Archive for September, 2013

“Excellent!”

Dude!

Ever since Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, the term “excellent” has taken on a bit of a tongue and cheek meaning. Part of the humor comes from these slacker characters co-opting the word “excellent,” which actually stems from the word “excel,” meaning “to do or be better than; surpass” or “to show superiority; surpass others.”

We live in a world fraught with competition but terrified of excellence. A world so uncomfortable with the idea of excelling that school curricula often punish or discourage more intelligent or motivated students just so that they don’t upset the lower tier of the class. In the US, in order to meet state and federal guidelines, teachers must teach solely to obtain certain test scores, which — at least as far back as 1992 — were really about brainwashing and compliance rather than promoting knowledge, critical thought or creativity. If you’ve not seen the video “Who Controls the Children ~ Schools Deliberately Dumb Down Children,” please click here. It’s from an old videotape, but the information’s well documented and eyeopening.

One wonders if Bill & Ted’s lovable buffoonery wasn’t just a clever Hollywood psyop to ridicule the powerful mandate to “be excellent to each other,” or, to strive for and appreciate true excellence. Take a moment to ponder what a different world we’d live in if more people sincerely strove for and appreciated excellence.

During the “Timeline Tune-In and Tune-Up” sessions this month, the concept of excellence keeps appearing. People share with me that they’ve approximated their goals or desires but with a few glaring exceptions that have caused them to fear commitment to whatever they’ve so far managed to manifest. Over and over again, I listen to these amazing clients try to rationalize why they should settle for something less than they prefer, for something or someone less wonderful, less ethical and/or less healthy than their soul longs to experience. I have needed to assure far more than one client that no, they do not have a “commitment issue” for “failing” to settle for “close but no cigar.” They have a “fear of excellence” issue, and that’s a societal problem!

In a world of all possibilities, a world in which we actively co-create, why wouldn’t we imagine, work towards, implement and yes, demand, excellence? Note I did not say “perfection,” that illusive and elusive abstract state that can never come into the world of forms. Perfectionism disempowers and halts creativity by causing people to give up before they’ve even begun. Perfection lives in the world of Platonic forms, whereas excellence exists in the realm of Arts & Sciences, a realm that used to be called “The Humanities.”

Back in the old days, studying the Humanities meant studying Classical Literature, Mathematics and some Sciences. It meant learning how to think for yourself, learning how to build upon society’s previous accomplishments not just for the sake of money, power or raping the Earth faster and harder than your competitor. Studying the Humanities meant discovering what makes humans tick. What factors elevate humans out of the day to day grind of existence and into the realm of visionaries, seekers, builders, and embodiments of the Divine. The Humanities helped humans recognize themselves as sparks of the Divine, and when you know that you are That, you remember to act like it.

College and high school curricula have begun their own book burnings — not always physical, but effective nonetheless. The list of banned or “irrelevant” books and history has grown tremendously in recent years. According to Homeland Security, the Founding Fathers of the United States — certainly not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but highly educated, highly spiritual people who valued liberty and responsibility, people who recognized the need and possibility for something beyond the old royalty model — these Founding Fathers are now classified as “Domestic Terrorists,” along with anyone who shows more than a passing interest in their philosophy or quotes.

The United States used to be a land of individuals who prided themselves on their self-sufficiency, their ability to make do and make new. We were a land of farmers who fostered deep intimacy with the land. All around the world, indigenous and small communities used to experience a similar connection with the Earth. In more recent times, the “exceptionalism” of corporations like Monsanto, DuPont, Bayer, Merck and the major oil companies have instead worked to destroy those connections, rape the planet, poison and weaken not just indigenous societies, but pretty much all human society besides the “upper elite.”

Despite their psychopathic and sociopathic tendencies based on a bizarre sense of lack (even though they own most of the world) and a rapacious need to consume without ceasing, this elite recognizes that excellence comes from ancient knowledge, self respect, working harmoniously with cosmic and natural energies, and the ability for communities to work together. This self-appointed elite is so terrified of competition from an empowered humanity that we get the banning or demonizing of “occult” (hidden) knowledge, millions on the government dole for food, unemployment checks and medicine, the destruction of Nature and ridiculing of astrology, and “Divide and Conquer” at every opportunity.

I would argue — and I do argue in sessions — that the pursuit of, striving for, and demand for excellence is not a selfish endeavor. Again, think of the different world we’d live in if more people pursued, strove for and demanded excellence. These simple ideas of taking pride in one’s work, of working together for the greatest possible achievements that benefit the community, and of “being excellent to each other” are antidotes to the horrible cancer devouring our dystopic world.

The solution to humanity’s problems isn’t to genetically modify babies — which yes, they are already doing, disgusting and creepy though that is. It isn’t genetically modifying “food” so that it can be patented and sprayed with increasingly higher levels of toxins. It isn’t militarizing and destroying every last bastion of freedom and individuality. The solution to dystopia is an acceptance of the natural excellence that flows when people push themselves to learn just a little more, or to refine a creative project or vision to make it just a little more pleasing, harmonious, helpful, and beautiful.

Launching drone attacks and preemptive wars is the opposite of being excellent to each other. Fracking and nuclear bombs are the opposite of being excellent to the Earth and all her creatures, including humanity. We can protest all we want, but eventually all those signs, petitions and shouts are just hot air if we don’t set about offering a better alternative to the way things are. Whenever you refuse to settle and continue to strive for excellence, refine your vision, purify your heart and take action steps to implement those abstractions into tangible form, you are not being selfish. On the contrary! You are being and doing exactly what we most need in this world. As Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

“Be excellent to each other” and the world will change. Come alive and be excellent in all you do, and you will change. You don’t need to be perfect, but self respect and healthy pride go a long way in fostering courage, stamina and a willingness to accept those magical moments of Grace, when the Divine recognizes you “being all that you can be” and inspires and empowers you to step it up a notch. The US Army co-opted “be all that you can be,” so we discount that sentence as a meaningless slogan or — worse –a call to war. What rubbish! Be excellent to each other, including yourself. Be all that you can be, and watch your own life and the world around you transmute before your very eyes.

Amy Armbrecht ~ Growing Medicinal Plants or Good Enough Gardening

Today, I’m posting the beginning few paragraphs of a lovely post by Amy Armbrecht — an article that touches upon so many different areas of interest to a variety of readers here. She’s got information on Lyme Disease and Bartonella co-infection, quotes and details about medicinal herbs, as well as a philosophy that rings true whether or not you’ve ever tried your own gardening. At the end of this excerpt I’ve included a link back to her site for the rest of the article, which I do encourage people to read. Just some lovely wisdom, grace and acceptance! Enjoy …

Growing Medicinal Plants or Good Enough Gardening
Reflections by Amy Armbrecht

The one passage that has stayed with me from Stephen Buhner’s new edition of Herbal Antibiotics is this: “The first thing to understand is that there are no mistakes. You are learning a new skill and everyone learns what works by learning what doesn’t.”

Simple advice. Yet I’d ignored it every time I’d picked up the book, trying to remember instead how Gram-negative Bacteria was different from Gram-positive bacteria or what exactly happened in a cytokine cascade. This time though I was six months into trying to deal with a really nasty case of cat scratch disease, caused by the Bartonella bacteria, a bacteria that Buhner has now dedicated almost half of his equally excellent book on Lyme Co-infections. Who knew those sweet kittens nestled against our eight-year-old son would cause him so much trouble?

In early November, a week after we got the kittens, the lymph node behind his ear swelled to the size of a golf ball. I thought it was an ear infection at first, and gave him all of those good herbal ear ache remedies. It only got worse, especially the pain. Eventually we found ourselves in the ER on a Friday evening, because his doctor couldn’t tell the difference between a swollen lymph node and mastoiditis, which is a really bad thing to have. Finally, we were told it was likely cat scratch, a self limiting disease that was said to resolve itself in a few weeks with no intervention.

It didn’t get better, or it would, and then it would get worse. I consulted with every herbalist I knew. We found another doctor, who told us there was nothing to do but wait it out. I tried every plant I knew and many I’d never even heard of before. Each time a new remedy seemed to help, I got down on myself for not having tried it sooner, for not having known at the beginning what I knew now, two months or four months or now six months into treating something we were told should have gotten better a long time ago.

And then I read this passage about there being no mistakes. And I realized that maybe it wasn’t that I was doing it wrong. That, as Buhner said, in choosing things that didn’t seem to work, I was getting clearer about what might. …

Read the rest by clicking here.

Full Harvest Moon in Pisces & Autumn Equinox Energies

A deep exploration of this Full Harvest Moon and the change of seasons. This post arrived in my email last night, right after I had seen a rare praying mantis outside our front door! More on that, perhaps, in another post. I noted that yesterday had been the completion of a cycle, with a dear friend visiting from Lake Tahoe — someone I had not seen since my life completely unraveled and rewove itself after the New Year’s Eve Blue Moon at the end of 2009/beginning of 2010. Praying mantis works with cycles of time and the ability to shift those cycles. I have never seen one before in my life, so this seemed quite a potent combo, along with the Full Harvest Moon energies and the coming Equinox. Lots of shifts and choice points these days!

Tania Marie

Harvest MoonTomorrow morning, September 19th, the moon (a Harvest Moon) will be at it’s fullest and in the sign of Pisces (my native Sun sign). 🙂

Full Moons are times of illumination, revelation, and provide insightful opportunity for integrative healing. It is also a time to receive from the cosmic elixir of life and great for doing anything that supports your openness to that receiving. You may find yourself wanting to be still and going within to experience the fullness of your emotions and what they have to share. You may discover that movement, music, and dance help to feel into your body and move the energy through. Spending time in nature, creating, making art of any kind, going deeper into healing practices or into more intimate relationships with yourself and others will perhaps call to you at this time – all of this providing inspiration, insights, and epiphanies to revealing…

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Two Weeks Left of September Specials

I am having so much fun with this “Timeline Tune-In and Tune-Up” Special! What a wide variety of options and awareness levels people are bringing to the mix, and what potent shifts in perspective and opportunities. This might be my favorite special I’ve ever offered. Just under two weeks left for these specials …

SEPTEMBER 2013 SPECIALS

As usual, this months’ specials arise from some kind of inner nudge of what’s needed by the most people this month. I never know exactly what they are until the moment I post. Enjoy!

Timeline Tune-In and Tune-Up

This hour session helps you to recognize your likely trajectory based on current energy patterns, intentions, and habits … and then, I search for the closest parallel reality versions of “you” with very slight differences that lead to more preferred (and more varied/greater opportunities for) positive outcomes. The scan and download are actually easier for me to do than to explain here, but if you’ve ever seen the movie “Sliding Doors” with its alternate reality story lines that intersect at certain points throughout the film, I’ll be scanning you for the stickiest intersection points.

I have found that these crossover points — i.e., parallel Universe bleed-throughs — can act like portals into alternate realities, preferred or not. That’s why you want to approach them consciously and respectfully, so that you recognize the power of the moment and choose wisely. The initial shift looks subtle, because if there weren’t enough similarities between the timelines/alternate realities, then the bleed-through moments wouldn’t happen so easily; however, in retrospect, such moments or decisions often seem “Fated.”

This reading gives you a heads up regarding the types of feelings, thoughts and experiences to watch for if you’re looking to sidestep onto a more positive timeline without needing to slog through linear time to get your desired life. In some cases, the preferred outcome even requires a sidestep, because the laws of cause and effect already set in motion on the current timeline are barreling you toward their “inevitable” end result. Fortunately, linear time’s not all it’s cracked up to be! These “timeline hops,” “portal points,” “reality jumps” — whatever you want to call them — are not only possible but powerful, and with awareness and practice, you can learn to surf such opportunities, charting your own course from current to next closest to preferred realities.

$144/hour if prepaid on or before 9/30/13.

(Offer can be multiplied if you would like one or more follow-up tune-ins, since, depending on what I discover, your most accessible hop might be to a stepping stone reality from which to make your next boldly conscious, chosen hop. Such follow-up sessions can provide continuity and a clear reflection as you Fun House Mirror your way through wrinkles in time.)

Please contact me if you’d like to sign up.

Three for $222 Medical Intuitive Package

A set of three (half-hour) Medical Intuitive Sessions to offer support for ongoing progress towards wellness and empowerment. I find that some people really appreciate having occasional follow-up as their health needs and energy blockages shift in the process of healing. This mini package saves $48 off the usual rate.

Offer valid if prepaid on or before 9/30/13. Please contact me if you’d like to sign up.

Yes on 522

Washington State is the new battleground state for labeling GMO’s. Thanks to Mitch for these great videos of Andrew Stout and Holly Smith putting a personal face on the debate about who will really benefit from “Yes on 522,” the GMO labeling proposition for Washington:

“That’s Jerry of Ben&Jerry’s Ice Cream in background. Andrew innovated the CSA program’s in the Northwest, perhaps in the country.”

Andrew Stout for Yeson522 initiative from cabfare productions on Vimeo.

If you’re in the Seattle Area, you’ve got “522’s Bite Night” coming up this Thursday at 6:30 p.m. For more information about this “Herban Feast,” please click here.

Holly Smith Int_yeson522 from cabfare productions on Vimeo.

If you’re not in Washington State but would like to see GMO’s labeled and/or banned, please send some positive energy their way, and tell any Washington friends and relatives about this opportunity they have to make a difference not just for their own state, but for the country and the entire world. GMO’s are an abomination and an assault on our health and health freedoms. Let’s get 522 passed!

