This is an exciting time of year as Summer turns into Fall and we begin to reap what we sowed earlier in the year. Looking back to January, I had no idea we would be where we are today.
Today, we boost a growing community of Life Activation Practitioners and Ritual Masters who are generating more light and bringing more positive energy to Portland than ever before.
A whole new generation of Lightworker is emerging in Portland. They are savvy, experienced, and have lots of options to choose from since there are many high-quality holistic energy practitioners in the area.
If there are so many flavors of bringing in the New Paradigm, how could you NOT get involved? The commitment to service by this Lightworker community continues to floor me.
It has taken many years of growing and nurturing this community to get here, but finally the time has come to open our new Lightworker center in SW Portland at 1308 SW Bertha Blvd. behind the Fred Meyer—Burlingame!
We are calling it ‘Eternal Eden’ to capture an Earthy metaphysical feel of sophisticated luxury. Curious?
You’re invited to join us for a soft opening of our new Lightworker center in SW Portland. We’re excited to create a space for Lightworkers and others bringing in the new energy to come together in community and share their gifts.
We are greatly looking forward to this opportunity to celebrate and spread awareness of the work we do in the world as well with Love and Light!
Schedule of Events:
- 5pm – Doors open—Enjoy beverages and snacks as you meet and mingle with like-minded community.
- 6:30pm – Raffle prizes are drawn, must be present to win!
- 7:30pm – Evening with the Experts talk on “Ghosts”
- 9:30pm – Closing
Register here to let us know you’re coming Oct 30th!
Last weekend I had the pleasure to join the Landmark Advanced course in Portland. I haven’t done a Landmark program since 2009-2010 when I completed their first program in the Curriculum for Living called the Landmark Forum, and then their two advanced communication courses: Access to Power and Power to Create.
I gained a lot of personal empowerment from these courses, and as you know, personal empowerment is the name of my game. I dork out on this stuff. So, I wanted to share a bit about how difficult this advanced course was, and how glad I am that I participated, through a bit of case study example: let’s call him Charles.
First, for all the Landmark naysayers who complain about it being a cult or begrudge them for enrolling their participants in asking you to join them for a special evening where they try and sell you their programs: GET OVER IT! You get marketed to everyday by brands you that don’t even remember, and don’t begrudge them. You just ignore them. So why do you have a problem saying ‘no’ and ignoring these requests for your attention, if you aren’t interested?
By the way, many religions and sports are by definition cults too, so apparently being in a cult is socially acceptable. In other words, please don’t make Landmark Education wrong for asking for your business. It’s what American businesses do.
Speaking from the perspective of a business owner, asking your clients to refer you business is the most respectful form of marketing to you, the prospective client. One of my clients must think that my service is valuable enough that you might get something out of it. That’s a compliment to you and to me, the business owner. Not to mention that referral marketing keeps programs like Landmark’s incredibly cheap and accessible to everyone, compared to the value you are getting. How much do brands pay to advertise on T.V., radio, the internet, etc.?
Not to mention the fact that parts of this curriculum are also taught in some of the best ivy league schools in the nation, for those of you that need some other authority (besides yourself) to make things OK. If it’s good enough for Harvard, Stanford, Yale, etc, it’s good enough for you.
Sorry, but had to get that off my chest…Ok…moving on.
The Problem with Saying No
There’s no problem with saying ‘no.’ I know, I know; that’s a contradiction with the header leading into this section, but I was setting you up on purpose. What I have to share about my evening is that I had a guy in my group, let’s call him Charles for anonymity, who was on a mission to say ‘no’. He got very angry and, dare I say ‘agro,’ about saying ‘no’ too.
Remember, you get what you’re looking for, and if you’re looking for people to be out of integrity, you WILL find that. We all say and do contradictory things. I’m not defending that, I’m just saying look at yourself too, Charles. You are out of integrity all the time. At others have the balls to admit it. If you look for it, you WILL find things you don’t like about how people are. So Charles, why not look for how the others out of integrity are contributing to you? That’s what I’m doing with my case study below.
How Charles was a contribution to me
I once had a music teacher say, “If you’re going to make a mistake, make it big.” My first thought Charles was: you knew what you were getting into, you knew Landmark was going to ask you to enroll people in a possibility of taking their programs, that’s made abundantly clear in the experience before you got here (this is the second course), so why get so upset about it? After all, you chose to be here.
My second thought, and I didn’t see this until after a number of interactions with this guy where I knew he was going to say no, and he was clearly perturbed that I asked him anyway. It was like he didn’t want to have to say ‘no.’ Now that’s my story, but follow me here if you can. If your intention is to say ‘no’ as your context for being in a space, which is what Charles stated, and someone asks you a question, and you say ‘no,’ why are you getting angry about that?
So it gets better…after numerous aggressive ‘No’s from this man: once at the mike where he told everyone to F*#@ off, and once where he stomped out of his seat stepping on someone’s foot in the process, to the last ‘no’ where instead of saying ‘no’ he says, “Will you have sex with me?” The woman answers, “No.” and starts crying, and he looks at me with the message on this face “See, I told you so.” I realized something very profound—this guy’s really not OK with saying ‘No.’
If ‘No’ were no big deal, then why get so angry about saying ‘No’? Especially when you’ve setup the expectation that you’re going to say ‘No’ to everyone about everything! I mean, I expect it dude, no need to get aggressive.
The Final Touch
After this last, obviously hurtful interaction, Charles got up and left. It was then that I had my deepest realization. The guy didn’t apologize. I couldn’t help but think, this guy can’t forgive himself and he doesn’t trust us to forgive him either. He hears us continue to invite him back, but he can’t really understand that we love him despite his No’s and his aggression and that we’re willing to forgive him. But until he lets us forgive him, I don’t believe he’ll ever learn to forgive himself. And this is the highest form of love—the ability to forgive yourself.
By the way, if you’re going to be a tall, aggressive man in our culture, you have to be responsible for your impact on others.
So despite the praise my group gave me as their group leader, this was my failure of the Advanced Course. I didn’t call this guy out on his B.S., on hiding, on being a coward. I didn’t call him out for not apologizing when he hurt someone in my community, even if he was fully justified in declaring his right to say ‘No.’ Leaving after you hurt someone without apologizing means you don’t care about them or yourself.
I didn’t call him out on his unwillingness to let others be wrong and let himself be wrong, to recognize and be with that he hurt people, and invite him to let them forgive him anyway. To be forgiven is a courageous act. To forgive yourself requires even more fortitude.
But I will call out not him, but this behavior next time…for the benefit of our whole community.
Around 567 years BCE, Siddhartha Gautama, later to be given the appellation Buddha, was raised sheltered by his father in a palace at the foothills of the Himalayas. One day, while outside the walls of the palace, Siddhartha encountered old age, sickness, and death in the streets of the city over which his family ruled. Confronted by the reality of such an experience, he devoted his life to finding a way to eradicate suffering. Later, as the story goes, while meditating under a bodhi tree he became enlightened.
I encourage you to go read more of the interim years between the Siddhartha’s fated experience outside the walls of his father’s house, and his later enlightenment in which he become a Buddha. There are many universal lessons and truths hidden within our myths and legends.
Not unlike Siddhartha, the reality we think we are living in is separate and disconnected from true reality. Only there’s isn’t some universal monarch sheltering us from this truth. We have been conditioned to ignore the pervasive experience of truth sitting right outside the door of our everyday life (if we’re lucky enough to have a door behind which to hide).
But some of us are waking up to that conditioning. We realize that the story we’ve been fed from birth is, for lack of a better word, bullshit.
How to get ahead
We’ve been fed inconsistent and contradictory ideas for so long, they are starting to make sense to us. For example, we’ve been taught to be wary of religious doctrine, yet be uncompromising and dogmatic in our beliefs. When was the last time you agreed to disagree?
We’ve been taught to make our own way, to be self-sufficient and not rely on others to make our own way, but then to take loans out to fund the biggest expenditures of our life: education and home ownership (don’t worry, you’ll have real freedom someday AFTER you qualify to buy a house by giving up all your authority and initiative to a corporation that deems to keep you around for at least two years). How many of you are still pursuing that dream?
We’ve been conditioned to value free time and a carefree attitude over connection and deep reverence. Wealth is being able to afford not to care, whether it’s the price of whole, organic foods or the fact that people are living on our streets without safety or warmth. Is getting ahead really worth it?
Think back to the last time you took an action not because it improved your individual life, but because it was the right thing for the greater community in which you live. Taking these small but impactful actions are the moments that connect us to the greater whole.
How to get enough
So I ask you to commit to taking one action a day that you wouldn’t have normally, in pursuit of your truth: whether it be changing your opinion based on new information, reconciling with a lost lover or familial relationship, picking up the garbage on your street, or telling someone when you think they’re beautiful. SHARE YOURSELF! Share what you see with others, be in relationship, show up to your community.
In doing so, I promise you will find what it means to be YOU—a unique being inhabiting this Earth at this time with us. We’re looking for you. We (will) see you.
