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Psychological~Spirituality

The Making of a Man

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We taught boys not to cry, toughen up, and take control. When boys are little, they are given footballs and blue clothing. When he hits his sibling, we say, “boys will be boys.” The bedtime stories and childhood mythology repeatedly points boys to be the hero and save the helpless girl. He carries her off to his kingdom and gives her a better life where he reigns as king.

When he is in puberty, he is taught that he is different and turning into a man. He is taught to watch out for the evil tricks that girls will do to manipulate him. Because after all, every woman needs a man to rescue and protect her and will do anything in her power to make that happen.

When he gets hurt, he is told to shake it off and is taught “don’t let them see you cry.” Any signs of weakness are strictly forbidden.

In early adulthood, he is expected to take charge of his life, get a career to make a lot of money. He should find a beautiful woman to have a family with and carry on his name by having at least one son. The lucky woman he gets should laugh at his jokes, let him make the important decisions and not question his authority. Because after all, he is the man.

This is an oversimplification … or is it?

When we see the bigger picture and the cycles humanity takes in assigning meaning to life, there is no way to hate any group of beings. Patriarchy is not a man’s issue, it is not one-sided and it was not created by itself. The polarity of mother/father has it’s plus and minus points in the history of humanity. We all have benefited and suffered by the hand of this polarity.

I see men as a reflection of myself. I love myself. Why would I not love men?

I have been molested, shot at, beaten, thrown out of a moving vehicle, cheated on and raped by men. In my pain and agony over these events, I see the pain and agony of the ones who acted out their rage and feelings of hopelessness. The patriarchy that abused and disempowered women simultaneously abused and disempowered men by taking away their range of expression and teaching them to take power over life in order to survive.

Science and religion were created to control and dominate nature.

Men don’t want to hurt women. They want to embrace and be embraced by women. They want to connect with the part of themselves that is woman. In merging with a woman, there is a sense of love and acceptance of this womb energy that has been silenced by patriarchy.

“Don’t speak unless spoken to.”

We have been disenfranchised from our own vital power and sexuality. We have been raised to believe that the opposites sex has something we need and cannot provide for ourselves. We act out of desperation to have those needs met.

Get intimate with reality. Be fully present for what is arising in you before your mind starts mansplaining and narrating the stories. Own your part in creating our current collective reality. Men are doing exactly what we have expected them to do. Drop the expectations and allow them to show up as they are.

When we become intimate with reality, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt, we all have hurt each other trying to get something we never lost. Build yourself a bridge to other side and befriend the one you fear. S/he wants to be seen. 

Intimacy as Art

How My Yoga Teacher Taught Me Love

By | Communication, Psychological~Spirituality, Relationships, Sexuality | No Comments

Like the sound made without the striking of two things, my love is pure, attuned with the source and knows no opposite. 

I have had many teachers throughout my life but one who illuminated my shadows around male/female relationships. He made me question everything I knew about how to engage with the opposite sex and taught me the meaning of divine love. Not through romance but by the example of his presence.

It was 11:30 and brunch was almost over. I sat down on the floor of the dining hall and was served the usual rice and curry. I begin to eat with my right hand and observe the people moving about. My gaze was directed to a man dressed in all yellow with his back to me. I watched as he served food out of a huge steel pot into to plates of students of the ashram. His movements were ethereal and he seemed to be floating on air. His skin had a radiant brown glow and his hair was lustrous. The moment I saw him, my heart jumped into my belly. The overwhelming butterfly sensation almost made me burst into giggles. We didn’t make eye contact and I soon left the dining hall. For the rest of the day, my mind returned to this beautiful and mysterious man.

A few days went by before I saw him again. He was teaching a yoga class to the guests of the ashram where I was taking a teacher training course. I was too shy to go near the yoga hall so kept a safe distance to avoid my awkward feelings. I soon learned that he was a  brahmacharya and was visiting the ashram to assist with teaching. I wanted to know more about him but couldn’t bring myself to approach him. One night before evening satsang, I was sitting in a temple practicing meditation. Through the corner of my eye, I noticed a man watching me through the temple window. It was him! I thought, “He must be interested in me!”

My mental programming was set to a view of western mating rituals that had zero foundation in reality. 

That evening after satsang, he came up to me and begin to speak. I almost fainted. Rather than speaking what my habituated mind was expecting to hear, he explained to me about my sitting posture he observed through the temple window. He recommended that I use the provided rice sacks to sit upon to help with comfort and energy movements in my body. As he spoke, it was as if God Himself were speaking to me.

I told a friend of mine, “I think he loves me!” She replied, “Yes. He does love you. Just not in the way you think.” 

