Categories
Philosophy

How to Heal from Hyper Independence Trauma

There is an interesting phenomena in our world impacting many people from a young age. It gets re-worded and people rationalize it, but I believe it to be detrimental to having personal happiness. This phenomena is called hyper independence.

Hyper independence, sometimes called Ultra independence has been classified as a trauma response for when an individual fails to have their needs met by their caregivers. They develop an attitude that they will be the only person who can meet their needs, and in their later years will wall themselves off to genuine trust in relationships. 

I have noticed there are various degrees of hyper independence. I think it’s rare to see extreme cases where an individual completely closes themselves off to the outside world and when this happens it tends to be labeled something more extreme. The more common occurrences which I observe tend to include things like:

  • Unwilling to ask for help, especially when struggling
  • Difficulty being vulnerable with others
  • An inability to accept circumstances 
  • Anxiousness surrounding uncertainty

People with hyper independent behaviors tend to be reliable and well respected by their peers. Our society views independence as a good thing, and it is, except when it is taken to the extreme. The glorification of independence often creates a distorted perspective of what it really is. Independence is something to be valued when it enables you to meet your own needs. Being able to pay your own bills, take care of yourself, and the freedom to create the life you want to live are all valuable parts of being independent.

However, being independent doesn’t mean being alone. There are many movies with a “Lone Wolf” protagonist. Mad Max, I Am Legend, Book of Eli. Interesting how many of them take place in a post-apocalyptic setting. While these characters are fun to watch in movies, in reality, traveling across a wasteland with nothing but a dog for company would be immensely difficult. Humans are social creatures. It is hardwired into our biology to be a part of a group and build connections with other humans. When we deny ourselves these experiences whether by choice or circumstance, we suffer negative physiological responses.

Unfortunately, the world is a bit different than the environment we evolved in. Thousands of years ago we lived in tribes and basically new everyone we lived with. Even as cities formed, people would still gather in the town square and making connections with others held the same level of importance to our survival. It is only now, in the Age of Information, where we have this illusion of being connected but truly separate. Things like social media and Zoom allow us to feel connected, and overall I think they are good, but they don’t  replace the genuine connection of being face to face with someone. They don’t allow for people to physically help someone who is going through a tough time. If your eyes are the windows to your soul, then a screen would be like having limousine tints.

The good news is these behaviors can be unlearned. Hyper independence, like many trauma responses, is a way for an individual to feel safe when their environment feels unsafe and persists even after their environment has become safe again. When we are no longer living our life in fight-or-flight mode, we have the opportunity to heal our old wounds and develop healthier, more fulfilling ways of living. If you struggle with hyper independent behaviors, there’s more good news. It’s up to you to change the behavior.

I have found people to work best with incremental changes. It can cause a lot of stress to make a 180 degree shift in your behavior. Most people can start by asking for help, or better yet, accept help when it is offered. It’s quite likely you’ll be able to do whatever tasks people are offering help for, after all, we built our lives on doing things for ourselves, but that’s not the point. Accepting help develops our ability to trust others, and the easier the task, the more likely they will show they can be trusted. 

When we develop a significant amount of trust with someone, it opens the door to be vulnerable. Then it is just a matter of taking the leap. Although if you put it off long enough, you might get lucky and have a break down, forcing you to be vulnerable with someone. I wouldn’t recommend that path but the universe cares more about learning the lesson than how difficult the lesson might be. Being vulnerable is an extension of trust, and trust is a result of nurturing a relationship.

Some of the issues around hyper independence are more complex but all of them really result from distrust. At a young age our caregivers showed they were unable to provide for us and as a result it created a sense of distrust in other people and the world. We felt we could trust only ourselves and in all honesty, we got pretty good results. It’s only once we reach the next step in our healing that these behaviors become an issue.

Any way you can develop more trust with other people is a good thing, and don’t worry about people abusing your trust. With hyper independent people it usually isn’t given without good cause! It may not come easy but if this is something you struggle with and want to heal, I know you’re more than capable of it!

I hope this article has been helpful to you whether you struggle with hyper independent behaviors or simply want to be more aware of things others might be struggling with. If you’re interested in a coaching session, hope on over to my Book a Lesson tab and we will find something that works for you. I wish you happiness and blessings in all that you do.

To my fellows, may your seeking be fruitful and your findings bountiful! 

Categories
Philosophy Quantum Physics

The Key to Spiritual Growth through Physical Mastery

In my experience, it is quite common for people walking a spiritual path to overlook the involvement of their physical body while on that path. So I decided it would be of value to write an article about the connection between your physical body and your spiritual body.

First, understand you cannot have a healthy spiritual body and an unhealthy physical body. Many people treat the spirit-body connection like an upside down pyramid. The most important part is keeping the spirit clean and it will trickle down to good physical health. After all, metaphysics tells us that everything is influenced by an unseen field of energy. In some ways this is true but it can also be very impractical use of your time and energy.

Additionally, the spirit body connection works more like an electrical circuit. Both the spirit and body input energy that then feeds into the other. If there is a break in the circuit, it doesn’t matter how much energy is being fed into either side, the energy still escapes. 

So what does this look like?

A person who is too heavily focused on their spiritual body will appear spacy and have difficulty committing to “real world” tasks. They will struggle with time management, reliability and accomplishing their goals. They may not be physically disabled or overweight, in fact, they may appear perfectly healthy. However, their physical body is actually suffering from a deficiency. They may be lacking exercise, interaction with nature, and most commonly proper nutritional intake. 

A person who focuses on their physical body but not their spiritual body will appear animalistic. Their goals and efforts will be focused on obtaining material things like sex, money, food or power. They may be inconsiderate of others or lack moral and ethical principles. If they have any religious or spiritual beliefs, they likely will not practice what they preach. If they preach at all, it will be for status. Their energy is concentrated in the lower chakras and is unable to move upward due to constrictions, usually between the solar plexus and heart chakra. This results in what we call the Lower Energy Triangle.

A person who balances their spiritual and physical bodies will be able to properly navigate both worlds. They will be dependable, follow through on their commitments and have proper orientation towards what this world expects. They will have adequate levels of energy to accomplish their goals. They may possess some level of clair- abilities (clairvoyance; claircognizance; clairsentience; etc.). Their actions will be guided by moral and ethical principles. Above all, their aura will be even and balanced throughout their body.

Next, you must know your physical body is the barometer for your spirit body. Just as a real barometer is used to indicate weather patterns, your body indicates your spiritual well being. If you are physically ill, there is also a problem in your spirit body, although, you will notice the symptoms in your physical body much sooner. This is because our emotions, physical strength and flexibility, as well as our sleeping and eating habits are all indicators of our spiritual health. If any one of these is out of order, it means an issue in our spiritual body has already manifested, whether it be an over/undercharged chakra, a break in your aura, or blocked meridian line.

Our physical bodies are like cars for our souls. They tell us milage (age), fuel tank capacity (physical energy levels), MPH (energy output), radio stations (thought patterns) and many more bits of information that help us to operate the car. When the check engine light comes on, the car doesn’t just come to a halt and fall apart. It warns us what will happen if we don’t address something wrong with the vehicle. 

The irony is many people fix their cars when the check engine light comes on, but when their body signals something is wrong, they ignore it and continue to do what created the problem. What results is a visit from The Pain Teacher, as taught by Paul Chek. Eventually, you will physically injure yourself or catch a serious illness (mental, emotional or physical) resulting in time away from whatever you felt was more important than your health. Just like a car with a flat tire, you have to fix it before you go anywhere.

Another important thing to recognize is your body is the physical container of spiritual energy. If your physical body is unwell or even suboptimal, it reduces the total amount of energy you can hold. It’s the difference between a coffee mug and a pitcher. Once it is full, the water will just spill over the top. A lot of times this comes to us in the form of headaches, muscle aches and other minor symptoms that are simply unpleasant and painful. Most people respond to them by taking aspirin and trying to continue doing what they were doing. In some cases, they don’t even recognize that the activity is causing the pain. 

In pioneering the practice of Modern Pranic Healing and Arhatic Yoga, Grandmaster Choa Kok Sui discovered that everyone who had a migraine was suffering from an overcharged Ajna or Third Eye Chakra. The light wavelength for charging this chakra ranges from blue to indigo. Now how often have you heard of people getting migraines from using a computer for too long? They are unknowingly overcharging their chakra through prolonged exposure to these wavelengths. 

On the other side of the coin, a lack of activity will result in a smaller container for energy causing the same physical pain. If you are a chronic smoker or never exercise, your heart will become weaker. Spiritually, your heart chakra will become smaller. You may become overly sensitive and physically you will suffer an inability to operate in the 3rd dimension. Even more concerning, if you attempt to charge your weakened heart chakra without the physical health to hold more energy, you could give yourself a heart attack. This is one of the reasons why monks and yogis focus on maintaining physical health. It quite literally becomes dangerous to grow the spiritual body while neglecting the physical one. 

“Okay Matt, that’s cool and all, but what do I do about it?”

There are several things we can do to improve or balance the physical body, and you’ll be happy to know, doing this will also improve the spiritual body. However, some of these suggestions assume you are already at a moderate level of physical health. If you have an injury, chronic disability or illness, please be mindful of what you can and cannot do and use common sense in assessing which of these is appropriate at this time in your life. Quick disclosure, none of these suggestions should be “new” to you. There is no secret formula to good health. Just good ol’ fashion time and effort. 

I believe one of the best ways to improve the physical body is nutrition. Eating fresh produce instead of junk food is obvious but let’s expand upon that. Raw fruits and vegetables contain more enzymes than cooked. This will help improve your gut health and pull more nutrients out of the food you eat. 

If you are able to, choose organic over conventionally grown products. I know organic foods feel kind of like a fad these days, however, organic foods really do contain a proper balance of vitamins and minerals. Our bodies typically need a certain vitamin or mineral to absorb a different vitamin or mineral. So a deficiency in one area means there is likely a deficiency in another area as well. When humans try to genetically modify an apple to be bigger or sweeter, it throws off the balance of nutrients in the apple. Whole foods are so complex, this can cause a chain reaction leading to a large imbalance of nutrients compared to organic. After all, Mother Nature knows best.

To be honest, this will unlikely cause you any problems. If are need to start eating more fruits and vegetables, go easy on yourself and do something you can commit too. The any nutrients that doesn’t get absorbed will just be passed into the toilet. Just make sure you aren’t consuming anything grown with pesticides or GMOs. However, this is something to be mindful of and will be your next step if you are already eating fresh produce. Also, I know there is a substantial price difference between organic and conventional so make the choices that are best for you.

To continue the talk of nutrients, avoid quick meals whenever you can. This includes fast food, microwave dinners, and even canned food. I know they can be tempting because they are quick and easy. I personally keep some saved for when I am feeling lazy or too tired to cook, but I try to keep it to a minimum. In all honesty, fast food should never be eaten if you can avoid it and luckily grocery stores usually offer ready made meals at a cheap price. They aren’t as quick but they will benefit you immensely. 

The last thing I want to mention on the topic of nutrition is, meat. Typically, it is better to eat lower on the evolutionary chart. Red meat (mammals) should be kept to a minimum. That doesn’t mean don’t eat meat at all. I personally eat red meat and I love lamb, but I am mindful of how often I am eating it. Next would be bird meat. Chicken and turkey are great sources of nutrients. Lastly, there is fish. Be mindful of where your fish come from as they can collect lots of toxins from the water. In general, I find I feel better when I keep meat to a minimum overall, however I know everyone’s biology is different so find what works for you.

The second big thing I think can be addressed is strength and flexibility. It’s no secret that if you exercise then you will be healthier. However, don’t think you need to lift heavy weights or become a contortionist to achieve good health. Just getting outside and playing volleyball or swimming is amazing for your physical and spiritual health. 

Of these two things, I believe flexibility should be the priority. Flexibility and proper range of motion helps reduce injury and opens up the flow of energy in your body. Yoga stretches are actually designed to open up the muscles because yogis know that a tense muscle means constricted energy. Stretching should not be painful, although a little bit of discomfort is normal. Also if you have an injured body part, don’t make it worse by stretching it. This is common for neck and wrist muscles. In these situations, stretching should be very light as forcing the stretch will weaken the tendon. 

When it comes to physical strength, you should be strong enough to move your body easily. A simple self test of pull ups, push ups, and squats should give you a good idea of how functional your body. If these are difficult for you, then it probably means you need to spend some time in the gym. Don’t stress yourself out by thinking you need to lift an Atlas Ball or bench 3x your weight. Simply getting to the point when you can move around easily without risk of injury is a good place to start.

Lastly, I want to talk about breath. Breathing is super important and most people don’t realize they breathe ineffectively. When you breathe, you should be pulling in air from your belly through the expansion of your diaphragm. If you breathe through your chest, your lungs are stopped by your rib cage, resulting in less air. Additionally, the bronchial sacs in your lungs get less exposure to air resulting in less oxygen intake. Simply changing the way you breathe can result in more energy.

If you are interested in more knowledge about how to improve your physical health, I recommend Paul Chek’s book How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy. It is incredibly insightful and comprehensive.

I hope this article provided you with something useful. Make sure to check out other pages in my blog and leave a comment regarding your own experience with spirit-body balance.

May your seeking be fruitful and your findings bountiful!

Categories
Personal Philosophy

My Adventure to the Grand Canyon: A Soul’s Discovery

This past week, I took a trip to see the Grand Canyon. At the last minute, the other person I was planning to go with had to cancel. Although hotel reservations had been made, no money had officially been spent. So, I still had the opportunity to back out. I talked about this with a close friend in my circle and he brought up how this would be an opportunity for growth. It would be just God, myself and over 1000 miles of road. Oh yeah, I was driving. Here are some of the spiritual takeaways from my solitary five day trip.

Adventure is what YOU make of it

Early on in the trip I started to experience some frustration. I was almost through New Mexico, had been driving all day, and was still several hours away from my destination. Originally the plan had been to stop and get a hotel in Roswell, NM. However, when I arrived there I was making such good time I figured I could get all the way to Flagstaff, AZ. Without realizing, I had turned the adventure into a mission.

“I have to see the Grand Canyon,” had become the purpose of the journey. It was no longer about self discovery. Although the Grand Canyon was the destination, this slight shift in perspective turned it into the sole reason for the trip. Every other aspect of the trip became a peripheral concern. I would only be fulfilled upon achieving my goal. 

I started to wonder why I took this trip. I thought to myself, “I’m driving over 1000 miles one way, far from my friends and family to see what? A big hole in the ground?” 

I had to reflect on my reasons for going on the trip alone. By going alone, I could adhere entirely to my own schedule. I would have time to be with myself and ponder my experiences. I would be free from external influence and the beauty of the trip would be entirely of my own understanding. Reflecting on my reasons for traveling alone centered me and enabled me to redirect my energy towards the original purpose. Getting to know more about myself.

The following day, after spending the night in Gallup, NM, I did things I wanted to do. I was only three hours away from Flagstaff, so I hiked the Red Rock Trails, saw The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks, and talked to several Natives about the Navajo culture and tradition. Looking back, I enjoyed those parts of the trip more than actually seeing the Grand Canyon, which I assure you, is much more than a “hole in the ground”.

Benefits of Prolonged Solitude

Most people do not find spending five days alone very appealing. I definitely didn’t. At least at first. It is one thing to sit in meditation and practice stillness. However, I found the experience to be more like moving to a place where you know no one. Every interaction has to be formed from scratch and there is little emotional security. Of course we all have phones to touch base, but if I spent the whole time talking with friends back home, part of me would know I am avoiding the experience I set out to have. 

During the time with myself, I had a lot of conversations with what I choose to call God. After all, God was the only one there to hear my thoughts and I don’t feel the need to talk out loud as much as I used to. As I talked, I became much more aware of my fears. An emotion would rise up in me and the only thing I could do was sit with it. I had no way of ignoring the them. After feeling it for awhile I would ask myself, “what is at the core of this?” 

Being on the road for 16 hours kind of forces you to dive deeper. I gained a lot of perspective about my own triggers and emotional habits. I had time to think about why I like and dislike certain things. The specific parts of something which invoke emotion in me. I reflected on my past and the experiences that shaped the way I think and feel. 

After an extended period of self discovery, I reached a place of peace and serenity. I found the later moments of the trip were spent largely in marvel at the nature around me and the forces that created the landscapes. It was profoundly spiritual to ponder the nature of creation, as many of the landscapes took millions of years to form and had been there millennia’s before any human witnessed it.

Engaging Your Inner Child

When you spend such a long time with yourself, you get an opportunity to recreate what “fun” means for you. There aren’t other people to give their two cents about which activities you should do. At first it is kind of uncomfortable but it’s a good practice of giving into your heart’s desire. 

Towards the end of the trip I was feeling exhausted from doing so much and being from central Texas, the snow was becoming a challenge in and of itself. I realized that growing up, our vacations had never been very relaxing. We would spend all our time sight-seeing and doing things. This way of travel has its own merit, but is not a very relaxing way to spend a vacation. Because of this, I knew my emotions were a call from my inner child to spend vacations how I never got to. Lounging around, playing games and eating. 

I had a small internal battle because part of me still thought that was an “improper use of time”. I can do that at home after all. Although, once I recognized it as an opportunity to love my inner child, I knew it was the right thing to do. The other part of me had got its way the first half of the trip, walking through national parks and going on tours, now the child got to be in charge. 

I always had difficulty understanding how to heal my inner child before this experience. I had read about it and could make some connections, but this was my first really big opportunity to do so. Once I made the decision to go along with the warm feeling of excitement in my gut and ignore any internal parenting, I found myself having a great deal of fun. It was the most refreshed I felt in a while. I found my energy levels increased. I was no longer restraining myself to activities I felt were “adult” like. I simply did what my heart told me I should do.

Now that I am back from my trip I feel I have gained a lot more awareness about myself. My motivation to work on my goals has been renewed. It’s an experience I have seldom felt from vacations before given the draining nature of constant motion. It is something I plan on doing again down the road and I believe everyone should provide themselves with the opportunity for self exploration.

If you have ever taken a spiritually impactful trip, let me know in the comments below! I would love to hear your takeaways and what you learned about yourself. If you enjoyed the article make sure to check out some of my other posts.

To all my fellows, may your seeking be fruitful and your findings bountiful!

Categories
Philosophy

Requisites of Resilience

The last several weeks have been quite difficult for me. As a result, I have not been writing articles. Now that I am through the experience, I am able to reflect on it and gain insight to my behavior and the spiritual implications. So I found it fitting that my returning article should be about resiliency. What is it? How does one develop it? What does it mean on our spiritual journey?

What does it mean to be “resilient”?

The short answer is “to keep moving forward when the situation becomes difficult”, but really it is so much more than that. If we push forward without awareness then chances are we will end up exhausted and still not have reached our goals. It is an illusion to think someone can work towards their goals all hours of the day and never take any breaks. 

In some cases, the individual is truly immersed in their passion, in which case they will be revitalized, but eventually everyone takes a break. Whether it be relaxing on the weekends, taking a vacation or daily meditation. Our bodies and mind need to have rest. Everyone has different levels of energy and how much they can commit to a task. The first part of being resilient is learning when you need to be gentle with yourself and rest.

Moving forward with our plans, we often feel blindsided when something unexpected happens. Everyone handles these situations differently. If you are anything like me (I’m looking at you, fellow Earth signs) then you enjoy life to stick to the schedule you set up. There are also people who see the unexpected as opportunities. Unfortunately for some, the latter perspective is more in line with how life works. If everything in life followed a routine then it would undoubtedly become boring and predictable. Even for those of us who like those things. 

So then, the second part of resiliency is adaptability. Things will not go our way more often than they will, so be grateful when it all goes according to plan. Learning to bend to circumstances but break under them is what allows us to keep moving forward or bounce back quicker than most. Some things in life just plain suck, but seeing the silver lining in those events helps us to become grateful more quickly. 

Of course, it’s easier to type that on a blog and than practice it in real life. My suggestion is to practice a reversal of perspective. Whenever something “bad” happens, ask yourself: “How could this be good?” “What blessings am I not focusing on?” “When I get through this situation, how will I look back on it?” These can help you shift your perspective. 

Finally, there is the action step of being resilient: charging ahead. Life will test you. It’s not because the universe is conspiring against you or because someone woke up and decided they were going to specifically make your life hell. Although, it may feel like that sometimes. 

In actuality, these types of situations are pushing us to new heights. We may be wanting to do something but not feel capable or are too comfortable with where we’re at. Then something drastic happens and changes our situation. We are forced out of our comfort zone because we had been unwilling to go there ourselves. It’s like your mom ripping off the bed sheets so you can go to school. It doesn’t mean you are unable to set an alarm and wake up yourself, but it does make the situation more shocking and uncomfortable. Regardless, you’re awake now and have to get ready for school. 

When there is no safety net. No plan B. No way to escape. It summons a strength in us like no other. We become capable of charging headlong towards our goals. We are put in a position to look at what we really want in life.

These tests can be some of the most crucial as they have the ability to sculpt our self image. If we return to our comfort zone, like crawling back into bed, we only postpone the inevitable. We still have to go to school. We increase the chances of being late and we have an even more pissed off mother to deal with. If we do this enough times, our grades will suffer and we may not feel capable of graduating. However, if we meet life where life is, like waking up on time. Things will run more smoothly. Our mother won’t rip the sheets off because we set an alarm. We don’t feel stressed because we have plenty of time to complete our morning routine. We will be more successful in school because we’re properly prepared to meet the challenges of the day. 

The tricky part is learning which quality of resilience is the right one for the current situation. If we charge ahead when we should be resting, we will burn ourselves out. Sometimes we need to charge ahead regardless of the circumstances. Sometimes the circumstances are stronger than us and if we don’t adapt to them we will break under the pressure. It’s something that changes with each person, in each situation.

One thing is for certain. If you develop your inner resilience, things will get back to being “good”. A close friend of mine always says “life gives us lessons and blessin’s”. One of them we can appreciate and enjoy. The other one you’re going to learn from whether you want to or not. What I’ve come to find out is the lessons become the blessings. The more I learn about life and stay open to the experience, the more blessings I realize I already have. 

You see, life is all about seeing what is already there. It is programmed in us that a “blessing” is a new car, new house, or new relationship. In reality, blessings all come from a state of mind. A poor man can be grateful for a pair of shoes and a rich man can be upset he doesn’t have enough closet space. How I look at my life determines what is a blessing and what isn’t.

To wrap up the article, I want to say thank you to my readers. I hope you had a happy holiday season and I wish you best of luck in 2021. I am in the process of finally releasing videos on the website and Youtube so be on the lookout for those.

As always, if you want a private lesson in the metaphysical, check out my book-a-lesson tab or just shoot me an email from the contact page and we will work something out. I’ve gotten exhausted with the formalities recently.

To all my fellows, may your seeking be fruitful and your findings bountiful!

Categories
Philosophy

Serenity in Politics

In today’s world, it is very hard to stay out of politics. If you are reading this in a democratic country, specifically the USA, political parties dominate the news and social media every couple of years. Even if you don’t want to pick a side (and you shouldn’t have to), most people will pick one for you with the “if you’re not with us you’re against us” mentality. If you’ve experienced this dilemma first hand, then I probably don’t need to say anything else for you to resonate with it.

Because of this, I am writing this article to address how to maintain peace and serenity when the world is turbulent.

Silence

Oftentimes, we forget the value of keeping things to ourselves. It is very easy to get caught up in a conversation and forget everyone has different values, attitudes and beliefs. Usually these things are fairly harmless and a lot of times they allow us to know more about a person and their experiences. There are however, topics which are heavily polarized. Politics, religion and family values to name a few. When people talk about these topics, they seldom are looking to change their mind, despite how the conversation may come about. 

When someone talks about a topic that is close to their heart, what they really are seeking is acceptance for who they are. Quietly listening and nodding with the occasional “uh-huh” shows the other person you are listening and provides a safe space for them to express themselves. You would be surprised how rare this is for people. 

People who appear overly combative have never really felt accepted sharing their beliefs. Whether it was at home, in school, the workplace, or somewhere else, these individuals feel they must prove the value of their perspective. When someone shares their perspective and we contrast it with our own, what we are really doing is saying “I think you are thinking about this wrong, try thinking about it in this way”. Only in very close relationships or when the individuals have the right temperament, is this not the case. 

After all when you share your own beliefs with someone, are you really looking to have the other person change your perspective? It may happen as a result of being accepted and open to new ideas, but I would argue in most cases you’re not. A good mentor of mine gave me an easy question to ask myself when I feel like talking: “Am I listening to listen, or am I listening to answer?” Essentially, am I listening to provide a safe space or am I listening to be right and gain admiration?

Anonymity

If we are talking with someone and the conversation takes a turn for the uncomfortable, we can always deny the conversation topic. Most people feel awkward saying things like “I’d prefer not to talk about that” because they feel it suggests they have something to hide. On a more simplistic level, most people simply have a problem with saying “no”. What it really communicates is the desire to deepen the relationship before becoming vulnerable.

This is something like putting a “no trespassers” sign in the conversation. If the individual disregards your desire to avoid a conversation topic, they are intentionally overstepping your boundaries. This gives you a lot more information about someone than just their opinion. If they are willing to disregard you in a conversation, they are likely to disregard you in more serious situations, regardless of how they might justify it.

There are many to dodge a conversation topic. If you don’t like to be confrontational, most people will not notice when you change a subject. Respond to a sub point of their statement and elaborate on it. Without knowing it they will elaborate on your topic point and the conversation with shift. This is the rhetorical breakdown of how a conversation changes topics without losing flow. Most people only recognize a change in topic when it is disconnected from the current topic, i.e it disrupts the flow.

Avoiding Blame

One of the favorite human past times is the blame game. It keeps us from looking at ourselves, allows us to maintain an image of superiority, and completely disregards any possibility for growth or understanding. Most people do it without even knowing it. That being said, most people are liable to do it in the moment and it is only through vigilance and self reflection are we able to recognize this behavior.

Have you ever heard the saying “you spot it you got it”? This shows us, what annoys me most in other people is likely a behavior I exhibit myself in other situations. Subconsciously I recognize this and I wish I didn’t do this. When I see it in other people I become consciously aware of it and now I have to do something about it. This is very much what Carl Jung would call “shadow work”. 

In many cases, we generalize our blame on a group of people, organization or belief system. This is easier for us to accept than blaming an individual because we may have people in our lives who we want to make the exception for. Most people have that one family member who they don’t agree with but they still love that person. It is easier to blame the ideology of conservatism than to say “grandpa is a racist”. 

If we dig into ourselves and are honest with what we find, everyone has moments in their life when they act in a way they wish they hadn’t. Maybe it was out of ignorance or anger. We know it is not truly representative of who we are as a person, yet we feel guilt over our behavior. The way most people cope with this is through projection and reaction formation. That is to say, we become overly passionate about the stance/behavior we feel we should have taken and we become upset with people who act in the way we believe we have acted.

The issue with this is it doesn’t allow for recognition of our own behaviors and it doesn’t allow the other person the opportunity of learning. We become the parental/religious figure saying “don’t do this, it’s bad” instead of allowing the person the opportunity to learn for themselves. In addition, if we ever show this same behavior in a moment of weakness, we then become a hypocrite.

The Buddhists said Buddha was being in the world but not of the world. That is, learning to operate in society but not being caught up in the emotional and mental turmoil of society. When we learn to maintain our serenity despite our surroundings we can interact with anyone for any reason, and the results of that interaction will invariably be better.

I hope this article has helped you to maintain your serenity despite everything going on in the world. I hope you and your family are blessed with peace and happiness. If you have specific questions, check out my book a lesson tab and remember to follow me on social media!

May your seeking be fruitful and your findings bountiful!

