What I do with Jason’s morning ritual is to implant generative
patterns he can use to guide and evaluate his behaviors. The “morning
ritual” is critical, and I’m hoping to implant a habit for lifetime
(although the specific techniques will shift, I’m sure.)
The most important things this morning were:
1) interrupting the non-resourceful behaviors. (Bowing, sitting seiza)
2) Anchoring love and confidence (morning hug)
3) Calming his energy levels (10 “omm” patterns with deep breathing”
4) Reminding him of his resourceful states, principles and values (Musashi’s principles, “the rules”
5) “Killing the monster while it’s small”—“swish” patterns, envisioning a negative behavior and SMASHING the image with an expanding image of a hyper-resourceful behavior. Again and again. Faster and faster.
7) When highest-energy, positive, and centered he pumps his fist and yells “YES!” anchoring in that positive state.
“Killing the monster while it’s small” means to attack the root of a negative behavior. Before he has what we call a “brain fart” he will begin to distort his body into odd positions. His vocal quality will shift, he starts acting goofy. This leads to a hyper-excitable and sensitive state in which “he wants what he wants” and the slightest disappointment can trigger upset.
By this time, it is too late for conscious control. But BEFORE this point, he can take control again by sitting upright and calming his breathing, doing a “swish” pattern, or pumping his fist and saying “YES!” NOTE: the efficiency of a fired “anchor” is in direct relationship to how much you have “powered it up” earlier, and the uniqueness of the anchor.
He is learning to recognize the early stages of a tantrum, while “the monster is still small” and crush it, replacing it with a positive, resourceful state. This is very similar to recognizing when he is at a “3” on a scale of 1-10, “3” being a little tickle in his bladder, but an “8” meaning he has 30 seconds to get to a toilet.
If you study your own mind, looking at any unresourceful behavior, you’ll notice that there are precursive actions, feelings, and thoughts. Smoking. Cheating. Writers’ block. Begin to examine how you “do” them. What you do first, second and third to “accomplish” an unresourceful state.
Trust me…you have a recipe for any state or behavior in your life, positive or negative. And if you can deliberately change that recipe by changing your physiology, mental focus or emotional state (I work all three with Jason!) you can derail the process.
Be a dragon-slayer.
But kill it in the nest
Friday, August 30, 2013
What I do with Jason’s morning ritual is to implant generative
patterns he can use to guide and evaluate his behaviors. The “morning
ritual” is critical, and I’m hoping to implant a habit for lifetime
(although the specific techniques will shift, I’m sure.)
Posted by Steven Barnes at 5:12 AM
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
As writer, parent, lover, teacher…
Don’t try to change people’s politics,
religion, or life path. All that is required
is to help them clarify their values,
center on their hearts, and then to see
if their life actions are in alignment
with both. See? Emotion, thought,
and action all together in a single
line of light. Such alignment leads
to awakening. Fractionating: acting
one way, feeling another, acting a
third…or numbing yourself to one
of these aspects so that the other
two can survive…is the road to hell.
All else is “just” technique or method.
All technique and methodology must
be in the service of awakening, or
it is just dreaming…or worse, it is
Posted by Steven Barnes at 3:38 AM
Thursday, August 22, 2013
I heard a beautiful story about Mahatma Gandhi today. Apparently, a woman had a diabetic son who would not stop eating sugar. Her son worshipped the Mahatma, so she felt that if Gandhi would tell him personally to stop, he would. So she took a three-day train ride to the place Gandhi was greeting the public, and then stood in line all day with her son to speak to him. When she reached him she explained her desire, and Gandhi said “come back in six weeks.” She was startled, and begged him, but he insisted.
She went away angry, but did come back in six weeks. Three-day train ride. Stand in line in the sun all day. And finally stood before Gandhi, steaming mad. “Remember me?” she asked.
“Yes,” he replied. “Diabetes.” He looked at the boy and screamed “STOP EATING SUGAR!!”