Over the next month, I found ways to place myself in his line of movement in places he would be, which was not hard since we were living in the same ashram. I relished every opportunity to hear him speak and to see the light in his eyes. I finally decided to write about the feelings that were coming up for me. It turned out that there was nothing sexual there. My desire was only to know him. To be intimate through gazing into his eyes and receiving his wisdom. It was a turning point in what I considered to be worthwhile interaction between myself and another human being.

Over the years, I have spoke to him many times over the phone, corresponded through email and have even went back to India to assist him in a yoga teacher training course. The feeling that his presence invokes 9 years later is that of electrifying connection with my pure essence nature. He makes me want to be more of myself. To find new ways to express love and appreciation. I honor him as I honor myself which is how I honor the God/dess in all.

I thought I fell in love with my yoga teacher. It turns out, I fell in love with the One who was always at the core of my being.

Soul Healing

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“The soul is the birthless, deathless, changeless part of us. The part of us that looks out from behind our eyes and has no form. The soul is infinite so there is no in or out of it. It is everywhere. There’s no place that it is not.” -Wayne Dyer

Here are a few definitions from cosmic anatomy:

  • Infinite Soul- the eternal and divine light that was never created and will never be destroyed.
  • Individual Soul- the way that eternal light expresses itself through your bodymind. This reminds me of a filtration process. The eternal light gets squeezed through your bodymind (ego included) and comes out as your individual flavor of the eternal.
  • Ego- the part of you that believes it is separate from everything and everyone. Ego is like a bunch of ideas tied together to form a stream of “I.” Ego literally means identity maker.

All parts of you are equally valid and not separate although some beliefs (thoughts that have become mental constructs) that you formulated about yourself and the world around you may not be in alignment with truth. Truth here being something that is factual in all times, places and spaces regardless of who perceives it. Many beliefs are formed in the preverbal stage of life. What we experience and perhaps what is passed down through DNA can shape our belief structure. Can DNA assist the human in formulating beliefs? Bruce Lipton says that DNA does influence our beliefs and also our beliefs can influence our DNA.

Your soul is the part of you that is eternal. If anything needs healing, it is your thoughts and your belief in your thoughts.

Without a doubt, beliefs that are based on preverbal and early childhood experiences are not a sturdy foundation for adult life. Doing some inquiry into the nature of your mental processes will help in dissolving layers of unstable thought patterns and belief systems. Meditation is an amazing tool as well as questioning your foundational mental constructs.

Soul Retrieval in Shamanism

In neo-shamanism, there is a technique called soul retrieval. I had a series of these from a local shamanic practitioner who I was studying with in 2014. From my perspective, she did psychic work and then talked to me about what she observed in my field. Then I had new choices to make given this new perspective. This was truly amazing and I recommend this if you have experienced trauma or the term “soul healing” sounds enticing to you. In soul retrieval, you are going to (perhaps) an unconscious place in your psyche and remembering, recapitulating, or recognizing a moment where you lost power. In going back to that place, you can use your current self (with assistance from your guides and the shaman) to gather up energy in many different ways.

Ross Heaven has a great book that teaches more techniques beyond soul retrieval and got me to explore more of my unconscious mind. Parts of my psyche were still attempting to understand and integrate traumatic experiences. Relationships with other people, food, drinks, and other parts of my daily life had become the integration playground. By bringing my awareness to these places and allowing energy to move, I experience a surge of power as my own energy gets recirculated. When you do this work, you may be enticed by the stories around the stagnate energy. Be with the raw energy, not the story. Any story that needs to be unveiled will be without your grasping. Allow energy to flow.

To call this or any other work soul healing would imply that the soul is damaged, lost or somehow imperfect and that is just not possible. Your relationship between your ego and soul may benefit from some nurturing and deeper inquiry into their true essence, but your soul will remain with you, stainless and whole.

Some people are not going to like this because the exploitation of vulnerable people pays their bills. Others, because they have built up an idea that they can’t get better because their soul is somehow flawed and have become accustom to a helpless state of victimhood. I have to break this illusion by declaring that SOULS ARE NOT FLAWED.

“Michelangelo said when he got a statue that he would go to the quarry and get a big piece of marble and the way he imagined it, God had already created the statue and his job was just to get rid of the excess marble. So that’s what we’re like. Inside is the being that God has already created. Some call it the Christ, the Buddha mind, the Shekinah, the light, the soul. And our job is to get rid of this excess, useless fear, thought forms of the world that actually hide the light of the soul.” Marianne Williamson

Practical Guide to Your Cosmic Body

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Your Cosmic Body

 

Ayurveda and Yoga

Yoga, union of individual consciousness with Universal Consciousness, is a process of physiological and psychological alchemy. To understand this from an alchemical perspective, we must understand the 3 energies of the doshas and their subtle energies.

You are made of three cosmic forces: vata, pitta, kapha.

  • Vata translates as “the wind” and is the air element.
  • Pitta translates as “the power of digestion” and is the fire element.
  • Kapha translates as “what makes things stick together” and is water held in earth.

You are created with each of these forces in unique combination. Understanding your unique combination is vital in maintaining optimal health of body-mind-spirit. You can find out your combinations by taking the dosha quiz at www.doshaguru.com.

The vital essence of the doshas used in yoga alchemy:

  1. vata essence is prana
  2. pitta essence is tejas
  3. kapha essence is ojas

In yoga practice, we are transforming and bringing balance to the psyche and body. These subtle energies can be defined as:

  1. Prana – primordial life force
  2. Tejas – inner radiance, outer luster
  3. Ojas – primal vigor

These three are interdependent of each other and dance together to create animation, health and vitality in the body. A serious yogi lives a lifestyle that increases and builds the subtle energies rather than depleting them. To do that we start with Ojas.

Ojas: The juice that is created from every function that happens throughout the physical body. Ojas is an actual biological substances in the body rather than just energetic. This is creating immunity and longevity in the body.

 To build ojas:

  1. Diet – using what is right for your constitution.
  2. Tonic herbs – plants that produce soma or substance.
  3. Sexual energy – conscious and regulated discharge of the reproductive fluid.
  4. Sense awareness – conscious maintenance of the sense organs. Much energy is lost here.
  5. Emotional Awareness – This energy is potent and can be used to build or deplete ojas. Bhakti yoga is a means for cultivation of this energy.

When ojas is healthy, like a concentrate of a thousand roses used to make a drop of rose oil, you can use it for tejas.

Tejas: the burning flame of pure intelligence and illumination. This fire burns ignorance.

To build tejas:

  1. Discipline of activities – fasting, walking before dawn, practicing silence or other energy preservation and building self-disciplines will increase determination and tejas.
  2. Mantra repetition – develops inner fire through sound vibration and controlling aimless mind chatter.
  3. Discipline of activities- fasting, waking before dawn, practicing silence or other self-disciplines
  4. Mantra repetition- develops inner fire through sound vibration and controlling aimless mind
  5. Concentration – Focusing on one thing at a time increases inner fire.
  6. Study of knowledge – Knowledge increases intelligence which itself is fire.
  7. Anything that directs your attention, focus, will and determination will increase tejas.

Once ojas and tejas are full, we can tend to prana.

Prana: The primordial life-force and the bridge between individual consciousness and Universal Consciousness.

Prana is made of FIVE types.

  1. Prana- forward moving air, receptivity and nourishment from all pranas in the body. Exhale
  2. Apana- Down and out moving air, moves things out. Inhale
  3. Samana- balancing air, aids digestion and discernment. Pause
  4. Udana- upward moving air, giving self-expression, will and strength.
  5. Vyana- outward moving air, circulation, free flow of everything in the body.

To increase prana:

  • Pranayama- Conscious movement and integration of the vital energies
  • Meditation – Creating more space in the body gives rise to increase in prana. When we are internally cluttered, there is no space. Prana will fill the space, but you must first create the space.
  • Practicing the 4 paths to yoga-
    • Jnana-study
    • Bhakti-emotion, compassion, love
    • Karma- action and service
    • Raja- integration of life and meditation

Energy moves in all directions and the word prana is a cover story for that concept. Like all cover stories, there is more to the story that is not always readily available. I haven’t been to a yoga studio in a while so I am not sure if this is still true, but I used to hear teachers refer to prana as air. Although prana is not air or food, in can be found in air and in food. It is the “etheric double” or the invisible vitality that animates everything. Much like our digestive system, our energy system can only use what it can digest. Yoga asana and breathing practices increase the digestibility of energy and physical matter and are therefore paramount to our health. Here are the 5 pranas:

  1. Prana- forward moving energy, receptivity and nourishment from all pranas in the body. Exhale
  2. Apana- Down and out moving energy, moves things out. Base. Inhale
  3. Samana- balancing energy, aids digestion and discernment as the fire in the belly. Navel. Kumbhaka. Fusion of prana and apana into central channel. When breathe pauses naturally, energy enters the central channel.
  4. Udana- upward rising energy, belching and vomiting, giving self-expression, will and strength. Throat/mouth. Kundalini Shakti can rise up to the crown.
  5. Vyana- outward moving energy, circulation, extension of limbs, free flow of everything in the body. Chest. Kundalini Shakti unites with Kundalini Shiva in the crown and has the capacity to pervade everything in all times and spaces also known as awakening.

What you need to know:

You can connect with the subtle energy of everything in your life.

