As men, we pride ourselves in being manly men…and NOT girly men (as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say). For most guys, the mere suggestion that we are gay or "pussy" is a huge insult. As a result, the average guy is extremely resistant to anything relating to being "not manly."
This means anything feminine and especially anything overtly gay. Could this attitude being holding us back when it comes to women and dating? Could it be holding us back in our work and career? Could it be the reason we get stuck in addictions and self-sabotage?
For myself, I have only been with women my whole life (and I plan to keep it that way) yet I have come to the inner realization that so much of my energy was pushing against gayness and being feminine…thinking they were the same thing, and even worse thinking they were wrong.
This was a HUGE mistake.
For several years, I embarked on a deep spiritual journey into the depths of the psyche (that's how this blog came into being). Part of spiritual work is the ability to completely surrender to a high power…an act that requires being open and accepting to feminine energy within one's self.
As I gave myself full permission to explore the feminine energy, I found an entirely new world open to me. An incredibly soothing, relaxing, calmness washed over me. I discovered a deep acceptable of myself and others, and a feeling of fulfillment – something I had been searching for in women, booze, and other quick fixes.
It was as if a second half of me was born.
In fact, it did. As a newborn, I had to tend to this part of me; actively grow and nurture it until it could stand on it's own. I watched as this part of me grew from a baby to a child, then a teenager, and then an adult.
Each step, requiring active care and attention. By the time it reached what I consider "mature adulthood", my relationships with women completely changed.
Women responded to me totally differently. They trusted me almost instantly. They enjoyed my company, and I enjoyed theirs. I loved women and I loved being around them.
As I stepped back into the masculine, having integrated this part of me, I refocused on developing my sex drive and sexual attraction with women. My life had transformed. Meeting and dating women was so natural and effortless because I genuinely cared for each women I met and dated.
As I began coaching guys to get to this similar success, I realized many of them were getting stuck and not reaching the same lifestyle and mindset I had. As I looked back, I began to figure out a huge piece of the puzzle…
As I had progressed in developing my feminine side, there were many moments where I was acutely aware of how much the average guy is deathly afraid of being gay. It's so extreme, it's laughable. It's like – if you're attracted to women, who cares what someone else says about you?! Seriously, why does it trigger such rage in most guys?
My theory goes like this.
When we're young, we have feminine and masculine characteristics as kids, and parents etc. allow and expect this. When puberty hits, now it's time to MAN UP and start forgetting our childish ways. As those hormones pump through our body and our sex drive kicks in, we self identify with everything masculine and deny everything feminine. Our culture also pushes us along this path.
This is where we cut off a part of us.
As we get older, we find ourselves slaves to being the man – earning the money, working, getting stronger, always performing and never resting. It's completely unsustainable.
We need to find a woman to help us recover, to nurture us, and to help us get the inner strength that we so desperately have cut off. We become dependent on women, and so begins the drama of relationships in which our neediness is constantly strangling the woman and her neediness does the same to the guy.
Instead, if a guy can welcome feminine energy within himself, he unlocks the key to transformation.
Why is this so?
Think about it. How does any man become great at anything? He learns and practices it until he masters it.
Yet think about what that entails… To learn something, we must admit that we don't know it…and that someone else does. We then engage in a teacher/student relationship.
WE HAVE TO ENTER A FEMININE STATE TO LEARN.
The more readily we can receive a teaching from a wiser older teacher, the faster we can use it in our own life. Of course, we need the masculine side to claim it and own it within ourself once we do have it, yet so many young guys go straight to this step and skip the receiving part.
"I already know that" or "I get it already", they spend as little time as possible in the uncomfortable stage of learning something new (for fear of being awkward) and try to skip straight to the "I'm a badass".
There are so many wiser and more experienced men with gifts to share and so many young guys who will never receive those gifts because they unconsciously block out feminine energy from their mind and try to be the man.
Gifts of insights, of mindsets, of skills, of shortcut techniques, of powerful leverage. When you start to get how this works, you can see how much faster it is to learn from a master rather than trying to "figure it out myself".
It's light-years faster to learn from a master.
We know this from Star Wars – in order to be the Jedi, we have to train with Yoda, and yes he is going to embarrass us by exposing our weaknesses yet that is ultimately to help us become the Jedi Master.
Unfortunately most guys are not willing to go through this.
The resistance to the idea of gayness is the sign of this. I don't go around celebrating gayness, since it's really not part of my life, but I am totally fine with other people doing their thing.
In psychology, this can be interpreted as the older and wiser man imparting his psychological gifts to the younger man. Similar to how a man's love for his mother is actually symbolic of a deep desire to re-enter the achetypal womb and transform himself in a newer and greater self (rather than Freud's limited and sexually-fixated theory of Oedipus).
Here's a funny video showing how a simple touch can push a guy to anger so easily (I'm dying every time I watch this lol):
So much of the world seems to be run by desire.
We see it on the tv everyday: new cars, new clothes, new gadgets. In magazines we see the ideal mate, the ideal body, the ideal social life.
It seems as though a wantingness arises within us automatically and we often find ourselves chasing a fantasy.
Punctuated between the moments of times when we actually get what we want (or what we thought we wanted), we may ask ourselves…Will this really make me happy?
If we have the courage to look deeper, there may even arise a realization that nothing we “get” can actually bring us happiness.
So, naturally, the next question that comes up is, “What will bring me happiness?” Or even, “What is happiness?”
The energy of desire…
It can fuel our deepest dreams or it can create a proverbial carrot on a stick that seems to always be just out of reach.
In my own life, I’ve progressed from being unconsciously driven by my desires to surrendering them to a deeper purpose (though it’s still an ongoing process).
Through this process, my understanding of desire has transformed. Where earlier in my life I was enslaved by this energy, now I am empowered by it.
I’ve come to learn to differentiate the desire born out of our animal (or human) nature versus desire born out of our spirit (or higher self).
In this article I hope to share with you the differences between the two, as well as methods to release unwanted desires and instead create the space for inspiring desires to come into your life.
I call the desire that arises out of our animal/human side a Craving.
It’s a naturally occuring part of our evolution and maturation to move through this level of desire.
Basically, a craving is a deep, often unconscious, extreme wantingness.
It is a powerfully emotional experience in which it seems as though the body itself has the wantingness.
It originates in the solar plexus (a couple inches above the belly button) and it feels like one is trying to “pull” that which it desires to itself.
This craving is actually born out of our human evolution in which our survival rested in the ability to “get” from the outside world – “get” food, “get” a mate, “get” territory, etc.
This paradigm of “getting” creates the reality that one is inherently insufficient as one is, that one needs something or someone else to survive.
This process actually creates the illusion that survival depends on our ability to “acquire”. Because of this, a person in this energy field is very fearful and competitive.
Questions arise such as, “What happens if I can’t get enough stuff?” or “What happens if someone takes my stuff?”
It is a never ending cycle of neediness and fear – if one doesn’t have, they crave what they “need”, if one does have, then they are afraid they might lose it.
One is never at peace; they can never rest.
Not only that, this desire and this fear is actually arising out of one’s own consciousness or energy field (even though it looks like it is happening “out there”).
So when one “acquires” what they want, they may receive momentary satisfaction but they are not truly fulfilled and will immediately go back to craving something else.
Happiness is always out of reach.
We see this type of craving all over.
One example is getting caught up in the search for social status.
Most young people, especially men, have never been taught how to actually love themselves on a daily basis (or even that it’s a worthwhile virtue). I know because this is how I was.
