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Your Higher Self

You know your higher self. She is the one you picture when you think about how you will be better, richer, thinner, more confident, more successful in the future. She embodies who you want to be and the best of who you are. And she’s already in you. Your job is to connect with her and to become her. Think about who you would be if you had no more excuses and no more reasons to do exactly what you want to do. Think about who you will be in one or two years. How you will have excelled in your career path, crushed motherhood, and taken fabulous, exotic vacations. Maybe you will have invested in a condo in Tulum, Mexico, or written a novel. You might have performed in a play or created a new podcast. You can feel how awesome that is right? Now, move that feeling to the present. Be that person now. How does she stand? How does she talk? What does she think about? Is she fearful or authoritative? Flustered or calm? Angry or joyful? What does she believe in? Does she believe in you? Do you believe in her? Bring that reality to you. Feel the vibration of it. Breathe into it. Feel it with your heart. Follow that feeling. Follow your heart. You know that woman intimately. You are that woman. Be at home in her. Rest in her company. Your higher self is always with you. She is guiding you at every step. She knows exactly what you need, and she can communicate it to you precisely and articulately because she is you. She knows you intimately, what you are learning, what you are missing, and how to integrate it all. When you recognize that, you will believe in your own magic that has been there all along. Now when you align with that vibration wherever you find it, you will never go astray. The yellow brick road will lay itself out before you. And you will discover all you need to do is to click your heels to go home. 

The Cave

When the cave takes you, it swallows you whole
It's the belly of the beast
And yet I was not scared
I was protected
And secure in that cave
Not only from the outside forces
But from myself
In that sanctuary, 
I could unleash the full power of my being without fear
I could let go of the rigidity of my form
I could surrender the fullness of all that I am in safety
I could let the confines of my mind dissipate and become infinite
Within the dark sanctitude of the cave
The walls held me as I exploded in ecstasy
Such release
Such sacred love pouring through me
The cave is the tomb of my ego
And the womb of my eternal self
This sacred container is 
The chalice for my rebirth
Blessed be the darkness
For in it we find the light

The Danger of Beauty


When I was in sixth grade, I woke up in the middle of the night and saw a naked man lying curled up in a ball on my bedroom floor. Sleepily, I went upstairs to my parents’ room and told them there was a man in my room. Naturally, they thought I was dreaming, but it turned out to be true. Apparently, a young man living nearby in the our apartment complex had snuck in through a sliding glass door that was left open.

My parents called the police. By the time they got there, the man had vanished. All I remember from the rest of the scene is the police officer suggesting that I make sure my curtains were always closed when I undressed and warning me and my parents quite bluntly that if this happened again, there may be a prostitution charge. The message was clear: conceal yourself or else. Never mind that I was a child asleep in my own bed, and this man broke into my home. Thank goodness, he seemingly meant no harm, but the experience was unnerving just the same, and the insidious lesson that came from it was: my beauty is dangerous. Unwittingly attracting men could bring personal violation, physical harm and unfathomable shame. To even consider that at 12 years old, I was intending some kind of prostitution was unthinkable and repulsive. Yet that’s what was being suggested because in my innocence, I sometimes forgot to draw the curtains and conceal my body from prying eyes.

No doubt most or even all other women have had similar experiences, many more traumatic than this, where they have found themselves feeling victimized by their beauty. Rape, sexual abuse and misconduct, objectification, harrassment; I’m sure most women can relate to some form of this realization that it’s not safe to show their full beauty for fear of being violated somehow. So we hide, withdraw, shrink, brush off compliments, deny and downplay our beauty, never stepping fully into the power of it, owning it. When someone else, i.e. a lover ‘makes’ us feel beautiful, we give them our power, make our sense of self worth dependent on their positive regard. Yet owning our beauty is owning our power.

When we believe in our own beauty, we radiate it freely, and we are in charge. We get to say who gets the pleasure of our company and for how long. When we own our beauty, we are no longer the victims. We have what they want; we ARE what they want, and we are fully in control.

Shadow Self

When we accept and embrace the parts of ourselves that we previously rejected and shamed, we are practicing a loving surrender to what is and a transmutation of our deepest fears into a recognition, reclamation and fulfillment of our deepest desires. 

In the paradoxical duality of our human predicament, our spirits long to experience all that physical existence has to offer, not only the light but also the dark. In fact, we must know the dark parts of ourselves so that we can appreciate the light. We must fall so we can know ourselves as strong enough to rise again. We must be hurt so that we can heal. We must have anger so that we can know peace. We must feel separate and alone so that we can become one.

