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Someone who mentors kids asked the question: What are the best ways to build self confidence in a pre-teen?

As I pondered a response to the question and began formulating a list in my mind I saw that it was the qualities of the heart that would lead the way… but of course! The spiritual heart or the heart chakra is where the ascended balance states of being live. These states neutralize or balance polarity and hold a higher vibration than the polarized either/or states of the lower mind, and they are intrinsically imbued with love. 

The wisdom of the heart comes through intuitively when we choose our words and actions from fourth dimensional love, rather than third dimensional polarized power. So whether we are mentoring a student or just living life and having relationships in a polarized world, we can create unity in our consciousness simply by naming and beginning to actualize the higher vibrational states in our lives.

The ascended balance states include acceptance, compassion, generosity, patience and selflessness, among many others. In my response to this mentor I saw that it was the heart-centered states of respect, humility, presence, honesty, and authenticity, along with an overall attitude of flexibility and non-attachment that would foster growth in a student, allowing them to find their own way through the lesson or task. So, specifically, my recommendation to build self-esteem in a pre-teen was:

  • Avoid acting from a position of authority with the student; that’s already implicit in the relationship. Respect them for who they are and meet them from a place of humility.
  • Look for opportunities to allow the student to express themselves and invite them to share their ideas and feelings. Be a present and attentive listener.
  • Set the student up for success with clearly defined goals. Break down larger overarching goals into smaller achievable increments. Remain flexible.
  • Make a commitment to always offer honest feedback to the student. Look for opportunities to praise, but keep it authentic. Praise when not genuinely earned may boost the ego temporarily, but may inhibit emotional resiliency in the long term in face of the ups and downs of life.
  • Avoid criticism in favor of constructive feedback. Offer options and suggestions rather than answers, allowing the student to find their own way to a satisfactory outcome. 

A popular quote attributed to Robert Frost comes to mind here:

“I am not a teacher, but an awakener.”

When we commit to the awakening heart in our mentoring relationship and in life in general we invite Spirit to lead the way, where the light of unity consciousness can work its magic.

A common theme these days among those I mentor is worry about the future. At this moment in time on the planet and with the arrival of the corona virus last year, many are feeling  ungrounded, unstable, fearful, and uncertain about the future. Thoughts come up such as “Will I ever be able to manifest that soul mate for whom I long so deeply?”; and, “will I be stuck in this rut of a job forever or will I ever able to realize my dreams…?”; and lurking in the background is “will this pandemic ever end so that can we can get back to normal?!”

The truth is there is never a good reason to worry about the future, as we are actively creating it by the choices we make moment to moment. As spiritual teacher Ram Dass has famously advised Be Here Now! When we are able to quiet the mind with its ruminations about the past or anxiety about the future, we enter a portal of timelessness. It is the entrance into our soul’s wisdom and the guidance that serves its evolution and highest dharma. But thought forms about the past or about the future create a veil blocking this intuitive knowledge from reaching us, often breeding anxiety or even depression.

In a recent Leslie Jamison article in The Atlantic magazine about men in prison who create art, researcher Nicole R. Fleetwood talks about the lesson that abstract artist Jared Owen learned while incarcerated.

“To fixate on the past or to focus on the time remaining on his sentence was to succumb to rage and depression. Such thoughts would make him angry about the years spent away from his two sons, both very young when he went away.”

But through his art Owen was able to hone a practice of staying present and tap into his creative impulse, which was both therapeutic and inspirational; and through his pain he discovered that when the mind is quiet and our intention is in simply being present with what is, each moment and deed is aligned with our soul purpose. In his case creating beautiful abstract art. As we practice this new mode of being we begin to perceive spirit’s invisible hand at work behind the scenes as wonderful life-enhancing synchronicities become commonplace. In time an unshakable faith in the support of the invisible realms allows the soul’s wisdom to direct our life through inspiration, intuition and direct knowing. We enter the realm of the miraculous, where time stops and the inevitability of our evolution becomes manifest. We are at peace and at one with the Creator.

