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Posts Tagged ‘rebellious’

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The post this week is going to be a brief foray into things that go bump in the night. Now when I talk about the night, this is a  metaphor for things we hold onto in our sub or unconscious mind that rear their nasty heads at the most inopportune times.  These are the demons that we carry with us; integrated, parasitic and reluctant to leave.  Now, when I say demons, I am not referring to those things we don’t like about ourselves or consider our shadow nature. I’m talking about those characteristics  within ourselves that are downright scary, hard to control and if left to their own devices would completely take over. When I say that your personal demons may be scary, I mean this in the sense of fear holding us back and overwhelming us in ways we become so accustomed to that they are transparent to us in their design and insidiousness.  These are the emotions and thoughts that torment (spooling in an endless loop) us and distract us from our true purpose.

By definition the word Vanquish means:

  1. to overcome in battle : subdue completely
  2. to gain mastery over (an emotion, passion, or temptation)

These definitions give some insight into the intensity of approach that is needed to completely and totally remove something negative and destructive from your life.  We hear of the reference to battling demons frequently when reading about an individual’s battle with addiction, disorders and disease.  These are not the natural state of being that we are inheritors of.  And, the torment, fear and pain that is felt is difficult to control. Their conquering  must take the form of mastery over the negative behaviors or cells at war with their physical form. However, gaining mastery is not enough.  There is a needed release and level of dominance that must be achieved to drive out the thoughts, emotions or damaged cells that hold you prisoner.

Take these analogies and now apply them to our spiritual practices and growth. For the most part, we are continually striving for return to the natural state of being that is our spiritual birthright.  We work and we strive towards control of our surroundings so we may craft the supports and foundations we need to grow.  We ward and shield and protect our lands, homes, loved ones and ourselves.  And, yet we still fall prey to the fear and false truths that are our inner demons.  As you move through your week, take some time to think more deeply on what holds you in a place of fear and torment that obscures an image of a healthy and whole individual.

What are those demons that hold you from fully embracing the truth of your own Divinity? Are they the stories you’ve been conditioned to retell and relive about yourself? Are they the excuses you cling to for not sitting in meditation, and showing up fully present for your personal spiritual work for the day?  Is fear holding you back from stepping into your own power?

Drive them away
Take action
Full speed ahead
And stay the course.

They hide and linger
Whilst all about you
None would guess
The heavy burden you carry.

Rise up to challenge
Release and disburse
Whatever holds you in
Its grip of fear.

Their form is not natural
And their intent is to
Lay to waste your
Yearning to step
Full and strong into
Your place of power.

Drive them away
Call each by its name
Vanquish the demons
That bind you and
Emerge whole and free.

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I am currently at the third week of a five part series I am teaching called Self-Possession.  I love teaching and as is always the case, I unravel my own complexities and truths around anything that I teach.  So, with this thought in mind, I wanted to write about the Truths and the Dares that arise in exploration of those aspects of our nature identified as Lower-Middle and Higher Self.

A few basics about the points of reference before the interesting part begins.  Most spiritual traditions acknowledge that we are more than the flesh, bone and other physical matter that our bodies are constructed from.  Depending on what that tradition’s beliefs may be there are three to five parts of definition of what constitutes our soul or life force. Broadly at a psychological/spiritual level these relate to:

The Lower Self- A primal or animal self driven by instinct, survival and compelling urge.

The Middle Self- A self formed by conditioned responses, thoughts and emotions that seeks to balance the individual needs and the collective and societal patterns of what you “should” want.

The Higher Self- A SELF guided by the interface and acknowledgement of Divinity as an immanent presence within and without their being.

The goal being to bring into alignment and communication these varied aspects of ourselves and creation of a whole and enlivened individual.  In seeking this integration there are many perceived truths that are firmly clung to as being the real and true nature of that aspect of being.  This line of cause then produces the reactant effect of challenging those truths and daring to recalculate, refocus and reassess the ideology and emotions that empower something that may be unworthy of holding on to.

