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Thursday, April 26, 2012

The voices in our heads


What are the voices inside your head telling you? 

That’s probably not a question that you are asked very often nor even one that most of us ask ourselves. Admitting that there are voices inside our heads makes it sound like we’re admitting to being crazy…yet the voices are there for all of us.

In reality, the voices that we hear are nothing more than our own thoughts “speaking” to us. They may take on the qualities of voices that we’ve heard before from other people, television or movies but when you get to the core of it, they all originate from within and so in essence they are us. These voices can support and guide us or they can distract us or lead us into trouble. It is all in the choice we make as to which voice to listen to.


CRAZY OR DIVINE?

We’ve all had those moments when we were talking to ourselves, at first in our heads and then suddenly we realized that we were speaking out loud in response. It seems that those verbal responses are where we feel that we’re crossing the “crazy line”. As long as they stay inside, we feel as if we are maintaining control of our sanity. But have you ever stopped to really analyze all of this internal chatter and consider the impact that it’s having on you?

These voices can take on a great many forms and tasks. They can be as simple as a reminder like “don’t forget to stop at the store” or a narrator that is chronicling our activities so that we can share our experiences with others. They can be the supportive and encouraging voices that tell us that we can take action in a moment of crisis or fear. Unfortunately they can also be the voices that tell us that we are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, tall enough, thin enough, strong enough…and on and on.

Different cultures or schools of thought give these voices different names. Religion refers to them as the voice of God and the voice of the Devil. In Yogic philosophy they are referred to as Ego and Essence. The Deer Tribe refers to them as ‘the pretender voice’ and the ‘authentic self’. No matter what label we choose to put on them, ultimately it comes down to the fact that they are all a part of our own individual consciousness because they originate from within.


SO MANY CHOICES OF VOICES

The tricky part about the voices is that it’s hard to tell which ones we should listen to and which ones we should ignore. If we take the stand that “they are all me so I should listen to them all” then we aren’t really gaining much ground because often these voices are in conflict. “You should do that” and “this is a bad plan” are two conflicting themes which arise frequently for most of us and cause an extra layer of confusion. One the other hand, ignoring all of them means that we miss some valuable guidance from within that can help us navigate life more effectively.

There is a story about an old Cherokee man and his grandson that illustrates this. The old man tells his grandson “There is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other one is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth.” The grandson thinks on this and asks “Which wolf wins?” The grandfather replies “The one you feed.”

The one we feed is indeed the one that hangs around and grows. Each time we listen to that part of ourselves that draws us towards negative behaviors or the belief that we are not good enough, that is feeding that voice. We feed it with our attention. As I’ve said many times in this blog, whatever we put our awareness on, it will grow because energy follows awareness. It’s like watering plants. The ones that get water and sun (energy) grow and the ones that do not get them will wither and die. The same holds true for the inner voices.


WHERE ARE THEY FROM AND WHY ARE THEY THERE?

Unfortunately the voices often arise from well meaning sources. As children we are taught to judge ourselves in an attempt to encourage us to be better people. We are shown role-models in the form of spiritual teachers, family elders, “saviors” and world leaders then instructed to measure ourselves against them as a way to be more like them. The bar for our behavior gets set so high that we can never reach it because we are young and don’t possess the skill set that the role-models do. We measure, fall short and begin berating ourselves for the failure. It’s how we are taught to better ourselves through comparison, competition and consequences for failing.

Comparison to others will never get us what we truly seek which is truthful information about ourselves. A comparison will only tell us how different we are from the person that we are comparing ourselves to. Unfortunately, difference is read as failure because that means that we did not achieve our goal which was “to be like that”. For example, if I compare myself to a famous athlete, I might feel like a sports failure. In the next minute I might compare myself to someone who has never played a sport and then I could feel like a superstar. I haven’t changed in that minute and my skills haven’t improved. One comparison leaves me feeling bad about myself and the other good but in truth neither is accurate because it has everything to do with who I am comparing to and nothing to do with me. The result in both cases is that “I’m different” and that will always be true so the comparison hasn’t really yielded the truth I sought. Unfortunately I’m left with the judgmental voice comparing me to everyone looking for confirmation of the belief that “I’m not good enough” and so the cycle perpetuates itself.


