Monthly Archives: September 2015

Spiritual Advice Column: Psychic Abilities, Fakeness, and Anger

Hi Mary-

Thank you for your book first of all! I also enjoy all of the information I have read so far on your blog. I hope you can help me with this. I have always been psychic I guess. I remember being little and talking to imaginary friends and seeing spirits when I was a kid. I think I stopped my abilities because my parents got angry with me because I had them. They would get angry and tell me that I was just making things up so somehow I stopped things?

Anyway, I started getting them back when I was a teenager. So here is my question. I know in a blog you read about how many fakes there are out there. I get really, really angry about this. I get really angry when someone tells me they are psychic and I know they are not, and I get upset at all those reality shows of psychics. I have had a difficult life because I felt like I had to keep my abilities secret. I feel like living in a world where I am able to see so much is hard, and everybody talks about psychic abilities like they are great. I am doing better with this now, but when I look at other people claiming to be psychic and I can tell that they are not I just can’t help really disliking them.

How do I get over this? That is my simple question. I don’t want to feel the anger I feel but some of these people and the whole world seems so fake about this. I get tired of seeing books and people talk about how great it is to be a psychic. They are all so fake!

– Angry Psychic

Hi Angry Psychic:

So this is a common problem for people, and a common problem with society at large, so thank you for bringing it up.

First, let us talk about society… Yes, you are right. Most of the people claiming to be psychic are not. Most of the people who are professional psychics are not psychic. They just have good P.R., they are gregarious, they can cold read people (look for psychological cues), they can google, etc.

But here is the thing. Most people when they are looking for a psychic don’t actually want a psychic. They want a Medium who tells them that their lost loved one is safe and loves them, they want someone to tell them that everything is going to be okay, they want someone to tell them that they will meet the love of their life, that their boyfriend (or girlfriend or husband/wife/partner) is not cheating on them, that they will become wealthy, and that they will get that new job and become a millionaire.

So there has become a whole market of illusory psychics who tell people this sort of stuff… and since it is what people want to hear it works out. It is “fake”, but both sides get what they need, basically. There is a lot of illusion in this world, however.. not just in the realm of psychics… and we all sometimes need to hear that everything is okay.

I used to have a lot of difficulty with the fact that all of these “psychics” were basically feeding off of the despair of others (especially in the cases of mediumship, but also in general), and how anyone with any amount of psychic ability can tell how they have no (or very little) actual sensitivity or psychic abilities, but at some point I realized that most people generally find what they are looking for. 

If people want illusion, especially comforting illusion, they will find the illusory psychics. If they want someone to actually tell them how things look, they will find a spiritual reader or worker that actually has psychic abilities. It is just how things go. We find the truth we are prepared for. And if we want to be comfortable, for someone to tell us that our dead whomever forgives us, we will find someone who will tell us just that.

It is funny– there used to be a woman in many of my bodywork classes who would come in each workshop and loudly proclaim with a huge smile on her face that she was clairvoyant. Looking at her you realized that she was probably the furtherest thing from clairvoyant in the room (there were probably five-ten students and teachers all of whom were more sensitive/psychic than she was). At the time this made me extremely dislike her. It probably didn’t help that she quoted the same b.s. that all of those people do. People who are actually sensitive tend to have their own direct experiences and revelations of a spiritual nature and generally don’t need to quote Eckhart Tolle or whomever I have found– they can just speak from their truth and not the recycled sayings of others from the latest Oprah show.

There are a lot of people like this out there. It is the grass is always greener syndrome. People who are actually sensitive tend to have a lot of difficulty with their abilities, especially if they are pretty strong, and especially when they manifest in childhood and teenager years like they do with a lot of people (a time known for its already treacherous terrain of hormones and initiations all of a physical and mental variety… and where we are never celebrated for being different… because being different- thinking or seeing or sensing differently- at those ages means that you need special attention… or these days medication).

People who wouldn’t know something spiritual if it hit them over the head with a spirit hammer are always the ones claiming to be psychic or sensitive. This is why 99 percent of the books out there are for opening your third eye, or the same recycled information about chakras again and again. Because people really don’t have their own spiritual experiences– they don’t have the sensitivity level to. So they just recycle the same sayings and knowledge, even if it is false knowledge, again and again like a bad game of telephone.

The other thing is that through their direct experience some of these “psychics” are actually psychic. I often give the analogy of five people walking into a room. Two people notice five things (stimuli, objects, etc), one person notices ten things, one person notices twenty five, and the last notices 2,500. It is likely that the person who notices ten things is the type of person to loudly proclaim their psychic abilities. This is because they notice a bit more than other people, but it hasn’t had a large impact on their life to create trauma.

Because that is what this is all about– trauma. It is hard to be that person that notices 2,500 things when most people notice five. It really is. But the anger is coming from not the fakes, not the illusions, but from your own experiences in this world.

This world is an illusion. People create illusions, and most people only understand their own direct experience. So the “aspirational psychic”– the one who is psychic because they are noticing 15 things doesn’t know about your experience of noticing twenty five or 2,500. They just don’t. They know about their own direct experience of wanting to be psychic, thinking they are because of a book or school or because they have “decalcified their pineal gland” or whatever… they think they are because they are perhaps opening a bit more, or are a bit more psychic than they used to be. But all of this doesn’t really have anything to do with you.

People believe what they need to be true about themselves. If they need to be psychic, if they want to be psychic, if they model their lives after Long Island Medium (or whatever is popular these days in this sort of thing), that is their business.

For you I would suggest working through the trauma that has been created due to your abilities. The more you can release the hurt, the anger, the fear… the more that you can learn how to properly work with your psychic abilities so they are not painful or destructive to you emotionally, physically, energetically, spiritually… the more you can start to let go of this pattern.

There will always be people out there in the spiritual “field” who are claiming to be much more than they are. They have had one or two spiritual experiences so they know the depths of the Universe, have changed their name, and are holding satsangs… they create their own memes… they claim to be psychic.

It is not our job to control other people. They will do and be what they will do and be. And it is out of control to police people who are presenting themselves as something they are not. Truth is, most of us are. Most of us wear a mask to cover up our insecurities, our fear, our unprocessed emotions and needs for control. Most people do this throughout their lives, and do not have the presence of mind or need (or want) to change.. to learn who they truly are and become fully who they are meant to be.