The boy’s eyes bugged out, and he said, “Yes, Mahatma! Yes!”
The mother couldn’t believe it. Enraged, she said: “was that it? Why couldn’t you have said that six weeks ago?”
“Because,” he replied. “Six weeks ago, I was eating sugar.”
What a man.
If you would lead, you must lead by example, or not at all.
Posted by Steven Barnes at 4:52 AM
Friday, August 16, 2013
Everyone knows that Scott Sonnon is my friend, teacher, and brother.
I’ve never been disappointed by anything he has produced in the arena of
health and fitness, share his insights with my own family, and use them
every damned day myself. Still, I test EVERYTHING he does before I
recommend it to you, because I feel that that is the nature of the trust
For the first time, with his new FIVE CLASSICS (http://tiny.cc/0nxw1w) I don’t have to test one of his products. Why? Because I already have. Due to my own research and practice, AND the invaluable lessons I’ve learned from Scott over the last decade, this is material I already know and practice. Yoga, Tai Chi, and Joint Mobility are part of my own daily recovery work, and are more important than the ordinary “training” and “practice” elements of my routine.
Why? Because not only are they the essential motions for health, but also the elementary motor components for any movement art, especially martial arts.
But even if you have no sport, are not a martial artist, the “ FIVE CLASSICS ” program is something very special: While every movement is available to anyone of almost any fitness level, they are the foundation for truly sophisticated fitness.
More, they contain wisdom gathered from around the world, directly addressing my belief that no single culture has the entire picture…or had, until the 20th and 21st Centuries, when a global culture made it possible to compare these gems and gather them together in a single encompassing program.
There is a phenomenon known as “Sensory Motor Amnesia.” Literally, if you don’t have a whole-body discipline that engages you with The Flesh on a daily basis, you literally begin to forget how your body works. Where it is in three-dimensional space. Forget the hard-won lessons you fought your way to by infantile exploration, then crawling, then wobble-walking, and then running.
We forget how our bodies work, and there is such a vast body of ailments, accidents, and related disconnects as a result it would take hours to discuss them all. Add to this the Hawaiian Huna belief that unprocessed emotions are stored in our bodies like a “black bag” and you have a recipe for disaster.
Scott’s “ FIVE CLASSICS ” is a gem. A ten-minute daily program that takes the “joint mobility” idea and Supersizes it to literally helping you reclaim your natural aliveness. Covering familiar disciplines like yoga and mobility, it goes into Chinese, Persian, Russian and other arts, skims the cream, and gives you a program moving from one to another modality. It wouldn’t be possible to practice this without becoming, by ordinary modern terms, a physical genius. Most people simply have no concept of what they have lost, or what a marvel their body is.
“Five Classics” is simple, straight-forward, and contains my brother Scott’s usual casual brilliance. It also has the usual bullet-proof money-back guarantee. Even if you have no interest in “fitness”, this one is for you. Ten minutes a day to reclaim your body. Sleep better. Heal a bad back. Recover from sports injuries. Enhance recovery from exercise. Increase energy. Decrease stress. There’s more, but unless you have actually engaged with these technologies, you won’t believe me so I’ll stop there.
If you know a better deal, go for it. But if you don’t, get FIVE CLASSICS while the special offer is alive. You won’t be sorry!
Posted by Steven Barnes at 7:19 AM
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
The Soulmate Process was born out of desperation. Sixteen years ago I was living alone in a two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver, Washington. My first marriage had gone belly-up. I’d stopped teaching “Lifewriting” because a core principle was balance, and I had clearly lost my balance. And with that, access to the instinctive “flow” of knowledge that allowed me to teach with integrity.
I was massively depressed, a thousand miles away from family and friends, without a job, or hope, and had nothing but my dog, a bed, a television set, and a gun.
Not a good combination. For the first time in my life, I understood how someone could want to kill himself. Now, I wasn’t going over the falls yet, but I could hear the rapids, if you know what I mean.
