Pathwork

The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful: Reinveinting Your Worldly Toolkit

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Everything we are, everything we’ve experienced, learned, and suffered can be used in service of the healing and transformation of ourselves and our world. What matters is not so much who we are, or what has happened to us, but what we do with what we’ve been given. We can choose to reinvent our worldly toolkit, and make beauty with the good and the bad of our life.

You have the power to do beautiful things with what life has given you in your worldly toolkit. From both the good and the bad, you can create positive change.

Whether we are conscious of it or not, we have been socialized to see the world through the black and white lens of good and bad. Good things come about through the best sides of our humanity and personal nature; bad things through our worst instincts and the shadowy, nasty places in our collective humanity.

We apply this dichotomous lens not only to the world around us, but also to our personal history and characteristics. There are parts of ourselves that we embrace as good and positive, and other parts that we reject as bad and negative.

As we embark on a journey of healing and transformation, we may think that positive change will only come about if we can somehow get rid of or transcend the bad parts of ourselves. This is a destructive premise that is more likely to block, rather than enhance, our personal work. 

Instead I offer a different perspective: within each of us is the power to do beautiful things with what life has given us. From both the good and the bad, we can create beauty and positive change.

Our life story brings us the things we need to heal, grow and change, and whatever we have gathered in our worldly toolkit in the form of knowledge, skills, abilities, and personal characteristics can be used to bring about positive, beautiful change in ourselves and our greater environment. It all comes down to personal choice: what we do with what we’ve been given.

A Personal Story: A Witch with an MBA

This insight came to me in the midst of a crisis on my island home. A small corporation had bought a huge tract of land in the southern portion of our island and began to clearcut the forests, leaving a swath of devastation in its wake that threatened the environmental and economic fabric of our community.
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To Wake, Perchance to Dream: Communing With Your Dreambody

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Dreaming has been diminished in our modern Western society, relegated to a flat, limited version of its true, vast potential. We have been taught that dreaming is an activity reserved for the dark of night and the oblivion of sleep. Sometimes we remember snippets of our dreams, but even these we barely pay attention to in the rush of our demanding lives.

There’s no separation between your dreams and waking life; awake or asleep, it's all one dreambody communion that can guide your personal growth and life journey.

Half of our humanity — the part that connects us to our soul and the spiritual mysteries that underlie everyday reality — is lost in this truncated conception of dreaming.

Yet dreaming is what it is, no matter how we conceive or engage it. What is lost can be refound. It is as simple, and as difficult, as replacing one way of understanding dreaming with another.

Let me offer you a different conception of dreaming: there is no separation between your dreams and your waking life; awake or asleep, it is all one dream that can guide your personal growth and life journey.
The Wide, Wild World of Dreaming

You dream at night where the laws of physical reality slip away and open you to the unbound adventures of the realm of spirit.

You dream when you meditate, work magic or engage in other practices that shift you into an altered state of consciousness.

You dream when you go about the business of your daily life, drawing events and situations to you, especially those that are unusual, significant or emotionally charged.

This wider, wilder conception of dreaming invites you to broaden your awareness to include the workings of your soul and the spiritual mysteries that infuse and inform your life.

It teaches you that your life is not random. The things that come your way from your daytime and sleep-time dreams, be they profound or profane, joyful or painful, spiritual or mundane, are the stuff of your personal growth and evolution.
The Dreambody

Dreaming is literally second nature. We have a physical body for engaging the material world and a dreambody for the wide, wild world of dreaming.

In our sleep-time dreams, where our mind and the laws of physical reality are turned off, our dreambody reigns supreme. In our daytime dreams, our dreambody is a guiding presence that helps us engage the soul-based energies and spiritual mysteries that direct our outer life.

These powerful dreaming capacities reside within us all, but for many they have atrophied through lack of attention and use.

At the beginning of my spiritual journey, I didn’t remember my sleep-time dreams nor understand the importance of dreaming in my waking life. Now my dreambody connection is as natural and ever present to me as breathing. How did I make this profound shift? First, and most essential, I fell in love with my dreambody.

