Do We Manifest Abusive Experiences?

Do We Manifest Abusive Experiences?

Do We Manifest Abusive Experiences?

If you’ve been in spiritual circles for any amount of time, you’ve likely heard some form of the idea that we create our reality, and we manifest our experiences, and as such, we must take responsibility for ourselves and our experiences in order to create the outcomes we desire.

This concept becomes dangerously twisted, however, when applied to victims of abuse such as sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual assault, domestic violence, rape, and systemic oppression. That doesn’t stop many well-meaning spiritual people from using it to dismiss and otherwise invalidate the very real experiences of abuse victims. I’ve come across some form of it a lot over the course of my spiritual development, particularly in the early stages, including touting it as channeled information from spirit guides, etc.

At the time, I wasn’t educated enough on the subject to know better, and I took the word of psychics and channelers. Having had many years to grow in understanding and develop spiritually, I now realize how this is an over-simplification and only serves to damage and shame victims of abuse.

Some of the forms of this message have been:

  • Your souls contracted for this experience.
  • Your thoughts create your reality, therefore, your victim mentality created this situation.
  • There’s an energy exchange between abuser and the abused, and if the abused wasn’t putting out that kind of energy they wouldn’t attract this experience.

I’d like to break each one of these down and explain why this is misunderstood and damaging.

“Your souls contracted for this experience”

If soul contracts in these situations are such a thing, then the ONLY purpose I can see for them is that it is a contract to bring light to these dynamics so that they can be healed and ended. That does NOT mean that we simply dismiss it as “well you signed up for this” and forget about it. It means that it’s a contract between YOU and the people involved as well, and THEIR dynamic is meant to teach YOU empathy and what it means to protect the vulnerable.

“Your thoughts create your reality, therefore, your victim mentality created this situation”

As I’ve said before… a victim mentality only exists when the abuse is imaginary… but victim mentalities are often rooted in real trauma and abuse. In that case, we must go back to the source. A person’s first experience with abuse can never be the result of their own thoughts because the experience has never entered into their awareness.

Abusive experiences and patterns are ALMOST ALWAYS ancestral, handed down from one generation and inflicted onto the next. By simply incarnating into that ancestral line, one will experience that abuse. This, you might call a soul contract. But soul contracts are not only experiences, they are opportunities to heal. As an observer of that contract, you become a part of the collective contract and you are offered an opportunity to heal group karma that enables abusers through rape culture, systemic racism, and other destructive social climates.

By telling someone that they manifested their abuse, you are absolving the abuser of accountability, and thus AIDING in the manifestation of that experience.

“There’s an energy exchange between abuser and the abused, and if the the abused wasn’t putting out that kind of energy they wouldn’t attract this experience”

With regard to there being an energy exchange between abuser and the abused – what this really means is boundaries.

People can only abuse you if you continue to allow it, and often times that requires learning to uphold and maintain healthy boundaries. But many times, power dynamics make upholding boundaries extremely difficult. It’s called abuse because the person or group who has the the most power is using that power to abuse a person or group who has less of it. This, too, is ancestral, because the only way a person or group obtains more power than another is by accumulating it over time (the only exception being a parent/child dynamic in which case it exists from the moment the child is born).

Who allowed that person to accumulate that power, unchecked?

Who continues to enable them to wield that power without consequence?

The answer is the collective. The family members who don’t speak up or step in. The friends who never say anything. The “good” cops who don’t report the bad cops. The people who say “boys will be boys.” The well-to-do family who protects their sons and daughters from the consequences of their actions. 

All of the people who see this abuse taking place and say nothing? They are just as responsible, because they allow abusers to avoid being held accountable.

You can’t tell someone that they’ve manifested their own oppression or abuse without pointing the finger at yourself for being a part of the collective that allowed it to happen.

So… let’s shut this toxic shit down wherever we see it. Okay?

Do Not Look Away

Do Not Look Away

Do Not Look Away

This post is going to make a lot of people uncomfortable. Truth be told, it’s meant to make you feel uncomfortable. As spiritual people on a healing journey, learning to recognize our discomfort and sit with it, examine it, find the root of it, and heal it is what we call “the work” of examining our shadow.

