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It has been fascinating to see how large a response this radio show received. It really shows me how confused so many people are about how to be with this very powerful emotion, in a way that is healthy and constructive. It really lays the foundation for a future episode on Fear, because when we don’t know how to use our anger to protect us, then Fear, the emotion of Survival has to come in for back up.
But how to respond, rather than react to Anger? That seems to be the biggest question bothering people. We are so used to feeling our anger, and either stuffing it, or reacting to it, there doesn’t seem to be an in–between, and there is. The key here is to do two things: First, notice where you feel it in your body, and what it feels like, then, most importantly, acknowledge it, name it. You may say something like “I’m noticing some anger in my body”. You don’t need to understand in that moment or what it is about, just recognize and name the emotion. If you can stay with that recognition, the anger will eventually show you what it wants you to see, how you need to take care of yourself, or what is not working. What you don’t want to do is say “YOU” are making me angry, when you don’t even know what the anger is about. Own the emotion as your own, and after you delve into it more deeply than you can have a discussion about what didn’t work for you. Taking the blame and criticism (towards others) out of our anger is the first step to being able to work with it in a less destructive way. Our emotions belong to us. No one else MAKES us feel anything. We feel because it is how our Innate Intelligence is communicating with us, giving us information. It’s not about anyone else. If you remember nothing else, this is key.
By getting into a habit of simply naming your emotion, it will allow you to begin to recognize it’s presence in your system, and move you out of being so reactive to it. Then it stops being so frightening, and it stops blocking your access to other feelings as well. The more you can recognize what you are feeling, and allow the wisdom of the emotions to guide you, the more you get to trust your capacity to be empowered with your life.
Be Love. Be Smooth.
This week I’ve had a massive confrontation with the difference between the energy of Destruction and the energy of Creation. Without realizing it, and in fact, with all the best intentions, I have spent much of my adult life studying what creates violence, pain and destructive behavior in human beings. This week, I had a deep awareness of how that study has had a paradoxical effect on me in subtle ways I was not aware of until it stopped being subtle.
I’m going to spare you the gory details of what led up to this, and the process that allowed it to unfold. I did engage some deep non-ordinary states of consciousness in order to access the depth of the awareness that I was seeking, and as always, it did exactly what was needed. I got to see how in an effort to understand Destruction, in essence, I was attempting to negotiate with its influence in my life. That is not real. We can’t negotiate or understand Destruction anymore than we can negotiate or understand Creation, at an archetypal level. They just are. They are the power forces of the Universe. The Yin and Yang. But, what we focus on, we become, definitely applies here, and in order to bring healing to others, I spent a great deal of personal energy on the effort of understanding what creates pain, suffering and dis-ease in people. But I see now, that another focus is what is really required.
So it brings me to the energy of Creation, in all of its myriad forms: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, environmentally, financially, artistically, relationally, communally, and globally. I want to invite you to be serious about what you want to support in the transformation of your life and the world you live in for this coming year. Let’s move it out of the “New Year Resolution” category, which lasts about a week, if that, and instead make a Sacred Contract with yourself to support the Transformation and Creations you want to put your energy into during this next yearly cycle of your life.
What qualities do you want to cultivate in your personal life? Honor, integrity, creativity, humility, grace, boldness, courage, cooperation, open-heartedness, fierceness, boundaries, determination, availability, intimacy, any of these feel like they are calling? Look deeply, without judgement, and recognize the qualities you really enjoy about yourself, and then allow yourself to explore what you would like to cultivate, or experience within yourself. If you can see it, and you hunger for it, just know it already exists inside of you. The presence of those qualities is what is creating the desire for it to come into more fullness of manifestation, or you wouldn’t even see it or desire it at all. So your Creation already exists, and is just waiting to be uncovered so you can experience that aspect of yourself and move into it as an integrated, conscious way of experiencing the fullness of yourself.
Within your outer world relationships, how would you like to create transformation in them? Would you like more laughter, intimacy, availability, honesty, openness, presence, spirit, fun? Again, allow your hunger to guide you in choosing to create these qualities by being the qualities you want to experience.