Garden Lessons from Harvest Season

This past Saturday, my friend Suzanna and I attended a harvest celebration in honor of the soon-to-be changing season. Even though the Autumnal Equinox occurs on the 22nd this year, signs of Fall have already begun to reveal themselves: chilly mornings, grey days, changing flowers and foliage. Some of the tomato plants have become so huge that they’ve sprawled far beyond the “Bed Bed,” developing blight from all the damp mornings. Cool weather crops like radishes, brassicas, celery and Chinese greens push their way through straw mulch in the newly planted “Guarden Bed” that will house winter greens and root veggies under a cold frame. Most dramatically — for our yard anyway — most of the sunflowers took their final bow yesterday.

Instead of this:

Lemon Queen Sunflowers

Lemon Queen Sunflowers

We now have this:

fall display

David and I cut down the huge stalks and heads of completely spent sunflowers and left ones that still seemed to have a bit of life in them. I moved the geraniums and lemon balm over from the side of the house to fill in some of the empty space, but it still looks bare to me. I’m grateful for some of the continued color, which will remain at least until next week when I begin lasagna gardening and mulching out an enormous swath of front lawn (on an angle) in preparation for next Spring’s planting of rose bushes, a quince tree and all my edible front yard ornamentals, which may or may not include an heirloom corn as part of the Three Sisters planting. At the very least, Scarlet Runner Beans will make teepee appearances on either side of the sunflower patch. We’ll see what else wants to play out front, depending on how well the lasagna layers break down over the winter.

Our front herb garden has changed colors, too, with more emphasis on the nasturtiums and just-beginning-to-bloom Fall Asters:

herbs and asters

The front yard presents some lessons of letting go, releasing Summer’s beauty and learning to appreciate the lag time between bright Fall leaves and the fading of Summer’s glory. Due to the major project I have planned for next Spring, which involves Fall layering and Winter decomposing, this letting go very much underscores the idea of how each season fades and grows into another season, all in a cycle and natural rhythm. Part of me would love to freeze time when I find something I love, but in Nature — sometimes even more obviously than the rest of life — things continually change. Life becomes death becomes seeds (or compost) becomes new life, and on and on and on…

The Mabon (Harvest) Celebration focused on gratitude along with the “releasing of projects not completed” or laying to rest of “things left undone.” We each wrote one or more things for which we felt thankful this year and then listed one or more things we had intended to do but didn’t or tried implementing but found that for whatever reason, didn’t turn out as well as we had hoped. We then walked a labyrinth and I felt the usual coming to center and letting go — followed by a potluck feast!

I brought a pesto, tomato and chickpea dish topped with nasturtiums. Except for the chickpeas, the main ingredients all came from that afternoon’s harvest from my garden:

Pesto Chickpeas

I don’t follow recipes, but here are some rough guidelines:

Chickpea Pesto with Tomatoes and Naturtiums:

2 large + 1 small can(s) of organic chickpeas/garbonzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup or more to taste of cherry tomatoes, halved

Vegan Pesto:

an entire Vitamix filled with fresh basil
two cloves garlic
dash of olive oil
juice of one large lemon (slightly less, since I used some for the drink I brought)
generous teaspoon of miso paste
1-2 TBSP Parma vegan parmesan (I often use chipotle cayenne, but I used the garlic herb blend for this)

(optional: crunchy addition like sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, etc. — didn’t use for this recipe due to the crunch of the chick peas)

Blend all but the optional crunch addition in the Vitamix, or use a food processor. The Vitamix may require use of the tamper, since the basil can fly around without blending everything. Taste test and add salt and/or pepper to taste. If adding the crunchy additions, add in and just pulse until broken down but not blended into the rest of the pesto.

Assembly:

Put chickpeas in a bowl or carrying dish, mix in the pesto. Add tomato halves. Freshly harvest the edible nasturtium flowers (which give their own peppery taste) and arrange on top. Enjoy!

Since I had so many extra ripe tomatoes and jalepeno peppers, I also brought a Virgin Bloody Mary mix:

Virgin Bloody Mary

I wasn’t sure whether to call it a Virgin Mary, a Goddess Mary or a Maiden Mary, but whatever the name, it had quite a kick! Rough recipe:

Vitamix full of ripe tomatoes with cores cut out
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
4 stalks celery
Splash of wheat free tamari
1-2 jalepeno’s without seeds
salt
pepper
just a pinch of birch sweetener

Blend until smooth. Chill or enjoy as is.

