The societal, cultural value of prioritizing the approval of another (through prestige, power, accumulation of things, etc - which we primarily do for the admiration from, and approval from, others) over listening to ourselves and honoring the truth in our bodies, is the root of our disconnection. Our disease.
Force vs power.
Our capacity for health is directly related to our willingness to take responsibility for the deepest truth in our lives.
We have all absorbed messages from our lives, families, and culture about success, beauty, value, worthiness, right/wrong, etc.
None of the messages are True, they are simply beliefs that control and keep us confused, in pain, striving, ... small.
By looking at these judgements against ourselves (and others), seeing our participation, and releasing the underlying energetic patterns, we can touch our True Nature.
Peace. Freedom. Wholeness. Bliss. Truth.
Feeling Divine in a human body.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019When speaking of art, we most often think of the finished product whether it be a painting, a drawing, a performance, a sculpture, a poem, or another expression of creativity. Today, I invite you to consider the evolving process of creation as described by my friend Mirabai Starr who believes, as I do, that each of has the capacity to offer something new to the world. It does not come quickly or easily, but few things of any depth or value ever do. Mirabai writes:
A miraculous event unfolds when we throw the lead of our personal story into the transformative flames of creativity. Our hardship is transmuted into something golden. With that gold we heal ourselves and redeem the world. As with any spiritual practice, this creative alchemy requires a leap of faith. When we show up to make art, we need to first get still enough to hear what wants to be expressed through us, and then we need to step out of the way and let it. We must be willing to abide in a space of not knowing before we can settle into knowing. Such a space is sacred. It is liminal, and it’s numinous. It is frightening and enlivening. It demands no less than everything, and it gives back tenfold.
There is a vital connection between creativity and mysticism. To engage with the creative impulse is to agree to take a voyage into the heart of the Mystery. Creativity bypasses the discursive mind and delivers us to the source of our being. When we allow ourselves to be a conduit for creative energy, we experience direct apprehension of that energy. We become a channel for grace. To make art is to make love with the sacred. It is a naked encounter, authentic and risky, vulnerable and erotically charged.
The muse rarely behaves the way we would like her to, and yet every artist knows she cannot be controlled. Artistic self-expression necessitates periods of quietude in which it appears that nothing is happening. Like a tree in winter whose roots are doing important work deep inside the dark earth, the creative process needs fallow time. We have to incubate inspiration. We need empty spaces for musing and preparing, experimenting and reflecting. Society does not value its artists, partly because of the apparent lack of productivity that comes with the creative life. This societal emphasis on goods and services is an artifact of the male drive to erect and protect, to engineer and execute, to produce and control. Art begins with receptivity. Every artist, in a way, is feminine, just as every artist is a mystic. And a political creature. Making art can be a subversive act, an act of resistance against the deadening lure of consumption, an act of unbridled peacemaking disguised as a poem or a song or an abstract rendering of an aspen leaf swirling in a stream.
A recent client was talking about his coping technique of withholding truth, not speaking truth, not listening to themselves, and doing everything for others.
He is clear that this is a coping technique employed in order to be loved.
But, he took exception to the idea that this was manipulative, dishonest, behavior.
This is a painful concept. He argued that it was a coping technique, meant to protect him. I told him that needing to protect himself means that he sees himself as unsafe, which means he sees himself as a victim.
And, underneath the victim perception, he was willing to lie and manipulate others in order to control them. To get what he wants - which is to be loved.
That's what we do when we withhold truth - we are trying to control another - directly or indirectly. We want them to think well of us, so we lie to them. We want ourselves to think well of ourselves, so we lie to others and ourselves. It all maintains an illusion.
He has to let go of being a victim, and see his own participation in the dynamic. And, to take responsibility for manipulation and dishonesty. He can't give up the perception, the identity, of being a victim until he sees that he's actually not.
It was difficult to look at this, because he wanted to see himself as "good."
And seeing ourselves as "good" means we are invested in the framework, in the judgement. Judgement is still force.
True freedom is giving up the entire framework of judgement of ourselves and others, and just accepting ourselves completely as we are. Releasing, releasing, releasing.
And when we do so, there is truth on the other side. Freedom. Peace. Power. Equality. Just being.
