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Tag Archives: spirit
Share your crack.
No, not of the plumber’s variety.
The kind that’s created from our neural noise that tells us we’re messed up in some way. It comes from this flawed premise that we seem to collectively suffer from, telling us we’re unlovable and undeserving of love.
Our neural noise gets fed by this false premise then solidifies our “cracks” making us feel more and more separated and disconnected from other people.
But as musician, Leonard Cohen, says, “There is a crack in everything that’s how the light gets in.”
So actually cracks are essential. It is through them that the unique light that is specific to each of us gets expressed.
Your light that shines upon the world is different from anyone else’s. How you shine is the individual expression of who you are. Your light isn’t more special than someone else’s – we’re all plugged into the same electrical grid – but it is unique to you. And it’s really only through your cracks that your light gets illuminated.
So to let your light shine you have to get into your cracks. They’re there for a reason. And the breakthrough occurs when you start to face them.
Work with them. Embrace them. Ask them to show you what you need to see. You have to be gentle with them and be as kind with them as you are with the parts you like about yourself. But you don’t because you have so many judgments about the hidden parts of who you are. You consider them to be negative reflections of your character. You cast them further into the dark because you feel they’re “not good” or unwanted. You hate yourself for having them because they’re reflections of the dark parts you’d rather not admit you have.
The towering figures of light in our society don’t have them. Or do they? Might it be, actually, that because of them – their cracks being broken open – these people are able to illuminate others?
Like we all are.
We live in a culture that generates a great deal of guilt and shame around our shadow parts because we’re not taught that it’s all part of the same prism. “If you don’t have any shadows,” as Lady Gaga says, “you’re not in the light.” They’re essential and necessary. But because it seems as if no one else has them, we avoid them. Or we feel badly for having them. Or further perpetuate the false belief that because of them, we’re unlovable or undeserving. In many different ways.
In love. In career. In creativity. In expression. In abundance. In success. In fulfillment. In health.
That’s what the cracks do when we continue to keep them impenetrable to the light. They prevent us from embracing the variations of love that we deserve to experience in our lives.
But once we begin to break them open, something miraculous happens.
Part two next week on what that is and how we break them open.
Sometimes radical shifts in our perspectives of how we see ourselves and our world require major, dramatic openings. Sometimes they happen slowly over time – like adaptation – which is the process of natural selection that ensures a species’ survival. And other times, the shifts occur suddenly. Like a lightning bolt from the sky.
Either way, it’s simply in our DNA to continue to expand and adapt.
Not just biologically, but spiritually, emotionally and in our awareness of Self.
It seems that we collectively adapt our paradigms to match the evolving consciousness of our culture and planet. But actually, our collective paradigms are what shift the consciousness of our culture and our planet. The world mirrors back to us how we choose to see it.
But why do we hold onto antiquated thoughts? Old, outdated beliefs that no longer serve us? Conditioning we want to move beyond?
Simply because our fixed paradigms make us feel safe and in control. They’re familiar to us and we’ve spent a lot of time defending them and creating our identities around them. So our ego doesn’t want to see them go.
Thankfully, our brains have an elasticity that makes the neural wiring changeable. And therefore, our paradigms can change.
Part of our adapting new ways of thinking requires us to let go of old beliefs and start adopting new ones. It’s a complete rethinking of how we choose to see the world.
You can choose to see the world from the science of classical physics that is rather finite, limited and fixed. Or you can choose to see your world from the quantum perspective – infinite, changeable, possible.
To me, the easiest way to get there is to start asking “Why?”
We did this as children, but for some reason, as adults – we give up that curious exploration of getting to the root of why something occurs. As adults – because of our conditioned thinking – we believe we already know all the answers.
Keep probing deeper. Engage in a more thorough inquiry with yourself.
As you hear yourself say things that to your friends or loved ones would seem preposterous (“I’m ugly.” “I’m fat.” “I’m untalented.”), ask yourself why you say those things to yourself.
No one else thinks those things of you. And if they did . . . who cares?
So keep asking. Don’t stop with the first answer you get. Keep going deeper to get to the genesis of your limited paradigms.
Crack open your world. Crack it open! You do this by asking better questions. And you’ll begin to see that your paradigms will shift to meet the new discovery of who you are and what’s possible for you. What you’ve been scared to meet all along: Your Magnificence.
All from asking “Why?”
I can’t believe it’s been an entire year of creating. In many respects, a year means so little in the enormity of our lives and how they unfold. The things we make huge dramas about, or the things we become consumed with or fret over, ultimately work themselves out and a year later we can hardly remember what it was that caused so much vexation.
So a year isn’t so much quantitative to me as it is qualitative.
How did you spend the year?
Were you expressed? Brave? Committed? Loving? Just a little more present? Patient? Compassionate? Dangerous? Flexible? Fearless? Joyful? In-it-to-win-it?
I read someone’s Facebook post recently that said something along the lines of “finding spirit in your life is important.” He was quoting from some televangelist, who was obviously, quite serious!
That idea made me sad.
Because spirit is always with us. Spirit is who we are. It doesn’t have to be found. It’s in everything that is alive and throbbing with intelligence and life-force. It’s pulsating through our bodies and our blood. It’s in our marrow and breath. It is in the words we speak and the dances we weave. It’s in our parents and children and lovers and ex’s. It’s in our enemies and in everyone that came before us and those who will come after. It’s in the way we express ourselves that makes each of us individually unique. That’s spirit!