SILENCE THE PRETENDER

That voice that says we aren’t good enough is the pretender voice. It becomes such an integral part of us that we begin to identify with it more than we do with our authentic self. That same voice can also give us a superiority complex by systematically picking apart any and every person that we meet in an effort to make ourselves look better because we don’t have their “flaw”. Any conclusion reached by a comparison to another person can never be the voice of our true self. The pretender voice is the one that keeps the story that we tell ourselves about ourselves going. It keeps us from seeing the truth about ourselves.

So then how do we find the voice that we should listen to? When we’ve spent a lifetime listening to the pretender voice it can be very challenging to stop listening to it because it’s all that we’ve known. We identify so closely with that voice as part of our internal dialogue that we can’t imagine there being “another voice”…but there is. Below are some steps you can take to begin the process of following your authentic voice. Bear in mind that this is a process and not a task list. You will move at whatever pace you can handle but the more you focus the faster you will see results.


STEP 1: BE AWARE

The first step in the process of silencing the pretender is simply becoming aware of the pretender voice. The pretender voice is often like a broken record that constantly keeps us down, holds us back and leads us astray. This voice pretends to be our friend by doing things which keep us held back by our fears because of the mistaken belief that “if something scares me that means I should avoid it”, “I’m not good enough to do it”, “I don’t know how”, “I can never learn that” or any other excuse that keeps us from changing. When you begin to see all of the excuses and limiting beliefs for what they are, then you can begin to change your response to them. We can never change what we are unaware of. Become aware of the stream of thoughts that arise when you are faced with a new experience or a desire to change something. Be aware but don’t get attached to the thoughts, just be aware of them the same way you might be aware of a song that replays in your head. “Oh, there’s that pretender voice again talking trash.”


STEP 2: ENTER THE SILENCE

Next begin to become aware of “the silence” because it is where the authentic voice can be heard most clearly. The silence is the space that is first discovered in meditation. It is that space where the thoughts fade into the background and disappear and where time ceases to have meaning. When you get a taste of what it feels like to have that silence, the distracting noise created by the pretender voice will become very unappealing and almost intolerable. The key here is to learn to quiet the chatter so that the authentic voice can be heard more easily. It’s always there and always has been. We’ve all been led astray by the pretender voice because we’ve become attached to it. It truly cuts us off from our power and keeps us from expressing our true self in the world.


STEP 3: OPEN TO GUIDANCE

Finally we have to open ourselves to the guidance that our authentic voice will provide. This voice will always bring us guidance and answers that are in alignment with our highest good because the authentic voice is the voice of our higher self. My higher self and I are one and the same. That’s true for everyone. There is no separation. It is not an external entity that we’re trying to grow into or gain the favor of through subservience. It is and always has been the part of us that is directly connected to Source. It exists outside of the limits of time and space in the energetic or Spirit realm.

The tricky thing about this voice is that it sounds so familiar because we’ve really heard it all of our lives. Given that, it is easy to miss. It is typically the very first response that we get when we are faced with a choice or decision. It speaks to us through our intuition and our thoughts. It is simple, easy and clear because it doesn’t rely on excuses or explanations like the pretender voice. Truth needs no explanation or justification and the authentic voice is the voice of truth. The challenge is learning to trust it again because the pretender voice has deluded us for so long.


STEP 4: ALIGN WITH THE AUTHENTIC VOICE

Trust builds over time. One way to begin to trust the authentic voice is to try following what you think of as its guidance on a small scale. Think about some mostly inconsequential thing that you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t for whatever reason. Quiet yourself as best you can. Focusing on the breath for a minute while letting the exhale lengthen as the inhale deepens is a simple way to achieve this. Then ask yourself “should I (insert the activity)?” and notice what happens. The asking of the question is a key step because it is a request for guidance and it puts you into a receptive state energetically. We don’t ask questions about what we already know to be true. We ask questions for the purpose of receiving information. Just notice the very first gut reaction (which is this case will probably be “yes” because it’s something you’ve been wanting to do after all) and then notice all the excuses or “reasons” which follow it as to why you should not do it.

Once you’ve been able to notice the pretender voice trying to keep you from taking action then make the conscious choice to take action anyway. Push yourself if you have to but take action so that you are honoring your inner guidance and not getting distracted by the pretender voice. This is obviously a staged scenario to begin the process but that’s okay. Commit to being open to the guidance of your authentic self and commit to taking action on that guidance. It’s about reestablishing trust within yourself after so many times of listening to and following the guidance of your pretender voice. Take action, even if you think (pretender voice) it might be wrong, just take action.

Continue this process with all of your decisions, even simple ones like “what is the best route for me to take to work today?” or “where should I go for lunch?” This isn’t about only relying on this guidance for big life changing decisions. This process is about learning to request, recognize, trust and act upon the guidance from your higher self. The more you do it the more automatic and instinctive it will become but you have to take action. If you get the guidance and take no action or the opposite action, then you aren’t completing the cycle and nothing will change. You’ll continue to get the guidance, continue to ignore it and continue to wonder how others seem to manifest all that they need and have their lives flow so smoothly. This victim mentality will continue to hold you in a place of inactivity.

In many ways, you might think of the authentic voice and the pretender voice as the little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other. Your authentic voice is the voice of the Divine expressing itself as you. The pretender voice is NOT you. It is the accumulated baggage that has been passed on to you from external sources (family, friends, organized religion, political leaders, etc.) and is full of their judgments and fears. They won’t always be in conflict but more often than not they will.


STEP 5: ALWAYS SEARCH FOR THE LESSON

The final component to this process is the review. This is about taking the time to process what happens after you take action on the guidance. It will be very easy to say “I asked if I should do X and I did it and this bad thing happened so I’m not going to do that anymore.” Recognize that the most powerful lessons come from our failures. Sometimes the only way to get lessons is through failure because they teach us a better way to do something. Examine the whole process with an open mind. Did you truly listen to the authentic voice or did you second guess it because the answer was “too hard”? Did you encounter the need for more assistance while taking action and you choose to ignore it? What is the lesson in this for you especially if the outcome was a “failure”? Remember the lessons are positive even if the experience is negative. Searching for what the experience has to teach you is far more valuable than focusing on the cost of the mistake.

The lessons may not always appear as obvious and it may not even be perceptible until the experience has played out fully over a longer period of time. Sometimes you may review an experience and extract what you think is the lesson from the experience. A month or so later you may have an experience unfold that was only possible because of what happened to you in the original incident and now you have new data on the experience and so a new or more complete lesson may emerge. Be open to this type of revision and learning and remember to look at not only all of the events of the experience but also those that were related to it that helped to get the experience set up.

For example I may choose to go hear a certain speaker who might share something with me that can literally change my life by helping me see where I am constantly re-engaging a destructive pattern and preventing myself from changing and growing. That might sting and cause me to feel like a failure but I will eventually grow from it. That information will only have been able to reach me because in the past I opened to the guidance which led me to make the decision to see the speaker. If you just looked at the experience you might say “Oh, I learned that I was a failure. I shouldn’t have gone to hear the speaker.” But if you see it as “I opened to my inner guidance, listened to the speaker and discovered an area for growth in myself” then you have taken in the whole experience.


BE GENTLE

The key to relearning this process is gentleness. Accept that as a human operating through past experiences based upon our limited senses, we can never know it all. So be gentle with yourself for NOT knowing. Learning to re-orient around the Divine wisdom that has been flowing to us all along and letting go of our past wounded beliefs can be challenging and scary because it’s not what we’ve been taught to do. You will make mistakes and you will second guess yourself but that’s okay. Be gentle with yourself and forgive yourself for the mistake and find the lesson to grow with. The more you learn to find and trust the authentic voice, the more your life will flow effortlessly and you will be able to manifest all that you require. The process takes time so please be loving with yourself while you learn.