Yet in our society, we are raised to feel ashamed of ourselves for having inappropriate desires or negative feelings. So we hide them from the world and even from ourselves. We pretend that if we don’t acknowledge them, they don’t exist. We cover them with layers upon layers of secrecy, shame and guilt. And yet they continue to lurk there, deep in our subconscious. And the incredibly powerful subconscious magnetically attracts the situations, events and relationships that fulfill and reflect those subconscious desires and beliefs, not just once, over and over but in repetitive patterns. We consciously think we don’t want to feel poor, angry, victimized, lonely, scared, stressed, but, like an addict, we keep creating the circumstances that bring these emotions about. We keep reliving the same dramas again and again like a cheesy soap opera. Why? Because like picking a scab or watching a scary movie, it’s perversely satisfying. We do self-destructive things not only because it keeps us in our comfort zone but because we secretly enjoy the way we get to play the powerless victim, be the martyr or stay in survival mode. To stop the subconscious pattern, we must acknowledge and honor the shadowy desire. It’s ok that we have irrational and even conflicting desires. The moment we take them out of the closet, they lose their surreptitious power over us.

Desire

Everything we desire is already available to us as soon as we define it. In the field of infinite possibilities, anything we can imagine is already available to us. Just as a child can conjure a whole world where they can be anything they want to be and make anything happen, so can we as adults. The limitless potential is all around us, ripe for the taking. Ask and you shall receive. 

What do you want? What do you really, really want? Do you know? 
The only thing stopping you from getting what you want is your ability to define it. 
When you raise your vibration, you will discover that everything is available to you, and the universe wants you to get what you want. But you have to know what that is, and you have to let the universe know. If you have vague desires or conflicting desires or confusing desires or weak desires, then the universe cannot oblige. Once you truly feel it, physically and emotionally, then it can’t help but become yours. 


Focus on what you desire, not the lack of having what you desire. What you want is just what you want. It is not you. You do not need to be attached to it. It will not make you happy. You can be happy right now without that thing. Be happy in your desire. Relish the sweetness of your longing. Enjoy imagining how lovely it will be to satisfy that desire or accomplish that goal. Feel good about it, not bad. Delight in your desire, don’t resent it. Let it uplift you, not depress you. Love and cherish your desire. Let the thought of it send tingles through your body. See yourself having it. Feel what that will be like. Taste it. Savor it. That desire is yours. 


Delight in your desires yet know that you are already whole without them. If you are not happy right now without the object of your desire then you will not be happy when you obtain it. Why? Because you are externalizing your happiness. As long as you believe that something outside of yourself can make you happy, then any happiness you receive from the external world will be fleeting. After a moment of satisfaction, you will find some other external desire to attach your happiness to, and that will become the thing that you need before you allow yourself to be happy. Your happy place is not a beach in an exotic destination. It’s inside you. The lover that will sweep you off your feet and give you your happily ever after is not a beautiful stranger; it is you. The riches that will satisfy your every need are not at the end of the rainbow; they are already within you. Knowing that you are boundless takes a lot of courage. Limitless choice can be scary. Don't be scared. Just think, what do you want? 


Transmutation

	Pain is sacred. Just as Christ suffered on the cross, died and was reborn, so does pain offer us a chance for growth and renewal. Pain is a sign of healing. We instinctively try to avoid it, shove it down, numb it, blame others for it, etc., but only by going right through it can we learn the lesson it has to give. When we face our pain, our fear, we are baptized, initiated, consecrated, healed, renewed by it. We complete the hero’s journey. We release our karma. We up-level ourselves. The constant avoidance of pain robs us of all of this. In fact the fear of suffering causes more suffering than the actual suffering, if that makes sense. We go to great lengths to avoid facing our fear and our pain. We use every kind of band-aid and numbing agent we can imagine in order to avoid facing the root of the problem. We take drugs, we drink, we blame everyone and everything else, we consume food, products, services, supplements, we hide, we lash out. Anything to take the focus off the very the thing we need to focus on. Pain is a signal, a message, calling your attention to something that needs to be healed. We avoid heeding that call at all costs.  But in that pain lies our journey, the journey of our healing, the journey of our lives. Releasing resistance, surrendering to our fear and to our pain allows us to move through it, to discover a stronger version of ourselves. 

	We think of Heaven as a place where everything is perfect and good, and there is no evil or anything bad of any kind. But what if Heaven is actually a state of being where you accept all that is, the bad along with the good? When we fully understand our trauma is also our best gift, we are healed and redeemed. When we realize our suffering has purpose and meaning, we transmute it into grace. We turn pain into power. We turn fear into love. Jesus had to die on the cross to give his greatest gift. There has to be dark for there to be light. So then, maybe Heaven is not the absence of darkness but the making of peace with it.  

Communication

Religions are based on spiritual messages filtered through human channels, each with their own backstories and biases. As the messages manifest in the physical world, there are bound to be details that are specific to that human’s framework of experience and understanding. Their life experiences will color how they translate the messages, the result being that other people will see it differently, through the lens of their own perspective. As cultures collided, people latched on to these differences rather than realizing the underlying sameness of their beliefs. To find the space of understanding is the mission now.

