There’s a fine line between living in the land of our dreams, where we are actively creating and manifesting our reality, and living in fantasy land, where we are hiding from the real world.
The way to tell the difference, is to notice what actions you are taking.
If you have a deep longing to be an artist, for example, it is a beautiful thing to dream and imagine the art you will create. However, the actions are what separate the artist from the non artist: you must draw or paint or photograph or whatever is your medium, and this must be the primary activity of your life, once you have finished with your responsibilities for keeping yourself and your family sheltered and fed.
If you’re not doing art, but just thinking about art… you’re living in fantasy.
The only way you can get to your dream is through action: even if you’re not good at art yet, even if what you put on the paper does not match what is in your mind.
Over time, with daily practice, with teachers and workshops, you will get better. This might take years, but it will happen.
This is why the journey to our dreams is a journey; we do not gain the experience we need from only dreaming and imagining and fantasizing about something.
We need to take active steps, in order to get there.
When we are attracted to someone, but they don’t love us back, or, it can be heartbreaking.
What’s important to keep sight of, is your own value.
So often we think if we just try harder, or are more available, or love better, or look nicer or whatever it is, that the object of our affection will suddenly look up and notice us with new eyes. Unfortunately, this isn’t true, and when we’re in this smitten, infatuated, love blind state, we can’t always see it.
When someone loves you and wants to be with you, if he or she is available, he or she will make it very clear. There isn’t any guessing, or wondering, or analyzing every move. There isn't any danger or drama or uncertainty.
There will be direct attraction, direct connection, and a very clear moving forward.
If you’re infatuated with someone, and you’re not seeing this type of movement, either that person is unavailable, or not interested in you.
This doesn’t mean you should try harder, or change even one little hair on your head.
Just accept that this person is not your soul mate, and move on. Your soul mate will be absolutely clear with his/her availability, desire and intention.
Wait for this.
If you are interested in having tantric experiences, or in having transcendent intimacy, you don’t need a lot of partners, or a new partner.
This is not to say you can’t have different partners; that's up to you, and is determined by your stage of life, your commitment to others, and by your own particular understanding of love at this time.
However, in order to expand yourself sexual self, all you need to do is to become fully present with one person.
The thing is; it’s very difficult to become fully present with another person.
It’s about real, raw intimacy: where you show up without your mask, without your cool, without your reputation as player or lover or whatever it is.
You show up, and you don’t just take off your clothes. You take off your skin.
In this way, true sexual intimacy is a profound spiritual experience: you will find that time exists differently, energy shifts in a new way, when you open yourself to another and the other opens to you in this profound, deep, real way.
If you seek transcendence in sex, try showing up fully as yourself, no barriers, no walls, no resistance, just you.
There’s a lot of talk about going the distance: setting your own personal records, being your best self, making the grade, and so forth.
I think this is all very important, with one distinction: you want to make sure you’re pushing your own edge, not an edge that somebody else chose for you.
Someone else’s edge might be starting a company, or writing a book, or running a marathon, or traveling the world. Your edge might be any of those, but it also might be entirely, completely different.
Maybe for you, these aren’t edges. Maybe your edge is needing to learn a language fluently, or do a photography project, or volunteer at a charity.
It’s not important that you do what every one else is doing. What’s important, is seeing what fascinates you in this world: the strange, the unusual, the geeky, the unpopular, the odd, the fascinating.
If there’s something that you find so fascinating and interesting that you can’t imagine not doing it, or you can’t imagine being bored with it, that’s your edge. Push that.
You are incredibly beautiful, even if you think you’re not.
Even if you think your nose is too long or too short, your hair too curly or too straight, your body the wrong shape or size, your skin not dark or light enough, whatever it is.
Just as you are able to look at all kinds of people and see their beauty—not the beauty of their makeup or fashion or vibe, but their real, raw, interesting, unique, diverse human beauty—you can see this.
It’s astounding, how gorgeous and different and wonderful we all are!
If you don't have this ability already, you can learn to see the magical diversity of all of us, the way we are shaped, the weight we carry, the way we walk and move, the way our bodies protect and contain us. You can see this beauty in others, whenever you look with love.