As someone who can see behind the masks like you do, you have this unique ability. So do yourself a favor and let go of the trauma and whatever else is holding you back. You will realize that people are constructing illusions like they always do and just go to a state of noticing when you do notice the illusions (rather than reaction). The fact that you are reacting to this rather than the one million (yes, I made that up) other illusions out there means that there is trauma there for you to work on personally.

For now, when you come across one of these people individually, you can tell yourself that you are releasing any need of control of them. Just repeat it internally until you feel things shift.

When you come across it collectively, allow yourself to realize that so much of the “comfortable illusion” wouldn’t be out there if people didn’t want it. There are other books and resources for you (like me, hopefully!) and if you can let go, if you can realize that most people want to be comfortable, even (and especially) when it comes to spiritual matters… and you are simply looking for something different… you will find what you are looking for… and you can heal.

I hope this helps, and you are (as well as anyone else who is reading this) welcome to contact me for a session. I work with a lot of people who need help releasing this type of anger, fear, and the trauma that comes from having psychic abilities. You can read more about individual sessions for psychics and sensitives here… and read about my ethical pledge here (I do not work with everyone… I only work with people I feel like I can be of service to and are ready for the type of work that I do).

The Spiritual Advice Column: I occasionally answer questions from people on psychic abilities, spiritual awakenings, shamanism/spiritual work, and other spiritual subjects. You are welcome to contact me with your question (please put Spiritual Advice column in the email/note), and I will write about it if I think that other people could benefit from it, and that it is something that I have knowledge about. My advice is obviously not from an allopathic standpoint, and all questions may be edited for clarity and focus.

The Complete Cord Course is now on sale!

A brief post, but my book that will teach you everything that you would want to know about energetic cording is now on sale.

You can purchase the print edition here through Amazon for only $10.66

You can purchase the kindle version here through Amazon for only $7.99

Each course will go through basic, intermediate, and advanced considerations of energetic cords.

This is some of the most effective and life-changing work that I teach.

I cannot emphasize enough how this work, and learning how to do it properly has changed my life, my relationships, and how I view the world. 

The book first goes into our energetic cords to other people. Learn not only basic versions of how to “cut and clear” cords– work that is somewhat commonly taught… but is shared in this book in a clear and complete way– but also to release and work with the cords that do not clear so easily… either to significant relationships or cords that remain due to trauma and unprocessed emotions.

It is funny, when I first found work for energetic cords this was really all their was… the basics… cut and clear. But I noticed that cords remained, re-grew, and that a lot of things really stayed the same. Most of all I found myself with lots of cords were filled with the same emotions and issues as they had before.

This is why this work is not more effective– because most of the knowledge of it doesn’t really release cords to significant relationships, deep emotions, traumas, and allow for you to learn the lessons that you need.

This book teaches you how to do that. Learn how to communicate with cords to significant relationships, release traumas, and start your relationships anew. Learn how to release the thousands of cords that you have likely unknowingly picked up through your interactions with others. Learn how to have a balanced relationship with the people around you.

You will not only learn the basics of cutting and clearing cords but will also learn how to release emotions and energies through them, how to alter them, how to move them around in your body, and more.

The rest of the book goes over cords to former humans (spirits), beings, and energies, complex or woven cords (cords that are stuck together), and cords to places or events. Freeing ourselves from these cords and learning how to find them through the direct experience and meditations in the book will allow for you to powerfully move forward in your life and feel a sort of freedom and lack of chaos that you likely have never felt.

The advanced portion of the book goes over “natural cords”– cords that are a natural part of our energetic anatomy. Learn how to discover and work with cords to past lives, to your ancestral line, and to your future/destiny.

Learn how to discover and work with cords that connect you to your other “bodies”– astral, mental, and etheric.

Learn how to work with the cord that grounds us deeply into the Earth and connects us directly into the Cosmos

The book ends with in-utero work, and discovery of the umbilical cord. Few people know how profoundly our in-utero experiences create our worlds, and how negative impressions such as feeling unwanted, unloved, feeling “other” or even having a death wish can come from the in utero experience. Learn to release the in utero imprints and powerfully and completely claim your incarnation here on Earth.

Although this is a short book (115 pages), it is a book filled with meditations and exercises to get you straight into discovering and working with these cords. I have been getting incredible feedback from this work and book, and I hope to make it more available to a wider audience so you all can understand and work with this often neglected piece of energetic anatomy.

 

Instant Gratification Spirituality

One of the most destructive ways we can work against ourselves is to expect instant gratification on the spiritual path, or any path, really.

Healers of all stripes know this pattern well. Patient (or client) comes to you with ten years of health issues (or two years, or whatever) for a first appointment. They report back to you one day later, or at the next appointment, that nothing has changed. What is especially funny about this pattern is that, very likely, something has changed. They just haven’t had 100 percent turn-around, the miracle cure they were looking for.

There is so much information out there, so many products, so many healers, so many deities and archangels and saints and spiritual paths that most people never achieve any depth. We also, due to cultural conditioning and a general sleeper state, love the idea of instant gratification. We live in a world where we can shop on the Internet and have our goods delivered next day, and if that doesn’t happen some of us may be upset.

Most of us live in a sleeper state, in an unawakened state where we are still given the myth that instant gratification is an actual thing… and that we should be able to heal in an instant.

But the interesting thing here is that some people can. They just aren’t the types looking for instant gratification. The people who can receive what they ask for in this world are the ones that are in a state of balance, a state of flow, and they have no need for this illusion of instant gratification.

But the people looking for this instant gratification are the imbalanced ones– the ones that want to be healed in one session of ten years of issues, the ones that will call down saint after saint, angel after angel, god after god, never thinking about the fact that if they just stuck to one, even for a little while, they might actually see some sort of result.

Most people hop from spirituality to spirituality, healer to healer, teacher to teacher, book to book, never finding what they are looking for. 

What they are never likely to realize is that the issue is them, not the spiritual paths, not the angels, not the healers, not the books.

An interesting thing happens with people. While there is all sorts of b.s. out there in terms of the above, a person may be ready to find what they are looking for. And they do. Or on some level they are ready. They find the right teacher, they find the right book, they find exactly the understandings that they need… the exact spiritual teacher comes through for them (in spirit form)…. they find exactly the right healing modality for them… and they don’t allow it to work.

They self-sabotage. Because that part of their brain that wants things to remain the same is ever-vigilant. It won’t allow for them to process the material, it won’t allow for them to understand that they may need more than one session for ten years of issues. Due to cultural conditioning, we also have the constraint and ideology that healing comes from the outside, and we are not willing to take personal responsibility for anything. In a sleeper state we are not willing to do any sort of work for our own healing. We expect others to do it for us, even when it comes to our spiritual paths. We go to workshop after workshop, never getting what we need, never quieting that spiritual hunger, expecting that the external teachings will fill our internal spiritual abyss.

This is why you will go to a spiritual workshop and someone who has been following around a teacher for ten years, or who has taken all of the spiritual intensive programs and spent thousands upon thousands of dollars (if not hundreds of thousands) will be stuck in a state of spiritual immaturity, and someone who goes to a workshop once will be completely transformed. One was stuck in illusion, in ego, and in patterning… and the other was open and ready to change, willing to look and go beyond the self-sabotaging aspects of themselves to actually transform. They made the internal decision to do so, and did.

Most of us do not have this capability- we are too stuck in patterning, too focused on our comfortable illusions, and have been, by the societal layers of conditioned reality, fed the illusion that we just need more– more workshops, the next book, the next spiritual path– to fill that internal abyss we feel. Instead, if we were to actually work on ourselves, instead of going outer… if we were to take personal responsibility for the aspects of ourselves that wish to remain in comfortable illusion (even if our constructed reality is filled with pain… at least we know what to expect) and simply surrender… we could not only find the right path, the right book, meditation, teacher… but we could actually process this material and transform our worlds and our lives with the depth we hunger for.

If we go beyond the mental illusions we have constructed of our worlds, and the sort of stranglehold our minds have on us, we will realize that to achieve depth, or to achieve anything that will allow for us to heal or move forward in our lives, it will take more than an instant.

It will take more than one session, more than one try at a meditation, more than one book about a specific spiritual path. But we do not allow for ourselves to achieve this depth. Because doing anything other than in an instant gratification way may mean that we move forward in our lives. And despite our best efforts, it is the rare person that actually wants this. Because our minds want us to remain stuck, they want us to stay who we are.

I had an interesting conversation on a radio show recently, where I was talking about new-age spirituality. We were specifically talking about the movie The Matrix and how many people viewed it as an allegory of spiritual awakening. While I do think that in some ways this is true, we specifically began talking about the different “pills” that were being offered in the movie.

Faced with a choice between a comfortable illusion and staying exactly where you are (one pill) – even if this illusion is causing you health issues, mental issues, and you hunger spiritually for something more— versus another pill– which is pure, true flow, moving forward powerfully and achieving depth—- a solid 99.5 percent of people will choose the comfortable illusion.

The myth of instant gratification allows for us to stay exactly where we are, and exactly who we are in this world. 

When I used to participate in occult and spiritual communities it is not surprising how many of them take a “whatever works” mentality- leading to a random hodgepodge of deities, “power animals”, and spiritual paths that no longer had any power or meaning to them. It was a rare person in those communities that had achieved any depth– everyone else was still a beginner, some despite decades of work.

It is interesting how we stop ourselves from progressing. It is interesting how we want this instant gratification, and will go from one thing to the next when we do not receive it.

Anything worth having in this world, anything worth doing, any relationship we have (spiritual or not), any teaching that we come across, any exercise, meditation, healing modality (and so forth) deserves depth. 

It is so easy to participate in this sleeper state– even when we are interested in spiritual “things”. It is so easy to participate in this merry-go-round of different spiritual ideas, teachings, and paths slapped together on a surface level by people that have achieved no more depth than we have. It is so easy to go from path to path, book to book, teacher to teacher, when it would be a lot less expensive, a lot more worthy of our time, and we can finally find what we are looking for if we just achieved depth with what we have already found. 

It is so easy to transcend this pattern– you just do. You take whatever you are interested in and study it. You work with it for longer than a few days, longer than a length of a book, longer than a week or two. You work with your path for years, constantly questioning if you could achieve more depth with it.

You do the same with healers, with spiritual meditations/exercises, and with spiritual relationships. If you call down Archangel Michael once, then a saint, then work with something else…jumping from one to another you never form a relationship with anything spiritually. If you try out a meditation for a few days, or a week, and then go on to the next one, you will not achieve depth. If you go to a healer once and expect ten years of medical, emotional, and spiritual issues to completely disappear overnight that is your issue, not theirs.

It is so easy whatever spiritual path you take these days to be on the surface level for your entire life. To not achieve any sort of depth. To be faced with any sort of depth and again return to the comfortable illusion. The illusion of instant gratification allows for us to do this. It allows for our brains to tell us that since we have been trying something for a solid day, or a solid week (or a solid year) that it is time to move on to the next thing. And it may be exactly that time. But, chances are, it may also not be… and you were just starting to understand something… just starting to achieve depth and change your life… and your brain shut you down and you sabotaged yourself.

In closing, I will say that I do have compassion for people. People are doing the best that they can, or the best that they think that they can. It is not their fault that they expect instant gratification– they have been indoctrinated by it and it has created a safety net for them so they do not progress in their lives in any real way. But if you are at a point where you are looking for depth, for real meaning, for real healing, understanding that you can go beyond this merry-go-round of stopping yourself from progressing, from stopping yourself from changing, by simply diving in more deeply (or taking a single step into the depths) and to question yourself the next time that you learn something and question why you have not received instant gratification from it, you can move beyond this layer of self-sabotage and actually find what you are looking for in this world.

Resolving the Fear of Death

In a previous blog I talked about how new-age authors and teachers tend to capitalize on our fear of death, telling us that we can become immortal, or that they know absolutely everything about death and can tell you, or that they have a friend or loved one they channel who only gives messages of peace and love from the other side. Read that here…

It should be noted that some of the NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) are certainly real, and that I have absolutely nothing against love and light, or peace, or any of the feelings that come for many people after death. Death for most people is a release– and NDE’rs frequently have difficulty coming back to a place that is distinctly not so love-and-light to the extent that they may have difficulty carrying on their lives.

I also have confidence that there are some solid channels out there. While a few of them are popular, many of the channels who have gotten popular are fake. This is because these people learn what others want to hear (or the “channel” themselves wants or needs to hear) and they report back from their very human need, rather than anything spiritual. This is how we get silliness of channels saying that Hitler is picking posies in a field somewhere and talking about love (yes, this actually happened).

Death is a natural thing that anyone going through spiritual awakening will have to confront.

Many people going through significant (dramatic, sudden) spiritual awakenings will in fact have a near-death experience in order to release this fear. They will have this experience because they need to– on some level they think that to transcend the physical body, or to lose identification with it, significant illness and separation from the physical body need to occur.

And for some people this is very likely true.

But others will begin to think or hear that they are going to die, or even will come to realize that there is a part of themselves that in fact wants to die, and they will assume it is physical death. This can, in fact, be a freaky experience… to realize that there is a part of you bent on death.

It is rare for people the first (or seventieth) go-around of the sort of creation-destruction cycle (where in spiritual awakenings we crumble, or aspects of ourselves release, in order to make way for the new) to realize that this death is not a physical death. It certainly can be, but for most it is a psychological death.

What does this mean? It means that most of us are only “embodied” in our minds. We look like a massive amount of energy cycling our heads and pretty much nothing else. This is how and why we self-create so much of our Universe. We are truly in our heads, and creating from that place (I could go on a rant about shamanism and mental vs. spiritual healing again, but I will not. You can view that here if you wish, though).

When we awaken we awaken those aspects of ourselves that are in a state of slumber– that are conditioned not to be awake. It serves our brain to be in control, to be in creation of everything. This way we have logical order, we have control, we can self-create based off of a sort of filter that has been created by all of our past traumas, conditioning, and that of our ancestors, society, etc (for more about these layers, you can read my book).

So in the spiritual awakening process at some point we will want to “die”. And this actually means that our brains, our mental realm being in the forefront and pretty much nothing else, our filters, all those conditioned layers… that they are crumbling down. Our brains are dying from controlling our world. And this is scary.

Because even if we want to awaken, to cast off those layers of conditioning and trauma, we pretty much are used to our self-created Universes. It is rare for people to go beyond them– this is why we have so many people saying that they are the center of the Universe, that they create everything in it. Because when you transcend that, you have to let go of control, you realize that you are in fact not the center of the Universe, and you are directly in a sort of cosmic ocean in which you are but a small drop (and the entire ocean at the same time, but with the realization that you are a small drop simultaneously).

So what wants to die is how we currently live our lives, who we currently are. Who we are might not be who we know we can become, but there is safety in the known. And it is scary to transcend that. And our brains, our mental fields that are so used to creating and filtering everything around us will scream at us to stop, to not “die”, to not let go, to not go beyond a certain spiritual point, to not walk through a specific spiritual door… because if we do… our whole world will change.

I talk about spiritual doors a lot in my work with people. A spiritual door is something we walk through that once we have the direct experience and understandings beyond that proverbial “door” we cannot go back from them. And letting go of our brains is a certain type of spiritual door, a specific “death” that we cannot go back from.

Once we realize that we are not the center of the Universe, we cannot go back from that knowledge. Once we directly feel cosmic flow, we cannot not have that understanding… and once we experience our minds not creating and filtering our Universe it would be very difficult for us to go back to having our mind be the creator again.

Some people do, of course, go back to having their minds create again… but even the ability of a singular moment of “death” of that no longer being the case… a momentary switch of identification… we will realize that it is a possibility, and our lives will never be the same.

So how to transcend the fear of death? In the spiritual awakening process, it is to realize that the “death” you will likely experience is a psychological death, a simple (or not-so-simple) switch in identification.

For others, it can be difficult. You can tell people that death is a release from your own direct experience, but people will still have the fear of it.. and it will restrict their existence to a major degree… until they are able to reach an expanded state enough to work through all of the trauma that comes from past deaths, their own fears, and so forth.

I do wish that I had a simple, concise way to transcend this, but even developing the awareness that our large, innate fear of death constricts our lives to the point that most of us don’t really live… we can begin to see the patterns and ways that it does so in our individual lives. By having this awareness (which few have) we can begin to truly live, which is why we are here and what we are supposed to be doing.

If you are going through a spiritual awakening and having difficulty with this, I can help you talk to your “fear monster”, to resolve and expand past this fear of death. You are welcome to contact me and I will see if we would be a good match to work together (I do not take all patients who contact me, you can read more about this here)

Fear of Life

We are inhibited by our fears. We let them cloak us, color our world, and whisper things to us that break down our self-worth, convince us that we will never succeed, that we are not worthy of succeeding.

Deep down in the dingiest places of our subconscious we fear being alive, we fear being well, vital, healthy, and happy.

In the spiritual awakening process this fear comes out full force. Fear of ourselves. Fear of death. Fear of the unknown. Fear of not being in control. Fear that there is something wrong with us. Fear of fear.

These fears multiply and restrict us until fear is all we see, fear is all we know.

We can have everyone around us tell us not to be afraid, not to fear. But still we do.

The single most oppressive thing we can do to ourselves is fear. 

When we come in touch with our fear we begin the self-creation process. We create circumstances, events, and our lives around this fear. We create fear monsters, fear demons, aspects of ourselves and the outer world that we are so afraid of that we significantly restrict ourselves from experiencing anything new out of life. We stop living. We stop experiencing. We no longer get well, or we get sicker. All due to fear.

When we fear we shut down. We stop ourselves. We restrict ourselves. We immobilize ourselves. It is the classic fear response– to be so afraid that we are no longer able to move.

Many of us do this in a subconscious, gradual way. We are afraid of the unknown, and we are used to our lives (even if they are miserable, unhealthy, or we simply wish for more) so we would rather go through our patterns of fear again and again because they are known. We know them intimately. We are in an almost erotic relationship with our fear, and we feel sexual release when we conquer it… but few of us do.

Because we are used to telling ourselves no. We are used to stopping ourselves. We are used to fear ruling our lives, stopping us from being who we are and who we want to be.

In the spiritual awakening process, especially in the case of significant awakenings (like Kundalini) fear is the number one thing holding people back from moving past fear, pain, and the difficulties of the process… into a place of joy, light, ease, and peace.

People are generally doing the best they can… or the best they think they can. They do not realize that this fear is ruling their lives. Or, they may be conscious of it to the point of being fearful of everything (such as what can happen in the Kundalini process) until they break down physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

No matter what you say to them they will always go to the side of fear. Because that is what they know. Breaking up with fear is like breaking off a relationship with a lover. Even if we can hear logically from friends, from therapists, and others that this person is no good for us we are used to our lover. We live with them, we know them intimately, they are there for us.

And who would we be without fear?

Fear is a choice, like most things are in this world. It is natural to be afraid in frightening situations. It is natural to feel fear.

But we do not need to let it run our whole lives, to whisper to us quietly from inside our minds. We do not need to let it destroy us, to ruin our health, to ruin our mental balance, to destroy what we have and hold dear in this world.

In the spiritual awakening process a breakdown of what we knew– everything from beliefs to emotions to traumas to our physical daily lives– occurs. This is natural. Believe it or not, it is worth it (although I very much know that it doesn’t feel this way at the time).

Because when we release all of the patterns, break down all the issues they can clear. And we can become who we are.

But most people do not go willingly into this. They fight, they allow for their minds and egos and their fear monster to whisper to them, to create difficulties for them, and for most people the experience of spiritual awakening is like trying to grab on to the edge of a cliff with their fingernails with high winds surrounding them.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Yes, spiritual awakenings are difficult. But they do not have to be torturous. We have a choice. We can listen to the monster of fear which is telling us that we need to stay the same, that everything needs to stay the same… or we can decide to surrender to who we are becoming. To do the things we need to do, to break up with the fear, to move forward despite the fear… to be and accomplish what we want and know to be right in this world.

We can constrict, lock down, and break down… or we can expand, move past, and become.

Working in the Light

One of the thoughts that gets most sent to me (either verbally or via thoughtform) is that because I work with the dark that I must not work with the light (or something to that effect).

Others will go as far as to admonish me, or put negativity my way because I do work with the “dark”, and more than that I have compassion for “dark” things.

This is not only directed at me, but is the experience of most actual spiritual workers, shamans, witches, folk practitioners, etc. Most of these practices have been given a shiny coating of peace and love to the extent that anyone doing any actual spiritual work is perceived as “bad” while those who are play-acting and putting their puritanical ideals of what “light” means are “good”– at least in their own minds.

This is sad because historically spiritual methods and paths that have been a full spectrum of practices (in some cases for thousands of years) have now been diluted to appease the minds of new-agers. This has caused most knowledge, books, and message boards (everything from Shamanism to Witchcraft to Voodoo/Vodou and Hoodoo) to be filled with new agers who know nothing about the practices telling traditionalists or people that have studied this work for decades that anything not their own particular brand of “love and light” is bad. Due to this movement traditional practices are being represented to the outer commercial market as being this extremely surface version that has essentially been stripped of its power, knowledge, and spirituality in deference to the love and light movement.

The truth is that we cannot have the light without the dark… or the dark without the light… and anyone doing any sort of actual spiritual work will realize quickly that those labels are created out of fear by people who are not interfacing with anything of importance spiritually.

It is easy to put labels on things like a James Bond movie: James Bond= good, Russian spy (or whatever)= bad. In fact, most of the “lightworkers” who claim to work with anything dark (spirits, beings, elementals, demons) are doing so out of this dichotomy. Life isn’t this simple. The spiritual world isn’t this simple.

I have been doing spiritual work professionally for a while now, and interfacing with different spiritual realities for a very long time now. I know that once you get out of your own self-created world that the highest, shiniest angelic energy may be fierce enough to give you a headache for three days and blow out your microwave. This same energy may not care about you– it simply knows that you have the appropriate calibration/energy/ability to interact with it.

Similarly, something that is considered “demonic” can be easy and straightforward to work with– pulling no punches and telling you exactly how it is and what they need in order to leave a person, or family alone.

I am under no illusions, by the way (another new-ager favorite) that there is no such thing as evil. There is. This, like many things (curses, spirits, energy, etc), can only be denied by people who have not experienced evil and wish to remain ignorant of it. There are all sorts of energies out there that can be categorized as “dark” and “evil” because they are dark and evil.

But we are largely in a sea of thoughtforms, and most of what people encounter is either a simple spirit (former human) that they have decided is a “demon” or has told them they are a demon (kind of like someone you meet bragging at a club about how much money they make or something). Plenty of people are self-creating all sorts of demons out of fractured parts of their psyche. Even so, what I am simply stating is that something considered the darkest of the dark can be easy to get along with and understand, and something that is the lightest of the light can cause issues and may not care about you at all.

So this idea of only working in the light is false. What the person is most likely doing is creating a sort of cocoon for themselves, a sort of illusory spiritual reality of their own creation based on their own person belief systems, ethics, and emotional needs from the spiritual world.

This is why so many white people have “Native American” spirit guides (seriously, nobody has a Mexican spirit guide?) and why their guides (some from thousands of years ago supposedly) talk exactly like them, tell them what they want to hear, and are singularly and positively “light”.

The light is like anything else. There are different shades of it, different energies… and when you truly begin to work in the light, or with light beings or energies you are likely going to have unpleasant physical symptoms (at least for a while) while you work with them. They might not care about you personally, you are simply a vessel for them or someone that has the ability to work with them.

The idea that everything in the spirit world is in love with you, cares about your path, your personal belief systems (and piled on traumas, restrictions, and issues you have carried forward into this lifetime) is really odd if you think about it logically. Why would Archangel Michael have a personal interest in you? Especially if you have not developed a relationship with him, which most people simply don’t know how to do properly.

When we go beyond the constructs of the light we have created for ourselves based on our needs for the spirit world we discover real light. Spirits, beings, energies, angels, deities, elementals (you get the picture) that can bring us a lot of light, that can bring the light of pure divinity into this world. But most of us need to get over ourselves a bit and stop creating the spiritual realms out of our own needs to interface with them. And most people will not. We would rather believe that something is singularly white, pure, light, and singularly and almost obsessively involved with us than think that even the lightest beings have complex interests and understandings way beyond our own constructed illusions, and the needs of our fractured and traumatized Self.

If we are able to rise above (metaphorically) even the lightest archangel we may find ourselves directly in flow. With source. If we are going to talk about light energy, this is what it is all about. Pure flow washing through you. It is beautiful, sacred… a state of pure grace. Words are indescribable for this state which is why I (and others) simply call it “flow”. Because that is what it feels like.

The world, the cosmos, everything inside and outside of ourselves is made up of currents. When we are able to let go of our traumas, our illusions, we are able to find this place of flow.

A lot of people describe this state as being one of perfection, in which our lives will be filled with bliss and light and love. And it is. But what most people don’t understand (especially those who are still in the stage of categorizing dark=evil, light=good) is that you can have bliss and pain at the same time, despair and joy.

Dark and light is simply a continuum. 

As spiritual workers, or those interested in a spiritual path, we have one of two choices, seemingly:

1. Put ourselves in a cocoon or new-age sort of bubble where we self-create most of our spirituality. This allows for us to feel in control, to create things out of our own puritanical constructs, and to never really interface with anything outside of ourselves. In this way we can believe that the cosmos itself is centered around us, our thoughts, and our needs. We can remain comfortable and secure in our beliefs and anything (any thought, opinion, direct experience) that we come across that does not fit it we can simply cast aside as false.

In this manner we do not progress, but we are comfortable and secure with what we believe to be true about our spiritual reality. Many of the people in this category talk a good game about their “shadow” and doing personal work, but you will often find them judging others, not spiritually progressing, and not really understanding anything of a spiritual nature. This is because they don’t want to. The self-created is comforting, illusion is comforting. We feel in control, we feel like we are the center of the Universe, we can tell ourselves that we understand everything, we do not have to go into the beautiful, wild free-fall of category #2

2. We can work with a full spectrum of consciousness and continually unfold. We can realize that we are not the center of the cosmos, that the spirit world does not revolve around us and our needs or puritanical constructs. We can be wild, we can experience freedom. We will continually progress with the knowledge that whatever we know, however much we know, that we do not know very much.

The more light that we become the more darkness comes to us. Either our own or from outside sources. We begin to realize that the lighter you are the more you actually interface with darkness as well as the full spectrum of reality. Rather than hide from it, ignore it, or insert ourselves into a bubble we go beyond simple duality and constructs such as dark/light and realize that things are exceedingly simple, and not-so-simple at the same time.

We can directly experience the light, the dark both within and outside of ourselves. We can comfort the darkest parts of ourselves and feel compassion for the darkest elements of the Universe. We can realize that the dark and light are just constructs and that the darkest thing can also be light. We can work directly with the light and feel a flow state that goes way beyond anything that we could even imagine or self-create for ourselves.

The light is wonderful. But it is beyond our constructs, our own needs for the Universe, our own needs for individual guides or Gods. It just is.

Fear of Death, Immortality, and Near Death Experiences

As human beings, the fear of physical death is our largest innate fear.

Even if we are seemingly rational, intelligent, and have emotionally worked through a lot of our material from early childhood and beyond we have this fear.

This fear is entirely natural– we are here on Earth for a short period of time, and as we grow older the realization that this is likely an even shorter period of time than once thought sets in. Maybe it is due to a medical diagnosis, or for the first time having family members, friends, or acquaintances no longer be amongst us.

When we come into direct realization that we, or the people who surround us, are not always going to be present with us physically it can cause this fear to go into overdrive.

Most of us have no idea of what happens after death, and this combined with this innate fear of our own physical demise has created an opening for new-age “gurus”, authors, and teachers to attempt to placate this fear for their own purposes.

The response to this fear needing to be placated has allowed three types of gurus to emerge:

1. The guru who says that we can become immortal. If we only eat right, think right, act right we can do so… we can prolong our physical existence to the point of immortality.

This guru type will typically either be focused on one of two things: that either we die because we “think we are going to die” and if we didn’t think such dire, negative thoughts we wouldn’t die… or

That if we only ate perfectly and learned some “tool of the ancients” that said guru has come up with (which is generally focused on functional nutrition or brain-based nutrition that has only been around for 10-20 years) that we will become immortal. This is typically shown through said gurus “cheating” of death through some sort of prognosis of physical death on their part with only months to live and them now supposedly in perfect health.

This above is typically done, however, with no doctor, lab reports, or anything of actual substance to back up their claims of imminent death, by the way.

2. The Near-Death Experiencer who tells us that Death is all about light and love.

As someone who has had a near-death experience I can tell you that death, for most people, is an incredible release. There is a lot of light. And in fact, there is love.

So why am I mentioning this one? It is because many of the teachers and gurus who emerge in this category are sincere, they really are. Might they be overstating a few things, sure. And there are many near-death experiencers who do not have the “light and love” experience. But those types don’t generally get book deals.

I have no doubt that the experiencer of such a difficult thing as a near-death experience has logically created a story upon return that allows for them to make sense of such a trauma. Might their experience have been wonderful, sincere, and full of heart? Yes, it likely was. But there are also cultural expectations of near death experiences and experiencers by this point, and the near death experience itself has become hyper-focused on that “light and love” experience to the exclusion of everything else.

This means that the near death experience has been commoditized and people are willing to listen to these gurus to alleviate their own fears around death. And so the near death experiencer hyper-focuses on the “love and light” aspects of the experience, possibly creating illusions on top of the experience to fulfill their own expectations, societies expectations, and the “love and light” communities expectations of such an experience.

Death experiences can be an experience of beautiful light, of peace, of well-being, of release of stress, trauma, a realization that all things will be okay… of that I have no doubt. But where are the people who mention how difficult it is to transition back into human form? Where are the people that talk about how 3-5 years after the person comes back are the highest rates of suicides? About the depression and inability to integrate back into the world? About how hard it is to function realizing that this world, in our “meat suit” is full of stress and struggle? Where are the people talking about how to integrate these experiences into the life of the person who returns? Where are the people talking about how this knowledge can help us live a more embodied experience on Earth?

They are nowhere to be found. This myth is pervasive to the point that after my near-death experience I went to a group focused on supporting people who had such experiences to receive help for the difficulties I was having. The speaker went over how great she was because she was saved by dolphins and then proceeded to talk about how special she was and how she was the “chosen one” to sell her book. (The chosen one is a common mythical element taken up by new-agers in support of selling themselves to the public).

The rest of the group sat around after and I was reminded of addicts talking about their last high. The gleam in their eye, the talks of “ascension” and being without a body. None of these people wanted to talk about integration, or being alive, or being in human form… like addicts they all wanted to talk about chasing the high of the “light”.

3. The Psychic or Guru who says they know everything about Death, or what happens after Death

This is a popular one. Anyone who says that they know everything about the cosmos should be a complete and total warning sign when looking for a teacher of any sort. Nobody knows everything about everything. If they say that they do they are lying.

The Universe is a big place. A lot of things happen in the death process. For one person to come forward and state that they are a Medium and so know everything about death, or for a parent (one particularly atrocious example I am thinking of) to after the death of their child think they are communicating with them and bring forward their “messages” which are repeats of old Osho sayings (when the kid was not very educated in life) to convey what it is like to be dead is such an example of this capitalizing on fear of death. But people love this sort of stuff.

The idea that someone knows and can tell them exactly what happens after death is incredibly comforting. It soothes this fear. 