What guidance is your authentic voice giving you right now?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Male / Female Energetics


At this point in our lives, we are all very well aware that there are males and females and for as long as we can remember, there always have been. There are also those born into one gender that feel they are actually the opposite gender. There is even a tiny portion of the population that have both male and female genitalia. No matter what genitals we posses on the outside, we all have masculine and feminine energies within us.


DEFINITION OF TERMS

When most people hear the term “masculine and feminine energies”, they think of outward expressions and mannerisms rather than the underlying energies which generate these outward actions. There is a fine line there so for the purposes of this discussion, let me clarify the differences and define the terms that I’ll be using. I’ll use male/female or man/woman when I am referencing the physical body with the reference being based upon genitalia. I’ll use the terms manly/girly to reference the outward actions which our culture stereotypically assigns to each gender. Finally I’ll use the terms masculine/feminine to reference the core electromagnetic energetics within each of us.

The masculine energy is about outward moving, generative, aggressive, protective, hunter-gather energies. From an electromagnetic standpoint, masculine energy has a positive charge to it. Regardless of our gender, the masculine energies are housed on the right side of the body. The feminine energy is about inward moving, receptive, nurturing, nesting energies. Feminine energy has a negative electromagnetic charge to it. These energies are housed on the left side of our bodies. You can think of these two energetics as polar opposites which balance each other like opposite sides of a magnet. There is enough attraction and repulsion between them that they create a balanced stability within the human body structure.


BE AWARE OF STEREOTYPES AND JUDGMENTS

The manly or girly actions, while not directly related to the core energetics, certainly have their base in the definitions of those energetics. Our culture typically relegates fighting, hunting and aggressive actions to men and so these become “manly” actions. We also tend to associate nest making, child bearing and rearing, passive or softer actions to females and thus they become “girly” actions. The judgments upon these actions as either manly or girly have less to do with the action than they do with our culturally based stereotypes associated with our human need to understand the world around us through pattern matching.

The ability to rapidly define something works to our advantage to help us decide how to respond to it. As such our belief about someone typically forms first from stereotypical norms handed down to us by society and our parents. If the person is male “they should” act in certain ways and in other ways if they are female. When people move outside those norms, the cognitive dissonance between our own internal expected behavior model and their actions is what generates the conflict that we see so prevalently in the world. We typically fear what we don’t understand and we are uncomfortable with difference.


WE ALL HAVE BOTH

When we get down to the core energetics of masculine and feminine, we see the energies that typically drive the actions associated with the gender based stereotypes. Remember, we all have both of these energetics regardless of gender. These energies are so subtle and yet intimately familiar to us that most of us aren’t even aware that we are using them or that there is even a distinction between. It is when we choose to ignore them or block them that we run into trouble.

Pure masculine energy is about outward moving protective energy. This is energy which moves out to protect us and to gather information on our surroundings and the environment. This energy can be felt easily when we move into new surroundings as part of that initial “what’s going on here and is it safe?” scan of the area that we all do either consciously or unconsciously.

Pure feminine energy is about inward moving receptive energy. This is the energetic part of us that receives information and processes it and contains it. This energy can be felt when we hug someone or comfort them if they are in an emotional state. That feeling of “I’ve got you and am here for you” is the nurturing energetic in action.

Our bodies hold both energetics regardless of our gender and therefore we are constantly utilizing both energies throughout our day and our lives. We may be more or less comfortable with one or the other because of our upbringing or socialization. As we become more comfortable with ourselves and the variety of energetic patterns that we run, we have greater access to these energetics to use to construct our lives in a conscious fashion. Rather than depending upon the opposite gender to handle the actions not directly associated with our birth gender, we learn to be self-sufficient and use our own energies to ensure that our needs are met. We do not need anyone else to “complete” us. We are all complete and whole beings as is. We are social creatures however and our desire to have friends and sexual partners comes from the desire to be a part of the whole rather than to fill a missing piece of ourselves. To believe that we have to have a man to do the manly things or a woman to do the girly things is nothing more than an excuse to remain in victim mode. As long as we exist in victim mode, we’ll never be able to fully claim our own power to consciously create a life that pleases us and meets our needs.