Ahhh... and when you look with love, it feels like you’re looking at angels all day long; these beautiful beings that are other people, that are the human race.
And here's another wonderful thing: you can look at yourself with this same love. Just look at someone else with love, then expand your heart, and fold yourself in, in full acceptance of who you are and how you look, right now.
There is a beautiful intimacy that comes from doing everyday tasks, such as folding laundry for yourself, or for your family members.
When done with intention, it becomes sheer delight to pull each item of clothing, freshly washed and dried, and sort and smooth and fold this item.
If you are folding clothing for yourself, you are infusing love into the clothing you will wear later. If you are folding clothing for family members, you have a chance to connect in with each family member as you fold their shirts, pants, underwear, socks.
Instead of doing it hurriedly, as a bothersome chore, use this time to infuse love into the clothes. In the same way that your ancestors once sewed a little talisman into a pocket, to keep the wearer safe and well, you can infuse your protection, your care, your support into each item of clothing that you fold.
We are able to feel each other’s feelings, even from far away. We are able to feel the blessing of the clothing we wear, when it has been folded with love by another.
If you are lucky enough to live near the coast, you may be able to swim in the ocean frequently.
This gift, of immersing the self in the briny deep, of becoming buyount in the salted water, and using your own body to move and frolic with the waves, is astounding.
You don’t have to surf, or body board, or do any particular thing when you’re in the water. Just standing, waist or chest high, so you can feel it all, your full immersion in another environment, is plenty. You, with your supple beautiful skin, are able to do this; you are an animal that can go into water, or on land, or in air. You can exist in multiple environments, with multiple elements.
The waves have a language all their own.
If you stand there, baptizing yourself in this great glorious deep, you will be able to hear it, first with your body, then with your soul.
If you can learn to be easy in your body, your life will become easier too.
When we’re young, and not quite yet used to our body, we might spend a lot of time adoring it, or hating it, or being ashamed of it, or being proud of it.
As years follow, our body changes: we start to age, and we can either do battle with products and surgeries and self loathing, or we can decide that age does not have a foregone conclusion.
There are many cultures where age doesn’t matter: where a sixty-year-old person has the body of a thirty-year-old.
In these cultures, regardless of age, there is ease in the body, ease in the human container. There is a sense of appreciation for all our bodies can do: climb, sit, stretch, make love, dance, walk.
In truth, our bodies are the coolest machines ever, and we get to use them from birth until we die!
Take some time to let go of shame around your body, and simply enjoy your container, exacly as it is now. Not thinner or bigger or smaller or stronger.
If you want to change it, you can.
But before you change it, learn to love it. Learn to feel it, know it, exactly as it is, in this moment. Be easy in your body, as you are right now.
Being in the Now is a marvelous thing. It helps us focus on the beauty of the moment or pay attention to the task at hand; it helps us let go of pain of the past, or fear about the future.
And yet even if we work at living in the Now, there is also the reality that we DO have memories of the past, that we DO have dreams for the future.
In this way, there is extraordinary value in taking it all in: all the life we’ve lived up until Now. Our childhood, our teen years, our adult years and all joy and disappointment and growth we experienced then.
All this, balanced by the dreams we still want to accomplish, do, feel.
It can be an amazing experience to finally find the group of people who feel like home to you: who feel like your tribe.
You might have searched many years to find this delicious sense of resonance with others, this deep comfort of knowing that you are not alone, that in this group or style of people you can find rest, friendship, fun and love.
Finding your tribe, being in your tribe, can be enormously fulfilling. It’s a way of practicing Oneness, to experience so much love in a group of people.
However, it's important to understand that you don’t actually need a particular tribe to experience this. The tribe is merely a practice ground, for opening into group energy, and allowing yourself to feel Oneness.
In truth, the heart can be filled anywhere on earth.
As we grow, we learn how to feel Oneness, all the time, with everyone. If you’re in a tribe now, recognize it as a wonderful resting stop on your path, but not the end of your journey.
Your identity with tribe is just one identity; chances are good, that you or the tribe will change, and over time, you will wander again into the wilderness, in search of new experience, new understanding and perhaps new tribe.