Shadow work was never meant to be easy. It was never meant to be comfortable. It is messy and painful and sometimes, downright ugly.

Any strong emotional reaction you have to what I’m about to say is indicative of something unhealed within you that needs to be addressed, and it’s calling you to look at it, sit with it, and to not look away until you’ve come face-to-face with it in the mirror of your reality.

I ran a little social experiment in a Facebook group years ago that literally proved that it was almost impossible for the majority of people to do this. I posted this blog post in the group and asked people to do the exercise contained therein, and to comment not with their opinion about the article, but with what types of emotions were arising within them as they read it.

Nearly every single commenter failed. They immediately launched into their defense mechanisms, commenting with their beliefs and opinions about the article rather than paying attention to what was happening within them, emotionally. Even with further instruction and guidance, many of them continued to react from their subconscious programming.

So here I am, six years later, writing yet another post which is going to challenge you to sit through your discomfort and refrain from reacting out of your own wounds. Can you do it without looking away?  Let’s find out.

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BLACK. LIVES. MATTER.

Do not look away. What are you feeling in your body right now?

Did your pulse quicken? Your heart start beating heavier? Your chest get tight? Brow furrow, perhaps? That almost uncontrollable urge to instantly react and tell me that all lives matter? Or perhaps your reaction is to shut down, stop reading, and immediately click away to avoid having to sit with those very physical feelings?

Do not look away.

If your coping mechanism is avoidance, the urge to run from these feelings is probably going to win out. You’ve most likely already stopped reading.

Do not look away.

The other possible outcome is that you’re already formulating all the arguments in your head to contradict the concept that Black Lives Matter, all of the reasons that justify what you are feeling right now and makes it righteous. This is another type of coping mechanism at work.

DO NOT LOOK AWAY.

Your instant emotional reaction and physiological response to Black Lives Matter is what we call feeling “triggered.” A person becomes triggered when a similar, yet unconnected environmental stimulus causes them to subconsciously recall unresolved emotional wounds from past experiences.

Still here? Still reading? Still able to sit with all of those uncomfortable feelings? Ready to explore them? Good. Let’s dig in.

Every time I write Black Lives Matter, I am intentionally triggering you. But how and why?

More than likely, you believe that acknowledging that black lives matter means that you don’t matter. That somehow, by acknowledging the pain of people of color, that your pain is being ignored. Your own unhealed wound is screaming so loud for acknowledgment and love that you can’t hear, see, or feel the collective pain of an entire group of oppressed people. And so you dismiss their pain or demand that they also acknowledge your wound. You may have wrapped this up in some kind of political rhetoric as a way to justify your feelings, but underneath that justification is your own core wound. Acknowledging that black lives matter somehow, for some reason, makes you feel less than.

In the spiritual community especially, this justification has become wrapped in the flowery language of peace, love, and light… which leads me to–you guessed it–SPIRITUAL BYPASSING.

Spiritual Bypassing: Spiritual Bypassing is a term coined by psychologist Robert Masters to describe the practice of empty spirituality devoid of real personal development. In spiritual bypassing, a person uses over-simplified spirituality to avoid actually doing the internal work to develop real spiritual understanding, often resulting in stunted spiritual growth, repressed emotions, inflated ideas about their own level of enlightenment, and a plethora of other detrimental activities and ideas.

This sort of empty spirituality doesn’t facilitate conscious expansion or enlightenment, but rather feeds one’s own ego and keeps its proponents trapped in the lowest levels of conscious awareness.

Here’s a clear example of using spirituality to bypass:

You cannot heal yourself without sitting with your own discomfort. When you haven’t healed yourself, your gaping wound can block your ability to empathize  with the plight of others, and that aspect of your shadow is reflected back to you in the world around you. In the case of Black Lives Matter, the anger that people feel around black people asking for the acknowledgement of the generational trauma inflicted on them by a biased system stems from feelings of resentment that your own pain hasn’t been acknowledged (and therefore, why the hell should anyone else’s be?).