I thought it would be a good exercise to excavate some of these things I believe to be true and challenge their validity.  Although, this could become the basis of some shadow work, that is not my intent for this exercise.  It is, however a way for me to identify those areas of instinct, emotion and mind that need reformatting to make them more useable in personal spiritual work.

Truths and Dares:

Lower Self: The Animal, primal and instinctual self. The Unconscious

Truth– I fear failure, so I wear the mask of composure and success, especially when I have failed.

Dare– Accepting that failure is the partner of success.  At some point and in some time failure will be the winner, and the lesson that emerges from that failure is what will ultimately become the success.  I dare you to inspect your feelings about failure and what mask you cloak them in.

Truth- I am at war with my physical nature and needs. So, I ignore what I want and suppress those urges that would remove me from a space of control.

Dare- Structure and order are part of the refining process. So is chaos and abandon.  These are the testing grounds of what makes us truly human. I dare you to surrender to a primal impulse and allow the natural flow to loosen the boundaries you limit yourself by.

Middle Self: The Conditioned self by culture, collective consciousness, values and society expectations;conformity. Conscious Awareness

Truth- I question that I am fully capable of what others believe to be true of me.  This stems from feelings of inadequacy and not truly believing that I am as smart and knowledgeable as I should be.

Dare- We are conditioned by society to behave and act a certain way.  We are groomed by our parents that successful people are this way or another. We, as a culture venerate the educated and the higher the degree the more we aspire to be and act as these repositories of great thought and deed characterize. The challenge is in realizing that each of us has their own unique set of gifts, expertise and knowledge.  The truth of the matter is that the energy and time I spend in self-deprecation is wasted energy and time.  When I belittle or undervalue myself I am no longer acknowledging the expansive and flexible nature of my real self. This form of contraction cuts off the flow and exchange of ideas and information that are the supports of being knowledgeable and sharing that knowledge. By seeking out what I don’t know, I will learn more.  By fulfilling my own expectations and giving the best that I can there is nothing more that I can do.  By looking to hone my strengths and and using them as the building blocks of what I truly feel needs deeper understanding and clarity I also build a healthier sense of what I know myself to be capable of.  I dare you to objectively evaluate your strengths and weaknesses.  I dare you to step into the power of those strengths and those weaknesses and lay claim to both as a way of stepping into your full potential with the correct tools of self-knowledge.

Higher SELF: Connection to the Limitless All, Divine Spark. Higher or Expanded Consciousness

Truth- I try to follow a path of Service, but often question if I am serving only myself and my ego or working in accord with my Higher SELF.

Dare- Sometimes the lines blur between what is ego and what is EGO.  When I use the small “e” for ego I am referring to those actions that are guided by self-interest purely for the sake of personal reward. The uppercase “E” is the Ego that acknowledges itself as having a higher spiritual nature and accepts the responsibilities and the joys of that place in the larger cosmos.  I am coming to learn that there is more ego is thinking that every spiritual act must be self-sacrificing, instead of affirming that each has its place in spiritual work and at times what begins as one form may actually be better served by the other.  I dare you to fully accept your place of Divine Kingship.

Truth- I choose to ignore my physical nature and am often only concerned with my spiritual nature.  I could easily become a “spiritual junkie”.

Dare- There is the constant reminder that this is a lifetime of physical corporeal form that keeps me in my body.  When I was younger I loved the feeling of moving, leaping and defying gravity as a classically trained dancer.  I was euphoric in losing myself in the music and becoming part of a vibrational stream having no shape or form other than what the music dictated and the story portrayed.  There was freedom to shed the mundane and become something more; something different.  This is the joy that I feel in spiritual work. This is the same losing of myself in meditation or ritual that reminds me that I am so much more than what the limitations of physical form allow.  And, this is my greatest challenge. Seeing this physical form as limiting.  There is a need for balance in all things and the lesson of this experience is in union of the manifest and the formless essence that is co-creator of the experience I have in this life’s journey.  Ignoring or giving more weight to one or the other is a form of avoidance and resistance, neither of which serve the purpose of spiritual growth. I dare you to find that sweet spot of realization of your spiritual nature using a physical vehicle for its expression and finding your place of balance (not, necessarily equibalance) in feeding both.