Speaking of extra tomatoes, something about the previous night’s celebration and reflection encouraged me to begin digging out some of my massively overgrown tomato plants that have become too messy and difficult to harvest:

tomato madness

Above, you see them toppled over to the back of the “Bed Bed” where dozens of tomatoes have literally been feeding squirrels and/or rotting on the vine because despite my best efforts, I can’t harvest them fast enough or easily enough to keep the area clean. I realized that I’ve had excellent performance from these three plants, but for the past week they have become more of an annoyance and chore than a delight. I’ve been dehydrating and giving away tomatoes like crazy, because our freezer’s full! I even tried our friend Phil’s solar dehydrator:

solar dehydrator

I’m so grateful he let us borrow it, because I’ve learned that building our own solar dehydrator is another project I could have put in the “didn’t get done, doesn’t need to get done” category. I suspect things would have gone better had I used it at the peak of Summer rather than this flirtation with Fall, but after two sunny days and two damp nights, I had a mess of fruit flies, damp tomatoes and crinkled up damp squash. Thankfully, I had put that experiment on parchment paper and just tossed the questionable produce. For now, I will happily continue our electric Excalibur, which — so long as I run it on our front porch — doesn’t even smell up the house for the 48 hours of drying time. We have loads of dehydrated, intensified flavor tomatoes to enjoy all Winter, and we didn’t waste an entire weekend building a solar dehydrator more suited to the dry summers of Arizona than the hot and humid Midwest ones. Live and learn! Another lesson in releasing …

Anyway, back to the tomatoes: I have a difficult time getting rid of living things (and even people) in my life that aren’t “bad” but nonetheless don’t really bring me joy equivalent to the work involved in maintenance. After the previous night’s focus on just letting go those things that either no longer serve or that something in us opted not to include in our experience, I realized, you know what? I have five other tomato plants besides these three. Some of them are loaded with varieties I’ve not yet even tasted because they’re still ripening. We’ve had these three plants’ tomatoes all Summer, and they really are becoming more trouble than they’re worth. To me. And ultimately, it’s my garden. I have influence over this experience. I can thank these plants for their service, carefully separate out the healthy leaves, stems and fruits from the blight and spotted ones, and I can make room for a new Winter crop of peas, which will add nitrogen back into the soil and look a heckuva lot cleaner than these sprawling, rotting tomato vines.

Easier said than done, of course! I only managed to cut through one of the three plants yesterday before it started raining. From that one, I harvested many a squirrel and rabbit nibbled tomato, but I also hauled out eight pounds of green tomatoes, enough to double “Put ‘Em Up!”‘s recipe for Tomatillo or Green Tomato Salsa. That will be today’s canning adventure:

green tomatoes and lemongrass

We even had some super fresh ripe tomatoes for last night’s Greek Salad, and I’m excited to try my first solo canning run. Another new skill put into use by rooting out the old. I’m sure there will be more where this came from, since the other two plants I intend to remove have even more tomatoes at various stages of ripeness.

The other day, my friend Martha, who loves, loves, loves our kale, asked if I was “winding down the garden.” “Well, not really,” I replied, “It’s just different.” Harvest Season is upon us, whether we grow gardens or simply live in the Northern Hemisphere. As we approach Thursday’s Harvest (Full) Moon, it’s a natural time to take stock of how you’ve grown this year. What have you accomplished? What have you learned? How will you snuggle into the Fall and Winter Season? If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s time to set goals and celebrate the opportunities for watching seeds grow into fruition. Wherever you are, please take a moment to honor your participation in Nature’s Web of Life. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”:

Snatam Kaur ~ Earth Prayer

A Wake-Up Call for Prayer and Action

If you’re at all on the fence about whether or not the US should support “rebels” in Syria, or if for some reason, you believe that the war mongering occupants of the White House and Congress are really not insane — “just doing their jobs in a complicated situation” — you might want to read Michael Snyder’s eye-opening article, “Precious Little Girl Dismembered While She Is Still Alive By Obama’s Psychotic Syrian Rebels.” It’s a doozy, and it shares a lot of explicitly horrifying details of what the “rebels” Obama wants to support are really doing in Syria. It also shares where they’re from (hint: not Syria). At least 1,200 “Syrian rebels” are actually released death row inmates from Saudi Arabia given a choice between being beheaded or going to jihad in Syria, which turns out to mean beheading anyone who won’t immediately convert to Islam, eating still beating hearts of “enemies” and ransacking Christian settlements.

I recommend reading the story and sending it and/or the video clip of the atrocities to your decision makers in Washington. I personally don’t have the stomach or the heart to post the article here, but if the war mongerers in Washington want to send people to their own and others’ deaths, tortures and destruction, then those war mongerers have forfeited their right to insulate themselves from awareness and responsibility. Let them know that we know what the rebels are up to. Let Congress and the White House know that we know that they know what the rebels are up to, even if the reason we know is because we’ve forced the information into their faces.