Early 20th century mystic and poet Edward Carpenter eloquently describes this place in this poem. May you find your way Here…

The Central Calm

Drawing back for a moment from Time, and its superficial claims and conclusions,
Realising for a moment the artistic nature of the utterance of the Universe:

That all is for expression, and that for this end commencement and finale, first evolved and latest evolved, are equally important;

That Progress is a word which may be applied to any world-movement or individual career in the same sense as it may be applied to the performance of a musical work,
Which progresses to its final chord, yet the conclusion of the whole is not in the final chord, but in that which runs beneath and inspires the entire web–in that which from first to last the whole complex succession of chords and phrases indicates:

Realising this–

Realising–thus for a moment withdrawn–that there is no need to hurry, no need to dash against the bars;
But that Time itself rushing on with amazing swiftness in its vast and endless round, with suns and systems, ages and geologic epochs, races and tribes of beings, mineral, vegetable, animal, and ethereal, circle beyond circle, infallibly fulfills and gives utterance to the glorious whole:

Like one in the calm that is the centre of a cyclone–guarded by the very tornado around–
Undisturbed, yet having access equally to every side,
I drink of the deep well of rest and joy,
And sit with all the gods in Paradise.

I was having an email exchange with someone who was contemplating not voting in the upcoming election in the United States. She felt, being the conscientious person that she is, that by voting she would be aligning herself energetically with the old polarized dysfunctional third dimensional paradigm and would be giving her power and sovereignty over to that. By putting her focus on creating the new heart-centered paradigm that is birthing on earth now she felt she would be better serving higher consciousness.

I agreed with her that the Patriarchal social system that we have now, and which we have had for the last 5,000 years (and within which our democracy is bound), is ego driven, dysfunctional, and often corrupt. But when we choose to throw up our arms and abandon it by not voting, and instead only acknowledge the light, aren’t we doing spiritual by-pass? When we turn our backs on the dark and look only to the light, personally or collectively, we are ignoring our shadow and transformation will never take place. I like the Zen koan-like phrase that my teacher coined years ago: expand into the contraction. As seekers our calling is to shine the light of consciousness on the unconscious contraction so that it may be transmuted and transformed.


Yes, we are being asked to vote (to vow or to wish) within a corrupt 3D political system. But it is of our own creation! It is a manifestation and a reflection of our own collective unconscious shadow. To vote is to choose to work within the system that we created to direct our enlightened energy and attention to the side of an issue or to a candidate that feels, given its 3D limitations, most likely to evolve the collective, or to at least point us in a more expansive direction. 


This does not make us partisan. We can make our choice with discernment and detachment and pray for the highest good without demonizing the other side or playing the game of right vs. wrong. What is our heart telling us? We quietly vote by trusting the power of our divine nature and intention to create the change we seek.

So voting is an act of power and a statement to the divine that we are not denying our human experience, but that with her help we choose to transform it.

I was mentoring with someone on Skype the other day. She has been out of work for nearly a year, and although there were interviews for jobs, no offer had manifested. And now, with Corona Virus, she was feeling intense fear and panic and a sense of scarcity. She is a sensitive soul and I could see that in addition to the emotions coming from her personal story she was picking up fear from the Collective (the overarching field of consciousness held by humanity), amplifying the intensity of her emotions.

Due to loss of income from the stay at home orders from the virus, survival issues are up for many. Even simply being told to “shelter in place” can be an emotional trigger. This uncleared shadow has its origins in our childhood, and even from ancestral memory stored in the cells of our body. Our issues of survival are bound up in the first or root chakra at the base of the spine. When it is closed down we feel fearful; we fear for our survival. We fear death, and our fear blocks our ability to perceive the divine support that is always available to us.

Emotions are vibrational frequencies, and whether they are our own or we are picking them up from others, they can be witnessed, felt and released. Opening up a closed root chakra… ah, we feel grounded again. Connected to the earth and to our core light our fear subsides and we are able to manifest what we need.

Simply approaching your fear with the intention of releasing it begins to release its grip. The witnessing presence that I wrote about in my previous blog post is your ally here. In a quiet moment, begin this process by journaling about your situation and invite your emotional body to participate. In other words, allow any emotions that are coming up to be there. Witness them without judgment. Feel them and allow them their full expression, whether anger or fear, or some, as yet, unnamed feeling. Know that are not who you are; they do not define you. Allow them to pass through the clear light of the witnessing presence that you truly are!