Categories
Philosophy

5 Ways to Deepen Your Intuition

We have all had those moments where we get a gut feeling about a situation but we end up trusting what our mind tells us. Inevitably we find out we should have listened to that gut feeling but we didn’t because of any number of reasons. You are probably already aware of this, but that feeling is called intuition. 

In many societies around the world, we are taught to not listen to our feelings. We value “rational thought” and thinking through a problem, instead of a gut instinct. After all, how could a feeling you have about a situation be more accurate than thinking through it? As neuroscientists and psychologists dive deeper into how our body operates in the 3D, the credit we would normally give to our brain should really be given to our heart.

There are advantages and disadvantages to using your intuition and being a pragmatist, I think it is up to the individual to decide which situation warrants which tool to be used. 

First, intuition is valuable when there is not enough time to think through a situation. In volatile situations, many law enforcers or military operators need to rely on their feelings because by the time they think everything through, they could be dead. Second, the “gut feeling” response is actually your brain processing more data than you could imagine and giving you a reading on your environment. The brain works best when everything can have a numeric value and follow linear thought, but life isn’t that black and white. Your body gives you “gut feelings” as a way of processing subjective information from past experiences. Check out the book How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer. Lastly, Intuition is fundamental in expanding our consciousness. If you’re reading this blog, it’s likely you are interested in metaphysical topics. Intuition is key in developing psychic abilities like clairvoyance and claircognizance which are dependent on sensitizing yourself to subtle energies in your environment. 

Here are a few ways to develop or deepen your intuition:

No-Mind Meditation

You probably saw this one coming, and if you aren’t already practicing meditation daily, here is another reason to start. In my opinion, the biggest benefit of meditation is it stops the background noise. We have thousands of thoughts a day. Deepak Chopra conducted a study and estimated we have about 60,000 thoughts a day, and 90% of those thoughts we had yesterday. Our minds are like a television that’s left on. You may go to another room, but when it’s quiet you can still hear the commercials playing. 

No-Mind meditation focuses on bringing the mind to a point of stillness yet still remaining conscious of your surroundings. This might sound very similar to mindfulness, however, I would say the biggest difference is No-Mind focuses on detachment. If I have a thought, I practice not judging the thought or start thinking about the thought I had. You will actually learn to identify your working mind because you’ll be able to draw a line back through the thoughts you’ve had and which part of it is the connection point between ideas. 

Click here to get more info.

Trust Yourself

I believe a big part of making your intuition work is giving it opportunities to shine. If I am ever unsure about a situation or decision and I don’t have much information, I will usually go with whatever one “feels right”. In the past, I would flip a coin, heads for option A and tails for option B. If it came up heads, but I had a sinking feeling because of it, I knew my intuition was really going for option B. It sounds silly but tricks like these can help reduce our uncertainty about trusting our gut.

Another tactic that works really well is playing mystery games like Clue or Among Us. Games like these function off of minimal information. It is up to the play to connect dots that seemingly have no connection. Your body will learn to pick up on subtle cues which hold vast amounts of information.

Energy work
Image by Patrikphotos

Energy Practice

Developing an energy practice inherently involves sensitizing the body to subtle energies. Taking up a practice like Qigong, Yoga, T’ai Chi or Pranic Breathing teaches you to work with your body’s chakra system. Not only will it unblock the flow of energy within your own body, but some exercises directly focus on sensitizing you to the energy flowing around you. 

There are many benefits to developing an energy practice that go beyond increased intuition. You will become healthier, feel better and have more energy to live your life. It may resolve emotional issues and deepen your sense of fulfillment in this lifetime.

I do want to make a note of caution with this one. Many of us live our lives with energy blocks. It is a reason we can stay up late playing video games, gorge ourselves on junk food, and engage in generally unhealthy habits. If you decide to unblock your own energy flow but continue to engage in unhealthy habits you will likely have a wide array of negative emotions. This is because you are becoming more aware of how you are damaging your body and pain is a way of stopping unhealthy behavior. It is best to find a teacher to work with when first starting. They will be able to guide and support you if this occurs.

Practice Divination

If your spiritual beliefs allow divination, this is another great way to deepen your intuition. Learning to read Tarot cards, cast Numerology charts or other tools like I Ching and Rune Casting all develop your sense of intuition. This is partially because they teach you to read and interpret symbols. In charting, you will have to draw conclusions based on symbolic relationships. In tarot draws, you will have to interpret meaning based on pictures, dominate colors, the type of cards drawn and the nature of the question being asked.

In addition, these types of practices will help you become more conscious of your life and habits. If you find there is a certain feeling or question which keeps coming up, perhaps there is more going on that you’re not listening to. It can be a great way to not only improve your intuition but also guide you on your path. 

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is something we can partake in at any time of the day. It involves becoming present in your body and your surroundings. By doing this we become more aware of what our body is telling us. Likewise, when we become grounded in the present moment, we are able to take in more information from our surroundings. You may have never noticed certain things because you were too much in your head. This gives our body a greater number of “data points” when it is analyzing future situations. 

Mindfulness also helps us have a sense of peace and wellbeing. If we have developed trauma, we may be running subconscious programs which are dictating what we focus on in our surroundings. We may be living in a high stress state of mind without even realizing. If these programs are strong enough, it may even turn our intuition against us becoming paranoia. It would be like having a hyper sensitive fire alarm that goes off everytime you’re in the kitchen. Mindfulness (and No-Mind) can both work to alleviate the trapped emotions of our past experiences. And doing this won’t just improve your meditation!

I hope this article has helped you in some form or way. Make sure to check out my other content and link up with me on social media.

To all my fellow seekers, may your seeking be fruitful and your findings bountiful!

Categories
Philosophy

Principles of Energy Work

So you’ve decided to enter the world of energy work? Maybe you’ve already been here. Either way, these are a few of the principles I have found to be really important for me.

Nowadays most people do some level of energy work. Yes, it includes things like Qigong and Yoga, and meditation but, it also includes practices like running and weight lifting. The broad term of “energy work” is just that; it encompases anything that increases your overall level of energy but for this article I am going to narrow it down a bit to the metaphysical parts.

Most times when people refer to energy work, they are talking specifically about practices that build up energy within the body to “raise your vibration”. There are a lot of things that do that, and the phrase can sound pretty vague to some. What people typically mean when they say “raise your vibration” is “improve the quality of your etheric body”. Some people call it your Aura, a more sciency term would be your Torus Field, however, more esoteric practices refer to it as your etheric body and this name directly pertains to alchemy. All of these things make your physical body less “physical” and improve your ability to act within the quantum field.

What does energy work look like? Well it looks like a lot of things, but they all have one thing in common. Focus. Our minds are powerful tools, and wherever we place our attention is where the energy will flow. For example, think about a time in your past that made you really happy. You begin to feel happier right? Try it again with a time you were really angry. You feel a little upset now don’t you? Okay, but go back to that happy place. This happens because energy is flowing between the past experience and the present moment. Your brain can’t tell the difference. A really good resource to learn more about this is Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza. He does an incredible job at explaining these things and using science to support it.

At this point you’ve probably had enough explanation and just want the list, so here it is!

Discipline

Not really any surprise here. If you want to develop a skill, you need a routine. Likewise with your energy work, if you want to see any improvement you need to be doing it pretty often. Don’t think you need to sit down and do a super potent mediation for a full hour every day. Shinzen Young, the author of many books on enlightenment and mindfulness, says 10 minutes a day of practice and an extended micro-retreat of four hours once a month. In addition, a practice can include a lot more than just sitting still.

The key to developing the etheric body is consistency. You can’t build your perfect beach body after just one or two workouts scattered here and there. It takes a while and some days you aren’t going to want to exercise. Likewise, you need to be disciplined in your energy work. In my experience, the days I don’t want to do energy work are the days I grow more in my practice. It does bring a sense of accomplishment. 

Last thing on discipline, don’t beat yourself up for missed days. In all honesty, I only do energy work about five days out of the week consistently. I shoot for everyday, but sometimes life happens and I can’t get to it. However, there are still ways to get your practice in when life is crazy and most days I can find a 30 minute window to practice. If you miss a day, don’t think its the end of the world. Take it as a lesson and try again the next day. If you prioritize it, then it becomes easier, but I do believe this is part of the ebb and flow of life.

Exercise & Diet

This is a big one I believe is overlooked a lot. If you do a lot of energy work, you also need to be doing some sort of physical exercise or you will develop pain in your body. The more intense your energy work, the more strain it puts on your body. Yoga was developed specifically for this purpose. Way back when, the Yogis (before they used that name) learned there was a direct connection between the quality of your physical body and the quality of your etheric body. If one cultivated only the etheric body, it would begin to take a toll on the physical one. Usually this manifests in the form of physical pain, however more serious instances like Kundalini Psychosis can occur. 

This happens when the energy travels up the spine and gets trapped in the brain. Yoga is designed to open up the channels of the body to allow energy to properly flow so it doesn’t get trapped anywhere in the body. If you are doing energy work like Kundalini Yoga or Qigong, be mindful of any headaches or light headedness. If this happens, connect your tongue to the center of the roof of your mouth as it will allow energy to flow back down into your body where it can be properly stored. 

If you already exercise regularly then great but still be mindful of what your body tells you. I have a consistent exercise routine because I am a health nut, but when I do Qigong I can still get cramping sometimes. Stretching is a big part of this as it helps energy flow more easily. Some light warm up exercises before and after, things like rotating your joints, shaking out your arms and legs or jumping jacks, all help the energy to flow more easily and not become congested.

The second half of this is diet and the biggest thing I will say is be mindful of how food makes you feel. I won’t tell you to be a vegan or never eat fast food again. I still eat meat every now and then and I love some Papa John’s pizza. However, when you become more sensitive to subtle energies in your body, it becomes much more apparent how food makes you feel. I eat minimal red meat because It usually makes me feel bloated and sluggish, although if I eat fish in reasonable quantities, I feel fine and it is a solid source of fats and proteins. This also becomes part of the discipline concept, because when I am really hungry, a Whataburger sandwich starts to look really good. However, I know how it makes me feel afterwards and I will go into a 90minute food coma after eating it. 

A great resource to explore eating healthy is How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy by Paul Chek

Benefit of Diet
Image by Silviarita

Community

A big thing that keeps humans a part of an organization are the bonds they develop with other people. We are social creatures by nature and very few people can tolerate complete aloneness. When we develop friendships with people it makes us want to stick around, similarly, when we have friends who also have an energy work practice, it makes us more dedicated to our practice. 

That’s not to say you should get into energy work cause all the cool kids are doing it. Energy work is something you have to want to do on your own. However, it becomes a lot more fulfilling when you have people who you can talk with your experiences about, share ideas or tips, and even get together to practice with. A good friend of mine and I get together once a week to practice Qigong and it is something I look forward to.

It is the same reason people go to retreats, Yoga classes and meditation circles. The connections we build through the practice make it more fulfilling and keep us coming back on the days we don’t feel like doing it. For some it may create a sense of accountability, perhaps for others it is competition. While you shouldn’t be doing it solely for other people, it does make the experience all the more enjoyable.

