Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Importance of Initiation

A student asked me to speak about initiation, which can be difficult to do in a short blog, but since it is such an important topic, I am happy to oblige…

I often hesitate to talk about myself beyond broad strokes because I do not wish to sensationalize my experiences. I find myself questioning the authenticity of others at times because of my experiences in the spiritual space/community (when I do experience this bias, I always pull back and question it these days, but it is still there for good reason)… and I find that some who have experienced something like a near death experience, or has sight/sensitivity/psychic abilities, or does spiritual work, or has had some of the spiritual experiences I have had to capitalize on them and market them, or to share them as a sort of ego boost, in ways that I find distasteful (yes, of course there are people who are authentic and don’t do this).

There is also a lot of illusion out there, but really I find myself walking a fine line of sharing enough of myself to let others know that I may have some experiences that they could relate to, or that I could be of assistance to them in some fashion, and not wanting to slip into anything that may seem inauthentic. A lot of the reason that I do not talk about some of my experiences is because our media and pop culture shows people in this space to be rather false and unlikable. I do realize that this is to “grab” our attentions, and it is obvious that things do not appear this way to everyone, but as someone who has been obsessed with Truth (yes, capital “T”) for a long time, it still can admittedly make me a bit itchy to read most of the books and see the videos and talks and such in the same space as my own.

So that is a lot of talk about me… but I will say that some of my recent blogs have suffered a bit (thanks for those who found them helpful, though!) because I have been going through a huge transitory period from about October of last year. As a part of this I have been sort of tying up loose ends, releasing parts of me and my life that are the “old” me, as well as discovering what I am moving into.

And when I say suffered (just for clarity) I mean that I haven’t been talking really about relevant spiritual experiences because a lot of my thoughts and understandings and beliefs are in transition right now, so I am sort of clearing out the “old” ideas rather than chatting about the “new” (not like those ideas are not relevant, though), or what I have been experiencing lately.

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And I will also say that some spiritual experiences are too difficult to discuss, or categorize. I find, as many others have, that our experiences in this world are on sort of a bell curve. If you are having spiritual experiences that are too far off that curve on one side or the other, not many will resonate with you. I no longer fear anyone thinking that I am (insert word here: crazy, imbalanced, lying, etc) but some things either defy explanation or are too far along that bell curve for me to adequately explain, at least now.

It is also hard when you are in the midst of something to have enough clarity to chat about it, especially if you are looking for others to read about it and know what the hell you are saying. Luckily, I am well aware when I am going through initiations (they are kind of hard to miss in my case, which has its good and bad points).

But again, enough about me…

The concept of initiation is really about rebirth. 

It is a “death”, or release of the old, and ushering in of the new. It is typically a period of rapid expansion, and growth.

There are many natural initiations that we go through in our world (or we are intended to go through). Our move into childhood from infancy, into adolescence, and then into adulthood, and then into physical death/the dying process. These are all natural, or initiations we are all supposed to move through in our lives.

The difficulty, of course, is that we may not move into or through this initiation properly. I could easily start the next sentence “in olden days…”, but really in modern day we do not have many spiritual initiations. In some cases the bar or bat mitzvah, christenings, having a first child, and so forth sort of shove us into and through an initiation, but in many cases these ceremonies are (or can be) somewhat hollow, or at least rushed, and devoid of the spiritual aspects that really anchor the initiation into fruition.

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We have a lot of people out there who have not fully moved into adulthood, or even adolescence. If there are aspects of ourselves that are largely unhealed (soul loss, abuse, something big happened, etc) there may be a large part of us “missing” who didn’t move through an initiation properly. For example, if we suffered a lot of child abuse or neglect as an infant, we may have not moved into childhood properly. If we made our way through high school as a gossip and someone who was vindictive to others in order to be popular, we may be hesitant to move out of that state into adulthood.

When we miss these initiation points, we do not fully “become”. This obviously can get a bit confusing as there may be a part of ourselves that is that abused infant who didn’t move into childhood, or become a teenager, or an adult… and another aspect of ourselves may be locked in teenager-hood, and another part of us may be a functioning adult. We are tricky creatures, and most of us are composed of parts that are frozen or locked into specific ages, and beyond healing them they also may need to be initiated into childhood, or adolescence, or adulthood, for them to not only heal but to no longer act from that age.

Although it sounds simple, one of the things I started doing a few years ago was asking myself what age I was acting from. I do this with others as well… it helps me to find compassion and love for them (you can only be so angry at someone who is acting from a place of a five year old, for example), but really whenever I get “triggered”, or feel emotional, I ask myself what age I am. Sometimes it can be quite obvious, but other times I do not want to admit that I am acting like a stubborn 15 year old, or like a two year old.

By healing these aspects of ourselves and then finding some simple way to initiate that part of ourselves into the next “era” (from childhood to adolescence, for example) we can start to “grow up” and initiate ourselves into being a whole adult. These initiations don’t have to be a huge thing, by the way. This week alone I have suggested someone listen to thrash metal (teenager), eat a cookie (child), and explore sexuality in an adult way (this is generalized, but we tend to relate sexually from much younger ages, and so finding a way to do so in a healthy, adult way can be quite a big deal). I generally tell people to tell these aspects of themselves that this is an initiation for them, just for clarity and intention purposes.

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There are also, of course, initiations that are intended to allow us this death/rebirth cycle in other fashions. 

I will try to relate this simply, but we have a pretty fixed world view. It is how we get through our days. We know what we know to be true about the world, and about ourselves. Sometimes this can (and hopefully will) go through gradual change, where we gradually learn, grow, and open as people.

Sometimes we have experiences like a death in the family, illness, divorce, marriage, and so forth that cause for us to rapidly go through an initiation– rapidly change and understand things in a different way.

But sometimes an initiation is really a sort of spiritual door. What I mean by that is that we go through a period of rapid perspective shift, or rapid change, of our beliefs and understandings about ourselves and the world changing to such an extent without any sort of stimulus (like a death, divorce, having a child, illness, or other life-changing event) and we may be confused. We may feel cloudy, or like we don’t know who we are. We may feel crazy, like nothing is true, or that everything is illusion.

This has happened to me because of some sort of spiritual stimuli before. Something that I thought this couldn’t possibly be true became an initiation for me. Learning that spirits are real, that things can physically manifest, that magic is actually possible, that spiritual energies can physically manifest, that ET”s, elementals, deities, grids, divine flow, and more can come through to us… each of these, and more, has been an initiation for me. They have caused for me to rapidly change who I am, what I believe, and what I know to be true.