But like all fears we recognize on some level that what we are being given is like being given a single potato chip. The author/teacher/guru must come up with new realizations, new books, new sayings in order to further state what death is like. And this will placate those who choose to believe in it for a little bit longer… until that fear begins to arise again.

Because on some level, no matter how illogical or emotional we are over the subject we realize that this one person doesn’t know everything about death, and what they are saying is just meaningless fluff.

So we go on to the next piece of fluff, or the next teacher that will tell us exactly how it is to placate us a little further.

No matter who we are or how in tune we are the Universe is a big place. Gurus can construct illusions out of their grief to capitalize on this fear of death, they can state that they know everything, but deep down people still realize that death is an unknown variable.

So when you see these illusions, these creations of teachers and gurus I hope that you will question them. Would you really want to become immortal? Do you really think that every single near-death experiencer who gets a book deal repeating the same rhetoric (in some cases word for word pretty much) is all that happens in the death experience? Do you really think that a grief stricken mother is actually talking to a young kid who somewhere in the death process suddenly gained fifty IQ points and the hugely expanded ability to comment on everything about the death process in trendy new-age syllogisms? Do you believe that any one person can understand everything in the Cosmos?

If you are able to see beyond this sort of constructed reality that plays towards placating our deepest fears you can move beyond it. In the next blog, I will discuss how to move past the fear of death and reconcile your life on Earth.

Boundaries Part Two

I have written a bit about boundaries before, like in part one here.

Boundaries are an essential thing to have for all of us, no matter who we are. There are many sensitives and psychics who are essentially boundary-less which causes them to take on a bunch of stuff that isn’t theirs.

But no matter how strong our boundaries are, we are always going to have people that test them. It is not like they realize they are doing this, for the most part. It simply is that they want what they want when they want it… and you having boundaries gets in the way of that.

This can be socially, such as in friendships, or in relationships, or with clients or family. Really any relationship we have we are intended to have equal energetic exchange. This is even true for parents and children, or teachers and students.

As people we are generally really self-involved and unable to see past ourselves. We believe that what we want takes precedence over anyone and anything. We are the protagonists of our story, and anyone who gets in the way of that illusion or makes us believe otherwise will feel our wrath.

As an Acupuncturist, or as a Spiritual Worker I have at least a few people who contact me with the same constellation of things going on: they have an emergency situation (that they have likely had for weeks, years, or even decades), they have no money to pay me, and that I should drop everything I am doing and help them. right. now.

I have a lot of compassion for people. I really do. I realize that people are really struggling. I realize that most people are really struggling and cannot see beyond their own immediate needs and wants in this world. And these people do not realize that what they are asking of me is inappropriate. They really believe they have an emergency situation, even if their situation has been the same for months or years. They really believe that I should drop everything to help them that day, and they really think that I should help them without being compensated in any way.

Most of the time we will not realize we are doing this. Although the example above is clear, and common (any well known artist, spiritual worker, healer, etc will get these people– likely multiple times a week. I know a famous astrologer who gets literally between 50-100 emails a week asking for free stuff because of “emergency”- and I am not entirely sure what constitutes and astrological “emergency”. I am not quite up to that number, but close) many situations of boundary breaking are not that clear, or that imbalanced. We are simply used to taking advantage, of destroying or testing the boundaries of the people around us in order to facilitate our illusions and immediate illusory needs.

We react emotionally to things. And if we throw a big enough fit it is likely someone will break their boundaries just to get rid of us. If we ask for something ridiculous from someone we might just get it because the other person may not have any boundaries. If we are more moderate, we may not realize that we can move beyond our illusions of self-importance to realize that there are other people out there who might not think we are, or our situation is, as important as we do.

All relationships should be an equal energetic exchange. If they are not, we can do a few things to erect proper boundaries:

  1. Check our cording and the energetic exchange between us and the other person (you can get my cording class on Kindle through Amazon here or in my classes section here)
  2. Check your emotional reaction to the person. A person who tests your boundaries is not doing so on a logical or intellectual level. They are testing you through the use of emotional energy.
  3. Do not react emotionally to the person. Wait to react until you have a clear head, simply leave the space you are occupying with them, and let go of any emotional reactions that may have come up due to testing of your boundaries
  4. Realize that the person who is testing your boundaries wants control. They want what they want. They are doing this through emotional energies but also through an attempt to control you… so they can get what they want, and they don’t particularly care what the consequences for you are, your personal willingness… they are unable to see outside of their immediate needs to see what is correct behavior, logical behavior, and what an equal exchange of energies means.
  5. Let go of the emotional reaction to someone attempting to control you. After recognizing the emotions that them controlling you brings up simply let go. Let go of your reactions, let go of trying to control them back. They can try to control you, emotionally overwhelm you, energetically corral you all you want. You have let go of your reactions and you have realized what they are doing (or attempting to do).
  6. Realize that the only person you have control over is yourself
  7. Accept the fact that this is the way that this person acts, and likely acts to everyone they are around. Further let go of any want to control, further let go of any emotions coming up.
  8. Now fully release this person by letting them know (energetically, not verbally) that how they are acting is how they feel they need to act, and that you have no desire to control them or change them in any way. It is not up to you to change them or to get them to act appropriately.

Doing this simple sequence will allow for you to release any energies and emotions that have built up due to someone attempting to break your boundaries. If needed, you can go back and look at the cord between you again to ensure that it feels and seems equal in terms of energies. I am not a fan of shielding or protecting myself from someone– I find that if you simply release them, reconcile your emotions, realize that you do not have control over any behavior other than your own, and then accept the fact that this is the way someone feels like they need to act in this world that your boundaries will be set, and fairly clear.

It is important to follow this up with actual action, however. You can set all of the energetic boundaries and clear all the emotions you want, if you are still jumping at the chance to paint someones’ house (or whatever) without being appropriately compensated (energetically or physically, or by a simple thank you or appreciation) you will find yourself having more emotional reactions and feeling the need to control someone and their inappropriate behavior.

So, basically, if you follow up your energy with actual actions you will have firm boundaries and generally be a lot happier in your life. People will still try to break them, by the way… that is just what people do to get what they need, or think they need, in this world. It is a rare person that is willing to consider if their behavior is appropriate and if they are asking too much of those around them or are attempting to control someone around them. It is a rare person who is willing to look outside of themselves and realize that we all are protagonists of our own stories, and that whoever we are, our needs and desires do not come first, and do not come at the expense of anyone around us. But if you are able to consider those needs, and question your boundaries and if you are having equal energetic exchange in your relationships, I firmly commend you and appreciate you being a part of this world.

