Heart Opening Moments

BLOG of a Spiritual Stripper

Running Away?

Are You”Running Away from Home”? Are you avoiding uncomfortable situations to stay safe? If you want enlightenment then stop running! (Photo by Laura Corebello)

Have you ever noticed we often want to hide or run away from uncomfortable situations? We often think if we can just avoid pain, disappointments, embarrassments then our lives will be much better and more carefree. We think “if I can just get out of HERE then I will be much happier!”

This reminds me of the times I plotted my escape as a child – believing that by running away from home all of my disappointments and heartbreaking misunderstandings will be resolved. Like this child, I packed up some of my favorite things in a small sack, found a bamboo stick and there I was on my way to a better world. I had imagined perhaps an alien spaceship will come by to pick me up and find me valuable for space exploration. Or better yet a nicer family will pick me up so I could show my parents what terrible mistakes they’ve made by misunderstanding my love. Now looking back we could see how innocent yet reactive it all really was.

As we mature into adulthood our childish tendencies are still deeply ingrained in our bodies. Much of these tendencies to run away have gone unnoticed in our everyday lives before we embarked upon our spiritual journey. Now we can sense someone else wanting to pull away from a hug. Other times we find ourselves running away from a needed confrontation instead we hide behind the computer screen.Sometimes we also become better at denying these tendencies or we make excuses for our behaviors. Sooner or later we find our relationships less attentive as we become more and more isolated.

It does not serve you to run away. Period.

If we are running away from ANYTHING in life, we are running away from life itself. The truth is, when we run away from any situation, we have already given up. We just forfeited the opportunity to even give it a try, to see how we might react, and see what illusions we are still holding onto. Running away = cowardly living = not living at all. To truly live is to live with courage. It takes courage to engage every moment, every breath, every person fully and completely. The tendency is to contract, hide, or run away from the HERE and NOW. That’s ok. Just notice it. It’s perfectly normal to have these tendencies. Just be with the fear and see it for what it is. Yet at the same time we can take another step closer to freedom – and see the fear for what it is NOT.

Many people say “I want enlightenment” but are still using their work or meditations to escape from their lives. Many are not willing to courageously face each moment as it unfolds. When you look into their eyes they are not present. Their body/mind/spirit have contracted to such a level that the life force is having to squeeze through a breath. Sooner or later suffering will occur. When you say “I want to be enlightened, I want to awaken” is to say “I want to live” and “I don’t care how painful or joyful my moments might become, I am willing to see through all of my illusions and become intimate with all spectrums of life.”

The tendencies to escape might still be present every once in a while even after awakening. Luckily after awakening there’s no more judgement. So when the ego tries to reinsert itself into your being-ness, just bring awareness to the present moment outside of the construct of the mind. Always choose communion with the Truth. The key is to notice these tendencies and say “oh, that’s what it is!” This way, by bringing awareness to the the present moment and became fully engaged, the uncomfortableness somehow dissolves itself.

Today I’m working with a injured shoulder and much physical pain. Yet it is becoming more and more clear that even the painful moments are designed to deliver Love. Allow yourself the space to see each moment with clear eyes, with compassion and openness for transformation. Be here. NOW.

August 19, 2012 Posted by | Death & Rebirth, Emotional Freedom, Inner Growth, love, Self Realization | , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Being Naked

innocence of a child

What was your true face before you were born? How far can you strip away the layers of personas, protections and beliefs? And what will you find at the core of who you are?

When was the last time you felt naked? Totally unprotected and exposed? I don’t suppose it was very pleasant for most of us. However “being naked” is exactly the doorway leading to the most profound spiritual transformations.

So much of our lives we dress ourselves up in a persona. “I’m the thriller-seeking skydiver triathlete doctor.” or “I’m the successful microbiologist who published twice in Science magazine.” or even “I’m the  geeky shy guy who is awkward at parties.” These are the beliefs of who we are – that is who we are to the external world. We often live our lives according to a defined persona by choosing what to say, eat or act. Other people see us as this persona and they tend to categorize us into various boxes to know our likes and dislikes. There’s an invisible line that we never speak of or cross. We are careful maintaining a safe distance with each other. As long as we see each other as their persona they we can all be safe.

Sometime ago a friend learned that I practice Isha yoga and meditate everyday for at least two hours, I visit temples and ashrams,  and I’m an animal lover. So he assumed that I am either a vegan or a vegetarian and do not drink a drop of alcohol. When I told him that I was craving steak tartare with a healthy glass of red wine he looked at me with shocking eyes and a hint of disgust. Just to pierce through his illusions further I told him that I was once addicted to video games and didn’t sleep for three nights and I love playing jokes on people I love. I think he had a heart attack weeks after our conversation.

Psychologically we feel a need to protect ourselves from the opinions and judgment of others around us in order to feel safe and accepted. We think we must maintain a self-image at all times. Earlier in our childhood we need the physical protection of our care-takers in order to survive. If we behave the way they approve then we get food, shelter, and love. Bit by bit we learn that it is not okay to be who we are but we must present the correct self-image to the world in order to survive. We must be a certain way to obtain love. It is well documented from the works of Sigmund Freud that we struggle with life instincts he called the libido or sexual desires. In my view the expression of sexual desires is a life desire for love and intimacy. We instinctually desire to love and be loved. Yet our personas and layers of protection meant to keep us feeling safe become exactly the barriers that keep love at bay. Then instead of uncovering our unconscious tendencies that push people away we blame others for their “inadequacies”. Anna Freud popularized the ego defense mechanisms through her research and identified various unconscious psychological strategies we use to shield ourselves from perceived danger. It is said that we all carry a self-image like a shield over our chest. And an ego defense mechanism only becomes pathological is when its use leads to behaviors adversely affect the physical or mental health of an individual. From what I’ve seen, most people are in denial about how their ego defense mechanism is taking control of their lives. If you watch yourself closely and be very honest, you will begin to notice how you make your everyday choices is controlled by a perceived danger from your external environment. In short, our shield’s function was meant to keep our mind feeling safe but the side effect is pushing love away.

I know a lot of people but only a few individuals can truly open themselves up to True Love and intimacy. Sexuality is easy, True Love is intimidating. It requires one to be completely naked. Only through our nakedness can we truly experience who we really are. Only through our nakedness can we truly connect with another on the most fundamental level. And only through our nakedness can we know life as it really is. Lately I’m getting tired of being superficial in some of my friendships. I’m a person who needs depth and substance. I want to see you, I want to feel the depth of your being, and I want to dance with the mystery within the core of who you are. My desire is to be naked and see you naked. It doesn’t matter to me if I don’t fit into your box of proper personas. What’s important to me is to be true – to you and to me. I am not here to indulge your neediness or to help to inflate your ego. I am here to wake you up – to your own nakedness – to your own mystery – and the ultimate adventure of being completely intimate with Love and all that is.

June 7, 2012 Posted by | Death & Rebirth, Inner Growth, Self Realization | , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments