,Creating a better world that allows our human potential to thrive has to involve making the world kinder for children.
In order to make the world a kinder place for children we must first become aware of what harms them.
In order to become aware of what harms them, we must first become aware of how we adults have been manipulated and harmed.
One of the biggest problems globally is the epidemic of child abuse. More specifically massive pedophilia and sex trafficking kept in place by those in the highest positions of power. Politics and Religious organizations are two major things keeping this in place.
While millions are embroiled in and distracted by sensationalism around Trump, the real harm continues by those presenting their "nice" faces and telling people what they want to hear and playing out the noble good guy/woman facade. The Obamas, the Clintons, The Pope, Joe Biden (I have to mention him since he is running) - just a few examples of people knowingly involved in enslavement and sex trafficking of children.
Many many children are being traumatized everyday. They are used like objects to be bartered and passed around and god knows what else.
There are many people involved in this. With varying levels of willingness.
I am not trying to bring anyone down or pull you into negativity. If you are confused at any time by why I'm saying all this, re-read my first 3 statements.
This may be new or not new to you. But the information is out there and evident for anyone willing to see it. If you want proof you can do your own research and decide for yourself. There is no shortage of people speaking out about this.
Now, here is something important I want to say regarding all this:
It's not about blame or retaliation. It's about awareness. The harm and abuse and those that are most benefiting from it, yes this needs to be exposed before anything significant can change. There does need to be protection put in place so abusers cannot continue to abuse and consequences for those perpetuating this.
But if it's done from a place of wanting to punish out of retaliation, it will just continue the unconsciousness. As I see it "evil" is just an extreme form of unconsciousness. Many say that there are beings of evil that cannot heal or rehabilitate. I disagree. It's not that it's impossible to heal or change, it's just that some are just so invested in violence and deep in hatred and darkness that they do not want to change. For each being it has to be a choice to heal and change. No one can heal or rehabilitate another if they do not want it. I think the mistake that people can make is assuming everyone wants the same things. You have to see people for where they are and not what you want them to be.
Another thing to consider, above I said there is various willingness from those who participate in the abuse. What I mean by that is that some people deep down would like to leave that world of abuse but feel they cannot. They perceive themselves to be trapped there. They have grown up being severely abused and threatened and may have been forced or pushed into abusing others. They are convinced they are bad people not realizing that it was setup that way to keep them tethered and unable to break free.
This is how the cycle continues.
So forgiveness and compassion with eyes open has to be part of all this. Also, we each have dark and light within us. Those that have not seen, faced, and healed enough of their own inner trauma and darkness will either not see it when it's right in front of them or they will just want violence against those involved.
There is a lot of light on this planet. And it is growing.
I've said this before, but I think its worth mentioning again and again..
The thing is, as the light grows, it exposes the darkness. This happens within us personally and is playing out on the world stage.
Many are saying no to any conspiracies, they don't want to hear it. And it's your right to choose what information and views you want to be open to. This can be needed even in order to help yourself adjust to the changes you may already be going through.
But I've often heard the phrase "conspiracy theorist" in a derogatory way. It can even have a lot of animosity and aggression in how it's used. People can conveniently dismiss a perspective or someone as "crazy" so as not to acknowledge discomfort or have to self-reflect.
Personally, these days, I have been taken in less information about what's happening in the world. Right now, I'm exploring myself and going deeper within my own experience and intuition.
If I need to know something I trust my intuition will alert me.
But I'm personally grateful for all the out-of-the-box content I've come across over the years. I also like seeing all the perspectives and rebels in my newsfeed. Especially glad for those that stick their necks out to shake up the status quo.
Over the years some of the information I've come across has shocked me, some of it disturbed me, some of it I had no idea what to do with or no way to prove or disprove.
By noticing my triggers and reactions to outside information, it's helped me do several things:
- See through my conditionings and naiveness
- Loosen dependency and trust in systems outside of myself
- Acknowledge, face, and transcend a lot of fear of dark things
- Discern between believing (or not believing) and knowing
- Trust myself and navigate from a deeper more intelligent sense in me than my intellect (the contrasting perspectives, often very extreme differences in views, were so confusing, it forced me to let go of my mind).
So we can choose to take in information or not. We can agree or not.
But I don't like any call for censorship of ideas. I don't care how noble the agenda seems. In fact, if there's ever a time to allow for everyone to have their perspectives and to explore possibilities, I think it is now.
True knowing is more likely to arise within an atmosphere of freedom and exploration.
Confusion and chaos often precede profound innovation.
Recently I was struggling with my mind and was experiencing exhaustion. I could barely focus on anything longer than a few minutes and the exhaustion felt deep and existential.
My thoughts were around how it's all so meaningless. I'm too tired to care. What's the point? It's all so meaningless. So much suffering (mine and others). So many lifetimes of seeking, of trying and what has it done? Nothing. I have nothing to show for any of it.
I'm used to going through darkness and rough patches and ups and downs (it's natural for all of us sincere seekers at different phases. The light gets lighter but the dark also gets darker).
But this time I thought I'd share since we are going through what I see as an unprecedented shift and time on this planet. In case it is of help to anyone.
But more than the difficulties, I want to also share the awareness that came to me this morning after my relentless mind finally surrendered it's need to know and be in control.
Out of the peaceful void I was resting in, this understanding came to me:
There is no controlling what is happening on this planet.
The dark will do what it does. The light will do what it does.
Our true being is beyond all of it. Humans are no longer in control over this planet. This is a good thing, existence is doing what needs to be done.
What is happening is not just beyond our control, it's also beyond our human comprehension. We can know bits and pieces. That's all. That's enough.
Certainty is an illusion, we never had it but are now much more aware of it. This is bringing up a lot of pain and suffering. But the suffering has always been there. We were more able to avoid this through having our identity and sense of self-centered importance be constantly affirmed through our busyness and attachments. This is all being exposed as false.
Nothing and no one outside of our mind is the real cause of our pain.
We can care for our well-being and for our loved ones. But we cannot choose who will stay and who will go. It's the choice of each Soul.
We are losing our identity as humans and joining the rest of the universe. The only way out is to transform the layers of separateness created by our ego and re-join the universe.
We are so much more than human, we are cosmic beings. ❤️
In my personal experience in how my self-awareness has grown in the 45 years I've been alive, and in my observation of people...
Most people who are afraid don't know they are afraid.
There's so many ways we can hide fear and hide from fear.
This was about 5 or so years ago, one morning during meditation I got an urging from within to be in my center. That this is the most important thing to do (at that time).
I stayed very focused within on that peaceful unmoving center within me as I got ready for work.
(It took me years of inner work to discover this center, before that I didn't know what it meant to 'be centered', just a vague notion that it was to be peaceful and unaffected, to be zen-like. Now I know it is that, but doesn't always look like that on the surface. We can be in movement and expression and have that peaceful experience within)
As I drove that morning to work, someone in the stream of traffic stopped abruptly causing about 5 cars behind it to slam into each other.
I was one of those cars, and my car hit the guy's car in front of me, but not too hard. The women behind me however, she slammed hard into me totaling my car.
No one was hurt very seriously and I was unscathed, physically and emotionally. Being so centered and calm, I was not bothered very much by any of it.
As all the drivers pulled over to wait for the police and deal with the situation, the woman who had slammed into me was visibly shaken. She also hurt her knee.
She shared with me that she has an anxiety disorder and suffers from panic attacks. It looked to me like she may be about to experience a panic attack. So I suggested that she breathe slowly and deeply. This helped her and she was good with that suggestion. Then I mentioned that the breathing will help her feel the fear and that it's okay to let the body shake and tremble (Besides being a facilitator, I have a lot of personal experience with fear, the kind that makes you shake).
She all of a sudden reacted and got upset at my use of the word 'fear', saying to me "What! I'm not afraid!".
She wasn't consciously trying to lie to me. She was unconscious of the fact that anxiety and panic is fear.
Her anger at me was because I was bringing her closer to that fear. Coming closer to it and feeling it though would have allowed it to move through her which could prevent a full-blown panic attack.
There's many ways we hide fear. Psychological phrases and diagnosis is one way people do that. It keeps people in their mind and out of their body. This happens especially in times of abrupt or intense change.
Explore the ways you hide fear and hide from fear. This happens largely unconsciously because it's so socially acceptable and even expected in many ways to live like this. When you observe this in yourself you will also observe it in the world around you as well.
We can't change something without becoming aware of it first.
When I was younger I would get pumped at this time of year with renewed hope for change (a brand new me!). I would make New Year’s resolutions with gusto, and then several weeks later would give up. Whatever change I planned was harder than I realized. I would feel deflated as I lost that hope to become the person I thought I should be in order to be happy.
Then the next time came around and I would do the same thing thinking “This time I really mean it. I’m going to try harder.”
Nothing really changed.
The recurring loss of hope I later realized was necessary for me. I was using hope and I was using force. That is all that I knew at the time.
Because underneath whatever goals I set, were variations of not being good enough. The hope of changing myself was a welcomed distraction from my pain at the time. But the change never stuck because the things I did was how I coped with the pain.
The reason why I wasn’t happy was not REALLY because I smoked cigarettes, or went to bed too late, nor was it not being good at managing money, or being productive enough, or not having a boyfriend, or not being outgoing enough.
When I realized this, I stopped making resolutions and goals. I instead dealt with my deeper issues and took life as it came.
Then many changes happened from the healing and awakening process. The changes have been positive yet unpredictable. They manifested out of deep inner shifts, not from enforcing a preplanned outcome. The happiness discovered within became the initial spark, rather than something I hoped for in the future. Despite not chasing a certain outcome, action and expression though have been important.
After years in this period of ‘no-goals’ it came time again to make resolutions. Or more accurately, to focus.
I see this as a focus on what matters most. As an expression of a genuine expansion radiating up from the being. It is not a limiting of or force upon ourselves. It does not contain judgments and mental ideals. It has a different quality and comes from knowing it’s time to claim the direction necessary to expand and come out of our old shell. Focus also effortlessly exposes and eliminates the trivial.
I've found this a great way to start a New Year. This initial choice in focus marks an exciting beginning, yet in my experience, the choice must be made again and again. And again and again. As many times as needed to shift from one way of living to another.
At first, I felt uncomfortable and 'icky' about promoting and selling. I then got over that part and went into all of it enthusiastically and without bias. In the past few years, I have tried on many things and strategies while learning how to run this small solo business.
Money. It seemed weird and random, a game of numbers that I didn’t know how to play. Now I feel the energetics of it. Sometimes I must charge a certain amount, sometimes I feel right in making something more accessible or free.
The idea that I'm charging "what I'm worth" doesn’t actually feel true.
The value of what I offer needed to be seen by one person. Me. This has been huge for me.
Having an income is necessary and profit is nice, but it is not a reflection of my worth.
I don’t want to analyze who my target audience is so I can figure how out how to cater to them. In being myself, I just see who shows up. They tell me who they are.
I can run my business and still be spontaneous! Such a huge relief for me. And it's actually the best 'strategy' so I can allow what wants to come through me.
At one point I saw that my ego was attached to success and so so happy to have transformed that! Would have been exhausting to constantly chase a carrot on a stick. And sad to be disconnected from my inner being like that.
I don’t have a goal-setting practice anymore. If an inspiration or vision comes from within than I set goals and plan as necessary to bring it to reality. But the vision has to come first and I don’t like forcing it.
If I need constant motivating from outside myself, something is off.
I used to think I was a procrastinator. I've realized that this isn’t true. Sometimes the timing is just not right or what I planned to do or what I think I should do is actually not needed. Existence will push me to act when it's important.
When it is avoidance, then it is an opportunity to transform an inner block.
"You should think bigger and shoot higher" is an urging that is not always what it seems. Sometimes it is from someone's insecurity and not-enoughness. I feel compassion for all that but I'm not taking it on anymore. Genuine inner contentment is a treasure and it does not prevent creativity or expansion.
Comparison and competition demotivate me. big time.
Staying superficially small out of fear though, that is different and very worth looking at! I’ve seen my tendency to do this and although it’s common and understandable, I’ve also realized that it is selfish to withhold myself.
Taking time away to be inward and to rest is not withholding myself.
The only success I'm now interested in is what happens when I let go. My capacity to surrender into the unknown is slowly growing! Because of this, I’m being “successful” already.
Coming to this space of letting go in my business and in my life, I feel a “thank you so much!” to me from my own heart.
It was a Halloween event for charity. The idea was that everyone dressed up as zombies and walked (dragging and shuffling our feet under our undead bodies) along the sidewalk in an upscale shopping area on a Saturday afternoon.
I loved transforming myself into this bloody scary creature and then seeing the expressions of shock as we passed the windows of restaurants where well-dressed people were having their nice quiet brunch.
As my then-boyfriend and I shuffled and jerked down the sidewalk we would groan and moan and say things like “braaiiiiins”. We entertained and freaked-out shoppers passing us by.
At one point I raised my arms ready to look menacing for the next group of people walking by us. Unfortunately, I did not see him until it was too late. A little boy (maybe around 6 years old). He was in front of this group of people with his parents right behind him.
The look of raw terror on his face as he stared up at my bloody scabbed-up face. His little body momentarily frozen and locked.
My heart dropped and I felt instant regret. He was traumatized by it.