We often find ourselves falling into the culture’s path for us.
What does this path entail? What does it say is the way to happiness?
My interpretation of it is this-
For a man, it is his job, no his responsibility, to accumulate a lot of money (now don’t get me wrong money is great in a different context, which I explain in a minute). Not only that, he’s gotta be cool, a ladies man. Now to do that, he’s gotta be a rough and tough badass. This means he’s gotta be able to fight, drink, and sleep with as many hot women as possible.
To do that, being big and buff is a key part, as well as having the right “hook-ups” and a kickass social life. Also, the guy better not show any of those “girly” emotions or show any weakness or imperfections.
Oh man, that whole scenarios is a total joke!
I was caught up in much of that for years. I would go to the gym and take protein 5 times a week to “get buff”. I would spend all my money on booze and partying on the weekends. I would hook up with 1 or 2 or even 3 girls some nights out so that I could feel like a “cool guy”.
How about emotions? Ha! Forget that pansy stuff. “I like beer violent videogames and straight up logic”.
Ultimately, I began to realize the more I “acquired”, the worse my quality of life became. The more social status I got, the less fulfilling my relationships became.
The more beer I could “pound”, the worse my health became. The more time I dedicated to kickass videogames, the more my life lacked purpose.
It seemed like I wanted more and more, yet no matter what I got, my life didn’t change for the better. (Keep in mind though, that none of these activites are “bad” or “wrong”, it’s simply how I was using them that was draining me – I was using them to fill a void within).
Slowly a new form of energy started to rise up within me – A new form of desire, one that I describe as a Calling.
This new energy seemed to work in exactly the opposite way as the craving energy that had consumed my life earlier.
Instead of trying to pull my desires to me, this energy was pulling me to it!
Instead of a driven, frantic wantingness, this new energy was relaxing, peaceful, and fulfilling.
Instead of overwhelming emotions coming from my torso, it was a subtle and all encompassing shift in awareness, as if I was being enveloped in a borderless ball of silent energy.
It didn’t seem to originate from the body so much as from the heart, or the soul.
The more that I tuned into this energy and listened to it, the more it began to take over my life…for the better.
When I would drink beer with my buddies, I would feel this pull to let go of alcohol all together. Thoughts such as “What would it be like if I did?” seemed to lovingly challenge me.
Questions began to arise such as “What could I do with my life if I wasn’t always playing videogames?” or, “What would a truly loving relationship look like?”
I soon found out that the way to use this energy to transform myself was to surrender to it and let it go to work.
I had to, (and still have to), continuously let go of trying to control everything.
I had to let go of old habits, old relationships, and old beliefs that limited me.
I had to open myself to doing things I never imagined myself doing, like doing healing work one on one with family members in need. (As a computer technician and web designer, I would have never imagined myself doing this type of work).
As this process unfolded (and continues to unfold), my quality of life has jumped so tremendously I am still amazed.
Throughout my studies, I have come to discover that this process literally changes one’s brain chemistry.
That by making the choice to actively love myself, mend my relationships, and hold my life to a higher standard of living, that my brain actually creates a very high amount of of biochemicals like endorphin and serotonin, resulting in feelings of peace and joy nearly all the time.
With that kind of stuff pumping through you (without the guilt or hangover of drugs), it’s pretty hard to stay mad at others or get in fights.
What I’ve discovered is that a calling is basically like having your soul suddenly evolve to a new level of consciousness, then having those changes transfer down to the personality.
In this way, your higher self has already evolved, it’s simply a matter a bringing that new state into being.
I like to imagine this process like a parent helping a child to walk for the first time. As the child stands up, the parent walks backward, while facing the child, urging it to take one more step towards them yet they are still within reach in case the child falls.
Many of the times these callings will ask you to do something that makes absolutely no sense…to the mind. In fact, I think a big part of it is to help you develop your spiritual backbone because you will have to listen to the voice within rather than the voices of your friends, family, and society.
A perfect example of this is in the movie “A Field of Dreams” in which Kevin Costner’s character hears the inner voice, (his soul), calling on him with “if you build it, they will come”. Of course, it makes no sense, but he follows it and the miraculous unfolds magically.
That is what starts to happen when you surrender to your calling.
One question that may arise is, “How can we differentiate between the voice of our soul and the voice of the mind?”
This is a crucial one, since you don’t want to be listening to those voices that judge you, belittle you, or lead you off to activities that waste your energy.
The thing with spirit is that it doesn’t compete for your attention. It is the softest, yet strongest, voice within you.
The voice of the mind, and that of instinctual emotions, rise up with a force that demands you listen to it and all its power is in the short term. The voice can say one thing today and the complete opposite tomorrow.
It is chaotic and frantic, going in all directions and is influenced by others and by its environment whereas the voice of spirit is consistent, ever present, and infinitely compassionate.
The best way to hear spirit is to become clear.
How do we do this?
I’ve done this in many different ways. The easiest way was to start to let go of all unnecessary media sources: tv, music, news papers, blogs. I only consume the media that I know is good energy.
I used to always be reading sites like digg, and staying up to date with the latest happenings in the paper and on tv but I realized that I actually didn’t need any of it.
I forgot that news is a business and their top priority is not necessarily my well-being. As I stepped back, I could begin to see how often each headline was crafted to engage my emotional survival system.
Now, I hardly read any blogs, almost never check the news, and mostly only watch a few tv shows or baseball games. I’ve found that all those voices within, the ones that were driving me all over the place, have begun to quiet down.
Now I am driven to a much higher degree by my callings rather than my cravings.
When done in this way, it doesn’t matter so much about the activities, because now the attitude toward them is healthier.
This means I can work out and develop a healthy body, build wealth, or do any of those other actions that I had given up, and it will be in a way that supports me rather than drains me.
The reason is because it will be within a context in which the source of fulfillment is in the process rather than the end.
I can find joy in working out because the working out itself is the end (the healthy body and other benefits are just a bonus).
When I would be doing something I didn’t like for what I would supposedly “gain” at the end, I was selling out my spirit for an illusion.
The more we can reclaim our spirit from these journeys down the path of illusion, the more integrated we become.
All our power becomes aligned within us; it’s a great feeling.
So how does one let go of cravings and allow one’s calling to arise?
Of course, I first recommend things like Emotional Freedom Technique, Tapas Acupressure Technique, A Course in Miracles, Holosync, Yoga or Gi Gong, and The Work of Byron Katie.
Another very simple technique that I am now starting to use is as follows –
When a craving comes up such as seeing a “hot chick” and feeling that caveman-like urge of “I want her”. Feel into it, let go of any and all resistance of this cravingness. Let the sensations come up, even welcome it and ask for it all to be brought up.
It will often feel like a pulling sensation in one’s gut or solar plexus – a neediness. Let it flow through you without judgement and just observe it. Notice where it is happening and what it feels like.
This energy is coming out of our animal/human nature and as such it is limited, so eventually it will run out.
As you continually do this process of allowing and observing with awareness, you will begin to transcend the desire itself. It will literally unlatch itself from your energy field and you will fee freer, lighter, and more alive.
As you keep releasing, you create space within you for your true calling to surface and began to pull you in the direction of your highest potential – which I guarantee, you will be in for the ride of your life.
You will find life a continuous and joyous ride of exciting and unexpected twists and turns. Sort of like your own amusement park.
How have you tapped into your deeper calling?
Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section.
Also, here are some programs that I recommend to help you release cravings and tap into your inner calling:
This is one of those questions that can be a very sensitive topic for many people.
