Things Change

By , February 26, 2011 8:54 PM

Over the past couple of years I’ve really gotten into a series of books written by Kathleen McGowan.  I highly recommend her books, by the way…  The Expected One, The Book of Love, and The Poet Prince.  I’ve probably mentioned them before.  I find I have a deep connection with them.

When I learned that Kathleen McGowan and her partner were planning to do a tour through France to visit some of the sites she referenced in her book The Expected One, I flipped out!  Of course I would go!  I was so looking forward to the trip, assuming that I would go.  I even mentioned to my supervisor that I’d be on vacation during that last week in June.

Toward the end of January, I contacted the tour arranger to see about officially signing up.  He told me that they still had space available and that they’d added a second week as alternative option and I needed to let them know in which week I’d participate.

And then the resistance set in.  There was a part of me that still desperately wanted to attend, but I couldn’t make myself commit to the trip.  My body would clench up at the thought of moving forward with making the trip happen.  Why?  Darn good question.  I have no idea.

The resistance has morphed into something else now.  I no longer have the pull to participate in this trip.  It just doesn’t feel like it’s my trip anymore.  I’m actually pretty sad about this fact because I was so looking forward to going.  I don’t understand what happened, but I know the right thing for me is to not sign up for this trip right now.  It’s entirely possible that things could change again, I guess, but we’ll see.  For now, I have to honor the guidance I get from my heart.

© 2011, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Spiritual Beloved

By , February 23, 2011 9:00 PM

I listened to a session tonight with Dr. Jean Houston as part of the Soulmate Summit I mentioned a few days ago and I just loved what she had to say.  She talked about the practice of connecting with the “Spiritual Beloved.”

You might wonder what (or who) the Spiritual Beloved is.  She described it as the expression of the Divine Other.  Put another way, it is the part of yourself that is Divine, which is your connection to the Divine.  The Spiritual Beloved is your spiritual life partner in the realm of the Divine.  Once you connect to your Spiritual Beloved, you’re never alone again.

She recommended some daily practices to help acknowledge and validate your Spiritual Beloved, including speaking with it, co-creating with it, and meditating with and on it.  Specifically, she suggested beginning and ending your every day by communicating with your Spiritual Beloved.

In addition—and I just love this—Dr. Houston talked about going through your day essentially basking in the love generated by your relationship with the Spiritual Beloved.  Let that love create a field of love around you that paves your every way and every moment through your day.

© 2011, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Getting to No

By , February 20, 2011 11:40 PM

All right, I’m going to admit this.  Sometimes I have a difficult time saying no.  In some areas of my life, it comes pretty naturally and I do just fine taking care of myself.  In other aspects, I still disappoint myself and I know I can do better.

I suspect this is true for most people—they have some areas of strength and others for improvement.  Are you aware of the parts of your life in which you may be prone to making choices that don’t honor you?  If you’re not conscious of those areas in your life, I’d like to suggest that it’s time to get aware of them.

Really, that’s the first step in learning to make better choices and better boundaries for yourself.  Every time you dishonor yourself by compromising what is deeply important to you or by handing your power over to another, only you will pay the price.  But the thing is that you are the most important person in your own life.

You have to live with yourself for every day of your life.  If even you betray yourself, how can you trust anyone?  The relationship you have with yourself is what defines every other relationship in your life.

If you find yourself reluctant to say no, even when you know you should, consider this:  saying no to someone external to yourself, could easily be seen as saying yes to yourself.  Don’t you also deserve some yeses?  I’d say YES to that!

© 2011, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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All the Best

By , February 19, 2011 9:53 PM

This week I’ve been listening in to a series of talks on finding your soulmate.  It’s called the Soulmate Summit and Arielle Ford and Claire Zammit have pulled together quite the who’s who of relationship experts and other spiritual resources to help you prepare for and attract your soulmate.

One theme that has been repeated multiple times is how important it is to be yourself as authentically as possible because, ultimately, in your soulmate relationship, you’ll feel loved for exactly who you are.  No artifice.  No strategies.  No façades.  Imagine that.

How do you do this?  After all, there are so many subconscious and even instinctual actions and reactions that happen when we begin a relationship with someone.  Probably the most obvious answer is that you’ve got to keep checking in with yourself and asking yourself the question about your level of authenticity.  Of course, then you’ve got to adjust accordingly.

In addition to making these deliberate pings to assess your own actions and behavior, there’s another barometer at your disposal as well: Do you like who you are with this other person?  Do you love who you are with them and what he or she brings out in you?  Are you both feeling like you’re bringing out the best in each other?

As simple as all that sounds, how many relationships have you been in which met that criterion?  I’m actually pretty sad when I look back at mine because there really were precious few for which that was true.   Now, to be clear, I learned tons from all my past relationships, but I’ve since decided that it’s time to seriously raise the bar and really focus on that as a critical standard for my relationships.  I mean, can you really be happy in a relationship in which that’s missing?  You truly do deserve it.