In your work, would you like to create more satisfaction, abundance, ease, fulfillment? See where your work is feeding you and where you are feeding it. Notice any way you are not bringing your best to your work, not really engaging your deepest skill. It doesn’t matter what the reasoning for that is, just notice, and see what happens if you begin to shift that approach, so your work becomes more mutually satisfying. By giving your best to yourself and any of the work you do, notice what changes that creates for your Livelihood, does it bring you into deeper relationship with your Right Livelihood, as the Buddhists refer to our work in the world?
We can keep expanding our Creation energy out to every aspect of our lives: our environment, inside our home, as well as outside; our neighborhood, our community, our world. Anywhere where dissatisfaction lives within us, Creation is trying to happen, something new is wanting to give birth to itself within us, so we can be the vehicle for that energy in the world. Don’t limit yourself. Be available to the biggest dreams your life wants to Create. And remember: You wouldn’t be seeing them if they didn’t want to happen to you and through you. You don’t have to figure out how it is going to happen, you just need to keep saying “YES” to the energy of Creation that is calling out to you. Just keep taking the next step, and don’t worry how the step 20 paces away are going to happen. Just one step at a time, stay present with each moment of your life, that is how Creation guides you.
Allow your preparation for this new year to be a time of deep awareness into the aspects of your life that point out your frustrations and dissatisfactions. Trust them. They are pointing you to the areas that are asking for the consciousness of Creation to be able to take root and bloom themselves into your new life. Those visions are your Spirit talking to you. Listen, write them down, take yourself serious and become the Co-Creator of your life, make it all it can be, all it wants to be at this point in time. Get support for the places that are too sticky to get past on your own. Experience gratitude for all that is and that continues to unfold itself in every moment. Gratitude is what helps us to see how our creations are taking hold, and becoming the new ground for the transformation of our lives.
Happy Winter Solstice.
Be Love. Be Smooth.
Winter Solstice is a particularly paradoxically time of year in our culture. We are encouraged to shop till we drop, and go to endless parties and events. Yet the Seasonal energy is calling for a very different experience of inwardness and quiet. This disparity between the Seasonal energy and the cultural conditioning is a set up for crazy making, as so many folks get to feel this time of year. It’s why depression and anger become so much more active during this season.
Winter is a time of darkness, literally and figuratively. It invites us into the slower time of inward reflection, meditation, reading, dreaming. It allows us to reflect on the decisions and commitments we made with ourselves at the beginning of the year, and to reflect on what we acted on, what got tossed aside, what got prioritized, and where we are now. Each year changes us. 2011 has been a particularly challenging year for many people, whether through illness, jobs, economics, family, relationship, or all of the above. It has been a year that has catapulted many people into powerfully transformative events in their lives, many they would rather not have experienced. But that is often the nature of transformation. It does not follow our ideas about who we are or where our lives are going. Life has its own agenda, and the skill of Life is learning how to adapt, flow and find the wisdom and humor to move us into the next chapters of our lives.
Winter is the time to reflect on the effect of these changes in your life this year, and to learn how it has already changed you and how it continues to change your life. But we need to slow down enough to be able to have this type of inward reflective activity. So take some time daily for quiet time. It doesn’t have to be hours, just 15 minutes will make a big difference. Or go to bed a little earlier and allow that to be a time of reflection on events, on gratitude, on emotions. Whatever works for you.
Then we are ready to reintegrate into the Wholeness of our family, or community, knowing more of who we are as a result of our willingness to see ourselves through the lens of what this year has brought to us, and how it has changed us. Then we gift our community with our deeper awareness of ourselves, and share in the fullness of the Holyday we call Winter Solstice or Christmas, or whatever Spiritual Tradition has meaning for your heart and soul. Happy Holidays!!
Be Love. Be Smooth
IN THE BEGINNING
This blog is all about Transformation, in all the many ways it unfolds in our life, and in the world we are living in. Before I can speak more generally about Healing and Transformation, or whatever you may be interested in on the subject, I need to talk about myself first.
In this post I feel I need to start this blog at the beginning of this most recent transformative process which has been unfolding for 22 months. I didn’t know it at the time, as we never do, but in looking back I can see how all the pieces have added up to me being here, writing this blog and starting this radio show. If we are going to talk about transformation, we have to look at all the parts otherwise it gives the impression that somehow it magically “just happened”, and that is not usually the case.