OWN YOUR POWER

To get conscious use of these core energetics, we have to start with the acceptance of the fact that we have them. From there, we have to learn to make use of them and practice self-care with them. When we deny our ability to harness these energies because of our fear of judgment or even past failures, we cut ourselves off from our true power. Typically we will struggle with the energetics of our opposite gender because our culture doesn’t encourage us to embrace those energies within ourselves. Guys are socialized to be rough and tumble dudes and girls are praised and valued for their beauty and home making skills. Despite that, we each have times where we know that we’ve utilized both energies successfully and grown from the experience in ways that we would never have done by relying on someone else to handle it for us.

Self-care happens and is most nourishing when we utilize both energies and allow them to flow freely. When we consciously do activities which nurture our bodies (massage, meditation, baths, rest, etc.), we honor and empower the inner feminine. This one is obviously easier for women because they are used to pampering themselves more than men. When we honor ourselves by standing up for our needs or boundaries or we exercise to strengthen our bodies, we are honoring the inner masculine. This is something more natural to men because we are taught to fight and challenge others to protect what is ours. As we journey on the road to wholeness within ourselves, we have to learn from others of both genders how to utilize and nourish both energetics more fully. If we only focus on one energetic to the detriment of the other, we give our power away.


HUMAN BATTERIES

In the above information I mentioned that the masculine and feminine energies are housed on opposite sides of the body but there is more to that story than just housing the energies. If you think of a battery for the following discussion it may be a bit easier to relate it to your own body. Let’s use a standard AA battery as an example. When you look at the battery there is the positive end that has the little nipple that sticks out and the negative end which is typically flat or slightly indented. The two ends of the batteries are typically referred to as the poles. Energy flows into the battery through the negative (receptive) pole and out through the positive (generative) and this generates the current. Within the battery, the charge that it is holding is stored down in the battery but the connection to the outer world happens through the poles.

Our bodies function on the electromagnet level in that same way but how that functions depends upon our gender. For all of us, one end of our battery is at that base of our spine down in the pelvic region and the other is not at the top of our head as you might think but rather at our heart center. Our hearts generate a very strong electromagnetic current. For men, our positive pole is at our pelvis and our negative pole is at our heart. For women, it is opposite. Our genitals are a clear expression of that energetic flow. Cocks send out energy and vaginas receive it. Once you become familiar with these energetic poles and their function and you begin using them consciously, life in general will flow more easily for you and you will have a wider range of options available to you in interpersonal interactions. 



 
EXPLORATORY EXERCISE

A full discussion on the topic of using these energetic centers consciously in our daily interactions would take up a great deal of space here and potentially be too much information to share in this format. For now I will encourage you to take some quiet time and become familiar with these two energetic centers. The best way to learn about anything is to put your full awareness on it consciously and explore it for yourself. In the following paragraphs I will share a simple technique for doing just that.

First, find some alone time and space. To really get an accurate feel for what this exercise does, you need to ensure that no one (not even pets) is in your energetic field (at least 5-8 feet in each direction). Having other beings around you will distort your readings because their system will be responding to yours and yours to theirs.

Begin by getting your Basics (remember that’s all 4 steps not just grounding) in place. Spend some time with this and then get a feel for what it is like when you are calm, centered, balanced and just dealing with your energy. That feeling is the end result of having your Basics fully in place. For the purposes of this exercise, consider this your baseline. Ideally if you have been practicing the Basics since I introduced them to you, you will have been doing that in all situations to a point where it is happening constantly and you are in a balanced and stable place energetically. (If not, I hope you will start sooner rather than later.) This is an important step because in the following exercise you are going to be modifying and manipulating your energy field and so starting from a neutral place is the only way to really be able to track the shift.

Next, put your full awareness into your receptive/negative/feminine center. Close your eyes, go inside and just put all of your thoughts and awareness into that physical location as described above based upon your gender. Hold this awareness for at least 30 seconds and then begin to notice how you feel. Spend some time observing any tingles or sensations that arise within the body. Notice any shifts in mood or even a change in your thoughts or desires. Compare these to your baseline feelings to become consciously aware of how it feels to be fully in the feminine.

When you believe you have a good feel for that, let your thoughts go from that center and move your full awareness into your masculine center. Again, hold your awareness there for at least 30 seconds before you begin observing the feelings. This time compare the sensations, emotions and thoughts to those you had while holding the feminine. Really get a good felt sense for what it is like FOR YOU when you are consciously holding the masculine. We all interpret things differently so let go of what you think it means to be masculine or feminine and simply observe what it feels like for you when you hold these centers. This will be invaluable data for you as you move through life.

Spend some time moving back and forth between these two centers now but remember to hold your focus on each center for about 30 seconds to really get a feel for the experience. 30 seconds will give your subconscious time to pick up the desire from your conscious mind and act on it. Once you have a good feel for the shift that happens from center to center, take some time to balance these centers by splitting your focus and holding both centers at once. This will be a little tricky at first for most people because we aren’t used to observing two places within our bodies at once. Typically we focus on something when it starts hurting or calling for attention in some way. As you are able to focus your thoughts on both centers at once equally you should begin to feel a third set of sensations (the balanced state) which should be compared to what you felt individually at either center. Remember these “feelings” are very, very subtle.

The observation of the sensations at each point in this exercise is as important as any other piece. The more you become aware of how it feels when you are more in one or the other center, the more information you’ll have that will help you know when you are out of balance energetically. Learning to hold an equal balance in these two centers will change the way others relate and respond to you. Experiment with that and see for yourself but just remember that opposite energies attract. The more you consciously hold (and thus charge) your masculine center, the more this will attract the feminine energy in others in your field (or aura) and vice-versa. The more you can hold a balance between these two centers, the more it will attract a balanced interaction with others regardless of gender.


STAY IN BALANCE

There are a lot of ways that you can use this information in your daily life. The techniques involved in that exceed the scope of this blog however so I won’t discuss them here. I mention this to hopefully inspire you to explore that for yourself and see what your body can teach you. The most important thing that I hope you will take away from this is that holding awareness on these two centers in the balanced state is ideal for daily living. If you find yourself “in your head” too much, overly sexually stimulated or overly emotional, you can believe that you are out of balance between these two centers. The good news is that with just your awareness and intention you can bring them back into balance easily.


What energetics are you magnetically attracting into your life?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Shaking off winter lethargy


Greetings dear readers. Thank you for continuing to check here to see if I’ve written any new posts lately. I get stat counts off of this site and so I know that some of you are still out there and I’m grateful for that. I haven’t been posting much lately because I have had a change in my personal life and unfortunately I have allowed that to become an excuse to be lazy. I can be a master procrastinator and since I try and do this blog writing early in the morning, if I delay getting up, writing will have to wait until tomorrow…and then the next day and the next.

It frustrates me because I want to write and yet I’m not doing it. I have several other things that I’m not doing and I keep saying I need to start doing again but they too lose out to this need for extra sleep. It really saddens me that I’ve let things overwhelm me this way but life happens and it was obviously a choice I made to sleep rather than resume my normal uninterrupted life. Now I’m consciously choosing to get out of bed and get back to the things in my life that bring me joy, such as writing this blog, meditating, getting exercise and just generally taking better care of myself. To add an extra layer of motivation for myself, I’m writing this note to you so that I can begin to build energy around re-engaging this writing.

Thank you for continuing to read what I’m sharing. I know that we all have busy lives and I am honored that you would take time out of yours to listen to what I have to say. I hope to have a least one post a month to start and build back up to more frequent posts. If you are on Facebook, please “Like” my page at "Michael- Evolutionary Energy Educator". I make posts there when I put a blog entry here so that you’ll know without having to check here. I also plan to re-engage posting short inspirational messages there while I work on the large posts for here.

May you be blessed in all that you do,
Michael