Over the years I’ve helped lots of people process and clear their personal shadow using specific clearing techniques, including Releasing Frozen Children. If you’d like some help with this, I’m here for you. Please click the Mentoring/Guidance link at the top of this blog for more details.

So here we are, the entire world brought to a standstill by this microscopic, but super efficient, contagion. Is this just an accident… simply our bad luck? We live in an intelligent universe, and its impetus is to evolve. For humanity this means growth towards higher consciousness, from the separateness of the individual ego to the unity of the one heart. Rather than seeing the Corona Virus as an adversary to overcome, I believe it has arrived as a wake-up call with a karmic message for humanity:

You are out of balance with nature and the earth, and you are out of balance with each other. Stop. Go inside. Be at peace with the unknown. Out of the chaos and dissolution will come a rebirth. Allow the heart to lead the way and all will be well.

As soon as we are able to grok this message, even a little, this virus will cease to be a problem. This is my prayer for the world.

 

As we see in the news everyday, this is a world divided. What I mean by this is that it is polarized, and not just politically, but this world is dual by its very nature. It is a world of positive and negative. In fact, subatomically, the positive and negative forces within atoms give rise to all form in this world. And form includes not only the physical and the physical body, but the mental and the emotional bodies, as well.

So we have positive thoughts and negative ones; we have positive emotions and negative emotions. And very naturally we reach for the positive states while pushing away the negative. Why would we not?! Aah, but there is a profound spiritual truth that says:

Everything in time shall turn into its opposite.

In our limited ego-mind we teeter-totter between the positive and negative, spending some amount of time in one state before inevitably flipping to the other. With this constant flip-flopping, no wonder we often feel off balance and confused! We have no stable place to ground our awareness.

There is a way through, though. We each have access to a higher viewing platform, so to speak. This point of view rests outside of the dual nature of the mind and emotions. Called the neutral witness or the neutral observer, it is able to view the transitory nature of duality with detachment. Jesus said “If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be filled with Light.” In other words, beyond the two eyes of negative and positive is this third channel of awareness – the single eye – our neutral observer. The positives and negatives of life will still happen, but the neutral observer rests outside of the action and just watches. This observer avoids assigning a value to one experience over the other, remains detached, and instead chooses neutrality. Then something amazing happens. Our inner world of swirling mind and emotions comes into balance and a doorway is opened into an expanded consciousness, one of peace, light and Presence. Instead of flip-flopping between the positive and negative, we begin to ground on that which rests between the opposites of the world – our true, divine nature.

“But how do I get there,” you ask? “How do I find my neutral observer?” The initial step is to make it conscious – to acknowledge its existence and to open to it. We already very naturally observe the personality in action with its judgments, likes and dislikes, but now we add the intention to be neutral in the face of the ups and downs of life, rather than react to them.

When I mentor others and they come me in pain or feel stuck in their lives some way, it is this witnessing presence that I hold for them. We could say that they have lost the neutral observer by identifying with the transitory thoughts or emotions that are passing through them. In our sessions together we process and find our way back to the neutrality of this witnessing presence, anxiety is relieved and new ways of coping and perceiving are instituted.

Over time we build the strength of the neutral observer, reactivity is lessened, and we begin to discover the treasure that is beyond even the positive – an equanimity with all of life and the pure joy of Being.

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As we approach our winter solstice this year, and as the dark turns to light, let us consciously tune into the subtle energies and the descent of Grace that naturally bless us. We can sense it in meditation, in nature, or simply in quiet times if we make space for it. Gently breath into your crown chakra at the top of your head and open to the golden effulgent light that is specially showered upon us this time of year. Allow it to fill you up, washing away any shadow or negativity. Feel how it uplifts you and connects you to your heart. 

The spiritual heart at the center of our chest is a doorway into an ascended state of being. Its overarching vibration is of love; yes, romantic love lives here, but also so many subtler vibrations that uplift us and invite us to connect with others. For example, the spiritual heart shows us the way to acceptance and compassion. Allow your attention to rest there at the center of your chest and open to these ascended states of mind. Feel any resistance in your heart melt as you are uplifted and brought nearer to your essential divine nature. Breathe deeply into this wellspring of love and light.

