By Selbymay (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The Road to Resilience

This is a guest post I wrote for amberskyeforbes.wordpress.com back in 2013. While reviewing my draft folder I discovered it and concluded the message is timely. Resilience is one of my favorite topics and is front and center in my consciousness today. I hope it resonates for you also.

Thank you Amber for having me as a guest blogger today. I want to share some thoughts I have about human resilience in the face of loss. Life is a series of continuous losses. After you take your first breath, you find your way on the path towards your final one. Our cells constantly regenerate. In fact, it is known that our bodies completely change every seven years. Typically people equate death with loss and sometimes use those terms interchangeably. Yet, loss is pervasive and incredibly universal. Here are some common losses to consider: loss of health, loss of youth, loss of innocence, loss of a relationship, loss of teeth, loss of weight, loss of physical strength, loss of vitality, loss of purpose, loss of  money.  Even if we live in the same home and work at the same building, our atmosphere is constantly changing. Quantum physics has proven that your favorite chair is really made up of energy particles that are not solid matter. Change, loss, regeneration, motion……. change, loss, regeneration, motion…… This theme is one of the few constants in the human experience.

So how do we cope when the human ego craves the status quo and desperately tries to hold on to what is familiar and safe? The first step is always the same ; acceptance. When one grieves a loss, it may take a while to come to acceptance, but once there, the path to resilience is within reach. Eckhart Tolle espouses that acceptance of what is will lead to inner peace. In his book The Power of Now , Tolle  says

Watch any plant or animal and let it teach you acceptance of what is, surrender to the Now.
Let it teach you Being.
Let it teach you integrity — which means to be one, to be yourself, to be real.
Let it teach you how to live and how to die, and how not to make living and dying into a problem.

The idea of non-resistance has been embraced readily in the East, but not as much in the Western world. However, the popularity of Tolle’s work , along with yoga, meditation, and mindfulness practices, has made this concept more palatable across the globe.

A receptive attitude towards life is also essential to the cultivation of resilience. To be receptive means to be open to new ideas and possibilities, even in the throes of pain and sadness.  It also includes the ability to look at situations in a new light and the awareness of a larger worldview. For example, deciding to move to a new city so that your partner can accept a new position may leave one feeling conflicted about giving up their current social connections and comfortable lifestyle. Yet, with a receptive attitude, one can see how this decision to support your partner may also bring them into alignment with a fulfilling new career path, nurturing like-minded friends, and awaken a dormant sense of adventure and vitality.

It is often much easier to make these behavioral changes in community. Community can mean biological family, family of creation, spiritual/ religious group, neighborhood circle, social media, or outside support system. For those who need additional support with the grieving process or making transitions, a support group or therapy group often can provide the community and treatment/support necessary to face the crisis in a healthy manner. I have worked many years as a therapist with people dealing with acute and chronic mental health challenges. The amount of loss and trauma many of these individuals carry is close to unimaginable. Often a history of abuse and/ or trauma is present in those with certain mental health issues, which can trigger substance abuse through self-medication. This choice can create more loss and trauma, along with the traumas inherent that many encounter in the mental health and criminal justice systems. The Mental Health Recovery Movement that is emerging in the US and Europe addresses these issues in a proactive , holistic, humane fashion. My work in a Recovery program gave me the opportunity to create and facilitate groups that embraces those values. I ran a Grief and Loss group that  gave the members the space to develop trust, improve communication, and begin the path to acceptance, forgiveness, and hope. We often examined ways to re-frame a situation in order to encourage attitudinal change and healing. We often discussed how we gained something positive in the wake of a loss. When a commercial began airing with the slogan ” What will you gain when you lose? “,  I began to wonder if the advertising firm was eavesdropping on our group!

I am not suggesting that resilience is inevitable, some people are genetically wired to be naturally more resilient than others. So perhaps there are those among us that experience less setbacks or regroup quicker from a significant loss. We all can make a huge impact upon our own destiny by increasing our awareness of when we need some form of treatment/ intervention in the face of depression, anxiety, extended grief, trauma, and difficult life transitions. Relief from suffering and recovery from loss is possible and there are many wonderful resources available. We all deserve the best possible life we can create for ourselves. Evidence of resilience is abundant both in nature and bustling cities, and everywhere in-between. Take a close look around you and you are bound to discover it in action.