Acknowledging the collective pain of black people doesn’t invalidate your own pain. That’s you invalidating yourself. That internal invalidation has informed your beliefs about yourself and the world around you. It’s the foundation of how you see the world. It’s informed your politics. It’s informed your actions, which include willfully ignorant blindness to the systemic oppression of people who don’t look like you.

And that, my friend, is how you create your own reality, and how that reality gets reflected back to you–until you heal.

That’s a hard pill to swallow. It doesn’t make you a bad person, it makes you a wounded person, blinded by your own pain. You can forgive yourself. You can recognize your wound. You can begin your own healing process, and in that process, you can contribute to healing the world–including the generational trauma of millions of African Americans.

Xo, 

 

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The Great Awakening

The Great Awakening

The Great Awakening

If you’ve been into spirituality for any amount of time, you are aware of the terms “awakening” and “ascension.”

By and large, most people define awakening as becoming aware of what is happening in the world around you–the “real” reasons why governments do what they do, social injustices, the horrible state of the world. Being “woke,” as the younger generation would say.

A lot of people believe that a mass awakening means that the sheeple of the world will suddenly become aware of all of these things, unify, and demand change. Except what that change looks like differs starkly depending on which side of the political aisle you fall on, and for as long as we have a division of values, we will never have unity.

This is not what being awake means, and this is not what the great awakening is. Not by a long shot.

How we see the world–how likely we are to empathize with the plight of others, which side of the political spectrum we fall on, and our natural (or nurtured) personality inclinations—is very connected, and to some degree, how that plays out in our daily lives is what collectively creates the conflict in the world around us.

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space there is a power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. – Viktor Frankl

Becoming self aware enough to recognize our own traumas, habits, and patterns, and how those triggers cause us to make certain decisions is what it means to awaken. Becoming aware of how those engrained patterns and beliefs created by outside influences shape the way we think and the choices we make and being able to separate ourselves from them is what it means to truly free thinker.

Our great awakening is when we awaken to ourselves, because the world around us is simply a reflection of that.

I Challenge You

I Challenge You

I Challenge You

The content you read and share on social media at this time will frame your understanding of what’s happening in the world around you, and every single thing can be framed in a fearful way, or in a non-fearful way.

I challenge you, before you click “share” on anything, to ask yourself these questions:

How does reading this headline make me feel?

How does the content of this article make me feel?

What emotion is driving me to want to share this?

What am I feeling in my heart when I read this?

What am I feeling in my stomach when I read this?

If the answer to any of those questions is fear, anxiety, panic, worry, concern, anger, outrage, or some other negative emotion that is rooted in fear, I challenge you to pause and re-think sharing that information.

I would bet that, if a headline incites any of those emotions from you, that’s exactly what it was meant to do, because the person who wrote it knew that you would be more likely to share it.

There are two sides to every story, even the stories playing out right now. People can and do latch onto the most fearful aspects of that story in order to push their own beliefs and agendas–whether or not it’s well meaning!

Some people want to sound an alarm because they are worried that something bad will happen, so they write an article, or record a YouTube video, and tell you all of the bad things that COULD happen because of X,Y, Z. And then people who read that article become worried that very thing could happen, and they share that article or video. The operative word there is “could.” Because it has not happened, and in many instances, there are measures being taken to ensure that it doesn’t, which were conveniently left out of the video or the post, because the purpose of the post wasn’t to actually inform you in a balanced, rational way, it was meant to incite you to action out of fear for the future, and presenting solutions does not help that cause.

We all have a choice in what kind of energy we lend to the situation at hand, and I challenge you to examine yours each and every time you make a Facebook post.

Look back at the things you’ve shared so far and ask yourself the same questions. Then look to see if there is a common theme in the answers. This will give you a very good idea of what type of energy you are living in and operating from right now.

I’ve written before about how the media uses your emotional triggers to further political agendas. This is exactly how people are being manipulated right now. And no, I’m not necessarily or only talking about the media making coronavirus sound scarier than it is, I’m also talking about wide-spread conspiracy theories that are telling you that we’re going to end up in a totalitarian society after this. This is also a fear-based message, it’s just on the other side of the coin. Fear is fear, no matter what color dress you choose to put on it. And reacting from fear is a choice.

