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Wake-Up Calls: Taking Your Life In Soulful, New Directions

Posted on:  Jul 8, 2016 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Path Basics

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Our shared culture is like a sleeping spell that disconnects us from our Deep Self that holds our true beauty, unique essence and authentic humanity. As children, we’re not asleep; we naturally, innocently express our true beauty and inclinations. And then slowly, relentlessly, the forces of culture — through our families, school, the media and countless other aspects of our shared outer reality  —  domesticate our free spirits and lull us to sleep by telling us, over and over,  how we’re meant to believe, think and live our life. By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have lost our roots in our Deep Self and are fast asleep within cultural-defined reality.

Yet our soul longs for an authentic life, where our outer existence is a natural expression of our Deep Self. Though our waking mind may be asleep to these things, our soul remembers who we are and the life we long for. It speaks to us through our most secret, cherished desires, the things that give us joy and satisfaction, and in a restless hunger for something missing from our life that we can sense but often not name.

From the midst of these opposing energies, wake-up calls emerge. A wake-up call is an unexpected, often startling event that prods us to remember who we truly are and to take our life in soulful, new directions. It can take on many forms: from something as dramatic as an accident or illness, to something more subtle, like a gnawing, brewing discontent that just won’t go away. Big or small, direct or subtle, drawn from the familiar or the wildly unexpected, wake-up calls are profound gifts that can take our life in soulful, new directions.

Recognizing Wake-Up Calls

The intention of this exercise is to heighten your awareness of the presence and impact of wake-up calls in your life transitions. With this awareness, you can become more attuned to the small and large ways your Deep Self and the powers of life work together to shake you awake and steer you in a more positive, soulful direction.

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Pathwork: The Blossoming of Self & Others

Posted on:  Aug 22, 2015 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Pathwork, Power/Leadership

Our collective cultural reality and individual lives are interdependent. Like a closed, self-reinforcing loop, the culture implants certain values and beliefs, which corral our individual thoughts and actions along certain ingrained tracks, which in turn reinforce the cultural values and beliefs.

The bad news is that our shared culture isn’t a very nice one, and we are collectively making a big mess of our world. The good news is that we can step out of this self-reinforcing loop and try out more positive values and beliefs.

Here is an example: our culture entrains us to maximize our self-interest. At all levels of our human society — from countries, to corporations, to communities, to families, to individuals — we go after what we want, typically without regard for our impact on others or the environment. The net results are environmental destruction, social inequities and poverty, and family and personal dysfunction — the bad news, bad dream of humanity.

Let’s tinker with this example by adding the premise the all life is interdependent, meaning that whatever we do has an impact beyond ourselves, affecting other individuals and the collective systems and web of life that support us all. So if we are after our positive self-interest, we need to consider and care about creating positive outcomes for others.

This week try this tinkering out for yourself. Take an audit of your own life, both your work and your family/personal relationships. Where do you put yourself and your own needs above others? Where do others put their own needs above yours?  What are the positive and negative impacts on yourself and on others in these scenarios?

Take one of these situations that is very dear and important to you, and where you most strongly feel an imbalance between your needs and the needs of the other person. Imagine that both of you operate from an ethic of mutual care; what would it look like, feel like, to think and act in ways that would allow everyone involved to blossom and thrive?

Now imagine a world in which we deeply care about ourselves and others, both our human and non-human kin. Imagine that there is enough for all, and that we humans walk gently upon the earth, taking only what we truly need, while respecting the needs of others. Imagine this is a world that you can help create, and then take the first step by changing this one situation that is dear and important to you, and begin to think and act in the new, co-blossoming ways you have imagined.

This is how our collective culture is changed and evolved, one value, one belief, one situation at a time; we try on something new and positive, outside of the self-reinforcing loop, and break the spell of our cultural entrainment.

Related Post: The Politics of Soul

The Politics of Soul

Posted on:  Aug 17, 2015 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Power/Leadership

To live an authentic, soul-based life is a revolutionary act. We step away from a culture determined to control us from the outside-in, and entrain us to a homogenized ethos and lifestyle that serves the unknown and unnamed needs of others. And we step into the power and inside-out imperatives of our inner sovereignty.