The most pressing issue here is the divisiveness that has existed around religion. The feeling that it’s us versus them, and that we are somehow better or more enlightened than the other. Self-righteousness is a trap that prevents compassion and increased awareness. Ironically, as soon as someone points the finger at someone else for self-righteous behavior, they too are embodying it, and so falling into the trap. They are making that person the “other.” “I can’t believe they think they are right and everyone else is wrong,” we say, and in taking that stance, are doing the exact same thing. Of course, everyone thinks they are right. They are. In accordance with their experience, their perspective and their understanding of the world. We are all right. There is room for all of us to be right. We were all given a diversity of experiences and points of consciousness so that we can see the world differently in a prism of colors and frequencies. Is one color of the rainbow more right than another? Is purple more correct than orange? Is one musical note more enlightened than another? Don’t be ridiculous, you say. Well, that’s how we act. As if one person’s views carry more merit than any others. No matter how outrageous or repugnant they may seem, everyone’s perspective has merit. It’s a stripe in the endless rainbow of human experience. No one can really be wrong. It’s just an outlook shaped by their experiences and belief patterns. Walk a mile in their shoes.

Strong opinions are popular and appealing. People love to have strong opinions, especially in our country. It makes us feel smart, gets us fired up. But taking strong oppositional stances based on our opinions is creating a rift in our society. Many rifts. It’s hard to agree with anyone on everything. Talk to them enough and you are bound to find things you disagree on. So we stop talking, afraid to find something that will cause us to confront the divide. Most of us don’t like conflict. So we avoid topics that will be controversial. It’s too messy, too emotional. Unless we are on the other side of a computer screen or we know we are in the company of those who agree with us. But how productive is that? Wouldn’t it be better to disarm ourselves from our opinions long enough to engage in a conversation with someone of an opposing view long enough to understand where they are coming from? It might be helpful to ask them about it in a quiet moment when there are no public battles to be won, with only the goal of human to human understanding. It takes courage to open up your heart and create space for these kinds of discussions. So often, we see them take place in the forum of political debate, in staunch opposition, with huge stakes on the line. But we don’t win any badges of honor by proving ourselves right on these topics. We are the people. We can decide to take up the mantle of understanding rather than that of hatred. Ego separates. Communication brings together.

Hero


If you’re asking, who am I to change the world? The answer is, you are the only one who can. You are the one we have been waiting for. You are the hero of the story. You hold the power. Not just in a metaphorical sense. It is all up to you. You must own your power now. Rise to the challenge. This is your time. This might seem hard to believe as you search your cabinets for a hand wash refill. But it is so. Realize your power and your importance, and hold it. This is your calling. 

I know there are plenty of reasons to not believe this. After all, the entire process of socialization has trained you to believe otherwise. Indeed the entire physical world seems set up to the contrary. You have been trained to think you are one of many. Fall in line; you are just another brick in the wall. It seems as though you are separate and alone. Your life has been full of experiences in which you have failed or fallen short of expectations. And yet, these are lies. 

There is only one truth. You are God, nothing more, nothing less. You are the expression of the Divine, and you are the Divine. The entire universe exists inside of you. It is because of you. Your consciousness unlocks eternity. Your very existence makes the universe possible. Don’t wait for anyone to save you. Take control. 

We are waiting. 

Awkward Grace

I have spent much of my life trying to look like a put-together, polished, professional person. I have tried to hide any insecurities and avoided situations and conversations that make me feel uncomfortable or awkward. 

One of those subjects is spirituality. It feels like a touchy subject. I have qualms about bringing it up with my family, friends and strangers unless it's already been established that we are on the same page. I don't enjoy feeling awkward. I don't want anyone to see the chinks in my armor. 

Last year, in New Hampshire, I met a moose on the side of the road. I had always thought of the moose as a kind of funny-looking, ungainly character with a too large head, heavy antlers, a misshapen kind of body and spindly legs. Yet in reality, he was somehow majestic and dignified. He moved slowly, unafraid of the gawking spectators pulled over at the side of the road to photograph him. He eyed us with a sly smile as if he knew something we didn't. A wild animal yet no air of attack or defense around him. 

It turns out that as a spirit animal, the moose represents pride, confidence and strength. And even though he is somewhat bulky and awkward in his appearance, he doesn't mind. Rather, he embodies grace and elegance. That's what I saw in the moose's eyes - a calm confidence and an inner knowing: it's safe to be different. 

I could be like that: graceful not despite my awkwardness but because of it. What's so bad about being awkward anyway? If I take it in stride just like that moose, then it is no longer awkward. Maybe I could be comfortable being uncomfortable, being different. That's where grace is truly found.