This pandemic is real. This pandemic should be taken seriously and not dismissed. But instead of bickering about what we are afraid will happen next, we should see this as an opportunity to evaluate all of the broken systems that have been unveiled through it. We should also be working together and asking ourselves what we can do to help one another while we strive to weather this storm. Spreading fear–however well-intended–is not helpful when it’s all we are surrounded with.

I challenge you to be a light of hope in a time of uncertainty instead of a harbinger of doom.

Spiritual Politics

Spiritual Politics

Spiritual Politics

Many of you know that I have a very conservative, religious upbringing. One of the things that always bothered me about many of the churches I attended growing up was pastors who preached politics. Many of them endorsed political candidates (always the republican candidate) and essentially encouraged their congregations to vote for that candidate, outlining all of the reasons why they were “god’s chosen candidate.”

Since all of this has started happening, I’ve begun to see many alleged spiritual teachers doing and saying the exact same things. And this, once again, rubs me the wrong way.

No true teacher should be telling you who to vote for. They should encourage you to think for yourself. No true teacher should be laying out what you should believe and then say, “But I’ll let you decide for yourself,” because that’s leading the audience.

True spiritual teachers understand that politics is a game that exists within the illusion of duality. Left vs. Right. Republican vs. Democrat. Liberal vs. Conservative. This IS the matrix. As long as one exists, its opposite will rise up to meet it, until we transcend the illusion.

What we are attempting to do here, now, is dismantle the system and build a completely new one. It does not look like capitalism. It does not look like socialism. It does not look like communism. It looks like something completely new that has never existed.

No single person, no political Jesus, is going to swoop in and fix this. That is for US, the PEOPLE to do–not by relying on voting for a person already entrenched in the system who you think will fix it, but by BEING THE CHANGE you want to see. By inhabiting the consciousness that we purport to believe in. By no longer looking outside of ourselves for solutions, but by BEING the solution.

What does that look like?

It looks like community. It looks like reaching out to each other. It looks like supporting one another in times of need in whatever way you can. For example, people are in financial trouble right now, but are offering their services on a pay-what-you-can basis anyway, and those who aren’t in financial trouble giving more to help them, or sending other people who can pay to them, to help keep each other afloat. That’s what community looks like. We don’t do it because we gain from it, we do it because IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR THE GOOD OF EVERYONE. It looks like an intrinsically-driven system built from the ground up, not a mandated top-down system implemented by a government.

It looks like UNITING with each other and standing in our true power. It looks like creative problem solving at the local level. It looks like grassroots-lead movements. It looks like something completely NEW that we have to build because it doesn’t not yet exist on this planet.

These are all Aquarian themes and we are headed into the age of Aquarius (2023-24) as soon as Pluto is finished laying waste to all of the shadow energy of Capricorn (greed and selfishness in government and economic systems).

We do not need politicians. We need EACH OTHER.

But for as long as we continue to seek solutions externally, and expect someone else to come and save us, we will stay on exactly the same path we’ve been on. Thinking Donald Trump or Joe Biden, or whoever the fuck ends up on the ballots is going to save the world is no different than sitting around and waiting for Jesus to come back or the aliens to land and rescue all of humanity from itself.

If any spiritual leaders are telling you to believe in the system right now, to believe in any political party or candidate, then they are a part of the system. That is OLD PARADIGM AND IT IS DEAD.

This is new paradigm. We are our own saviors. And do not let ANY spiritual teacher tell you otherwise.

I Quit

I Quit

I Quit

I had 17 people follow me in a single day on Instagram earlier this week. Of the 17, nearly every one of them was some type of intuitive personal development coach or mentor.

Within three days, most of them will disappear, because that’s what people do on Instagram to try to gain followers.

When I see people behaving this way, I question their motives for doing what they do.

I wrote in a post on Instagram not long ago that I take serious issue with the commercialization of spirituality. Once the desire for success overtakes the desire for service to the greater good, you cross the border into service of your own ego, and the work loses its integrity.

Spiritual work is sacred work. People are trusting you with their deepest level of vulnerability. You have a responsibility to honor that within your interactions. You have a responsibility to model integrity, not just in how you do business, but in how you live your entire fucking life.