Another form of initiation is spiritual dismemberment. You can click to read my old blog, but in meditations, dreams (or in waking reality, as I have found) in some way your body can be “destroyed”. The purpose of this is initiatory– to be put back together with new thoughts, realizations, and sometimes even skills. I have experienced a lot of these over the years (always in new, odd, sometimes grotesque, and fascinating ways) and I have learned to go with them as I now know that really fighting against anything of a certain magnitude is worse than going along with it.

That, and the fact that it serves a purpose. It often means that I will drop disempowering beliefs, thoughts about myself and the world that were blocking, or even physical complaints (this one is always a wake-up call, as it can still be hard for me to believe that a firmly entrenched physical pain or difficulty can be alleviated by a weird dream about being eaten by wolves or something).

Spiritual initiations also have an aspect of gaining an ability or spiritual connection to them as well. When we go through a spiritual initiation that is “magical” or “spiritual” in nature (meaning that all initiations are spiritual, but some are specific to our spiritual path or due to spiritual/magical work we may be doing), we may gain new capacity to heal, to work with energy, or to connect with a different type of energy/spirit than we had before.

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No matter who we are, and how “spiritual” we are, our lives are always contracting and expanding. We are constantly going through small (and larger) “deaths”, we are consistently being reborn. Some of these are more major, or “initiatory”, where our beliefs and realizations about ourselves and the world change… and some of them are smaller, or less noticeable.

It is up to us if we get stuck in them or not. I work with a lot of people who are holding on to the end of their “death” when they have gone through this death/rebirth cycle. This is totally understandable, because change, especially rapid change, tends to freak us out. In our subconscious protective instincts we stop ourselves from moving forward.

But a lot of times we cause ourselves to be “stuck”, or not move through our initiation fully, out of habit. We are so used to who we used to be, what we used to think, what we used to know about ourselves and the world. The thought of becoming something new, even if it is something or someone that is freer, healthier, and with a deeper awareness/understanding of themselves and the world is scary.

Part of this is awareness. It is realizing that we are always going through initiations, but some of them may be longer (take more time), some of them may be larger (pack a wallop), and if we recognize that we may be going through one, this can often dissipate fear.

We can realize that we are moving into something new, a new “birth”, a new way of being. We can embrace that. Any steps we can do, even if they are simple (getting rid of old clothes, books that no longer resonate with you, for example) to state that we are willing to let go of some of the old to move into the new can be helpful. As can taking action for the “new” you– what does this new you think? What does this new you now think about themselves, and the world? Letting this new you shine, and taking action (such as going to a new class, reading a different kind of book, or expressing gratitude to them for coming through) can allow for the transition to go more smoothly.

It is funny looking at old blogs. Some of the blogs from a ways back were written 2-3 years ago. I have gone through a lot of change in that time, and I find that I no longer resonate with some of it. I am still keeping it all up, as it is kind of odd to have this static testament, and I do realize that some of them are read and appreciated (thanks for the support!), but as I am, yet again, going through a massive “death”/rebirth initiatory cycle, I find that even things I wrote about two months ago no longer fit who I currently am. I am embracing this, and excited to see where it goes (which is much different than my old kicking/screaming “why me” approach to spiritual initiations).

I will be re-starting my spiritual advice column, so if you have a question or something you wanted me to chat about (that would be helpful to others, as well as yourself), let me know

Expressing Gratitude

I have noticed in observing energy for some time that there is a large difference between people who regularly express gratitude and those who do not.

If we assume that people and the world owes us something, or we are unable or unwilling to express gratitude, we remain in a state of contraction.

If we express gratitude and are thankful for the people and the world around us, we become more open and expansive.

When we are more open and expansive, people generally like us better. Our lives generally go better. If you have heard someone say “oh, that person has negative energy”, or everyone at the office dislikes one person and they can’t figure out why, it can be for a lot of reasons. But chances are that person doesn’t express gratitude for the people around them.

For example, I express real gratitude to the people bagging my groceries and checking me out in lines. Some are in zombie mode (understandable to anyone who has worked retail), but others genuinely appreciate it, and have even done things like express a genuine smile, offer me free stuff (not the point here, but it happens), to “forgetting” to swipe through an item (again, not the point here), to offering me other services or simply a friendly chat.

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We all need community, we all need friends and loved ones. We also all need teachers, guides, helpers, and associates of varying sorts.

When we do not express gratitude, it can be due to entitlement (feeling owed something by people and the world) but generally it has more with being closed off.

If we are closed off, if we have barricaded ourselves off, we are isolated. We are alone. We no longer learn, or exchange energy with the world around us. We cannot grow, prosper, or really be at peace. Energetically being closed off means that there is a great deal of fear and a feeling that you are totally and completely alone (even in a crowd, even amongst others).

Our hearts cannot remain open, cannot express gratitude if we are closed off. We often do this as a protective mechanism, but that protective mechanism being there means that there is no connection to the people and the world around us, and that we cannot love and be loved to the extent that we could if it were open.

Being open does not mean having no boundaries, or letting people walk all over you. Being open to new ideas, new thoughts, and exchange of energy with others is a beautiful thing. We can choose to learn from one another, open to one another.

Express gratitude for one another.

When we express gratitude we are coming from a higher place. A place beyond trauma, fear, and isolation. We are choosing to open ourselves up. We are choosing to move beyond our own rugged individualism, our own basic needs and thoughts… and recognizing another for their contribution to our world.

When we express gratitude we move beyond that illusory isolated aspect of ourselves and recognize that we are a part of a community, a world.

Expressing gratitude can be extremely simple. It can be saying “thank you” to people who have provided assistance to you, or a new way of thinking to you, or who have listened to or expressed caring in some way for you.

We can say “thank you” to friends, family, loved ones, teachers, acquaintances, grocery store clerks, and so forth.

We can also energetically stay open, and realize that despite the world sometimes seeming like it is cold, violent, brutal, and “every man for himself” that we can choose to transcend that. We can make the conscious choice to stay open to the good of the world, to the good of the people in it. We can also realize that the “bad” of the world, and the “bad people” can also allow for us to express gratitude in a different way.

We can express gratitude for those who have helped us, those who are making the world a better place, those who show us who we do not want to be, those who show us who we aspire to be, those who teach us how we can be more open, and those who are so enveloped in chaos and isolation that they are incapable of seeing beyond their own needs.

