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 love seeing a Dalian Method client realize their own inherent worth and goodness. I enjoy teaching people, who are ready, the difference between positive mental beliefs and experiencing their truth from within.
People are usually shocked at how much beauty and intelligence and wisdom and love is inside them. It's there naturally. Without any contriving or contorting or improving themselves.
This realization happens from the courage they undertake to be completely honest about the feelings and thoughts they have been running from. This allows the pain and self-judgments that have been operating from their unconscious to be permanently released.
Over time the need for mental positive affirming and other strategies of denial naturally drop because we see the profound value in being who we are and what we are genuinely experiencing inside. No matter how seemingly imperfect we are, we no longer enjoy saying things we don't truly know or mean. We stop unconsciously escaping our reality. And when we are escaping we may prefer to tell ourselves the truth and accept ourselves anyways.
I've had people inform me about how "We all create our own reality" yet they adamantly resist compassionately looking at how they create their own pain and problems. Preferring to complain or blame something outside of them. Whatever "dreams" they do manifest will be ultimately unfulfilling or possibly even harmful, because of lack of self-awareness.
Or they may be aware they are creating their own problems to an extent, but instead of really looking at how this is happening, they blame and beat themselves up for any negative experience. They tolerate abuse from others and experience depression.
It's common where we are saying one thing and our unconscious is expressing something completely different and we are not aware of this. Some people are aware of their pain but think that using feel-good phrases, grand spiritual beliefs, and positive thoughts will fix the problem. I have been there myself. But doing this just keeps the root of the problem in the dark by repressing it.
These are just examples, and the underlying issues vary widely between people. I've also heard these being expressed authentically as well (It's about the energy behind the words, rather than the words themselves).
If you recognize yourself in this and want to experience the Dalian Method: You can do your own sessions by purchasing the 'Healing the Body & Awakening Consciousness with the Dalian Method' home study kit (comes with two audio guided sessions and a comprehensive book). You can also get a private guided session by a facilitator such as myself. The creator of the Dalian Method Mada Eliza Dalian also offers private sessions, online courses, tele-classes, and retreats.
NOTE: When we have been believing things such as "I'm Not Good Enough" or "I can't Trust Myself" for many years (or lifetimes), even when these are clearly seen as false and are released through the Dalian Method, it may take time to stop trying to be a better person or do things to live up to an ideal of who we should be or prove our worth. We may experience deeper layers that need to be released. The mind also has to learn to accept something so completely earth shattering to everything we thought we knew about ourselves. To everything we were told about ourselves. To everything that the people around us believe and think.
Dating is totally different for me since doing inner work. It has gone from painful drama to Adventure!
A story to illustrate this.
Several years ago I met a man online. At first it was just a few friendly messages. The conversations quickly became more frequent and we seemed to have a lot in common. I found him easy to talk to. We started chatting on video too (we live in different states).
In our conversations I would have these moments thinking “wow, he says all the right things!”. I felt such a strong connection and trust with him. And this is all happening in the space of 3 weeks or so. I felt like I could really be myself and not worry about anything.
I don’t remember most of the details of our conversations except this one thing he told me: “No matter what, I never stop being someone’s friend. I never cut someone out of my life.” This gave me such a feeling of safety.
So my mind was saying yes to this man. But my body was apparently saying something else entirely. I just wasn’t really listening to my body at first. During one video chat he looked at me curiously and asked me if I was cold. I looked down and I was wearing a sweater with two jackets over it (pretty hilarious actually, it was summer). We were talking about sex during that conversation and as we talked I kept getting up to grab more clothes to wear.
I wasn’t cold. I was uncomfortable.
But I dismissed my discomfort as my own woundedness because I was working through a lot of trauma during that time. I told myself “Keep an open mind. It’s good to discuss these things openly”.
I happened to have a retreat trip planned in California a few hours from where he lived coming up and I was considering adding extra days to my trip so I can visit him. But it was all happening really fast and I started to have mixed feelings. The mixed feelings were the conflict of what was coming from what my mind wanted and what my body & intuition were saying.
So I decided to dedicate some time to focus and go inward and go deeper into my intuition. When I let go of my mind and I did this I got very clear very fast: It didn’t feel right to visit him on my trip. Not only that, it didn’t feel right to even pursue a relationship with this man.
I decided to trust this and act on this. Even though I didn’t really know why, I mean he still seemed like a great guy to me.
I emailed him to let him know that I would like to just remain friends. I explained it so he would know I wasn’t angry or had a problem about anything. I also figured if it’s meant to be more than friendship then it can happen with time. I also understood that it might trigger some insecurity in him but that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal for such an emotionally mature man as him.
He replied and expressed shock at my sudden change of heart. But he said he understood and honored my decision.
Then the next day he blocked me from all social media and completely disconnected from me.
Now I was the one shocked. But just at first. I was also actually so glad to see how right my intuition was!
I realized most of the conversations coming from him were lies. He was telling me what I wanted to hear.
I wasn’t angry though. I saw why it worked on me. He made me feel special. He made me feel understood. He made me feel safe. He made me feel important and significant.
He gave me what I was starving for and unconsciously looking outside of myself for. He showed me where my insecurities were.
Experiences like this have helped me transform those starving parts of myself. Each experience, whether positive or negative, brings me a step closer to being whole within myself. I’m also much more self-aware. I can feel when a situation or person makes me feel “special” or “important”. If something feels good, great I enjoy it. But I’m much more alert to the difference of feeling good that is coming from my ego-mind (self-importance) and those of my body (it feels more organic and less like a story of my identity getting fed).
Am I completely done with insecurity, with any attachment to being special or important? No. But I am celebrating the distance I have traveled to this place of being on an adventure. Does the adventure mean no pain? No. But the pain, when it does happen, is VERY useful.
Before doing this inner work there was so much anxiety and pain in dating and relationships. I was at times living out a longing and fantasy and there was no genuine intimacy. It was total bullshit actually (sorry to any exes reading this).
Then I would feel betrayed if I felt the person wasn’t genuine. But I wasn’t even genuine with myself. There was no possibility in those situations for any sincere intimacy.
Our socialized ideas of romance are fantasies that come from our unfulfilled needs and longings. To stay in this is to ride the roller coaster ride of pain and heartbreak. It’s actually insane, if you really see if for what it is. So much drama, and we actually create the whole thing ourselves much of the time.
But coming out of this game has been liberating. Instead of feeling resentful and blame towards anyone I’m glad to have the experience because each person teaches me so much about myself.
Instead of shutting down my trust and becoming bitter or fearful from these learning experiences, I grow MORE trusting. MORE trusting of myself. MORE trusting of whatever life brings me. I don’t need to carry the hurt memories. I don’t need to guard against or worry about other people and their intentions.
I also don’t get too offended when someone lies to me. It’s not personal. It’s their own issue and not for me to figure out. My only responsibility is to see through my own delusions.
I don’t trust because people are trustworthy.
I trust because I am trustworthy.
Common thoughts that can stop you from helping yourself:
last but not least:
I've buried it and there's no point digging it back up and going through pain.
But do you know what else gets buried?
Your Sparkling Aliveness
When we bury the 'bad stuff’ we bury the good stuff with it.
Over the years I've had healers and intuitives approach me to inform me that I'm way too open and that I need boundaries. I’ve been advised to put a protective bubble around myself. I’ve been told to carry certain stones or crystals with me.
I sensed some truth in what they told me. I didn't have boundaries. I wasn’t sure what it even meant to have boundaries. But something about their approach didn't feel quite right. So I didn't take their advice.
But there were moments I was so tempted! Times I was so overwhelmed that I felt suicidal: “How can I ever live like this!?”. I’m grateful the suicidal thoughts and feelings were usually brief and most days weren’t quite THAT hard.
But it was challenging as I navigated daily overwhelm and confusion. I would shut down or erupt in anger as a desperate way to create space. As I’ve done inner work on myself I felt my sensitivity grow stronger and would at times have so much animosity towards it. More sensitivity? Are you kidding me? F*ck off with this empathic crap!
These situations though, ultimately became opportunities for me to transform past wounds and self-limitations.
For example, a few times I felt traumatized by a person’s aggressive and violent sexual desires being projected onto me (not just regular sexual desire). Sorry to be graphic here, but it felt like I was being raped. (energetically). It was awful. But I had to face the fact that, yes although they did have an unconscious sexual aggressiveness in them, there was a lesson in that for me. It brought up deeper layers of my own past sexual trauma that I needed to heal.
Now I am more centered and don't feel as affected by another’s sexual desire. I also don't need to hold back or shrink who I am or my energy out of fear of what it triggers in another.
And if someone is crossing a boundary with me now, if required, I can unleash a primal protective fire so enormous it can shake the entire block and singe your eyebrows off. This isn’t a reactive anger (like I had before), but a natural and healthy instinct.
It doesn't matter how big the person is or how intimidating they behave, I have access to power inside me that doesn't depend on my size or physical strength. I no longer fall easily for intellectual game-playing or passive-aggressive bullying either.
Although getting to this place has taken time, I'm glad the approaches I took part in were about self-awareness, and healing, rather than fuelling, any fear and mistrust. I'm glad I didn't have to shut down my openness to the world and people. That would have been sad. It's part of my joy to be so trusting. To share myself so freely and openly.
I now experience my sensitivity more as the gift it is, and navigate the world with this vibrant inner compass. This gives me a sense of self-reliance and independence.
Many situations I used to drown in I can now confidently swim through.
The feeling of it being a curse had nothing to do with the true essence of being sensitive and empathic, which is actually beautiful and just part of being human. Being a ‘curse’ was a projection of my own unresolved issues. The ‘curse’ moments pushed me to uncover my strength and to use it.
I can't tell you how good it feels to not need to protect my heart or myself. To not need to see myself as so separate from others. To not have to hide and live in fear. I can be free in my innocence and explore and play on this planet. I can use my gifts and power with integrity, all the while still being dedicated to my inner work and the lessons I’m learning.
If you live in Kansas City check out my events to support you to heal your past, release limitations, and connect to your inner compass.
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own Soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” - Carl Jung
I started doing this work of becoming conscious thinking I was just trying to end my depression, my debilitating anxiety, and to try to get some of this thing people referred to as “confidence”.
I got those things and more. I am now connected to a strength and love inside me that I didn’t know was possible. I’ve had and continue to have mind blowing experiences of how magical and incredible life is. Compassion and understanding that allows me to forgive and move on from even the most horrible abuses inflicted on me. These experiences leave me in a state of awe, of regular gratitude exploding from within me. Almost everyday feels like a new adventure.
But here is what I didn’t know when I started this inward journey. I didn’t know that pain doesn’t end. At least not in the way I thought it would. I thought life would become easier. But no, what happened instead is, I got stronger and more resolved. I realized that life brings me what I need and I spend less of my energy trying to control it and bend it to my will.
To continue expanding our consciousness we have to experience pain often. This pain I’m talking about is the pain of the constant exposure of our self-delusions. It’s so much easier to see other people’s delusions than our own.
Again... It’s SO much easier to see other people’s delusions than our own.
This is why community or a teacher or both can be so vital. For both encouragement and not feeling so alone in this journey. To help us not give up. But also to reflect the truth to us. To help us see our blind spots.
There are many views that support staying away from all seeming negativity. Stay away from negative and dark energy! Protect yourself! Walk away from anyone who makes you feel bad or ashamed.They are bad people! Surround yourself with people that only lift you up and make you feel good. If you take this view and live your entire life this way. Well, it’s your choice of course. But it will keep you safely asleep in your own self-made delusional prison.
Does this mean everyone who triggers pain in you has good intentions? Of course not. Some people intend to harm or bring you down in order to make themselves feel better because deep down they feel small and fearful. That’s true. Yet that can have its own lessons for us too. (if we are honest with ourselves we have done the same thing)
But some will tell you the truth because they care. They are unwilling to settle for mediocrity, for themselves and you. They are unwilling to constantly make themselves small for you. They sacrifice your nice opinion of them.
I don’t have an easy formula for you to discern because it comes from experience for me. Lot’s of it. I do encourage a willingness to face and go through your resistance in order to go beyond it. Connecting to this ‘beyond’ part of me is what has guided me and given me joy.
Anytime I’ve experienced transformation, It involved pain. Sometimes it’s a feeling that I would describe as “agonizing”.
So is it hard? Oh my god yeah, it’s so hard!!
I hate pain. It sucks. I don’t like it. Yet I allow these experiences and that’s why I am a different person today. The transformations permanently altered me at such a deep level of my beingness. So much so that I had to change my name from Lila to Leela because I didn’t feel like ‘Lila’ anymore.
I have to admit something about my teacher Mada. She terrifies me at times, and has in moments during the whole past 7 years I’ve been her student. As much as I feel profoundly grateful to her. As much as she is this adorable spunky petite woman who looks and feels much younger than she is. With her curly blonde hair and her stylish clothes and Adidas shoes.
As much as I have never experienced a profound presence and silence as I do when I’m near her. In the moment when she is exposing something in me, suddenly she seems monstrous to me. She looks more like Kali holding a bleeding severed head. All I want in these moments is to dig a deep hole in the ground and crawl into it.
I’ve never met a woman (or man) this fearless. She is also hilarious and so gentle much of the time (I’m just focusing on the scary times because that’s what this writing is about).
It’s why I think of her as a “Zen Master”. Zen is responding to whatever the moment calls for.
It’s also why genuinely self-realized teachers, the ones who truly want us to come into our own, be truly self-empowered as the mystical amazing beings that we truly are, are often feared, projected upon, ridiculed, and hated. Because they expose our unconsciousness. They expose our darkness. This is exactly why Jesus was crucified.
But I am veering off to another topic.
Back to pain. An example of how pain helped me recently: Over the years Mada has reflected to me that I’m procrastinating and holding back who I really am. She always said this in a gentle way. I procrastinated less but yet was still doing it in many unconscious ways, I wasn't seeing the full truth of what she was pointing to. That’s okay because I was working through so many other things as well. It just wasn’t quite time yet.
Recently she brought this up again. This time not so gentle. The words she chose felt like a burning searing arrow through me. It exposed humiliation and guilt in me. I was suddenly seeing how deluded I’d been and how much I’d been holding back. Ouch. Yet even while still feeling that pain I immediately felt spurred to be more fully myself and take action right away.
However painful it was. It worked. The pain has now passed and in its place a new unfolding of clarity, determination, and gratitude.
That’s what truth does to us. It can momentarily seem like we are being viciously attacked. But there’s no other way to become conscious but to experience this kind of pain as Jung’s quote says. Otherwise ‘being spiritual’ is just dress-up for our ego.
The popular images of the Hindu Goddess Kali; I read somewhere that this is just how the ego sees her. I had an experience one time where I was in a lot of intense resistance and agonizing pain and she whispered to me so lovingly and gently “Sorry dear, I cannot take away your pain right now. Not yet”
She is actually the embodiment of compassion. (notice in the image, the man she is stepping on looks relaxed and blissful - he is in Surrender)
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 was at the grocery store checkout line recently. The women directly in front of me was checking out and had her baby in one of those harnesses strapped to her chest. She had a lot of groceries and was lifting large heavy items from the bottom of her cart.
I thought to help her but something stopped me. It didn’t feel right to interfere. So I stood there watching her do this heavy lifting with her baby strapped on her. I watched as thoughts like “Don’t just stand there and be a jerk, help her” float through my mind. But still, it didn’t feel right to do anything. So I continued standing there.
Then all of a sudden a woman from the next checkout line rushed over saying “Here let me help you” and lifted one of the items onto the belt. The mother initially said “thank you”.
For a tiny brief moment I felt like a total asshole for just standing there and not helping the mother.
But then a second later the mother said “Actually It’s okay, I’ve got it. Thank you”. The helper women was taken aback and walked back to her line.
I looked at the mother and noticed that she was in great physical shape. I asked her if this is how she gets exercise. She smiled and said yes, that she doesn't get to the gym as much as she would like to.
I knew what I was feeling was right and glad I trusted it. The mother did not want or need help.
But let’s imagine the situation was different. Let's say that the mother was not physically strong and was actually exhausted. What if she did want help and I still didn’t feel right to offer? Perhaps she (the imaginary person I’m making up) is needing to learn to not expect people to read her mind and do what she wants them to do, which is passive-aggressive behavior. Maybe she would be pushed to experience her power and use her voice to ask for what she needs. In that situation I could be helping her too.
Many times to be and act consciously will take us out of and against societal norms and “proper” behavior. To truly help another and be selfless we must come out of the need to be liked and approved of by others (selfishness dressed as “Look, I’m a good person”). Some ways of conscious helping gets us gratitude and recognition of our efforts. That’s wonderful when that happens.
But not always.
There is no guarantee. And that's the point.
Sometimes I reach out or share from my heart and I am sincere, but it exposes something in that person and they are offended or hurt. I’m simply exposing something in them that was already there. I’m helping it come to the surface but I am not the cause of it.
But it’s really not what I do for another. Acting on my intuition connects me deeply to myself. And then life is far from boring or mundane. It is a daily adventure and I’m dancing ecstatically with existence.
This grocery store situation was minor for me compared to the bigger ones I've faced, but it shows the challenge of expanding consciousness. We might feel alone and be misunderstood. I sometimes do. But when I respond from a sense of trust, existence supports me and gives me a reassuring sign, a way of saying “Good, keep going”.
Before that woman came to help the mother I saw the gap between my being and my ego-mind. I was able to remain a witness to my programming. But then the helper woman acted unconsciously upon her own conditionings and that’s when I briefly felt some identification with “I’m an asshole”. The programming in me got suddenly stronger.
Then existence came in to give me a “good, keep going” by the mother standing up for herself. By doing so she helped me too.
I have my way of describing and experiencing this consciousness process. I also have my own way of conscious helping. But it’s the same for all of us regardless of how we package it: We all have a conscious being within and we all have a programmed ego-mind.
When we act consciously we help ourselves and each other simultaneously. When we act unconsciously however, we keep ourselves in that fog of programming and make it harder for others to see through the fog too.
We might fear trusting ourselves and making a mistake. Yet when mistakes do happen, they are needed learning experiences. I focus on learning what the experience was meant to teach me. Once I learn from it I can let it go and move on with a newly expanded consciousness.
Once a year I’ve been going to Vancouver to do a 10-day intensive retreat. This year for the first time it was held instead on Salt Spring Island, an Island reachable from the mainland coast of B.C. by several hours on ferry.
These retreats are always amazing, but this year I felt it on a new level.
This beautiful magical island seems to support higher consciousness, I’ve never experienced that feeling before. I felt more silence and also saw more of my non-silence. I could see more clearly what my mind was doing.
I loved being there and I do miss it. But I’m trying to bring more of that into my daily life here where I live in Kansas City.
While on the Island I actually underwent a Dalian Method healing session for myself, alone in public! Something I’ve never done. (the process requires out loud verbal expression of our moment to moment truth and feelings). It wasn’t in a busy area, but it was outside on the beach where anyone could walk by me or hear me from the nearby road. (not far from where I took the picture)
I felt totally supported and fine doing this! There is much less fear in the energy and people on this Island than all the places I’ve been or lived (that I can recall). I just knew no one would be too freaked out by what I was doing and on some level they would know it was fine and good.
It was so nice to be outside in the fresh ocean air and feeling the support of the earth under me and spacious expansiveness of the sky above me. To feel the movement and depth of the ocean in front of me too. The trees were there as my friends to help ground me as well.
I found a log to sit on facing the water and began the session. I knew I needed to do a session because something painful began surfacing the previous day and my thoughts were very dark around this pain. “I’d rather die” was a thought that was circulating in me.
What came up for me right away in the session was such a resistance to going into this pain and seeing what it was about. During the session I expressed and finally released the resistance and then the memory and source of pain revealed itself.
The memory was of a past life where I had 3 young children that had all died at the same time in a drowning accident. (hence the purpose of being in front of the water)
I initially assumed this was the pain I didn’t want to feel and the memory I didn’t want to face.
But it wasn’t. There was more.
I finally faced the agonizing truth that I didn’t have the strength to face. Until now.
That I was directly responsible for my three children dying. I was an extremely neglectful mother. It wasn’t a freak drowning accident. It was neglect of my very young children who needed their mother to look after them and protect them.
As the memories kept surfacing I saw that in that lifetime rather than face the agonizing guilt and the profound loss and try to search for what existence is trying to teach me (which would have eventually brought me out of my intense suffering), I decided to end my own life.
Suicide was my way out.
I died angry, bitter, and devastated.
Now, in this time and place, sitting on that beach on a magical island facing the water, was my chance to forgive myself and see the lesson in it.
I saw that I neglected, not just my children, but also myself by not being in my body. I wasn’t present at all. I didn’t want to be responsible for being ‘here’. Even though I had children, I didn’t want the burden of caring for those little lives. I just wanted to escape reality and have ‘fun’.
I realized I wasn’t being punished to learn this, it was my soul and the compassion of existence to give me this wake-up call. Life was trying to get me to be HERE. I wasn’t willing or able to listen at that particular point of my journey.
But now I am listening. I saw how I’m avoiding the responsibility to help through my sharing and authentic connecting, reducing it to occasional sharing online, small conversations with a select few or in just the healing sessions and workshops I provide.
The responsibility though is not to fix or save anyone. It’s not a burden. It’s just how it is to be myself and to really be here. I’ve been pushing the snooze button for many years, snoozing on really being here. Snoozing on being a leader. Snoozing on sharing what I know and what I sense and feel. Snoozing on opening my heart to more and more people. Snoozing on standing up for myself and for truth.
I come out of my shell and am being myself for a while then I go back into procrastinating and sleep. I’ve been in this back and forth for a while now.
So now I think it will be more forth and less back.
**I dedicate this to those three little ones whom I’m sending blessings to. I hope the work I did on this will somehow benefit you, wherever you are right now.
Leela Haris ~ E x p a n d i n g Consciousness