Did you ever put your heart “out there” and get what feels like a big, empty, no-response from the universe? I mean, a big, invalidating, nothing. That’s happened to me in my dating life, in my creative efforts, in friendships at times, and in my career. When we take the risk of opening ourselves, to be seen, and to be vulnerable, we risk feeling hurt when the offerings of our open heart are not appreciated or returned. When this happens, our inner defense patterns and heart walls can get thicker. This process can start in childhood, when our inner-kid’s natural joy, exuberance, and loving nature got stomped on, perhaps by stressed-out, dysfunctional, or shut-down parents, bullying kids, or by the educational system itself. We learn to keep our guard up, to be like our peers, and to behave as parents, teachers, and other authority figures expect.
In dating, if we open up to another person, and they don’t match that emotional availability, there is a tendency for us to retreat to a place of isolation, resignation, or hopelessness. We take another person’s non-interest way too personally most of the time. Truth is, it always has nothing to do with us. But our vulnerable heart is like a friendly puppy – it just wants to love and be loved – and our ego-mind is like a soldier – it’s job is to preserve and protect us from harm. Thus, heart and mind become bogged down waging a battle of inner-conflict, with an unconscious strategy operating to prevent future pain.
Staying in our comfort zones usually brings little gain. To risk vulnerability and risk failing, is also to invite in huge success and greater happiness. To be blunt, you usually have to take risks to achieve greater fulfillment and success (whatever success means to you). Keeping our lives risk-free and playing it safe only serves to keep that status-quo predictability going….and for many of us self-growth warriors, the status quo is not where our spirit likes to hang out. The spirit is always trying to move forward – to greater expansion. For our true essence is a part of the universe, and as science has shown, we live in an ever-expanding universe. The way of the Universal Spirit is one of constant change and expansion. That expansive drive and ever-changing nature lives within our heart.
As you’ve been reading here, my friend and colleague Sue De Santo and I are giving a course called “Dating, Sexuality & Empowerment.” See all the details HERE. It’s designed to help women break through those heart-protecting patterns and step more fully into their authentic, radiant, self-empowerment. When we break through the mental control that’s trying to preserve our safety with old, self-protecting patterns, our inner light comes pouring through.
Having inner freedom endows us with an attractive force of love and joy that beams out to the world. We begin to flow with that ever-expanding universe within and without us….life brings to our door exactly what we need to keep circulating that joy and love of our spirit. We attract the right people (including life partners), opportunities, and conditions to better serve the world and circulate our gifts, talents, and unique contributions.
To promote this course, Sue and I made a video to put on facebook and youtube. That’s what practitioners like us do to market our services. Just part of the job. But don’t think that it is ever easy for people like us to wear our hearts on our sleeves when we write blogs, when we promote our courses, sessions, and all the offerings we do. Most of us who do this have had zero training in marketing – though we’ve had lots of training in the services we offer, but still this type of work seems to require continual self-promotion to spread the word. That self-promotion is risky. Speaking for myself, my particular shamanic and holistic coaching offerings are not mainstream, to say the least. The older and wiser I get about the value of my contributions, however, the more I’m willing to be authentic, vulnerable, and open about what I do — in a world that is generally hugely resistant to change, complementary healing techniques, and vulnerability.
So Sue and I made this video. Please check it out HERE and see the goofy hearts in it. At first we accidentally put a hearts filter on the video, chuckled about it, and then kept it on, with an intent to attract attention and lighten up this topic we’re teaching. To my surprise, it’s been received with kind of a glaringly silent, non-response on facebook.
I’m used to putting up simple photos of trees and getting a bunch of “likes” or “loves”…but I’m getting very little response with this video. The silence is deafening, as they say. Perhaps some people are offended, don’t get it, or whatever. But to me, it’s pretty darn goofy and a bit awkward to watch, and I thought I’d at least get a laughing emoji out of someone. However, I’m not taking it personally. In fact, I’m laughing at myself each time I view it and see my own awkwardness and those goofy hearts. It’s my coyote medicine, for sure. Coyote brings me the gift of finding humor in my own silly antics.
Actually, coyote medicine aside, this course touches a powerful topic with very timely resonance to the awakening of the Divine Feminine now. I’m absolutely in awe of the fantastic rise of women’s sense of spiritual empowerment now and I’ve always been eager to contribute to that awakening. From women suffragettes to feminists, to the path of the spiritual warriors among us, including the “me too’s”, this is deeply exciting and hopeful phenomenon to observe.
One thing I’ve learned along the way is to carry a certain “lightness of being” as a valued tool on the spiritual path. If you can find a little loving humor about this mysterious drama of being human, it’s a very healthy thing. And we know the power of levity at Halloween time, when we dress up to laugh at scary ghosts (the omnipresent reality of death), threatening pirates, ominous witches, and the super-heroes who fight the evils of crime, etc. Or when we try to dress up like a 1940’s movie star, like I did in 2009. I loved having fun with a bit of that Hollywood glam, probably because I needed to let that glam shadow side of me out to shine!
If you can laugh at yourself, and at the self-protective patterns devised by the ego, then you are not identified with that ego. You are not your mind! You are not that hurt, scared child who wasn’t seen, wasn’t appreciated, or somehow needed to be “controlled” by stressed out authority figures. To find humor in what is awful, sad, and downright life-invalidating, is to be free of those darker inner forces that keep us feeling frustrated, stuck, and less than miraculous. To be free inwardly is to experience the true bliss that is our essence, no matter how others treat us. No matter whether they like our videos or not!
I’ll let you in on a little secret: teachers always teach what they need to learn for themselves…and they usually get their lessons especially when they are preparing for a course. Being a good teacher, healer, coach, or therapist is to be a constant student of life and love. A good teacher is a model for that which they teach. I hope I can do that — I want to inspire you to live ever-expandingly beyond the status quo of your comfort zones in order to be a thriving, joyful human being. We are not our fears, our resignation, our need to please, or our self-protection. We are love and Light, eternally.