Friday, May 28, 2010

E-Mails and Spirituality…


Lately I’ve been noticing a little brusqueness in some of the e-mails traveling across the ethers. When we are overwhelmed, tired, pressured, or just plain stressed, it is easy to get so much to-the-point that we forget kindness.

We forget (or choose not) to pause and reflect with our hearts open before we shoot off an e-mail. What is really easy to not realize is that e-mails in particular can sound rude when you are simply being perfunctory. When we are communicating by e-mail, or any form of written communication for that matter, the receiver cannot see our faces or hear the inflection in our voice to experience our courtesy and regard for them. So in writing, functionality in one-on-one correspondence can come across as down-right rude. A brusque e-mail can come across more harshly than if you had spoken to the receiver out loud.

I think it is helpful for those of us in spiritual practice to remember that most communication does not occur in our choice of words. It occurs in the sounds of our voices, our facial expressions and gestures, AND the energy we are holding and emanating from our spirits.

Unless it is my intention to scare off my friends and colleagues, I’ve learned that I need to take great care when writing and to consciously bring warmth to my letters. Even a little bit of warmth in my writing seems to be received by people with gratitude and even delight. But I’ve also discovered it has to be authentic.

I’ve observed that if my energy is in a frustrated or exasperated place, even if I choose my words very carefully in writing so as not to offend the receiver and attempt to warm up the letter, by their response, I can tell they still picked up my energy. If I haven’t taken the time to clear my emotions and write from a place of spiritual balance, they can tell, and they respond to my state of unbalance.

Here are two interesting articles on e-mail etiquette that addresses how to create an appropriate “tone” for your e-mails: http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/internet/archives/page9167.cfm
http://www.netmanners.com/email-etiquette/are-your-e-mails-tone-deaf/

Even difficult issues can be addressed with kindness, if we first take the time and care to clear any emotional charge we may be feeling. I’m learning that before I address a difficult issue with someone in an e-mail, it is best if I meditate first, holding myself and my feelings about them in compassion, until I can feel compassion for them. Then it is time to write.

If I really need to get down to the nitty-gritty with someone, I do that in person if at all possible, and if not then at least a conversation over the phone gives them an opportunity to hear my voice. They might hear my concern or frustration, but I will also make sure they hear and have registered my care and regard for them.

In my opinion, e-mails are a good place for expressing care and regard, communicating opportunities, exploring possibilities, and deepening understanding between people, but it is not a good place for expressing frustration, anger or exasperation. Those feelings are better expressed in person, or at least over the phone where you can experience and hear the impact of what you are saying, and where you are going to be expected to listen to what the other person is experiencing as well as speak your peace. In-person and phone encounters suggest dialogue and resolution comes when we listen with open heart to our own concerns AND the concerns of others.

Brusqueness in e-mails is not the highest form of spiritual expression. Brusqueness is like being flippant, without regard for another’s feelings in the matter. And it is easier to do that in writing than it is voice-to-voice.

I’ve been challenging myself to consistently write e-mails from my kindness. Before I send it out, I read it to see if that is the kind of e-mail I would like to receive. I don’t think I’ve completely perfected my e-mail writing, but I do know that I like myself a lot better when I’m writing from a peaceful and kind frame of heart.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

God Is Punishing Me…Or Is He? Is She?


An excerpt from my free report—“Beating the Odds: How to Identify 10 Beliefs that Can Short-Circuit Your Healing.”

This is a belief I have seen people struggle with when they are in a middle of a healing crisis. Sometimes we just can’t help but wonder if perhaps God is punishing us for something we have done. Then we think—we deserve it so we might as well learn to live with it. I have never seen this belief ever help anyone. But I have seen it destroy people’s ability to bring true healing into their lives.

You are welcome to read this excerpt or read the entire report.


This belief truly makes me want to cry. I can’t wrap my brain around the concept that a loving God is punishing me for doing my best. Yes, sometimes I make deliberate choices that are clearly not my best, but that is a rare occasion. And I deeply believe that is true for most of us.

Some years ago, I remember listening to a wise elder explain that one of the benefits of growing older is that you realize that most of the time most people are doing their best. In contrast to the concept of a punishing God, she had come to realize that recognizing most people are doing their best gives us cause to find greater compassion.

Perhaps you are a person that believes in past lives and karma. In that case, you have probably come to accept that you chose your lives and its challenges, so that you can find greater compassion for yourself and others. Through such a depth of compassion, you bring spiritual freedom to yourself and those you touch.

Whether or not you believe in karma, you would probably agree that every challenge we experience through illness does give us an opportunity to discover how far the depths of our compassion will reach.

In my first career as a Special Education teacher, I spent my first year teaching children with significant illnesses or handicapping conditions, in their homes and with their families nearby. I witnessed first hand how these beautiful and courageous children became teachers of compassion.