And, when we feel in touch with our own sense of peace, true power, freedom and truth, we make radically different choices on the outside.
Seeing ourselves as "good" or "bad" is part of the problem. Part of the framework that needs to be dismantled in order to be free.
Sidenote: throwing off the yoke of being "good" is so damn liberating.
Truthiness is up in our house right now.
Today my son and I talked about how, when we lie to another, we are really lying to ourselves first.
When we lie to another we do so in order to keep the peace, to feel safe, to maintain an illusion, etc. We are trading our safety for our truth. This is one way in which we learn to feel safe in the world and... it is an illusion.
When we fear the rejection of another, or fear that they can't handle our truth, what we really fear is that we can't handle the truth of another, or that we can't handle rejection from another. It is always a reflection of our own fear, it is never about another person. (We're simply not that altruistic!)
So. Our power is in seeing this fear for what it is, and honoring it.
And then, if we really want to feel empowered, we put 3 yeses into the world. Immediately.
Nothing frees us more than using our power to put yeses in the world. A yes is our truth, our wishes, our dreams, our desires. Maybe it's an invitation to someone that excites us. Or sharing something personal with someone. Or speaking a truth - if only to ourselves. It doesn't matter. What matters is that we release more truth into the world.
When we have hidden a part of ourselves, the antidote is to reveal, express, or act on a hidden part of ourself.
True freedom is knowing in the cells that we are equal with every other living being.
True spiritual practice is releasing every impulse, every untrue thought, every underlying energetic pattern, that believes anything to the contrary.
Photo credit: Cavanah
We take the behavior of another person personally because, deep inside, we believe that it means something painful about us. When we remove that energetic pattern, that untrue belief, we no longer take it personally. It's that simple.
The Peace Power Path is one way to remove the underlying energetic barriers, the barriers over our heart, that disconnect us from our True Nature. Our True Nature is our innate, human power. When we are connected with our True Nature, we see the behavior of another as a reflection of their own learned coping techniques, and we no longer take their behavior personally.
The behavior of another only hurts because we believe it means something. It truly never does. This belief is an acquired coping technique. By taking responsibility for our own acquired coping techniques, we can heal and then remove the underlying energetic pattern from our bodies. This removes, heals, the thorns from our paws, those people, places, actions, we take personally.
Removing the acquired coping techniques heals painful relationship dynamics.
We clean our own pain first, and then (and only then) do we engage with another person.
To repeat, we heal relationship dynamics by:
1. Recognizing our own coping techniques in action
2. Releasing our coping technique
3. Then, and only then, when we are released and calm, are we ready to engage with our partner, sibling, parent, etc. We speak our truth, and we listen to the truth of another. And then we move accordingly.
The Peace Power Path was predicated on a rock solid belief that we are all capable of healing ourselves.
I know it has worked for me, but I just didn't really know exactly how.
Yesterday I had a clue:
I was talking to a client that had had a PPP release earlier in the week. He had released an energetic pattern of perfectionism, and a core underlying energetic pattern/belief/fear that he was unloveable. Two days after our session, he made a mistake. A big, public one, that involved his kids. (Nothing harmful, just publicly embarrassing.) In the past this was exactly the type of thing that would cause a shame spiral. Instead, as he was moving through the experience, he had a realization: it was just a mistake.
He realized that he was having an awareness of being kind to himself.
Rather than his usual coping technique of judging himself, berating himself, hiding his mistake, etc, he was aware that it was just a mistake.
This always happens within a day or two of the PPP - we experience an event differently, with an awareness that we are experiencing it differently.
We are calmer, more peaceful, have more clarity and awareness, and sometimes even participate in/heal a painful relationship dynamic - we show up more as who we want to be.
And that is a radically different internal experience of our lives. We are not flooded with stress/cortisol, or shame, we do not shrink and get small, we do not lose sleep over an event, we do not fight and over react.
All those toxic emotions and chemicals never flood our brains, bodies, cells. And removing those toxic emotions from our bodies is deeply healing.
Now, imagine doing the Peace Power Path every day. Imagine never feeling those toxic chemicals and emotions again.
How much energy would be freed up for living life more joyously, more spaciously, more freely?
Norma Van Horn