This is done in a way that is not smug, or judgmental, or self-satisfactory, but in true and genuine appreciation. We can appreciate our ability to critically think, for example, by realizing that not many people do and also realizing those who can. Both are equally important, and both can be expressed gratitude for.

We can realize by observing the energy of those who regularly express gratitude for their lives and the people in it how the people, and the world, around them react. And we can do the same for those incapable, unable, or unwilling to do so.

I have noticed energetically that those who do not express gratitude are often disliked, seen as obnoxious or as someone who we just have to endure until they go somewhere else, and have low, dark, or cloudy energy that will make the person interacting with them feel heavy. People who express gratitude regularly are open, energetic, vivacious, and give you an uplifting feeling to be around. 

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We can look at the violence of the world, the racism, the xenophobia, the classism, the stupidity, the materialism, the illusion(s) (you get my point, I likely forgot a few) and understand how much fear there is there. How much people protect themselves, divert themselves, and struggle. We can choose to look at people on an individual basis and realize that this energy didn’t come from nowhere– that we are all shaped by trauma, emotions, and beliefs that were passed down to us.

We can realize that people are who they are, and feel compassion for the fact that individual people struggle. That violence, hatred, and so forth create barriers to feeling any sort of love and connectedness. Someone who has hatred in their heart cannot have love or gratitude. And we can express gratitude for them showing us how deeply and fiercely we need to love, how much we need to express gratitude to one another. Each one of us that makes the choice to be in that state of love, to be in that state of gratitude, allows for the world to be a better place.

I do realize that that sounds idyllic, or hippie-esque, but it is true. If we are able to express gratitude to the world, to one another, we can be more loving.  More loving to ourselves. More loving to one another. More understanding of one another… and we can extend this to even the most violent, monstrous, and violent individuals in our world.

We can understand who someone is, why they got to be that way, what they must struggle with– the forces that have shaped them and created them. And we can express gratitude that they have shown us those qualities (violence, hatred, and so forth) in our own hearts… what we need to personally work on, basically. We can realize that some of these people are catalysts– that they show how far as a culture or as individuals we need to go to be more loving to ourselves and towards others in this world.

And we can express gratitude for those in our lives that choose to act differently, those in this world that are trying to make this world a more peaceful and righteous place through their actions.

We can step away from our hypercritical, judgmental self, the one that wants to break everyone and everything down for little reason, and decide to come from a place of understanding. This is not to say that we should not critically think, but in a world that is filled with comment threads and “keyboard warriors” and gossip columns looking to create animosity and hatred, we can choose to be and act differently.

We can realize that people are doing the best they can with the patterns and beliefs and traumas they have experienced (or have been given to them). We can realize that we can deal with our own hatred and anger inwardly (or creatively, making good use of it) instead of adding to a world filled with pain and suffering and people looking to vent it towards anyone or anything (typically a “hot topic” of the week, celebrities, politics, and so forth)

We get so caught up in ourselves, and a simple act of expressing gratitude can open us up to one another, can allow for us to make the day of someone who we do so to, and can allow for us to become more loving, less isolated, and more appreciative of the world around us. It can allow for us to be “lighter”, and over time this allows for us to truly see the beauty of the world and the people in it, and to feel connected, more peaceful, more open, and more grateful for our lives, people, and the world as a whole.

Expressing gratitude can be simple. It can be saying “thank you”, it can also be energetically staying in a place of gratitude and thanks for the people who help you or help the world. It can be felt, even if it is not outwardly said. But saying “thanks” out loud is always good too.

The Concept of Breath (Patience, Stillness, and Flow)

There is a running joke amongst varying health care practitioners. It probably isn’t terribly funny to anyone other than someone who has experienced this, though (just as an FYI):

Possible Client/Patient calls: Hi Doc. I have had this issue for ten years. Can you help me with it?
Doctor/Therapist/Health Practitioner: Yes, that is something I have experience with and am quite effective at working with. Can you come in next week?
Possible Client/Patient: You don’t have anything open today? I have availability between 11:00 am and 1:30 pm.

See, that wasn’t funny to most of you. Some variation of this happens frequently to pretty much any sort of health care practitioner. I will be the first to say that sometimes there are emergency situations (in which case a holistic health care practitioner, spiritual worker, etc may not be the correct choice), but mostly we live in a culture that wants what it wants. And it wants it now.

And it should be said that it is admirable that anyone is willing to look forassistance. Far too often we suffer alone out of this misguided sense of rugged individualism when we could have gone and gotten support and felt better a long time ago. And many health care practitioners do have openings in their schedule, or aren’t busy, so they can accommodate these sorts. Pretty much every really good practitioner that I know cannot see you between 11:00 and 1:30 pm today, however.

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Recently I also saw a commercial for Amazon. I don’t watch a lot of TV (I mainly am a Netflix gal), but there was a commercial where evidently you can get ice cream delivered within two hours (which allows the cute five year old boy to welcome the cute five year old girl to the neighborhood). There could be a lot said about our tendency towards immediacy and sense of necessity wrapped in materialism here. Or the fact that that wouldn’t work in Arizona, where it is currently 115 degrees.

But there is something to be said about breath here.

Forget the sort of natural rabbit hole of entitlement and “want it now” culture, or our inability to consider anything other than our own immediate needs… the sort of negative aspects of rugged individualism that plagues us because it means that we are unable to consider others around us.

Many of us have never been initiated into adulthood, and are locked into this toddler-like Veruca Salt mode where we cannot consider anyone other than ourselves and what we feel we need to get by. Most of us do not realize that the world does not revolve around us. This is to be forgiven, of course, because most people don’t recognize that they act this way, or that it is even possible to act another way… and that acting this way is causing a great deal of detriment to their lives… as well as greatly interferes with their capacity to love, and to be loved, by others. It also greatly interferes with feelings of being connected if you are unable to understand that you are not the center of the universe, but I digress…

We have lost the capacity to understand stillness.

In my study of Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy, there is a concept called the Breath of Life. It is the thought that we have varying flows throughout our body of energy. Some of these flows (called tides) are the energy that is inherent within our physical form, but the longest “tide” or flow is of our interface with spiritual flows.

This is important because at the center of ourselves is stillness. At the center of the universe is stillness. You can tell a lot about people who have cultivated this stillness– it emanates from them. Most people have energy that is quite frenetic– they are constantly in a “doing” state. They are always looking at what is next, constant worry and that need for immediacy.

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When I first experienced a kundalini awakening, I went through a lot of processing (I still do, but this is in a different way now). Processing is basically the releasing of traumas, beliefs, emotions, and memories that are locked within the physical body. When someone “awakens”, especially when they do so quickly, this processing is (or can be) really overwhelming.