I invite you to put some of your own truths to the test and be daring enough to challenge the way in which they serve or hinder your personal growth.  At first glance it may seem like an easy enough thing to do since we all have the same rhetoric we return to as response when asked what we don’t like about ourselves or would like to change.  Abandon that planned response and dig a little deeper into those areas that are just below the surface, waiting for your recognition and assimilation into the process of self-discovery.

Blessings on the journey of a lifetime!

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I will begin by saying up front that this and next week’s posts are going to be filled with contradiction.  The rebellious and inquisitive nature in me often likes to pull apart what is the accepted belief, test it and then decide what my own opinion will be.  The issue of quality vs. quantity has always been one in which I easily see both the pitfalls and the benefits.  I attribute some of this to my years of classical training as a dancer and the need for both quality ( beauty and grace of movement)  and quantity (practice, practice, practice) to maintain my level of expertise.  I often flipped the energy to quantity vs. quality simply because I needed to push the physical boundaries and limitations to build a certain level of endurance and then draw it finely back into quality of the movement I was making.  This approach has never left my sphere of use and its application has proved beneficial in mundane and spiritual matters.

We are continually reminded that selection of quality is the preferred method of progress rather than the quantity of whatever tools of use that endeavor may include. When it is applied to our magickal and spiritual pursuits this philosophy can serve to make us more discriminating or render us more dogmatic and exclusive in what our beliefs are and how they are expressed.  I would like to think that I am choosing quality over quantity in the selection of my books, teachers and overall community and that preference has served to better inform and move me along at a quicker pace of self growth, but the reality is that I have often overlooked things that may have served me better. Take a look at the definition of the word “quality ” below:

Quality- Def. of:
a : degree of excellence : grade
b : superiority in kind

Who is to be the determiner of what is quality? And, how do we measure the quality of their declaration? Is it not a purely subjective matter? Even, if we have a consensus of opinion could it be that everyone just happens to be resonating in the same way? Or is something more going on?

When we make a judgement call of what is excellence, we have to have something to measure it against.  Here we have polarity at its finest. Quite frankly, if we haven’t experienced a fair share of crap, how do we know what excellence is? That takes me back to the point made a few paragraphs above about overlooking things that would have served me better.  Sometimes wading through the muck is the only ay to get to the pastures of fertile green life.  Holding out for the perfect route could become an exercise in waiting eternally for what is an unrealistic expectation at the time.  Now this is not to say that I am suggesting you allow yourself to get stuck in mediocrity; the key here being that you continue to forge ahead until you hit ground that feels and resonates productively with your expectations.

Since a spiritual practice is highly personal, what moves me to a state of excellence and what moves another could be and often are very distant in their similarities. We are after all talking about teachings that are vibrational in nature, accessing teachers who have presumably done the work to refine their own energies and are able to impart the subtleties of practice in a subtle and profound manner and exercises of practice that have been proven to be effective.  And, given the over abundance of information, resources, teachings and more weeding through and finding the space of quality can seem like the proverbial needle in the haystack.

One of the ways in which I try to sort it out is to strive for the goal of achieving a point of balance.  This requires bringing the lessons of what was less than quality in experience and the pure energy of that perceived place of excellence to a mid point.  It requires looking at all aspects of each tool I add to my magickal and spiritual practice.  It requires weighing the measure of what I feel I can extract from the experience with what I intuit the productive outcome to be.  And, then combining the best aspects of each, neither in over abundance or lack and each re-informing and engaging the other.  The result is often something that is the best of both and the opportunity to foster a new generation of excellence for others to act upon.

Next week’s post will focus on Quantity and the interaction of the two together.

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