Saturday, February 2, 2013

Relationships, by Jennifer Howard

It’s hard to imagine anything that affects us and influences us more than relationships.


Whether it is with things, people, ourselves or with the universe. Every day we negotiate the world from these relationships. Relationships vary in their nature, from those with our loved ones—spouse/lover, families, friends, pets—to our homes, our cars, our careers, and, most importantly, to ourselves. We are all learning in one way or another to deal with these different forms of relationships.


Sometimes our "coping" with these different connections doesn’t go as smoothly as we would like. There is much to learn from our discomforts with these different kinds of ties. By using these discomforts as a barometer for what we need to look at within ourselves, we have a tool to help us move closer to our wholeness; wholeness—reaching our full potential—is our birthright.


For now, I would like to focus on our relationships with people. In our dealings with various people, we find unique opportunities to discover ourselves, to look at and release those issues that are sometimes difficult to reach alone. Every day we have opportunities to heal with people that we find challenging to be around. (Healing in this case can look like feeling at ease in a situation that could have been difficult in the past.) These opportunities include relationships with spouses, lovers, family, friends, bosses, and co-workers.


Most of us are faced daily with other people and, mostly, we all want to feel close to others. In our attempts to do this we have opportunities to grow, change, be more intimate and find more peace inside of ourselves. In my experience, when we say we don’t want this closeness, we are usually blocking some undefined feeling. Some of us block so strongly that we don’t know how to recognize when we feel a discomfort with others. This block can feel very natural to us, but it ultimately can keep us from our innate potential for love and closeness.


As a psychotherapist and energy healer working within a psycho-spiritual framework, I see many people from traditional and non-traditional religious backgrounds who think they can wish away, pray away or think away their difficulties in relationships and all will be fine. We are not taught in our schools, religious institutions and rarely in our homes, how to see, understand and process what is going on for us in our relationships. In our society, we are very seldom taught or encouraged to be introspective or to examine ourselves deeply. Some of us grew up in the kind of dysfunctional family that didn’t allow us the personal strength to tolerate, while quietly sinking into our selves in order to see and feel what was happening in the moment. Because of this, I see people ignoring a problem or vacillating among making it all the others people’s fault, making it their fault entirely or faulting circumstances. Once caught in these narrow vacillations, some of us don’t know how to open up to these difficulties, giving us the opportunity for internal growth. This internal growth creates external change and provides us a larger picture of reality.


How can we "heal" these issues? There are many wonderful self-help books that can get us to start thinking and questioning ourselves. I have noticed many people come to my office having read these books who have received considerable help. I’ve also seen that, for all the help we receive from these books, we come to a point where we need another person’s viewpoint to help show exactly where we are blocked. At this time, a skilled psychotherapist can be our ally in guiding us through our wounds toward wholeness, by processing the feelings, and finding the thread back to our childhood and coming to resolutions. This is almost impossible to do all by ourselves, for we are all are blind to our own blocks.


All that said, I would like to give you some things to think about. Even if you’ve heard it all before, a new look could be helpful. Allow yourself to come from "beginner’s mind." Take a moment to read the following slowly:

Think of a time recently when you felt upset by something someone said to you. This could be anybody in your life. Notice what your feeling is. Give it a name (i.e. mad, sad, glad, scared, hurt, shame). Really let yourself notice the feeling and be with it. (However, I’m not suggesting that you act this feeling out or do any destructive behavior from this feeling!)

Just breath into the feeling. Notice where this feeling is in your body. Does it have a shape or color? See how long you can tolerate the feeling. If it starts to overwhelm you, stop. Breath and feel your feet on the ground. Remind yourself that you are safe right now. When you feel calm, go back inside.

As you continue, notice if this is a familiar feeling from the past. Close you eyes and breath deeply. Think-feel-sense, moving backwards in your life, going as far back in the past as you possibly can. Let yourself drift back and see what visions, memories or past feelings come up for you. Just be patient. Just let whatever comes up be seen and felt. (All of us have had childhood experiences that were less than perfect. Even the most well-intentioned caregiver couldn’t be there to nurture every moment. Parents, teachers and leaders are also working within their own wound structures.) Can you remember something that happened in your childhood that had a similar feeling to this incident?

Do you have a felt sense of image of anything? How old are you? What are you wearing? What happens? Who is there? Take a moment … breathe … remember this is the past and you are here simply recalling it. Use these questions to take you wherever you need to go. You can write the answers down or just ponder them. When you feel complete, take a deep breath. Slowly, bring yourself fully back into the here and now. Feel your feet touching the floor. Take another deep breath and try to fill up your lungs completely. Let yourself look around the room.

During this week start to become aware when people upset you and notice what happens and what you feel. You can use this process to help you trace where the difficulties originated. After you trace these discomforts and connect them to your past, the next step is to experience your feelings, grieve the loss of whatever part of your child self that wasn’t seen, heard, loved, respected, etc.


Each with various levels and kinds of issues. Your parents could only teach you what they knew about life and love—and they had their own limits and misunderstandings about themselves and how the world works. Part of our human task is to grow into the most evolved people we can be. This includes resolving as many of our childhood issues as possible, leaving us less encumbered and better able to act, not from our wounding, but from our wholeness. This is who we really are. I see this as a part of our spiritual quest. As we "heal" our deeper wounding we become the people that we came into this life to be, fully human and allowing our true nature to be ever present.


