Sunday, April 29, 2012

Questions, Questions, Questions

If you don't happen to get my monthly newsletter, here's a link to the latest, Integrating Spirituality. You can sign up to receive the newsletter at I only send out one per month generally so you won't be inundated with emails.

There's something else that's been on my mind and has of course shown up in numerous conversations and sessions, that is about the process of asking questions. There are two aspects to this I wanted to expand upon, one is being aware of the kind of questions we ask and the other is of creating a space for answers.

First of all, we are always asking something of the Universe whether we are aware of it or not through our thoughts. They direct our attention and so they are always being answered in our life experience. That's why it is helpful to have some idea what we are thinking, which is really what we are unconsciously asking to experience. If I'm thinking about what I am lacking which I caught myself doing last week, then I will undoubtedly get more of the lack I've been asking about. If I'm thinking about what I appreciate about life then that is what the Universe will respond with. Pretty basic stuff but amazingly easy to dismiss and indulge in those very questions that give us answers we didn't want but are very familiar with.

Then there's the other thing about questions, creating space for answers. This is a different type of question, it's about the ones we consciously ask but don't tend to pay attention to the answers to. For instance, when you ask something like 'Why is this happening to me?' do you actually hang around to see what you become aware of or do you tend to use this kind of question rhetorically? I've noticed that this seems to be much more rhetorical than actual questioning for most people and so it isn't surprising that they never get the kind of answer that could be helpful to them, they aren't paying attention. What if you were to ask that question, or whatever your favourite question is, in earnest and actually took the time to listen deeply to see what you got for an answer? If you really want to know your awareness will take you to an image or thought that is actually fueling the experience. This may happen in layers so you may have to ask what's behind that idea a couple of times to get to the core, or you may not, sometimes its just right there, ripe for the picking when we're paying attention.
From the awareness of what is actually behind your experiences the trap is released or at least loosened and you have some options. If there is some painful memory that is being projected onto a current life experience you can bring compassionate attention to that and you can begin to question whether it is still true in this situation. More often than not it isn't, you simply don't know what's going on right now so you insert what is familiar to you. Now there is a space created to be able to open to receive the gift of awareness in the moment and wonder about what else might be possible which in turn leads to creativity and flow. Or you can be righteous and stick to your current beliefs and experience the same old thing again and again and again without surcease. That's pretty much what has been happening anyway.

Here's the rub, either way is just fine and you will be led internally to whatever is right for you now. It's just what Life does so why not relax and enjoy it?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

What Do You Think?

There are things we encounter in life that we would simply rather not have to deal with. Life just brings us what it brings however and whatever shows up is indeed ours to deal with in one way or another and often on more than one level.

When you consider those things that show up for you that you tend to resist like having to have a difficult conversation or doing work you don't enjoy, or making decisions that obviously affect others in ways they may not be happy about, what is it that you are really resisting? Is it the thing itself or is it what you think about it that makes you uncomfortable or unhappy? If you didn't think, believe or assume what you usually do about it would you have a different experience and make different choices? If there is fear involved (and usually there is) is it really about what just showed up or is it about something that happened a long time ago that is being recycled yet again?

PhotobucketIs it time for you to deal with the real issue, no matter how long you've been caught up in a particular thought pattern or how you may have reacted in the moment? Life is always presenting us with opportunities to make peace with the past and experience life anew, or we can keep reliving the same old story over and over. Your choice.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Beyond Assumptions

How do we even begin to realize what is real in the world when we do not even acknowledge what is going on within ourselves? It's far too easy and habitual to talk ourselves into thinking we know what's going on or that we are where we are not in terms of consciousness. It's not surprising then to see how easy it is to impose our false perceptions on what is going on in the world around us. This is where our assumptions come from.

The challenge in dealing with assumptions is that we are so accustom to presuming we know what we do not actually know that we do not even question them. One of the greatest gifts we can bring to any relationship is the willingness to question all of our assumptions and actually find out what is happening, and if that is not possible, then what if we could really be at peace with not knowing instead of imposing the past on the present and the future?  Hmm, I wonder what could possibly come of that?