I needed to make a massive change in my life, but for the first time in memory, I didn’t know who I was, or what to do next.
And out of that desperation, I asked myself: what would I say if one of my students came to me and asked me what to do in this situation?
And thought that in the “Mind Reading” portion of the Lifewriting workshops, I’d suggested that you look at the physical condition, career, and relationship history and status of anyone you are dealing with, all three at the same time. By committing to all three yourself, you come into contact with your deep beliefs about what causes results in these three arenas. Self-knowledge leads to understanding of others. Apply this standard to the people you meet, and begin to calibrate. If their behavior violates your expectations, you need to look deeper within yourself. When you begin to get the results you expect, you have come closer to a truth, and are beginning to remove the filters needed to disguise your own pain and fear.
“Relationships” were on that list for a variety of reasons.
1) About 99%+ of people want an intimate relationship. I’d reckon less than 1% really don’t want one. About 10% will claim not to. You are safest assuming they’re lying, until proven otherwise.
2) The health of a relationship is indicative of the health of the people involved. Mating isn’t that difficult when you are your natural self. The problem is that we are rarely our natural selves: we are the masks that we wear to be social creatures. And masks just bump up against each other.
3) What we desire is the energetic mirror of our own self-image, or secret longing.
And it was #3 that I realized I could use. I’d lost track of who I was, that kind of cocky self-assurance I’d always had. Devastating. But…I knew what I was attracted to. Boy, did I ever.
And figured that if I could be honest about THAT…if I could describe exactly what I was most attracted to, make a list of everything I wanted and desired, with NO compromise…something extraordinary might result.
If I made a list of everything I really wanted in a woman, in every arena: body, mind, spirit, ambition, emotions…the whole thing…what I was really describing was the energetic “mirror” of my own idealized self.
On some level, I wanted to be the kind of man who could have a woman like THAT.
So if I then looked for the woman who came the closest to what I had on that list, whether she was married or not, then sat her down and asked her what she was looking for in a man, if I listened honestly and had chosen well, what she described would be, in some critical ways, what my heart really longed to be.
The exercise was NOT about chasing after a woman who resembled the list. It was about re-discovering myself.
Does that make sense?
Now…there was an old saying: “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”
Could this be applied to the arena of relationships? “When the lover is ready, the Beloved will appear”?
Remember the “Secret Formula”? Goal times Faith times Action times Gratitude equals Results. That means that “magic” happens when you are busy in the business of your goal, doing all you can, with clear goals and plans, working your #$%% off, and radiating gratitude for what you already have.
When you don’t have a job, you can’t get a job, until you’ve got one…and then suddenly the phone rings off the hook with offers.
When you don’t have a lover, you can’t get a lover, until you’ve got one, and then everyone’s interested.
Ever had that experience?
It may merely be a psychological artifact, of course. It just seems to be that way.
On the other hand, remember Albert Brooks’ line from “Broadcast News”? “Wouldn’t it be great if `needy’ were a turn-on?”
Well, it isn’t, unless you’re trying to attract predators.
Confidence, self-possession, a sense of direction and purpose on the other hand, are HUGELY attractive. To some degree, the universe seems to act as if personal power and self-possession add “mass” to your personality. And in the same way that a heavy gravitational mass literally bends the time-space continuum, causing objects to alter their paths when they come near, the more a human being is in his own power, centered, involved in what he is doing, the more he seems to “bend” reality so that opportunities come to him, and unexpected assistance materializes.
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now." —Goethe
It is friggin’ bizarre to experience. Now, maybe all it is is that “a watched pot never boils”—that when you are waiting for something to happen, time stretches out eternally. But when you are involved in “becoming” you enter flow, and the standard opportunities that are always around us appear sharper and clearer and we don’t notice how long they took to appear.
Doesn’t really matter which it is, now does it?