  1. If you are experiencing decreased overall energy levels: breath and connect with what you consume. Imagine extracting/sharing vitality with all that you are consuming. Visualize energy from above and below you are entering into every pore of your body.
  2. Bowel evacuation troubles: breath and visualize energy moving downward into your sacrum. Imagine that energy grounding you to the Earth below you.
  3. Decision making challenges: breath and visualize energy moving as an inward spiral.
  4. Any challenge with the voice or throat: Inhale a ball of energy into the throat. Hold it there and retain the breath. On your exhale, let sound come out. Any sound that feels naturally arising and wants to come out.
  5. Decreased circulation: Open your arms like you are going to hug someone. Take a breath in and retain the breath. On the exhale bring the hands to the chest. Visualize energy moving from your center chest out in all directions. Repeat.

These are just a few basic examples of ways you can practically work with prana.

Here is a basic breakdown of a place to start with your yoga practice. Yoga asana, or postural yoga, moves the vital energies through the organs and the bodily tissues. It is meant to prepare and strengthen the body for increased levels of energy and the daily challenges every human contends with in life. Yoga assists in the realization of your perfection and unity with Universal Consciousness. The gift of yoga has its roots much deeper than we have been shown in the mainstream. Yoga and Ayurveda are life sciences and are the best path to wholeness I have yet to see.

 

Chakra System

The chakra system has its roots in tantric philosophy and has been made popular in the West by hatha and kundalini yoga. A chakra is a wheel or vortex of energy in the body. Many believe that these centers are controlled by organs that are nearby and that there are colors associated with each energy center. It is my understanding that these ideas and concepts came from westerners who worked with energy when yoga first came to the west. Enough of them agreed that the energy centers in the body were synonymous with certain organs and had certain colors. In India, I received the teachings on chakras void of these ideas and concepts. I feel that there is an original map of the energy in the body and people have perceived that energy in numerous different ways over time. In my experience, the “color” is not seen but felt and the organs nearby aren’t always involved in what the energy is communicating. This is an area for you to explore with an open mind and do your best to not get caught in the mind field traps. I will present the chakra information in the way the you will likely find it (with the colors of the rainbow) with the disclaimer that energy in the body is free to do and be anything. It will communicate in its own way. Our job is to stay connected to our center, or central column, and be open to receive.

Learning to feel a color:

Seeing with your senses is what I call “seeing with my eyes closed.” Energy is subtle at first and can take practice learning to communicate with. Here is a game to play that will increase your sensitivity to feeling a color:

Gather your energy into your central column, your spine, or your midline. Eyes open or closed, breath in and imagine gathering up all of you in energy form.  This can be like seeing all your energy tentacles being retracted into your body and you becoming so full of yourself that all the chaotic energy automatically disengages. [Many people like to exhale “all negative energy.” Truth is, energy is not good/bad. All that you can perceive is your stuff. Integration of this energy will nourish you.] Keep inhaling your energy and on the exhales let everything soften and integrate. Bring your awareness to a pet or someone you know. Ask yourself, “What does this being’s energy feel like in color form?” Let a color arise in your awareness. What does this color feel like? Does it have a texture? How does it smell? What does it taste like? As many questions as you can ask, allow your bodymind to respond. Honor and respect whatever arises as valid information.

  1. First Chakra, Sanskrit name: Muladhara- located at the base of the spine and the sacral plexus, represents Earth element. Bija mantra, LAM and noted as a 4 petaled lotus. Meditation on muladhara helps the practitioner to gain breath and mind control and knowledge of past present and future.

This is the place where Kundalini Shakti, the energy of manifest form, resides. Many people believe this energy needs to be activated or “awakened” for progress in spirituality and healing. But this energy moves as she needs to and does not necessarily need to be activated or awakened. The awakening happens in the right timing. What we can do is prepare the ground and pathways in the body to better accommodate her movements.

  1. Second Chakra, Sanskrit name: Svadhisthana- at genital organs and regenerative organs, represents Water element. Bija mantra, VAM and noted as a 6 petaled lotus. Meditation on this center improves psychic awareness, intuition, and knowledge of astral entities.

The area in the body can be a place of guilt and shame in both men and women. It is a highly energy rich area that often gets over stimulation or avoidance, which is stimulation without movement. It is easy to deplete this chakra and feel burned out or have excessive amounts of energy and feel anxious. Taking salt water baths or spending time near natural bodies of water can be extremely helpful in balancing this area. Eating foods that help to balance and maintain water metabolism such as celery, watermelon, grapes, cucumber and other juicy plants can be advantageous in efforts to bring harmony.

  1. Third Chakra, Sanskrit name: Manipura- navel region at solar plexus. Energy is fiery (tejas) and the name Manipura roughly translates to lustrous gem. The bija mantra is RAM and there are 10 lotus petals. Meditation here gives inner strength, powers of discernment, freedom from disease and fear.

Inner will power and ego identification are predominating here. There will be a strong sense of self with firm yet loving boundaries. Powerful dictators and “pushover” people are deficient in this area. When manipura is strong, there is no need to control or have power over others. The person will stand up for themselves and eventually be so centered that the need to stand up for oneself diminishes. Many people in spiritual communities have weak ego identification largely due to the belief that ego is bad. This can lead to long-term problems which can be remedied though understanding and acceptance of the egoic nature and its rightful place in a human life.

  1. Fourth Chakra, Sanskrit name: Anahata- heart region at cardiac plexus. Energy is that of air and the name translates as unstruck, referring to the sound that comes without striking. The lotus has 12 petals and it’s bija mantra is YAM. Meditation here opens powers of universal love, forgiveness and direct realization of the cosmic connection between inner and outer as one.

The heart center easily becomes burdened by belief that love and compassion are generated here. The heart is more like a motor than a container for love and compassion. The heart can integrate and move universal love, acceptance, forgiveness throughout the entire body while the chakra integrates and acts on the cosmic plane. When the heart chakra is healthy, there is equality in all beings and acceptance is reflected inside and out.

  1. Fifth Chakra, Sanskrit name: Vishudda- throat region at laryngeal plexus. The energy here is that of space, it is a 16 petal lotus and its bija mantra HAM. Meditation here connects the individual to the Infinite.

I call this chakra the cosmic cave of wonders. It is here that a great merging of past, present, future happens and many psychic experiences can unfold. Although, this can happen anywhere in the body, the throat is the bridge between the earth process of body mechanics and the workings of the magical and mysterious following two chakras.

  1. Sixth Chakra, Sanskrit name: Ajna- between eyebrows at the nerve plexus of the sympathetic nervous system that lies on each side of the sella turcica, Turkish saddle, or seat of the pituitary gland. This chakra has 2 petals and its bija mantra is OM. Meditation on this chakra gives connection to higher intelligence, great inner and outer sight, and strong intuitive powers.

The red portion is the seat that holds the pituitary gland.

I call this the 1st Eye and practice turning my eyes inward which allows the practitioner to look within while the physical eyes are closed. Many of the modern foods and technology are harmful to this center. Some notables are fluoride in tap water, soda, artificial lighting, and looking at screens. Some healing things for this center are, raw cacao, drinking pure water, craniosacral therapy, using crystals (fluorite is a good one), doing eye exercises, practicing intuitive games, and spending time out in nature. Anything that detoxifies the body will be helpful in strengthening the third eye chakra.

 

  1. Seventh Chakra, Sanskrit name: Sahasrara- at the crown of the head and corresponds with the pineal gland. This is a thousand-petal lotus and is the seat of the upper kundalini or urdhva kundalini. This is known as Shiva kundalini. When Shakti kundalini from the root meets with Shiva Kundalini in the crown, the practitioner experiences extreme states of bliss, the highest knowledge, and has an enlightenment experience.

There is no bija manta here and in the texts that I have seen, this area is very secret and not mentioned much beyond speculation. My basic understanding is that this is the place we connect to our individual with the cosmic consciousness. The sound I associate here is all sounds tightly woven together so much that there is no description that I can replicate. The silent sound of vibration. Anytime your bring your awareness to this area, you are doing a great amount of good to your sahasrara/crown chakra.

 

 

Kundalini

One of the most taboo, esoteric and unfortunately misunderstood concepts is that of kundalini. Upon research on this topic, I learned that the word kundalini appeared for the first time in the 7th century in a Tantrik text in Kashmir.

What you need to know:

Your body is electric. There are power centers in the body and 2 main ones we work with in yoga. One in the base of the spine (Kundalini Shakti) and one in the crown (Kundalini Siva). If your kundalini yoga practice only emphasizes raising energy up to the crown, be aware that there needs to be an equal attention to bringing that energy down or disaster is likely. Just look at what happens in any system that favors one side over the other. Yoga practice works directly on energy and blowing a circuit is real. Balance is key.

 

Nadis 

Everything in the physical realm has an energetic or etheric double. No thing that we see with our eyes is without an energetic component. This concept pervades all existence in life. There are said to be 72,000 nadis in the pranic sheath and three of which we place great attention. The central channel, or sushumna nadi, and the two nadis on either side, ida and pingala.

Ida:

  • Left brain
  • Chandra/Moon
  • Cooling

Pingala:

  • Right brain
  • Surya/Sun
  • Healing

Many of the aspects of a yoga practice aim to purify these nadis which allow more energy to move in, out, through and around the way it moves in its expanded state. Pranayama/breathing practices are extremely powerful and potent methods for bringing wholeness to your energy, body, and entire life. This topic is vast and I highly recommend researching before implementing a practice. Two safe and effective practices are kapalabhati and anuloma viloma which are beneficial for balancing and purifying ida and pingala.

“We often come to a practice like yoga feeling inadequate and looking for a way to get better, right, healed, or fixed. But you are not broken or wrong and having this be the foundation of your practice will only lead to more proof to your original belief. We practice yoga to get closer to embodying the truth of existence and beginning with this at your starting point will be a far greater ally in your journey. The power/energy that created us, is still us. It didn’t make us and then run off to some distant place where it can laugh at, judge and punish us.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Easy Road for a Beautiful Woman

By | Body Temple, Healing, Psychological~Spirituality | No Comments

07 Dec 2016

By Anjani Siegrist

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Beauty is a prized possession that men and women want to own in one way or another. But what is the real cost of beauty?

I grew up being valued for my beauty. From as early back as I can remember, people would take pictures of me and talk about what I beautiful little girl I was. Mostly outside of my family. Within my family, I felt outcast. My mother’s sisters, their daughters (with a few exceptions) and my mother’s mother seemed to despise me. They said I was conceited, stuck up, made jokes about my perfect posture and said things like, “What are you trying to prove?” In my reality, I did not feel superior or beautiful and wasn’t trying to prove anything. I got a lot of attention and felt like I was in the spotlight everywhere I went.

When I was six years old I stayed at my mother’s sister’s home for a week or so. Her husband would have me and my cousin massage his legs and feet, which I did not enjoy. I remember being left alone with him and wishing someone would call me back into the living room or come looking for me. One night after everyone went to sleep, he came into the room I was sleeping in and molested me. I had no way of understanding what was happening or how to handle the situation. I told my cousins the next morning and they immediately told the grown-ups, against my request to keep it a secret. There was nothing done. Not even a talk to check in with me or listen to how I felt about what had happened. Between the ages of 6 and 9, my memory of where I lived, my family structure, and life in general is a blur. The rush of energy and change in my mentality around who I was and how I was supposed to act was disorienting. My little body and mental state were not developed enough to handle the situation. I recently asked my mother to fill in the gaps on my memory of exactly how old I was, what season it was, and whether she knew about what happened or not. From what my mother told me and my memory, I believe my aunts didn’t tell my mother until years later. The story has always been that the women knew that my father would kill that uncle so they were protecting my dad from going to prison which was why they kept it a secret. My father was a dangerous man and certainly would have killed him. 

I remember having my first crush on a boy when I was in the 3rd grade. His name was Josh. He had the prettiest green eyes and gorgeous smile. I wrote about him in my diary and wished that he would like me too. I lived in a Mormon town in Thatcher, Arizona. The kids called me a nigger, butt-wipe, dirty black girl and a lot of other racially biased names. Even if Josh did like me back, he certainly would not ever have admitted it. During my school-age years I knew that I was not beautiful. The kids were cruel and their parents were even worse.

When I reached 7th grade, boys started to notice me. I got gifts from secret admirers and had requests to go on dates to the movies. I also had some rage ridden boys who would call me a slut, bitch, and other horrible things when I declined their attempts at courting me. The summer after 7th grade, I had sex for the first time. I was 12 years old. It was with a boy who was 15 and was a family member of a family I used to babysit for. I didn’t really know him. I bled so much that I passed out in the bathtub the next day. But I couldn’t tell anyone. That summer everything changed. I stopped going to church which was a big deal for me since I took the bus to church every single Sunday with my sister and cousin. I felt guilty and full of shame.

When 8th grade started, it seemed like all the boys were interested in me. I was very pretty but also very insecure. I had a boyfriend named Sean who was in the 10th grade. He was a light-skinned Mexican guy with stunning green eyes and was very suave. Sean was beautiful and a lot of the girls his age liked him. They decided they wanted to beat me up, even though they never met me. I soon had to have an escort walk me home from school every day for my safety. The girls would come to my house at night and yell profanity and honk the horn for me to come outside. My mom had a boyfriend in another town and didn’t sleep at our house a lot of nights so wasn’t there when this was happening. When we would go out to get groceries, girls would threaten me in public and right in front of my mother. It was so embarrassing. But my mom stood up for me and that felt good. But my mom couldn’t be there to stand up for me most of the time. By the time I was 13 years old, I remember wishing I would just be fat and ugly to avoid all the trouble my looks were causing me.

We moved to the town where my mother’s boyfriend lived at the end of 8th grade. Even though my mother’s boyfriend had something against me, I was so happy to not be in fear for my safety anymore. But when school started in the 9th grade, it was even worse with the girls. They instantly hated me and their boyfriends loved me. I was at that school between 9th and 12th grade and had the hardest time fitting in, making friends and being a part of the community. There was one girl who was relentless in wanting to fight me. She would drive by in her truck looking for me at every lunch break and after school. Finally, I decided I had to fight her to make it end. I was scared out of my mind. I met her (and a large group of kids from school) down a deserted road that led to the river. I beat her up to the equivalent of a TKO. But she got up and wanted to fight again. So, we did. When we left that day, she had a concussion and wrecked her truck on the way home. I felt horrible about that. This was the first of many girls I physically wounded. I never once got in trouble for any fighting because every fight was in self-defense and not started by me.