Who is God? Or better yet, What is God?
I know for me, the meaning of this question has changed quite profoundly in the past few years.
Like many in the west, I seemed to have this notion of a judging, watchful, man in the sky who would dole out punishment to those who did “wrong” and help those who did “right”.
I can understand when people question “if there even is a God” or reject the ideas that were handed down to them earlier in life.
What is God?
For one thing, God is subjective; a little different to each person. To some it is a silly fantasy, while to others, a lifelong companion.
For most of Western man’s history, the way to know God was through a middleman – a priest, rabbi, or otherwise holyman.
For the average person, the experience of God was just not a possibility, let alone a part of their life.
Because of this setup, most men had to rely on their designated holy man to guide them in spiritual matters.
Of course, in their humanness, there were some who misunderstood or misused their position and overtime this notion of God became a mixed bag of ideas, agendas, misunderstandings, and wisdom.
Soon a dogma formed around “God” and many positionalities became entrenched in some of the organizations and people.
(A dogma, in my opinion, is a strict adherence to an idea of which the person does not have any direct experience regarding. A positionality is the state in which a perspective is skewed to one polarity, or side, of the mind, which blocks out a large, opposing, part of reality).
Fast forward to today and we see a new definition of “God”. As we stop relying on outside sources to tell us what our own personal spirituality is, we begin to take our power back.
No longer is God an idea or a belief system…rather God becomes a direct experience.
What is God?
To me, when I sit quietly, close my eyes and calm my mind, I allow my awareness to fade out. I let all that is going on in the world drift out of my mind and I become open.
Soon I feel a presence, a feeling within me yet also encompassing me. I feel a connection, a communion is you will, with an intelligent field of pure love engolfing my being.
My awareness extends beyond my personal self and I begin to feel as if I am going up, not up as “in to the sky” but more “back” as if I were drifting out of this dimension of existence.
In these moments, it feels as though all is well, and a powerful peace encompasses my awareness. I feel a deep and personal love; a 2 way love going out and coming in.
I am the giver and the receiver all at once.
Waves of blissful energy pulsate through my body and for a moment, I am home.
Then I return to my world, but this time, I bring more of that loving state of peace with me.
And every once in a while, during my day to day life, I will run into someone who says “God doesn’t exist” or who “Isn’t sure about God”.
And I smile, knowing that they are really just releasing an outdated concept; a belief system.
I know that as they search for their own truth, they will come to experience that same presence as I have.
With this awareness, there is no longer any question about it. There is nothing for me to argue or defend. Instead, I just allow…and trust.
All IS well.
I know that this question of “what is God” is a reflection of our relationship with our own inner masculine energy.
Do we deny it? Or do we realize our own true nature?
I know that as our culture finds what true masculine power is and begins to heal it, it will come face to face with this question of “What is God”.
For God is the ultimate masculine, the unmanifest, the silent presence…”The Father”.
As we heal our relationshiop with God, through direct experience, we begin to integrate true masculine power.
As we do that, we also begin to integrate our deepest purpose and, simultaneously, start to live from our authentic, loving, and joyful Self.
Are we more empowered when we say "Yes" or "No" to life?
What role does our peer group play in our ability to choose?
How do we manage our energy in such a way that each choice strengthens us and improves our life?
I recently had a chance to see the movie "Yes Man" with Jim Carrey and I gotta say I really enjoyed it.
It's good to see him back doing comedies again and it's also good to see a movie with an overall positive message and uplifting vibration.
One thing that amused me during the film was the whole concept of being a "Yes Man" and how Jim Carrey's character seemed to empower himself and improve his life by saying "Yes" to more and more requests from others.
It was funny because, in my experience, it has been the complete opposite.
Don't get me wrong, there is definitely a good side to being open to life and to be able to give a full yes with all of our being, yet I've come to learn that this is only possible if we can also give a full no if the situation calls for it.
"No" is one of the most empowering words in the human language.
Every time we take back our power, we say "No" to something we are no longer choosing and in that moment we are becoming conscious.
In those times when we say "No" to something that we have unconsciously said "Yes" to for all the years past, we are waking up and reclaiming a part of our spirit.
In every full "No", there is the seed of a full "Yes" to something else.
When we have the inner strength to say "No", it is because we have decided what we are no longer willing to accept in our life, and instead, we have figured out what we do want in life and we will not compromise our spirit in the meantime for anything less.
Many of us fall into doing things because they are easy, comfortable, and safe, even though they are not what our soul longs for.
We often do things because that's how everyone does it in our social group and we've never consciously chosen these things for ourselves.
Other times we do things because those we depend on choose for us and we may not be strong enough to withstand their disapproval or rejection.
In all of these situations, when we gather enough courage to break free from these outside authorities and consciously choose for ourselves, often it is in the form of a solid and unwavering "No".
Saying "No" is like a tool for inner energy management, a door that we close to all things that are not in alignment with our inner being.
It is the guardian of our inner integrity; a way to silence the cries of need that come out of fear and insecurity.
What you say "No" to in life determines how you use this divine currency known as choice.
Let me give you an example to illustrate this idea.
For many years during college and afterwards, I would party with my friends at bars, clubs and other events. We drank a lot of alcohol, of course. In fact, it didn't matter as much where we went so long that we got drunk and had a good time.
I had many good times doing this (though my health was suffering), yet I don't really remember there being a point where I said "Yes, I'm choosing this drinking/partying lifestyle" (from a deeper level, that is). I just sort of fell into it since this is how everyone in my social group did it.
Only this past year did I start to question this pattern of excessive drinking and start to separate myself from it. I soon realized that almost everything revolved around drinking and that there were many "issues" under the surface that pushed one to drink.
As I healed these "issues" within me through constant use of things like EFT, TAT, Holosync, and other spiritual practices, I started to not feel so driven to drink.
I also realized that I was not honoring my body, my physical tool for bringing divinity into physical form, by drinking so much.
Eventually I realized that I felt so good normally (both physically and because of the self-love), that drinking actually made me feel worse without any of the "high" that I used to get.
After I realized this, it became time to strengthen my backbone…by saying "No".
I began to turn away drinks, or spend nights out with friends at bars and clubs completely sober.
Sure, I would get flack from the guys about not drinking and at the beginning I would sometimes cave and drink a few, but eventually my inner "No" became more powerful than their outer "Yes".
(In fact, I think that sometimes our friends will put a lot of pressure on us if we try to improve our lives because it subtly means that they will have to face all the issues they have been avoiding or denying in themselves, but that is another story).
Now it's at the point where any outer "Yes" is so quiet, if someone throws one out there or tries to pressure me in anyway, I either laugh it off or don't even give it a second thought.
One thing that I notice as I hang out with my friends while embodying this choice to not drink, is that just by my example and presence, something in them is waking up. They are starting to question this need to drink, yet now they have someone who can anchor this reality for them.
I truly believe the most powerful catalyst for change comes from living the change yourself.
Your example, as communicated by your presence alone, is potent enough to wake up the hearts of those around you (even though their minds may resist you at first).
The way to embody your powerful presence starts with consciously choosing "No" to all things that drain you.
This applies not just to addictions but also to relationships, thought patterns, habits, and any area of your life where your power of choice resides outside of you.
Keep in mind, also, that I'm not saying "No" to alcohol itself, but rather to a tribal belief system or the way in which alcohol is used.
We never say "No" to the specific substances, person or activity at hand, we are saying "No" to the energy field which determines the role these things play in our life.