As it happens, I knew a woman who came very close to what I had on that list: smart as a whip, beautiful, sensual, spiritual, perfect body, energetic, funny, ambitious, creative…pretty much the whole package.
So on January 1, 1998, I sat down with her in a restaurant and made my pitch: I thought she was fabulous, and was wondering what she was looking for in a man. Made it clear that I wasn’t hitting on her, merely wanted a reflection of what someone like her was looking for.
Now…as it happened she was kinda between relationships (my timing was excellent. Hmmm) and for the next couple of months we pretended that she was what I was looking for. Ahem. And that was terrific. And educational.
Because it took some time, but I finally extracted from her the things she sought in a partner.
And…to my shock, I realized that there wasn’t much of a gap between what she described and what I already was (THAT knocked my poor self-image and “needy wounded abandoned child” for a loop, I’ll tell you.)
Two things jumped out at me:
1) “Carol” wanted someone with less body fat than I was carrying at the time. And I realized that, in my emotional distress, I had stopped running and working out as much. As well as begun to engage in “comfort” eating. Oops.
2) Carol wanted someone with more of a spiritual path than I currently had. And…I realized that, as with running, I had neglected my meditation practice.
AGAIN: IT WASN’T ABOUT TRYING TO TURN MYSELF INTO WHAT SHE WANTED. It was about using her as a “mirror” to see my own idealized self. The things she wanted were also in alignment with my values. Things I should have been doing, but had neglected. They were reflected in the things I sought in a partner. But what I desired was not what I was. Oops!
Therefore, I had two options: I could either change my standards, or change myself. But one way or the other, I had to bring my external reality in alignment with my internal goals and values.
And if I was correct, in doing this, I would be placing my feet along a path of self-discovery and expression. And it was while I was on this path, expressing myself fully, totally engaged and so busy “becoming” that I would forget I was lonely…that I would meet my future partner.
If this was going to work, I had to be so engaged in “becoming” that I didn’t care whether I found someone or not. I had to be so engaged that I was self-contained. That would radiate the kind of confidence that was massively attractive. Which would have the effect of “bending space” and increasing what might be called my attractive gravitation.
I had to be genuinely happy and content, while being in greater and greater alignment with my values and goals. To be “in the world but not of the world” means to do your very best to play the game without succumbing to the illusion that the game is real. To do all we can, without being attached to the results.
To work as hard as hell, and then “let go and let God.”
Easy to say, hard to do.
One bridge between child and adulthood was the goal to become a man who was respected by the men I admired, and attractive to the women I was attracted to. The physical aspect of this was to have a body which, if I stripped down and looked at myself in the mirror, I’d want to jump my own bones (if I were a woman. Of course. Ahem.)
You attract people at your own level of energetic integration…and below. We are attracted to your own level of integration…and above.
If you don’t like what you are attracting, either change your manifestation, or change your standards. Otherwise, you are in a no-man’s-land, standing in the middle of the road, getting slammed from both sides. Emotional road-kill.
Got that? If you have some issue that you believe would prevent the kind of people you’re attracted to from being attracted to you (you crave swimsuit models, but are unemployed) either get a job, or stop being so picky about potential partners. See beneath the surface. It makes NO sense to expect someone to pay less attention to surface traits and external manifestations than YOU are willing to do.
That of course demands that you KNOW your values to begin with. The work is worth it.
Dating “Carol” was great. But something began to go wrong. It felt as if the more open and honest I was, the further away she backed from me. I tried to compensate by being more open and loving still, until she actually wrote me a letter saying I was, in essence, creeping her out. Our relationship foundered, and finally she broke things off.
I was devastated, but also curious. What in the world had gone wrong?
The answer to that question opened another door in my life, and led directly to my revelation. And directly to being prepared to meet the love of my life, my Soul Mate.
Posted by Steven Barnes at 10:13 AM
So I’d done the first step of the “Soulmate Process” and found a woman that was the closest to my perfect partner that I knew. And actually had the chance to date her. And blew it, despite being hugely open, loving, and honest.
What the heck happened?
Well, I found myself at a convention not long after that, and was grousing to myself. I had friends there, but had no interest in having fun, or doing business. I wanted to know WHAT HAD GONE WRONG?
What I decided was that I’d been married so long that I was a bit “out of the game.” That I literally had forgotten things I needed to know to make that aspect of my life work. I KNEW that once upon a time I’d known, even if it was “unconscious competence.” So what I decided to do was pretend I was an anthropologist from Mars. That I knew nothing at all about human relationships. To just sit back and watch the people pass me, and see if I saw something useful.
So all day I sat in the lobby of the hotel, watching men and women, and especially women with men. And after about six hours of this, a pattern began to emerge that boggled my mind. I literally couldn’t believe what I saw, and I was seeing it again and again.
It was so politically incorrect, so counter-intuitive that it baffled me, but I saw it again and again. And here it was:
The more beautiful the woman was, the more likely she was to be with a man who was, apparently, ignoring her.
What the #$@@? My mind blanked out and revolted. This couldn’t be true!
So I kept watching, and it was just true, so far as I could determine. Moderately attractive or average women were often with guys who were all over them. But the gorgeous ones? They were with guys who seemed both intense and relaxed, who kept their attention straight ahead most of the time.
This led me to asking: IF this was true, what could it mean? How could I justify this belief with my other knowledge of human behavior?
And one thing I demanded of myself: what if this was not something dysfunctional. Not about “insecurity” or “broken people”. What if there was simply some aspect of our animal, human, or spiritual nature…something about our minds or hearts that is difficult to see because we are INSIDE the system.
I went to my room and sat. Just sat. By myself. Told myself that I wasn’t coming out until I had the answer. I could feel that it was bubbling, percolating just out of sight of my conscious mind.
What if these men and women were healthy? What if it wasn’t a toxic behavior? What in the hell was I looking at?
And could this have anything to do with what had happened with “Carol”?
And suddenly, after about four solid hours of thinking about this apparent paradox, something occurred to me, and it was one of those “ah-hah” moments that will blow your mind and change your life.
Here it is. What hit me was that there are two basic types of animals: carnivores and herbavores. Carnivores have their eyes mounted in front, to lock on prey. Herbivores have their eyes mounted on the side, to search for predators.
Now, then. What is beauty? In general, in my values, it is health, fitness, self-possession, dynamism, energy, playfulness, all of that rolled together. And while SOME of that is “natural” much of the presentation is a matter of technology: makeup, dress, movement, psychology, diet, exercise. Focus. Intelligence and aesthetics applied to the artistic presentation of YOUR characteristics. I’ve met very, very few people who could not be beautiful by some set of standards, to some group of people, if they decided to do so.
So…what if I looked at the women I (and I think the majority of people) considered “beautiful” as lionesses. They possess themselves. They know their value. They are dynamic and aware. Heck, that certainly described “Carol” to a “T”. And what does a lioness look for in a mate?
Wait for it…
She’s looking for a lion. That’s it. She is looking for a mate. Someone with his eyes mounted in front. Now, then, by this standard, what was I seeing? I was seeing hunting pairs, that’s what. The male’s attention wasn’t on her. It was scanning the environment. Among predators, if your attention is directly upon them, it is a challenge…or predation. If I was putting too much attention directly upon her, I was either a predator seeking to hurt her…or an herbivore terrified of her. And in either case, I simply wasn’t hitting the “buttons” that said “potential mate.”
In fact, the way I was being so open and expressive, I was coming across as either
1) An Apex predator, someone looking to hurt her, or
2) A leaf-eater. Someone she would chew up and spit out, without meaning to.
I had played my hand exactly wrong. A woman at her level of beauty and sensuality attracts men by the boat-load. She would be used to games, a slow unfoldment. You put down a card, I put down a card. Until, over time, the entire deck is known to both. I’d just dropped my “deck” face up on the table.
