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Friday, March 25, 2011

Patterns

Choice is the expression of “free will”. All religions and Spiritual teachings tell us that we are entitled to and beings of free will. On the surface that sounds like a good thing, and it is, but most of us only brush the surface of choice. We can choose what clothes to buy and wear, where to live, what activities to do and all sorts of physical decisions of this nature. When we get down to the level of our habits and emotional responses we believe that our free goes out the window. I spoke a bit about this choice in “Claim your power”.


Even after we stop giving our power away however it can still seem as though many of the life changes that we would like to be able to make are still elusive. When stressful situations happen we find ourselves repeating our same old response patterns that haven’t worked for us in the past, getting the same outcome and feeling like “that’s just the way I’m wired”. These responses come so quickly that we can’t imagine having the ability to make any other choice. It seems as if there was no choice at all involved but rather the reaction was instinctive. This instinctive reaction occurs because of our “energetic patterns” and these patterns are what drive many of our unconscious responses.



PATTERN SELECTION

Our energetic patterns were chosen long before conscious choice was even an option. These patterns began forming when we were in the womb and into our formative years as young children. These patterns helped to protect us before we had the knowledge, skills and abilities to protect ourselves as adults. We are products of our environment both physically and energetically and as such we are responsive to stimulus from our environment. As a fetus or small child, this type of energetic response was the only one we had available to us.

A great deal of study has been done on these response patterns from many levels and by many different fields of study. They have been studied by psychologists, scientists and especially by psychics and these studies have resulted in five main groups or patterns based upon the results of their particular field of study. A great many books have been published about these patterns with each field of study putting their own twist on them. Rather than me spend a great deal of time trying to explain each of them to you, I’ll refer you to the one most relevant to my area, energy work. Barbara Brennan has done some amazing work in this area and is the one I’d like to ask you to have a look at. Her book “Hands of Light” explains each of these patterns in detail and how they show up in the physical body. Here is a link to a document I created from that book with all the patterns explained.

Their names can be a little off-putting because modern psychology has also used these names to define psychological disorders. These patterns and their definitions precede the psychological references so don’t let the idea that your pattern has a “bad name” throw you off. Each pattern also has what is called a “light side” and a “dark side”. The dark side attributes are a bit more defensive and at times destructive while the light side ones are more functional and constructive.

Reading the information from “Hands of Light” should help you begin to see which pattern you run. We all have a primary pattern and a secondary one as a backup if the primary fails or simply isn’t the most effective for the situation. When you read through the information on the patterns, you may see parts and pieces from each one that you resonate with. We all have consciously developed actions that we believe work for us by observing others but you should see at the very least one that just seems to be “spot on” for you. That’s probably your primary pattern. The secondary one can be a bit harder to determine because it’s a little less familiar than our primary defense pattern and may take a little more time to isolate.

Once you determine which pattern you run, you’ll begin to see and experience what it feels like to you when you are “in pattern” and when you are not. When we are in pattern, our responses are more instinctive feeling because we are in essence in “fight or flight” mode. We typically will go into pattern when energy comes at us that we believe we can’t handle. This energy can be stress or stressful situations, crowds, strong electrical fields, emotional interactions, or even through the focused intent of a single person.



PATTERN OR ARMOR

These energy patterns are connected to the armor that I discussed in the previous post to this one, "Man of Steel", in that they help to drive the creation of the armor. When energy comes at us, it triggers our defense system and that creates the armor. When we are in pattern, or defense mode, our responses become so quick that they feel instinctive. Based upon the pattern we run those responses can vary but generally speaking each one has a general response. Those are: Schizoids will fragment and scatter, Orals will collapse, Psychopaths will escalate, Masochists will hunker down and hold and Rigids will resist.