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Time Bubble of Love

Do you ever experience times shifts where time either seems to really speed up or slow down? I've been in what I would call a time bubble for over a week now where I've been experiencing an interesting slow down in my perception of time. I have no idea what it means but the effect has been one of having plenty of time to deal with whatever comes up and having more time to get things done.

I went through some particularly unsettling inner work earlier this week that seemed to cut deep into the core of self-identity which I always find unsettling for a time. I love doing this work and going this deep so it isn't a negative experience but rather a very rich one. I have settled into a place of peace and calm within since then as I continue to focus on love and compassion both inwardly and outwardly.

In times like these I seem to be particularly sensitive to the human condition and how much pain many people are experiencing. Something melts around my heart leaving me more vulnerable which I so appreciate. Part of the human condition is the way we all build protective layers around our hearts in one way or another to protect ourselves from what did not feel like a safe place when we were children. That is as it must be but there comes a time when those layers no longer serve us because we are interpreting the world through them and assigning danger in places where it simply does not exist. For me the process of pealing away the layers has been going on for many, many years in various forms and there always seems to be more dissolving to do. I've come to realize that is the way it is and I will continue to do whatever I am led to do on the journey Home that will keep melting away what is no longer needed for this leg of the journey.

Surrounded by Love, Surrounded by Love
 It's a wonderful thing to be able to meet whatever shows up with compassion and understanding, even if there is an initial reaction, and experience a certain kind of joy and peace in the midst of whatever is going on. Love flows so much freer when the frozen blocks of belief begin to melt away.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You and Your Body

What's your relationship with your body like? Do you listen with compassionate curiosity to the many messages your body is conveying to you or have you learned to shut it off and ignore the many ways it speaks to you all the time?

It took me quite a while to change the way I related to my body, mainly because I really didn't know any better for one thing and because it was often speaking the language of pain which wasn't necessarily what I wanted to hear at any given time. Even when I did start paying attention, the very concept of being compassionately curious was completely foreign to me. The process was more about what I needed to do to get rid of pain or discomfort, not how do I embrace it, hear it and love it fully.

Over the years my relationship with this body, and indeed with everything else, has changed quite drastically. I see it as a trusted friend who will not lie to me about what is going on in the inner world. Whatever thought patterns and their associated feelings are operating in the background, they are reflected in the body, be they joyful or mournful or fearful or expansive, it's all there.

The body has a language of its own however and it is one that I am still learning to decipher on a day to day basis. Some of the messages tend to get pretty loud before I fully receive them but with persistence, patience and lots of curiosity that is not filled with presupposition, the messages do indeed manage to get through. The language is becoming more and more familiar and comfortable.

The body is an incredible tool with many uses yet we generally come to know only its grossest aspects (I don't mean yucky here). The more subtle and nuanced aspects of the body's communications are largely dismissed or unacknowledged so if there's a message it needs to get through it sometimes has to take pretty drastic measures. Noticing what is going on and making peace within before all out war breaks out is a very useful skill to learn, even if it isn't easy.

If you're wondering how to do that, might I suggest you simply start by spending a few minutes in a quiet place at least a couple of times a day to just scan the body with your awareness. When you notice any kind of sensation, pleasant or unpleasant, take a moment or two to be present to it and breathe with it and be curious about it. Keeping your awareness on the sensations you might ask if there is anything they would like you to know. If you pay very close attention instead of dismissing things, you may start noticing particular thoughts or images showing up. Be curious about that too. Are these thoughts working for you now or are they more like unresolved memories that are continually being projected onto your current life causing you to misunderstand what is happening? Is there something you need to change in your thinking or doing? Is there another way of seeing things if they are not working for you? By the way, the answer is always yes on that last one, there are myriad ways of seeing things that we have not been aware of and will only begin to see when we are willing to to go beyond what we have traditionally thought.

Energy Body II I've noticed this practice is very difficult for some people. There is often such a disconnect with the body that this kind of communication is inconceivable. If you sense there's something here for you though I suggest that persistence pays, you may be surprised what you start noticing and how that will change your life.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Grief and Flow

For every change we experience in life there is a little bit of grieving to do, and sometimes there is a lot. When someone close to us dies it is considered normal to grieve even though in our culture there appears to be some kind of artificial time limit on it which is pretty short most of the time. There is also a tendency to avoid thinking and talking about death for some, which is kind of interesting given that it is the only sure thing in life. I don't advocate obsessing about it either but I see it as healthy to contemplate one's own death occasionally, acknowledging the impermanence of this physical expression and obtaining perspective about what might be important.

Today however my focus is not necessarily on physical death but on the process of change and evolution and how important it is to allow the feelings of sadness and loss when they arise. I had been completely ignorant of this process when I shut down my first company back in the mid 80's. I was in such deep denial about the losses I was experiencing that I just drank and looked for every kind of distraction I could find for a year and a half before I finally got help. Since then I've gone through an amazing amount of change, as have we all in our own way, and I'm still caught by surprise now and then by the moments of sadness that show up.

I had some of those moments this week when I made a decision not to complete on something that I thought I should. Note the word should there. The old programming tends to want me to go all the way with things once I start them, even when it isn't really what I want or need. Thank goodness I am able to realize this relatively quickly now and make the course corrections I need to make. One of the things I find very helpful in this process is simply being fully present to what I am experiencing instead of running away or distracting. I had been sensing I was out of alignment with the assignment I thought I had to complete and had been in resistance to it. When I finally realized I didn't have to do this, I had already gotten what I wanted and needed from the process there was relief and sadness. That's where the grieving comes in which is what I realized the sadness was about. I was letting go of something that I didn't need but there was still a loss involved. When the resistance was gone, so was the false obligation and then the sadness could surface and I could make peace with what is.

The movement of energy through consciousness is such a fascinating thing. When it touches on ideas and beliefs there is emotion and they can range from joy to sadness to anger to numbness all in a matter of moments sometimes. When there is awareness of the ideas associated with the feelings then there is opportunity. When there is unconsciousness the status quo is maintained and there is only recycling.

Whatever shows up is what shows up, it isn't about making anything right or wrong it is about allowing the shifts to happen and the feelings to arise yet we don't have to remain in the thrall of outdated, false ideas that we often consider to be truths. It may be time for some of them to die. Letting go of some of those dearly held concepts can prompt grieving; our dearly held beliefs form our self-concept and so there is something that does indeed die when a belief is laid to rest. It's OK to grieve it. Let it flow through you; the fullness of Life is waiting on the other side.


Monday, April 9, 2012

From Belief to New Birth

I've had a great weekend celebrating my beloved's birthday, doing a little work and having plenty of time for reflection.

It has also been a great time for one of my long held limiting beliefs to show up in spades which is always a gift because it's a lot harder to ignore then. Seems to fit the Good Friday to Easter theme where the first part of the process is about dying to the old and having a type of resurrection experience. It's an age old process and while it doesn't always take 3 days, there is something symbolically significant there.

This particular 'dying' process is around what I would call the shadow of a belief and it goes something like 'No matter what I do it isn't enough or good enough to make everybody (or a particular somebody) happy'. It has a number of variations but I'm sure you get the drift. I call it a shadow of a belief because it has very limited power now compared to what it has had in my life. That's the way it seems to work as we dismantle the illusions of belief and assumption. Some beliefs seems to dissolve quite easily once seen for what they are, and others still have a foothold for a time and perhaps a long time but they just don't have the same impact and are quickly resolved.