Begin the task of feeling Oneness, with or without tribe. See how your understanding that the entire planet is tribe, opens you to more.
In western society, it’s common to turn away from our parents in our teens, and to move away permanently from our parents in our 20s and 30s. Not everyone does this, but it’s a common path, a kind of rite of passage.
We seek to find ourselves, outside of our ancestry and our lineage, and of course this is very useful.
However, when we continue to distance ourselves from our parents past a certain age, without doing the work of healing what needs to be healed between us, this can stunt our growth.
At some point in our lives, we need to come to peace with our feelings about our family of origin. We can decide to heal from past angers and hurts; or we can decide to separate fully if there was abuse; or we can take steps to come closer together.
Doing this work is a part of our passage into true adulthood.
When we understand that our family members are souls, just like we are, we can see that these souls also have struggles and deep needs, met or unmet, just like we do.
It’s tempting to play the victim or the rebel or run away from our childhoods. But that doesn’t bring us to great understanding. It’s when we finally work through our family issues, that we become whole.
Sometimes we hold dreams in our hearts for so long, that when we do accomplish a dream, we don’t know what to do next.
For example, if you’ve always wanted to run a marathon, and then you do run a marathon, what do you do next?
Do you run another marathon? Do you run five more marathons? Or do you just stop, right there.
We’re taught that we should press forward and take our efforts as far as possible… that if we’re not pushing the edge of our ambition, we’ve somehow given up too early, too easily.
However… sometimes what a dream requires, is just to do the dream.
And then to stop right there. No further efforts needed.
This is because we often learn all we need to understand, in the process of accomplishing our dream. All the learning, change and growth has already taken place. Going further or doing more isn't important.
If you have a dream, and are making your way to accomplishing it, take time to consider if you should go further, or if this is enough.
Sometimes it’s one way. Sometimes it’s another.
But it's good to understand that pushing further and harder is not always the best way.
Whenever you’re trying to do something big, like get a project off the ground, or lose weight, or quit an addiction, or shift the way you relate to someone, it helps to remember that you can get there with small steps.
Working on your project every day after your regular work, will get you closer.
Resisting wine or sugar or porn or whatever your addiction is, just for one day, will get you closer.
Being kind to someone you have trouble relating to, will get you closer.
We sometimes think we have to leap from Point A to Point B, when we’ve only just started out.
But all it really takes is small steps, one after another.
You can even go off the path now and then, or take a break and get back on it.
With small steps over time, you can look up one day and see that Point B is much closer than it ever has been.
This lifetime, it's not a race. Many of our understandings, perhaps even most of them, won't even arrive to us in this lifetime. We many need many, many lifetimes to get to Point B.
The idea is to see how far we can get.
Big steps, small steps... it doesn't matter. Just keep walking the path.
Hate is a strong feeling, and it’s a hard feeling to hold.
That's because hating someone or something makes us feel terrible; it causes us a lot of pain.
What's more, even though we think hate might be the opposite of love, it’s not. Hate is caused by love. Love is about connection in an unconditional way; hate is about lack of connection in a conditional way.
For example, we hate people who have betrayed us, we hate people who have injured us or let us down. Hate is about wanting to love, and being open to love, and then for whatever reason, having that opening into love being shut down.
Hate comes from the pain of not having love.
When you’re dealing with hate in your heart, look at what’s really there. It’s not anger, it’s not fear. It’s pain.
If you find yourself in that place, take a break from hate for a moment, and acknowledge that you are feeling pain.
Getting the hate out, is about feeling the pain, and then feeling compassion because you’re a human, and so is everyone else.
If you can move into a state of compassion, the hate will dissipate, even if it’s just a little bit. Over time—maybe months, maybe a lifetime—you can remove it entirely.
A beloved student who had a terminal illness, wrote to me that she was experiencing meditations that contained extraordinary creatures and flowers, magical animals and colors that were the greatest delight and comfort to her.
She wondered if it was okay to dive into this great delight, this heavenly experience in meditation. She wondered if this was serious enough work; if it would help her in her expansion.
In truth, this is one of the best uses of mediation: to bring us into states of rapture, delight, exhilaration, euphoria, nirvana, bliss.