© 2011, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Multitasking Myth

By , February 17, 2011 10:55 PM

I have to sort of laugh at myself at the moment.  You’d probably chuckle too if you could see me now.  Let me sketch a picture…

I’m sitting on my purple couch, with my legs tucked under me and covered with a throw.  My laptop is balanced on my thigh and, of course, I’m typing away.  As I’m typing, I also have headphones plugged into my laptop’s jack and I’m listening to a recorded interview.  All done?  Not yet.  The television is yapping in the background too.

Do you think I’m multitasking?  I’m not.  Pretty much nothing is getting my real attention at the moment, although I’m definitely most focused on what I’m typing.  For what it’s worth, I don’t recommend doing this because the experience of everything is seriously diminished.  I know I’m missing most of the contents of the interview—and it’s really interesting!  Haven’t you also found the same to be true for yourself?

I always find it to be rather humorous when employers seek multitaskers or when people proudly label themselves as multitaskers.  Not only is multitasking very stressful (and goodness knows we have enough adrenal fatigue in the world), personally, I feel that a much more effective approach is to truly focus fully on one task at a time, address it, then move on to the next activity.

The speaker I was listening to (yeah, I couldn’t sustain that degree of being fractured) has me pondering about the ways we might be attempting to multitask in other, less obvious ways.  Specifically, can we assume that our hearts and minds can operate together concurrently—when we might really be better off listening to each individually and allowing them each to express their wisdom to us?

The image that pops to mind is that of tuning a radio.  Sure, there are points on the dial at which several stations can be picked up at once.  But what do you hear?  You can recognize that several people are talking or several songs are playing at once, but it’s mostly noise and the meaning of both is lost.

© 2011, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Love on Drugs

By , February 16, 2011 9:51 PM

Tonight I listened to an interview with Dr. Helen Fisher in which she very briefly touched on the topic of anti-depressants and the effect she suspects they have on love.  Very fascinating!  Dr. Fisher is affiliated with Match.com and its sister site, Chemistry.com.  As an anthropologist, she has done much to study love.

But what an intriguing thought, no?  That medications—specifically, serotonin boosters—we take can influence how we make choices about love.  In fact, she referenced the fact that she heard from someone who fell deeply in love with a woman, started taking an anti-depressant, and suddenly left her because his feelings abruptly evaporated.  As soon as he got off the drug, his feelings of love for her returned like a tsunami.  She then also said that if someone falls in love with you while they are on anti-depressants, things could change if they got off the drug.

Consider how much our healthcare paradigm has changed in the past few decades.  There are so many drugs out there to manage symptoms for quick-fix relief for whatever pain or discomfort we might be experiencing, but relatively little to really address the underlying cause of the condition.  Well, and if you factor all the self-medication we do with legal or illegal substances and activities—alcohol, recreational drugs, food, gambling, shopping, and whatever other addiction you can probably name—we can barely make it through a day au natural.  For so many of us, we seek medications for a respite from whatever unpleasant experiences we have, but at what cost?

Way back when, at the beginning of my blogging stint, I wrote about the fact that when you make a choice, you’re also choosing both the predictable and the completely unforeseen consequences that come along with it.  All we have to do is listen to the news to hear about the fact that certain drugs are being pulled from the market because they cause dangerous side effects or even deaths.  How much might they also be influencing your choices, your feelings, or your experience of the world?

Even though I dated someone on anti-depressants for a while and it definitely did impact our relationship, I wonder now whether things went sour for us in part because he got off the meds.  Curious.  Certainly there were plenty of good reasons for us to split up, but it does make me say “Hmmmmm.”

Especially these days, when anti-depressants seem to be prescribed like candy, what might that be doing to our connections with people?  In our technological age, people tend to be physically disconnected with each other in favor of being connected electronically.  Depression is rampant.  It has me wondering which might be the chicken and which might be the egg…

© 2011, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Free Love Secrets

By , February 14, 2011 9:43 PM

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!  Regardless of how your day was, I’d like to give your heart a gift in honor of this day of love.

A few years back, I visited my sister in Indianapolis and she and her partner took me to an event.  I had no idea what to expect but it turned out to be a very moving evening because it spoke to my heart in a completely unexpected way.

Frank Warren did a presentation on his Post Secret project.  Have you heard of it?  It started as a short-term project in which he asked people on the street to anonymously mail him one of their secrets on one side of a postcard.  He was flooded with postcards and the project has continued in a now open-ended way.  The postcards he receives have filled several books and he has a website I highly recommend, http://www.postsecret.com/ Check it out for a taste of what it’s all about.  I think it gets updated every Sunday.

In my experience, these postcards have a direct channel to my heart and to humanity in general.  They are artistic, raw, and poignant.  Some are funny, some are heartbreaking, some feel a bit contrived.  Nonetheless, they really underscore the vulnerability we share because they provide insight into the secrets people keep and which usually remain unexpressed and thereby keep us feeling alone.

Do you have something that haunts you, something that you are ashamed about?  Perhaps, in the spirit of love, it’s worth contributing to the Post Secret project.  What better gift could you give yourself than to let the demon finally go by moving it out of your heart and out of your space?  You can do it in a creative way and even tap into energetic support from everyone who was brave enough to precede you and everyone in the Post Secret community.

The truth of the matter is that you are not the only person who feels paralyzing shame because of your secret.  In fact, you’re most likely not the only person who has that specific secret either.

Set yourself free.  If that’s not a gift of love, I don’t know what is.

© 2011, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Real Love

By , February 13, 2011 9:52 PM

Are you up for more love talk?  Somehow, it just seems apropos…

Is it just me, or does Valentine’s Day seem different this year compared to other years?  Sure, the advertisements for flowers, jewelry, and other gifts abound and are the same as they’ve been historically.  What seems different is the effect they’re having.  They actually seem much more superficial and hollow.  It has me wondering if we are breaking free—if even in the smallest way—of the fear and expectation that has fueled the Valentine’s Day machine.

Especially in spiritual circles, a common theme emerges, namely that “only love is real.”  Do you believe that’s true?  I tend to. When you’re in that space of pure love, you are so much more open and connected to yourself and the Divine.  And that’s what’s real.  In fact, I believe most of our journey on Earth is all about reaching that state.

Now, to be clear, when I talk about love in this context, I mean the love that emanates from the purest part of your heart and embraces the beauty in everything and everyone.  It does not impose a filter of past experience on the present.  It can be thought of as unconditional love, but I’m not really a big fan of that phrase.  I prefer to think of it as Divine love because it originates and honors the Divine in all of us.  That’s not to say that romantic love and Divine love can’t intersect.  They can, of course, and the strongest relationships embrace and embody both.

What I am feeling is that there’s a movement of authenticity happening now, such that an obligatory, insincere gesture for Valentine’s Day is no longer acceptable.  The blogs and articles I’ve seen recently have emphasized paying attention to your partner and expressing appreciation throughout the year, instead of “phoning it in” with a superficial, uncreative gift on February 14.

Speaking as someone who has been blown off, stood up, dumped, loved, and on the receiving end of the obligatory gestures on Valentine’s Day, whatever you choose to do, do it from your heart.  Make it real.  One of the best Valentine’s Days I can recall was when the guy I was dating cooked me dinner, wrote me a poem, bought me an orchid that continues to bloom for months every year, and made me a music mix cd.  He didn’t have any money to spend, but he shared his heart with me and that was amazing.  That’s what it’s all about.

Don’t love out of fear.

© 2011, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Love You, Love Me Not

By , February 12, 2011 10:44 PM

I’d like to continue today with the topic of love.  I had an interesting insight that I thought I’d share.

Remember that guy I mentioned from 25 years ago who contacted me out of the blue via Facebook?  I always considered him to be my first love even though he made choices that caused me a lot of pain back then.  Still, he was my first love and had that place of honor in my heart.

In our present day interaction, our conversation was mostly about him trying to abolish the arrogant, narcissistic person he was 25 years ago.  Given some of the things he said throughout our communication, I was prompted to ask him what our relationship had been to him back then.  He refused to answer, saying that to do so would be unkind to both of us.

I think he was pretty clear in his answer, don’t you?  Ouch.

Anyway, being on the receiving end of that information has been interesting.  It makes me sad to know that I loved someone who did not reciprocate those feelings, that I gave myself to someone who didn’t value me.

It’s very different to experience someone’s choices and then gain insight regarding whether they made those choices in the context of love or not, isn’t it?

It turns out that love was most likely not a factor for him at all in our relationship back then.  That puts a completely different light on our interaction.  There’s actually a bit of freedom in it as a result of that information.  It’s confirmation that there’s nothing I could have done or been to save that relationship because, ultimately, we were in different relationships.  We each had our own agenda, which was wholly incompatible with the other’s.

The upshot is that love is a gift that you give not knowing if it will be shared or honored or valued.  How another person responds to your gift speaks volumes about the person they are, not who you are.  You are responsible for your choices, not theirs.

© 2011, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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Peace, Love, Revolution

By , February 11, 2011 11:41 PM

Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us.  I know numerous people who feel that it was a day manufactured to make folks feel bad—because they don’t have a sweetheart, because they got the wrong gift, or because it’s a commercialized, superficial excuse to sell cards, flowers, and chocolate to a fear-motivated audience.  The fact that it’s supposed to be a day about love is rather ironic.

Of course, there are also people who embrace the opportunity to share their appreciation and gratitude for the love they do have and witness in their lives—whether it’s romantic or not.

I love that the people of Egypt have changed everything and seem to be celebrating their love a few days early.  They chose a peaceful path to defeat fear.  Their revolution took 18 days.  Eighteen days.  It’s almost incomprehensible to imagine the wars that we participate in year after year, with little in the way of positive results.  And somehow, in a historically volatile part of the world, they brought about massive change by standing together with national pride and with conviction about what they wanted to achieve.

The Egyptians have created a new beginning for themselves.  We will have to watch the story unfold from here.  Hopefully, they will not stray from a mindset of love when they create a government to move forward.

Do you think it’s too late to send a Valentine’s Day card to the people of Egypt?  It probably wouldn’t get there in time, so I will send beams of love and gratitude and my prayers for a future filled with love and peace.

Love really is revolutionary.

© 2011, Tamar98. All rights reserved.

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