OPENHAND: “The True Nature Of The Spirit Warrior… 22 Ways To Tell If You Are A Spirit Warrior”

What the world needs most of all right now, is for the new breed of ‘Spirit Warriors’ to step up and step out. It needs people to dive into center stream; to take a risk, that we can truly change the worldwide reality by having the courage to change our own.

It is said that madness is doing the same thing day in day out and yet expecting different results. Well, there’s plenty of madness out there right now! So where do you stand?

Are you one of the New Spirit Warriors? Here’s how to tell…

22 Ways To Tell If You Are A Spirit Warrior:

1. A Spirit Warrior recognizes that they, and only they, create their reality. In other words, they fearlessly embrace every person, situation and circumstance that they have drawn, as their own manifestation. And they’re prepared to deal with that.

2. A Spirit Warrior realizes that ‘fearlessness’ is not to be without fear; rather it is to be continually confronting and breaking through fear in the moment it arises.

3. A Spirit Warrior does not blame or project at others. Not even the crazy situation we now witness in the world. She accepts the outer mirror created by group karma, and works tirelessly to unravel it (understanding karma).

4. A Spirit Warrior doesn’t complain or constantly try to fix the ‘pain’. They recognize that the pain is the place where the light enters, and that transcendence of the physical is the path to immortality. 

5. A Spirit Warrior is not afraid to let go of a creation or manifestation once it has served its purpose. Which could mean moving on from a de-energising relationship, job or location. Even when the path forwards is uncertain, they dive all in.

6. A Spirit Warrior knows the difference between surrender and giving up. Surrender is aligning with the truth that they can feel unfolding, whereas giving up is being wishy washy, and too easily accepting of ‘anything goes’.

7. A Spirit Warrior knows the difference between judgment and discernment. It’s vitally important to call reality the way it is, in order to navigate the path between the obstacles in life. But to judge another or a particular circumstance as always being the same, is to ‘condemn’ it, and then form a fixed relationship to it.

8. A Spirit Warrior is careful with the word ‘never’, so as not to condemn a particular situation to a particular fate. He is aware that ‘always’ may change.

9. A Spirit Warrior is not afraid to go against the herd, even at the risk of getting trampled by it.

10. A Spirit Warrior is not afraid to suffer, or to die, for a cause greater than themselves.

11. A Spirit Warrior knows that death is merely the passage into a new life. And therefore fearlessly lives the life they now have.

12. A Spirit Warrior is profoundly honest with themselves.

13. A Spirit Warrior is not afraid of the truth.

14. A Spirit Warrior fearlessly expresses themselves, no matter what the outcome. Yes, diplomacy and tact are important to them too, but that doesn’t mean compromising your own soul. It’s all about ‘the dance’, finding the most accessible and appropriate way to express your truth.

15. A Spirit Warrior is selfless, yet not afraid to express the self. The self is far from being some bland, colorless or wishy washy existence. It is vibrant, alive, full of animation, charisma, color and expression.

16. A Spirit Warrior is forgiving of himself and others. She recognizes that all life’s circumstances are created for learning purposes: that there is no such thing as evil intent. All create according to the reality model that has been built up inside. Forgiveness helps unravel the distortions that people hold onto.

17. A Spirit Warrior understands the difference between non-efforting and commitment to a cause. Yes, it is essential to let go of struggle and attachment. But nevertheless, it is going to take commitment, patience and perseverance to bring light through the darkness.

18. A Spirit Warrior knows when to put something down, and when to pick something up.

19. A Spirit Warrior lives day to day, moment by moment from their intuition. They’re constantly tuning within and asking “what would you have me do now?” and “how would you have me do it?”

20. A Spirit Warrior is constantly witnessing the objectivity of synchronicity, allowing it to reveal what’s really going on in the moment, not accepting the filter the ego might be placing on it.

21. A Spirit Warrior allows others to make their own mistakes and walk their own path. He may lend support, but doesn’t disempower by taking ownership of their issue.

22. A Spirit Warrior truly understands the nature of love: overcoming that which separates oneself from other sentient life, and instead compassionately embracing that which unites all.

The Spirit Warriors are here!

There’s a new era of Spirit Warriors emerging. These spiritual warriors are not afraid to feel their fear. They have the courage to be vulnerable through the deepest challenges and to be profoundly honest with themselves. They are committed with every fibre of their being to unravel the layers that keep them bound to the lower paradigm, no matter what it takes! They come from all walks of life, of all ages, joining hands, finding a common thread of beingness and are hiding NO MORE!

The question is… are you one of them?

 

~via SoulTravelRules.com

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LISA RENEE (Time Shift Blog): “Spiritual Consumerism”

“Too many people are believing that spirituality, expanding consciousness, and becoming enlightened can be achieved through the pathway of consumer spirituality and self-proclaimed experts that call themselves masters. They can buy enlightenment, have a glamourous spiritual life hanging out on the galactic planes, rather than commit to the deeper inner work of clearing the shadow, by observing the unruly ego in action and correcting abusive patterns of behavior.”

~Lisa Renee

 

When we become more aware of how poverty consciousness is being engineered into the materialistic minds that power up and feed into the machine of the global consumerism economy, we can see one of the main goals is to keep individuals feeling a constant pressure and concern over gaining material possessions and assessing their access to resources that equate into personal status, security or power. This same social conditioning is aimed directly at the spiritual ascension communities or those that are heavily marketing themselves on social media towards the consciousness industry, to manipulate the lower instinctual drives and get people to buy or endorse many forms of spiritual consumerism and label it as “being conscious”. By specifically targeting and spreading poverty consciousness fears designed to generate insecurity, doubt and desperation in the masses, they fuel the deification of materialistic values throughout the world, and this runs an infection throughout many spiritually based modalities. Consumerism has become the main world religion, which capitalizes on the insecurity and survival fears in people in order to continually sell and market assembly lines of products, and it is wise to remember that spiritual products are also used in the same way.

On the spiritual path, if we are being honest with ourselves, it is important to observe the exact same marketing schemes used to make ascension, or higher consciousness a consumer item that can be easily purchased. Marketing campaigns are being used with all the consumer key notes to attract a massive spiritual following, and are being introduced and peddled to the public through social media, and YouTube. People that generally are not equipped with strong discernment and a cultivated b.s. meter, have the tendency to give away their personal power to an outside influence, such as a guru type, group consciousness or a spiritual consumerism movement marketing themselves as a spiritual authority. Too many people are believing that spirituality, expanding consciousness, and becoming enlightened can be achieved through the pathway of consumer spirituality and self-proclaimed experts that call themselves masters. They can buy enlightenment, have a glamourous spiritual life hanging out on the galactic planes, rather than commit to the deeper inner work of clearing the shadow, by observing the unruly ego in action and correcting abusive patterns of behavior.

Materialistic values powering up consumer cultures glorify and breed narcissistic personalities that have little to no empathy for other people. People that are materialistic and externally motivated tend to equate their value, worth and esteem on their accumulated wealth, status and possessions. Yet, the same pitfall is common under the label of spirituality or higher consciousness, a breed of spiritual consumerism that is marketed as enlightenment to gain a marketed level of faux spiritual status. A belief that enlightenment can be achieved through instant gratification and by skimming on the surface of life, while ignoring the deeper inner emotional work that leads to personal accountability and greater integrity.

People that are materialistic tend to have highly ambitious, competitive, arrogant, and aggressive behaviors and are deeply concerned with issues of personal adequacy and exerting their power in the world. These unethical qualities can show up quite aggressively in that which can be labeled as a spiritual community, or in the industry that has sprouted up around topics promoting higher consciousness development. Thus, when a spiritual community or organization operates with this blaring blind spot, they also will compromise ethical and humane behavior in order to accumulate the resources and possessions they want, in order to gain more power for their cause. Maybe they justify that power grab as required for serving the greater good, they feel they have a greater mission that is more important than others around them. Maybe they have deemed themselves as the leader of a mass movement for needed consciousness shifting, and like many others that have gone before them, are leaving the same trail of emotional damage and destruction in their wake. A spiritual leader is a servant of the people, and holding compassion and empathy for others is the primary milestone of being dedicated to the spiritual ascension path. Otherwise, it can quickly digress into a consciousness trap with astral delusions of grandeur that cause a root downfall from repeated power abuses. How many times have we seen the same storyline, different era, different people working in the spiritual communities, yet the same abusive narrative is repeated over and over, and goes unnoticed and unrecognized?

Over many years, the group dynamics and world of forces present in many spiritual groups are not recognizing power abuses when they are occurring, which are caused from the same unchecked destructive egoic behaviors. These are the important lessons from the past that remain unlearned. What we do not learn, we keep repeating. If we study spiritual gurus and spiritual communities in the recent years, one will begin to see a very disturbing pattern of gross abuses of power. Where an absolute power was given and fully corrupted, this set the group mission up to fail. The group field of the community begins to drown in the same massive archetypal dark forces that prefer to use spiritual betrayal and victim-victimizer manipulation tactics to continue the divide and conquer agenda within that group.

That is the big set up on the earth, a person that highly desires external validation of self-worth and special-ness, will have to play the mind games to get what the broken ego and instinctual drive wants. This means they must make the deal or Faustian pact to give up personal sovereignty and many times prostitute themselves, because of who is really behind the power abuses and controlling the spiritual structure. The first thing these dark forces do is find that spiritually ambitious person’s pressure point and work to compromise personal integrity and derail spiritual actualization, in order to exploit addictions and weaknesses through psychological and emotional blackmail. An emotionally unstable person is a weak-minded person that is easily possessed, therefore is easily manipulated by their uncontrollable impulses until they become so fully corrupt, their physical body is used to satisfy the whims of dark forces that are controlling their instinctual impulses. Instinctual impulses are not enlightened behaviors, they are the marker of a spiritually undeveloped person. Thus, spiritual consumerism can be highly addictive to the instinctual body, as it is marketed as entertainment and an astral bliss pill. This is the main reason why so many people fall prey to their instinctual reactions and personal indulgences transferred over to spiritual consumerism, which leads to a rapid spiritual decline, which exacerbates even more unethical behaviors and power abuses.

For many spirituality is viewed like a consumer option, like an extension or app with a free activation and trial period. Maybe this week we’ll try the mindfulness app, or the shaman Ayahuasca app, or the hot yoga app. Something that we can add to our operating system which offers to bring change, to help lift our base instincts, make us feel more fit, more kind or more peaceful. This usually comes with subconscious limitations, placing an internal stop on too much change, that would make us uncomfortable or disrupt the way that we see ourselves or relate to the world around us. This description of spiritual consumerism may seem callus, but there is a very surface feel-good quality associated with the marketing and monetizing of spirituality and self-help, that operates almost like a bait and switch. The bait and switch have dishonesty at its core, in the marketing used to fool our mind into thinking we are buying a product that will make us spiritually strong and more evolved than we actually are.

Attending week long retreats to look at our anger, our grief, or our thighs are treated as the false equivalent of an awakening or enduring a deep emotional healing process. Retreats that scratch the surface and allow us to feel something, allow us to check off a box that later gets turned into, I’m beyond all that shadow because I’ve dealt with that already. Thus, the setup is to ignore red flags and emotional weakness in everyday life, because the fear of actually facing deeper issues and having to make changes in one’s lifestyle is too overwhelming. Spiritual development is about getting the negative ego out of the driver’s seat and being open and willing to feel the changes that need to actually happen while being honest with ourselves. If we are really being honest, we may know we need to change, but we will be faced with a test of self-responsibility. In the consumer spiritual market, we can transfer that responsibility onto something else, and pretend that we are actually doing something spiritual because we paid for a product or listened to a guru type that promised awakening.

Yet there is an importance of value-based exchanges when we are in service in spiritual community. We must spread that value and service to others, in order to keep circulating the money-energy to exchange with others that also contribute to the overall wellbeing of the community in their own ways. When we value human beings and what they contribute, the value is embedded in the work, service or product that is exchanged. The money received should represent the fair value exchange of that work. Money received represents the value of your work, time, energy, talents and contribution, when you spend that money you are letting go of the value created and honoring the value another person has created.