No more excuses. No more “you have to read it to know what’s in it” or “if I knew then what I know now, I would have voted differently” even though the re-vote on things like the Patriot Act and the Monsatan Protection Act all too often produces the exact same original results. No more excuses. May the Light of Truth haunt any remaining shreds of souls that these decision makers have, and may We the People revoke the rights to make decisions “on our behalf” from those people eager to turn the world into a further bloodbath. No more excuses.

This is a wake-up call for prayer. A prayer for a wake-up call, and a prayer for peace. There are times for passivity, and there are times when we look upon unbelievable atrocities and say, “No. Not in my name. Not in any name. This. Must. Stop.” If arming “rebels” who behave worse than Charles Manson or the killer in Silence of the Lambs is not such an inspiration to reclaim our power, then I don’t know what is.

I post this chant again, and I will continue to chant and pray and intend and to harass Washington with detailed information, because I choose not to be the one who turned a blind eye to this, leaving it to someone else. We may not support our government psychopaths, but we do have some responsibility for their actions. We may not support war, but if we don’t do whatever is in our power to promote peace, to educate, and to move the energies in whatever ways we can towards peace, then we do not get a free pass on this one.

Awareness comes with responsibility. Awakening means recognizing the power and influence we do have, and taking action based on that awareness. Such action might mean prayer. Intense prayer. It might mean visualization empowered by a ritual or spell. It might mean many, many phone calls and letters to Washington. Why shouldn’t their phones continue to ring off the hook?! Why shouldn’t they get an earful of shocking information? Why shouldn’t their aides be overwhelmed by gory details to pass along? If they’re willing to be swayed by lobbyists or special interest group threats, then they need to know that we know they do not deserve our respect or any power we’ve lent to them.

Veils can drop in many ways. Reclaiming our own power also means accepting our own responsibility. These are not rhetorical or frivolous questions: “What are you contributing to bring about the world in which you wish to live? How are you participating in the Creation of what comes next?” Passivity is a vote for a gruesome agenda.

I don’t care what you do to empower your preferred New, but please do something — intentionally and powerfully. Rituals and chants count when dedicated with a sincere and pure heart. So do potent creative acts in the direction of peace and community. It matters not what you do, but please, for the love of all that’s good and true and beautiful, please do something.

Changing Dynamics of Relationships

A re-post and new intro today, since this topic has been floating around in my own personal life, as well as in many sessions about relationships — romantic, friendship, family, or otherwise.

As realities shift, many lifelong over-givers have been feeling a call to pull back some of their energy, to offer less imbalanced support to people with whom there’s not an equivalent exchange. This shift, though actually healthier and more in balance for an over-giver, often triggers surprise, and sometimes condescension, judgment or other reaction from those accustomed to being on the receiving end of the extra giving. It also seems counter-intuitive in this time of becoming less selfish and more aware of all of our deep interconnections, and as a result, many of these people, myself included sometimes, dip into feeling bad about doing what they know they need to do. Such knowledge may arrive as a result of the consistent physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual relief that the pull-backs provide, or due to the overwhelming backlash that codependent old ways now generate.

This creates an interesting dynamic, because for the most part, humanity is being asked to step more into a giving mode — more into actually using our gifts for the benefit of others. It’s kind of like that little Sunday School song, “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine… Hide it under a bushel, no! I’m gonna let it shine.” When the people who’ve been shining for a long time — even sometimes “over” shining to make up for others who are less sure of themselves or for whatever other reason not shining their own gifts out into the world — feel called to pull back, it’s not about those over-shiners suddenly becoming selfish. It’s about a return to balance so that the ones hiding under a bushel have more incentive to tap into their own courage (perhaps through necessity, perhaps through compassion realizing that they are the ones with the power to change what they want changed). The new dynamic potentially offers a trigger for the less sure to shine brighter.

Where you sit on this continuum depends on how much you’ve already been shining your light. “From those to whom much has been given, much will be required.” Sometimes it seems we are already giving “enough,” but in these times it helps to make an honest assessment of just how much we’ve been offering and in what ways. Exploring ripple effects of perceived service can help to determine whether we’re being asked to give more, take less, or to reinvest our energies in different ways. The people I know who’ve felt called to pull back from imbalanced relationships aren’t sitting on their butts doing nothing with that reclaimed energy! On the contrary, many of us have felt called to become more involved in local, community building or in offering support to newly encountered people we sense are truly on the brink of change. Some of us are on a massive creative kick, writing books, painting, healing the Earth … and sharing those creations with others.

