I often hear from people what they are looking for in relationship. They want the smart, compassionate, well-equipped and well-mannered guy who has no mental or emotional trauma to work through.
Or they want a man who has a great sense of humor, nice, kind sincere, loyal and passionate and honest who’s going to treat them with love and respect.
Of course it’s easy to desire the perfect man.
Yet many of us are not perfect. We struggle with emotions, wants/desires, external causes that seem insurmountable. All those battles cause imbalances in our commitment and efforts. They also cause us to appear less than perfect.
Is the perfect guy really out there?
As you may have figured out, I study Hermetics with the Modern Mystery School. From this orientation, we first want to take a look at if we’re even asking the right question. Instead of looking for the perfect guy and making many lists to try and identify him when he magically appears before you, why don’t you ask: what is my perfect relationship look like?
You see, when we ask about a guy, we’re looking at personality traits, mental proclivities, behavioral patterns, genetics, etc. When we’re asking about a relationship, well, that’s entirely created by the two people working together.
This reorientation moves us closer to the possibility of achieving the desired experience, because it puts it back into the realm we can control, influence, and direct, and thus our joy and fulfillment increases.
If You Give, You Can Receive
‘Tis the season, everyone! It’s that time of year that many wisdom traditions point to, where the sacrificed God dies before coming back to life. And so too, is our natural world going into hibernation; the correlations between the natural cycles and the mystical narrative are uncanny.
Regardless of your religious stance, your orientation toward faith or disposition around organized religion, this is a time that’s wrought with meaning, mysticism and historical miracles. Worth exploring, no?
Cosmologically speaking, we in the Northern Hemisphere are immersed in the darkest part of the year (the entrance into this planetary phase shift was expounded upon in our Autumnal blog post). We enter into darkness so we can rise from the depths, come Spring. It’s now that we plant the seeds of today that will become the fruits of tomorrow. We’re composting all the bits; take stock of everything that happened this year; our successes and our failures, remembering that failure tastes far better than regret. And we move onward! Digesting all that’s ready to be processed, and doing so in the fertile darkness of these winter months.
At the level of the collective, we’re called to gather together and celebrate our togetherness. We can see our presence as a gift to one another; after so much time of isolation and separation, the ability to gather this coming holiday season is a true gift beyond the material realm.
So what does this translate to, personally?
Well, we find ourselves invited into communion. Communion with Spirit, with each other, with our families and with our loved ones. There are opportunities in the coming weeks for intentional connection, and whether or not that’s the ‘norm’ in your family or your friend circles, if you’re reading this, chances are you’ve been put on assignment by Spirit to incorporate it!
Here are some simple ways to invoke the Spirit of Christ Consciousness and compassion into our lives.
→ With self: practice mirror gazing with yourself this week & only allow positive, loving statements to come from your lips. Speak to the successes you’ve accomplished this year and emphasize the giving and loving aspects of yourself.
→ With family + community: invite the group for a shared moment in time; this could look like a prayer, a simple shared breath, a moment of silence, or a collective ritual. There are no barriers to entry here; you’ll feel great after gathering folks together in service of a shared reality.
→ With the planet + cosmos: present yourself to the sky at some point before the end of the year. Introduce yourself in your highest light. When we present ourselves as a present, giving ourselves as a gift, this energy emanates outward in ways immeasurable yet deeply impactful.
Consider this your explicit invitation to continue the frequency of love and compassion throughout the year. The collective consciousness can be steeped in themes of fellowship, family, joy and celebration, so long as we each do our part to contribute that vibration. Giving is the underlying current right now, and you can decide whether you give your contribution to the collective in that light.
And trust me, if you do, you’ll feel the gifts of that giving in months to come!
Boundary Setting Tips
Have you ever felt rubbed the wrong way? Found yourself doing something you really don’t want to do because someone asked you to do it? Or perhaps you’ve felt like a doormat at some point in the past? There are many ways our boundaries can be crossed and oftentimes we don’t realize until it’s already happened. This is usually the case when we haven’t established where our boundaries are for ourselves, first.
Establishing our own boundaries for ourselves is a personal process. In this process, we explore and recognize what situations allow for our optimal expression and our embodiment. We can start to create lists and structured forms around the conditions in which we thrive; when do we feel really seen, embodied and fully expressed? Working from those conditions, we then create boundaries to preserve those conditions, when they are susceptible to external influence.
How do we know where to draw boundaries? Usually there are signs we can read in our own energy field that will let us know when our boundaries have been crossed. Sometimes this translates to feelings of defensiveness or defeat. Either we react to the boundary getting crossed, and our communication turns prickly and abrasive. Or we repress our feelings regarding the boundary getting crossed, and we shut down and detach from the situation.
In any case, it’s important to read the body’s response to different scenarios, so we can create an inner map of our boundary zones. Once we become literate with our own boundaries within ourselves, we are more empowered to communicate these boundaries to others.
Empowered Authenticity and Effective Expression
Communication, as we know, can be both verbal and non-verbal. With regard to boundaries, it’s often beneficial for us to communicate these in verbal, explicit ways. Within the realm of non-verbal communication, there can be a lot of room for misinterpretation and distortion. Therefore, expressing clearly and accurately can be helpful for others to know where our boundaries are and what they look like. The best boundary setting techniques are those that are infused with love, where we speak vulnerably from our hearts. In this way, we admit our own expectations and where our edges of comfort are drawn, so that others can honor these edges.
Regardless of whether we’re communicating our boundaries within a love relationship, a professional agreement or within a family dynamic, there are some general tips you can glean here:
→ Use foresight to create clear agreements
→ Put all expectations on the table
→ Maintain emotional connection and present-moment awareness
→ Be authentic, open and honest about your needs
In order to optimize boundary setting techniques, it’s of utmost importance to speak from the heart! Create invitations for new ways of being in relationship, as we do our part in fostering emotional connection while creating clear agreement fields. Communicating our boundaries from a place of love, clearly and compassionately, can help to create invitations for others as opposed to restrictions or limitations. This, ultimately, will translate to deeper trust and a higher degree of mutual respect of the boundaries we seek to set.
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I believe these words become more true the more you travel. With the perspective that you gain as you travel, you learn to see and experience and transform your perspective. You can only really impact your life and your heart in this way when you’re out of your normal context. This is why I love to travel—it takes me out of my normal context.
Oftentimes we go through life and don’t see the transformative experiences that happen right in front of us because of the context that we’re in. We see ourselves in our normal lives, our normal day, and anything that does not fit into that normality gets filtered out by the brain as unimportant or extraneous or weird.
We miss the sunset because we’re ‘just trying to get home’ or we miss the flowers in the market because ‘there’s no one at home I’m trying to impress.’ So we miss the beautiful and new that’s actually happening right before us.
I often tell my initiates that at first the impact of the lineage on your life is only noticeable by other people. This is because they can see that you have changed between now and the last time they saw you. You’re with yourself every moment of everyday, so you may not catch the subtle differences in attitude or energy level that is so apparent to others.
It’s easier to see the differences those changes are making when there is some time between each experience, but you’ll never have the benefit of that as a self-observer
For you, waking up everyday looking at yourself in the mirror, you only see incrementally changes that don’t look as big, but overtime they add up!
There is beauty in your path and there is beauty in who you are and there’s beauty in the energy that you bring to your life. When you start to see that beauty inside of you then you can actually see that in the people around you, and in the places and in the objects outside of you.
So really everything that we experience outside of us, including the beauty we see, is sourced from within. We just need to bring that out and develop a practice of starting from within to acknowledge our Divinity and acknowledge our beauty and then bring that out into the world, rather than taking what we seem to see in the world outside of us inward, usually an ego-driven desire or reaction of protection or fear.
So it’s time to reverse the flow of your energy instead of taking things from outside and bringing them in, it’s now time to take the beauty and the Eternal nature from within you outward. Why? Because we need you, we need your perspective, we need your divinity expressed. We love you. We need your gifts in the world now more than ever. See you on the path of the Great Work—your own path of Beauty.
A New Equilibrium
In Conjunction, there was a general embracing of opposites. In Fermentation, there was a sheer dedication to truth and impeccable perception. Now, in Sublimation, Love and Wisdom find their union.
Sublimation begins, and Fermentation ends, when pure, ecstatic Love floods in. It is a Love unbound, not attached to anything, all-embracing, unconditional. It is not romantic. It is not brotherly. It just IS. It arrives on its own when the lesson of Fermentation has been fully understood, which is the fallibility of seeking.
In Sublimation, actions flow from both Love and Wisdom. To an outside perspective, focused on cultural norms or expectations, not all actions will appear loving from a person in Sublimation. They won’t always be acceptable. But they don’t come from a purely ego-centric or conditioned place.
Expansion of “Self”
This is also a point where greater capabilities emerge. With a more highly developed awareness, one may experience powers and strengths such as clairvoyance, telepathy, energy sensitivity, intuition, precognition, psychometry, or generally a greater sense of flow and alignment in life. These are not necessary to the experience of Sublimation, but those with proclivities in such areas may see an expansion. Things that were previously challenging may feel like they come more easily now. Some internal obstacles may simply vanish. One may have more vitality or youthfulness.
Sublimation is a whole new experience of self and reality, both being redefined. There is no need to attach to any identity, though identities can be easily worn and discarded like clothing. There may be a greater ability to adapt to social and cultural circumstances, without “buying into” them. There is neither attachment or avoidance, simply fluid motion through life.
This or That?
The main realization of Sublimation, as one moves through it, is fully understanding the relationship between the immanent and transcendent, or “physical” and “spiritual.” There may be a liberating impulse, but until you really grasp there is nothing to be liberated from, then this phase is not yet complete.
Everything is considered sacred. Nothing is looked down upon. Good and Evil or right and wrong no longer exist, though relative resonance and dissonance can be appreciated. There is simply awareness of relevance in the moment. Everything is seen as a blessing. The One is recognized in All, and the All recognized in the One.
What more can be said?
Opening to Further Possibilities
There is no formula offered here for what can be practiced or taken advantage of to pursue this path further. You have direct, open communication with your intuition and Infinite Intelligence. You have congruence with your Higher Self.
This is, of course, by no means an endpoint. One can continue to learn and explore. There will always be opportunities for this.
Some possible avenues for exploration are:
- Seek communion with nature and its inhabitants. Much can be learned in this way. With enhanced perception and ability to connect, you can take time to get to know the plants, animals, and minerals of the natural world more and what they have to teach. You can also contact the elemental beings and nature spirits.
- Send energy where you feel it can be most helpful. You can offer loving energy to groups of people, and even political or corporate leaders. Offering such energy may contribute to inspiring shifts for the benefit of the collective.
- Support seekers and those in need. You can provide direct support to those who are learning to navigate their own awareness and who may need guidance.
Beauty in Life’s Labyrinth
Jenny couldn’t feel freer! She stretched out her arms in the living, vibrant rainforest, feeling its energy speak to her. All the trees were whispering, those elders of the Earth, imbibing her with ancient wisdom. The ground hummed. The birds, in their decorous plumage, pierced the air with tickling vibrations.
She had come to some incredible realizations in this beautiful Peruvian landscape. Jenny felt totally reborn after such a long time of feeling isolated and depressed. Where there was despair, there was now a heart that was so open, it felt the strummings of Life…
After some loving goodbyes with her newly made friends at the retreat, Jenny returned to the US, where she lived with her one roommate, Sierra. She also returned to her job as a journalist. She had been on FMLA for two months, so it was surreal to come back. Everyone noticed a difference in her. She kept getting compliments about how radiant she looked or how joyful or how youthful.
Her creative flow was phenomenal. Her writing came so easily, and even her hobby as a dancer took on new life and vigor. It was as if each time her fingers touched the keyboard, or her feet touched the dance floor, she became a channel for the Universe.
These thoughts percolated her mind, and she wondered what it meant. How did she feel so tapped into the Universe, and what was the Universe? Was it her Higher Self, God, Kundalini, or something else entirely that she was experiencing?
Jenny devoured literature on the subject, and any sacred text she could get her hands on. She wanted to really understand what this was all about. She listened to gurus on YouTube and read all kinds of spiritual blogs. She went to the meditation center near her home, to see if there was anything she could learn from the teachers and students there. She got many answers, and filled in her spiritual map, but something felt missing.
Jenny was loving life more than she had ever loved it before, yet she felt she absolutely had to figure this thing out called reality. She had glimpses and visions of the Big Picture. She had intuitions and epiphanies. And they were epic! But she knew that there was still…more. And somehow she felt like she couldn’t let that go.
The more she meditated and focused on her spiritual practices, the more she felt transcendent. Her seeming awakening in Peru had made all this much easier, she thought. She felt more and more distant from the ‘ordinary’ concerns of daily living, and felt she could relate less and less to other people. It became challenging for her to remain long in a place that felt ‘low-vibe,’ though she was getting better at calling in the Light to purify herself and areas around her.
One day, several months into her post-awakening journey, Jenny received a call from her mom. Her father had died of a heart attack. She paused, noticing the immediate sorrow rising up in her. Memories flashed through her mind of her father taking her on hikes as a child, of going boating together, of him holding her on his lap as they watched cheesy movies.
After the call, she cried, allowing herself to feel everything, going deeply into it and letting it move and shift on its own. A joy welled in her heart as she thought more about her dad, and she knew that there was something positive coming from this experience.
Most of her family members were at the funeral – her mother, two brothers, younger sister, nephews, nieces, cousins, and an uncle. Her dad was so loving that this was a very solemn affair, and the pain of the loss everyone felt was palpable. It was a bit too much for Jenny to be there, and she didn’t feel the need to be gloomy, but would have rather celebrated her father’s life.
She noticed some irritation as her attempt to draw in the Light and change the atmosphere failed. When one of her brothers came up to ask her how she was handling this, she couldn’t help but tell him her feeling that this would be a good experience. She mused that maybe their father was already preparing for his next lifetime, or in a realm far better than this one. Her brother flared at this and questioned if she was mentally ill.
This made her uncomfortable and she had to get out. Excusing herself, she left the funeral site and found a path leading to a labyrinth by an old church. Her thoughts were racing, and pain, anger, guilt, and sorrow all at once. She tried to be with each emotion, diving into it, but they were all so intertwined it felt impossible. She took some deep breaths and attempted to clear her mind, but it was like pushing away water, only to have more rush in.
With a sigh, Jenny simply walked the large labyrinth, letting it take her where it would. She stared at the worn-out stones laid out on the path, and the dirt, grime, and moss between them. She noticed a couple slugs along the way, sliding their gooey trail across the stones. She saw how the sunlight reflected off the fresh slug slime, giving it a luminous, rainbow sheen. And she realized how beautiful it was. Gorgeous, even. As her eyes glanced across the slime back to the slugs, she recognized their beauty, as well – their smooth, elongated bodies, their glistening skin, their delicate tentacle-antennae with beady eyes.
She stood still as she looked even more closely at the intricate patterns on their skin, the almost feathered texture that might have been missed with its gloss. And the weaves of dark and light colors rippling along each slug’s back. She marveled at how they moved, how miraculous it was that countless muscles along their singular feet worked in tandem to inch the slugs along a slide secreted moment-by-moment. How in the hell did this creation come to be?!
She kept walking, and soon enough came across a burnt out cigarette butt lying on the ground. Jenny stopped again, a flash of fury dashing through her as she thought about how inconsiderate some people are. She reached for the cigarette to pick it up till she could find a place to toss it, then hesitated. She wondered, as she had found beauty in the slugs, if there was beauty even in this dejected cigarette.
It was folded slightly, almost an elbow shape like a macaroni. Tiny creases lined its fold, and miniscule streaks of dirt framed the creases. Tobacco granules peaked gently out of their open tunnel, a few grains having already spilled out like an infant avalanche, their black and red hue reminding her of cooling lava on the Hawaiian islands. Indeed, if she looked closely, even this cigarette was beautiful.
Dazed and forgetting to pick it up, Jenny continued on through the labyrinth, winding around and around until finally, she came to the center. And there, in that center, was a fountain – a broken, defeated fountain, no longer gushing water. If it gushed anything, it was dust. She walked up to it, seeing that small chunks of its limestone body were missing, faded out into time. A lion stood proudly next to its copper spout, one paw resting on the greenish, oxidized metal. Little cherubs danced around the edge. One had a missing wing. Another was without a nose. There were perhaps seven of them lining the bowl of the fountain.
A stone bench greeted, and she sat on it as she continued to examine the fountain. The oxidized copper blended well with the dark moss that grew in patches across the fountain’s surface. Winged insects with shiny scales lazily hovered around it, some lounging on the soft moss. The gaps in the rock had their own stories to tell, patterns left by their fallen pieces, lines and peaks and troughs and shadows that created landscapes. The whole fountain, in fact, was full of colors and shades and textures, more intricate and detailed in its retirement.
Jenny reflected on how all things change, how there is always death and dying and aging and destruction, and yet…beauty is always available, waiting to be seen. In anything. In any creature. In any person.
Suddenly, Jenny felt the full realization of her awakening, the glimpse of her Big Picture expanding infinitely until she laughed and knew it was never anywhere, because it was everywhere. There was nothing out of reach. There was nothing separate. She laughed the loudest she had ever laughed, blissful tears streaming down her face.
When she returned to the funeral, everyone was talking, but she felt they were anxious to leave. Her mother saw her and came up and gave her a big hug. She must have seen her flushed face and red eyes from the laughing and tears. Jenny hugged her tightly and felt more love than she ever knew she could.
Then she saw her brother, who gave her a sideways glance, his jaw tense. She went up to him and told him that she had felt a deep sorrow when she found out their dad had died, and remembered all the precious times they had together. She’d felt the loss of knowing she would never have those times with him again. She understood her brother’s pain. She felt it even as she spoke, and she hugged her brother and held him, holding not just him in her arms, but also the pain and the hurt. And she felt her love expand more and more (how it could expand any further, she didn’t know, but she relished its endlessness). As her love expanded, she felt her brother loosen, and he wrapped his arms around her completely. She felt his pain ease and ease, as his own love grew and grew.
“The universe is not outside of you. Look inside yourself; everything that you want, you already are.” — Rumi