My perspective on what it means to Be Conscious.
It is not in the way I talk or words I use. It's not the way I look, act, or dress. It is not a technique I use or approach to life I prefer. It is not the teacher I love working with. Nor is it about some kind of gift, talent, or ability. It is not in being kind nor is it in any particular trait in me.
It's not a list of good deeds I can show off.
It's not in the money or any outer success I can attain.
It's not in environmentally aware habits, living clean, or simple. It's not in not having money, success or possessions either.
Becoming more conscious can certainly influence and bring profound changes, it has for me. The outer changes though, for me, are really secondary.
Consciousness for me is an inner alert state of being. It has nothing to do with spiritual correctness, in fact it obliterates it. I've come to a realization that consciousness is the only thing that recognizes and detects consciousness. Which is one reason there is so much confusion out there. This confusion is when we try to think ourselves into being conscious.
A story to illustrate what I'm trying to say…
Years ago, through a few documentaries, I became aware of how horribly animals are treated in the meat industry. Months after this I began to ask myself "If I care for animals, why am I still eating meat knowing how cruelly they are treated?"
I wasn't judging myself. I was honestly curious about this.
Not long after this question arose for me, I discovered that deep down I believed myself to be dark.
I was initially nervous to find out where this belief came from and what the darkness was about.
In allowing this belief to fully surface and be expressed (using the Dalian Method) I discovered this rigid stubbornness in me insisting that I AM dark. Insisting that this is who I am: “I like being dark and dammit I'm not letting this go!”
During the healing session this then shifted and I felt the fear that was behind the stubbornness. I was afraid (terrified actually) to dissolve into the light.
The fear lasted several minutes then it released from my system. A wonderful peace and clarity surfaced. I realized that the so-called darkness didn't have much substance to it. It was just my ego that wanted to stay in that identity of being dark because it was afraid to dissolve into the light. I let go of that identity and welcomed the beauty of more light (of expanded consciousness).
After this I decided it was time to stop eating meat. The next day after I made the decision, during my lunch break from my office job, I went to my usual Mexican food place. Out of habit I initially ordered something with meat and then stopped. I remembered my decision and changed my order to a vegetarian option. In that moment when I switched and ordered the vegetarian item I saw a vision of myself stepping out of the stream of darkness I had been attached to.
It was a beautiful experience in honoring with action my shift in consciousness. It was a way for me to step out of the old identity.
Now, here is what I didn’t have a desire to do…
To BECOME a vegetarian. Meaning I was not interested in now having a new identity for my ego to attach itself to. "I was dark, but now I'm light and don't eat meat".
I wasn’t interested in telling people they should do it too or feeling superior to meat-eaters and making any assumptions about them.
I was simply letting something go. I didn't want to fill that new space with something else. To fill it with a new identity (even if it does seem like an improvement over the old one). Instead I can enjoy having more space and light in me.
Working inside-out is how I like to do things. If I had become a vegetarian before that inner shift happened because I "should" than I am not sure how it would have gone. It would not have had the same meaning for me and I would’ve struggled with sticking to it. I probably would have also created another battle within (by trying to think myself into consciousness).
And if I’m really wanting to eat meat, which I do every now and then, I just let myself have it. I’m not going to fight with my cravings (been there, it sucks). I'm not bound to anything either.
My habits, including "bad" ones, are just to help me understand and discover new things. About life. About what it is to be human. About myself.
After what I've personally released and have worked through over the years, the last thing I want is more programming or another ideology (however healthy or altruistic it may seem).
There are definitely major turning points in my life but Being Conscious isn't a place I arrive at, it is an on-going expansion into new experiences. Some experiences I admit are way more enjoyable than others. But it is a never-ending discovery that lets me stay open and flexible so I can adjust when I learn something new (or UN-learn something new).
This is how I work best, it's not necessarily going to look this way for everyone. Perhaps for another it is expansive and fulfilling a purpose for them to tackle certain problems in our society. Just like those documentaries influenced me and I'm glad someone created them.
**Technically I’m a pescatarian because I eat seafood.
“This Should Be Easy” <- Ever have this judgment toward yourself?
I have this habit - When anything breaks or something needs to be maintained: on my car, on my computer, or in my home. I immediately go into mental complaining and resistance. If possible I will find a way to avoid dealing with it.
Even the smallest things. The other day I got home and a light bulb in my kitchen went out. My mind immediately said what it typically says “Oh man, such a pain. Nah, I’ll change the light bulb later. I can live with less light in here”.
I saw the resistance and thoughts very clearly. Instead, I went down to my basement storage to get a new light bulb and changed it.
I find these daily life things a struggle and often the thought comes “This should be easy” which fuels more resistance to what is.