It’s easy to tell people the fundamentals of how to create change in their lives. It’s a wholly other thing to show them in the way we carry ourselves day-to-day. It calls us to elevate ourselves, our actions, and the entirety of our lives to a higher level of integrity. To live fully within our purpose in every moment and be a beacon of hope for the masses.

This is the highest calling, the greatest purpose – to BE that which you present yourself as.

The longer I’ve been on social media, Instagram in particular, the more disillusioned I’ve become with people who claim to be something they aren’t, the people who follow them, and the people who help create them.

“Anyone can become a coach! I’ll teach you how. Just take my online course for $5,000.”

They throw out words that they don’t understand the meaning of, like intuition, spirit and purpose, teaching others to teach others when they haven’t done the work, and neither have the people they’re “coaching.”

The fact is, you can only teach others from the same depth at which you’ve done your own work and the thing you start to learn the more you work is that the work is never finished.

One of the people who started following me was a 22-year-old “intuitive transformation coach.”

“It’s taken me 22 years to find myself!” she glowed in one of her perfectly curated Instagram photos, ending with a call to action to join her training program.

I’m almost 36 and I still haven’t found myself and honestly don’t expect I will until I’m at least 50, if truly “finding yourself” is something that’s even possible in the grand scheme of being an ever-evolving, multi-dimensional being. The one thing I do know for damn sure is that 22 is the age where you barely fucking know who you are and, more than likely, are the epitome of lost in your own self-loathing, completely unaware of yourself, your true values, or your true identity. 

Sure. Anyone can present the illusion of being a “coach.” Even someone who was a teenage adolescent as little as three years ago.

You can teach people. You can coach them, even, without completely “knowing” yourself. The key is to be transparent as fuck about the fact that you don’t know and that you, too, are a student of life. But that goes against the principles of a good sale, doesn’t it?

Business coaches will tell you that you need to present yourself as an authority. Talk about what you KNOW, not what you don’t know. Admitting that you’re not the best and ultimately, you’re just here feeling it out like everyone else doesn’t make you stand out from the crowd and it certainly doesn’t make needy people want to buy your product.

The thing is, especially in the realm of personal development and spirituality, “best” doesn’t exist. There is no spiritual authority. That is both the beauty and the madness of it.

I see these people – people who feel energetically out of alignment, some of which I know empirically and factually to be living a lifestyle that is out of alignment with the spiritual values they preach on a daily basis – presenting it on social media to thousands of people, and in some cases, hundreds of thousands of people, as though it’s some kind of evolved thing they should all aspire to, and it is utterly appalling. They even preach authenticity while simultaneously having no real understanding what that even is.

I unfollowed the maker of my favorite oracle deck because I discovered she was following one such person. My immediate thought was, “How do you, as so-called intuitive, not see this person for what they are?” I’m sure it’s only because there’s a blue checkmark next to their name, but that now brings her spiritual integrity into question. How can I, in good conscience, support the work of a person who either A) claims to be intuitive and supports someone who is energetically disgusting, or B) support the work of a person who will follow and engage with people who are energetically disgusting simply because they can gain more exposure for themselves?

The answer is that I can’t, in either instance. It makes me want to throw up, and I don’t mean metaphorically. I mean the energy behind it is an actual assault on my solar plexus – it tightens and constricts and I feel repulsed.

Maybe it’s because I’ve spent 16 years immersed in marketing, branding and advertising and I can smell a sales pitch from 100 yards away. Maybe it’s that my intuition really is that on point. In the one instance where one of these kinds of people offered me exposure on their platform, I refused because I didn’t want to be associated with that kind of energetic garbage.

If this is what mainstream spirituality has become, if this is where we are…turning our healing process into a business model and using sacred terminology to make sales pitches, I can’t be a part of it anymore. I. WON’T. DO. IT.

My platform is authenticity and it’s been built on a foundation of integrity. And I can’t, with good conscience, continue to align myself with this parade of false idols.

And so, it’s with that, I bow out. The day I thought would never come has arrived. This the end of In My Sacred Space.