AND WE ALL FALL DOWN
For me, this round started with a fall, not the season, but a situation where I fell down and tore all the ligaments in my right foot and leg. It was awful, painful, scary, limiting. I live in the mountains in a 2 story house, by myself, and not being able to move around freely was a serious inhibition to my life. After 6 weeks of being in pain and hobbling around, I got this “download”, it was crystal clear and said “Everything in your life is going to change: your body, your relational field, your money and your work”. Okay, I thought, I say yes to all of it, make it so. I had no idea how any of this was going to unfold. My body was 215 pounds, and in 25 years, nothing I did changed that one iota. Well, when I went to the Amazon, I did lose 30 pounds, but it was a temporary loss.
Four days later I went to my doctor and she informed me I had to get the weight off for health reasons. Ok I said, but how??? That was when I got introduced to the HCG program. I won’t go into the details right now, but one and a half years later, I have lost 45 pounds and they are not coming back. Point one. Check.
Two months later I gave a presentation at the Psychedelic Science Conference in San Jose, CA, presenting my dissertation research on the healing capacity of Ayahuasca, an Entheogenic brew from the Amazonia rainforest. During that conference, I finally got to meet my dear friends new born infant, Dyllan Kianna Wicks. We had connected while she was in utero, and I was excited to meet her in person, but the situation made it more rushed than I would have liked.
AND THEN THE REAL WORK BEGINS
May 22, while I was in Hawaii, celebrating my son Adam’s graduation from the University of Hawaii, I got a call that little Dyllan, 3 months old, had gone into heart failure, and was not expected to live. Shortly after returning home, I got to visit her and her Mom and Dad at the University of California at San Francisco Medical Center. It was all so uncertain and frightening so see such a tiny being surrounded by so many machines and medicines.
She was transferred to the Pediatric Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford shortly after that. And that is where the next 9 months of my life was centered, in service to the Life and Spirit of Dyllan, and her family. Her parents, Dayna and Scott, wanted to have someone with her 24 hours a day in addition to the nursing staff. So, a group of us, friends and family took shifts, to spend with this amazing little Being, through 9 surgeries, including a heart transplant. I will not go into details, there are just too many, and I know it is impossible to imagine, but just know this was the sickest child ever in the history of Stanford, that no one expected her to live, and yet she did, and continues her amazing journey into life as a toddler. And in the grueling process of living in an Intensive Care Unit with children all having heart problems, watching what this little Spirit kept saying yes to a was humbling, and life altering experience. It was the most profound initiation of my life. It challenged me on levels I did not know were possible. It changed me forever. And I am deeply honored and grateful to have taken part in such a Sacred process. If anyone is interested in learning more specifics about this process, you can visit the Caring Bridge Website: www.caringbridge.org/visit/dyllanwicks
Through out this time, I maintained my busy counseling practice, and somehow the energy I needed to do both was always there. But in January, just as Dyllan was being discharged to the Ronald McDonald house for interim care before going home, I dropped. I woke up one day and realized something inside of me just broke. I couldn’t feel, think, move or sense anything in life. It was like the plug was pulled and all of a sudden I was completely empty. Gratefully, Dayna had the support she needed, and I was able to stay home and rest.
THE DEATH AND REBIRTH BEGINS
Over the next months, my energy would fluctuate, but with many more lows than normal or high. One day, I realized another personal process was beginning, and I asked that it be gentle, since it always comes through my body. I am a bit famous for automobile accidents as initiations to process. So, I wanted to hold this one differently from the outset. And it was gentle. Except for the 2 days in my offices, I couldn’t get out of bed for the other 5, sleeping almost constantly. My practice went the way of my energy, way down. I kept assuming this was temporary and kept waiting for both my energy and client load to lift back up, but they never did.
By August, I realized there was a serious problem, as my savings was almost depleted, and no new clients were arriving. In 34 years I have never had this situation, I’ve always had new clients regularly arriving, and it got my attention, but I just didn’t know what to do with the information. When I would tune it, and ask for guidance, all I saw was that I needed to send out a letter asking for help. YIKES, that is not something I have ever done, or even knew how to do. Wow, all my stories and judgments about myself came screaming to the surface and I resisted mightily. For weeks, I sat in despair, resistance and semi-panic. Then one day, out of the clear blue, my dear, loving son Adam, offered to send me money. That did it. The energy was so strong it was coming though my son to show me how I really did need help. I had to acknowledge I couldn’t do this by myself any longer. It was terrifying. But I sat down, wrote the letter and sent it out the following day, not knowing what others would think or how they would respond, or react.