What I started to do is have a little “I’m so proud of me!” party when I deal with something I would normally put off.
So after I changed the light bulb…. instead of being a stern parent by telling myself that I did something I SHOULD do...I recognized that little victory and celebrated it. I gave myself a hug and said “Good job Leela!” and then did a little happy dance.
Imagine me in my kitchen dancing around singing and flailing my arms up “Yay I changed the light bulb!”
I already give myself credit for more obviously challenging things, but wanted to speak to the less-obvious & under-acknowledged challenges we face.
So here is what happens when I give myself credit:
I know what is easy for me and what is challenging for me. I can honor this instead of letting comparison, and the outer world’s ideas (including my own mind) dictate what 'should' be easy.
After reading this do you now realize what you need to give yourself credit for? Let me know in the comments. We can have a “I’m so proud of Me” party!
Or don’t share and do it alone if that feels most self-empowering for you!
***If you are unable to go beyond a particular place of struggle or self-judgment, then there is something causing it that you haven’t yet become aware of. Explore what that could be! You can also give yourself credit for something that feels already pretty light with not so much self-judgment (for example, my ‘should be easy’ judgments I refer to in this blog were not very intense for me to begin with.)
I've been called weird almost all my life.
Such a sore spot in me anytime someone would say this to me. Ouch.
I reacted by trying to figure out what was weird about me and get rid of it. I wanted to and tried to just fit in...Blend in...Belong. This approach just kept me in the insecurity. And from seeing the truth about why this kept happening.
The truth is people called me this and it hurt...not because it was true, but because I BELIEVED it. It was my own conclusion about myself at a young age when the world outside didn't make any sense to me; It must be me. I’m weird.
When I began exploring and working with the insecurities and beliefs it brought up, most of the charge around the word dissolved.
I don't remember the last time someone called me weird. I don't remember the last time I worried about it. It just stopped happening a while back. Life is so interesting that way!
And it's not because people have such positive opinions of me or that I fit neatly into social situations. It just stopped mattering so much to me.
Sometimes I fit and connect, sometimes I don’t. That’s life. And it’s fine and good. Because we are all unique little universes.
We are all aliens here.
Do you have anything like this? Something that when is said about you just feels very raw and painful? Something that has been going on for a long time? Is it time for you to explore it, to go deeper?.
Feel free to share your insights and your ‘ouch’ place in the comments.
One of the most manipulative social ideologies I've witnessed in recent years is this idea of Privilege.
It gets split up into factions too
You name it, we can take any advantage a person has and attach the word privilege to it.
Issues such as racism, sexism, class-ism, homophobia; these have created much pain on this planet. But can we truly heal by just turning the tables on who has the power over others? Creating mental simplistic labels and imposing them on another without any genuine connection to them as a human being diminishes them (and ourselves). Diminishing a person solely for being a financially successful white male is not that different than diminishing the precious being that happens to be a transsexual woman with dark skin.
Personally I love being inclusive when it feels authentic to me! When it feels real there is joy and expansion in it. But if I’m being inclusive only based on trying to avoid being socially ostracized, labelled, or judged than I’m not being inclusive at all. Because I'm excluding myself. I’m conforming out of fear.
The chaos, anger, and pain that continues to surface in the collective makes the times we are living in ideal for doing our inner healing work.
Chaos precedes clarity. Pain surfaces when we are ready to heal and break free of something.
Anger too can be a good sign. For example I was in a relationship years ago and would experience sudden bouts of intense anger at my partner. I was reacting to my partner's subtle but controlling behavior. The anger meant progress because in the past I was submissive and focused on how to please the man in my life. My inner power was rising up but it was chaotic. I knew I needed to work with my anger because it wasn’t fair to my partner to throw my personal history of repressed frustration and pain at him.
When I worked with my anger and frustration triggered by him I saw that there was still an insecurity in me that was looking to men to validate my self-worth. I realized that I was unconsciously expecting him to give me love and validation. I also saw how much pain he was struggling with. When I started looking inside and waking up my ability to love and validate myself I stopped having all those heated power struggles and have attracted healthier and less volatile relationship dynamics. I experienced much more mutual respect with everyone in my life.
If I would have concluded that it was his “mansplaining” or "male privilege" that was the problem and that's that, I would have continued to outsource my personal power. I would have also had to face the pain of my inner conscience for participating in violence towards another.
One practice I do is to observe my mind and my thoughts. Over the years in doing this inner work and observing my mind I've come to recognize that anytime I have repeating thoughts about how someone did this or that to me I know there is something for me to see about myself related to that situation. When this happens it's an opportunity to break free of something that has been limiting me. The person or situation is just the trigger.
This doesn't mean there was no injustice or wrong doing in the first place. There is injustice AND we can learn and grow from it.
Something else that I see a lot and often comes with the ideology of privilege:
You owe it to use your voice to speak up for those less fortunate than you.
Who says we owe anything to anyone? Who decides that? Can compassion be imposed on us from outside of us? Does it follow rules about who deserves or who doesn't?
It can take time to genuinely start to question or see through these things, especially if we've taught ourselves not to question.
I was so use to following the crowd because it's how I've survived that when I tried to find my own voice I would cry because of how impossible it seemed. There was so much clutter in my mind and energy.
But I persisted. I have been releasing so many layers of mental programmings, ideologies, beliefs, outside opinions, judgments (about myself and others), etc. As I've done this my inner voice (my intuition) has become much stronger and clearer.
I may want to stand up for another person or group. I may not. But I alone am responsible for that decision.
I know that I can only make a conscious impact if I’m learning to take greater and greater responsibility for my life and my own individual and unique self-empowerment.
Here are a few similar blogs I've written:
The Game of Women's Empowerment (If you don't mind a rant mid-way about being accused of belonging to a cult)
How to Spot A Manipulator (I think this one freaks people out a little, but it's one of my favorites)
Adventures in Dating (If you like hearing stories about my love life, or my almost love life)
I’m so glad to suddenly feel free in talking about past lives.
I wasn’t really that afraid to. I just didn’t want to seem ungrounded or foofy. I also know that if you haven’t experienced it yourself, how can you relate? Understandably. It may seem like I’m just belonging to an eastern religion or philosophy. Which I don’t. It’s a genuine experience for me. Not much different than working with and healing childhood memories or any other memory.
I didn’t understand either until the memories started coming. They came because I've healed so much pain from this life and from childhood, yet still have struggled with stubborn self-destructive patterns. I wanted to understand why. The memories were the answer to what still needed healing and resolve.
The reason I’m glad to begin speaking about my memories though is because so much of what I understand and want to share comes from my Soul’s history. So I felt limited in speaking to certain issues because how can I explain why I know?
The Christian mindset for example, I get it very deeply. I get how strong the desire is for an outer God figure, I get the comfort and relief of it.
Up till about a year ago when I felt sad and alone, I would secretly comfort myself by listening to christian music and crying.
AND I get the, often intense and debilitating and very real, fear and guilt about the belief there is a God up there judging me and I might be punished for eternity if I sin.
I also know feeling special that I get to go to heaven and feeling secretly superior to those that are going to hell while trying to ‘pray’ for them and do “good”. I get being a missionary for God’s work. I also get feeling betrayed and angry towards this God when I experienced agonizing suffering and he didn’t help or save me like was promised. I get the whole game. Because I played it. For lifetimes.
I also get the ‘God loves you’ and ‘You are Perfect in His Eyes’ as well, the positive Christianity and positive thinking that is attractive to us to counter the negativity and make us feel better. Because the self-judgements and fear are still running deep in the unconscious. I also get the angry atheist, that is reacting, for the same reason.
How can I explain that I understand? I wasn’t raised in it nor did I have much direct exposure in this life. See my dilemma here?
It’s not really about trying to expose or tell anyone how they should live. It’s not about judging anyone either for living out these things.
I’m just finding it harder and harder to hold back these things and not be myself.
I also feel that things are different on this planet right now. Despite the widespread hypnotism and unconsciousness, I’m pretty sure I won’t be killed or destroyed for sharing what I know and who I am.
Also. This time I’m not interested in being a Martyr. I think I learned that lesson.
#TheDalianMethod #HellYeahLetsDoThis #IRemember #ICanHelp
How Dare I…
Share about what’s possible in our human potential. How dare I trust my feeling and intuition over any established system.
How dare I know and speak to the limitations of psychiatry, psychology, and medicine. Even science. Who the hell am I?
I don’t have a PhD. I didn’t even finish college.
How dare I know I’m a Cosmic Being beyond religion or mainstream new age spirituality.
I think about Jesus and other historical figures as if they are my personal friends and guides. I feel my own personal connection to many traditions and paths. How dare I do this without the Bible, the Gita, the Koran, Torah, or any formal holy scripture.
I don’t do hours of research or have statistics or ‘proof’. I don’t even always know what’s going on in pop culture or the news. How dare I not care about proving how smart or right I am.
I see myself as bigger than any race or status or class or nation. I love being a woman and understand the imbalance yet have no interest in gender politics. How dare I see beyond our superficial differences.
How dare I not cater to separation through identity politics.
How dare I see social justice as shallow.
How dare I not volunteer and ‘do good’ and don’t participate in the latest bandwagon causes.
I don’t have a glamorous or impressive lifestyle. (although I’m open to that happening, I want to experience flying first class on a trip and enjoying lots of nice things. That would be so much fun!)
I speak about these things yet still get shaky and uncomfortable speaking to people and a small audience. Yet I love being the center of attention at times and sometimes think how amazing it would be to be on a grand stage speaking to thousands of people. Yay, look at me everyone!
The last presentation I gave was a free public talk. Two people came. I was happy though because without those two people I would have not even gotten to talk.
How dare I confuse you (and myself) by attempting to go beyond the mind. How dare I change my mind and opinions so easily.
How dare I write yet struggle with spelling and grammar (it does bug me though, so if you see mistakes I appreciate it if you tell me, I won’t be offended)
How dare I love laughing and giggling over dirty jokes. I’m still not over how hilarious farts are.
How dare I enjoy my sexuality for its own sake. Without pretense. Without guilt or power games.
How dare I make money off helping others.
How dare I don’t make money off helping others.
How dare I tell you that your darkness is the path to your light.
How dare I claim to understand pain and terror.
How dare I feel brave & determined and terrified & weak at the same time.
How dare I say that it all has a purpose.
I really have no credibility to stand on. Why should anyone listen to or trust me. Especially when I talk about things like past lives and enlightened teachers and higher consciousness. Who am I to even say that enlightenment exists. I’m not enlightened.
For all you know I have a mental disorder and have imagined all of it. Ha, yeah, I used to worry myself.
Regularly feeling profound reverence and bowing to my teacher and all the other advanced or enlightened beings past and present, yet I talk about self-empowerment. How dare I know that they are one and the same for me.
How dare I feel that truth does not require me to be small, falsely humble or to suffer. Truth can find us when we are on top of the world and living the most privileged life imaginable (If you are one of those people, can I come to one of your grand cocktail parties? I’m serious, can I? ? )
Truth can find us in our trauma. Loss. Poverty. In our rage. In our separation.
How dare I know that truth is inside each of us. Just sometimes deeply buried.
Existence has given me life (my parents deserve some credit though). I belong here. I don’t earn credibility or authority from other people or a society built on unconsciousness and control and fear. I am not better or higher than anyone. I am sometimes, or often, more aware. Other times I’m in the presence of someone who is more aware than I. Doing my best to recognize and bow to greater awareness though. Whether it comes through me or another. Or both.
How dare I see how far I can go, how dare I ask questions, most of all how dare I try to wake up and know who I truly am.
I’m pretty much a nobody. Living in the Midwestern U.S. Doing my entry level day job at an office trying to remember what I was supposed to be doing next.
Yet here I am, feeling that anything is possible.
I bet you have a “How Dare I” stream running inside you. Maybe we share some of the same ones? What does yours say? Wanna share some of them with me? I’m curious.
I used to have this armor around me, it was sort of like a rebelliousness.
But it wasn't real.
It was reactionary.
Like the teenager that yells at the authority in their lives:
"You can't control me!"
"You can't tell me what to do!"
But deep down under that act there is a need for love and approval and there is fear. There is wanting freedom but not quite ready or knowing how to take responsibility for it.
There is still thinking the freedom is given to us from outside of ourselves. The teenage rebel is still trying to demand her birthright from outside of her own being.
There is another rebellion, one that feels much more genuine for me. I’ve come to know that this rebellion is often a quiet one. That it's not about looking or acting a part, nothing to do with the idea of a rebel.
It's not necessarily about shouting what we are against or what we don't want.
It's about understanding that there is no true power without vulnerability.
It's not about joining a club or an identity as an outcast or being special just for not fitting it.
It's really about having nothing to prove.
An identity needs to prove something. Or hide from something.
The Soul doesn't follow rules.
The Soul doesn't not follow rules either.
That is how free we are.
The thoughts rolling around in my head don’t really create my outer reality.
I’ve had “negative” situations show up when my mental state is positive. I’ve had positive events happen while having “negative” or fearful thoughts.
What does have immense power to attract things to me and shape my life is my unconscious beliefs.
And I don’t see the Law of Attraction as a system of rewards and punishments.
It is Life setting me up to become more Conscious. It is a reminder of what I came here to do. It is guidance to where my greatest growth is.
I don’t even call it the Law of Attraction. I call it having a Relationship with Existence.
And that Relationship is a Loving one. Even when it doesn’t feel like it. Even when the lesson I’m learning is a very hard one. Existence cares. Deeply.
I came here to fulfill a potential inside me and it would be very convenient to forget that.
The Whole cares for ALL of it’s parts. Every part is unique. I see it like a puzzle. If the pieces of the puzzle were the same they could not come together to create the Big Picture.
Sometimes we have to go through a grinding down of who we aren't to get to who we are. But coming to our original shape is worth it.
Let’s let LIFE show us our ‘piece’.
Leela Haris ~ E x p a n d i n g Consciousness