I rarely saw the children feeling sorry for themselves, the way we can as adults. They were more inclined to accept the realities of their current experiences, and squeeze the love and meaning out of every minute of their lives.

They were quick to be understanding and patient with the people around them. And the people in their lives—family, teachers, school mates, doctors, nurses, care givers, ministers, counselors and friends—responded by opening their hearts, honoring the courage and serenity they experienced when they were with the children.

If you were open, you couldn’t help but find a greater sense of spiritual equilibrium just being in their presence. Through their lives, they allowed us around them to experience a greater depth of loving compassion that we might not have discovered without them.

If indeed they made a choice to live out such challenging lives for their own spiritual growth, for the furthering of their karmic awakening, or to help others reach greater capacity for love, they fulfilled their missions with powerful and lasting affects on the lives of all of us around them.

It never occurred to me that God was punishing these children. But it did occur to me that they were contributing to a more compassionate world.

As adults, we are certainly more inclined to make choices throughout our years that we regret. It is understandable that we might think we have consistently made such poor choices that God would punish us for what we have done. Yet, consider another possibility.

If you are holding deep regrets within your heart, and therefore within the very cells of your body, is it possible that you are unconsciously creating a foundation in which illness can live? Is it possible that in harboring your feelings of regret, rather than transforming those feelings into self-love, that you are in effect punishing yourself?

When you are hard on yourself, it often follows that you are hard on the people around you. And the people around you are hard on you. Isn’t it possible that it is more of a self-created cycle than God’s punishment?

Is God punishing you? You will have to find that answer for yourself, but do consider the possibility that it may be you who is being so hard on yourself, and that is completely within your ability to transform it through compassionate love.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Creating Beyond Our Momentary Needs and Concerns


Have you discovered during this current economic climate that it can be challenging to consider anything that is beyond your immediate needs of taking care of yourself and your family? Just putting some thought into retirement can be a monumental effort, let alone creating wills and leaving legacies for those that come after us. And yet, consciously or unconsciously, through the ways that we choose to live now, we are creating a spiritual-economic path for our future and that of generations to come.

I recently had lunch with a wonderful woman and law of attraction coach, Andrea Conway. Delighted to discover she lives here in Colorado, I asked her to meet me so that we could get to know each other better. She shared one of the most significant spiritual perspectives about our current economic times that I think I have heard to date.

She believes that we are collectively shifting consciousness so that we can embrace what is truly in alignment with our desires. We are losing and letting go of jobs that provided for our human needs, but did not meet the needs of our souls, so that we are free to discover greater inner alignment with our spiritual essence and intentions. You can read more directly from her at: http://www.successfulselfemployment.com/

I asked her if she thought that during this process we are also letting go of consciousness based in greed and fear-oriented wealth, replacing this belief system with prosperity consciousness that comes from a more enlightened perspective and trust in Divine process. She agreed and suggested that the future will be one where we have greater regard for both self AND community.

Both of us recognize that the path isn’t always easy. We often have huge learning curves when it comes to recognizing, embracing and fulfilling our purposes in such a way that we are also creating beyond our immediate needs, contributing to our personal futures and a greater future for the planet. Sometimes we need to be lovingly reminded that it is a journey in which we are learning and growing, not just a destination. We are shedding some old skin along the way.

Though it may be a challenging time for many of us, let us consider what this shift in consciousness is doing for generations to come. According to author Michael Baigent’s research, the ancient Egyptians considered greed to be the primary sin, so to speak. It was to be guarded against, and it was one of the primary responsibilities of the pharaohs to do so. Let’s consider why the Egyptians might have considered greed to be the primary sin to avoid.

When we are in our greed, we grab for all that we can out of fear that we will not have enough or that we will lose what we have. We take without regard for what that taking may do to others or the earth. Greed, it could be argued, is at the basis of damaging indulgences and addictions, power-hungry decision-making and abusive choices. And I’m not referring to other people out there. I’m talking about any of us. Most of us, if we were really truthful, could point to at least one time, if not several, when our greed led the way in our decision making.

When fearful, we are likely to act from our greed, because this is one of the ways we try to protect ourselves from our fear. The irony is that greed does not fundamentally remove our fears. In fact, engaging our greed is more like running away from our fear, causing us to eventually spiral down into the pain of separation from others and the Divine.

Think of something you are addicted to: the opposite sex, beliefs, money, power, drugs, sex, the authority of others, food, control, complacency—whatever it is—if you keep creating what you are addicted to in an attempt to allay your fears about surrendering to intimacy and trust in the Divine, yourself, or others; you will eventually spiral into a place of alienation, despair and loneliness. Oh, you might be high for a while. You might be very high, but it doesn’t last, does it?