Her only safe bet was that I was lying. It simply wouldn’t have made sense for her to assume I was being straight-forward. It just isn’t that kind of world.
So…if this was healthy (and I was assuming it was) there was a question-answer going on between men and women. The question was, in essence: “who are you? Where are you going? If I partner with you, will you take me somewhere I want to go?”
I’m quite sure that those strong, confident males with those strong, confident women gave those ladies, in private, all the attention they could desire. But in public? They were a hunting pair, with their focus ON WHERE THEY WERE GOING, not each other.
(The expression that “love is two people looking at each other, but a relationship is two people looking in the same direction” ties right into this.)
Holy crap. I could feel the insight slipping away from me, even though once I saw it, even though I couldn’t NOT see it…at the moment. My mind didn’t want to hold onto it, and I knew what I needed was a practical experiment to see what I could do with the theory.
So I decided to see if I could attract, from cold, the most beautiful woman at the convention. I searched for the next hour, and finally saw an absolutely stunning woman. Two men were trying to chat her up. And I said “perfect opportunity.”
Now, it happened that the more “alpha-attractive” of the men had been at a presentation I’d given earlier, and I could engage with him. The three were arranged in a roughly triangular pattern. I ignored the “beta” guy, and positioned myself between the lady and the alpha, with my back to her. I talked to him about some ideas I’d been sharing earlier, then after about three minutes turned to the lady and said “You are VERY attractive,” and then turned my back again.
The effect…was startling. Let’s just say that for the rest of the convention, if I’d been Mick Jagger she couldn’t have been more intrigued. Or attracted. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was one of the best conventions I’ve ever attended. Ahem.
I’d stumbled onto something. Some combination of confidence, attention, and self-possession that seemed, in that case, irresistible. But I had to test it further. I had a date coming up with a lady I’d never been intimate with, and let’s just say we crossed that threshold with dizzying speed. Focus and balance.
Over the next weeks I refined that same perspective with dizzying success.
Warning: Because the following involves publicly known history, I have to be a bit more oblique. I had a conference coming up at Clark Atlanta University. Let’s just say that the same “Relaxed-Attention” technique worked three separate times: one on a waitress at a restaurant WHILE I was sitting with another woman, and once with a woman who was writing me erotic love poems within a half hour of meeting me.
I went to my room that night stunned. I’d never experienced anything like this in my entire life. It was clear that I’d touched an energetic position that was beyond technique, in which I had somehow, in some way I didn’t totally understand, become capable of attracting any woman I focused on. It was extremely disorienting, and the doors of hell were swinging open.
Why? Because I saw that I could be an absolute dog, if I wanted that. Insecurity about food can make people gorge when food is available. The same thing can be true about sex. There was still enough left-over insecurity from my earlier life that I could see myself becoming a rather unpleasant person. A “bounder” shall we say. Note an earlier comment about magic. It is possible to have the ability to manifest anything that you want, by the simple expedient of training yourself not to want anything you cannot manifest.
In that same way, clearly I’m not saying “I could attract anyone in the world.” No. I’m saying that somehow I had reached a point where the circle of “what can I attract?” and “what am I attracted to?” overlapped. So far as I can say, they overlapped totally. And that means that, PRACTICALLY, it was the same as being able to attract anyone.
All my life, I’d had the typical male interest in limitless ladies. Having anything I wanted, whenever I wanted. And faced with the reality, it repelled me. I didn’t want that.
Clearly, the desire had related to a sense of lack. “I can’t attract these attractive ladies. I want that. I am possessed by my desires, and they drive my fantasies and goals.”
But the instant it became clear that I HAD the capacity, that there was no lack at all, I was free to evolve to another level of The Game. And guess what? Under the lack-driven adolescent motivations…
I didn’t want games. Didn’t want “conquests.” Didn’t care about seduction or anything else.