Resources:

http://www.imhcn.org/

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/

http://www.mentalhealthrecovery.com/

http://ncmhr.org/

https://netforum.avectra.com/eWeb/DynamicPage.aspx?Site=USPRA&WebCode=about

http://raysofhope.blogs.com/my_weblog/2011/04/resources-list-for-grief-loss-trauma-and-transitions.html

http://www.amazon.com/Power-Now-Guide-Spiritual-Enlightenment/dp/1577311523

http://www.amazon.com/Counting-Our-Losses-Reflecting-Bereavement/dp/0415875293

http://www.amazon.com/Mans-Search-Meaning-Viktor-Frankl/dp/080701429X

http://www.amazon.com/Resilience-Things-Bounce-Back-ebook/dp/B006NZ7HQQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370381672&sr=1-1&keywords=resilience

http://www.amazon.com/Resilience-ebook/dp/B009GEY7WI/ref=pd_sim_b_5

header image by Selbymay (Own work) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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Bringing Mysticism into Focus

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This is the first article in a continuing series on Mysticism. Astrologically the time is ripe with Saturn square Neptune to bring some form and focus ( Saturn) to what appears to be elusive and mysterious ( Neptune). The recent entry of Venus in Scorpio also supports a dialogue on the love ( Venus) of what lies beneath the surface ( Scorpio).

When I began this blog, the tagline was ” The adventures of a part-time mystic.” I have since changed the tagline because I realized that I am not a part-time mystic. We all are part-time human beings that are actually eternal mystics. This is what I believe.

So what do I mean by mystic anyway? I’ll suggest the following: A mystic is anyone who is interacting with Source directly. This covers a lot of territory. Initially I thought that mystics were the rare individuals who lived in monasteries or were fully enlightened beings. I see this differently, especially now. Mystical experiences and spiritual awakenings are our birthright as we dance the dance between the material and spiritual planes of existence. As I described during my telling of an intense awakening experience, I eventually owned the title of mystic. It was a long time coming, but I could no longer deny my truth. I just did not want to appear pretentious or really foolish.

But a funny thing happened, the more I identify accurately, the more mystics enter my life! My revised view on mysticism is that it is a natural state of being  and that not being mystical is most likely caused by painful programming in early childhood or even traced back to genetic and ancestral roots. It seems that we are in ” new times” where the mystical is returning to our collective culture. This is exciting and also frightening for many, myself included.

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But help is on the way.

So often in my world, I find myself presented with interesting opportunities seemingly out of the ethers. This fall I joined a Facebook group based on the Shades of Awakening summit. Through the group I was invited to take an online class with Emma Bragdon on How to Effectively Help Someone in Spiritual Emergency. I had little time to decide, but felt such a strong pull to participate. I am so glad I took the plunge and here’s why:

I was able to connect with others who are passionate about helping support those having difficulties with their transition.

I learned much more about the differences and similarities between Spiritual Emergence ( SE) and Spiritual Emergency ( SEY).

I was able to expand my knowledge about how to assess and treat those with various manifestations of SEY.

I learned about the Spiritism Model featured in Brazil, as well as other international systems of care that integrate the conventional medical model with the alternative spiritual based models.

I became aware of Spiritual bypass, where an individual strongly pursues spiritual development and ignores underlying psychological issues that remain unresolved. Upon reflection, I realize that I have encountered many people in my life who were using spirituality as a distraction or addiction. They were sometimes in positions of power and hurt many as a result of their resistance to addressing their psychological well-being.

I reignited my desire to serve others as a practitioner in a way that speaks to me and is relevant to these times. I plan to take the Practicum so I can complete the course and become a Spiritual Emergence Coach ( SEC).

ariels_flight

I know I have only begun to scratch the surface on what it means to be a mystic and how this way of being will transform our planet. I am very curious as to what all my dear litebeings have to say on this topic.

Please share your opinions in the comments section.

I strongly recommend you learn more about the course here. Emma is a wonderful instructor who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as an educator, healer, and one with lived experience. She is very engaging, devoted, and a lightworker in every sense of the word. If my post sparks even a hint of curiosity, check out the material or and/or email me to learn more.

So many of us benefit by evolving via community. I know that I began to blossom as a young astrology student once I joined a local astrology group. I do not think I would have begun to read for others were it not for my ” village”. Joining with others that share similar values and experiences instills safety and the ability to be more authentic and shine brighter.