His parents didn’t seem to notice what happened to him and they laughed with amusement as they urged him forward to continue walking.
As I continued with the group my enthusiasm dampened as the image of the boy's terrified face stayed with me.
When the event was over we went to a nearby coffee shop to clean up and sit down. It was crowded so we were glad to find seats. As we sat down I looked to my left and seated right there next to us was that same little boy and his parents.
I had removed most of my make-up by then and so thankfully lost my frightfulness. I introduced myself to the little boy and explained what we were doing that day. I apologized for scaring him earlier. Hearing my apology, he suddenly sat up tall in his chair and puffed out his chest and insisted that no, he had not been afraid. My boyfriend then chimed in, thinking he was helping, commended the boy on his “bravery”.
I had to accept that there was nothing I could do to fix what happened. Especially since the boy was ashamed of the fear he experienced.
This was probably the first moment that led to many others that resulted in my now lack of interest in Halloween.
But I used to look forward to Halloween. It was my favorite holiday by far. The scary, the magical, the weird. I loved it all. I could be whatever I wanted to be. I loved hosting or going to parties and seeing all the other costumes. It was a chance to act out things that I normally wouldn’t allow myself to express. A way to let go of my inhibitions and have fun.
But that changed, not solely because of that little boy, but as an outcome of healing (and also due to my creativity being focused on other things).
I stopped getting joy out of shocking and scaring people. I realized I was feeding off the power in getting a reaction out of people. My psyche craved that power to balance out the helplessness that was my usual experience.
After realizing these things I spent a lot of time acting out my darkness but doing it consciously and privately. Not depending on a special occasion for permission to do it.
I started to take notice of and face the inner energies and emotions as they came up in my daily life.
Aggression. Violence. Hate. Jealousy. Hurt. Resentment. Blame. Guilt. Shame. Helplessness.
All the gritty dark or painful things you can imagine. I held nothing back and explored them all in myself.
This was new for me because I was so used to controlling myself. There were times I was afraid of my destructiveness and thought “What if I open this darkness up and it takes over and I hurt somebody with it?”
But on the contrary, by letting go of control and working with these energies intentionally, the hostility inside me dissolved.
I had been, for a long time, trying to fit myself into a place in society and I worried a lot about what people thought of me.
In facing what I used to judge inside me, my racing mind started to slow down and the inner critic that used to torment me quieted down too.
I was healing the zombie.
I became freer in being myself from a place of inner empowerment in my everyday life.
I don’t have anything against adults enjoying Halloween, especially for letting the inner child come out and play. It can also be a way to explore what we might be repressing.
Besides CATHARTIC PLAY-ACTING, below are other tools I’ve used for myself and I facilitate for clients in private sessions and workshops:
- DYNAMIC ACTIVE MEDITATION by Osho
- PROCESS PAINTING by Michelle Cassou & Stewart Cubley (What I call Meditative Painting)
- NO-YES ACTIVE MEDITATION by Mada Dalian
- The DALIAN METHOD by Mada Dalian
The Dalian Method was the most important tool for me - because it goes deeper than catharsis by transforming the originating cause of the repressed emotions (emotional and energetic catharsis is liberating, but without an internal shift in awareness, the wound that created the need for catharsis may remain unhealed)
Not feeling good enough for someone. Who hasn't felt this way at some point?
Here is my understanding about this.
When we are carrying an insecurity about ourselves, we may experience others as not accepting us.
This can result as patterns of conflict with others or of trying to please them. This is very common but keeps us trapped in a painful and draining situation.
You can watch for any time you want to prove something to someone or get them to accept you in some way.
When you spot it happening: Stop. Breathe. Breathe slowly and deeply. And instead of focusing on the other person, explore your inner world (thoughts, emotions, sensations).
You can take this even further by exploring with an intention to see the Truth.
If you can manage to make this shift in focus, if you can withstand the initial force of resistance, before you even get to an insight, you will already feel a huge shift. You will likely feel energized.
I call this INNER EMPOWERMENT.
People are incredible reflections of what we need to understand within.
This does not mean we allow ourselves to be mistreated all over the place. This is not contrary to speaking up and not allowing someone to impose their judgments or views on us. In fact, it may lead to doing just that. Not as a hurt-based reaction, but out of a self-respect for ourselves.
Seems paradoxical, but the inner focus makes us kinder and more honest. We become trustworthy. Because we minimize burdening others with our pain. Our hearts can open in the recognition that others are struggling too and that it has nothing to do with us personally.
I've experienced this countless times.
But at first I would beat myself up. Feeling bad that I was doing something wrong to draw to me negative reflections and dynamics.