What I wanted was a partner. Someone to share my life with. Someone I could be MYSELF with, with total honesty. Remember “Talking to the Tree”? The masks we wear are constructed from energy we could otherwise invest in moving our lives forward. Those masks are heavy, and costly. Drop them, and you can “unravel” the mask and invest your energy in your life.
I called my daughter, checking in with her as I did whenever I was away from home. And my first wife. Although our relationship was ruptured, I loved her, and still love her dearly to this day. We always had such a wonderful friendship, partnership. She is simply a terrific human being, but what we wanted from life was sufficiently different that we could no longer “walk in the same direction.” We’d always had such connection, and in talking to her on the phone, I realized it would be a betrayal of the wonderful years we’d spent together to “settle” for less than that same level of harmony and connectedness.
After I got off the phone, I felt like I was in a different place in my life, a place I’d never known. I knew who I was, and what I wanted—a perfect partner. A soul mate. And I knew, and I mean KNEW, that I could have it.
All it takes to get everything you want, is everything you’ve got.
I dropped to my knees in that room and started praying. “God,” I said. “I’ll do whatever you want. And if what you want is for me to be alone for the rest of my life, that’s what I’ll do. Because I will not settle, or do less than the best I can do, or be other than I really am, ever again, for the rest of my life. Period.” Tears streaming down my face, I picked myself up, and went to bed.
And as you can probably guess, the very next morning I met Tananarive.
More, very soon
Posted by Steven Barnes at 10:09 AM
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Finding the Soul Mate demands first a definition. We will try to do this in as basic a way as possible. Love is a sense of joy and connection that flows from within a person’s heart. Romance is two people looking at each other. But a relationship is two people walking in the same direction, close enough to hold hands along the path.
So a Soul Mate, by such a definition, would be someone with whom you feel more complete, more truly “you”, with whom you can see the path ahead most clearly, and who shares enough of your values, dreams, hopes, and interests that the bond can grow stronger with every step, every travail, every victory or failure.
A husband or wife can be, and has often been a business partnership, a community bond to sustain family. Love often blossoms here. But the “Soul Mate” is a higher level. For those on the spiritual path, the deeper one contacts the inner essence, the more we demand from ourselves…and our potential partners. At all times, it is better to be alone than with the wrong person.
1) Goal—Faith—Action—Gratitude (Wattle)
2) Potential—Action—Results—Belief (Robbins)
Of all the “patterns” attempting to put some kind of logic onto the chaos of life, I like the Chakras best. The beautiful thing about them is that if you can apply the concept of fundamental levels of growth to any arena of life.
Now, my teachers taught me a path that would allow me to move through the world while constantly improving my alignment with nature, and reality, removing illusion, and unfolding my spiritual nature. There was no conflict between worldly life and the ultimate goal of the Seeker. To be “in the world but not of the world.”
But that means that each goal needs to be both valid on its own terms, AND a path to our true essence. The beautiful thing about this approach is that even if you don’t believe in any reality but the one in front of you…you win. And even if you believe that the search for the divine, and the “true” essence of your soul is the only important mission in life…you win.
No conflict. "I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn't, than live my life as if there isn't and die to find out there is." - Albert Camus. That’s lovely, but I like the way I was given even more: a path where it literally doesn’t matter whether there is or is not. One that quiets both the Mystical and Logical sides of my mind.
There are seven basic levels of the Chakras, rising from root to flower: Survival, Sexuality, Power, Emotion, Communication, Intellect, and Spirit.
Each is said to have a male and female aspect. The balanced “awakening” of each of these is said to awaken the full adult human potential, or “kundalini” energy, which burns away illusion and leads to awakening. And sustained awakening leads to non-dualistic thought, which is the doorway to enlightenment. That’s another subject, and beyond language, really. Also not the subject of the discussion.
