Choose Love

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Love’s Landscape, by Sajit Greene

“You can only see in one of two ways—with love or fear.” -A Course in Miracles

“Love is at the heart of all things. How you feel but reflects your decision to accept love or to reject it and choose fear. Both cannot be chosen. All feelings you label joyous or compassionate are of love. All feelings you label painful or angry are of fear…Lack of love is fear.” -A Course of Love

When I was first introduced to this idea that there are only two emotions, love or fear, I found it hard to believe. As a psychotherapist, I was immersed in a world of emotions, and there seemed to be quite a lot of them: love, fear, grief, loneliness, anger, happiness, longing, worry, guilt, shame, and on and on.

So how can there be just two emotions?

Look at it this way: As human beings, there are two basic operating systems to choose from. You can operate from the belief that you are separate (meaning you are separate from God/Higher Power and also essentially separate from everyone and everything), or you can operate from the knowledge that you exist in Union with God and all of creation. It is indeed frightening if you believe you are separate and ultimately alone in an uncertain world, housed within a vulnerable and temporary body. That’s why “separation consciousness” is also called “fear-based consciousness“. As you awaken to Unity Consciousness, you see with the eyes of love.

fear copyMost of us have been operating from separation and fear because that’s how we’ve been conditioned. Fear is the ego’s operating system. It is so deeply ingrained that we don’t even realize that the various forms of discomfort we feel are all rooted in a basic, unconscious fear. That’s why fear goes by so many other names.

Frustration, anxiety, irritation, anger, depression, hatred, judgment, attack, jealousy, guilt, blame, and shame are but different shades of fear. If you scratch the surface of any of these feelings, you will find fear at its foundation: Fear of being hurt, fear of loss, fear of not having enough, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment, fear of failure, fear of death.

love or fear 3 edLove is the emotion that naturally flows from the awareness that we are eternally and seamlessly joined with All That Is. To awaken from the dream of separation is to know that you are safe in the arms of a loving Creator. You are loved, and you are LOVE itself! In Unity Consciousness, love is unconditional and it shows up as joy, peace, freedom, and spaciousness. Love is compassionate, forgiving, and creative. While fear rejects and resists, love accepts and embraces, without exception.

“Your beauty is the gathering of the atoms, the order in chaos, the silence in solitude, the grace of the cosmos. Our heart is the light of the world. We are one heart. We are one mind. One creative force gathering the atoms, establishing the order, blessing the silence, gracing the cosmos, manifesting the light of the heart. Here we live as one body, experiencing communion, the soul’s delight, rather than otherness. It is a seamless world, a tapestry where each thread is vibrant and strong. A canticle where each tone is pure and indivisible.” –A Course of Love

Now that you know that separation leads to fear and that to be in Union is to BE love and express love, which will you choose?

 

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Your Unique Self: Waking Up and Waking Down

“You are a unique expression of the self-same love that exists in all creation.”

-A Course of Love

SnowflakesWilsonBentley

Remember when you were a kid and marveled at the beauty of snowflakes? Someone probably told you that every snowflake is unique. That’s true. And you are just like a snowflake…totally unique. While each snowflake is a unique crystalized form, all snowflakes are made of the same substance…water. When the snow melts and returns to liquid water, we see that, ultimately, there is no separation between one flake and the next. Snowflake_proportions_(1)

You are a unique crystalized form of Love. The Love that is God is like water: continuously flowing as one, undivided substance. The Light that is God is like the Sun…a magnificent, radiant light source that shines on and through each of our crystalized forms. God is One Source with many expressions.

I used to think that spiritual awakening, or becoming enlightened, was about realizing “No Self” and seeing that we’re all just a big blob of Oneness. But that’s only part of the picture. “Awakening” goes in two directions: waking up and waking down.

Snowflake_crystalWhen we wake up from the dream of separation, we “get” that our True Nature is something we all share. Imagine being a snowflake that melts into a stream of water and remembers it’s origin. Our True Nature, that which makes us One, is the Love and Light of God.