In my case, I was not saying "No" to the alcohol because "it's wrong to drink alcohol" or anything like that, I was saying "No" to the underlying energy field that subconsciously says that alcohol is the way to have fun and is the answer to life's problems.
See, this is where people get caught up. They think that breaking free of an addiction means never using that drug again or never seeing that person to whom they've given away their power.
So they avoid that specific substance or person and think they are healed or "clean", until one day they find a new substance or enter a new relationship and they find themselves in the same addictive power struggle all over again.
The root cause is never the outer substance or person (they are just a trigger), it's the underlying energy field that we have not yet evolved out of; the context of how one relates to the world.
Make one conscious choice to let go of a type of addiction and you've let them all go, for good.
Two people can be having a beer in the same bar, yet be in two completely different worlds on the inside.
The path of empowerment comes to us as a process of waking up to this inner world and using this awareness to make better choices; one's that lead to peace, happiness, and self-love.
Can we be spiritual and rich at the same time?
Many spiritual students confuse money and the attachment to money.
Money itself is just a tool or a convenience; a means by which energy takes shape temporarily before it transforms into something else.
The attachment to money, on the other hand, is the notion that money is the source of wealth, happiness, and fulfillment.
It's the belief that our wealth and power lie outside of ourselves; in numbered pieces of paper or shiny clumps of metal.
This attachment leads to the belief that the means justifies the end. It's an attitude that makes attaining money the purpose and reason for life.
If we experience frustration and lack in this area, chances are we are acting from a place of need and attachment.
When we are attached to money, we pursue it.
During this pursuit, life passes us by. When life passes us by, we have sacrificed our true purpose (to live life to the fullest) for an empty and unfulfilling illusion.
I came to fully understand this whole idea of attachment to money one day when I was skateboarding through my neighborhood.
I often go cruising down the quiet suburban streets to get a breathe of fresh air, enjoy the day, and get the energy in the body moving.
This particular day, as I was enjoying the sights, sounds, and people, I happened to glance down and see a small shiny round object on the ground.
I stopped, got off my board and walked toward it. It was a quarter. Pleasantly surprised, I smiled and thanked the universe for this gift and kept on riding.
I had gone not even 50 feet and I saw another shiny round object on the ground. This time a dime. "Cool!" I thought to myself, and thanked the universe again.
I continued on my way, turned the corner and yet again I found another coin, a quarter!
I laughed to myself in happy amazement and kept riding.
In the the span of about 10 minutes I found a total of 8 coins, nearly all of them in different spots. Three quarters, 2 dimes, and 3 pennies for a total of 98 cents.
It was almost unbelievable to find all these coins in such a short time when I wasn't even looking for them in the first place.
After the 8th coin, I began to notice a few things happen. For one, I began to think "this is just too unusual, I'm getting too lucky."
It was like a subconscious closing off to receiving the gifts of the universe. It was like my mind was giving me a reality check (and in the process blocking the miraculous).
It was as if my mind had reached a threshold of how many "lucky coins" I was mentally willing to accept into my concept of reality.
Secondly, I noticed that as I kept riding, I was no longer basking in the cool breeze, enjoying the unique personalities of each house, feeling joy at the natural arrangements of plants, trees, and people.
Instead, my eyes began to scan the ground, actively searching for the next coin; the next mini-treasure.
My mind switched into acquire mode with the goal of finding and attaining more money.
Instead of being in a state of peace, joy and appreciation, a state of being in harmony with spirit and attracting abundance; I became consumed by this instinctual seeking, a state which neglected abundance and focused primarily on acquiring.
My head was down as my attention became fixated on the passing gravel, potholes, and leaf-filled gutters. Without coins, this world looked dark, barren, and unpleasant. It lacked life, it lacked the vibrancy of spirit, of light and creation.
When I realized what had happened I snapped out of it. I thought to myself, "Wow, I've lost track of what was truly valuable to me; the real reason I came out today. I went for a ride to see the sights; to enjoy the beauty of creation as expressed in these plants, houses, and people; to feel the joy and exhilaration that comes from riding.
The universe gave me a few gifts and since I was still attached to money, I got caught up in acquiring more. This searching resulted in me neglecting the whole purpose of coming out in the first place. And it also closed me off from receiving more."
Then that animal part of me argued its case, "No! I must keep looking for coins. I might miss one if I am not looking down at the ground."
This brings up a key component to spiritual work; faith. The ability to let go and trust the universe.
How did I first find the coin? Was I deliberately searching for money by scanning the ground? No. I was enjoying the scenery, in a state of peace and I suddenly felt the urge to look down at the precise moment that I passed a coin on the ground.
The universe had nudged me to pick it up.
So now I could choose to turn over this chance of finding another coin to the universe and go on with observing the beauty around me, trusting that I will receive another nudge if I pass a coin; or I could choose to take matters into my own hands and actively scan the ground, neglecting my original purpose in riding and even put my own safety at risk (since I will not be watching for traffic as well while scanning the ground).
As much as I wanted to only look up and enjoy the ride like I had when I first started, it was a bit of a challenge. The ego kept directing my eyes to the ground in search of money; almost addicted to possibility of the pleasure that comes from attaining it. I had to consciously keep bringing my attention back up.
This story is a perfect anecdote for our life and our relationship with money (or anything else that gives us pleasure).
When we get a taste of something good, it's instinctual to begin to seek more of it. Yet it is the seeking itself that drives it further away from us and leads us into suffering, lack, and unhappiness.
This is why I said fulfillment is found not through attainment but by letting go. In the letting go, we are releasing our attachment to that which we have sought after.
When the seeking is released, we come back to our inherent energy of peace, joy, and abundance. It is in this state that all these gifts come to us.
Life is meant to be enjoyed and lived to the fullest.
As life gives us these wonderful gifts, we can allow ourselves to appreciate them in that moment.
When we realize that the source of our abundance is within and let go of attaching to any outside source, we are free to enjoy the simple and extravagant gifts that life has to offer.
From here, we will be open to anything that comes our way.
Have you ever been relaxing by yourself, maybe reading or watching tv while completely at peace, when suddenly a thought pops in your head.
"My life doesn't have a purpose. I need to do something productive or my life will just waste away."
Where did this thought come from?
More importantly, how does a thought like this make us feel?
For me, when a thought like this comes up, I feel anxious and start to put a lot of pressure on myself. My body becomes uncomfortable and I get agitated.
I may keep doing what I'm doing or I may push myself into action in order to feel produtive (which usually ends in more stress in the form of multi-tasking and not really getting anything major accomplished).
Where did this stress come from?
Is it because we have not attained all those things in life we believe to be important such as the ideal body, career, and social life?
Perhaps if we got all those things, the stress that we feel will go away too….right?
Or maybe it was simply the thought "My life doesn't have purpose" that was the problem to begin with.
Could it be that all our stress is caused, not by our life's circumstances but by our thoughts about our life's circumstances?
Could it be possible to find peace in our life right now without changing anything except our thinking?
According to Byron Katie, it's not only possible, it's the most practical way for many of us to find peace in any given moment.
Byron Katie is the creator of The Work, a method of self-inquiry that ends the negative thought spiral of the mind.
Simply put any stressful thought up against 4 questions and watch as truth rises up and transforms stress into peace.
In the midst of an ordinary life (2 marriages, 3 children, and a successful career), Katie began a downward spiral into rage, paranoia, and despair.
Becoming nearly bedridden and severly depressed, she checked herself into a halfway house and end up living in the attic room (since the other residents were so afraid of her).