And it defies labels. For some, it might be called intelligence. For others, it might simply be creativity; the way you tell a story or write a poem or play an instrument. For others, there might not be any conscious connection to it at all. It’s merely a vague term used to suggest “otherworldliness.”
But the truth is, it simply is a sort of embellishment, a stamp, or signature of how each of us does what he or she does. Different for all 7 billion of us. So do it your way. That’s connection to spirit. Not found. Expressed.
So as 2012 comes to a close, maybe we can think less on how much we’ve accomplished or created, but instead take inventory on the spirit of how these things were shared.
For it’s not really what we do or make or achieve but how we live in the world that is the only thing truly remembered.
Looking forward into 2013, perhaps we start taking stock in how much power we each can lovingly wield. How much energy to positively transform we each possess. How much possibility there truly is in the world.
So maybe it’s about shifting our awareness. From thinking we lack and therefore must find and instead, realize that it’s all inside you. As it’s always been. Just waiting more and more to come out.
In 2013 and beyond.
People often ask me, “Why do we have ego?”
Well without it, you wouldn’t be able to know that there’s another part of you. Something grander. More brave. More joyous.
The soulful part of you. Spirit. Infinite Intelligence. The Creative Matrix. Potential.
Living in a world of duality, you can’t know something without having the experience of its opposite.
We know joy because we’ve experienced sorrow. We know what compassion is because we’ve been indifferent. We know what generosity is because we’ve experienced greed. And so on.
So to have ego creates the possibility to know the bigger part of you.
But ego tries to keep us in the dark, hiding from our Light. And its incompatible with creativity.
The journey of our lives in general – and of our artistic expression specifically – is to try to dismantle the ego so we live more and more in potential. But that’s difficult because the ego’s job is self-preservation. And its been preserving you for a very long time.
When we work on things creatively that bring up our vulnerability – which is (ironically) our natural state – the ego will kick in to preserve the self – our identity. When we hear criticism in this state of vulnerability – it’s not what we hear now that causes the ego to rear its ugly head. It’s that you actually hear it incorrectly from your 8-year old wounded self who was made to feel unsafe or unprotected or exposed. Your ego protected you at that time (perhaps legitimately), but instead of hearing the criticism from a neutral place of now, the ego misperceives and distorts how you receive it, confusing it as an attack. Just like when you were in the 3rd grade. Ego goes into full-on preservation mode. And it shuts out possibility.
But like anything, awareness is the first step to change.
This week, if you’re in any of the 8 “S’s” you’re in a state governed by the ego -
Stuck — Shut down – Shut Out – Saboteur – Safe – Separate – Small – Self Centered.
They are just states of self-preservation. Become aware of them, breathe, and let them go. Your 8-year old self can thank them. But they don’t serve you anymore.
“Are you placing enough interesting, freakish, long shot, weirdo bets?” ~ Tom Peters
Not unlike the DreamWorks movie, if you want to make your Dragon work for you, you first have to know you have one.
Once upon a time, we were given a travel companion to help us navigate through life’s travails. As we grew, so did our Ego Dragon: by processing information, evaluating situations, making judgments based on experiences, remembering the past and making plans.
It had a useful purpose. It helped shape our identity and carried us through the world avoiding things that it registered as dangerous and unknown.
But as we grew, so did our Dragon. Feed me! Feed me! And so we did. We gave it unsubstantiated information based on past experiences. We avoided things that were unknown to us because the Dragon said it was unsafe. We repeated things our Dragon overheard: You’re a loser. You’re fat. You’re ugly. You’re so cool. You’re the shit. (It wasn’t his fault. These were things he heard others say, so they had to be truthful, he thought.)
Our Dragon ended up spawning lots of little Dragons (He is actually a She and a He) and now we really had our hands full. (More than three thousand years ago, the Bhagavad Gita portion of the longest poem ever written, the Mahabharata – stated that we had 100 formidable “Dragons” that would fight us on the battlefield of man’s body.)
That’s a lot of freakin’ Dragons!
Now if you had 100 little babies to tend to – not unlike Octomom – what would your life be spent doing?
Feeding all of our little Dragons: maintaining and defending untruths that seemed real; and cleaning up all their s***!
Walking around aimlessly (Dragon), lost (Dragon) and confused (Dragon), feeling like this, you bumped into a long-lost friend: your Inner Warrior.
This being Los Angeles, he took you to boot camp where you not only got toned and buff but also looked really, really hot in your dragon-slaying outfits. For men and for women. (Oops. My gay gene may have made me do that backwards: Men press here. Women press here.)
Like Thor, through awareness and perseverance you gained insight into a whole other part of yourself you never new existed.
You met your Dragons on the battlefield – and some of them from the Gita you immediately got rid of (meanness, cruelty, ill-will, conceit, pessimism, bitterness) and others you negotiated with (impatience, worry, laziness).
You began to see that you are not alone. Since time began, the real battle every person fights is the battle against the enemies within.
They are conquerable. They’re unreal. They’re there to help us cultivate another part of ourselves that is much larger, much grander and seeks the adventure of the unknown.
So thank your Dragons. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to experience who you truly are.
But for goodness sakes, stop feeding them!