’s bliss palpably and I was filled with joy too. I received her message on a feeling level that changed me instantly, freeing me of some of my karma and helping me see the fear I was carrying. Powerful!

I share a bit of my own tale to model what this process looks like and know that I am very skilled at connecting with the other side and I have always had a natural inclination that’s made it easier. Don’t compare yourself.

If you practice, you will get more tuned in at the pace that is right for you. I long to be at the level of a practiced medium but it’s not my time for that yet and I trust the timing. The pace is important and your loved ones are available for you no matter what your skill level.

In another vision my mom said she has chosen to become a spirit guide. She is very busy learning and exploring as a result and she shared that we need to call to her if we want a visit from her. Mom said she will visit whenever we call. I was comforted and I felt immense happiness for her liberation.

I make journeying to visit my mom a regular ending to my yoga/mediation practice most mornings now. Repetition increases lucidity and strength. I also enjoy getting the tea on what she is up to.

In the last journey we shared almost no words. It was a visually intense and rich experience. My mother opened her mouth and thousands of turquoise butterflies came flying out. I was enthralled and found I could receive the message better through the image than with words.

Don’t want to share any more from my journeys as it is too personal but I want to demonstrate how journeys can shift from day to day. Anything is possible in a journey.

You may meet other loved ones or spirit guides. You may meet yourself on the other side! Remember, time is not linear over there so as we live in the body on earth we also live on the other side. It’s a trip for the logical mind to grasp which is why we need visuals and journeying to truly connect.

Vanquishing doubt and building the skills of trust, body stillness, focused imagination, detachment from the thoughts and feelings is the process. It may also be a process to learn how to play and be the magical child when journeying.

You can connect with your loved ones on the other side of the veil through intention, dedication, and practice if you so desire. It is your birthright.

 

 

Hope through Tragedy

Today’s blog is inspired by a friend going through a very difficult time who suggested I write about enduring hope when I requested a topic. This blog is for her and everyone traversing their own version of tragic circumstances.

What is hope?

Hope is an archetype….an archetype called The Star, according to the ancient wisdom of the tarot.

Archetypes are the collective instinctual drives we all share in common and inherit the moment we are born, according to Jung.

Archetypes are the gods and goddesses, according to the ancients and indigenous people.

Whichever way you want to see archetypes, see them as sentient energies that live in their own place and this is the place we all birth from on a soul level. The collective unconscious is our mother birthing the individual psyche. The archetypes are transpersonal helpers, instincts, forces, and beings.  Hope is a goddess, a god, a sentient energy, and a collective instinct.

Hope is the “light when all lights go out” as said in Lord of the Rings when Frodo is trapped by a deadly giant spider and needs the light of hope to literally not die.  Victor Frankl wrote a book, Man’s Search for Meaning, in which he links feeling hope to the chances of survival for concentration camp victims in Nazi Germany. Could this really be true? Could hope keep us alive?

What we endure as humans is beyond rational comprehension…

From the natural tragedies of break-ups, death of loved ones, illness, and sudden losses of all sorts….to the diseased type of tragedies that stem from multigenerational trauma and systemic oppression such as sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, prejudice, poverty, and mistreatment of humans, animals, and the planet on many levels….human life and tragedy are bound together.

You cannot answer why on a spiritual level without finding a lesson in the darkness. When you endure hope through tragedy you come out the other side of it with more compassion, more liberation, more knowledge, more love, more understanding. This is a truth of human kind.

When you collapse into tragedy with a sense of doom, blame, punishment, despair and resentment you come out the other side more bitter, closed off, abusive to self or others, hateful, and sick. This is also a truth of human kind.

I want to be careful here and say that every feeling needs an outlet. Hope is not turning a frown upside down. It is not putting a positive spin on a terrible situation. Horrible experiences happen. Unfair circumstances happen. Nobody should spiritually bypass the feelings of anger, despair, resentment, rage, and resignation (among many other feelings) by saying, “this tragedy is meant to be because it will make me stronger, wiser, loving, and aware.”

The process is key and the journey is everything. Feelings are like poop and like chemical storms. What happens if you don’t let yourself poo because you tell yourself it is wrong or bad to poo? What happens if you try to stop a raging hurricane? You can’t stop a storm and not letting yourself poo will make you sick.

All feelings need time and space to be honored and felt.  The key to moving feelings out of the body is to not wrap a mental story around the feeling. Feel the resentment when your partner betrays you but don’t tell yourself you are piece of shit and it’s your fault or whatever the story may be. Keep stories off the feelings and use your mind to keep repeating, “I feel resentment” as you find a way to express it.

Express feelings through exercising, making art, acting, singing, venting to a friend, dancing, cooking, cleaning…find your way and let the feeling out purely without a narrative of why and what the feeling means.

I promise you, the feeling will pass as every storm and every bowel movement does. I am being crude on purpose. Negative feelings are crude. They are not elegant and they don’t smell good but they still need to be honored and let out.  If you let your feelings out you won’t spiritually bypass them with answers, solutions, reasons, meaning-making. Even the best of tools can be used for harm.

Karma, which is simply the accumulation of feelings that are not released from the body (due to stories or what the Buddhists call “attachments”), can be turned into a scolding and judgmental concept when you say, “I won’t feel my anger because I don’t want to create karma.” If you don’t want to create karma, feel your feelings fully and let them pass through.

Astrology is a great tool that can also be used the wrong way if you won’t let yourself feel despair by saying something like, “I have a Scorpio eighth house moon so despair is in my chart.” The tiniest bit of reasoning, no matter how true, can shut the actual feeling off.

Many therapeutic modalities do this too. Re-framing, a cognitive-behavioral technique of turning a negative story into a positive story, may shut off a feeling of anger that needs to surface and be released. It is best to first release the feeling and then re-frame the story.

The point I want to make is that all tools in the spiritual-psychological-self-help tool box can be misused. Take positivity for example. Positivity is not about only feeling and thinking positive thoughts. For that secretly judges and scolds negativity and the act of judging and scolding is extremely toxic. True positivity is remembering that all feelings are innocent when felt and expressed purely.

The truth of how the human body works is that honored and expressed feelings leave the body and cause no harm. When feelings collect in shadow they change over time. They putrefy and create bigger uglier monsters that erupt as chronic illness, projections, neurosis, and imbalances of all forms.

When negative feelings are honored and expressed they leave the body and hope has room to enter. Hope needs room to enter. Hope wont bludgeon its way into the heart.

Why some people have an easier time feeling hope while others struggle to feel hope is part mystery and part rational. The mystery roots down into temperaments. We all have a temperament. No need to judge yourself if your temperament is not very hopeful. I am sure you have another archetypal instinct pouring through you in spades.

Every human is a unique finger print of qualities and this is not in our control. The mystery owns our temperament.

Yet even the most hopeless temperament may experience hope because hope is an archetype we all connect with in the collective unconscious or spirit world. Every. Single. One of us.

Sometimes it takes a little work, which leads to the rational understanding part. If you struggle to feel hope due to your temperament, due to struggles internal or external, or due to being pummeled by tragedy all at once…you can do two things to invoke hope.

First, you can stop rejecting your feelings with judgements and make the dedication to feel your feelings without a story wrapped around them. You may get help doing this with a therapist or healer, a friend, or even a pet. Maybe being with spirit in solitude or in nature is helpful.

Feeling your feelings without stories may take a while. Patience is not easy but needed. For most of us have been told by culture, family, or both that negative feelings are bad and wrong and we experience literal cut-off from feelings as a result. Many of us instead find refuge in various addictions and distractions such as drinking, working, working-out, over-analyzing, focusing on others in service, partying, escaping through drugs, eating, shopping, etc.

But it’s every human’s birthright to reconnect to our feelings. Everyone is capable.

Another aspect to check is the story showing up as identity.

Maybe you identify too much with despair, depression, resentment, etc. Identification is when it’s not really despair you are feeling, it’s the story of despair you are telling yourself and have been your whole life.

You can tell the difference between a feeling and a story by seeing if you identify with it. If you identify with being a depressed person, chances are you have cut-off from many feelings due to being stuck in an identity. Feelings of anger and even self-empowerment may be longing to express but cannot get through the depressed story or persona.

Sorting out feelings from the story, starving out the stories, honoring and expressing the feelings is a process. Process is the most important part. Nobody can bypass their own process. For some it is quick, some slow… but for most of us healing moves in a spiral. We make progress then fall backward yet when we do we are a little wiser, a little more aware, a little more loving.

The second thing is you can invoke hope through ceremony and ritual.  The ancients and indigenous were very connected using ritual and ceremony to stay healthy. Arhcetypes such as hope speak to the conscious-self through images, sound, taste, movement, and feeling. The ancients and indigenous also understand that we are literally made of the elements (earth, air, fire, water, ether) and we may call upon them to ground and connect self to earth.

Whether you partake in a more formal ritual, alone or with a group, or whether you express ritual through making art, singing, listening to a song or a sermon…. ritual and ceremony simply means that you intentionally use your creativity, feelings and senses to invoke the archetypes.

It is everyone’s birthright to invoke hope.

Invoking may be as simple as lighting a candle and calling upon hope in meditation. It may be as elaborate as performing a sacred dance on the full moon after calling the directions, elements, angels, ancestors and allies.

Invoking hope may be as simple as singing a song that makes you feel hope. It may be as elaborate as writing a song about hope and performing in a hospice setting to inspire those close to transitioning into death.

You might find the perfect crystal and invoke hope into the crystal, wearing it over your heart each day.

Or perhaps you put your hands around every glass of water you drink and invoke hope into the water.

Hope does not ask for a specific kind of ritual or ceremony. Hope only asks to be acknowledged.

Many leaders have hope moving so powerfully through their hearts that they inspire everyone around them. Martin Luther King Jr comes to mind as a perfect example of this. Hope catches flame. You may not intend to call upon hope but hope finds you anyway.

Sometimes hope enters the body so strongly that it wipes out any blocks in the way and washes you clean. We have all experienced this through listening to song, watching a movie, being moved by a speaker, looking at a sunset, into a loved one’s eyes, or a work of art.

Hope is always available to us no matter how dense the jungle of tragedy, betrayal and injustice we are traversing. May hope find its way into your heart in your darkest night of the soul.

Jungian Psychology and Becoming Whole

Carl Jung called it the individuation process. Through the lens of shamanism it is called soul integration. I see Jungian psychology as the western european reinterpretation of the indigenous practice of soul retrieval, where the healer of the tribe would travel into non-physical dimensions (the names of these dimensions vary from tribe to tribe) of the sick person, retrieve fragmented soul parts that fled during trauma, and return these parts to the individual in present time, making them more whole.

In Jungian psychology, the unconscious would be the name of this other, non-physical dimension. The shaman would be the psychotherapist. The soul parts would be aspects of the Self tossed into the shadow, as well as archetypes living in the collective unconscious. Bringing these aspects of self and archetypes to conscious awareness through active imagination, dream interpretation, creative expression, etc, would be akin to the shaman retrieving the soul parts for the individual and breathing them back into the heart through the process of spiritual journeying and ceremony.

This correlation is my humble opinion. I have not studied up on this correlation and perhaps much has already been written. I am reflecting upon my personal thoughts from my own personal experience. I have had soul parts retrieved by a shaman and I immersed in the shamanistic healing lens for a number of years in the early 2000’s. I retrieved my own soul parts after a time as I desired to do the work on myself, straying from the tradtional path.

I need to mention that this was a western civilization’s appropriated version of shamanism I immersed in. Although this appropriation was rooted in loving intention to bring authentic healing to others, I acknowledge it is far different than if I were to study with an indigenous tribe and experience the true original essence of the practice…and even then, I would still be a westerner entering a culture not my own.

Jung used the metaphor of shadow and light to refer to the conscious and unconscious and turned the spiritual concept of soul into the psychological concept of the Self. Jung translated the earth-based spiritual into the psychological in a society that devalued and oppressed the indigenous soul, pushing this aspect of our human nature into the shadow (this is the Tricker archetype of which I will save for another blog) in favor of western, masculine dominant civilization (again, another blog for this mammoth topic). Although he had his own battles with devaluing the feminine (his own shadow), I am thankful for his work, his words, and his translation that allowed the earth-based feminine wisdom to survive in a cloaked western masculine form. Again, this is all my humble opinion and I too, have my shadow.

The soul journey is filled with the light-experiences of security, pleasure, belonging, connection, health and well-being. The soul journey is also filled with the shadow-experiences of insecurity, pain, loneliness, illness, abuse, loss and separation. We are each unique and yet we share in common the nature of the soul journey which is filled with shadow and light experiences.

The ratio of shadow to light experience is different for everyone. Why? I find it valuable to not ask why. Asking why puts a narrative around the happening that produces suffering that stems from comparing. Sure, you can say it is karma, or law of attraction…but what if you didn’t make a reason that put control in the individual for causing the ratio? What if nature simply produces a variety at random?

What if karma is not about how much pain we endure but more about how we handle it? What if the more we learn to handle shadow experiences with self-awareness, love, and acceptance the less we create some shadow experiences that stem from self creation (such as relationship conflict and self-sabotage)…yet the more we are able to metabolize and grow from shadow experiences that we do not cause (loss, abuse, oppression, death)?  Questions to think about (and again, another blog topic). Back to shadow and light reflection…

We also contain light and shadow aspects within the Self. The light is what we are aware of and the shadow is what we are not aware of. The light is the conscious self, or ego. The shadow is the unconscious, which has a personal and collective level. Think of it like an iceberg. The ego is the small tip of the iceberg rising out of the sea. The personal unconscious is the large expanse of the iceberg submerged under water and the collective unconscious is the depth of the sea itself.