One morning in 1986, 43 year-old Byron Katie woke up without any concept of who she was. As she describes it from her book "Loving What is":
"There was no me. All my rage, all the thoughts that had been troubling me, my whole world, the whole world, was gone. At the same time, laughter welled up from the depths and just poured out. Everything was unrecognizable.
It was as if something else had woken up. It opened its eyes. It was looking through Katie's eyes. And it was so delighted! It was intoxicated with joy. There was nothing separate, nothing unacceptable to it; everything was its very own self."
Her family and friend were amazed at the seemingly miraculous transformation and asked her what happened. Katie said that a freedom had woken up insider her and through a process of inner questioning, she realized all her old thoughts were untrue.
Byron Katie has no specific religious or spiritual affiliation, she says that she is a "lover of reality."
Through a few basic concepts, 4 questions, and a turnaround, anyone else can become a lover of reality as well. She calls this process "The Work" or just self-inquiry.
The following concepts lay the foundation for getting the most out of self-inquiry.
Noticing When Your Thoughts Argue With Reality
Most of our stress comes from attaching to thoughts that argue with reality.
Have you ever tried to train a cat to bark?
You could spend hours becoming frustrated and angry trying to train a cat to bark and it will still only be able to "meow."
It wouldn't make much sense in stressing ourselves over this situation because a cat can only be what it is; a cat.
The minute we demand the cat act like a dog, we are arguing with reality and the result is a feeling of stress.
This example seems obvious but in one form or another, our stress comes from asking others to be something that they are not; it's just like asking the cat to bark.
Staying In Your Own Business
From "Loving What is":
"I can find only three kinds of business in the universe: mine, yours, and God's. (For me, the word God means "reality." Reality is God because it rules. Anything that's out of my control, your control, and everyone else's control – I call that God's business.)
Much of our stress comes from mentally living out of our own business. When I think, "You need to get a job, I want you to be happy, you should be on time, you need to take better care of yourself." I am in your business. When I am worried about earthquakes, floods, wars, or when I will die, I am in God's business.
If I am mentally in your business or God's business, the effect is separation."
When we feel negative emotions and stress, that is a sign that we are not staying in our own business.
Becoming Aware of Your Stories
Thoughts themselves are not the problem. It's the attachment to the thoughts that create suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing it to be true without questioning it.
Combine enough of these un-investigated beliefs together and you have a story; a big theory that tells us what everything means.
Say for example, you're at a party with some friends and you are introduced to someone. As you both talk, you notice the other person seems distant and uninterested and you eventually part ways with each other.
What does this mean?
That you are boring? That they are boring?
Our story (the collection of thoughts that we are attached to) tells us what the event means.
If our story is that we've always been awkward in social situations, then this even will just reinforce that story and we will feel negative emotion.
If our story is that we are fun and interesting and if we don't get along with someone else, then it probably just wasn't meant to be and we spared by their departure.
The key idea is that it's not what happens to us in life that causes suffering, it's "What story are we attaching to?"
How can we tell if we are buying into a story that's working against us? We feel negative emotion.
Anytime we feel bad, that's a signal that it's time to question the story we are telling ourselves.
This is what the process of inquiry is all about; investigating our stories until we find our truth.
When truth is found, peace is the result.
Judge Your Neighbor
To start inquiry, it's best to begin with our beliefs about others and then move onto our beliefs about ourselves and everything else. This is done through what's called a Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet (available from thework.com).
If you'd like, print out and complete the worksheet on someone who's been stressing you out lately. As you fill out each statement, allow yourself to be as honest and judgmental as possible. This way we get the ego on paper which allows for a better chance at finding our truth (so the ego won't be able to backwards rationalize).
Inquiry: The 4 Questions
When you're finished, put each statement up against the four questions. Instead of just answering each quickly with the mind, genuinely ask the question and wait for an answer.
The goal is to allow the answers to come from our heart rather than our mind.
The mind knows only duality whereas the heart speaks from our inner knowing; our true self.
Question 1: Is It True?
Genuinely ask yourself if the statement you are working on is true. Don't pay attention to other's belief systems or what is sopposed to be true from a right or wrong viewpoint but see if you can find your answer. If the answer is "no" or "I don't know", go on to question 3, otherwise go to the next question.
Question 2: Can You Absolutely Know That It's True?
Can you really know that this is true, with the universe's infinite intelligence and immeasurable factors? Can you really know how the situation will play out in the end? Perhaps there is a purpose in that which you are resisting.
Question 3: How Do You React WHen You Think That Thought?
What happens to you when this thought comes up? What do you feel, physically, in your body (tightness, tingling, etc)? How do you treat others? How do you treat yourself? What actions do you take?
Question 4: Who Would You Be Without The Thought?
Close your eyes and wait. Imagine for a moment, that it is not possible to think that thought even in the midst of that person or situation. What do you feel? What is it like? What would life be like without this thought or story?
Turn It Around
The turnaround is a way to fully experience both sides of the coin (both polarities of the mind). In this way, we create balance in the mind and release energy that has been trapped in the ego's attachment to one viewpoint (or polarity).
Many times we will realize that the opposite of what we believed is as true or truer than our original position. This opens up a whole new world, mentally, and is often accompanied by great emotional relief.
To turn around a statement, you simply replace the person's name with your own name.
So in the example of the though "She should be honest with me", the turnaround is "I should be honest with me."
Now stop and let that turnaround soak in for a moment.
Is this statement as true or truer?
So using this same example you could ask yourself questions that would backup the turnaround such as: Were there times when you were not honest with yourself about her actions? Is it not true that she is just being who she is and perhaps you have created a story that built her up to be some ideal person and all that is required is that you be honest with yourself?
The idea is to play around in the opposite polarity for a bit and see what the mind finds. Try to find 3 examples of how each a turnaround is true in your life.
Now if you are writing about yourself or an object, you replace it with "my thinking" to turn it around.
So in the example, "My body shouldn't be fat" becomes "My thinking shouldn't be fat." Now wait a moment and let that think in. How many times a day are you thinking about your body being fat? Perhaps it is our thinking that is really weighing us down.
The story of being fat is replaying over and over in the mind until we identify ourselves with that story. With the turnaround we can realize that a majority of our energy is invested into this story and without it, our body could be using that energy to become healthier.
There is also another way to turn it around and that is to change it to the complete opposite of the original statement.
The thought "She should be honest with me" becomes "She shouldn't be honest with me." Why? Has she been honest in the past? If not, then why in the world should she be any other way than the way she is? She can only be that which she is. Just as a cat can't bark, she may not be able to be honest 100% of the time.
It's not about right or wrong, it's about reality. If it's true that she is dishonest, then she should be dishonest. Why? Because she is; everyone can only be that which they are.
These turnarounds are especially powerful because we get to see how the world is our mirror.
As Byron Katie Says: "Everyone is a mirror image of yourself – Your own thinking coming back at you."
This one concept allows us to stop trying to fight reality and instead make peace with it. From this place of peace, we tap into the creative power of the universe and allow ourselves to enjoy life as it unfolds.
To really understand the work, it's helpful to see Byron Katie in action; going through the four questions with people in her live workshops.
I've only recently begun using her work and have found it to be very powerful at bringing me back to the present moment and extremely effective at halting the negative downward spiral of the mind.
Eckhart Tolle teaches the power of now, yet for many, it's been a struggle to stay in the present. The Work is the process of coming back to the present moment and, therefore, leaving all suffering behind.