“Sharing those creations with others.” That last part also provides a clue, because if you’ve reclaimed energy in one area only to reinvest it strongly in other areas, then there’s no reason for you to you to feel guilty about being “selfish,” “superficial,” “unevolved,” or for “denying help” to the planet. You’ve simply changed the energy exchange to one that feels more compatible, satisfying or useful.

This article isn’t about judgment; it’s just an article to help shine light on some of the trickier emotions these changing relationship dynamics can bring up. For that purpose, I’m re-posting an earlier article called, “Rejection, Projection, and Reflection,” which offers some mirrors and guidance on how to wade through potentially murky areas looking for clarity and balance. It also goes along with Tania Marie’s post yesterday about Raw Honesty. These times require such honesty, but they also require a willingness to live and let live. Sometimes people are simply “not a match,” and that doesn’t mean one needs to be wrong and the other right. Sometimes you just don’t mesh, and separation comes easily. For stickier, trickier encounters, there’s this:

Rejection, Projection and Reflection

Ah, rejection! No one likes it, but everyone has felt it at one time or another. Rejection comes in many forms: romantic relationships, contests, writer’s group critiques, friendships, job interviews or credit applications. Some people feel depressed about it, while others grow angry or challenge themselve to rise above the snub. Besides sadness, by far the most common companion of rejection is projection. Although the “p” word can initially offset your hurt, it doesn’t help you move forward.

This article explores projection and helps you to recognize it in your life. For the projectee (anyone unlucky enough to stand in line of the projector’s fire), I also discuss the concept of reflection. Many projectors mistakenly assume they are, in fact, reflectors. The distinction becomes especially confusing for people who do reflect most of the time, yet still have a tendency to project when they feel challenged or rejected. This article gives tips to help you tell the difference.

You might be projecting if:

1) You assume someone must have massive issues, complete ignorance, a guru complex, psychosis, arrogance or hubris, control issues, or a secret evil agenda if s/he has gently or firmly declined your advances. If you feel these things about people in your field who have experienced greater attention or success than you have, it’s also time to look at your own tendency to project.

2) You consistently encounter people who (you think) get a sick pleasure out of devaluing your gifts. These people initially seem like helpers, supporters and encouragers. S/he may be a counselor, coach, minister, or yoga teacher, perhaps just an acquaintance whom you very much admire. All seems well when you ask them for advice, which they give freely. But then they inexplicably “turn on you and devalue you” by not buying your book, linking to you on their website, or otherwise returning the favor of asking you for advice and guidance. How dare they think they’re better than you! They must not want you to succeed because they couldn’t handle your competition! They’re not evolved, and they don’t want anyone else to evolve either. In fact, they want to suppress and enslave, feeding off the energy of their unwilling and deluded fans. OMG! You have just narrowly escaped from one of the most controlling and insidious creatures on the planet! …

If this scenario has happened to you to some degree even once, then you may have a tendency to project in two ways. First, you’re likely giving someone higher status as a guru than s/he wants. You give away your power to your own idea, rather than to the person. This is your responsibility, not theirs. No one can take your power.

When things shift and s/he rejects you, you may suddenly “recognize what’s happening.” This recognition often involves controlling you or using power to manipulate you and hold you down. Although cults and narcissists do exist, if the initial description sounds valid, then it’s more likely that you’re superimposing a plot on a simple yet hard to swallow fact: as the movie says, “He’s Just Not that Into You.” Or s/he’s busy. Or s/he has other things going on. Or s/he feels compassion rather than passion.

Ego will go to great lengths to find any other explanation. If the reasons for negative things occurring in your life routinely involve a conspiracy theory or the hubris or complete ignorance and depravity of those from whom you have received help or sought favor or if the reasons allow you to feel condescending to someone whose approval and recognition you still secretly desire, then it’s time to explore your own patterns and projections.

3 ) Someone else is always responsible for your failed intentions.

4 ) You believe busy people spend their free time exploring ways to sabotage your business, personal growth or reputation.

5 ) When giving “constructive criticism” or “enlightenment,” you feel the need to hide behind your degree, your diet, your religion, your bank balance, or “Anonymous.”

6 ) When you try to reveal this “insider information” to the public, no one you admire has any interest in spreading your gossip, but they do offer you “lots of love and healing.” If compassionate people sense you are projecting, they may not always come right out and say so. They may instead try to offer you support for what they see as the root cause of your behavior: grief, frustration, insecurity, envy.

Of course, they then run the risk of revealing their own “evil, controlling guru complexes” by devaluing your insider information. Some people are willing to run that risk, though, if they sense you’re really struggling or have temporarily lost touch with reality.