Forgiveness, generosity, gratitude and humility also emanate from the spiritual heart. On the cusp of a new year, who in your life is awaiting your forgiveness? Can you let go of the pain and resentment and open your heart to them once again? Allow Grace to support you as you surrender your withholdings and heal the broken heart. Begin the coming year anew with a unification so that you both may be cleansed and loved once again. 

In your giving and receiving this time of year (and always) allow Grace and the open heart to guide you. Can you give generously and selflessly, especially to those in need? And can you accept what is given to you with humility and gratitude? Can you be thankful not only for any gifts, but for the beauty of felt connection and the fullness of heart that comes with that?

Joy, too, lives in the heart. Let this sacred and sweet time of year bring you joy. Choose how you spend your time mindfully. Will you be uplifted by your choices or will they feel like a burden, weighing you down emotionally and physically. Use your free will to choose to raise your vibration through your choices moment by moment. Grace will surely meet you there, and then some. 

Lastly, take your light and your joy with you into the new year. This fragmented world desperately needs the healing that comes with the open heart. Together may we seed the world with a higher unifying vibration carried on the wings of love.

chakras, gold background

“A river of light, pure intelligence and love flows within each of us. When the river flows fully from head to toes, we feel happy, fulfilled and awake to our true nature as eternal, timeless beings.” Leslie Temple-Thurston

This unique six part series of classes is based on the book “Returning to Oneness – The Seven Keys of Ascension” by Leslie Temple-Thurston (available on amazon.com – paperback or Kindle)

Listen to a brief audio invitation to the series from Gary here:

 

Life force energy, also know as prana or chi, flows in the body via seven primary chakras, or energy centers. In these seven classes you will learn a unique set of keys to open the doorways between the chakra levels and awaken the movement of life force energy through the entire body. In our work together you will learn how your limiting beliefs block these flows in the body, preventing you from functioning at your full potential. Group processing and discussion as well as guided meditations will help you to ground and embody these mystical teachings. When used as a regular practice the seven keys become powerful tools for clearing negativity, fear, anger, and victimhood, fostering mental clarity, emotional balance and the luminous presence within.

The classes will be held on six consecutive Saturdays from 10:00am until 12:00pm, October 12, through November 16, 2019, Sutro Heights, San Francisco location.

The series is limited to eight participants. If you should miss a class, a recording of the material will be made available to you. To register please go to

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/opening-the-chakras-7-keys-to-a-joyous-life-and-your-divine-nature-tickets-70401305199

“Thank you for providing the 7 Keys journey for us. It was very powerful, meaningful, and instructive. I felt that you were very in tune with each of us and were able to wisely and gently guide our thoughts, emotions, and questions.”

Amy Tirion, Founder of “Delight for the Soul”

 

 

 

redefining-the-divine

A sacred union is formed when we unite our masculine and feminine energies within; we find our spiritual heart and our world is transformed.

Join me on Saturday, June 22, 2019 for a day of exploration, healing and initiation into the mystical union of the inner masculine and feminine. In esoteric philosophy the feminine and masculine principles, the yin and yang, underlie all of existence, bringing form into the world. Whether we are male or female, both are a part of our makeup and they are intrinsically equal and complementary. For most of us, though, they are out of balance, leading to troubled relationships, power struggles, a teeter-totter life, and a world that mirrors this imbalance.

In truth, we are one androgynous soul acting out both sides. The men in a woman’s life will mirror to her unowned and projected aspects of her inner masculine side, and the women in a man’s life will mirror his projected feminine side. To heal this split, we must take back these projections, making the unconscious conscious (shadow clearing), and allow our level of attention to rise into a place of balance in the spiritual heart. With this shift, life smooths out. We see our relationships become supportive, harmonious and loving, and our actions in the world come into alignment with our soul’s intention. We come into our true spiritual power as women and men.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • to identify and distinguish the qualities of the feminine and masculine and their shadow sides
  • how the masculine and feminine energies flow in the subtle physical, or energy body
  • how polarized consciousness moves up through the body and into a place of balance in the spiritual heart
  • potent tools for clearing unconscious shadow

As a group, we will:

  • identify, process and clear the unconscious masculine and feminine shadow
  • be guided in meditations to ground our new awarenesses
  • dialogue and share

Workshop logistics:

Date: Saturday, June 22, 2019

Time: 9:30am – 4pm (with lunch break)

Location: sacred space in Sutro Heights, San Francisco. Exact address provided upon registration.