It is interesting to see people who would describe themselves as long term spiritual practitioners, get completely knocked off center by basic everyday challenges, or have a meltdown about political elections. It is also interesting to see those who have positioned themselves as spiritual teachers, abuse power so frequently by sleeping with students or throwing tantrums where they are verbally abusive. These are some of the issues with consumer spirituality, where we invest time and money in a product, technique, tradition or artifice by making it a part of our routine and possibly our social fabric. Someone can have years of “practice” like this hanging out on the surface of spirituality, but then get knocked over like a house of cards by relatively small events of adversity. People can flip in-between these states of lower ego and higher frequency (momentarily) and how long they hold sustained higher frequency states is the hallmark of spiritual maturity and mastery over the personal energies. When people lose their center, freak out or lash out, you are looking at an ego tantrum, and when they do it is the sign of inner violence, fragmentation and the need for integrative spiritual healing. Inner violence generated by the three layers of ego and mind control programming that remains unhealed will result in control-oriented tantrums. This is an important piece to remember as to why Krystic beings never deviate their focus to engage in combative strategies that are violent, and choose to stay peaceful and holding a pure loving heart within even the most difficult interactions.

Spiritual development takes authentic human character development and deciding what kind of person you really want to be in the world. When we are honest and responsible about our personal commitment to improve ourselves, it is this commitment to do what is necessary, that takes us beyond our comfort zones and actually makes us stronger and more balanced people. This is the time to take an active role in healing ourselves, healing our lives in so to become healthy and balanced people. When we can identify emotionally destructive behavior, and are willing to take steps to heal our thoughts and emotions, we empower ourselves in taking steps that lead us to spiritual freedom. May love, peace and spiritual strength bless you.

(Source: Consumer Spirituality discussion, Paige and Lisa)

 

~via EnergeticSynthesis.com – Time Shift Blog – September 4, 2018

LISA RENEE (Time Shift Blog): “Personal Value System”

In the face of the current challenges we are navigating in this bifurcating world, it is increasingly important now to examine our personal beliefs and value system. To get to the deeper clarity on what reveals itself to be the guideline to your truest nature. In our context this would be consciously participating with spiritually beneficial behaviors that help to define an improved value system and guidelines, for building improved character and personal integrity. Our personal values provide an internal reference point for what is discerned as beneficial, important, useful, beautiful, productive behaviors and actions, which we commit to for the purpose of developing ourselves and guiding our life. Our personal values are what motivate and generate our behavior and actions, it is what influences the choices we make in everyday life. Understanding ourselves enough to have clarity on what we give value to in our personal value system, is critical for building personal integrity and discerning what actions we take that are aligned with those values or not.

Every person has to choose the kind of person they want to be in this world, whether you decide to wear the mask others provided for you, or act independently to discover what you really value and how to think and feel for yourself.

Consciously making the choice in determining what is important to you by choosing a personal value system, puts focus upon these qualities so that you can align the choices you make to reflect what’s important to you. A person that has clarity on their personal values that guide their life decisions will make much better decisions for themselves. When we make many decisions over a period of time, if we remain clear and authentic to align with our personal values, all of those combined decisions will be coherent and form a network of purposeful and aligned choices that ultimately serve our best interest. With this level of self-awareness and clarity, looking back over time we will see that we were always being guided to be authentic, by aligning our personal values with our actions, which form into the deep inspiration that reflects the kind of person that we really want to be.

When a person is unaware of their actions and how to connect them into their personal values they are unable to develop a strong internal compass when navigating the world. This impairs decision making as when our compass is not being inner directed we make poor choices. Without self-awareness derived from choosing our own personal values, we cannot make informed decisions that enable strong discernment. When we act out of alignment with our deepest values and core self, we fall out of integrity with ourselves and lose our directional compass. We cannot see what direction we are moving in and become increasingly lost and confused, losing discernment in which path we are supposed to follow.

The crisis we are facing in ourselves is the crisis of consciousness, it is a lack of self-awareness of what deeply motivates our behaviors. When we can observe what we give consent to, this reflects what we give value to.

The lack of self-awareness combined with the utter lack of consciousness, results in an inability to directly experience our true essential nature as spiritual beings. Now is the time to dedicate effort to the self-inquiry process, in order to clearly define personal truth in regard to your value system, ethics and the standard of behavior, that which you are committed to follow to be authentic. As you gain deeper clarity on your own personal truth then it is critical to take conscious steps to behave in ways that are consistent and coherent with your personal value system. This is how you build personal integrity, which gives you more strength to remain strong, stable and clear, especially when you are faced with decisions that you must make while enduring adversity or challenges.

To maintain core stability when exposed to the chaotic forces of bi-wave and reversal energies that are producing potent collisions in the surface field, we must know how to be true to ourselves and to maintain personal integrity when dealing with the challenges that may come our way. Our personal integrity, ethics and virtues are powerful forces, which stabilize us and keep us firmly grounded within our spiritual center. This is what keeps us strong, protected and transparent when facing intense oppositional forces.

The Breaking Point that Shatters Integrity

The planetary body is shifting into the higher frequency band that is located in the next Harmonic Universe. It is very important to understand that planet earth and her inhabitants are moving through a very turbulent time of collective consciousness transformation that directly impacts the global brain and individual mental body. We are undergoing another stage of core magnetic field shifting that radically elevates the magnetic tone resonance that emanates from the inner core of the planet.

The impact to the geomagnetic field generates massive surfacing of black forces that produces intense energetic pressure upon people’s bodies, especially their mental body. It is becoming clear that more of the masses are not faring well physically, psychologically or emotionally from the massive impact of magnetic shifts, which are shifting the global brain resonance. This particular theme of mental body fracturing, incoherent thoughts and emotional instability, as well as possible possession, are disturbing and many of us will need to gather strength from the fact that this is happening in greater numbers on the planet. People that are heavily dependent on their intellectual capacity, extremely mentally rigid, severely traumatized or fractured, are having a really difficult time maintaining personal stability and coherence during this time. Additionally, many fractured and traumatized people are prescribed a cocktail of psychoactive pharmaceutical drugs that further alter brain function, leading to unknown consequences.

When a person remains very internally conflicted about themselves, lost and confused in life, holding memories of extreme trauma in their body that remain unhealed, they are internally disconnected from their core self. This type of person lives within perpetual cognitive dissonance and this generates a lot of stress and pressure on that person’s body and energies, especially the mental and physical body. Every person has a pressure point or breaking point when there is too much pressure being exerted upon the body and nervous system, where extreme deviations in brain chemistry and behavior can occur. When people are internally conflicted and fractured they reach a point where they will explode, as a bodily mechanism for releasing cumulative energetic pressure that these emotional and mental conflicts create. This breaking point is occurring in some of the fragile minds of fractured or traumatized people around us, and is what we are witnessing in larger numbers. Mind control in all the various forms it is being used in the media to assault the public with fear based propaganda, is extremely destructive to the human body. Artificial intelligence mind control technologies are especially damaging to the functions of the brain and neurological system, impairing coherent thinking and producing extremist ideologies. This is one component of what is currently manufacturing a greater number of lunatics in society.

A lunatic is an informal term describing a person whose behaviors and actions are considered mentally ill, dangerous, unstable and unpredictable. This type of unstable person, that sometimes exhibits insanely destructive behavior, is something that we should be able to discern in the environment and do our best to remain neutral around, yet set the necessary boundaries while in their midst. This is the saddening result of the extreme methods of mind control and mixtures of chemical substances that have been used in this reality to enslave human consciousness.

Roots of Dishonesty that Split Reality

Being dishonest and intentionally lying to others produces a split reality. This is where you are personally aware of the one reality that is the truth and the other reality that is the lie, and they co-exist simultaneously. The roots of dishonesty that split apart energies produce a negative effect on the personal timeline, it is the energetic content of what you have created when you made the choice to be dishonest. This negative content becomes a black energy that is generated within your mind and body, and can impact other layers by producing fracturing, which is the disintegration in the perception of external reality. When there is a buildup of accumulated content from repeated lying, the consequence over time is memory loss, losing the ability to tell what events really did happen, was it the lie or the truth? People lose memory of events that happened in time and cannot keep their facts straight, because they have told too many lies to too many people. This is a pathological liar that eventually over time, can’t remember what they have said to whom. The more lies that have been told the more split realities they generate, which drains their energy, leading to inner disconnection and a complete loss of integrity. People that have this profile are commonly the most voracious emotional and psychic vampires.

Most people may perceive themselves as mostly positive, wanting to do the right thing in life, and yet they are perpetually dishonest and lie quite frequently. Generally the need to assert control over other people or to gain advantage in circumstances leads to levels of perpetuating forms of manipulation, which produce false impressions. The need to manipulate others leads to varying degrees of spinning deceptions that misinform others through giving false impressions that create split realities.

Lying is the seed of satanic forces, and thus when a person intentionally lies no matter how small the lie is, it opens a back door of vulnerability to dark attachment to the situation. Being dishonest and lying destroys personal integrity and eventually destroys your lightbody. It is imperative that this severe character defect be corrected in order to become free of dark force manipulation, and begin the path to build personal integrity as well as accumulate inner light. People that are pathological liars or perpetual liars in many cases have possession problems; it is a very serious consequence to your consciousness when you choose to intentionally lie.

If there are dark spirit attachments or dark attacks that are aggressive and extreme, and you are unable to rid yourself of these recurring attacks, it is critical to truly evaluate how honest you are being with yourself and others.

The root of dishonesty, deception and lying in all of its forms is the seed of Satanism, which attracts dark entities.

Therefore it is critical to start building integrity through being as truthful and honest as possible in all interactions, examining your motivations in order to commit to speak and act honestly. Make the necessary adjustments in your language to more accurately reflect that you are telling the truth that you know in that moment. Start building relationships with people that want the truth from you and that you can be honest and authentic with.

(Source: ES News – Personal Integrity)

 

~via EnergeticSynthesis.com – Time Shift Blog – August 28, 2018

ALETHEIA LUNA: “Being Spiritual Doesn’t Mean Sh*t If You Can’t Hold Space for Others”

“If we ever hope to grow at a deep level and feel authentically connected to others, we need to learn how to hold space for both ourselves and others.”

~Aletheia Luna

 

So, here’s the thing. We might do Instagram-perfect yoga. We might meditate for at least an hour a day. We might pray. Say mantras. Do mudras. Send love to the world. We might have a hoard of crystals and other spiritual trinkets. We might do elaborate daily rituals, eat a cruelty-free whole food diet, and fast every month. We might burn incense, smile all day, say affirmations, and say “love and light” or “namaste” a lot. We might call ourselves spiritual seekers, healers, empaths, intuitives, old souls, or yogis.

But in my humble opinion, all of this doesn’t mean sh*t if we can’t show compassion and be there for others.

The Hypocrisy of Saccharine Spirituality

Firstly, I want to start by saying that I am by no means innocent. I have judged others before, turned a blind eye, shown unkindness, and committed spiritual bypassing — all while under the self-designated label of being “spiritual.”

I think to some extent, we all have. That is why I feel that the topic of this article is so important to cover — hypocrisy is something that we’re all capable of. The tendency is latent within each and every one of us. And I think we all need to understand and work to be aware of that.

But there are some things in life that tend to trigger, bring out, and exacerbate this hypocrisy. In this case, I am referring to a certain popular variety of spirituality. I call it Saccharine Spirituality — and it is a type of spirituality that is defined by a sickly sweet emphasis on “good vibes only” and “love and light” without much depth or real-life rawness.

Saccharine spirituality is the type of spirituality out there that involves worshiping the “feel-good” and “high vibe,” but actively avoids, denies, or shuns anything negative and uncomfortable. Saccharine spirituality is all about feeling empowered, developing self-love, and celebrating forms of spirituality that look good on the surface — but at the same time, it produces a phobia of anything too real, too emotionally challenging, too blood-and-dirt, too “unawakened” or “low vibe.”

And it doesn’t take much to see that saccharine spirituality is alive and thriving more than ever. We can literally see it everywhere: on social media, in real life, and in all spiritual and religious spheres.

I first witnessed saccharine spirituality growing up in the Christian church I was raised in. I remember how the church abandoned, passively shunned, and ignored one of the women who had been attending the church for 20+ years. This woman’s husband had been prosecuted for child molestation and was going to prison. I was the only one who spoke to this gentle soul, despite the fact that we were all supposed to be “brothers and sisters in Christ.”

I now witness this type of abandonment and hypocrisy in the spiritual realm.

I hear and witness self-described sensitive “empaths” show an extraordinary lack of empathy and self-entitled judgment towards others.

I watch “old souls” tear each other apart like animals.

I see spiritual seekers ostracize and react harshly to any person who thinks critically.

I look on as “healers” rush to fix, ignore, predict, or diagnose the suffering of others.

I watch as “psychics/mystics/witches/yogis” (*insert spiritual label here*) love talking and posting about themselves, but ignore meeting others on a deep level.

I’m sorry. I don’t care if you’re a talented healer or psychic. I’m not interested in whether you’re a self-identified empath or spiritual seeker. I don’t want to hear about how much mystical power or intuitive prowess you have. Being spiritual doesn’t mean sh*t if you can’t hold space for people.

What Does Holding Space Mean?

Holding space is very simple. It means being completely present with another person. Holding space means giving another the opportunity to be completely heard, seen, and understood. I’m not talking about trying to fix, give advice to, or pathologize the other person — when I say holding space, I mean it in the most simple way possible: just being 100% there for the person, without trying to change or force advice onto them.

To witness another person and be completely receptive to what they have to share is scarcely practiced. How often have you felt deeply heard, seen, and understood by another? How often has someone sat down with you and genuinely asked: “Hey, share with me how you feel” and held space for all your joy or sorrow? If you’re like most people: pretty rarely.

It’s no wonder that most of us are so emotionally starved. It’s no wonder that most of us are so desperate to be seen.

In a world full of stress, incessant business, emotional isolation, and self-absorption, holding space for someone is the most precious gift you can give. That is why I say that being spiritual doesn’t mean shit without this one important practice. Who cares if you possess extrasensory gifts or can meditate for six hours straight? Who cares if you have deep self-knowledge or can enter alternate planes of consciousness at will?

If you can’t bring those skills into your life in a down-to-earth way, they mean nothing.

If you can’t practically apply them in the blood-and-grit of daily life, they mean nothing.

If you can’t connect or show kindness to others, they mean nothing.

If you can’t sit down with a person and ask “Hi. How are you really?” and actually listen wholeheartedly, don’t even bother.

In the end, if your brand of spirituality encourages self-absorption and a superficial feel-good denial of other’s pain, it’s a waste of time.

“Your pain, your sorrow, your doubts, your longings, your fearful thoughts: they are not mistakes, and they are not asking to be ‘healed.’ They are asking to be held.” ~Jeff Foster

 

How to Hold Space for People

Holding space is about giving space.

Too often we jump to the part where we want to fix, instruct, or heal the person — or even worse, hog the conversation, talk about ourselves, and “one-up” the other person’s pain. But the truth is, most people (including ourselves) are just looking for a person who will sit with them in all of their joy or misery, and BE.

Mindful presence is the core of what holding space means. In other words, holding space means that we simply sit with a person and give them our undivided attention in the spirit of kindness.

“Undivided attention!?” you may think, “I don’t have the energy to do that!” Don’t worry. I realize that holding space for others isn’t always possible. You’re not alone. If you’re anything like me, your energy reserves are very limited. So it’s unrealistic to expect ourselves to always hold space for others, especially when we are tired, stressed, or sick. In which case, don’t be a martyr. Take care of yourself. Have a break. Step away. Have a nap. Top up your energy reservoir.

But if you’re still struggling to hold space for others, there might be a deeper underlying issue that you need to work through.

For example, do you often feel yourself talking over or interrupting others? Do most of your conversations center around your issues, thoughts, and feelings? Do you feel uncomfortable when others get too emotional? Do you find deep topics of conversation unsettling? These are all signs that you aren’t holding space for yourself. In such a case… how can you hold space for others when you aren’t holding space for yourself?

If we ever hope to grow at a deep level and feel authentically connected to others, we need to learn how to hold space for both ourselves and others.

Here’s how to do that.

Holding space for ourselves and others:

1. Mindfully tune into yourself

How can you become receptive and open to others without doing the same for yourself? Tuning into your thoughts and feelings is a practice called mindfulness. It requires you to become curious about what is going on inside of you. And to do that, you’ll need to slow down and breathe a little. Ask yourself, “How am I feeling at the moment?” “What type of thoughts/stories are running through my head?” Also be attentive to your body and notice whatever sensation, ache, or pain you feel. Simply note how you feel and move on with your day. If you need help doing this, I highly recommend that you use an app I use called ‘Calm’ — it will motivate you to develop mindfulness as a skill.

2. Be transparent with yourself

Express how you feel in an authentic way. Allow yourself to be seen by yourself. To do this, find a notebook or journal that you can dedicate to your thoughts and feelings. Journaling every day about what is worrying or concerning you will create more clarity in your life. Not only that but when you make this therapeutic tool a habit, you will feel more emotionally balanced and capable of truly holding space for others.

3. Release pent-up emotions

Don’t allow your emotions to build up inside of you. Find healthy outlets to express them such as through artwork, intense exercise, catharsis, or simply having a good cry. When we are motivated to “help” others out of the need to relieve our own internal discomfort, we’re not being kind. We’re not being empathetic. We’re just not. Instead, we are using others as a way to feel better about ourselves. Finding a safe form of catharsis will allow you to be calm and centered enough to show compassionate attentiveness to yourself and others.

4. Learn to listen more than talk

Master the art of listening. If you are a person who is used to chattering away, experiment with being quiet and allowing others to talk. How do you feel when you don’t talk so much? You might feel a sense of relief, or alternatively, you might feel unseen or ignored. Journal about these feelings. If you feel uncomfortable with allowing others to speak more than you, ask yourself “why?” In what ways are you depending on others to be seen and understood, rather than yourself? Practicing active listening involves making eye contact, letting others speak uninterrupted, indicating that you understand what the person is saying, and listening without judgment.

5. Let your mind be like water

Listen to other people without forming responses in your mind. How often has someone shared something interesting, and you miss the rest of what they say because you’re too busy constructing a clever/insightful reply? It’s tempting to fill the spaces in conversations with thoughts. After all, our minds think around 800 words per minute, compared to 125-150 words we speak per minute. But experiment with listening wholeheartedly to what a person says. If thoughts come into your mind, gently refocus your mind on what the person is saying. Then, after the person has stopped talking, give yourself a few seconds to gather thoughts, then respond. I promise that your response will be much more engaging and interesting to the other person because you have gathered all the nuances and details (instead of prematurely forming a response).

6. Let compassion guide you

The purpose of holding space for another isn’t to be a saint. It isn’t to be a martyr. It is to be entertained or to get karmic brownie points. To hold space for a person is an act of compassion, an expression of love for another human being. It not only makes you feel good, but it also makes the other person feel seen, heard, and understood. What could be more precious than that?

7. Practice with a friend or family member

An easy way to practice holding space is to schedule time every week with someone close to you, and to exchange mindful presence with each other. Notice how it feels to be completely received by another person. Imagine giving that to others on a regular basis!

8. Know your limits and take self-responsibility

Are you tired, cranky, overwhelmed, or otherwise incapable of holding space for another? Relax. It’s normal and 100% fine to feel that way. But make sure that you take responsibility for how you feel.

Final Thoughts

Holding space for others doesn’t mean that you have to be a pushover, doormat, or unnecessarily submissive person. Sometimes you will need to hold space for yourself more than others. Sometimes you will enter long periods of life where you are incapable of being present with others. That is normal. Not all of us can be Eckhart Tolle 24/7. So do the compassionate thing and draw a line. Learn to say a gentle no to others and be OK with it. If someone is becoming overly clingy or needy, be assertive, draw clear boundaries, and step away in a firm but caring manner. It is OK to be selective about who you hold space for, particularly if you dislike the person and struggle to stay present with them. (Hey, we’re all human!)

You might also be short on time, but still wish to hold space for another. In this case, explain to the other that you only have a couple of minutes to spare, or set another date and time to catch up.

Remember, holding space needs to come out of a place of compassion and the desire to help others be seen, heard, and understood. If you are doing it out of obligation, pressure, or duty, take a step back. Change course. Do something else.

The most important ingredient for holding space for another is the ability to hold space for yourself. By genuinely taking the time to wholeheartedly listen to your inner thoughts and feelings, you will be better equipped to show the same to others.

Spirituality is not just about learning to love ourselves. It is also about learning to extend that love and care to others in a down-to-earth way. One of the best and easiest ways to do that is by simply listening to others. You don’t need to always give them pep talks. You don’t need to always rush to prescribe a solution to their problems. Often, what people need the most is just a person who is receptive enough to simply listen without judgment.

To be completely seen, heard, and understood in the presence of another living soul is one of the most healing forces in the world. I hope you take the time to share this gift with others.

 

~via LonerWolf.com

CONSCIOUS REMINDER: “10 ‘Spiritual’ Things People Do That Are Total Bullsh*t”

“My vibration is so high, man. My chakras are so aligned. F***ckkkk, I’m a spiritual beast, bro.”

 

No one ever told me spirituality could be a self-sabotaging ego trap.

I spent about three years reading about spiritual teachings and incorporating them into my life before ever learning that spirituality has a dark side.

Naturally, I was taken aback. I felt kind of betrayed.

How could something that seemed so pure and good be harmful?

The answer has to do with something that psychologists call spiritual bypassing. In the early 1980’s, psychologist John Welwood coined the term “spiritual bypassing” to refer to the use of spiritual practices and beliefs to avoid confronting uncomfortable feelings, unresolved wounds, and fundamental emotional and psychological needs.

According to integral psychotherapist Robert Augustus Masters, spiritual bypassing causes us to withdraw from ourselves and others, to hide behind a kind of spiritual veil of metaphysical beliefs and practices. He says it “not only distances us from our pain and difficult personal issues, but also from our own
 authentic spirituality, stranding us in a metaphysical limbo, a zone of
 exaggerated gentleness, niceness, and superficiality.”

Painful Realizations: My Own Spiritual Bypassing

In Robert August Masters’ groundbreaking book, Spiritual Bypassing: When Spirituality Disconnects Us From What Really Matters, he writes:

“Aspects of spiritual bypassing include exaggerated
 detachment, emotional numbing and repression, overemphasis on the positive, 
anger-phobia, blind or overly tolerant compassion, weak or too porous 
boundaries, lopsided development (cognitive intelligence often being far ahead
 of emotional and moral intelligence), debilitating judgment about one’s
 negativity or shadow side, devaluation of the personal relative to the
 spiritual, and delusions of having arrived at a higher level of being.”

 

I encountered the concept of spiritual bypassing for the first time in Masters’ work. Although I was reluctant to admit it, I immediately knew on some level that this concept applied to me.

As I continued to reflect on spiritual bypassing, I noticed more and more shadow aspects of spirituality, and I realized that I had unknowingly been enacting many of them at one time or another.

Though painful, these were some of the most important realizations I’ve ever had. They’ve helped me to stop using a warped form of “spirituality” as an ego boost and to begin taking greater responsibility for addressing my psychological needs and the issues that arise in my life.

10 “Spiritual” Things People Do That Sabotage Their Growth

The best way to understand spiritual bypassing is through examples, so now, it’s time for some tough love.

I’m going to go into detail to describe ten specific shadow tendencies of spiritual people.

Caution: Some of these may hit pretty close to home.

Remember: You need not feel ashamed to admit that some of the items on this list apply to you. I suspect some of them apply to everyone who has ever taken an interest in spirituality. Most of them applied to me at one point or another, and some I’m still working through.

The goal here is not to judge, but to increase self-awareness in order to progress toward a more honest, empowering, useful spirituality. Let’s get into it.

1. Participate in “spiritual” activities to make themselves feel superior to other people.

This is probably one of the most pervasive shadow aspects of spirituality, and it takes many forms. Some people feel superior because they read Alan Watts. Or ride their bike to work. Or refrain from watching TV. Or eat a vegetarian diet. Or use crystals. Or visit temples. Or practice yoga or meditation. Or take psychedelics.

Note that I’m not saying anything about the value of partaking of these activities. I love Alan Watts and think meditation is quite beneficial. What I’m saying is that it’s alarmingly easy to allow your spiritual ideas and practices to become an ego trap — to believe that you’re so much better and more enlightened than all those other “sheeple” because you’re doing all of these rad #woke things. Ultimately, this sort of attitude toward “spirituality” is no better than believing you’re better than everyone else because you’re a Democrat or a Lakers fan. This dysfunction actually inhibits genuine spirituality by causing us to focus on one-upping other people, rather than cultivating a sense of connection to the cosmos and feeling poetic wonder at the sublime grandeur of existence.

2. Use “spirituality” as a justification for failing to take responsibility for their actions.

The essence of the point is that it’s very easy to twist certain spiritual mantras or ideas into justifications for being irresponsible or unreliable.

“It is what it is.” or “The universe is already perfect.” or “Everything happens for a reason.” can all function as excellent justifications for never doing much of anything and never really examining one’s behavior. I’m not commenting on the truth or un-truth of the above statements. I’m just saying that if you’re consistently hours late for appointments, if you frequently neglect your close personal relationships, and your roommates can’t count on you to pay rent, you might want to stop telling yourself, “Whatever man, reality is an illusion anyway.” and start becoming someone others can depend on.

In a similar vein, it’s surprisingly easy to deceive yourself into thinking that anytime someone has a problem with your behavior, it’s because that person “isn’t honoring my truth” or “just needs to grow spiritually.” It’s much more difficult to acknowledge the moments in which we act brashly, selfishly, or thoughtlessly and inflict suffering upon someone else. It’s much more difficult to admit that we too are far from perfect, and that growth and learning are never-ending processes.

3. Adopt new hobbies, interests, and beliefs simply because they’re the latest “spiritual” fad.

Human beings want to fit in somewhere. We all have a deep need to feel that we belong. And we form groups of all kinds to satiate this need. Spirituality is one interest area around which people form all sorts of groups. This is potentially a great thing, but it also has a shadow aspect.

For many people, “spirituality” is little more than a hip thing that a lot of people seem to care about. These people get the idea that they want to jump on the spiritual bandwagon, so they start practicing yoga, wearing New Age fashion items, going to music festivals, drinking ayahuasca, etc., and they tell themselves that this makes them “spiritual.” These “spiritual scenesters” dilute the significance of genuine spiritual inquiry, contemplation, experience, and realization. They also, in my experience, tend to be the “spiritual” people who are using “spirituality” as a reason to feel superior to others.

4. Judge others for expressing anger or other strong emotions, even when it’s necessary to do so.

This is one of the first patterns I noticed in myself after being introduced to spiritual bypassing. I realized that when people became upset or angry with me, my response was to say things like, “Getting angry doesn’t help anything.” or “I feel we would have fewer problems if we could remain calm.” Internally, I would silently judge the other person, thinking, “If only they were more enlightened, we could avoid this drama.” In many situations, this was my way of avoiding deep issues that needed to be addressed.

When you become interested in spirituality, one of the first quotes you’re likely to encounter is: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of harming another; you are the one who ends up getting burned.”

This quote is commonly mis-attributed to the Buddha, though it’s actually a paraphrase of a statement made by Buddhaghosa in the 5th century. The subtle point of the quote is that we shouldn’t hold on to anger; we should feel it, express it if necessary, then let it go. However, it’s very easy for the lay person to assume that this means that anger, in any form, is a sign that one is unwise, un-spiritual. This is untrue. Anger is a natural human emotion and a perfectly justifiable response to many situations. Often, anger is an indicator that there are serious issues that need to be countenanced within oneself or one’s relationships.

Ironically, many spiritual people repress all “non-spiritual” emotions and artificially heighten “spiritual” emotions/traits such as compassion, kindness, and equanimity. This leads to inauthenticity. One struggles to constantly present oneself as calm, gentle, nice, and in a state of perpetual peace, and ultimately ends up looking and feeling like a fraud.

5. Use “spirituality” as a justification for excessive drug use.

A lot of people, myself included, believe that psychedelic drugs can occasion mystical experiences and enhance (secular) spirituality. That’s all fine and good, but some people take this realization too far, using it as a way to rationalize self-destructive patterns of drug use and to blind themselves to the dark sides of various substances.

In the most extreme cases, “spiritual” people end up “performing cannabis ceremonies” during all their waking hours; taking psychedelics too frequently or in unsuitable contexts; and completely denying that these substances have any negative effects. Now, HighExistence tends to be pro-psychedelics, but let me give it to you straight: Psychedelics, including cannabis, have a definite dark side. If you’re irresponsible or simply unlucky, stronger psychedelics such as LSD or psilocybin mushrooms can occasion traumatic experiences with long-term negative ramifications. And cannabis, a mild psychedelic, is a seductively habit-forming drug that will subtly cloud your mind and erode your motivation if you indulge too much, too frequently. Respect the substances, and utilize them wisely.

6. Overemphasize “positivity” in order to avoid looking at the problems in their lives and in the world.

“Just be positive!” is often employed as a deflection mechanism by “spiritual” people who would rather not do the difficult work of confronting their own internal issues, wounding, and baggage, let alone the problems of the world. The “positivity” movement has exploded in Western culture in recent years. The Internet is overflowing with seemingly endless memes and articles repeating the same inane messages: “Think positive thoughts!” “Just be positive!” “Don’t focus on the negative!”

Though there is surely value in cultivating gratitude for the many marvels of the human experience, this movement seems to overlook something critical: The darker aspects of life do not disappear, simply because they are ignored. In fact, many problems in our individual lives and on the global scale seem only to worsen or complexify when they are ignored. In the same way that it would seem absurd to offer a heroine addict the phrase “Just think positive!” as a solution to their problem, it is absurd to believe that positive thinking offers any kind of solution to major global issues such as climate change, poverty, industrial farming, and existential risks.

This is not to say that we ought to take the world’s problems onto our shoulders and feel shitty about them all the time. It’s healthy to recognize and feel optimistic about the fact that in many important ways, the world is getting better. However, we need to balance that optimism with a willingness to confront real issues in our personal lives, our communities, our world.

7. Repress unpleasant emotions that don’t fit their “spiritual” self-narrative.

“No way, I can’t possibly be depressed or lonely or scared or anxious. I love life too much, and I’m too [Zen / wise / enlightened] to allow that to happen anyway.”

I ran into this issue when I moved to South Korea to be an English teacher for a year. I thought I had cultivated an unflappable chill, a Lao Tzu-esque ability to just “go with the flow” and float, bobber-like, atop the rising and falling waves of destiny.

