Archives For self-awareness

What would it take for you to feel satisfied with your life? Fulfilled, as if everything that was happening was as you desired?  A different job, a new or changed relationship, different living arrangement, better health, more money, a vacation, closer friendships, less work, time to follow your creative passion?  The aspects of our lives that we feel at peace with don’t have to be perfect, but flow with ease. We don’t dwell on them, because for the most part we are getting what we want.

The areas of our life that aren’t fulfilling our needs are what we struggle with and notice.  They translate to the false belief that something outside of us needs to change in order for us to feel at peace.  When we believe this, we are giving our power away.  There is an energy drain precipitated by cycles of thought, feeling and behavior that reinforce staying unsatisfied.

I think of Homer Simpson holding onto the soda can he’s been trying to steal from a vending machine, while emergency workers go to great lengths to try to extract his arm.  We hold onto a certain vision of what we need to feel satisfied in a job, lover, etc.  When Homer finally realizes, he doesn’t want the soda bad enough to give up other things in his life, he let’s go of the can and pulls his arm out of the machine. He’d created his own experience of being stuck in the machine by holding on to something that wasn’t designed to be his, at least not without him being in alignment with the system that would allow it to be his.

Everything we experience is designed to show us where we are in alignment or not.  If we are attached to specific circumstances we “must have” to feel happy, a deeper look inside our Self will reveal what is out of alignment in our life, the misalignment creating a sense of lack.  Are we making a decision based on financial fear to work too much or at a job we don’t like which limits our time and energy to create in other areas?  Are we using busyness or addictions as a form of avoidance, so we won’t have to address the relationships in our life that are uncomfortable?  Are we blaming work or a relationship for our suffering and disappointment?  As long as we hold on to the belief that our happiness is contingent upon someone or something changing we will be unfulfilled and not find inner-peace.

Try this simple meditation to assist in creating a sense of peace in an area where you feel dissatisfied.

  • Begin in a simple silent meditation state (see my post a Meditative Path to Clarity).
  • Visualize a bubble floating in front of you to represent the area in your life where you feel dissatisfied unfulfilled or stuck.
  • See a rose outside of that bubble, like a magic wand, it is there to draw out any energy from that bubble that is negative or fear based.
  • Watch as energies such as control, punishment, anger, anxiety, disappointment, fear, guilt, and shame move out of the bubble into the rose.
  • Once the bubble is free of these blocks, send the rose to a faraway place in your mind’s eye and let it dissolve with the intention that it causes no harm.
  • Now imaging a golden ball of light hovering above the bubble that represents the area of your focus for the mediation.  Fill that ball of light with all of the positive vibrations (emotional energies) you would like to experience in this area of your life, such as: ease, grace, pleasure, fulfillment, joy, inspiration, flow, playfulness, support.
  • When the golden ball of light is full of good vibrations drop it into your bubble and see them become one.

You have shifted the focus in this area of your life from disappointment and lack to ease and flow with your intentions.  Our habits pull us quickly back into old thought patterns, so revisit this visualization as often as you find necessary.

Personally, I find it a very challenging practice to let go of certain desires happening in the timeframe that I want.  But whenever I hold onto the yearning for a different experience than “what is” I am less satisfied with my life.  This doesn’t mean that I give up on my hearts desires and dreams.  What it does mean is that I acknowledge that what I am experiencing right now is exactly as it should be.  As difficult as it may feel, I trust that what I am experiencing is the universe speaking to me, to show me how I can get into greater alignment with myself.

Recently I found myself resisting asking the universe for what I wanted.  As if outside of my life looking in, I knew that taking time to get clear on what I really wanted would benefit me. It would help me be more present and stay aligned with my truth. While self-reflecting on my resistance, I realized my inner-judgment toward asking for what I want.

Why was I hesitating?  My analytical mind argued, “What if what I think I want isn’t in my highest good?”  Or it took the position that I shouldn’t be as specific in my request, leaving it more open to the divine plan.  But by avoiding getting clear I was undermining my power to manifest and subsequently my inner-peace.

Another aspect of my resistance was fear that God would see me as greedy for wanting more than what was needed for survival.  I also worried that my desires would somehow unconsciously impact others in a negative or manipulative way.  Overshadowing all of these judgmental thoughts was my fear of being disappointed. It felt risky to get my hopes up by asking for what I wanted.

Part of me could see the fallacy in all of these beliefs.  But they felt real due to my social and religious programming. They were unconsciously blocking me.