What can be said then is that Sri Chinmoy said that the Kundalini can be awakened “from the root up” or “from the heart out” but never ever from the “top down.” In other words, you can set out to become an adult: learn survival skills, satisfy your sexual and sensual desires with honor, learn to expand your power and influence into the world, and then with fear conquered, allow the heart to flower. This leads to right speech, clarity of vision and thought, and spiritual unfoldment.
Or, you can go directly to the heart, learn self-love, fill oneself with this wonderful energy and allow it to propagate out into the world. It leads to honest fair speech, the power of bonding community, clarity of thought, loving sexual relations, a rooting in our most basic needs and spiritual unfoldment.
What DOESN’T work is having some idea about what the world is, and then crafting filters to reinforce your beliefs and concepts without realistic feedback. Tyranny of the fears and hungers results from this.
Usually, we start from the root up. But frankly, with this subject, it is almost certainly best to begin from the heart out. There is no downside to this.
1) Love is what is sought here. If you begin with a sense of lack, you will be needy and desperate, and that is one of the most “un-attractive” things imaginable.
2) If you begin with love, you have a huge advantage. Nothing is more attractive than someone who feels healthfully attractive. The energy is intoxicating. Self-confidence is a fantastic aphrodesiac. It also repels the negative and insecure, saving you a ton of time sorting through them.
Beside: remember the Formula? GOAL X FAITH X ACTION X GRATITUDE = RESULTS? Well, if you BEGIN your search for a Soulmate with love, you have already achieved your basic goal (happiness) and now have only to evolve it. Faith is easy, because you know you are a worthy partner, and need only to find someone with eyes and heart to see. Action is automatic: you will follow the path of unfoldment and contribution in the process of sharing love and simply being happy. Along that path, you will meet your Soulmate. And Gratitude? Who wouldn’t be grateful to wake up every day filled with Love, with Faith that today will be better than yesterday, and knowing exactly what you need to do to move your life forward?
So you have the pieces in place. No downside. If there is a Soul Mate for you…great. If you will walk life alone…great. If there is a divine reality…great. If not…great. No matter what, you win, if you begin with love.
So we will begin there. The Ancient Child model says that we are moving between our earliest “self” and our most ancient “self”—from birth to death, at the least. Whatever your beliefs, apply them here.
The trick is to “see” an energetic line that moves from your earliest to oldest self. Your adult self is traveling along that line. True happiness is to operate in alignment with your childhood dreams AND the values you will hold on your deathbed. Think deeply on this.
If you can make contact with both of these selves, you have an endless font of energy and possibility (the child) as well as the rock-solid values of someone who has moved beyond ego, doubt, fear, greed, and confusion.
If your actions are in alignment with BOTH of these “selves” you are in great shape. But love…how to begin with love? To begin with our “end state” in mind?
1) Heartbeat Meditation. Simple, powerful. Simply sit and listen to your heartbeat. Take your pulse and “feel” it if necessary. The more quiet and still you become, the easier this is. The cascade of positive effects is gigantic.
2) 5MM. The “Five Minute Miracle” protocol says to take five sixty-second “breathing breaks” during the day, approximately every three hours. ANYONE has five minutes a minute at a time. If you think you don’t, you are lying to yourself. Period. Start with this reality, then deepen and slow those breaths, and you begin to break your negative stress patterns.
3) Ancient Child. If you have a hard time loving yourself, love the child within you. We are wired biologically, psychologically, and socially to love those little people. And this can often be the dynamite that sets you free. You can begin every day by laying quietly in bed, visualize a mirror above you, and see yourself in it. Visualize the light within the darkness in your body. Condense the light down until you have a solid ball of whatever size. Form that light into a living form, even if it is only an infant. An embryo. Even a single cell. Focus your love there.
This is a beginning process, and variations upon it are legion, and they work. Trust me: what is said here, by itself, is a lifetime of work if you dive deeply. We’re going to make this specific to the question of finding lasting love, but it applies to literally everything else as well.
That’s how I roll.
Posted by Steven Barnes at 5:14 AM