Immediately I received numerous heart-felt offers of support in any way people could, they were willing: Sessions, financial help, listening, support, love, whatever people could give of their love they did. It blew me open. I felt like a rooter-rooter had just opened my heart in a way I didn’t know needed to happen. I was flattened from the intensity of it all. I had never allowed myself to receive so much from others in such a deliberate way in my life. It was profound. And right along side of that was the fear that the support wouldn’t really show up, as days went by and my P.O. box stayed empty.
Then I got to sit with my impatience, and all my beliefs about Trust, more accurately, how I couldn’t trust people or life or… It was shocking because after all my years of personal work, I didn’t realize these nuggets still resided in my unconscious. I didn’t realize how much force they wanted to exert on my life, or had in the past. But as I stayed present to them, without engaging or believing them, watching them unfold themselves, wanting to pull me back into a paranoid, mistrusting, angry place in life, something happened. This next part is really important, yet very hard to describe, as transformation is, but I want to do my best to explain this, so bear with me.
While I was driving around in my truck, dragon wrestling my mental sewage, deciding between buying a bottle of tequila and a gallon of ice cream, I called a friend Andrea, who reminded me I could make a tequila ice cream float. That was helpful. Then I began to speak all the elements of the beliefs that were showing themselves, and allowed myself to feel all the emotions each one of those beliefs evoked. After about 20 minutes of this internal watching and speaking out loud, (thank God for good non-judgmental friends), without making any of it wrong, but also not making any of it right, or even believing that it was true, just seeing it all and speaking it, a new energy began to emerge.
PHOENIX RISING FROM THE ASHES
Right behind the debris began coming a lighter vibration wave. At first, it was purely energetic, unformed, unknown, but the more I spoke all of what was coming, including this new energy, the new, lighter energy got stronger, and stronger. And then it began to have the feeling of inspiration, and then BAM, it was as if I was propelled into an entirely new universe. It was as if I got shot out of a cannon and landed in a new land, where a stream of possibilities were unfolding. They still were not clear, but I knew something was happening. I began to feel excitement.
That week I was compelled to take part in an on-line conference about business and Emotional Intelligence, and was just dumbstruck. After all the years I have been teaching about Consciousness, Self-Awareness, Emotions and Energy, I had no idea it had gone so mainstream as to become a conversation in the business community. I realized I had been keeping myself in a bottle, and only allowing the clients who would come to see me to drink from this nectar, and that my Life was telling me to move, move out into a larger communication field.
I have proudly held the title of Technophobe for many years of my life, and now, I had to get over myself. That is why new clients couldn’t arrive. I actually needed the financial crises to open me, to allow me to receive the support I needed to move me out of my comfort zone, and into a whole new world. And this is it. Here we are together the Tribe of Transformers.
I still have no idea what is going to happen. I am still sitting in the Mystery of the Unknown, and can pay part of my mortgage this month, but have no idea of next month. But communicating with my new larger community is more immediately pressing. Sharing the knowledge, insights and wisdom about Healing and Transformation, which I have gathered in my 64 years of Life, is what the next evolution wants to include.
So thanks for joining me on this ride. I hope you will share yours as well, because we are all doing this together. Consciousness is Contagious. We are living in a time of massive upheaval and change on a global, and astronomical, planetary level. We need to communicate with each other how to stay present and grounded in these changes so we neither give up our empowerment to outer forces, nor get caught in the fear of changes, inside or outside. If we can hold our awareness with clarity, and keep inquiring deeper into ourselves, something amazing can happen. I’ve shared my story of how this is happening. But this is only one version of the millions of billions of possibilities. I invite you to share yours.
The point is, you are not alone in this process of Changing Life. Let’s enjoy this wild rollercoaster ride together, smoothing our way into a new Life together.
Hope you are smooth.
Emotions tell us who we are. Energy informs feelings and awareness. Consciousness connects us to the greater Whole. Deep Knowingness and Self-Awareness comes from the combination of these types of knowledge. Move out of unconscious behavior and pain and into conscious choices for an empowered and connected life.