Once you wake up to Love and remember that you are seamlessly joined with All That Is, then the “waking down” process begins. As you “wake down”, you return to your Unique Self…your unique crystalized form. And now you have a whole new awareness of who and what you really are. You become a more spacious self that lets the Light and Love of God shine through without obstruction.

As you “wake down” you gradually emerge as the Divine Human you were meant to be…totally unique AND totally joined, in Union with God and all of Creation.

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How I Lost God and Found My Way (Part 4)

Listen to the story of how I met Jesus (Yeshua) in a vision, in 1987, which eventually led me back to God…with a whole new understanding of God.

 


Coming Out of the Closet: Can I get a witness?

coming out 6Here’s my secret: For the past 29 years, I’ve had a profound relationship with Jesus. I call him Yeshua. You can listen to the story of how I met him, here. Yeshua is my teacher, my healer, my elder spiritual brother, and my friend. He’s shown me a path to awakening that speaks to my heart and soul and blows my mind, every day. I am deeply grateful for what he has given me and shown me, on the path of Christ Consciousness (aka Unity Consciousness). My love is not only for Yeshua, but for those joined with him in the Christ Council, including Mary Magdalene, Mother Mary, and others of the Christ/Magdalene lineage. This is my lineage.

I wrestled with the decision to “come out” for about six months. I worried about how people would react…how you would react. I was afraid you’d judge me as a crazy fanatic, or that you’d think I was a born-again Christian, or that you’d be afraid I would try to evangelize you. Rest assured, I am not a fundamentalist nor an evangelical, and I’m not even a Christian. I don’t adhere to any religion and I don’t follow the bible. I’m a mystic, which means I have a personal, direct relationship with the Divine. The Yeshua that I know and love is the one who speaks through His contemporary teachings, including A Course in MiraclesA Course of Love, and The Way of Mastery.

As I was deciding whether or not to “come out”, I kept asking myself, “Why does it matter? Why is it important to come out publicly about my love of Yeshua?”

I uncovered three answers to that question:

  • When I acknowledge and affirm my relationship with Him, my heart opens to a greater breadth and depth. It expands my ability to love.
  • I need to stop holding back. When I hold back, I dim my light. Holding back is a strain, and it makes me feel like I’m squished inside a little box.
  • I want to stop holding out on you. I have such powerful wisdom to share, but it’s radical, and not everyone is ready for it. But if you want to wake up to your True Self and wake down, to fully embody your Divine Human Self, I invite you to join me in the Awakening Sanctuary.

I needed to “come out” in order to free myself…to free my authentic voice and speak from my inner knowing. Thank you for being my witness. My hope is that by freeing myself in front of you, it will also free something within you.

I hope you will unleash your authentic voice and speak from your inner knowing. What’s your secret passion? What truth have you been holding back? You are a unique expression of the Divine. No one else can be you. You are essential to the whole. Bring it!

Is there something you want to “come out” about, but you’re not ready to go public? Share it with me in an email. I will be honored to be your witness.

 


How Can I bring More Love to This?

Yoga,_double_exposure_by_Victor_TondeeI was twisted into some pretzel of a pose when my yoga teacher, Genevieve Oswald at Shree Yoga Taos, gently dropped this profound question into my mind:

“How can I bring more love to this?”

That question has continued to ring through me, gently and quietly, in moments both on and off the yoga mat. Whether I’m challenged by an asana that stretches my hamstrings or stretching myself to move through fears in my personal life, this simple question helps me be more present and compassionate with myself.

“How can I bring more love to this?”  

“Breathe,” my body whispers. “See how you might soften into this.”

“Be patient with yourself,” says the voice of Big Compassion. “I’m with you.”

“How can I bring more love to this?”  

Tears begin to flow. I can let go and feel the feelings I’ve been holding back.

“How can I bring more love to this?”  

It can be as simple as turning on my favorite music and instantly filling my space with sounds that open my heart.

These are some of the answers that have bubbled up, within me. The answers are always something I can do in that very moment.

Try it. Ask yourself, “How can I bring more love to this?”  

Let me know what answers you discover. Please leave a comment, so we can all benefit from your wise, loving inner voice.


5 Warning Signs that You Need Self-Compassion

  • pointing fingerYour Inner Critic is beating you up by saying all kinds of mean things about you.
  • Your Inner Judge accuses you of wrong-doing. The gavel comes down. Boom! Guilty as charged!
  • The Self-Hater is making you feel like sh-t.

Quick!  Take a large dose of Self-Compassion. No negative side effects. Repeat as often as needed.

Sometimes it’s obvious that you are in need of the warm embrace of self-compassion. The warning signs are like flashing neon lights in Times Square.  You feel really bad, and you know you need relief. At other times, the signals are more subtle. Or, maybe you are just so used to hearing those harsh inner voices that you don’t even think about them as calls for compassion. I’m noticing that the more inner work and healing I do, the more I’m able to sense a very faint signal of distress that’s at the very root of the ego: A basic sense of “not ok-ness”.

Consider these 5 warning signs, so you can be more aware of your need for compassion, whether the signals are loud and clear or faint and muffled:

1. Feeling “not enough”. “I’m not __________ (fill in the blank) enough.”  Not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not loving enough, not dedicated enough… The list could go on and on.

2. Should-ing on yourself. “I should be doing __________ (fill in the blank),” or “I shouldn’t be doing __________ (fill in the blank).”  In either case, the voice tells you there’s something wrong with your behavior.

3. Attacks on your body: Criticizing how you look, how your body feels, or how it’s functioning. “My body is too __________ (fill in the blank).”  Too fat, too skinny, too wrinkly, too stiff, too tired, too achey…

4. Guilt and shame: “I am a bad person because __________ (fill in the blank).” I hurt someone, or I was hurt by someone else, and I deserved it.

5. Awash in uncomfortable emotions: anxiety, sadness, loneliness, grief, fear, anger…heart in clouds

It may not be immediately obvious what thought or whose Inner Voice is making you feel badly. Sometimes it’s just a sense of feeling blue, heavy, tense, or off center. If you inquire into what’s behind the subtle feeling of “not ok-ness”, you may discover one of the 5 warning signs is being lit up. But even if you don’t dig down to see what’s underneath the feeling, you can still benefit from applying a good dose of Self-Compassion. Take another dose as often as needed.

Don’t know how to give yourself compassion or want some support?

Listen to this 18-minute guided meditation designed to help you practice Self-Compassion.

 

 

 


Big Compassion: The World’s Biggest Hug  

My heart feels tender as I turn a loving gaze upon some uncomfortable feelings. Anxiety. Guilt. Failure. Frustration. Oh, and did I mention anxiety? I’ve come a long way from the days when I suffered from serious depression and intense self-hatred. I’m on a pretty even keel, most days. But lately, I’m acutely aware that bits and pieces of some old patterns still remain, lingering in the shadows.

I’ve learned how to process my emotions with much more awareness, and I know the importance of being gentle with myself. I can manage my Inner Critic so she doesn’t torture me, and I’ve got a reliable set of stress-busters to call upon as needed. My spiritual practices uplift me, while time in nature keeps me grounded. These are some of the things help me stay balanced. Yet, the most powerful medicine has been the recognition of my True Nature. I’m no longer completely hooked by the idea that my body, my stories, and the feelings and thoughts that pass through me, define who I am.

Does this mean I never feel fearful, upset, or uncomfortable? No. The other day my car skidded out of control on a patch of ice. Was I scared? Yes. Even after I arrived home safely, I felt afraid. What about the next time I need to drive down my steep, windy, icy road? Should I hole up at home for the rest of the winter and avoid driving altogether?  Next in the parade of worries came the financial concerns: My insurance company balked at accepting my claim for damages to my vehicle.

Letting go of the train of thoughts skidding out of control in my head, I brought my attention down into my body. Here’s what I found: A contraction around my heart. An uncomfortable vibration in my nervous system. Then, I noticed a sense of a bigger space, in which the vibration was moving. A sense of a bigger space in which all that I typically think of as “me” was being held with compassion…Big Compassion.

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Seeing the distress of my personality-self through the eyes of this Big Compassion, all is accepted and allowed to be as it is. All is embraced within a larger energy field…a field of spacious awareness. All is permeated by a loving consciousness. Everything is ok. All is forgiven. It’s like a giant hug that has no arms…no boundaries or limits. That one who gives the hug with no arms, that’s my True Nature…my True Self.

I’ve discovered, in my own awakening process, that there is a natural flow of expansion and contraction. When I contract in fear or resistance, there is a temporary forgetting of who I really am. There is a condensing down that Icy Rio Hondo-1-4seems to solidify the small identity…the identity I think of  as “Sajit”…the identity tied to this body, this personality, and these fleeting emotions and thought streams. When contraction is happening, I know there is something that yet needs to be seen, and then seen-through. Contraction doesn’t mean something’s gone wrong. Contraction doesn’t call for self-flagellation. Contraction calls for the pause button.

Big Compassion is always there. When I’m able to remember to shift my attention and look through Compassion’s eyes, the contraction begins to unwind. I can relax into the safety of the arm-less hug. As I identify once more with my True Nature, expansion occurs, naturally.

It’s like breathing. It’s like the flow of the tides. BIG COMPASSION…TRUE SELF…contraction…small identity…suffering…BIG COMPASSION…TRUE SELF.

Don’t sweep your uncomfortable feelings under the proverbial rug. Don’t try to hide them from yourself and pretend they aren’t there. What they need is to be embraced with Big Compassion. Give yourself the world’s biggest hug!


Four Dimensions of Forgiveness

This article is Part 3 in a series prompted by my second Saturn return and reflections on a painful turning point in my life. You may also want to read Part 1: Defining Moments, or “How I Lost God and Found My Way” and Part 2: Soul Contracts and Forgiveness.

Part 3: Four Dimensions of Forgiveness

I used to think that forgiveness should come in a flash, in which the whole thing is instantaneously healed. But that hasn’t been my experience. For me, it’s been a process that has unfolded over time and on multiple levels of my being. Here are the four dimensions of forgiveness that I’ve experienced:

  1. The Wounded Inner Child
  2. The Rational Self
  3. The Soul
  4. Unity Consciousness

These four dimensions span a continuum from the less-conscious (Level 1) aspects of ourselves to the more-conscious (Level 4). However the forgiveness process doesn’t necessarily proceed in a linear fashion, from Level 1 to Level 4. My process has involved diving in here and there, at different levels, at different times. I find it most helpful to move between the layers, interweaving them into a seamless tapestry. All of it is held within the compassionate awareness of Unity Consciousness. Self-love and self-forgiveness are important ingredients, every step of the way.

In my own process, forgiveness in the four dimensions looks something like this:

The wounded 12 year old inside me needed to have a safe place to express her feelings of pain and rage, without holding back.  It wasn’t safe to do that with my parents, but eventually I was able to vent those feelings in therapy and through Voice Dialogue Process. My Wounded Inner Child needed to be heard and seen by a non-judgmental witness. I needed to take her out of a dark hiding place within my psyche, embrace her, and let her know that she’s safe. She still holds tightly to some last shreds of fear and resentment. I forgive her for believing she still needs to defend herself in this way. I also realize there are other facets of the Wounded Inner Child that are still crying out for love, and so I continue my healing process.

The rational part of me chooses to forgive because it’s in my own best interest. Forgiveness isn’t meant to excuse someone’s hurtful behavior nor deny that it felt really shitty, at the time. Forgiveness is meant to free me.Prayer of release I want to forgive because holding onto a grievance hurts me. It makes me feel contracted and stuck and closed off from people. It keeps me feeling like a victim…small and powerless. It’s a heavy burden to carry anger and resentment around all the time. I want to let it go.

The rational part of me is able to step back and see my mother from a more neutral, and even compassionate, point of view. I can see and understand the fears and insecurities that drove her angry reaction. I can see that I triggered some of her wounding, and she lashed out at me, unconsciously. A Course in Miracles says that every experience is either an expression of love or a call for love. My mother was having a “call for love”. So was I.

From the level of my soul, I see there is no one to blame, because everything that happened in the story of my “Defining Moment” was part of a soul contract…an agreement between my soul and my mother’s soul. I am grateful that my mother played her part so beautifully. The reason my mother’s proclamation, “You don’t know what you think”, triggered me so deeply, is because it struck a nerve. “I don’t know what I think” was a false belief that my soul came here to unravel. I needed that false belief brought to the surface of my awareness so I could investigate it and come to realize that it’s not true. I do know what I think. I can trust my own perceptions. I can share my point of view with authority…my inner authority. Even at 12 years old, I was guided by a trustworthy inner knowing.

Words are inadequate to describe the experience of Unity Consciousness. Therefore, it is challenging to describe my experience of forgiveness, at this level, without it sounding abstract or merely philosophical. Yet, Oneness is truly an experience, not a concept. As I continue to awaken and experience life, more and more, as the experience of Oneness, there is no longer a completely solid and separate “me” and a completely solid and separate “other”. Oneness means that, despite all appearances to the contrary, there can never be two separate beings in conflict with each other. There is just one thing going on.

As it says in The Way of Mastery, “Each relationship or each moment is a ‘holy encounter’ because there is only wholeness showing up as that One thing. Existence is not really two beings coming together and having an forgivenessexperience. There is only the One Thing, which is the experience of itself.” All appearances of separation and conflict dissolve. The whole drama is seen to arise within, and dissolves back into, unconditional love. Who is there to be blamed?

Within the vast, open, spacious awareness of Unity Consciousness, all things are allowed to be as they are. The Wounded Child is embraced with compassion and presence. She is seen and felt. No need to resist or fear her. No need to fix or change her. Simply being present with her.

My whole drama is a wave of energy, arising and falling away, in the ocean of Oneness. All is forgiven. There’s nothing to forgive.

As I share my process with you and describe it in terms of these four dimensions, please keep in mind that it’s a fluid, organic process, and I’m still in process. It’s not a 1, 2, 3, 4, step-by-step process, and it’s not an intellectual process. It is experiential, and the experience moves through my emotions and thoughts, as well as through more subtle and intuitive aspects of my being. Last but not least, remember that the forgiveness process calls for a generous dose of self-love and self-forgiveness. Be gentle with yourself.

Please leave a comment and let me know what has been sparked within you, by my description of the forgiveness process and these four dimensions.


Soul Contracts and Forgiveness

This article is Part 2 in a series prompted by my second Saturn return and reflections on a painful turning point in my life. In Part 1: Defining Moments, or “How I Lost God and Found My Way” I tell the story of leaving behind the religion of my family lineage to set forth on a solo quest for Truth.

To recap: I was 12 years old when I broke the news to my mother that I didn’t believe in Judaism. At that age, I didn’t have the inner resources to deal with the conflict that followed. I was too afraid to stand up to my mother’s authority when she told me, “You’re too young to know what you think”. This statement hurt me deeply, and in an unconscious attempt to protect myself, I shut down. I held on to my hurt and anger for a very long time, and I saw myself as a victim in this scenario. Now I’m taking a new look at my old story.

Part 2: Soul Contracts and Forgivenesssaturn_1509887c

The first glimmering of forgiveness toward my mother came when I began studying astrology. One day, I read about Saturn in Sagittarius (which is where Saturn is in my birth chart). The astrology book said, “People with Saturn in Sagittarius are often born into a family with a dogmatic religious orientation. They need to learn to find their own spiritual path.” I suddenly saw my rejection of Judaism and my conflict with my mother from a cosmic perspective. I saw that it had all been perfectly designed by a higher intelligence for the benefit of my spiritual evolution.

From this perspective, my painful experience was not my mother’s fault. It wasn’t Judaism’s fault. It wasn’t my fault. In fact, it wasn’t a “fault” or a mistake or even a problem. As Byron Katie says, “Life is simple. Everything happens for you, not to you. Everything happens at exactly the right moment, neither too soon, nor too late. You don’t have to like it…it’s just easier if you do.”