Make it Fun

This is probably the biggest thing to keep people coming back. You won’t stick with your energy work for very long if it feels like a chore and you dread even 15 minutes of practice. You have to find something that is enjoyable for you. Not everyone likes to sit still and meditate. Not everyone likes to do Yoga. I personally do a lot of different stuff and I rotate what I am interested in. Most days I like to No Mind meditation and other days I want to move. Some might argue against the consistency of that, but it works for me and it keeps me engaged with my practice. 

In the beginning it may not be super enjoyable. A lot of people who are just getting into these things have to go through some growing pains, but those pass if you stick with it. Back when I started doing No Mind meditation it was hard to go five minutes. I even made the silly mistake of thinking a timer would help me (it made it worse actually). However, as I stuck with it, I naturally was able to let go and now I seldom meditate less than 20 minutes. 

All of these practices are like highways that lead to the same city. Don’t get too caught up on what seems “most effective” or do what everyone else is doing. If you find something that works for you and you stick with it, you will have the same results as everyone else. I also believe this type of thing encourages people to deepen their practice because they enjoy it so they naturally want more of it. 

These are just a few of things that have helped me in my energy work practice. I will plan on writing a part two so there are several more things I can share. However this is already longer than most articles I write. When that time comes I will make sure to provide a link.

I hope this article has helped you in some way, whether you do energy work or not. I believe everyone is on their own path and if you have gotten this far then it is knowledge you were meant to learn. Make sure to check out some of my other posts and link up with me on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. If you wanna learn something specific, check out the one-on-one lessons tab or shoot me an email and I might write an article about it.

Thanks again for reading and to all my fellows, 

May your seeking be fruitful and your findings bountiful!

Categories
Philosophy

Tools of The Spirit

Within the past few decades, there has been an explosion of books, videos, speakers and research articles surrounding every aspect of what we know as the broad umbrella of “metaphysics”. Science is now backing up the benefits of what yogis, mystics, shamans and other spiritual teachers have been saying for centuries. The “spiritual path” as people call it, is becoming mainstream and I believe this to be a very good thing. 

However, something I have also noticed is an increase in spiritual superiority, or a term I think is more fun to say, hippie-crit. Zach Alexander calls it spiritual bypassing and some other individuals like Teal Swan have also discussed this occurrence. What it comes down to is individuals using their spiritual connection or metaphysical knowledge to promote basic egoic needs for reputation, superiority and exhalation over others. 

I am writing this article to share some of my spiritual philosphoies. If you choose to adopt them, or maybe you already practice them, then it should be by your own reflection on what I have to say. My opinions and thoughts are purely to help others reflect on their own. 

I also want to make clear I am not trying to knock anyone or anything. I think the fact people are becoming more engaged with spirit is a generally good thing and everyone starts their journey from a different place. However, I want my readers to be conscious, and consider the difference between applying metaphysics and practicing spiritual principles.

Let’s dive into it.

It is my belief that metaphysics is like a tool and spirituality is like the tool user. A knife can be used to prepare a meal for your family but it can also be used to harm another individual. The knife is objective in its purpose and function. Ultimately, it is the person using the knife who decides how it is going to be used. 

When we engage with any facet of metaphysics, whether it be kundalini yoga, no-mind meditation, magick or any of the other hundred forms, we are learning to use the “tools” of spiritual development. By learning to use the tools we also learn about ourselves and one would hope we become more conscious about how thoughts and behaviors. However, our Ego is always adapting. This is why it is a lifelong journey.

I think just having minimal engagement with these things can be very beneficial and because of that, I see a lot of people stop shortly after getting started. Maybe they continue the practices they already have like doing yoga three times a week, but that offers diminishing returns of depth or expansion. Just like in school, you don’t finish Algebra One then take Algebra One next year to make sure you really know the quadratic equation. No, you go on to Algebra Two and expand your knowledge of the study while still going back and using what you already learned.

enlightenment
Image by Okan Caliskan

Spiritual growth is the same way.

All too frequently I see people use their knowledge of the tools as a means of spiritual superiority. It becomes a scapegoat for saying “I am better than you because….” and what was a tool for Spirit becomes a tool for Ego. A lot of times, people don’t even know they are doing it. It often is shown in the energy someone has, how they carry themselves, the way they talk. Not everyone notices these things, but I believe those of us who are attuned to subtle energies can likely think of a time they noticed this. 

This is not to say these qualities aren’t human. We all want to be respected by our peers and regardless of where we are on the path, the truth is everyone falls back into old behaviors. There is even a story in the bible of Jesus throwing tables and kicking people out of the temple (Matthew 21:12-13), but we can’t do anything about the behavior without reflection and admission.

For me the process looks like this. I first need to reflect on which behaviors may have caused harm to others, physical, mental, emotional or other. Then I reflect on how I would rather have acted in that situation. Finally, I need to admit myself I am still human and it might be awhile before I walk on water. I can’t speak for how anyone else grows spiritually. I can only share what has worked for me to bring me peace of mind and connectedness. 

For me, the essence of spirituality comes down to how we treat others. The people I get along with are blessings. The people that make me want to pull my hair out are the lessons. Patience and tolerance with others is a huge part of my spiritual growth. I could levitate six inches off the ground meditating in the mountains but what good does that do me if I am shouting and swearing at others as soon as I’m stuck in 5 o’clock traffic?

I believe every person has to figure out for themselves how they wish to live their lives. It is more than okay to admit I have behaviors or principles I don’t want to change. I believe coming conscious of those is what gives someone stability and direction in their own life. If I do that then at least I’m not acting from someone else’s influence. 

I hope this article has provided you with some veins of thought or ideas to reflect on in your own life. As the late Ram Dass says, “We’re all just walking each other home”. If you found the article helpful make sure to like and share it with others. Also make sure to connect with me on social media to get updates on new content.

May your seeking be fruitful and your findings bountiful!