Just to be clear however, our energy pattern and body armor are two separate things. The armor was originally formed by the energy pattern but is primarily held in relation to the physical body. Our energy pattern also helped to shape our body type or structure but these patterns are pure energy. These patterns are far more fluid than the physical structures of our body or armor. This is what allows us to switch between our primary and secondary structures almost instantaneously. Therefore one can learn to recognize when they are in pattern and take action to come out of that and respond to the situation rather than instinctively react to it. Armor however can only be removed through a Dearmoring type experience. And of course the physical body will take longer to change because of its dense energetic nature.



COMING OUT OF PATTERN

For most of us we remain almost constantly, unconsciously in pattern. We don’t know what it feels like to be out of pattern and fully in form, in our bodies. Awareness of these patterns is the first step into supplanting them. Once we understand and accept their existence then we can begin to see how our responses, especially under duress, begin to play out according to our understanding of the pattern. When cannot change what we are not aware of. It then becomes easier to recognize when we are in pattern (even without the stress) and this allows us to take action to come out of pattern. This is actually easy to do but it takes practice and is a learned skill.

Remember when I shared “The Basics” with you and encouraged you to begin working with those, well this is where they come into play. When we go into pattern it is typically because we don’t feel that we can energetically handle whatever situation we have found ourselves in physically or energetically. The Basics are what we use to create a firm, safe structure energetically so that we are able to handle whatever life brings at us. This allows us to come out of pattern and into our bodies.

Think about the Basics as you building your energy home here on Earth. “Ground” is about you defining and claiming the place and space upon which you will build your house. It is like buying the property and saying “This space is where I will build my home.” “Clear” is about making room for the structure. This is where you determine where the house will go and clear out the dirt and trees. “This space is only for me.” “Bind” is when you begin putting up the walls of the house to define the structure. “These are the boundaries for the space I will occupy.” Finally “Core” is putting on the roof to create a defined space which will be your energetic home. “I live here.” You need each of these to be in place for the system to hold because they build upon each other and work together to serve and protect you.

Because we are so used to being in pattern and not knowing that there is another way, our responses are habitual (“That’s just how I am”) and no real conscious effort is required to maintain this pattern but it is a major use of our energy system because we are constantly in defense mode. Adrenal overload and chronic fatigue syndrome are common physical indicators of this. When we make the decision to keep our Basics in place, it takes constant and repeated effort to do this until we establish that as our default. It’s a lot like learning to walk. After we master crawling, that becomes our norm or default position. Once we decide to stand and walk, it’s a new skill set to master and takes repeated efforts to learn the new tasks necessary to accomplish it until it becomes habitual and instinctive. Then the more you do it, the easier it becomes and requires very little thought or effort. This is an example of the Conscious Competence cycle.


KEEP THE BASICS IN PLACE

I was first introduced to “The Basics” about two years ago when I began an energy training course with an amazing teacher, Lynda Caesara. Now that I’ve worked more consciously with the Basics myself and they have become my default position, I am learning to recognize the “feel” of being in pattern versus in the Basics. For months after learning about these, I would spend time in the morning getting them in place, go on with my day and realize late in the evening that I never really put any additional awareness on maintaining them throughout the day. This awareness would suddenly make some of the things I had done during the day make more sense. I would see how that patterned response was not really the strategy that I would have most liked to have used. I can’t say that I’ve reach unconscious competence with it yet but I am finally consciously competent with it.

It has taken me a long time to learn to almost constantly hold some small part of my awareness on keeping the Basics in place. One of the best training techniques I used was the old rubber band on the wrist. Every time I would notice the rubber band, I would check the Basics and firm them up again. Once you have them in place along with the resulting image and “feel”, you can firm them up again in a few seconds with practice. By using the rubber band, you’ll notice how many times you’ll be reminded to check them, you’ll see how much more effort it requires, at least initially, to really retrain your subconscious to hold your energy in this new grounded state. This becomes especially important when you are interacting with anyone particularly one-on-one. PLEASE give the rubber band trick a try rather than just thinking about it so that you can see for yourself.

Once you get a feel for what it is like to be in your Basics it will become the desired state rather than the ungrounded, crowded, fractured, amped up, spacey, foggy, or scattered feelings of being in pattern. Trust me on that one! Until you know that there is another, better, more energetically aware and attuned way however, you’ll have no motivation to change because you don’t know that it can be different. It’s definitely a case of until you know, you don’t know. I didn’t know myself but now I do.

When being in your Basics becomes your norm, you’ll begin to see how easily and unknowingly you’ve been triggered in the past even by seemingly normal interactions with others. You’ll begin to see that all of your energetic needs can be met from within so you won’t need to find ways to get others to meet your needs. Rather than reacting to your situation, you’ll be able to respond. The gap between stimulus and response will begin to widen and in that gap you will find choice. Choice is the key to free will. The need to scatter, resist, surrender, control or manipulate will simply vanish and the true inner wisdom that is the voice of your Higher Self will emerge.



Are you willing to make the effort required to claim the power of your free will?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Man Of Steel

Okay so the whole “I’ll blog during the de-armoring process” didn’t really work out. Here it is a full two weeks after the end of the two-week ceremony and I have absolutely nothing ready. I’m okay with that however because lots of great things have risen to the surface to share with you and I now once again have the motivation along with the desire to share it. My motivation was the missing component before the De-armoring ceremony but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It seems that all I wanted to do before the event was sleep as much as I could and since I blog in the quiet early morning hours, the two were in conflict and sleep always won. I can be very lazy.


In truth, my motivation was the missing component for doing a lot of things in my life. It felt like so many things in my life required me to push myself so hard to get it done that everything was a chore. That feeling that it was a chore caused me to build up a lot of resistance to doing it and that just made getting anything done even more of a challenge. Without realizing it, I was becoming my own worst enemy to accomplishing anything. I have a to-do list that is always full of things I want to do but desire alone doesn’t accomplish much.



SHAMANIC DE-ARMORING

I remember when I first heard about the Shamanic De-armoring experience at the Association of Sexual Energy Practitioners (ASEP) conference in Mesa, AZ a couple of years ago. http://peacefulmichael.blogspot.com/2009/09/synchronicity.html  The leader of the Sweet Medicine Sundance Society, Thunderstrikes, spoke at the conference about the ceremony. One of the leaders of the De-armoring ceremony, John “Spinning Coyote” also discussed the process and something about their words let me know that I needed this. I wasn’t exactly sure why. It felt right but the timing wasn’t right for me just then. A year later, one of the guys I go to for massage went through it and his experience inspired me and I felt like “YES, I WANT THAT!” But again the timing wasn’t right. Finally this past September a dear friend went through it and I thought “here it is again…3 times this has been presented to me…I better move on it.” The timing was finally right for me and so in I went.

I won’t spend a lot of time going over the armoring/De-armoring process because it’s probably best to read their site for info on that. That is www.ShamanicDearmoring.com. It’s really a beautiful site. It will speak to some who read it and others will write it off because it is too “out there” for them in their life or the timing isn’t quite right. Our Spirits always make the things that we need to do attractive to us. Those things which we do not need will also become unattractive to us. That simple act is how our Spirit works. It’s not about words, voices, thoughts, detailed discussions, visions or anything complex like that. Our Spirits are pure energy and energy doesn’t have words or images. Those things are products of the mind, not the Spirit. Our spiritual energy works like a magnet and attracts and repels what we need and don’t need. It’s far less complicated than our human minds want to make it. It is time that we all wake up to that knowledge.



OUR ARMOR IS OUR DEFENSE SYSTEM

I will share a tiny bit about the shape I was in when I went into the ceremony because it fits within the context of the sharing I’m doing here. I guess you could call me the “Man of Steel” because my armor was layered, shiny, polished steel. It really makes me smile to think of that because after breaking it off, I feel like Superman. The armor that we choose to create as a protective barrier is of course energetic. None of us are walking around with visible armor but we all “know” it’s there especially when we are honest with ourselves about our behaviors and “our stuff”. We choose to begin creating this armor from the moment we enter the world because we have no other defense systems in that helpless, infant state.