What we (and others) approve of about the self is expressed as our conscious self or ego. What we are ashamed of and judge about the self hides in the shadow of the personal unconscious. Painful feelings, traumatic experiences, and the wounds we carry may also get relegated into the personal shadow. Some of us have consciously over-identified with our wounds, traumatic events, low self-esteem and self-worth, causing a healthy and positive sense of self to live in the personal shadow. It’s different for everybody.

When the self becomes too divided, suffering results in a variety of ways. The ego projects onto others what hides in the shadow. This happens in personal relationships and collectively. When we do not own our own shadow material, we blame others for in relationship. Our inner division is reflected in relationship division. Feelings stemming from unprocessed complex trauma, abuse, or hurt relegated into the shadow can morph into physical and mental illness. Addiction may result as a way to continue avoiding the painful feelings and wounds living in the unconscious. We may relegate our spiritual connection or soul-self into the shadow and on an ego level, always find the need to compete and prove ourselves due to being so disconnected from essence. 

The collective shadow contains who we are systemically. All of us are deeply connected to our family system. We inherit multi-generational wounds, character traits and behavioral patterns through the bloodline from our ancestors and immediate family that live in the collective shadow and may be unconsciously creating chronic issues in our lives. For instance, A great great great grandmother’s anger from being oppressed and abused may be passed down from generation to generation as a character trait of being easily enraged for the smallest of reasons. This rage may cause conflict and reoccurring issues in each new woman born into the bloodline. 

The instinctual human drives we all share in common as a human species also live in the collective unconscious and are called, archetypes. These collective instincts are invisible and so the archetype is like a pictorial costume the instinct wears so that the conscious self can be aware of it.  The drive to live, love, belong, sexually connect, succeed, make meaning, spiritually commune, create, mother, father, etc…are the archetypal instincts. For instance, if you suddenly feel a strong urge to have a baby, it is the mother archetype connecting to your conscious self, asking for embodiment. If you suddenly know you must become a healer, it is the healer archetype connecting to your conscious self.

If an archetype over-powers, it may cause suffering, illness, and imbalance. A good example of this would be an insecure and outcasted young man who suddenly becomes driven by the spiritual teacher (hierophant) archetype. If he finds a sense of empowerment from this archetype he may lose himself in it and become evangelistic and dogmatic as he mistakes connection with power when developing a following of students.

An archetype may also be stunted. For instance, if the artist archetype connects to the ego of a woman who suddenly feels the need to create, but she doesn’t express it due to being too busy with work, she may turn toward excess eating or drinking to release the pressure of the artist archetype building up in her belly as creative fire and passion. 

The archetypes are mysterious. They tend to wake up and connect to our conscious self of their own accord, having their own consciousness. Jung tended to see them as sentient unconscious forces that possess the ego. The god and goddess pantheons may be seen as archetypes. They can make us feel more connected, inspired, alive, and whole, when we embrace them in a balanced way. For instance, if an isolated and lonely young woman suddenly connects with Venus, the archetype of feminine love, she may experience her female sensuality and open her heart, attracting in a romantic partner.

One of my teachers warned us about the archetypes, due to their nature being collective, they are impersonal and do not care for our personal lives. Hence, we have to learn how to say no to them sometimes, if it isn’t in our best interest to work with them. For instance, the warrior archetype may connect to the ego of a woman who is always fighting, when she needs to find more softness and love in her life. In this case, it would be best for her to not give in to the sudden desires to fight in certain situations.

I am only touching upon this topic and feel this blog is already growing too long. I would like to wrap it up with a few words about the healing process…

Transformative healing naturally happens when we illuminate unconscious shadow aspects with conscious awareness by giving acknowledgment, honor, and expression to these parts. The healing for the conscious self is through gaining awareness, understanding, and expressing what is in the personal shadow. The healing for the unconscious is when we give conscious embodiment to the archetypes through creative expression, ritual and ceremony.

When the unconscious and conscious find one another through these means, the healing takes place of its own accord. I can say from personal experience, when I become aware of what is in my shadow, I gain a sense of humor about it and it doesn’t seem like a big deal after I express the initial shame, embarrassment, or fear that was keeping the deeper feeling or aspects of Self in the shadow. I have also experienced more wholeness and fulfillment by allowing certain archetypes to have creative expression in my daily life. 

I find it very useful to allow the ego to feel all the uncomfortable feelings (shame, sorrow, anger, humiliation, etc) with radical acceptance in order to do this integration work. When all the parts of self begin to connect, being who we are feels right and flows, no matter what the experience, be it shadow or light. 

Integration of the shadow and light allows the Self to become more whole and balanced. In essence, we piece ourselves back together with wisdom, love and creativity, turning suffering into gold. Narrating the “story of me” is meant to be a creative process and determines our internal experience. Like the clam turning mud into a pearl, the pain we have been through may become the fodder for transformation and healing.