7 ) If you have ever had or suspected you currently have B-12 deficiency, you really might want to get that checked or start taking a sublingual or spray B-12. “B-12 madness” has been linked to cases of acute psychosis and paranoid delusions. Slightly low levels can also cause general, unwarranted suspicion.

8 ) You view the world as a constant battle between good and evil.

9 ) You feel the need to launch personal attacks in areas that have nothing to do with the situation at hand. Examples include: suggesting someone’s a bad spouse in order to bolster your argument that they’re unqualified to teach seventh grade or drive a truck; calling someone arrogant for buying organic food; extracting tidbits from people’s blogs or websites and assuming you know their entire life and motivations; refusing to consider context as a factor when assessing character or causation; citing gossip magazines as a way to judge acting ability.

10 ) If your primary emotions are anger, rage, disgust, fear, judgment or hatred, you are not “reflecting so brightly that no one can handle your radiance and truth.” You are almost certainly projecting, at least in some areas.

You might be reflecting if:

1 ) Despite someone accusing you of horrible character and actions, you primarily feel love, compassion and understanding for them. If you can recognize the hurt beneath their anger and send love to it, then you are likely reflecting.

2 ) You do not feel afraid to look at the criticism and use it as a means to explore your own character, skills, talent and motivations. Are there areas where the comments ring true? Can you learn something even from mean-spirited feedback? Might there be a tiny bit of truth to the accusations and if so, how can you improve your technique, delivery or presentation in the future? What blind spots does this encounter reveal? Bright, shiny people are not afraid to look inside themselves or to ask for honest feedback from people they respect and admire.

3 ) Before anyone asked you this, have you already explored ways in which you might be projecting? Hint: reflectors ponder the possibility. Projectors rarely go there first, if at all.

4 ) Have you recently received recognition for long, hard effort on your part? Has your visibility ramped up? When reflectors suddenly become brighter reflectors on a bigger stage, they often experience a backlash from those who feel left behind.

5 ) Do the accusations seem 180 degrees away from truth? Examples may include: someone calling you “fame hungry” when you’ve always tried to stay in the background; people saying you took away their power after you showed them their own responsibility in their lives; friends assuming you’re “too good for them” or “too high and mighty” now that you’ve “made it big,” when you just want to share your joy and tell them you believe in them.

6 ) You’ve worked through a lifetime (or many lifetimes) of issues and finally accept your calling/mission/dream/bliss, only to have people attack your character for doing so. They tell you, “you’re not so special,” and you agree. You tell them they could live their dreams, too, but this inexplicably fans the fire of their rage.

7 ) None of your other clients/friends/lovers/colleagues can fathom the accusations.

8 ) You had a funny feeling about getting involved with someone, but compassion led you to help them anyway. When you created and maintained boundaries, the person freaked out.

9 ) You harbor no ill will to the person(s), but you do hope they get the help, support and love they need.

10 ) You choose to defend yourself without attacking the other person.

11 ) You can recognize this experience in a larger context, perhaps as an indirect answer to your own prayers and intentions to leave a relationship, move, change careers, or make some other shift. Reflectors understand that the universe always responds to their own energy and intentions. They accept appropriate responsibility and know when to stand firm and when to go with the flow. They choose to embrace, while projectors react. Reflectors rejoice in a chance to polish themselves and shine even brighter.

Many Blessings on your Journey!

Raw Honesty May Deepen the Bliss Into Actualization and Full Embodiment

Right on, Tania! 😉 One of my favorite passages from this excellent post about “spiritual bypassing” and “the right words” not fully integrating and grounding in one’s actual life: “If you keep having a recurring challenge come up, couldn’t it just be possible you are missing the mark that is something you don’t want to look at and address? Could it be that at this point in the game, there isn’t anything or anyone anymore to blame, and really it is that you’ve shifted that energy onto yourself and attacking yourself, but out of avoidance of responsibility are unable to acknowledge this, as this would mean your life would shift?”

Tania Marie

shaman-heart-lemurianI’ve consistently been receiving information that something is missing from a lot of what I’m experiencing from others out there. This is a constant message that comes through and is what I have been discussing with close colleague, and touching upon in conversations and classes. I’ve also been sharing snippets in my posts and likely will continue to expand and reiterate this topic, as it feels so important to me to share.

The theme is around really living the ideas, not just talking about it, being able to throw out intellectually grand metaphysical explanations and “key” words, or inadvertently pretending to live it.

What I share may not be mainstream thought in the spiritual realm, but I have to share what I am feeling and experiencing. And given that I have my own 25 + years of experience in this realm, I do recognize the traps and the processes, since…

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