Sometimes we expand so much in this bliss state, we can’t quite make out what we are seeking or feeling: it's all a state of energy. Sometimes this state is very specific: we see beautiful creatires, color, animals, spirit beings in detail, with vivid understanding.
When you meditate, don't hesitate to enter int to this heavenly spot, this nirvana, this delightful other world!
Remember: heaven is right here. We don’t have to transition, or in any kind of altered state to find it. We can experience nirvana any time.
This beautiful experience of magical animals, beings, colors, flowers, fairy folks and all that arrives in this state of blissful meditation, is designed to help us free our minds to new realities.
Sometimes we find ourselves surrounded by people we don’t have anything in common with any more.
Maybe we’ve done a lot of our spiritual work, and they haven’t. Or maybe they’ve been doing more work than we have! Perhaps we’ve been walking on the same path for a long time, but now we’ve reached a corssorads, and we must each go our separate ways.
When you come to the crossroads, there isn’t any point in grasping or hanging on. If relationships are not enjoyable and fulfilling, it makes no sense to cling.
In life, we're always walking through new doors; we’re always expanding into our new Self.
Thus, it’s normal and correct to outgrow people, or to have them outgrow you. It is normal and correct to change.
Don’t be afraid to loosen the ties of relationships that haven't worked for a long time, or that never worked, or that you only continue out of guilt or habit.
Keep growing; don’t get stuck in what once was. Allow the Universe to take you to new experiences, new relationships. Walk through the next door.
If you haven’t been to church or temple for a while, it can be interesting to go again, and notice what you notice.
When you go, you will find people who are still in religious community; this can seem unusual, because so many have begun to turn away from traditional religion and instead have chosen to create a religion of their own: no priest, no rabbi, no guru.
And yet, people in religious community have not turned away; they are still following a traditional or ancestral path.
When you go into religious community, you will see the power of ritual, the power of group thought in people who have decided to believe the same thing. You will also see the power of religion to support and comfort people in the comminuity.
Go in with an open mind. Look around and observe. See if the Divine is in the room for you, in church or temple. Or, see if you find the Divine more easily, in the freedom of your own life.
Maybe it doesn't matter: maybe the Divine is the room, wherever we are.
Notice also the power of many people praying and worshiping together; this may be powerful in a good way for you, or it may be disturbing. It may bring up feelings you had in the past, as a child.
Be a part of the experience, and notice what you notice. Add this to your understanding. Continue your own spiritual practice, with this inew information
Our bodies are meant to move.
They are meant to stand up, sit down, lift, walk, run, dance.
This idea that we’re meant to sit in front of screens all day, or sit behind a school desk, or stand in one place all day doing the same task; when you look at our bodies, this doesn’t make sense.
And thus in the modern world, in many places epseicaly where we drive in cars to get from place to place, or we are in urban office where we sit all day, it’s hard to get the movement we need.
If you can begin a movement practice that is natural and freeing: not going to a class where everyone does the same thing, but going for a walk, or a run, where you determine the pace and stride, you will find extraordinary benefit.
Such as ecstatic dancing, where you determine how you will move, and when. Or swimming, where the entire body is enganged and you detiemrin, again, the moments you will do. Or walking, where it is you and gravity, one step after another.
This helps to create the experience you body needs: free moment that is not routine or overly organized. Free moment, in which you must connect with nature around you: the road ,the path, the water, the dance floor, and work with gravity and elements, to find your way.
Instead of going to yoga class, or dance class, or the gym, or any place where there are a lot of people doing the same thing, consider striking out on your own, and experiencing free movement.
Free movement allows your body to release in a natural way, the way you moved when you were a child. It also unlocks your emotions and frees your mind. Also as you did, when you were a child.
Depending on when and where you grew up, you have a different relationship to alcohol, drugs, substances. All that stuff we put in our bodies, to make us feel different.
We talk about substances numbing us out, but in reality, a lot of substances charge us up, wake us up, bring states of euprohria, bring states of higher level understanding, help us to feel good, help us to feel pain free.
In that way, substances doesn't necessarily mean "bad".
It's all about why you're using them.
So instead of making a judgement about "good" or "bad," the first question to ask yourself is, are you using a substance to escape your life as it is now?
If you are, consider stopping the substance, and changing your life.
After all, using a substance won’t help you if you are trapped in a hole; it will merely make the time in the pit more bearable.
Much better, to put the substance down, and do the challenging work of climbing out of the hole, one step at a time, into the Light.
Many people have done it. This is possible for you, too.
When we consider the chemicals that are in modern food, it makes it very hard to understand why we are placing these unnatural substances in our natural body.
And why the group thought, the dominant society, has made it seem okay, that we would eat these strange substances and chemicals.
How have we gotten to this place? Why is our first thought not rejection of these chemical substances? Why do so often resist whole plant foods, and instead choose foods that have been highly manufactured, treated and even poisoned?
In the future, when our consciousness is expanded as as a whole, we’ll look back and see the insanity of the food industry in these times. And how insane it is for us to accept these ideas.
The key for each of us is resist mainstream, dominant thought, and to become conscious of what we are eating.
On this planet, there's no perfection, no purity we can truly attain.
But we can be aware, and we can choose. Only you decide what goes in your body. This is a choice that is yours.
Not all nature holds the same vibration.
Each area of the world, and every type of tree, rock, plant, water, mountain in every region, holds a different vibration that is unique.
One species of tree, for example, may hold the same vibration if the trees are in a grove or located near to each other. However, this same species may have a slightly or even radically different vibration, if you find these trees in different parts of the world.
This difference is important, because it gives you the idea of connecting to the consciousness of all things, and not having a pre-judgement or attachment as to what you will experience.
You simply connect ino to that vibration, become One with it, and experience that connection: to that tree, that rock, plant, water, mountain.
You allow this particular aspect of nature, to reveal to you what is meant to be revealed.
You don't prejudge, or have attachment to what you'll discover.
For example, we think a mountain should give us messages of solidity, but a particular mountain might be playful, or unsettled, or wistful.
You don’t know until you connect with that particular sentience.
Just as we are all human, and we hold the same energy as "human", while at the same time holding a unique energy as individual. So too do trees hold the same energy as "tree," while at the same time holding a unique energy as individual. And so on, and so one.
We are One, and we are part of One.
2016 is a year of completion.
It is a "9" year in numerology, and the number that marks the ending point of the nine-year cycles that make up the passages of our lives.
In 2016, we are moving individually and collectively, to complete and finished everything we've been doing for the last nine years, since 2007.
Of great significance for most of us, is the rite of passage we went through in 2007, 2008, 2009: when for any of us, our career, material, money, stability issues came to full front: many of us lost jobs, were out of work, or had other shifts when the economy bottomed out.
You either learned how to work your money karma in those years, or you didn't. 2016 is a call to complete this understanding, if you have not done it already.
Also of great significance, is the rite of passage we went through in 2012, 2013: when for many people, we had great turmoil and tasks, we faced mortality, illness, great losses, great shifts and changes.
The focus of the end of 2012 was spiritual awakening, and this took the form not of the Divine Light of awakening, but as the process of going through the fires to be burnt clean into a new form.
Most recently, we have endured wars, terrorism, violence, racism, flood, weather, famine, drought. This is the stuff of Biblical proportion, and we are learning how to face the unfaceable, over and over again.
We also achieved great new heights in terms of gender and body freedom, racial and gender equality. Much of this new outlook was in thanks to the internet, which is a way we are able to communicate with each other, anytime and anywhere. This compassionate group thought will continue to expand.
In 2016, we are invited to take all that we have learned, and to emerge as people who are compassionate to ourselves and each other, non violent in our reactions, and looking toward the very real possibility of expanding... not just one of us, or some of us, but all of us, taking a tiny step forward into Light.
Look at what you've learned in the last nine years. It's huge, isn't it?
Finish up the remaining lessons in 2016. Learn what you haven't mastered.
It's all a new ball game in 2017.
Use this year to wrap it up, tuck it in and be ready to move forward.
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Sara blogs on spirituality and intuition twice weekly. Get her award-winning teachings, plus a FREE ebook, "What are Your Unique Psychic Gifts?"
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