The foundation of becoming a masterful dreamer is to establish and cultivate a deep, respectful and passionate relationship with your dreambody. Like all good relationships, it takes strong desire and focused attention to court and cultivate a bond of love, communion and trust with your dreambody.  
Communing With Your Dreambody

Here is an exercise for reaching out to your dreambody with the intention of starting or deepening your relationship. …read more

Your Sovereign Leadership: Discovering Your Inner Beauty and Power [podcast]

With a vision of sovereign leadership, there’s no top or bottom of the pile, no better or worse, just infinite configurations of soul-sourced beauty and power.

Claiming Your Personal Leadership: A Grassroots Vision of Change [podcast]

What matters is who you are, not what you do. The world needs you to claim your personal leadership, and trust that what you have to offer is worthy and needed.

Photo Credit: Karina Carvalho on Unsplash

Claiming Your Personal Leadership: A Grassroots Vision of Change

Listen to the Podcast.

Our culture trains us to believe that only special people — the superstars of politics, business, sports, the arts — can have real influence and power in society. We give them the center stage, the microphone, our adulation and make them our leaders, while our own light is dimmed by their giant shadows.

What matters is who you are, not what you do. The world needs you to claim your personal leadership, and trust that what you have to offer is worthy and needed.

While it is true that people with money, charisma and acclaimed talents do wield a disproportional share of societal influence and power, it doesn’t follow that they are the primary change agents in our world.

Over and over again, my dreams have been telling me one clear message: humanity is riding an evolutionary edge, and that transformative, life-affirming change will happen at the individual level, and then be passed on, person to person, in a great, long chain of touching and being touched by others.

Our human society cannot be remade by a select few superstars, but by each of us claiming our personal leadership and choosing to lead an authentic life based on our unique configuration of gifts and best qualities. Profound, lasting transformation arises from the grassroots of individuals who are remaking their lives for the better.
A Leadership Dream

Recently I had a powerful dream that speaks to this message.

In this dream, I am at a political rally with my partner. Two politicians are on stage delivering their speeches. They smile, look good, and make grand promises, but it is nothing but double-speak and empty words.

My partner takes the microphone from them, gives it to me and asks, “What are your thoughts on politics and leadership?”

And this is how my dream self responds: “Each one of us must ask ourselves, right now, this moment: What do we want as our personal legacy of our precious time on this planet? Are we not accountable for the future well-being of our children, and our children’s children, and the other life forms that share this world with us? Do we have the right to just do what we want and leave others to pay for our excesses? Can we stand by while our economic, political and social systems lead us down a destructive path?

“These questions apply to all of us, the citizens of this Earth. The time of expecting others to fix the problem, of recklessly pursuing our self-interest, and of burying our head in the sand is done.

“Whether you are the most powerful person in this room, or the lowliest, the mantle of leadership falls equally upon us all. This mantle of leadership requires you to look inside for the gifts and offerings that are yours alone to bring to collective table.

“Be you poet, politician, gardener, caretaker, tycoon or gravedigger — it does not matter what you do, it matters who you are. The world needs you to show up more deeply and profoundly as yourself, and to trust that this is your part to play. What you have to offer is worthy; it is enough.

“Change begins when you settle your mantle of leadership upon your own shoulders, and when you stop grasping outside of yourself at things that can never feed your soul. Because what you most deeply desire is not money, nor power, nor the pretty trappings of the material world, but to live an authentic life, based on what is best and beautiful inside of you, and to reach out and honor the same in others.

“We humans are brilliant creatures that can solve most anything we set our heart and will to. We can be leaders in our own circles of influence, partner with those of like mind and intention, and set right the abuses and excesses of human society. Together, we can mend our hearts, our homes, our communities and our precious planet home.

“We each hold the destiny of humanity and this Earth in our hands. I call you to put on your mantle of leadership, to straighten your back, hold your head proud, and get to work.”

Claiming Your Personal Leadership

This dream is an invitation for each of us to claim our personal mantle of leadership. Though this is the work of a lifetime, here are three initial steps to help you begin this crucial task.

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