Once I recognized them as false beliefs, I spent time in meditation looking at myself to identify, heal and release them.  I noticed that I felt the tension of these beliefs in my body just below the belly button in my second chakra, the creation energy zone.  Taking action to free myself of these blocks to creation, I visualized a bubble outside of my body, like a salve, drawing out the energies of judgment, control, fear, disappointment and unworthiness.  When the bubble was full of these outdated beliefs, I imagined it floating to a faraway mountain top and popping.  The energy was released to be recycled in the universe.  Practicing meditations that clean-out false beliefs help us create space and remove resistance.

Here are a few of the benefits of setting intentions by visualizing what we would like to create in our life:

  • Focusing on areas in our life (relationship, career, home, money, health) long enough to get clear on what it is we are seeking to experience, aligns our energy with this vision, increasing our odds of attracting it!
  • Knowing what we want and need allows us to see more clearly when we are making choices, or feeling obligated to do things that aren’t in alignment with our values.
  • Being open to the form that our desires are fulfilled keeps us in gratitude.
  • The present moment is the only one where we have power to influence our larger life experience.

Manifestation is all about the feelings we want to experience in our life. When we get clear on what we want to feel in a relationship, in our home or at work, the form those experiences take or “how” things manifest isn’t as important. Removing resistance, those beliefs that we allow to block us from having what we want, gives us more clarity. Life flows, it takes less effort, when we are clear and in alignment with our needs and wants.

NASA Photo – Soul Nebula

The lens we perceive all experiences through is colored by our past experiences.  Beyond what has occurred for the body, mind and heart, the experiences of the Soul carry a memory that subconsciously imprints our present life.  Our Akashic record is the term for the spiritual history of our Soul.  To find complete healing we must release unresolved energy from our past to make space for a new reality.

The Akashic records contain all of the details of past experiences, from this life and previous lifetimes, whether we remember them or not.  We each have a spiritual helper whose job is to maintain that record.  The challenge is that the history of our Soul contains every detail of our past experience, some which were left unresolved or caused wounds that we may have healed psychologically but not spiritually.

The energy of these past unresolved experiences continues to be in our space, magnetically attracting similar experiences.  We see this most clearly when we become aware of a pattern in our lives, such as choosing an abusive relationship. We have done the psychological work to heal that pattern, changed our behaviors that are associated with it, yet still find it showing up in our lives.  Pretty frustrating!

Our Akashic record is a journal of our Soul’s experiences, from a neutral perspective, no judgment, simply a historical record. When we make choices in this life that lead to our healing we are creating the opportunity to change our experiences going forward.  We release beliefs, patterns and wounds from the past and experience a new reality.  In order to have complete healing, we have to address the Soul level as well as the mind, body and heart.

In the psychic realm we can look at the unresolved experiences from our past and communicate with the spirit keeper of the Akashic records to update them.  If we ask, our Akashic record keeper will help us by maintaining the memory of the past experience that was unresolved while releasing the charge on the energy that is magnetically drawing matching experiences in from the universe.

Using our intuitive awareness we have the opportunity to see and clear past wounds for ourselves, releasing the vibration that is drawing in experiences we don’t want to repeat.  Sometimes we are too close to clearly see our own wounds, or we can see them and don’t have the neutrality to heal them.  It’s in these moments that we ask for outside assistance.  Having a trusted teacher or healer see on our behalf and hold space for the shifting of energy.

The past is a fun place to explore when we can see the full-spectrum of experiences as part of what has made us who we are today.  Past experiences mold our perspective and vision in the present.  To reclaim our power to experience the life we want, we have to release ourselves from the unconscious grip of past wounds and belief systems that were based on a limited perspective. Working with our Akashic record keeper opens the door to a facet of healing that allows complete integration of our body, mind, heart and Soul’s experiences in the now.

The process of self-discovery is not a linear path. We become aware of an essential truth, something we are capable of, something we desire to hold in a prominent focus as we move forward in life and then somehow, often without even realizing it we get side tracked, thrown off course.

These meanderings in our process of living, feeling we’ve lost our Self for a while, aren’t for lack of setting intentions, making a commitment or willingness.  The experiences always show up for a purpose. They are additional opportunities to get clear and hone-in on the pure vision of what we are creating with our lives. They may show us what we don’t want or they may show us more specifically what we do want. They definitly show us the areas where we are ready to grow.

Sometimes what we know we want is put on the back burner due to circumstances that feel out of our control, economic, family or other responsibilities.  Other times it’s in response to a relationship or a group of people in our lives.

As an intuitive person the energies around us influence our feelings.  What we manifest is rooted in our emotions toward something.  So feelings are a critical factor in our creations. A partner or a social circle can work to awaken us in beautiful ways but can also pull us off track with their emotions or differing priorities.