Astrology taught me that my deeply personal story (being born into a conservative religious family, longing to be close to God, becoming disillusioned, and setting off to find my way, alone) was also the archetypal story of Saturn in Sagittarius’ quest for Truth. I knew intuitively that having Saturn in Sag. was no coincidence. I saw that my soul chose to come into this religious family for a reason. My religious upbringing gave me something to push against, Saturn wall quotewhich gave me the impetus to start searching for another way…a way that would truly feed my spiritual hunger…a way better designed to wake me up…a way that I would need to forge, myself, without an outer authority telling me what to believe or how to express my spirituality.

When I realized that my painful experience had a higher purpose and that on some level I had chosen this experience, it became clear to me that my parents were simply playing the roles assigned to them. They were not against me, they were actually FOR my spiritual evolution (although they weren’t aware of this, consciously). We were all in cahoots in creating and enacting this drama. It was a soul contract between us, and we’d played our parts perfectly. How could there be any blame?

opening door w sunNow there was a huge crack in the solidified and entrenched belief that I was a victim. Through that crack, the light of forgiveness began to filter into my mind. I wish I could tell you that this first light of forgiveness completely dissolved my long-held anger and resentment. Over the years, I’ve worked with forgiveness lessons from A Course in Miracles and The Way of Mastery, I’ve taught others about forgiveness (we teach what we’re learning), and I’ve worked on this with The Work of Byron Katie. I’ve been in psychotherapy and even did a mother-daughter workshop with my Mom, many years ago. All of these things have been helpful, and I still have some forgiving yet to do. For me, forgiveness is many-layered, and I’m still in process.

Understanding that things don’t just happen to us, randomly, and that we have soul contracts with the major players in our lives, helps me accept and value my challenging relationships. I’m curious how this notion of “soul contracts” sits with you. Does it ring true for you, at an intuitive level? Does it affect your ability to forgive? Please leave a comment, below.

Writing this series of articles has prompted me to go deeply within and continue working with my forgiveness process. Click here for Part 3: Four Dimensions of Forgiveness

Click here for Part 4: How I Came Back to God


Are You Selfish Enough?

 Let’s re-frame the word “selfish”

When I was about 20 years old, I read a book titled, “When I Say “No”, I Feel Guilty”. That book was an eye-opener for me.  As a shy college student, I wanted to be liked, I wanted to think of myself as a nice person, and I was afraid to deal with conflict.  I thought saying “Yes” was the nice thing to do.  Eventually, I got the hang of saying “No”, but I must admit the temptation to feel guilty can still rear it’s ugly head. Loving myself enough to be “selfish” is an ongoing process.

DON'T BE SELFISH.framedA lot of us were taught to believe that it’s “selfish” to ask for what you want, or say “No” to what you don’t want. But stop and think about it: Who was the first person to accuse you of being “selfish”?  It was probably a parent or maybe a sibling. As very young children, we learn that we’re supposed to play nice, share our toys, and let Johnny go first.  These are important lessons for a 3 year old. But as an adult, if you ignore your own needs in order to play Mr. Nice Guy, you lose.  You lose your self-respect, your power, and your autonomy.  It might make everyone around you happy, but are you happy?

Here are five clues that you may not be selfish enough:

1) You’re more concerned with what’s fair to others than what’s fair to you.

2) You attract people who are very focused on themselves.

3) You’re afraid to ask for what you want.

4) You’re not sure what you want.

5) When you say “No”, you feel guilty.

Let’s turn it around.

  • Give yourself permission to be selfish.  Give yourself permission to be self-loving.
  • Listen to your gut feelings. Is your gut saying “Yes” or “No”?  If someone asks you to do something, check in with how you feel. Does the thought of doing it make you feel heavy or light?
  • Know that if you say “No”, the other person is free to react however they choose, but you don’t need to feel guilty about being true to yourself.
  • Take time in solitude to listen deeply to the prayer of your heart. What is your heart’s desire?  Then, have the courage to ask for what you want.
  • Take some steps, however big or small, to create a life that makes your soul sing.

As Jeshua says, in The Way of Mastery, “Self love is the love of the Creator. You cannot love the Creator while rejecting the Creator’s creation.”  Self love.WOM.lily

So, it turns out that loving yourself is actually the spiritual thing to do!  Who knew?

Leave a comment and let me know an act of self-loving-kindness that you did today.