Group Energies in Spiritual, Shamanic, and Magic(k)al practice

“I would never be a part of any group that would have me as a member”– Groucho Marx

I have always been a bit of a contrarian, and generally have found myself at odds or simply bored with many of the groups, shamanic circles, and organizations that I have been a part of.

I think that this is natural in many ways– we simply outgrow groups. Ideally, a group and its members would grow in consciousness and skill, and we would find ourselves in a group where we could stretch and be given space as individuals to grow. I have heard of groups where this sort of idyllic symbiosis occurs, but it is rare (but if you are able to find it, more power to you).

In groups deeply transformational work can be done. There are some traumas, energy patterns, and spiritual states that are better worked with in groups. For purely safety reasons, but also because the creation of an egregore,the thoughtforms and power of each of the group members creating a spiritual energy, and/or the field surrounding many people doing healing work, spiritual work, and so forth is typically a much wider and more impressive field than in solo practice.

But there are many reasons why I am a solo practitioner. There are also many reasons why I teach like I do- one on one.

It is rare that a group creates that idyllic situation where both its members individually as well as collectively are allowed to stretch and grow. Many groups create rules (either consciously or energetically) that are specifically designed to keep people within specific parameters, both in terms of outer practices but also in terms of consciousness.

It is also true that in a group it caters to the perceived leader or teacher of the group. This can be harmful if the teacher or leader doesn’t know what they are talking about, or has jealousy issues, or is a dick who wants people to revel in his knowledge, and purposefully and specifically will take issue with anyone who does not think similarly to the way they do. Unfortunately, this is very common.

Many people become leaders and gurus for admiration and to have people fawn over them. I will perhaps do a separate post on gurus and teachers, because there are some complicated energetics there, but needless to say if you are in a group where all of the members are singularly focused on how great the teacher is and agree with them no matter what they say, that is unfortunately common and something to deeply take issue with.

It is also true that most groups take on the consciousness of the least conscious member. This is an energetics thing, but also practical. If a teacher does not teach to the least perceptive/capable/intelligent etc. person in the group, they will be confused. So things like ethics, rules, and the general consciousness of the group revolve around its least conscious members.

This, obviously, does not lead to growth. It leads to stagnation. It leads to repression. And mostly it leads to the individuals who think differently, understand things differently, or know differently to be cast out of the group.

This is because of collective consciousness. We tend to in groups have a sort of bell curve of consciousness, abilities, and understandings. At one end of that curve is the least conscious member, who sets the tone for the group. On the other end is the outlier, who may be more intelligent, more creative, more skilled, or simply think differently than most of the group members do (the “curve” of the bell curve”).

This outlier will be vilified, persecuted, and generally gossiped about by the members. Either the leader/teacher/guru or the least conscious member of the group will then call the person out. This is a control thing– it is in order to keep the outlier on the other side of things in line– the teacher will not like anyone who does not follow or hang on to their every word, and the least conscious member will create chaos around the fact that someone isn’t pandering to their ignorance.

This is unfortunately something that plays out far too often. Groups often implode because of energies like this– and the least conscious member, the guru/teacher, and the outlier will all have their roles to play in said implosion.

In terms of organizations and schools, many of the same energies ensue. Organizations and schools have a particular sort of energy or illusion about them– and anyone who has grown beyond their belief system, who thinks outside of the proverbial box, or who simply questions the school/organization, its principles, or its goals is likely to find themselves cast out, or just simply ignored.

Throughout most of my career I have joined and then left various groups, associations, organizations, and so forth. This was either on excellent/good terms, where I simply realized I outgrew the group (or didn’t have time for the group) and left, or I gradually sort of disappeared from associating myself with said school/organization/group. In some cases, however, I personally have been part of (or witness to) the implosion of the group. 

I can admittedly be a perpetrator, as I do not think gurus or teachers are infallible, and have no reason to fawn over anyone to the extent that most group leaders desire such fawning. Since I tend to think differently than most people, I also find myself on the end of either a stern talking to or someone outright being an asshole to me when I participate in groups, neither of which I particularly enjoy.

This is why I also don’t teach in groups. I have no desire to be a guru, quite frankly. I think that people should think– not just repeat the sort of party line… which is typically of that least conscious person in that group. I also don’t think that groups should have to cater to that person who is unable to handle certain work, or isn’t conscious enough for specific work, or doesn’t have the spiritual maturity to do certain work.

I also have no interest in most people agreeing with me. It is nice when it happens, but it is so easy as a teacher to get into that energy of having groupies– the sorts that have no minds of their own and follow you around like zombies, repeating everything you say, looking to fill the specific sort of void that they have with you and your energy.

I teach people individually to go beyond this sort of group dynamic- so that people can really grow and change and become who they are meant to be. Not to be slowed down by that “least conscious/able” person, not to have their ethics or interests questioned by group members who are unable to think for themselves, not to have people agree with me simply because they are supposed to because I am their teacher.

I would love for people to be able to think in this world. To question. And to not be persecuted for it. To grow as a person, to be all you can be (you catch my drift), to realize your own individual path without interference of the “shoulds” of others, the rules of others who likely have no business of making them, or the ego of teachers who think that they know everything and will smack you down if you disagree.

It is a rare thing to not think in “groupspeak”– to look at what individually works for you. This is highlighted in groups. There are definite positives in groups, but they often head towards chaos, rigidity, and stuckness in order to preserve group energy.

There is a reason why thinking, questioning, and individual growth is not encouraged in most groups. It is because it disrupts the energy of the group, and the energy of the group will have to accommodate someone who is on either side of that bell curve. And it doesn’t like to do that for the most part. And the teacher will destroy anyone who interferes with their ego and fragile sense of self that comes from having everyone agree with, worship, or quote them.

So it is probably pretty obvious through this blog why I remain a solo practitioner these days. It is easier. I have many colleagues and friends who are in similar circles as I am, but most of them are solo practitioners or are only loosely affiliated with groups.

If you are a part of a group, realize that this can be a wonderful thing. But if the group is not allowing you to personally grow, to question, if the group is focused on rigid rules or ethics set by a member or two that are not particularly conscious, or if you are involved with a guru/teacher/leader who needs for people to agree with him/her or they will be humiliated, cast out, or otherwise berated… it is time to question your involvement with said group.