Matthew Koren founded Spirit in Transition in 2015, a business consulting firm specializing in building high-performance learning organizations, teams and individuals.
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In the last post of this series, we covered the second stage of alchemy: dissolution. We also reminded ourselves that it’s important to remain non-attached. At the same time, you will not complete the alchemy process powerfully without uncovering your ‘burning desire’ that drives you towards your goal. Without the attractive force of this desire pulling you, you are in danger of getting lost in the journey of this alchemical transformation. Finding your way out is impossible until a concrete goal emerges.
Into a million pieces
As life continues to throw curve balls, we get thrown out of our normal routine, and start to see what the essence of our life is. Normally, this essence gets drowned in the day-to-day dross of our waking life, and sometimes we access it through the subconscious when we sleep. But overall, we are usually unaware of the influence this essence has on our thoughts, behaviors, habits, and outcomes in life.
When we get out of our normal routine, or try to alter our life in some way (like learning a new habit), it’s not uncommon for anger, resentment, frustration, and depression to emerge. We can often have trouble with emotional boundaries as well, not being sure exactly what we want, which has the unfortunate bonus feature of making us more prone to conflict in our relationships.
Have you ever felt so emotionally fragile like you could burst into a million shards of glass on the ground at any moment? That’s separation.
There is perspective to be gained by separating and distinguishing the parts of our life that often go unnoticed. Human beings are meaning making machines, and we go around constantly making up stories about what others think of us, how otherwise meaningless actions have ruined our day, and what we’re going to do about the past when we act in the future. Most times we are not actually present to (and appreciating) what is!
Taking a moment to see each of those stories for what they are, mental objects that take up time and energy, that drive our thoughts, opinions, and actions. They enable us to move those otherwise subconscious drives to the conscious mind where we can evaluate and choose our relationship with them, rather than be driven by them. Freud was a big proponent of this theory of unconscious drives, and ended up taking it further, forming the concept of the id (or instincts/drives) as opposed to the superego (or conscience), which, from a metaphysical perspective, is necessarily aligned with our Higher Self.
In this stage of alchemy called separation, we separate out the parts of the whole that we were not noticing before, and we look at them. We start to see all kinds of relationships we never saw before. We compare and contrast the different parts of ourselves that make being a human so rewarding, giving color to our experience and rhythm to our steps. We have to have the honesty and integrity required within ourselves to acknowledge those parts of us that we don’t necessarily like before we can move towards wholeness.
Seeing the unseeable
After a particularly nasty breakup with his ex, Riley basically repressed her feelings for a year and it took her awhile to feel open to dating again. Understandably, when she put herself out there to date again, she had all kinds of caveats. “I’m never dating that kind of person again,” she decided. So she evaluated every prospective partner that came into her life from the lens of that list of traits she’d rather like to avoid, lest she find herself in the same position as last year, emotionally bruised and battered, closing herself off again to the happiness she was sure she could find if she just had another (not so crazy) partner.
She had one particularly memorable dating experience where, after dinner, she was feeling particularly attracted to her date, and decided to invite him over to her house for an after dinner aperitif. No sooner had they entered then the comments began. “Oh, what a nice space. I really like your sofa. How long have you lived in this house? Where did you get those curtains?” Riley was beside herself, one of the things on her list was no critical comments, because she felt emotionally shunned by her ex, who was always evaluating and criticizing her. Riley felt like she could never live up to his standard, so she ended the relationship.
Now it was happening all over again, except that it was happening with each person she became close with. Once the intimacy started to increase, she would start to get these comments. First they were relatively innocuous, but then later, there was some tension or even outright conflict. Riley didn’t know how to resolve this recurring issue.
One day, while at coffee with a friend, Riley was detailing how her most recent date wasn’t going to cut it again, when her friend stopped her and leaned over to say, “Riley, don’t you see a pattern here. Whenever you want to get intimate with someone, you immediately close yourself off, which defeats the whole purpose!”
Riley started to look at her most recent dates, and she was flabbergasted. Her friend was right, she always reacted with resistance whenever anyone got close enough to ask her a question that really mattered. She withdrew as soon as people were just getting to know her. This was no way to create a relationship.
Once Riley saw this in her behavior, she was able to catch herself going down that trail, and decided to she her experience differently. “No, he’s not trying to criticize me, he’s just curious because he doesn’t know! I haven’t shared that part of myself with him yet.”
After this, Riley was able to have a relatively long-term relationship again. Though still looking for that life partner, she is enjoying emotionally-fulfilling relationships both with her intimate partners and her friends.
“He [William S Burroughs] has no patience for my kind of neurosis, I know… But since then I’ve been facing my nature full in the face and the result is a purge.”