All that's left is reality and as Byron Katie says, "Reality is always kinder than the stories we tell about it."
Here are some videos that demonstrate Byron Katie and The Work in action:
"I Want Her to Come Back to Me" (Workshop)
What are you seeking in your life right now?
Do you believe this next job, person, or skill will lead to you feeling happy and fulfilled?
For many years I was all about self-improvement. I loved finding new programs that would allow me to be better at body language, communication, business, psychology, and so on.
I somehow fell into the attitude that the good life is "out there" and the way to get there is by becoming more.
There was a subtle and unspoken belief that myself, at the moment, was not good enough; hence the reason for self-improvement.
This notion followed me everywhere. I would work out at the gym so that one day I would have attained a strong and muscular body and would then have the confidence and status I sought.
I wished for a beautiful girlfriend to come into my life so I could attain the love and affection I sought.
The only thing was, this type of plan was a failure right from the start.
Once a person subscribes to the notion that their fulfillment is "out there," they have created a pattern. (Another way to look at it is that they have jumped into a specific stream of energy, one of need and lack).
The thing with patterns (or energy streams), is that once a person is in them, it's a bit tougher to turn them around.
This means that even if a person gets what they want, they are so consumed by the pattern, they will find something wrong with what they've attained and continue on with a new version of the pattern.
In my case, I worked out at the gym for a few years and got in pretty good shape. My friends would compliment me and others would notice and for a while I felt great.
Yet ultimately, I was not fulfilled and this need to be more transformed from getting in shape into becoming good with women.
I would tell myself, "No, this is it. Once I learn how to attract women, that's when I'll really be happy. Just this one thing and I'll be good."
So I learned all kinds of dating techniques and concepts and started dating a beautiful girlfriend.
And again, for a short while, I was happy and seemingly fulfilled.
Yet there is something interesting that I realized.
Anything that is built from the energy of neediness will eventually drain itself and collapse; either slowly or in one fell swoop.
Building something on the premise that it will fulfill you is like building on shakey ground.
Once a person realizes that a thing isn't going to fulfill them (usually after they achieve it), they neglect it.
They do this because they never really wanted that thing in the first place; they wanted what they thought it would bring them. Without the end result, they might as well throw the rest away.
So of course, once I had "attained" a beautiful girlfriend, I ended up having problems and realized that I knew barely anthing about relationships.
Again, I went in search of something else to fulfill me. This is what led me to Ideagasms and Stephanes programs (along with many other books and programs you'll find in the resources section).
Luckily for me, his programs taught self-acceptance using the 7 Chakras as the framework.
The key is accepting yourself wherever you are, since that brings you back into the present moment (which is where all your power is).
You allow yourself to be fulfilled right now rather than sometime in the future (when you reach some goal).
So I worked with his chakra program along with other various teachings and methods (such as EFT and TAT) over the past 2 years and was able to ground myself into the reality of being fulfilled right now.
One of the chakra frames that Stephane really hammers in is "I accept myself just the way I am, even though I'm not perfect."
As I kept focusing on that one, intuitively I started letting go of things; unhealthy habits, unecessary possessions, unpleasant jobs, certain relationships, various positions.
The more I let go, the easier it was to go within and experience joy and fulfillment. There was no logical reason why I should; my health was a mess, my credit cards were racked up, my datings skills were at a major low, my business was not working.
Yet none of that mattered.
I made a conscious decision to accept myself just the way I was, no matter what.
The more I let go, the better life became. (This is what I'm still working on and what better way to internalize this attitude than to share it with others).
Everything improved on its own.
I realized that our default state is vibrant health, our default state is abundance, our default state is joy.
If we aren't experiencing these states, it means we must let go of something.
It means our energy is tied up in something and by letting it go, we are taking back our power.
Just look at toddlers and you can observe this inner fulfillment in action; you can see it in their eyes.
They find tremendous joy in dirt and plants and bugs. They don't need anything to be happy, they just are.
Yet somehow, along the road of life, we forgot that we are the source of our own happiness and began to seek it "out there."
Is it any wonder why so many of the pop stars and cultural icons have such personal turmoil? They have reached what many seek as the dream of glamor and fame and have come to realize it didn't give them what they really wanted.
The real desire is for a connection with spirit, to feel our innate inner being flowing through us as vibrant and joyful energy.
Spiritual work is the process of letting go of all that is not us.
As we chip away at the illusions we have bought into, we free our energy and we allow our life experience to jump dramatically.
Then, as we are free, we are in a better place to build sustainable creations because they are created out of a loving fulfilment rather than a resenting lack.
In this way, they are grounded in the power of the universe rather than the force of the neediness.
Ask yourself, what possessions are using up your energy?
What relationships, career choices, or habits, are draining you?
What positions are you holding onto that are causing you conflict with yourself and others?
Fulfillment is available to you right now.
Are you willing to let go?
If you're reading this article, then you are probably someone who wants to make your life better by empowering yourself and those close to you through teaching, sharing knowledge, and evolving personally.
So how do you empower someone? If you have learned something that is of great benefit to yourself and others, how do you teach it to another person?
Surely you tell them how much better their life would be with this new knowledge. Surely you explain exactly what they should do and exactly how they should do it.
A good teacher is one who explains every step in detail and instructs their student each step along the way….right?
In my experience of learning, teaching, and sharing knowledge, I have found something very counter-intuitive going on in these situations.
Many times when I had tried to share my most powerful knowledge with others, I was met with resistance.
Many times when I explained the precise instructions for others to follow, they either resisted my teaching or became dependent on me for guidance.
I came to realize there is a critical element that many of us are unaware of…
What is integrity? Better yet, what role does it play in regards to teaching and empowering others?
Integrity is defined as:
1. The quality or state of being complete or undivided; being whole.
2. Steadfast adherence to a code of moral or ethical values, incorruptibility.
I define integrity as:
The state of being connected to source energy in such a way that one's thoughts, words, and actions are aligned as one.
So let me ask you, if a knowledgeable teacher instructs you to do something "for your own good" yet your gut tells you not to do it, what is the integritous thing to do?
If you have a thought or feeling, yet you act according to someone else's opposing thought or feeling, are you not out of integrity?
True integrity means you act in accordance with what you are thinking and feeling, and you speak or write in accordance with what you are thinking and feeling.
We become out of integrity when we quiet ourselves from speaking our truth or when we restrain ourselves from taking the action that we long to take.
Usually this is done out of fear. Fear that others will no longer accept us if we take the action we really want to take, fear that we will lose something if we speak what is really on our mind. So instead, we speak what we think others want to hear or act to what others expect of us.
As teachers, we experience the opposite side of this coin. When we give advice, we may be robbing the other person of the greatest opportunity for power available to them…
The power of decision.
True power comes at the moment of decision. For when a person makes a decision, they are lining up their thoughts, feelings, words, and actions.
They are stepping into integrity.
We often share our knowledge with someone (our thoughts and feelings) and then recommend that they take a specific action. The other person may or may not have enough information to align their own thoughts and feelings to that action.
If they do not have enough information, they will resist taking the action. Why? Because if they take action based on your thoughts and your feelings, they have stepped out of their integrity.
Aren't the most powerful teachers the ones who do least to convince others of their wisdom?
Instead they teach with riddles or questions; anything to provoke thought within the student. For the power for true change occurs when the student makes a decision, that moment of inner realization; not when he takes a specific action.
The power is in the decision to act, not the action itself.
The decision is the lining up of integrity which builds the foundation for power and fuels the energy that is needed to carry out that action.
There is an appropriate time for specific and direct action plans. It is when the student has already made a decision to learn.
Have you ever noticed that over-bearing parents seem to have children who have trouble owning their own strength and making decisions?
Think of the classic example of a parent pushing their child to go to a certain college. If power came from action alone, then going to the right college would empower their child. Yet it doesn't; it comes from entrusting others with the decision.
Decisions build power.
Wouldn't it be better if that parent provided the support for their child going to that college by giving them some articles about the school's expertise, getting them in touch with relatives or alumni who went there, or otherwise focusing on the good aspects of it and then left it up to their child?
The power is in the decision because, in the decision, one takes responsibility for their actions and learns to create self-trust (which is the foundation for power).
You may have noticed this approach on this blog in the way I write. I ask many questions and propose many thought provoking ideas, yet rarely give direct instructions. At the most, I offer suggestions or examples of what I have done.
This is because I do not want to make decisions for you. I want to offer you the conclusions I have reached along with some background knowledge so that you have the opportunity to make a decision for yourself.
In the Yang Town products, I am slightly more direct and action oriented since there is a subtle agreement that has taken place. For example, in Revive Your Sex Drive, if you are downloading it, then you are already making a decision to improve your sex drive. Since this decision has fueled you to take the action necessary to download it, I will offer more direct suggestions so that you can use that energy to revive your sex drive.
If, on the other hand, I was mass emailing people saying "read this book, it will revive your sex drive", then I would be robbing them (to some extent) of the opportunity to decide to improve their sex drive on their own. There would be less energy invested on their part because they did not make a decision and the book itself would be far less empowering.
So in this respect, we empower others by building the support for them to make a decision.
We offer them the knowledge that has served us and allow the essence of who we are to serve as an example to inspire them….then, we let go.
That part of the human mind that many see as the cause of fear, addictions, crime, disease, wars, and pretty much all types of suffering in the world.
What exactly is this “Ego” that so many spiritual gurus talk about?
Why do so many regard it in such a negative light?
Better yet, if it is so bad, how do we transcend it?
My current understanding of ego goes like this:
Everything that exists in this world is made up of energy. Even Einsteins formula, e=mc squared shows that energy is all there is.
So if you imagine this universal energy like light shooting out in all directions to brighten up a whole room, we as individuals are like highly focused beams of light brightening up a small area (think of a laser pointer) .
We have some degree of control over the focus too. When we are very “mind-identified”, we are looking out for our own survival and possibly even at the cost of other’s well-being. We see ourselves as individuals separate from each other and from life, meaning our laser beam is extremely highly focused.
Ego is the thoughts that come through us that identify us as an individual.
As we connect to universal “source” energy, we begin to merge with all of existence, as if the laser beam is reducing its focus to become more general. This often happens when we reach meditative states, are “in the zone”, or achieve peak experiences in sports.
In these states, we are more ego-less; we are everything. It’s like the saying that athletes repeat while playing; “I am the ball.”
Creation seems to happen through an ebb and flow between the two states.
People experience discomfort if they become too highly focused, too identified as individuals who are separate from source energy; too much in the ego.
They forget that we are all of the same light, we are just focused in different directions, with different lenses.
So in this sense, our minds are tools for us to focus our energy and life experience in order to help create more effectively.
In today’s world, we live in the information age. Many describe it as the “attention economy”; we are constantly exposed to large amounts of news, advertising, scientific discoveries, education and more through television, radio, and especially the internet.
In an effort to function with all this information, our minds filter things out for us. They create meaning, save it to memory, and then move on to the next thing. We can call this a “thought program”. If a similar situation arises again, the mind references the memory and then runs the old program to determine its meaning in order to save mental energy.
For example, when you were a kid, one day you probably looked up at the sky in awe as a giant machine flew through the air with a loud noise. You later found out that the machine was called an airplane and that it flew through the air with people inside. Perhaps the next few times one flew by, you pointed and said “airplane.”
Your mind began creating a program for an “airplane flying overhead” so that eventually you would hear the plane flying for a split second and then the program in your mind would run and you would filter out the whole experience so that it was almost completely out of your awareness. This way, you would be able to focus on more important things like your homework or hanging out with friends.
The problem that many of us have in today’s world of information is that there are so many things we give our attention to, our entire life becomes a series of programs that run inside out mind.
We no longer experience life, we only experience thought programs.
This is why so many spiritual leader stress the Power of Now. It is in the moment that you experience life. It is in being present to the moment that you find your power, your happiness, and your connection to universal energy. The present is all you have.
The degree to which you are in the present moment is the degree to which you feel alive.
So how can we tell if our life is becoming a series of thought programs that occur in our mind?
We will feel less connected to source energy.
This will manifest itself as disease (especially cancer), depression, a lack of purpose, a general feeling of unhappiness, a view of the world as a scary or dark place, blame towards God or others, low self-esteem, a scarcity or win/lose mentality, constant judgment and criticism of self and others, constantly experiencing unpleasant people or events, and just about any other negative state of being you can think of.
Do you know why things become boring or routine? It’s because one has been doing the same things over and over until they are only experiencing programs and not the actual thing anymore.
So what is the way out of it?
One way is through what’s called A Course In Miracles. The course itself, contains three parts: The Text, The Workbook, and the Teacher’s Manual.
The part that I recommend is the workbook. It has been highly recommended by David Hawkins and many others as the path to healing addictions, physical disease, and many other mental and emotional disorders.
The workbook is not a typical book that explains concepts for you to understand. It is a series of 365 short lessons that walk you through mental processes that will help you come to sudden realizations to transcend the ego.
It doesn’t give you the answers directly as much as lead you down a path so that you can realize the answers yourself.
It’s sort of like Zen koans:
For centuries, secret doctrines of Zen learning have been transmitted from master to disciple in the form of seemingly absurd riddles called koans. Intense meditation upon these is said to lead to enlightenment.
Zen, of which the koan exercise is a tool, is a Japanese sect of Buddhism, which in spite of having masters and monasteries believes paradoxically that nothing can be taught.
The logical mind is considered to be the greatest stumbling block on the way to satori (enlightenment or a sudden a-ha), as is evident from this koan: A monk was asked to discard everything. “But I have nothing,” he exclaimed. “Discard that too!” ordered his master.
The workbook contains a lesson a day for a full year. Each lesson requires only a minute or two to read and that you do few simple mental exercises.
It is recommended that you read an introduction to prepare you for the workbook course. David Hawkins recommend to not use the Course in Miracles Text as the introduction as he says it views ego in a slightly negative light.
If you are new to spiritual concepts such as the ego, then you will probably want to read something like The Peaceful Warrior, The Power of Now, or A New Earth to get a good foundation before you begin.
The reason is because when we start, the ego may convince you that “I don’t need to do this exercise” or “this course seems too weird” or some other rationalization that will stop your progress.
Also, be aware that this course uses common religious terms such as God, Christ, and Salvation. I can understand if you have some resistance to those terms and religion in general. This course is aimed at conveying universal spiritual truths to those who are familiar with the Christian Religion.
So if you have yet to make peace with those words, I suggest that you perform TAT on any negative past experiences with religion, parents, authorities, or beliefs that still bother you. For instance, you can simply hold the TAT pose and say the word “God.” Then do it again for “Jesus”, “Christianity”, etc until they no longer give you a negative emotional charge.
To begin the course, simply enter your name and email address below and you will receive a lesson a day for the next year. The email system I use sends them out at intervals that are roughly 1 day apart with a day break before every 10th lesson (in case you fall behind).