When I was 15, my aunt got a divorce from uncle David and used the molestation against him in court. It was at that time that I had to tell the story of what happened that night repeatedly to so many people with tape recorders and then again in court. I remember wanting to rip my skin right off myself. I hated what happened to me and that I couldn’t do anything to change my feelings. I felt like I couldn’t control my urges to be sexual and blamed my uncle for that. It was really embarrassing now that so many people knew what happened to me.

When I got out of high school, I married a man who was 4 years’ senior to me. He was so jealous and got mad if I wore makeup or perfume to go to my University classes. He said he didn’t want those black guys (the athletes) perusing me. I didn’t give in to my husband’s requests and wore whatever I wanted to. We had tension in our marriage for obvious reasons. To start with, I was only 18 years old. We got married in October and by November I cheated on him with a guy from high school. That marriage was short lived. I realized that I was not ready to be a wife. I wanted to see the world and have adventures. I wanted to meet famous people and date professional athletes. I wanted to model. I knew none of those things would happen in the situation I was in, so I left, joined the Navy and realized those things I had hoped to experience.

All I ever was complimented and congratulated for was my beauty. When I joined the Navy, they cut my hair off, made me wear boy clothes, and fed me dead food. I was really depressed for the first year, gained about 20 pounds, and did not feel beautiful. I would eat a whole medium sized pizza and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream every day after work with the curtains to my barracks room closed. No matter how horrible I thought I looked, there were always guys on base who would cat call me. But I couldn’t even respond or look at them. I felt so bad about myself. I finally got a plastic surgeon who I worked for to do a liposuction surgery on my belly after being asked by someone if I was “expecting.” After that surgery, my distorted body image and eating problems got worse. I became bulimic and was on a crazy cycle of binge/purge. I finally did lose weight and stabilized myself enough to eat normal amounts of food and not throw it up. But I wasn’t totally free from my disordered eating patterns. I couldn’t talk to anyone about this. It was something I hid in secrecy.

I finally could get to a healthy relationship with food when I was in a healthy relationship with myself. It was not easy and took most of my energy. I started studying Buddhism and practicing yoga when I was pregnant with my son in 2004. When he was born, I became vegetarian because of a story I heard from a chef about an eel he was cooking. I decided that I would no longer contribute to the suffering and loss of freedom of any creature. I lost 30 pounds effortlessly with this change in my perception and eating choices. My family made a lot of comments about my weight and choices, as they often did. At some point, I stopped caring what they said about me and they stopped saying anything. I don’t have a relationship with them (extended family) anymore and I am fine with that.

I decided to be fat and ugly when I was 13 to avoid the problems my looks were causing. Then I had to fight (mostly myself) to win my health and beauty back. When I look in the mirror, I see beauty beyond the physical. My beauty is so much deeper than a surface level. I learned about the inner feminine and inner masculine using astrology which has healed my relationship struggles from the inside. I value and nurture myself and I know that my outer beauty reflects how I feel on the inside. For years, I have felt ashamed of being beautiful because of the damage it caused. I feared being hurt and abused by men and an object of misogyny and hate by other women. Yes. I said that. Other women have been aggressively hateful to beautiful women and I experienced this in my life.

Overcoming a serious eating disorder, clinical depression, anxiety and panic attacks was a side effect of doing real work on my relationship with myself. For 17 years, I read countless self-help books, attended workshops and certification courses in the healing arts and even went through the medical system for 2 years. The things that have been most beneficial to my healing have been Shamanic journeying, CranioSacral Therapy, Ayurveda, and doing self-love rituals daily. I practice meditation and developed other talents and skills that are not dependent upon my outer appearance. I never once used my looks to get out of speeding tickets, get into the VIP section of the night clubs, or get men to buy me things. I saw other women around me do those things, but I never did it. I am not saying there is anything is wrong with it, but I personally prefer to be valued and treated fairly for simply being human rather than for physical appearance. To be honest, it means more for me to be complimented for my brilliance and creativity rather than be called beautiful or sexy.

By adding this piece of my story to the tapestry of our collective story, I want people to realize what the “easy road for a beautiful woman” might look like. I also hope that you will acknowledge the pieces of your experience as well. Especially the things that you have hidden. After doing bodywork for many years, I notice that so much energy is trapped in the body like a cover-up to keep secrets buried inside. I decided to start moving this deeper layer of energy out of my body and releasing it back into the loving darkness or energetic field where all energy circulates freely. There is no good or bad energy. It is just energy and can be used to create apple pies or nuclear bombs.