― Jack Kerouac, Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg: The Letters
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When my uncle died last year, it also seemed like the death of my family. There was a lot of fighting and hurling harsh words. It definitely wasn’t the first time this had happened, but our connection was so threadbare that what should have been a typical quarrel of grief was instead a cataclysm.
The one beautiful moment I remember from that experience was sitting in the hospice room with two of my aunts, as my uncle lay in bed, present and content. I felt a palpable web of kinship, and it struck me that moments like this were rare.
Or so I thought.
It took a bit of time to catch up to me, but after his passing, severing ties with certain family members, and seeing a close friend move to another state, I contracted and sunk into a depression. I became more distant with friends and started to isolate myself. Fortunately, this didn’t last too long, and I emerged from the dark with fresh perspective.
Feeling inspired to take a walk in the cool night, I ended up in a clearing of trees. I suddenly became aware, in the gut, that family and bloodline aren’t the same. That feeling I had in the hospice room—that kinship—was a feeling I’ve actually experienced with people I’m not biologically related to. I just hadn’t recognized it.
My myopia cleared.
We’ve all heard the term “soul mate.” This idea comes from Plato, who proposed that a soul, prior to its incarnation, splits in two and ends up in two different bodies. I feel this is an interesting metaphor, but if we were to explain the dynamic more accurately, it might go something like this…
We all have unique “frequencies” or patterns of energy. It’s part of the creative diversity of existence. Some of these frequencies are more in tune with each other, due to congruence. As the Law of Attraction mantra goes, “like attracts like.” So the similar frequencies pull each other in and you’ve got a…soul family!
Is this just a woo woo way of saying you hang out with people who have similar personalities? That’d be fair. But there are phenomena that seem to happen with people who are really in sync with each other. These appear to go beyond normal social connections.
HOW TO KNOW IF SOMEONE IS IN YOUR SOUL FAMILY
Ask these questions to yourself:
- Did we click right away, or meet by a strange synchronicity?
- Do we share a similar purpose?
Purpose can be defined as the theme behind your actions, strengths, and goals.
- Do we enhance each other?
This might be conscious, but can also be inadvertent. Sometimes people help each other grow without realizing it. This may also manifest as the other person getting you to confront your demons (and vice versa).
- Do synchronicities seem to happen with us often?
These can occur in so many ways…thinking of each other (or the same subject) around the same time, going through the same problems, having unexpectedly mutual friends, having the same projects or goals (without knowing it, at first).
- Does it feel like there’s an energetic connection?
This might be an almost tangible electricity, warmth, magnetic-like pull, or even strong bodily sensation (such as a pins-and-needles feeling). It may seem at times like you can even have a conversation without talking, purely by sensing the play of energy.
If you answered more than three of these questions affirmatively, it’s likely the person in mind is in your soul family.
WHO CAN BE IN MY FAMILY?
Soul families are different from bloodlines in the sense that the members don’t have to be genetically related. Of course, a person in your bloodline might still be in your soul family. But so can your friend, or a stranger you meet on the street.
Soul families may also consist of both incarnated and astral beings. This overlaps with the concept of spirit guides and guardian angels. Just as there can be a vibrational resonance among you and another human, so too can there be a resonance with you and a spirit or interdimensional being. They may not make their presence known to you directly (until your astral senses get stronger), but they can play a role in discreet ways. If you’re focused and clear on your goals, you may notice their influence in your life.
You can more fully embrace the power of your soul family with these tips:
- Become aware of who’s in your soul family.
The questions above should help with this. Do this process with people you already know, and with new people who trigger an intuitive response.
- Sustain active engagement.
It’s easy to become buried with daily tasks and obligations, but make an effort to save time for your soul family. Staying connected via phone, video, and text is great. Meeting in person is even better. Of course, this can’t be forced, and they may become busy or feel pulled in a different direction. Kindly create the space for engagement, and let the rest happen as it will.
Be open with them about your dreams, projects, and challenges. Your potential for success is greater with the support of your soul family. They may help in ways totally unexpected. In turn, help them when you can, and be a good ear.
- Play with the energy.
You can talk without talking. Learn to become aware of the energy around you, and pay attention to how their energy is unique. Sense how your energy dances with theirs. More detailed guidelines for this process will be in our next post!
Soul families can be the bedrock of our creative lives. They offer support in many ways, while reminding us of the unity built into the Cosmos. There’s never a reason to feel alone if you are aware of the myriad connections that exist.
Do you know who is in your soul family? How do you feel they have impacted your life? How do you feel you’ve impacted their lives? Please share below!