Enter your details below to begin:
If you have already started the course, simply choose the lesson you want to start on and you will begin there. (You can also view each lesson via the website here).
I have only just started the course about a month ago but am having some profound realizations already. Supposedly by lesson 80 or so you may experience sudden physical healings as well.
Make sure you are committed to undertake this and willing to face your ego. Best wishes on your journey and be sure to post any comments about your experiences below.
By the way, here is a video that gives you a good idea of the benefits people receive after taking the course. It’s taken from an upcoming documentary about the success of A Course In Miracles:
Think back to the last argument you got in. Do you remember what it was about?
Perhaps you remember how aggravating it was trying to get your point across to the other person?
You might have said to yourself, "If only they would open their eyes and realize that they being ______" (insert negative personality trait).
Relationships can be one of the most challenging and confusing parts of life. It easy to get caught up in the moment and see only the other person's shortcomings.
If you've read my article on How to Give Advice to Others, you'll remember how energy plays a big role in arguments.
The energy you are sending out is more important than the actual words you use.
Often times arguments are the result of stress, which means at least one person starts off the discussion in a negative emotional state (they are angry, worried, resentful, etc).
Since most people are reactive, they will try to protect themselves from this negative energy by becoming defensive and eventually go on the offense, leading to a long drawn out fight.
It takes a rare person to step back, and not only have compassion for the other person, but appreciate their unique goodness in that moment as well.
How can we do that?
Well before we get to that, let's do an exercise in awareness. This one is extremely powerful so be sure to only read on if you can do the exercise, otherwise reading how it works without doing it can spoil its power.
An Exercise In Awareness
(from David Deangelo's Mastery Program)
Step 1) Write down the names of 3 people you admire or respect (they can be from history or from your own personal life, whatever).
Step 2) Write down 3 qualities in them that you admire or respect.
Step 3) Write down the names of 3 people you disrespect or even hate.
Step 4) Write down 3 qualities in them that you disrespect and hate.
Don't continue reading until you have these down.
Ok got it?
I'm going to suggest that the three qualities in each person that you admire or respect are all aspects of yourself that are actually your strengths that you don't acknowledge enough, lead with enough, or develop enough.
They are projections of your underdeveloped strengths.
You already have these strengths and you can see how powerful they are but you project them onto others. You aspire to be like these people in some way and don't realize that you have the same seeds of greatness within you; you just have to develop them more.
I'm also going to suggest that the three qualities in each person that you disrespect or hate are all aspects of yourself that are actually your current weaknesses that you don't acknowledge, come to grips with, or accept in yourself.
They are projections of your rejected strengths. (Aka, your shadow).
They are actually strengths that you are viewing in a negative light, which then causes you to reject them completely in yourself and in others.
For example, when I did this exercise, I chose one of my personal mentors as someone I admired because he is a great leader, is very confident, and has a powerful presence. I realized that these were all aspects of myself that were I just needed to develop and work on.
As for someone who I disrespected, I chose Fidel Castro because I viewed him as a manipulative, lying, dictator who mistreated the Cuban people.
What I discovered was that these were all strengths within myself that I had been rejecting because I only viewed the negative side of them. They are all positives that are taken to an extreme; they are good traits that have become unbalanced.
When rapport, charisma, and leadership become unbalanced and are taken to an extreme, they can become manipulation, lies, and control as is the case with Fidel Castro. If you take any characteristic too far, it becomes its opposite.
All negative traits are simply good traits that have gone out of balance.
Bravery taken too far becomes bravado; affection taken too far can become neediness; self-improvement taken too far can become self-criticism.
When one rejects the negative side of any trait, they also unknowingly reject the positive side of it too.
So how does this play into conflict in relationships, especially in the midst of arguments?
When we get caught up in the moment and see only the other person's negative qualities, we are really seeing parts of ourself that we have rejected.
The world is our mirror.
Instead of focusing on the negative trait, ask yourself "what is the good side of this trait?"
A worrisome parent becomes a loving parent that is unbalanced. A lying salesmen becomes a charismatic salesmen who is unbalanced. A nagging girlfriend becomes an affectionate girlfriend who is unbalanced.
Now instead of resisting their negative quality, you are appreciating their good quality that just got out of whack at the moment.
So you may ask, "How do I balance them out?"
That's not really your job, that's theirs (unless they ask you for help). Though what you can do is stay balanced yourself, since it usually helps them to come back into balance.
What most people do when an unbalanced person cuts them off on the road or calls them up screaming, is they react by becoming unbalanced themselves.
It's just like Cesar Milan in the show The Dog Wispherer. He says that in order to train a dog to be calm, you must first be calm.
Lead by example.
So how do we stay balanced in these kinds of situations?
Compassion for others comes from self-acceptance. When one accepts all of their own imperfections, they automatically accept those imperfections in others.
This is why self acceptance is so crucial; it allows you to not only have better relationships with others, it also unlocks many hidden powers that you have been rejecting.
For example, for many years I dedicated much of my life to improving myself. I wanted to cultivate business skills, workout my body, develop charisma, all so I could get closer to becoming this ideal self image that I had created in my mind.
As I moved along with my self improvement, every now and then a small imperfection would surface and I would brush it away as fast as possible. It was like a shadow that followed me no matter where I went and the faster I ran the faster it followed me.
After a while of repressing this imperfection, this human part of myself, it started to overpower me. One time when I was in college, I had to get up to give a presentation to the class. I had done this many times and was getting very good at it. This time though my throat tightened up and I couldn't speak.
It was to such a great degree I physically could not speak, my voice was nearly totally blocked. I had to leave the room to get some water and wait a few minutes before continuing. I didn't feel nervous or anxious and I didn't understand why this happened.
The presence of this shadow led me to have extreme difficulties with some of my close friends. I was so motivated to improve myself and I rejected my imperfection so much, that I would often get into disagreements with my friends.
They weren't very motivated to change themselves, so when we got in disagreements I would focus on their negative traits. I would say "Can't he see that he is being ___ (wasteful with money, manipulative with others, and so on)."
I saw their self-acceptance as laziness and they saw my strive for self improvement as being a naive follower. We both projected our shadow onto the other person and then rejected them for displaying that trait that we were running from.
It was not until I worked on myself doing many self acceptance meditations (which can be found in Revive Your Sex Drive eBook along with a tuning fork audio), internalizing the chakra frames, and working with my energy healer, that I was able to come to grips with my own imperfections. I finally accepted myself in that moment and released years self rejection.
The result has been incredible. Now that I have integrated those aspects of myself that I had always rejected, that inherent humanness and imperfection, I can now dramatically improve my relationships with others.
I no longer get upset with others when they "aren't perfect" because I accept that part of myself. When others are fearful, angry, or anxious, it doesn't bother me much. I understand how they feel because I've been there.
Having integrated those parts of myself, I can begin to transcend them.
Of course, there are still a few shadows that I may have but most of them are ok with me now.
If you have a healer or chakra teacher that you work with, they can help you on this journey to self acceptance as well.
Of course, the easiest way is to simply sit in a quiet room, place your hands over you heart, and repeat "I accept myself just the way I am, even though I'm not perfect."
Do it once or twice a day and you will begin to peel away the layers towards compassion.
So remember, the next time you get into a heated discussion, ask yourself:
"What part of this person do I dislike in this moment?" and then,
"What part of myself is being reflected back to me?" and lastly,
"Am I willing to accept this person exactly as they are?"