I'm sharing this here because it is such a great example of how beliefs affect our lives and because we're so used to them they just seem normal even though there is undoubtedly some discomfort when they are triggered. These beliefs are not always active and can remain dormant for long periods of time, especially if we aren't stepping out of our comfort zone. What I find really interesting though is how when they are activated, they become part of events that on the surface would seem completely unrelated.

As in this particular case with the idea that I can't do enough, when it's awakened from its slumber it shows up in work when someone disappears for instance and I don't know why; at home when my beloved is unhappy for his own reasons and I can't do anything about it; with family like when my mom seems to want something more from me than I am willing to give; with friends when they are unhappy or uncomfortable and I am somehow involved. When the belief is in its dormant state any or all of the events mentioned above don't necessarily affect me adversely; I either feel compassion for the others involved and simply allow for their experience or I don't even really notice. Ah but when that thought of not enoughness has been awakened, then everything fits into the slot of it's about something I'm doing wrong (very ego centered). This is also a great indicator that something in me needs some compassionate attention but I may have been ignoring it, justifying it or being very rational with it instead. None of these activities actually provide what is needed or work to help dissolve the ego, they just reinforce the belief and the ego's position in the long run.

So what you might say. Well, for me the so what is in being about to take back the power I have given a false assumption and it is an opportunity to bring a compassionate, gentle, accepting energy to the beingness that has been hiding behind the belief. That's what I see as needing the attention instead of the belief. When I can bring a new, softer more aligned energy to hard, stuck places then there is release of the old and new life is brought into expression. That's what Easter represents to me and that's what my experience has been once again this weekend.

As always, my gratitude knows no bounds.


Saturday, April 7, 2012


I noted a wondering on my Facebook page the other day about what the most important thing is for me now, at this stage of my life and asked for any comments. Thanks to Elizabeth for her response.

Because I've been involved in learning a lot about marketing and such through a master coaching program I took, I seem to have been led to do a lot of questioning these days. When I was in Maui in early March I got a lot of clarity about what I want to do with my work; the question of what is most important to me now is in a way related to it yet encompasses so much more.

After spending a few days simply pondering and being still with the question I have been made aware of a some of the beliefs that have been directing aspects of my journey in their own subtle ways and as I moved through them I come to realize that the question is really an ongoing one for me. Rather than finding a definitive answer I notice the question of what is most important right now is really one that is here to guide me moment to moment.

Hubble 4 - V838 Mon, Light Echo  Illuminates Dust Around Supergiant Star V838 Monocerotis (V838 Mon)Sometimes life isn't so much about the answers as the questions. Questions that take us deeper into the mystery of Life are gifts in themselves. There are any number of questions one might ask oneself and perhaps each life expression has its own unique set of questions, guiding each one through the various phases and stages of unfoldment, and maybe not.

Life is what it is; such a variety of experiences yet only one Life.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Integrating Spirituality

stepping stonesTime for the next step it would appear. I'm starting a new gathering opportunity for those who are interested in taking the ideas I talk about in this blog to a new level. I'm calling it "Integrating Spirituality" and you can find the info at

I am experiencing an interesting combination of excitement and nervousness around this little adventure which is often how I feel when I'm taking a step that is something of a risk so it feels very right at this point in time. The trick for me is to just keep breathing into the place in my solar plexus where the fluttering happens and keep stepping into the expanded space. I notice some interesting thoughts that arise as I do that which is another indicator that this is about breaking through some limitations.

The opportunity to break through limiting beliefs often arises when you step into something you want but have perhaps been avoiding. You may have all kinds of justifications and reasonable excuses for not taking the step but when you look a little closer most of those are just projections of limiting beliefs, unresolved memories and assumptions that may not be serving you in being fully alive and expressing what is in you to bring forth.

That's really the whole point of integrating spirituality and practicing the art of allowing. It's about realizing our wholeness instead of living a fractured life where our spiritual nature and our human nature come together instead of living in conflict. When we make peace with what is instead of resisting and projecting limiting beliefs on life we open to allowing more of the natural flow of being to take us forward instead of having to make things happen or conversely shutting down.