Maybe it’s time. Maybe it’s been long overdue. I did discover  over the weekend that on the last day of Mercury Retrograde, my entire website had mysteriously been deleted from my hosting server. It was recovered, obviously, but it seemed like that was the final and ultimate sign from the Universe that my time here has gotten stale, and to move on.

I suppose my first sign should have been when a semi-well-known bra company that, if you’re female, you’ve no doubt seen heavily advertised on Instagram and Facebook reached out to me to be a part of their influencer program. What did they think I was going to do? Post pictures of my tits in their bras and talk about self love like everyone else on Instagram? My body is not your billboard, and my words are not for sale. Seriously. Fuck off.

I didn’t respond to any of the multiple emails they sent me. I happen to own three of their bras already and frankly, they’re no better than any other bra I’ve ever owned. Here’s your glowing endorsement: mediocre at best.

For some of you this may admission may seem sudden, but it’s been building for well over a year. Probably since I first set foot into ABC Carpet and Home and discovered their culturally appropriated home decor collaboration with Deepak Chopra. It was very beautiful, very over-priced…and it made me uncomfortable as all hell. But I guess if that $1,000 iridescent-glazed statue of Ganesha makes one rich white person feel a little more enlightened and a tad closer to God, so be it.

No space is sacred anymore, not even your living room. Capitalism has recognized an opportunity to merge with “spirituality” and the money machine is in full effect, permeating every aspect of your life.

I feel like I’m in the Wizard of Oz, screaming at everyone to look at the man behind the curtain, and their attention remains transfixed on the glittery image being projected in front of them.

I’m sure I’m not completely done with spirituality. It’s probably more so a time for me to evolve into something else, and this form of it has simply come to an end. My takeaway from the whole of this experience, all of my years in marketing and advertising and all of my experience with “influencing” and “coaching” is that the U wants me to learn from it, to see it, and to do it differently. This is Uranus in Taurus energy, for all you astro nerds out there.

I have no idea what it is or what it looks like. I just know that there has to be a way to make a living for yourself while successfully helping other people, without selling yourself out, without compromising your integrity, without creating a fraudulent public image or using your body as ad space, and without servicing your own ego and that of others before the greater good. If you want the game to end, you have to stop playing.

But before I go, in my last parting words to all of you, I challenge you to do one thing and one thing only: give very careful scrutiny to those “spiritual” people you put your faith in. The ones with their professional photos who look like they’re “living their best life” on Instagram and Facebook, who talk about their dark times in vague generalities in a formulaic caption that always ends with something to sell you (or “Tag a friend and share with someone who needs to see this!”). The ones who say, “Look at me. Look at what I’ve done. Look at how much I’ve achieved. I can help you do the same…” for a price.

If the main message of their narrative is to learn from their success and not from their struggle, they’re not authentic. If the main message of their narrative is learn from their “struggle,” but they never present that struggle in true, vulnerable terms, they’re not authentic.

Look at them as a whole and ask yourself, “What is the overall feeling that this person leaves me with?” If the answer is a feeling of need, of lack, of envy, if you feel less successful by comparison, or pressure to be like them – they’re out of alignment with you.

Someone who is IN alignment with you will leave you feeling hopeful. Seen. Heard. Understood. You will identify with them. They will make you feel like you can do what they’ve done, not because they’re successful and they can teach you how, but because you identify with their struggle and it is evident in their words, actions, and demeanor that they do, in fact, continuously conquer it with grace and humility.

They’re covered in scars, not glitter. Those scars have given them the gift of depth. Of presence. Of Truth that radiates from the core of their being. It is felt. They don’t have to speak it.

That being said, I think this is my last post for a while. Maybe ever, or at least, under In My Sacred Space. I invite you to share it, far and wide, and not so that more people will follow me or so that I can get more potential customers, because I’m obviously not selling anything at this point. Share it because people need to wake the fuck up to who they’re looking up to and see beyond the illusion.

I plan to leave the site up, as there’s still a great deal of helpful content and many people who are still discovering it.

I don’t know where I go from here, but I’m sure there’s something waiting around the corner. It was fun while it lasted. I grew a hell of a lot. So much so, I’m not who I was when I started. I guess that means I get to start over, somewhere else, as someone new.

Maybe I’ll meet you there one day.

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