When we feel another’s energy and respond to it, we are to varying degrees matching their vibration. I call this mirroring. Empathic intuition is one form of this. We sense the emotional energy and match it from the second chakra.

Without the conscious awareness of holding our own energy space we can get lost in mirroring through our empathy and not stay rooted in our Self.  We make a better witness, and offer a sense of strength and grounding to others, when we have a clear awareness of what are our feelings versus the feelings of another.  It is through mirroring or taking on the energy of our environment that we get thrown off course… if there really is such a thing… we are side tracked with an opportunity for new awareness.

To hold our course, the vision we want to create in our lives, we need to learn how to be present for others in a deeply feeling way while holding our presence for ourselves. We strengthen this ability by regularly meditating to refresh our sense of being grounded (first chakra), clear our energy field of energy that is not our own (sixth chakra) and call our energy back to fill us up.

There’s no need to be self-critical about the cycles of losing and finding our Self over and over again. Honestly, this process is what we are here for, to remember who we are at the very essence, heal, grow and to have experiences that help us see our truth more and more clearly each day.

I was reminded of the power of vulnerability at my book group this month. One woman shared a perceived failure, a self-judged imperfection and we all relaxed more deeply into our Self. The energy of the room opened up and became more connected. We each saw ourselves reflected, in the quiet moments where we are alone with our inner voice. We reached out to comfort the Self we saw in her. We held her with more compassion than we might hold ourselves.

We spend an immense amount of unconscious energy holding up the identity that we feel safe letting others see. The curious thing is that when we share our challenges, the less than shiny aspects of ourselves in healthy relationships, instead of activating the judgment of others, it invites them to love us more. They receive a signal that their own rough edges will be loved too. Suddenly there is new found safety in being a full-spectrum human being.

We all have experiences we count as failures, imperfections, things that don’t turn out the way we’d hoped, relationships, situations that got messy and we mired around in the muck. We weren’t our best. We should have known better, is what we tell ourselves. And we have periods of crisis that feel like about as much as one soul can handle, whether it’s external circumstances or an internal battle that stresses our life to the max.

Yet we still have to show up in our life. We can’t permanently take a vacation from everything and everyone to avoid being seen in the midst of it. The rough spots in the road of life evoke a deep sense of vulnerability. How much do we have to prop-up the Self that is doing “just fine,” or “great,” to the world while struggling in private?

It’s in the poop, the dirty, imperfect parts of our life that we learn the most. It busts us open and helps us grow. The discomfort stretches us. But unless we are a chronic complainer that drains the energy of everyone around with our misery, we generally hide these challenges from most of the world or save them for our closest loved ones. There is a reason for this. Our closest loved ones have established a known level of safety. We can live a richer life by allowing deeper vulnerability with more people in our lives. It literally shifts the energy of every future moment.

Our intuition helps us tune-in to supportive places and relationships in our lives to reveal our challenge. Simply giving a short but honest answer to the stranger who asks, “How are you?” allows them to admit their own full spectrum of emotion to themselves and have a better day with the relief of it… “It’s been a rough day but I’m hanging in.” This isn’t about dumping your shit on others, rather allowing the truth of you to be seen by another in a way that allows you both to relax into the present moment rather than faking it. This is how the poop gets beautiful. It’s the real, the true and the authentic Self revealed. The most beautiful state of existence.

NASA Photo Eagle Nebula

Our inner-guidance helps us see opportunities to evolve and grow when an area of our life is outdated or out-of-alignment. We feel inclined to make a change, move to a new town, quit a job, begin or end a relationship.   Intuition leads us to override our reptilian brain; the part of us that is determined to do it the old way and put perceived safety first.

We naturally return to what’s familiar, have a rhythm, form habits, routines, get into ruts.  Doing it the usual way is easier than figuring out a new way, even if the usual way is mediocre and slightly irritating. When we avoid change we feel the energy drain associated with our resistance.

Each time we’re faced with a transition, an opportunity to change our life, it involves risk. That risk is where our intuition helps us override the tendency to seek safety in the familiar.  Yet, to take risks that are wise and purposeful we have to know we are in alignment.

Alignment means that our actions are congruent with our truth, the yes that lives within our individual soul.  Our intuition nudges us to stay in alignment, giving us opportunity after opportunity to make small shifts. It asks us to take notice, listen closely to what a stranger is talking about, take a different route home from work, call someone when were not sure why to discover they tell us something we needed to know. That inner voice will give us our yes and our no if we listen… oh this feels right, I’m at ease… oh that feels off, my stomach is tight when I think of it.