Post scriptum: I was looking for court documents to fulfill a request from a publisher before they could publish this writing. I found a death certificate instead. It appears my uncle died in the summer of 2016 from heart failure. After a day of processing, I feel like some cords have been cut between me and painful memories from this portion of my life. The details of what happened and how it was handled by the people in charge are no longer a concern for me. Ultimately, it is my own inner process that I am responsible for. The sense of losing my innocence and the years I spent feeling out of control of my emotions and sexuality are the bigger issues for me. I have worked this topic from many angles over the years. A lot of people have suggested that I “let it go.” Where exactly does “it” go to? It goes into the body and other parts of the unconscious mind where it lives forever as deep programming. I see it all the time in my work with people and I am not interested in wearing my inner material as a hidden under garment. Many creative people take their painful material and MAKE SOMETHING of it. Me, plus my inner material, can equal my art or unconscious acting out. <forgiveness article>

I realize today that I am in a phase of holding a memory and a story. The experience put me into a mode of intense sexuality and sensuality which may or may not have been part of my original personality. It was too powerful and impossible for me (before I had training) to contain and work with. I learned the lessons, had many experiences and have taken back my power. I have lived out the drama of that story and now the story is over. I am left with the potency of my own power and running sexual energy through my body for the sole purpose of energizing myself. I no longer feel the need to dampen or hide that part of myself or give power to the story.

Deep Intuition or Deep Programming

By | Communication, Psychological~Spirituality | No Comments

Ahamkara is the “I am” or ego state. This is the part of you that believes it is separate from the whole. Humans are given ego as part of the Divine Play for consciousness to know itself. Ego is the part of you that identifies with the senses, objects, and defines “you” in relation to the rest of reality.

Intuition arises from intelligence or Buddhi (higher knowledge) yet transcends logical thinking. Intuition passes through your ego, or the part of you that believes it is separate from the whole. When you have an intuition, an impression may arise in your perception through the senses or an inner knowing. There are little to no words with intuition. There is no argument, judgement, guilt or shame with intuition. Those things may arise from your “I am” or ego identification when you notice an intuitive hit.

how to know the difference between deep intuition and deep programming

Whether you call it a hunch, gut feeling, or intuition, there are ways to discern whether the information is deep programming or deep intuition. You will first need to form a relationship with your internal characters and get to know them for yourself. In my experience, the ego talks a lot more. The ego wants to keep me safe and has a lot of definition and boundaries. Often, there is a sense of fear and anxiety associated with the ego voice. This voice may drive a person to make the infamous “drunk dial” or leave a text message or email laden with blame, shame and victim speech.

Intuition speaks a unique language, which for me, is often in symbols. In a dreamlike state, I feel, sense, and often have imagery associated with intuitive information. When I am faced with a choice, I can sit somewhere quiet and get into a semi-meditative state and LISTEN. I do not expect information to come in any one way or another. I am open to receive even when that means nothing comes at all. I practice this constantly in my day to day life. When intuition does come, I honor her like a guest and LISTEN. When she speaks, it is as if God Herself is speaking to me. I practice a handful of discernment along with a pinch of logic in my decision-making strategy. From time to time, I do think-my-way-out of following intuition. This has proven to be disappointing to my expansion and evolution.

Next time you have a gut feeling about something, spend a little time questioning where it is coming from. If your internal dialogue starts to defend, judge or try to prove something, it is likely deep programming. If your internal dialogue remains quiet, peaceful and loving, it is likely your intuition.

integrating healthy ego and intuition into your life

LISTEN: Listening is an underused form of communication that is vital to growth. Practice listening. You can do that now. Pause your reading and close your eyes. What do you hear? Take a few moments to notice the sounds around and inside of you.

AWARENESS and CURIOSITY: Having awareness and curiosity are priceless gems in getting familiar with intuition and ego. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can think to ask! In your asking, you will receive information and heighten your awareness.

JOURNAL: Keep a journal. This journal will be used to document your intuitive hits as well as the voice of your ego in day to day life. Using it to write down dreams can also get you in touch with your cosmic, unlimited self while connecting you deeply to intuition and healthy ego.

TRUST YOURSELF: When you doubt yourself, you further perpetuate past programming. On the other hand, trusting in yourself tells your subconscious mind that you are open to integration. This will encourage a flow from deeper layers of yourself to come to the surface. Trust yourself. Even if you end up being incorrect, your relationship with yourself will improve.

final thoughts

The ego is not bad and intuition good, or vice versa. There is no hierarchy. In the Divine Play of your existence they are both valid. All parts of yourself are welcome, necessary and worthy of your unconditional love and appreciation.