I hope this introductory offering on the Mystic’s Way has nudged more folks out of slumber and closer to home.

Resources:

http://imhu.org/

http://emmabragdon.com/

http://www.livinginstitute.org/david-lukoff

http://www.global-vision.org/papers/JWP.pdf

image credits; Josephine Wall

 

Power Up The Energetic Web

wikipedia.org, pub domain

How has your weekend been? After quite a hectic and somewhat unsettling week, I woke up today with a lingering state of peace. So so grateful…

I have some announcements to share:

Some of you may remember I posted about an online summit on spiritual awakening and spiritual emergency. It was sponsored by Shades of Awakening. It was absolutely delightful hearing from speakers around the globe about how altered states of consciousness often involved experiences that Western society typically labels as psychotic or pathological. Well, through a string of unforseen circumstances I was made aware of an online course given by Emma Bragdon, one of the summit speakers. I am taking the class, which is called How to Effectively Help Someone in Spiritual Emergency, and it begins this Wednesday October 21st. If you are interested in the overlap between shamanic initiation and “mental illness”, this course may be for you. It is part 1 of a 2 part series leading up to a certification to become a Spiritual Emergence Coach. There are still spaces available and I would be delighted to learn alongside of you!

Visit here to learn more.

My pal Barbara over at Memymagnificentself is launching her book and looking for book reviews and interviews on various platforms. I will be interviewing her here and would love some company. Let’s support her in her quest to promote her book and its mission of freedom, unity consciousness and Divine expression.

Check out Barbara’s latest post to join the fun.

Last but not least, the Time Machine Blogging Challenge continues. The response to this series has been excellent. Let’s keep adding more momentum by filling the remaining dates on the roster. I added dates for the end of this month per the requests of some bloggers who needed more time. Time isn’t running out in 5D or above, but here on momma Earth, time is limited and we have 4 more spaces available. They are October  21, 22,  23, and 24. It would be an added bonus to get a representative from Africa and South America. All the other continents are covered save Antarctica!

To learn more about the challenge and read all the fascinating time tales, click here.

I really like the visual notion of our cosmos as an energetic web. It captures the premise of quantum thought and sacred geometry. I fancy the notion that every breath is a chance to light up our collective frequencies and celebrate our interconnectivity. By participating in any or all of the activities I mentioned above, you can make a difference beyond your wildest dreams.

NAMASTE

image credit: wikipedia.org, public domain

Shades of Awakening Summit: Spirituality and Mental Health

Hello litebeings,

While many of you know I have been a practicing therapist with a strong transpersonal orientation, most do not know about one of my pet research topics ~ spirituality and psychosis. I did some research in grad school on the psychosis process from a micro to macro perspective and emphasized both the intersection between psychosis across cultures and how mental health symptoms intersects with mystical experiences. I was hungry to do more and a few years later I partnered with a psychologist to edit and complete a book on spiritual emergencies. The book project was permanently shelved but my passion for the topic has only increased over time.  I have intended to blog on this topic, but have not really done so as of yet.

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However …….

I want to inform those who are curious about how Chiron ( the wounded healer) operates in one’s life that there is an excellent free online summit happening this weekend. I just finished listening to one of the interviews and was quite impressed. I plan to listen to more of the speakers and invite you to check this out.

Here is the link:

 http://www.shadesofawakening.com/summit#sthash.BzNxWund.dpbs

Let me know what you think of the series and the topic in general. I would love to hear from any shamans ( part-time or otherwise) to get their take on this material also.

Namaste

Guest Post

I have a guest post today over at the blog of Amber Skye Forbes. The title is: The Road to Resilience. I did something a bit different – I write about my views  on grief, loss and how to thrive through a psycho-spiritual lens.  I draw from both my experiences as a therapist and the philosophy of the Mental Health Recovery movement. Please drop by and leave a comment if you’d like.

pink orchid , longwood gardens 2013 by © litebeing chronicles
orchid, longwood gardens 2013 by © litebeing chronicles

On another note, I am extremely close to 111 followers. Check the countdown at the right to keep apprised of my progress. The party preparation has begun , so stay tuned for the date of the actual event.  Fun and surprises ensue.  Thank you all for your support!