The first few years that I went through this (once I understood what was going on) was to get through as much material as I could as quickly as I could because I knew that it would make me feel better. I went to a CranioSacral workshop and started “processing” and got to the end of the piece of material that I was working on and immediately my system went into the next bit to process.

My teacher stopped me and told me that I needed breath, I needed to integrate the experience.

The point here was not to get locked into mental gymnastics about what I experienced, but to allow for my body and consciousness to recalibrate. To be patient and kind enough to it, to allow myself to have that breath, that stillness. That after a big piece of work, or a big step in our lives (or gearing up for that big step in our lives) we need a pause, we need this stillness, so that we can integrate the experience.

We are so used to doing, especially in the spiritual arena. We want to do, we want to seek. This is not necessarily a negative energy, but can lead to following the newest shiniest thing, the latest workshop (and so forth) without understanding or sitting with what we have learned in the past, or are currently learning in the present.

I have seen this a fair amount in my students. I could give someone something that would be life-altering (such as how to work with ancestral healing) and they would come back to me the next day and ask what they should do next… or tell me that a technique for managing their psychic sensitivities didn’t work because they tried it once and it didn’t have any effect.

I used to be like this as well. Anyone who looks at my resume can look at the degrees and the certifications that I hold and see that I studied pretty much anything and everything. I traveled the world seeking workshops, books, and teachers/gurus who had something of worth to tell me. But when I did this I became unfocused, scattered, and chaotic. I learned a lot in that period of time, but much of it was more about my identification as a “seeker” who constantly and consistently needed to “do” rather than any sort of body-based, grounded, or logical path.

One of the biggest difficulties in my spiritual path was when I went from seeker to being “found”.

I had spent so much time seeking and I got to a point where I was “found”, and I suddenly had no interest in books. The thought about traipsing across the world or endlessly seeking teachers who might have a glimmer of information for me was gone. At first I thought that there was something wrong with me. All I wanted to do was to sit in silence, or read some fiction, or sit outside by a tree.

But really what was happening was that I was discovering that all that I experienced, all I went searching for, had allowed for me to return to myself, to realize that I could gain more from sitting in silence than spending thousands of dollars following some teacher or going to a workshop.

We no doubt need catalysts for our path– a good teacher, book, healer, or workshop that can provide that catalyst is certainly worth taking.

But really we have so much frenetic energy, so much mental energy (overthinking, basically), and so many illusions about who we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to do that we have lost this stillness.

We have lost ourselves to chaos. To the sort of energy that causes us to look at our phones a million times a day, to the sort of idea that we have to be someone or something other than who we are right now. That doesn’t allow for us to truly sit with our spiritual path and allow in stillness so that it can truly transform our lives.

I realized at a certain point when I considered my body and my energy field that it was in pain. I was actually getting dizzy and nauseated on a regular basis and I sat down and communicated with my body consciousness. It told me that I had so much unprocessed material because I was so busy leap-frogging from thing to thing that I didn’t process much of it.

I was unable to because it was just too much to process… this was because I was constantly moving on to the next thing and not allowing breath, integration time. I lacked patience for my process to unfold and was forcing it, cajoling it, out of some misguided sense of the fact that I constantly needed to “do” and achieve and try to learn anything of value and to proceed on my spiritual path.

The concept of breath also is about allowing that stillness to flow through us. Yogic and other breathwork based modalities teach that we should be able to breathe into every place in our body (yes, every part). Every part of our physical body that we cannot breathe into naturally and regularly does not have “flow”. It has blocked energy, basically.

The more breath that we have, the more we are in flow. The more we feel flow, the more we can heal, the more we can be embodied, the more stillness (instead of chaos) emanates from us.

The more breath we have that flows through us the more we are in touch with spiritual flows. When we reach this state we can just allow ourselves to unfold. We can release anything that arises and come from a place of curiosity, peace, and understanding (as well as love) for ourselves and those around us. Our lives will become more peaceful, loving, and flowing.

Any sort of great spiritual “master” (for lack of a better word) has this stillness. It is palpable. You can have this stillness, this breath, this flow, even as you are actively “doing”. It is the quality of truly being in touch with the Void(s), with the deepest aspects of self. And it can only be reached if we allow ourselves this breath, this stillness, and the patience of knowing that things will unfold at the right times for us… we just need to follow the path that unfolds.

Emotions, Thoughts, and the Creation of Spiritual Experiences

So this is a somewhat clunky title, and this whole blog is likely to go in a direction you may not expect.

Reading this you may think how I am going to talk about how there are generally two types of spiritual experiences:

  1. Real
  2. Self-created, typically out of some sort of psychological need

But really things can be much more complex than this…

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I have been working as a spiritual worker now for a (fairly) long time, and before I started interacting with clients I saw this huge divide between what I termed as “real”– meaning powerful spiritual experiences and initiations that actually interacting with spiritual energies and spiritual realms of varying types imprinted on you and how they changed you– and “illusory”– my kind way of referring to the sort of fluff that most people come up with about their “Native American spirit guide” and their “power animals” that tell them exactly how special and wonderful they are, as well as whatever they want or need to hear to uphold their current illusions about themselves or the world.

I still sometimes see this divide, by the way, and it still makes me laugh on occasion (the fact that nobody self-creates a Mexican spirit guide, for example… it is always Native American), or sometimes it makes me wonder how people can figure out how to put pants on in the mornings, but I digress.

I first started noticing clients who would report back to me that their spiritual issues were still occurring. I am always someone who is willing to learn what she has done wrong, or not noticed in a session, or could have done better, so with these people I will always go back and track the session (basically go over the session energetically) as well as look at the energies as they present now.

In a few cases (of course) something went askew (which I would then work on, as it was me screwing up, basically), in many other cases underlying patterns or energies were simply emerging that needed more work (one session is rarely enough for really complicated situations, unless the person is really ready to release everything they are carrying in rather short order)… but in other cases the issue was completely resolved. Whatever energy they were dealing with (spirit, curse, internal block/emotions/past trauma, etc) was resolved at a spiritual level.

Anyone who knows me, or who has read this blog, likely knows that I am not the sort who thinks that spirits or curses or exterior energy of any sort is not real, or is psychological, or you can simply wish it away. It would be nice if things were that simple (and sometimes they can be), but I have been around too many practitioners that can curse someone whether or not they believe in it and have an impact (for example), and have been around enough spirits to realize that being firm with them is helpful, but if they are attached they are often stuck and can’t leave even if you claim your “sovereignty”.