Then I experienced culture shock, crushing loneliness, and acute homesickness, and I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t some kind of Zen master after all. Or rather, I had to realize that the ability to “go with the flow” and accept whatever is happening is perennially valuable, but that sometimes that will mean accepting that you feel like a steaming pile of shit.

It’s easy to delude oneself into believing that spirituality is going to make life feel like endlessly floating upon a cloud, but in practice, this is not the case. Life is still full of suffering, and in order to really grow and learn from our experience, we need to be honest with ourselves about what we’re feeling and let ourselves feel it fully. In my case, my desire to always be “Zen,” to “go with the flow,” and to project an image of inner peace to myself and others prevented me from seeing the truth of various situations/experiences and taking responsibility for dealing with them.

8. Feel deep aversion and self-loathing when confronted with their shadow side.

I noticed this in myself pretty quickly after learning about spiritual bypassing. I saw that my narcissistic image of myself as a wise person who had attained “higher” realizations was causing a ridiculous amount of cognitive dissonance. I judged myself scathingly and felt colossal, crushing guilt over any less-than-virtuous decisions.

When you become interested in spirituality, it’s easy to idolize people like the Buddha or the Dalai Lama, and to believe that these people are Perfect Humans who always act with complete awareness and compassion. In actuality, this is almost certainly not the case. Even if it’s true that some humans reach a level of realization at which they uphold “right action” in all circumstances, we need to acknowledge that such a thing is reserved for the very few. I personally suspect that such a thing does not exist.

In actuality, we’re all fallible humans, and we’re all going to make mistakes. The deck is stacked against us. It’s virtually impossible to live even a few weeks of adult human life without committing a few blunders, if only minor ones. Over the course of years, there will be major mistakes. It happens to all of us, and it’s okay. Forgive yourself. All you can do is learn from your errors and strive to do better in the future.

Paradoxically, the seemingly spiritual lesson of self-forgiveness can be especially difficult to internalize for people interested in spirituality. Spiritual teachings can leave one with stratospherically high ideals that result in immense guilt and self-loathing when one fails to live up to them. This is a major reason why it’s so common for spiritual people to deflect responsibility — because being honest about their shortcomings would be too painful. Ironically, we must be honest with ourselves about our mistakes in order to learn from them and grow into more self-aware, compassionate versions of ourselves. Just remember: You’re only human. It’s okay to make mistakes. Really, it’s okay. But admit to yourself when you’ve made a mistake and learn from it.

9. Find themselves in bad situations due to excessive tolerance and a refusal to distinguish between people.

This is me, 100%. For a long time, I’ve taken very seriously the idea that every human being deserves compassion and kindness. I don’t disagree with that idea nowadays, but I’ve realized that there are numerous situations in which other considerations should temporarily override my desire to treat every other human compassionately.

In multiple foreign countries, I’ve found myself in potentially life-threatening situations because I was overly trusting of people I did not know or overly kind to people who I should have recognized as shady characters. Luckily, I’ve never gotten hurt in these situations, but I have been robbed and swindled several times. In every case, I wanted to believe that the people I was interacting with were “good” people at heart and would treat me with kindness if I did so for them. That line of thinking was terribly naive, and I’m still trying to re-condition myself to understand that in certain contexts, being warm is not the answer.

The sad fact is that although you might be insulated from it, the struggle for survival is still very real for vast numbers of people on this planet. Many people have grown up in poverty, surrounded by crime, and have learned that the only way to survive is by preying upon weakness. The majority of people worldwide seem not to have this mentality, but if you find yourself in a city or country in which poverty is fairly prevalent, you should take certain common-sense precautions — basic things, like:

1. Don’t walk anywhere alone after dark.

2. Try to stay away from vacant areas.

3. Don’t stop to engage with people who try to sell you things.

4. Make distinctions between people; let yourself know that it’s okay to trust your brain’s highly evolved pattern-matching mechanism when it tells you that someone looks like they’re on drugs, deranged, desperate, or dangerous.

10. Want so badly for various “spiritual” practices to be correct that they disregard science entirely.

There’s a pretty heavily anti-scientific streak in a lot of the spiritual community, and I think this is a shame. It seems to me that many spiritual people become hostile toward science because certain beliefs and practices they find valuable are considered unproven or pseudoscientific within the scientific community. If a belief or practice is unproven or pseudoscientific, this only means that we have not yet been able to confirm its validity through repeatable experimentation in a lab setting. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t true or valuable.

The scientific method is one of the best tools we have for understanding the mechanics of the observable universe; it allowed us to discover the profound truth of biological evolution, observe the far reaches of space, extend our lifespans by decades, and walk on the moon, among other things; to discard it entirely is to lose one of our most powerful lenses for understanding reality.

As Carl Sagan memorably put it:

“Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature, or of acts of exemplary selfless courage such as those of Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive does a disservice to both.”

We’re All Learning…

I think that in order for the various interconnected global spiritual movements to be maximally impactful and useful, they need to address their shadow aspects.

In this essay, I have attempted to illuminate some of the blind spots that seem to be prevalent in the spiritual community. As I’ve said, most of the items I discussed applied to me at one point or another. It’s decidedly easy to fall into some of the traps of spirituality and to harbor various limiting beliefs and behaviors while feeling like one has reached a “higher” level of being.

The lesson here is that growth and learning are unending processes. If you think you have nothing left to learn, you’re probably sabotaging yourself in a number of ways. It can be profoundly difficult to admit that for a long time one has been incorrect or misguided, but the alternative is much worse. The alternative is a kind of spiritual and intellectual death — a state of perpetual stagnation in which one endlessly deludes oneself into thinking that one has all the answers, that one has reached one’s Final Form. In a rapidly changing world, continual learning is of paramount importance.

At its best, spirituality is a force that can help humanity realize our common identity as sentient beings, gain ecological awareness, feel connected to our cosmos, and address the most pressing issues of our time with compassion, ingenuity, equanimity, and what Einstein called a “holy curiosity.”

At its best, spirituality is a force which propels us toward a more harmonious, cooperative, sustainable future. Here’s to refining our collective spirituality and co-creating a more beautiful world.

 

 

~via ConsciousReminder.com