Living out-of-alignment, like a pebble in the shoe, progressively produces larger consequences: a blister, favoring the foot, the limping turns into back tension, that causes discomfort sleeping, then getting worn down from lack of sleep and catching a virus.  How much irritation must the pebble cause to get our attention?  What is speaking to us to change: the lack of integrity in our work environment, the evolving culture of our neighborhood that no longer fits us, social activities that no longer satisfy or repeated conflicts in a relationship?  Will we make a change before the old way of being causes excessive suffering?

If we ignore the quiet voice of our inner-guidance for too long the small choices that take us out of alignment start adding up and realignment requires a larger risk.  A commitment to living in congruence with our inner-guidance, responding to the simple gentler shifts as the opportunities present themselves, make for a much more enjoyable life.  Our power to stay in alignment is in the center of our head, our intuition. Listen to it and let it inform your choices.

Life throws us obstacles, bumps that come out of nowhere.  The goal is to stay loose enough to adjust to the changes and centered enough to keep in control when the shit hits the fan.  When the ground beneath us moves so fast that it’s hard to focus, we have to tune into our intuitive knowing, stay in that controlled out-of-control state.

Skiing and snowboarding teach us this flexibility.  If you want to enjoy your journey downhill there’s no option but to be 100% present; aligned body-mind-spirit.  Adjust to the shifting terrain, in the moment.

Our core (third chakra), center-of-gravity is in the bliss zone, balanced with velocity, snow and the contour of the mountain.  When another skier crosses our path, a mogul, rock or tree faces us, we turn but we don’t turn permanently away from our intended path.  We take a turn that avoids collision and another turn that returns us to our direction of choice.

In the moment we may recognize that our chosen path is not taking us in a direction that is going to bring us pleasure, success or good circumstances, so we permanently redirect our course. If we don’t foresee the need to turn or the obstacle throws us out of our center we’ll crash.  Varying degrees of wipeout occur, depending on how tuned-in we were to our body and our surroundings.

We make graceful turns when we are centered in our truth, tuned-in to our surroundings and willing to adjust course when the flow points us in a different direction.  Practicing mediation tools each day gives us this core strength when faced with any challenge. To do this we:

  • Take the time early in the day to clear our mind (sixth chakra) of the past and other people’s energy or agendas.
  • Ground (root chakra) our energy in the present day.
  • Call any of our scattered energy back to ourselves and visualized it filling every cell of our body.

Being grounded and saturated in our true essence is the bliss zone.  It allows us to be present for the obstacles in life and to navigate them without feeling as much trauma. It feels aligned, peaceful and full of possibility.  Taking responsibility for our life by owning our energy space teaches us that we can keep our focus yet be flexible enough to make graceful turns.

Work energy is great to access at the appropriate times but it puts a damper on warm connections with loved ones and can override our personal needs, the true juice of a joyful life.  Shifting our lead energy vibration between work and non-work time can be difficult. There is pleasure derived from certain aspects of the work and it takes our focus off of other aspects of life we have less control over. Our focused, productive analytical Self is “on” and were getting things done but how do we change the tone when the work day is done?

Today I was reminded of the unspoken lesson that Mister Rogers reinforced at the beginning of each TV program.  He walked in the door of his home, took off his suit jacket and put on a cardigan.  Then he changed out of his professional shoes and into sneakers.  All while singing!  He ritualistically shifted gears as soon as he got home, to a focus on relaxation, connection and playfulness.

In addition to changing our clothes or moving into a new environment, we can consciously change the volume of certain vibrations of energy in our space.  Visualizing an imaginary gauge in front of us to make adjustments, like a fuel gauge reads empty to full, the needle can show us how full our space is of a specific energy.  Is our analyzer on 75%, decision maker at 50%, income earner and task oriented Self at 100%? What about our creative energy, curiosity, sensuality, adventurousness?

At the start of a work day we turn up those energies that will be helpful to in getting our work done.  At the end of the day imagine turning them down and turning up the volume of the vibrations you want to experience while not working.  You may also want to visualize the energy from all of your work encounters and activities moving out of your space into a balloon and either tie the string holding that energy balloon somewhere to retrieve later when needed or set it free to move out of your aura field, leaving a cleaner space for your next focus.

I’m applying the Mister Rogers principle to consciously shift my energy from work to personal time… won’t you join me?  Turn down the analytical, achievement oriented business vibration and turning up the creative, nurturing, permission to relax vibration at the end of your work day.

Identity Shifts

Natalie —  August 10, 2011 — 1 Comment

Each time we take on a new role or let go of a familiar one, our identity goes through a transition.  We may not know how to be, or what to tell people when they ask us questions that we had an easy answer for in the past, like “What do you do?” Letting parts of us that we valued fall away once they are no longer “in the present” feels hard. They served us well and there is comfort in familiarity.  It’s easier to stay attached to these old aspects of our Self because of the way they made us feel in the past. But once we set them free the “lightness of being” we find is often so much better.

It’s risky to let go of an old identity to make room for a new identity that is not fully formed.  There are unknown details to be worked out. It requires experimentation and exposure to the new aspects of our self that come to the forefront.  We may not be sure we’ll really like the new role or stick with it for long.  It may trigger the fear of loss of acceptance from relationships or communities that were formed based on our old identity.  Will the friendships follow us on our new journey into parenthood or move across country?

Some aspects of our identity are formed by the responses we receive from others.  We subconsciously agree with how they “see us” and support it through how we represent ourselves to them.  This is particularly true with family. Parents want their children to be a certain way, to help the child be successful in life and to make the parent feel more comfortable. These expectations create a silent requirement to perform in a way that meets the approval of our caretakers, molding our public-facing identity. The identity we show others is often not the essence of our true Self. It is a safer projection of what we feel comfortable revealing to the world in order to be accepted.

As adults we have the opportunity to revisit some of the aspects of our identity that were formed based on our environment or expected family role. We can notice where these are no longer true for us and psychically update the aspect of our seventh chakra, where “the way we show ourselves to the world” is stored.  We may need to heal some wounds or change certain “pictures” we have of ourselves to activate this healing. Calling on the assistance of a spiritual mentor or clairvoyant healer in this process allows us to see beyond our own limitations.

If you are ready for an easy identity update, send a psychic request to your Akashic/Soul record keeper to update our identity to present time. You don’t need to delve into the quicksand here, keep it light. But if you see a specific false belief that continues to alter the way you show up in the world, you can take it deeper with a detailed request of what you are ready to remove, and what belief you would like to replace it with. Always remember to fill-in your aura with the vibration of your own essence before completing a healing meditation.

Dark Night of the Soul

Natalie —  July 21, 2011 — 1 Comment

A Dark Night of the Soul is a period of time or season that many of us on the spiritual journey find ourselves in once or more in our life.  The Dark Night comes unexpectedly through some change or experience that causes you to question all that you’ve known to be true.  It is a time where you find yourself feeling disillusioned with a temporary loss of faith.  What you trusted appears in a new light to have been temporary and incomplete.  The foundation you’d built your perception of the world on shifted and in that shift you found yourself unsettled.  What felt meaningful feels meaningless, what seemed solid looks unreliable, what you thought you knew to be true comes into question.

Walking through a Dark Night of the Soul period requires intense resilience.  It pushes your edge, uses every ounce of your psychological capacity for survival. The Dark Night can be triggered by things like divorce, physical illness, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, loss of a role or an aspect of your identity. Where it takes you is a profound void that may feel like depression, hollowness, hopelessness, emptiness and doubt.

How do you endure this mental and spiritual struggle? What gets you through the void and back to a point of inner-peace?  I’ve found that, the healing and growth the Dark Night has to offer comes through the following conscious choices:

  • Acknowledging that the cycle of living in the unknown has purpose.
  • Calling on your inner-guidance with much more frequency and consistency.
  • Moving your body to allow the cycle to stay in motion on the physical level.
  • Seeking support through the council of spiritual mentors who have walked the path before.

These practices of self-care give you strength to get through the darkness and help you make your way to a season of light again.

The Dark Night may feel like a stuck place in your external life or a place where everything is in chaos.  However stagnant it feels or looks on the outside, it is an active season for the soul.  The soul is in chrysalis.  It has gone within and on may require you to be unconscious about some of the deep work underway. Literal transformation, upgrading your soul-body agreement to integrate all the bits-and-pieces you’ve been learning at the deepest level.

Some levels of processing are beyond what you can or are ready to consciously “see” as they transform.  You have to be patient and trust the inner activity.  You have to ask your mind to be patient, as it seeks to fix what appears to be broken, wants a solution, demands answers. Let the Dark Night chrysalis evolve you from the caterpillar to the butterfly.

The void has you fear a total loss of Self.  It has you feel alone and as if you may have lost all of the ground you had gained through your conscious growth, commitment to self-awareness and health.  In reality, there is no loss, at the other side of this deeply challenging soul searching cycle you find ourselves renewed, more mature, with an inner radiance that transcends your prior light.

The Dark Night is a soul crisis.  It pushes you to the full extent of what you  feel your soul is capable of handling.  It may temporarily break your spirit.  On the other side, the gift of a journey through the void in a Dark Night of the Soul is the discovery of your inner strength, a greater level of daily inner-peace, plus an updated alignment of your body and soul.