But with time more joy and self-compassion has come in. And with experience I know the consequences of not doing it and the incredible awe-inspiring gifts of doing it.
If you want support and are in Kansas City this November, Madeleine Newkirk and I are leading a Communicate with Your Heart workshop. See if it speaks to you.
I don't go to art museums much anymore. I used to. I've always loved visual art. But when I discovered something called Process Art years ago, I realized what I loved.
It is aliveness. It is spontaneity. It is originality. It is the surprise of color and form and how they interact.
I appreciate an artist's skills, the talent that comes from years of hard work and practice. Professional artists deserve recognition for the beauty they bring and inspire.
But what I appreciate the most is the energy that comes from someone being present in the act of creating. Professional or not. The aliveness is captured, and it does not matter to me what it looks like.
This often comes from the very people I meet that tell me
I AM NOT AN ARTIST
They look to me for permission "Is it okay if I come to your painting class?” There is something inside that is longing to be expressed.
The answer is of course always YES
This image is my painting. Many of my paintings look like they came from a young child and I have loved painting them. Freedom of expression brings an inexplicable joy and expansion and taps us into the inner essence of creativity.
Artists. Non-artists. It's all good here. Because there is something deeper happening than the mind's perception of "good" - "bad" or "appropriate" - "inappropriate".
That is why I have chosen to call these classes Meditative Painting. (If no classes currently scheduled - sign up at bottom of events page to be notified when they are).
I had an experience.
It happened while bartending. Over 12 years ago.
The bar I worked in had a cigarette machine in the back. The bartenders were told to keep an eye out for under-18 teens sneaking in to get cigarettes.
One night three young-looking guys walked in and headed toward the cigarettes. I stopped them to check their I.D.s.
I looked at the I.D.s but my mind got dizzy and I couldn’t make sense of how to figure out their ages (this mind dizziness still happens, especially with numbers. doesn’t bother me too much. But it used to).
I tried but couldn’t make my brain work and I felt a wave of panic. The guys were staring at me, waiting. I had to go find my shift manager for help. When I asked my manager to look at the I.D. cards, he looked at me like I was crazy. Yes, they are 18, he said, annoyed at me.
As I walked back to hand them their cards and saw the expression on their faces, I felt the shame intensify and engulf me. And then the experience happened.
I suddenly became bigger than myself. I expanded to about 6 feet bigger all around my body. I watched from this bigger space, somewhat above myself, yet everywhere at the same time. From that bigger space I watched myself being embarrassed and hand the I.D.s back.
But as I watched I was unattached from it all. Just fascinated by what was happening.
Unattached might give the impression of flatness. It was not flat at all. It was magical and joyful. It was total and pure curiosity (not an analytical curiosity, but a “see what happens” curiosity).
I was free from the need to control or direct anything, including myself or what I was feeling.
The whole experience must have lasted only a few moments. But it felt longer, like it happened in slow motion.
For the following few days I felt peaceful and then the peacefulness faded and I went back to my usual inner turmoil. If anything, feeling even more unsatisfied.
In the back of my mind I was wishing I could find a way to make that experience happen again. I sensed this to be the way out of suffering. But I couldn’t figure out how to do that. Because I didn’t make it happen to begin with.
It was a completely spontaneous experience. I wasn’t really meditating or doing dedicated inner work at the time. I was actually working 3 jobs, barely sleeping, and living off Redbull. I was saving money for my “dream” of traveling the world.
I had been reading books on how to make your dreams come true, visualizing, etc. I couldn’t think of a dream that would make me happy except traveling. So I decided for a little while, with nothing else to go on, that traveling the world must be my dream. As usual for me back then, I was focused outside of myself and on the future (I thought that's where 'happy' must exist). I was ignoring what was right in front of me and within me.
Even though my life didn't immediately change much on the surface, that experience was a glimpse of a truth for me.
That glimpsed truth was that I am not my body, my mind, or my emotions. There is something else to who I am.
I recognized this something else as what teachers and mystics call witnessing awareness. I've heard descriptions of this witness being a non-judgmental awareness of all that is, and that it is full of joy. That sounded exactly like what happened for me.
I never had anything like that experience again until I did travel, but not the outer world, I shifted my search inward, traveling instead through my inner world. Instead of making my dreams come true, I started seeing the untruth in the dream I had been living in.
As I began peeling away the layers of my unconscious, the experience of expanding beyond my mind, emotions, and body, and witnessing have become regular occurrences.
Leela Haris ~ E x p a n d i n g Consciousness