Basically, I have seen and experienced too much to have much invested in the psychological or new-age “stuff only happens if you want it to” approach that is ultimately self-serving and demeaning of anyone who is actually having difficulty with spiritual experiences.

But in many cases there are underlying emotional and mental factors. By this I mean that when spiritual healing happens… and the reason it is so powerful… is that our entire universe has to change. Our beliefs, our understandings about ourselves and others, what we know to be true about ourselves and the world (and ourselves in relation to the world) goes through a period of change whenever we truly heal something on the spiritual level.

Spiritual healing is deep healing. It gets to the source of whatever is going on– be that ancestral patterns, karmic ties, past lives, our own childhood, or an “external invasion” (outside influences creating issues for us).

But there is still the fact that the person has to then mentally and emotionally accept this healing, and be willing to integrate it enough to break the “loops”– the created thoughts, beliefs and understandings about themselves and the world that are repeating every day for them– so that their universe can change.

Some people do this incredibly well. They are ready and prepared for change, and their world rapidly shifts within an hour appointment (or the healing period after for a few weeks or month or two).

Others need to be walked through their own emotions and thoughts so they can be a bit more prepared. This is part of the work of a spiritual healer as well– to make sure that the healing can take root as much as possible.

No matter the source, in spiritual healing there is always an aspect of personal responsibility– either the reaction to the event(s) or energies, or an adding on to those energies– that must be navigated. Put more simply, if a belief, trauma, or blockage was created in a past life, in your present life you will add on to it through your own experiences as well as your reaction to having that energy with you.

But there are some that are not ready for a world shift, and so the experience, whatever it may be, continues in part or in full… until the person is willing to look inward at their own reasons for holding on to the experience and repeating it.

The above is not to blame, by the way. We are all complex creatures with many reasons for being. We heal by working with the spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental aspects of any complex situation. Some of us can get hung up on the “mental” aspect of things and not be willing or ready to let go of the loop, even though the experience and energy has passed.

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We can also create a spiritual experience out of our own displaced emotions and thoughts.

A slightly different topic, but still within this context of muddy “creation”. There are of course people out there who claim to be cursed, or having some sort of really difficult spiritual experience because they want attention, or because they don’t want to look at some facet of their lives. I used to see a lot of this on message boards and groups when I participated in them.

I also see a lot in my work people who are interested in spiritual “stuff” because it pulls them away from their lives and their own traumas and inner pain. Spiritual bypass is a powerful thing, and we are all guilty of it at one point or another. But some really hold on to titles and experiences and spiritual work as a form of escapism.

There are also others who want to believe they are having a spiritual experience, or do things like go to places where they know spirits are, to constantly be in need of assistance from spiritual healers. These are typically the types who have gone to twenty healers and “nobody has helped”. As there are a lot of people muddling through the spiritual realms without much capability, it is understandable if someone has been to one, or five, spiritual healers who haven’t been of much assistance. But chances are if someone has been to a lot of healers that someone will be able to have an impact on them of some sort.

But there are also people who, due to spiritual ability or intense emotions, can actually create a spiritual experience.

What does this mean? It means that there are some people with such intense anxiety, fear, anger, and so forth that they create thoughtforms. Thoughtforms are basically emotions plus thoughts (yes, I am going simple here).

Thoughtforms can be shaped by skilled energy workers into really anything (and can be quite useful to do).

But if someone is struggling with intense emotions that they are unable to process, and/or have disassociated from, they can create all sorts of spiritual energies and experiences. Demonic energies, spirits, stuff moving in the house, shadows, “bad vibes” and so forth.

The difficulty with this is that a lot of spiritual workers don’t know how to look for this. They will look at the situation and see a spirit, or entity of some sort. And it is not like it isn’t there. But typically “cleansing/clearing” methods will not work in these situations. This is because unless the person works through their intense emotions and learns how to cycle energy properly (through exercise, meditation, etc) the situation will simply recreate itself again and again.

With any sort of intense spiritual experience there will need to be emotional factors looked at (For example, I have worked with several people now who had no concept of any sort of spiritual work, or interest in it, who were actually cursed, and had to deal with the repercussions of knowing that someone actually can be cursed, even if they don’t believe or have any understanding of anything about curses, or spiritually related).

There are often underlying factors with spiritual experiences as well. Simply put, there is a reason why a lot of things (not all) came to be. Ancestral patterns, past lives, stuff from this life– intense spiritual experiences don’t just come out of nowhere. They have reasons for being, and unless the underlying factors are worked with (the original trauma healed, typically), the person is still open for more intense spiritual experiences that will manifest similarly.

It really is about 70/30 for people who are actually willing to hear this (that their own emotions and thoughts have caused or contributed to a situation, about 70 percent are willing to listen to me, in full or in part). The other 30 percent really need to believe that their situation is purely externally spiritual, so they don’t need to take any sort of personal responsibility for it.

And I will mention again that I am not a “psychological shaman”– meaning I do not think that everything spiritual is actually psychological, or can be fixed by psychological methods– but I do understand that our psychology and our directed thoughts/emotions create our outer world, and even our spiritual reality.

So the question always when I discuss things like this is what to do, or how to notice them.

The basic answer to this is that any sort of intense or enduring spiritual experience needs to be worked with at spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical levels. If one of those levels is missing, the person doesn’t heal as well as they could.

The other basic answer to this is that anyone who is having spiritual experiences that “loop”, that are happening again and again, need to be looked at in a different way.

The other answer is that if typically clearing methods don’t work, or if the person has been to twenty healers and there has been no change, things need to be looked at in a different way.

The other unfortunate answer to this is that people will heal as much as they are ready to. Asking someone to completely shift their reality is a big deal. Some people are really up for it– I have done sessions where I have cleared an entire ancestral line as well as personal emotions, thoughts, and experiences in reaction to that energy in one session. These people will never be the same– not because of something that I did (well, yes, I did play a part, but…) but because they were ready for it.

One of the hardest things that I have had to learn is that people will release their illusions, their pain, and their beliefs if and when they are ready to. I can be there as support, but I simply do the best I can in each session, and if the person is willing to take a giant leap forward, or one step forward, or no steps forward, that is entirely their call.

In our own lives, we can consider our own illusions. We can consider our spiritual experiences and how they reflect our inner process(es). We can consider our beliefs– what we know to be true about ourselves and about the world– and question them. We can work on ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And we can continually open, and be willing to open, to new beliefs, understandings, and realizations (however difficult they may be) about ourselves, about the world, and about spirit.

 

Developing Compassion (with Boundaries)

One of the ongoing efforts in my life is to be compassionate towards everyone (and everything) around me. This may seem like a simple task, in some ways, or some quasi-new-age-ing, but bear with me while I explain.

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People are difficult. They are chaotic, traumatized, selfish, violent, abrasive, jealous, immature, disrespectful, and lack self-awareness. They also push everything they don’t wish to consider or work with outward. The amount of inner chaos and trauma that someone has is always represented by how their lives are going. If someone is inwardly chaotic, their lives will be chaotic, simply put.

But people can also be beautiful, intelligent, caring, nurturing, and wonderful. We strive so hard to move beyond the chaos and the drama and the people and circumstances that have caused for us to feel separate, unloved, and worthless. Many of us really and truly try to better ourselves, and better our lives.

I am not excluding myself from either camp, by the way. I do think that anyone who considers themselves to be “above” or “beyond” the violent, abrasive, jealous, chaotic aspects of themselves either simply hasn’t discovered them, is following a sort of “white light” script about how “spiritual” people are supposed to be, or is disassociated from them. These energies can be put to good use, by the way (but that is a different blog, I suppose).

There was a time in my life that I thought being compassionate meant that I had no boundaries. I have always had the capacity to see “inner”– meaning the pain and difficulty of those around me. Even if someone was being rude, emotionally abusive, or trying to transfer their issues onto me (it happens, especially in therapeutic-type work), I understood that they were in pain. Because people who are pain, who are unhealed, treat others (as well as themselves) like crap. People who are healed don’t act like that towards others.

I realized at a certain point that by simply letting things go I wasn’t modeling good boundaries.

I realized that although I have the tendency to see the potential in people, what causes them to act the way that they do, their trauma and pain, as well as their inner divinity… that they may not see this.

I began being aware of the fact that people who are in pain will lash out, will recreate scenarios again and again, and will place others in roles again and again that resemble their initial trauma. That most people are stuck or frozen in these infantile or child-like states where their trauma occurred. I could see this again and again and began remarking on it “oh, that person is acting like that because they are 15, or 2 years old”.

This helped me to stop being triggered by most people. You can only get so upset at a 40 year old man who is in a 20 year old, or 2 year old mindset. This is not intended to be rude, or judgmental to the person, by the way (I also remark on this with myself, like “wow, I really acted like a 17 year old there. What’s up with that?)

People will act like this with any inner need that they may have that has been unfulfilled– anything that they have been personally struggling with. For example, I have had a few people seek to “teach” me either by going on my Facebook page or via email. I have no issue with intelligent discourse– a meeting of minds and hearts and the discussion of views– even if they are vastly different views. This can be done with respect and regard for all involved.

But some do this because they really and truly need to be seen as “superior” or “teacher”. If someone truly knows what they are talking about, if they have the confidence and self-worth to understand that they have something to offer, they do not need to present themselves as superior, or go seek out “students”. People will find them if they are truly who they are attempting to be.

The difficulty is that the people who do this rarely have much original thought– it is all recycled material from Eckhart Tolle books and the like. But the point here isn’t about them, really– it is about the fact that they are playing out the fact that they need to be seen outwardly in such a way, and if they inwardly truly felt and embodied the energy of being a “teacher” they wouldn’t need to do so, and they wouldn’t need to energetically make others feel “less than” them to do so either.

The other point here is that this used to be something that bothered me. One of my requirements for teachers is humility– to me it means that the person has worked on themselves considerably (there is a difference between confidence and superiority, and confidence and humility work together well, by the way).

I used to let this go, and I still often do. The “delete” button on email is a wonderful thing. But I also learned that if you continue to let behavior like this happen without doing anything, it will just repeat. What happens if you show boundaries, or more simply, call the person out, is that they will retreat. They will find someone new to “teach” that they can be condescending to in order to make themselves feel temporarily better.

couple-1149645_1920I dislike conflict. I really do. My life in a lot of ways has been a search for peace. Because of this, I let quite a bit slide. But there has been a calibration in recent years of the type of behavior and energy that I allow to come my way.

This can be done in a simple, non-emotional way. This only happens if the person doing this takes a breath, realizes fully what is triggering them about the person (including any portion of personal responsibility or mirroring that may be going on), and then responds.

This will not change the person, of course. It often will just cause them to find someone else to put this energy on. They will do this until they actually decide to deal with whatever inwardly is creating issues for them… that “freeze” in their timeline.

I find, if I do not have strong boundaries in my work, that others will try to put their energy (of whatever they are dealing with) onto me so they don’t have to deal with it. I am not the only one that this happens to, but in recent years it has happened less.

Because I have strong boundaries.

Because I allow for people to be who they are (whatever that might be), and I realize what they are struggling with, but I no longer allow myself to take any of that energy on.

When we realize that how people are acting, or even how they are interacting, with us, has little to do with us… it can allow for us to have compassion for them. They are simply recreating some sort of trauma, unresolved emotion, or difficulty, and they have simply cast you in a role to do so.

I no longer let myself be put in roles– there was one woman recently who got upset that I would not allow for her to recreate her issues with her mother with me. This is not rare, of course, but she was traumatized, wounded, and expecting me to make up for the lifetime(s) of issues that her mother caused for her. And this is not something that I was willing to do.

I also recognize when people are trying to emotionally manipulate me. I simply don’t respond to this most of the time, but on rare occasions the person will continually step this behavior up until I have to respond.

In a lot of ways I have been blessed in recent years because I do not have a lot of time on my hands. I simply don’t have time to answer the multitude of emails that come my way looking for free advice, and emails that are downright rude I can simply ignore.

But there is a question here of calibration, of letting things go and allowing people to be who they are (even if that is difficult, entitled, stupid, abrasive, violent, traumatized, and so forth), or of responding energetically or physically (verbally or otherwise).

I do find that people like strong boundaries. 

The stronger I make my boundaries the more that people can sit with their own issues. Some people don’t like this– they will find another healer or someone that will allow for them to manipulate, drain their energy (or time) , or participate in their chaos.

There is this archetype of the “healer”, especially women, of being these compassionate “wounded healer” types that are these earth-mother nurturers who will let people basically steamroll them. Who will become the loving mother someone never had, to hold their hand and do their work for them.

I have now worked with hundreds of healers who are this “wounded healer” earth-mother type, and they have allowed for their clients to suck them dry. That seems harsh, I realize, but it happens a lot. People who embody this role will be “matched” with those seeking out someone to take on their energy, or to take on whatever role they want to place them in, or to simply drain them of energy. And until the “earth mother wounded healer” type learns to not do this, they are going to be continually depleted and on the edge of burnout. 

Many people have this “mother wound” and are still in child-mode, looking to place this energy on anyone they come across who is willing to do so.

I find that some people do not like me because I am not a “wounded healer” type– I am more the “spiritual warrior” archetype. Although I am compassionate towards people, I have the firm belief that people heal from within, and it is their responsibility (with assistance from others) to look inwardly at whatever is going on to heal it. Although I see the potential in each and every person that comes my way, I am very aware of how and when people look to displace this energy onto me so they can continue their unhealed “stuff”.

stonewall-17829_1920And I simply don’t allow it to happen anymore.

One of the things personally I have been working on is calibrating my bluntness with compassion. I can be quite direct with people, and although the vast majority of people like this (especially those that are drawn to me), I realize that, like any human, I can sometimes be a bit too blunt, or a bit too blunt for the person in front of me.

But in general, I get a lot of questions of “how can I live in this world, people suck”, or “I always feel like people are putting their issues onto me and they go away feeling wonderful and I feel drained and dark”, or “how can I be around people who are sleepwalking through life” or “I consistently get taken advantage of people and end up feeling resentful towards them as a healer”… so I will keep things simple about what I do (yes, this is still a work in progress, and every time I am “triggered”, which isn’t very often any more, I re-look at this list):

  1. Every time I feel negatively, am “triggered”, or feel emotional about a person, I simply ask myself why. This can be a simple answer like “they were being really rude towards me”
  2. I then consider with all of the “rude” people in the world, why this person specifically may have bothered me so much. This can again be simple, such as “well, she is my cousin” or “this was online and they were completely wrong” or “they directed a lot of hatred towards me”
  3. I then consider myself and my own thoughts/actions. Is this person mirroring anything of mine (past, present, or future?) Are they showing me any aspect of myself that I don’t like, or don’t wish to acknowledge?
  4. I then consider if I am looking to control this person, or their actions. A lot of our feelings are aspects of wanting control– if we are able to let go of wanting the person to be different, or wanting them to be a specific way, we can let a lot of stuff slide. You can even state “I let go of any control I want to have over you or how you are behaving”
  5. Numbers 1-4 should be all you need, but you can move on if you want to consider the deeper implications of things…
  6. Look at the person and consider what age they are acting from. Is it their current age or is it much different? People may act different ages at different times, based on the trauma. During this interaction, what age are they acting from?
  7. Consider why the person may need to act this way. What are they getting out of it? What people exhibit outwardly is often the reverse of how they feel inwardly. For example, if they are acting superior they feel inferior… they are projecting what they want people to see into the world in a way that is crass or difficult because they do not feel that way inwardly
  8. Also consider that emotions exhibited or “pushed” onto other people mean that the person does not have the tools or means to deal with it inwardly, and how their lives must show that displaced energy. Feeling compassion for the amount of chaos and difficulty people create for themselves can be an extraordinarily helpful tool
  9. Sometimes I see the amount of chaos around people like a cyclone– that chaos plays out in their lives. See or sense this cyclone of energy around them and consider how this is exactly how much chaos is in their daily lives.
  10. Now, consider if you need to do anything about it. I suggest letting things go, in general. But if it is particularly abrasive, creating difficulty or chaos for you, or otherwise disruptive to your life, especially if it is repeated behavior, you can either let the person go (no longer interact with them), or you can call them out, simply and directly. Always consider the safety of doing so, but stating something honestly to someone like “I am always here for you, but I choose not to participate in drama”, will have the result of someone either being upset with you and finding someone else to exhibit their behavior to (thus them consciously making the choice to remove themselves from the situation), or in some cases, will allow for them to recognize that you are not willing to accept this behavior and begin to act differently.

I generally will state #10 to people (again, working on bluntness a bit), but even saying this energetically to someone has a similar effect. If you notice someone creating issues, simply saying “no” inwardly to them sounds simple, but can be completely effective. I also suggest people to work on any cords they may have to others, you can check out my cord book here…

Gurus and The Superhero Myth

A man states that ever since a car accident he has healing powers, and photoshops pictures of lightning coming out of his hands…superhero-534120_1920

A man states that there is only one of him in a generation, that he is special with his sense of intuition, only he can have access to source, that those before him couldn’t handle this awesome power, and that what he says will not be found out to be true for decades…

A woman says that she has ET origins and was specifically constructed to be the ideal human sense of beauty…

A woman states that she was saved by dolphins and various sea creatures after almost drowning and now can communicate with them to bring the healing power of Atlantis to others…

I have always been fascinated by mythology, by the stories and patterns that create us. They shape our world; we readily understand repeated myths and unknowingly and unthinkingly accept them.

When the concept of the “guru” first was introduced to mainstream America/a Western audience, it was largely through Eastern thought. These gurus repeated watered down phrases from Babaji, Kriyananda, Muktananda, Ramana Maharshi, Sivananda, Krishnamurti, and others.

This contingent is very much with us, by the way, and will likely never fully disappear. I do realize that people need to start somewhere, and they are not likely to start their journey by picking up a book by Gopi Krishna or Krishnamurti; the thoughts and realizations of Mooji, or Eckhart Tolle, or even Oprah are much more palatable and quite frankly necessary for a beginner.

There is the difficulty of the fact that many people believe that these “watered down” gurus are espousing great truths that they singularly came up with, instead of straight out of a Buddhism 101 text, but that is on the individual student/follower to realize, as well as the individual guru who is claiming quotes and states of mind (or lack thereof) that they may not actually understand or relate to through direct experience.

What has become much more prevalent the last five to ten years is the “superhero” mythology arising within the guru contingent.

Those beginning sentences that I wrote above could be out of the latest comic back, or superhero movie… but they are not. They are from current “gurus” and “spiritual teachers” who are utilizing this mythology as part of their marketing scheme.

It is always difficult to talk about this topic because it is one of those things that people do not like to think critically about. We love to think that there are all-knowing, all-being sorts of humans out there– people who can cure cancer in a glance, or who can answer all of our deep spiritual questions.

We fear the unknown. Many of us are more than willing to give our power away to someone who states that they know everything about death, or about spirituality, or who can heal whatever we are suffering from.

We are in fact used to being powerless. It is very much the Western medical model to give our power to an all-knowing physician, or to give our power to anyone or anything that promises to quickly and with no effort on our part improve our lives. 

My point here is not even about the individual “gurus”– they will come and go as they always do… They will rise up in their mythology much like Icarus, and eventually fall like Icarus, the same cycle that anyone who has to eventually contend with the illusions that they create about themselves has to face.

When we put out any falsehood to the world, we have to contend with it. Either outwardly (something happening, like being “found out” to not be as great as we state we are), or inwardly (a cycle of self-destruction).

This is true for all of us, but is especially true for “spiritual” sorts, as source energy and divinity is not without a sense of ironic humor for those that claim to work a spiritual path without actually realizing one.batman-853110_1920

But what is more important here is the difficult realization that nobody can do our work for us. 

It is so easy to give away our power, to hope and believe and pray that someone has all of the answers that we want. That there are superheroes in our midsts that are not just shiny wrapping paper with nothing underneath.

The truth is that there are wonderful healers out there. Real medicine men. Real spiritual workers. There are people who are consistently with divine energy; people who have formed strong and powerful spiritual alliances over decades; strong seers, diviners, and many others who have some capacity to see, feel, sense, or be “beyond”.

There are those who have increased capacity to do so, and have devoted their lives to spiritual work, to learning spiritual healing (or any type of healing), and can do things that would be so unfathomable to most of our minds that we simply wouldn’t be able to mentally reconcile them.

There are those that can curse with a single glance, have powerful prayers that can heal, and can channel energies that radiate bliss, healing, and love.

But these teachers are humble. They have humility. They realize that what they are in contact with has very little to do with them.

This is the biggest difference here. If there is arrogance, or superiority, the person likely isn’t in contact with anything. Nobody is the sole contact to God. Even if you have devoted your life to a spiritual path, even if you have the best and largest and most powerful spiritual connections, you know everything about spiritual and energetic healing, you have traversed realms that nobody can think of… an interesting thing happens…

You realize how small and insignificant you are.

This is how I mark who a true teacher is, who a true guru is. Because until someone realizes this, they are only at a certain point on their spiritual path. They don’t yet realize that not everything is about them. They do not yet realize that the universe, and the spiritual realms, are an extraordinarily large place and no matter how large we are, how important we are (or how much we wish to believe this), that we are actually small.

This is a state that people get to when they recognize oneness, by the way. Without humility we cannot experience true spiritual flow, we cannot surpass where we are. Anyone who has come into contact with something way beyond their selves will realize how small they are in comparison. How they are a helper, or tool, to be utilized by vast energies. How they are simply of service, just like the person down the street is of service by being a teacher, or a plumber, or a factory worker.

You also realize that people healing has nothing to do with you.

I have been a “healer” for a fairly long time now. I have trained (excessively) and devoted a lot of my life to learning how to heal– learning the techniques and understanding the precepts behind spiritual, energetic, emotional, and physical healing.

There was a time that I thought that if I could just learn the right techniques that I could help everyone who came to me.

But this isn’t true, not by a longshot.

The truth of it is that people need to be ready to heal, they need to be ready for healing… to move on with their lives, to move forward. Allopathic (Western) medicine can force or quiet a “storm”– force things in a state of balance (this is no slam towards western medicine, that is what it is good at) but spiritual healing, emotional healing, and energy work requires that the person be ready for it.

Until someone wants to heal, or until someone is ready to heal, they will not heal.

I realize that that sounds like a strong statement, and the first thought is “well, who wouldn’t want to heal”, but we are all composed of forces. We may have parts of us that are healthy, that very much wish for us to be healthy, to move forward in our lives, to surrender, to heal, to be completely and fully who we are in our lives.

We also have forces that are protective, instinctual, traumatized, and self-destructive. Parts of us that are afraid of moving on– of what will happen if we let of of the “known” (even if it is a difficult “known”).

The healthy aspects of ourselves need to want something more than the warring forces, or the protective forces. Unless we are clear enough and ready enough to will ourselves to move through our own healing process, it is likely that the “stuck” forces will win.

wonder-woman-1016324_1920This has little to do with the healer, by the way, or their energy. 

A wonderful healer can do so much more for us than an adequate healer, by the way. So if we are ready for healing and go to an educated, sensitive, and skilled healer the results can be phenomenal.

But a guru can have the most intense, “highest vibration” energy in the Universe. One person may come into their presence and their entire body will start shaking– they will be forever changed. The next person won’t feel anything. Although a simple example, this happens in healing all the time. One person may be ready, willing, and able to move forward with their lives, to become healthier, more stable, and so forth.. and the next person is not.

The healthier we become, the more energy we have on the “healed” side, the easier it is for us to have a basis or grounding in health. Which can help us through some difficult times, as well as help us to work through the rest of the “gunk” that is preventing us from moving forward, or finding health.

Healing is different than curing, as an aside. We may die in a healed state, in a whole state. Spiritual work looks at things much differently in this regard than allopathic medicine.

But the false guru will point back towards themselves, and how great they are. Their healing work, or whatever they are saying or doing is about them.

Anyone who heals should be commended. Those internal forces have decided it was time to move forward. It is on the individual to heal, and although a guru or healer can be a catalyst, it is an internal decision on the part of the decision to heal. They have done the work.

We consistently look for these outer forces to tell us who to be, what to do. We allow for them to construct larger than life mythologies about themselves, stories that make absolutely no sense when looked at logically. And these gurus consistently become well-known because we give them our power and our money.

As a last aside, I will say that I regularly meet people who are powerful, who have contact with forces, source energy, channel, are highly psychic, can heal with the best of them. I have no doubt that there are people who can do things that still put me in a state of awe (which is fairly hard to do these days), because I have met them, or I sense them. They are out there.

But when we see a guru, or a spiritual teacher, they should be allowing us to look inward. While we each have our “story” about how we came to be, a reliance on things like the “superhero mythology” is often taking advantage of current popular culture and movies to sell us on a spirituality that may be little more than a shiny wrapped box with a bow with nothing inside.

We all need teachers, mentors, healers, and communities. But we should also be aware, and logical, and think about things critically. Look beyond the messages and the wrapping and see if the message resonates, see if the person seems authentic. See if there is humility, if their story lines up, if their energy/vibe lines up. See if they are pointing towards you, and you doing work… or if they are pointing towards themselves. One of my teachers used to say “if someone says that they know all of the answers in the Universe, run the other direction”. I find that to be true. If we can look beyond the trends we can find real teachers, real healers, and find the depths of what we are looking for. We may just need to be ready for it to happen.