Please register at this link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/awakening-the-sacred-masculine-and-feminine-a-marriage-of-spirit-tickets-62060330118

This question came up the other day: “If only I could be more patient with myself and others, I wouldn’t get so stressed all the time. Is there anything I can do?” 

Having patience, waiting… why can it be so challenging sometimes? Our lack of control over a situation and the accompanying feeling of powerlessness? Our activated nervous system and inevitable restlessness? Why do we so easily become impatient? Whatever our subjective experience, impatience is always about our relationship to time. We resist the unease of our present moment experience and desire to be in the future when our inner tension is resolved. We want that slow driver ahead of us in traffic to move along, already! We want that co-worker to complete their assignment so that the stalled project you’ve been working on together can proceed, pronto! The thoughts we’re having about the unresolved situation dominate our awareness and we feel restless.

So we could say impatience begins in the mind with the thoughts that the mind generates about what it feels should be. We become attached to some imaginary future moment when the world meets our expectations. Or if it doesn’t, at least we’re we’re no longer left in the dark! And in this we become a prisoner of psychological time, feeling trapped and stressed.

time-sand

But what if, next time, you were to choose to detach from this endless thought-stream? For this is where our power regarding impatience lies. Finding patience is synonymous with finding inner peace. And this inner piece comes from a quiet mind. It’s not so hard to do. The next time you notice yourself being impatient, simply take your attention away from your thoughts and to your breath. Focus on breathing deeply and rhythmically in and out for a moment or two. You’ll notice that the mind naturally quiets down, and an activated nervous system begins to settle. By slowly tracking your inbreath and outbreath with your attention, an experience of inner stillness will soon begin to take hold. The future holds no sway here, for you are becoming present.

It is in this still present moment awareness that, rather than resisting or desperately needing resolution to your predicament, you find acceptance for what is. And it is in this acceptance that you find your elusive patience waiting for you all along!

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The winter solstice is upon us when, in the Northern Hemisphere, the shorter days and chilly temperatures naturally draw us indoors. But the celestial energies also draw us inward, inside ourselves, inviting contemplation and introspection at year’s end. It is an opportunity to take inventory on our lives: How has the year been for us? Is there place in my life that feels wonky and out of balance? What do I need to change in the new year to bring it more into balance?

Grace descends in a special way this time of year, also. Her blessings of transcendent effulgent light uplift us, touching and opening our hearts. We are instinctively drawn to reaching out to others and sharing our love. Love is a unifying force; it is the glue that unites the two – the split off, the separate. It is the light that contains the shadow, illuminating its deception. So in the face of the extreme negativity and polarization we are experiencing in the world at this time, this solstice window becomes a potent opportunity to foster unity by embracing love.

The love that we find in the open heart also very naturally invites the acts of giving and receiving which, unfortunately, this time of year have become burdened by expectation and consumerism; however, our giving can be transformed when we practice the spirit of Karma Yoga. Selfless action and giving without thought of reward, is our noble intention here. It is the highest aspect of the heart and of action in the world. 

When we give of our resources without self interest, whether it is through money, a material gift, our talents and expertise, or if we simply reach out in compassion to someone in need, our hearts rejoice and expand and we connect to a field of universal love and abundance. We bypass the dual nature of the limited ego-mind with its belief in lack and scarcity, its neediness and attachments, and we enter the domain of divine love, flow and the source of unlimited supply. We become emissaries of the divine, spreading wealth and blessings on her behalf. Then giving becomes our joy, and the more we give the more we want to give!

Let the spirit of Karma Yoga guide your giving and your actions now and always. The love and joy you discover there will grow your heart and bless your life, casting light wherever there is darkness into the new year and beyond.