We are born into the world for one essential purpose: to be our beautiful, powerful shining selves. When we choose to do this — to save our own soul, and to turn our hearts and wills back to our own life light and sacred gifts — we change the very fabric of our human dreaming; we carve a template in the energetic realm that others can follow, and the Gods and Goddesses beam their otherworldly approval, because this is what they made us to be.

Perhaps best of all, we become happier, more joyful and gracious people. When we live from our best qualities, we naturally become better partners, better parents, better members of our communities, and better stewards of the Earth. When we stop scrabbling after the limited social markers of worthiness, our fellow human beings are no longer the competition, but beautiful beings, with their own unique, intrinsic value.  When our true needs are met, our false, addictive hungers fall away, and we naturally walk the Earth more lightly.

To save our own soul is to join a revolution that can return us to the good dream and best instincts of our humanity. This starts the moment we choose to fully claim the miracle of the individual life we were granted, and to live the beauty and joy that is our special gift to the world.

When You Say Yes: From Tale of the Lost Daughter

Posted on:  Apr 12, 2015 @ 9:18 Posted in:  From the Tale

Kayla touches the middle of my brow and says, “Do you remember Ereshkigal’s words when you said yes to Her?”

“So it is chosen. So it will be,” I say and sense the tingling outline of a star under Kayla’s fingertips.

“Those words are a vow that holds the Dark Goddess’s promise to guide and support your journey,” Kayla says, “You started this journey even before the ritual, on the night the raven visited you in Toronto, and you said yes to your soul and your hunger. Yes is a very potent magical word; it tells the powers of life that you are ready to show up to your soul work. When you say yes, change happens.”

Tale of the Lost Daughter is available at the Path Store and Amazon.

Pathwork: Nurturing Your Swan Soul

Posted on:  Feb 6, 2014 @ 13:44 Posted in:  Pathwork, Power/Leadership

The dream: I am walking down a street close to my Grade 3 school. I go down a short flight of stairs that lead to an empty playground. In front of me is a tall, stone wall with ledges that support intertwined pairs of mated swans – some are radiant white, some are charred black and dead, and others are a mottled mixture of black and white, in the process of dying from the inside out. One female swan, clearly inflicted with the blackness disease, captures my attention. Her liquid, smoky-gray eyes plead with me to save her. Her message: I’ve married myself to the wrong masculine energy, the wrong mate, and it is killing me.

In Grade 3, I took a decisive turn on the path of life. After presenting a well-crafted project on the solar system, I figured out that I was smarter than average, and that brains and hard work were my tickets to the social acceptance I craved. I chose my masculine, in-the-world accomplishments over my inner, female essence and knowing. And from that age onward, I was a full-blown overachiever and perfectionist, seeking my sense of self and worthiness through my worldly successes. It was this strongest, most resilient layering of identity and public persona that I had to unravel if I was to heal my swan soul.

Swans are a classic symbol of the power and beauty of the Deep Self.  Your in-the-world identity and persona can either serve your swan soul, or slowly burn it dead until no trace remains in your waking world.

This week begin an inventory of the core elements of your identity and public persona. What are the key roles you play in your everyday life? What do you do for a living? What is your relationship and family status? What groups are you part of? What is important to your sense of self? How do you name and describe yourself to others? How do external elements such as family, career, education, socioeconomic status, cultural/ethnic roots, religious/spiritual beliefs and groups/causes form part of your identity? What parts of your personality feel essential to your identity? What parts do you keep private and secret from others? What masks do you wear in the world which feel protective or contrived to you, and not connected to who you truly are? Whose voices do you hear in your head when you think about who you are? What would it be like to strip some of these core elements of your identity away? Who would you be then? What would it feel like?

As you go through this inventory, pay attention to what nurtures and feeds your swan soul, and what is restrictive and deadening to your inner beauty and power. Imagine that wall of intertwined swans from my dream. What pairing of your swan soul and her in-the-world mate best represents your life: two white, healthy swans both growing and flourishing; or the blackened and dying partners?  Be honest with yourself, and be hopeful, because the point of increasing your self awareness is to make new choices that better serve your life.