This energetic armor helps to shield things that we are not equipped to handle from reaching the core of our being. The skin and muscles also function as shields but they aren’t incredibly effective at the energetic level. We are born helpless and trusting and we don’t possess the verbal skills or knowledge to defend ourselves so we have to rely on our Spirit and energy field to shield us. In response to our surroundings, we begin building defenses to the environment as well as the people in it, even our parents. Despite the love that they had to bring us into this world, they too were wounded and armored beings and began projecting those wounds onto us right away as part of their drama.



ARMOR BLOCKS ENERGY

Now that I have completed the de-armoring process I can feel the difference between having the full suit of armor and having a body which is free of it. If you think about how our energy system works at the most simple level, you can see how this armor affects us. Our life-force, or sexual energy, begins down in the lowest part of our bodies at the base of the spine and wants to move upward through our system and out the crown of our head. As this energy encounters each of the armored plates surrounding our body (see the graphic of that on the De-armoring site for reference http://www.shamanicdearmoring.com/produced.htm), the armor restricts the flow of that energy. Whatever amount makes it past the first plate, hits the second plate and is again restricted. As each plate is encountered more and more energy is blocked and unable to continue upward to the higher spiritual centers of our energy body. Is it any wonder then that we feel so cut off from our true spiritual nature?

During the Dearmoring process, as each plate was cracked open and eventually destroyed, I began feeling more and more sensations in my body. Of course as each plate was opened all of my old “pain tapes” held in that armor were brought back up to be played again. The pain tapes are our memories of all the times we caused ourselves pain either mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually. Fortunately the things which seemed too traumatic for me to deal with as a small child were either no longer an issue in my life (people, places, events) or as an adult I was able to see them from a more mature point of view and realize that those were the fears of an uneducated child. I was easily able to release those issues without them even needing to be processed. There were issues however which were more current and that needed to be dealt with. The armor we create isn’t just from early childhood. It’s a lifelong process that we continue as long as we are unconsciously moving through our lives in victim mode.



WHY MAKE ARMOR?

Below I’ll share one of the things which surfaced for me as I worked on cracking my pelvic plate because I believe it might help others, especially those reading this blog. The pelvic plate protects our life-force and our sexuality. As children, exploring our bodies is natural and beautiful and we hold no shame around this. Once the adults in our lives begin projecting their own sexual wounds (which have a base in family, religious, cultural and societal taboos imprinted upon them) onto us we begin to feel shame around our sexuality. Add the extra dose of hatred which is projected onto gay children about the expression of their sexual desires and the plates really begin to thicken. If there is sexual abuse, especially during our childhood when we are ill equipped to handle it, the shame and fear we feel about our sexuality not only leaves deep emotional wounds but also causes us to create layer upon layer of protective armor to try and stop the pain.

We are taught to feel shame. Shame for our bodies. Shame for our emotions. Shame for our sexuality. Shame for our desires, our needs, our thoughts and for our deeds. Is it any wonder then that we judge ourselves so harshly and punish ourselves so cruelly? Shame is the result of judgment. One must evaluate the object against some set standard to determine worth or value. This is how we determine if it is right or wrong, good or bad. All of that judgment comes from the summary of what we have been taught, what we have experienced, what we believe and how we see the world. Based upon some ideal criteria (that we choose), we judge ourselves and those judgments rarely seem to go in our favor. If we believe that we are not good enough, that belief will color our entire world and we will never allow ourselves to love ourselves fully enough because we are not worthy.

The truth is that we are all worthy and capable of infinite amounts of love. Only our beliefs separate us from that truth and that doesn’t mean it isn’t true, it simply means we won’t allow ourselves to believe that it true. Change your thoughts, change your beliefs. Change your beliefs, change your life. Change your life, change the world. Be the change that you want to see in the world.



DENYING MYSELF PLEASURE

As a young man I went through the youthful years of rampant sexual desire and moved into a more tempered state. As an adult, my sexual desires are less urgent and consequently my orgasms are less frequent. Somewhere along the line I bought into the belief that one ejaculation a day is all that I can handle “because I’m too old”. Since I do erotic work for a living, I receive a lot of sexual stimulation during a day and have developed techniques to limit that as much as possible in order to prevent an ejaculation while still being fully engaged with my body. Having that “I’m done” feeling during my first session of the day has made it challenging for me to be able to engage others erotically for the rest of the day. As a way to avoid too much sexual stimulation directed at me I have often said to my clients “During your session it’s not about my pleasure, it’s about yours.” That phrase has actually become an anthem for me…unfortunately.

When I began working on the pelvic plate in the De-armoring ceremony, it became painfully clear how much I was denying my own pleasure. In an effort to control and prevent an ejaculation, I have avoided and dodged contact with clients and my partner, devised many techniques and excuses and done lots of schedule juggling. If an ejaculation occurred early in the day, I’ve cancelled appointments, judged myself harshly or felt very stand-offish with clients and promised to work harder to prevent that from happening again. I’ve even experienced extended and repeated episodes of erectile dysfunction because on a subconscious level that was a defense mechanism that my body thought I needed to avoid too much stimulation and pleasure. All of this was done based upon the false belief that I’m too old to have more than one ejaculation a day. I’m totally not and I knew that because I’ve had days where I’ve had 2 or 3 ejaculatory orgasms in a single day and felt fine. Actually those were amazing days when I look back on them…thus the number of orgasms. I felt like a kid again!

Yet it just never clicked until that plate started cracking and I had to look at my stuff. Most people don’t do erotic work for their job so you may be thinking this couldn’t possibly apply to you. I invite you however to look at the ways you deny yourself pleasure in your life. Do you limit the free flowing expression of your sexuality because of dogma placed upon you by religion? Do you hide behind the wounds of past sexual experiences? Do you judge yourself for being a sexual person…especially if you are gay? Do you believe that you can’t be spiritual and sexual at the same time? Are you so disconnected from your body that you don’t even feel sexual desire any longer? Do you choose not to feel sexual because it might lead to engaging another person and that could lead to heartache?



A HOUSE OF CARDS

Perhaps, like me, you’ve created an elaborate scheme of excuses and processes as a way to justify your behavior and it’s all based upon a false assumption which may have seemed true for you at some point in your life but is no longer the case. This happens when we live in the past (“I was wounded sexually in the past so now I’m damaged goods.”) or in the future (“I want to be a better person so I have to give up my sexual expression” or “I’m too old to be loved”.) and not in the present moment. When we really do the work to look deeply at our beliefs as expressed through our words, thoughts and actions, we can see how we limit ourselves in so many ways. As I’ve said time and time again, our beliefs shape our reality. Change your beliefs, change your life.

Changing your beliefs start with opening your mind to the present moment and being willing to look at things as they are now without the coloring from our wounded past. When we change even just a single thought about how we see the world, we open ourselves to newness. Opening ourselves to newness is the gateway to a world of infinite possibility and potential. With the problems we face in our personal worlds, nationally and globally, we have to be willing to let go of our old, limiting ways of being. In letting go, we can own our power and co-create a future unlike anything that we ever seen before on this planet.



JUST GETTING STARTED

So that was how the Shamanic De-armoring ceremony started for me. All this was just from the first three days and then it really got good. I can now say that I highly recommend this experience to everyone. You don’t need to be on a Shamanic path or an erotic worker but you do need to have a desire to release your old wounds. Your past is what created your armor unconsciously. When you begin to live a more conscious life, you will find that you don’t need to lug around all that old baggage and constantly replay those old pain tapes. Once you make the choice to step out of victim mode and choose to co-create with the Universe to make a life that works for you now, the armor just gets in the way. Armor keeps stuff out but it also keeps you locked inside.



How do you limit your power? How do you deny your pleasure?