When we no longer want to experience the brunt end of the others’ greed and we say, “Enough!” we are also going to get to look at greed within ourselves. When our growth in consciousness demands experiences of more profound intimacy in all of our relationships, we find ourselves called into greater honesty with ourselves. Subconsciously and consciously, we start creating opportunities to live more authentically and in alignment with our deeper beliefs.

That means jobs, houses, religious affiliations, cars, clubs, toys, friends, clothes, beliefs—whatever attachments that might be keeping us from living from our greater awakened state of intimacy with the Divine—die away so that we are free to step beyond our safety, and our greed. If we allow the death to be a conscious transition, we will be compelled to create from a place that is not limited by our fear, but motivated by enlightened perspective.

Now, imagine a world in which greed, and the fears behind it, no longer functions as a primary motivator. Imagine greed being replaced by conscious compassion, where you as the individual hold your needs and the needs of your community in equal loving regard. Imagine a world where you generate your income consciously aligning your purpose, values, and talents with choices that further economic welfare, individually and collectively.

Do you think there would still be poverty, starvation, toxic waste, war, or abuse? We would create a very different reality, wouldn’t we? That is what we are creating right now—a world that operates far above our greed. Though momentary needs and concerns may at times be consuming, this time of economic challenge is our opportunity to create a spiritual-economic path of higher consciousness personally and globally that this world has not yet known.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Mother and the Sacred Feminine


She has nearly been forgotten, but not completely. Throughout history, she has been oppressed, repressed and suppressed, but she is still here. She is still here because she lives within you and me, and we have kept her sacred heart beating within us.

In giving her face and form, she once went, and still goes, by many names around the world—names of Goddesses, such as Ishtar, Isis, Shanti, Briget, Demeter, Mary, Tara, Fuji, Juno, Corn Maiden, Freya, Inanna, Spider Woman, Rhea, Imama, Ixchel, Anjeyja, Mawu, Baba Yaga, Pele, Kuan Yin, Asherah, Black Madonna and more.

We give her form in order to understand and love her, but truly she is formless. She is the vastness of space, and without end. She is limitless in her capacity to hold potential for life. She is as dark as the blackest night and the vessel of all life. She is slow and purposeful. Her movements must be with clear intent, because she is pregnant with the possibilities of life and when pregnant, one needs to be mindful of the life one is carrying.

Within her womb, she holds all potential of what life can be without judgment of anything being better than another. All life is precious within her vessel. And from her sacred womb, comes all life. We call the life that is born from her: super novas, stars, meteors, planets, light, water, fire, wind, minerals, crystals, animals, plants, and humans. Life as we know it—we are all her children.

She is the Sacred Feminine, the Mother of All Life. She is the sacred womb, the holy grail, the sacred cup. Her womb is reflected in the wombs of all women and the energetic wombs of men.

The Mother of All Life is calling to us. Can you hear her? In order for life on this planet to become the paradise that it can be, we must be willing to discover the womb of the Mother within us. We must call into very wombs of human existence—our fears, doubts, anger, hurt, sadness, jealousy—all of it, one issue at a time.

When life reaches out with its original intent to discover and express itself, mishaps occur along the way. We lose focus and bump into each other, so to speak, whether a meteor crashing into a planet, or a human idea clashing with another human idea. We create uncomfortable friction.

In order to reduce the friction, we hold the feelings that have arisen with compassion, so that the original, loving intent—the original creative force—can emerge once again, purified. Compassion is the great transformer. And an intent well-loved is less likely to crash into other things. Its course is more direct and more in harmony with all of life. (For a Sacred Feminine meditation for releasing pain and fear: http://newdreamfoundation.com/forums/index.php/topic,75.0.html)

Isn’t this exactly what happens in life when we are willing to listen without judgment, holding another in the heart of our compassion? Rough, painful edges are transformed through compassion. We feel born anew, able to engage the world with renewed hope and a desire to bring our love into the world. This is the magic of the limitless love of Sacred Mother.

She is there, beating in the hearts of mothers around the world and in the motherly love that we know how to hold for others. Regardless of how well any earthly mother has done with her role as mother, part of our spiritual journey encompasses discovering the Sacred Mother within us and allowing her to be fully alive in our world, through each of us that awakens to her presence.

This is a challenging task and some of us have done better than others in our earthly roles. Yet, because we are willing to assume the challenge, the Sacred Mother is still alive, remembering, awakening, and—heart by heart—holding the world in her limitless love.

This is the era of the re-emergence of the Sacred Feminine, and her love expressed through each of us is shaping the future of our existence. As we celebrate our mothers today, let us also remember to celebrate Her, our Sacred Mother, honoring her powerful and enduring presence within us all.

If you are curious about what it means to deeply explore the Sacred Feminine, discover The Path of the Sacred Feminine.