Above all, be patient with yourself. For some it may take a while even to dare to feel anything. As you do let yourself connect and feel, layer after layer of emotion will come up for exploration, understanding, grieving and healing. Sometimes it may feel as though you are going through similar issues repeatedly. If you are really doing your deep work, you are never stuck going around in circles. Seen from outside, your life path is really an ascending spiral. You see, the reality is that you are looking ever deeper into your being.

Original post here:

The 12 Children of the Light: An Astrological Tale, by Martin Shulman

…And it was morning as God stood before his twelve children and into each of them planted the seed of human life. One by one each child stepped forward to receive their appointed gift.

” To you Aries I give my seed first that you might have the honor of planting it. That for every seed you plant one million more will multiply in your hand. You will not have time to see the seed grow for everything you plant creates more that must be planted. You will be the first to penetrate the soil of men’s minds with My Idea. But it is not your job to nourish the idea nor to question it. Your life is action and the only action I ascribe to you is to begin making men aware of my creation. For your good work I will give you the virtue of Self Esteem.”

Quietly Aries stepped back into place.

“To you Taurus I give the power to build the seed into substance. Your job is a great one requiring patience for you must finish all that has been started or the seeds will be wasted to the wind. You are not to question nor change your mind in the middle nor to depend on others for what I ask you to do. For this I give you the gift of Strength. Use it wisely.”

And Taurus stepped back in place.

“To you Gemini I give the questions without answers so that you may bring to all an understanding of what man sees around him. You will never know why men speak or listen, but in your quest for the answer you will find my gift of Knowledge.”

And Gemini stepped back in place.

“To you Cancer I ascribe the task of teaching men about emotion. My Idea is for you to cause them laughter and tears so that all they see and think develops fullness from inside. For this I give you the gift of Family, that your fullness may multiply.”

And Cancer stepped back in place.

“To you Leo I give the job of displaying My Creation in all its brilliance to the world. But you must be careful of pride and always remember that it is My creation, not yours. For if you forget this men will scorn you. There is much joy in the job I give to you if you but do it well. For this you are to have the gift of Honor.”

And Leo stepped back in place.

“To you Virgo I ask for an examination of all man has done with My Creation. You are to scrutinize his ways sharply and remind him of his errors so that through you My Creation may be perfected. For doing this I give you the gift of Purity of Thought.” And Virgo stepped back in place.

“To you Libra I give the mission of service, that man may be mindful of his duties to others. That he may learn cooperation as well as the ability to reflect the other side of his actions. I will put you everywhere there is discord, and for your efforts I will give you the gift of Love.”

And Libra stepped back in place.

“To you Scorpio I give a very difficult task. You will have the ability to know the minds of men, but I do not permit you to speak about what you learn. Many times you will be pained by what you see, and in your pain you will turn away from Me and forget that it is not I but the perversion of My Idea that is causing your pain. You will see so much of man that you will come to know him as animal and wrestle so much with his animal instincts in yourself that you will lose your way; but when you finally come back to Me, Scorpio, I have for you the supreme gift of Purpose.”

And Scorpio stepped back in place.

“Sagittarius, I ask you to make men laugh for ad mist their misunderstanding of My Idea they become bitter. Through laughter you are to give man hope, and through hope turn his eyes back to Me. You will touch many lives if but only for a moment, and you will know the restlessness in every life you touch. To you Sagittarius I give the gift of Infinite Abundance, that you may spread wide enough to reach into every corner of darkness and bring it to light.”

And Sagittarius stepped back in place.

“Of you Capricorn I ask the toil of your brow, that you might teach men to work. Your task is not an easy one for you will feel all of man’s labors on your shoulders; but for the yoke of your burdens I put the responsibility of man in your hands.”

And Capricorn stepped back in place.

“To you Aquarius I give the concept of future that man might see other possibilities. You will have the pain of loneliness for I do not allow you to personalize My Love. But for turning man’s eyes to new possibilities I give you the gift of Freedom, that in your liberty you may continue to serve mankind whenever he needs you.”

And Aquarius stepped back in place.

“To you Pisces I give the most difficult task of all. I ask you to collect all of man’s sorrow and return it to me. Your tears are to be ultimately My tears. The sorrow you will absorb is the effect of man’s misunderstanding My Idea, but you are to give him compassion that he may try again. For this the most difficult task of all I give the greatest gift of all. You will be the only one of My twelve children to understand Me. But this gift of understanding is for you, Pisces for when you try to spread it to man he will not listen.”

And Pisces stepped back in place.

 …Then God said “You each have a part of My Idea.

You must not mistake the part given to you for all of My Idea, nor may you desire to trade parts with each other.

For each of you is perfect, but you will not know that until all twelve of you are ONE. For then the whole of My Idea will be revealed to each of you.”

And the children left, each determined to do his job best that he might receive his gift. But none fully understand his task or his gift, and when they returned puzzled God said, “You each believe that other gifts are better. Therefore I will allow you to trade.” And for the moment each child was elated as he considered all the possibilities of his new mission.

But God smiled as he said “You will return to Me many times asking to be relieved of your mission, and each time I will grant you your wish. You will go through countless incarnations before you complete the original mission I have prescribed for you.

I give you countless time in which to do it, but only when it is done can you be with Me.”


Original post from Om Times: