Surrender

My entire life has been about push, go, and willing my way through everything.

Learning how to yield is one of my new practices.

Last night, like many nights after a long day, I feel exhausted and my system begins to wind down, gearing up for a night of rest.

Yet as any new parent knows, there’s a strong possibility the night will be interrupted by a child waking up with a need and thus, disturbing your slumber.

It’s amazing to me that I often hope, wish and pray that my son doesn’t wake up so that my world and my agenda for a good night’s sleep doesn’t get disrupted.

But last night, something different happened.

My son woke up and I happily went to his room. He was standing in his crib, half crying, half speaking.  I touched his back, rubbed his head and let him know I was right here.

I kneeled next to the crib and began to hum as I often do to soothe him. I was sitting, much like I do in meditation when I realized I was indeed meditating. I immediately felt my devotion for my son. That I would sit there all night if I had to. That I would do just about anything for him. I was in touch with my deep, deep devotion to him. My heart was wide open and I was utterly present.

As I sat there, I realized a new connection with this parental devotion. It was simple yet profound.

I realized that Spirit was speaking through my son. The sacredness of this moment was pure and it echoed throughout the silence.

I began to see that spirit speaks through children and how it moves through my son all the time.

My son was crying out to me to be present, to stay “awake”, to soften and open. Spirit was crying out to me to be present, to stay “awake”, to soften and open.

Spirit spoke through my son and in doing so, I felt the radiance of all that is.

As of late, with my spiritual emergence, I often feel inches away from major divine presence.

It’s thanksgiving here in the States and I feel grateful that I have the privilege and get the opportunity to practice letting go, right here, right now, over and over.

Yet why do I make it so hard?

I’m learning that life is very straightforward when I am willing to surrender.

Six Months To Live?

What if you had six months to live?

Life might look different eh?

What if we all put a stick of dynamite under the box most of us have agreed to live in?

What if you had the courage like my friend Alexis to give it all up?

What if rather than pretend everything is “fine” we got super honest and told the truth, admitted we were hungry for more, gave ourselves permission to cut the chord of comfort, complacency, and mediocrity to love deeper, bigger, and tell the whole truth of who we really are?

What if, like my friend Alex, you said “screw the conventional track” and just took a giant step into the unknown? What if, like my bro Dan, you quit a very stable job with good benefits to search and go after work that was much closer to your soul’s calling? What if, like my friend Patrice, you took a sabbatical from a growing entrepreneur business because you weren’t feeling it? And, what if you went the other way and took a high paying job in another country just for six months so you could afford to support your family like my other friend Dan did?

I have countless other examples of clients and friends taking bigger risks from leaving relationships that no longer serve, to starting (more…)

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

I am reprinting this from an email I received from Malidoma Some, a west African Shaman whom I’ve had the privilege to meet, drive around Boulder, and work for for two days. Since I am going through what I believe to be a spiritual emergence, I am reading a lot on the topic. I want to continue to educate others. That what we sometimes call depression, bi-polar, psychosis, schizophrenia, might actually be a significant transformation in consciousness and a necessary stage on the path of human development. While this is a long article it’s well worth the read for those interested in the subject. Particularly if you have suffered from a mental illness or treat those with a mental illness. You might also like to read this short post Beyond Medication, Holistic Psychiatry. And, since i get so many private emails about this post, please ask to join our private community on facebook here. Here is the excerpt from Stephanie Marohn‘s book The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia.

The Shamanic View of Mental Illness

by Stephanie Marohn(featuring Malidoma Patrice Somé) (Excerpted from The Natural Medicine Guide to Schizophrenia, pages 178-189, or The Natural Medicine Guide to Bi-polar Disorder)  

What a Shaman Sees in A Mental Hospital

In the shamanic view, mental illness signals “the birth of a healer,” explains Malidoma Patrice Somé.  Thus, mental disorders are spiritual emergencies, spiritual crises, and need to be regarded as such to aid the healer in being born. What those in the West view as mental illness, the Dagara people regard as “good news from the other world.”  The person going through the crisis has been chosen as a medium for a message to the community that needs (more…)

What Remains in the Eye of the Storm?

If your life slowly came crashing down and you began to lose your grip, how would you deal?

If the storm continued for months upon months, what would remain standing in the ashes?

For me, there are only 3 things left at this point:

1.     Family—my wife, son, and baby on the way.

2.     Community—friends, men’s group, my guide, and others who unconditionally support my utter deconstruction

3.     My gift— the ability to heal and help others become who they are and become whole again.

That’s about it.

And it’s quite liberating really.

Now, I’m not suggesting the storm is over for me. Hardly. I think there’s more dying to do, more to let go of, and more to surrender to.

While part of me wants to run for the hills to “finish the job,” I am unwilling to abandon my wife and kids.  So the process is a slow burn for me.

I am a householder—a dude with one foot in the material world and one foot in the spiritual world.  Perhaps you are like me in this way.

So, while I continue to get my ass kicked by Life (re-frame is that I am getting loved ferociously by Life), I may as well do two things:

1.     Enjoy the ride and laugh at the cosmic joke of it all

2.     Give my deep gifts and serve.

Last night I dreamt I was with a scouting party high in the snowy mountains in the middle of the night. A man was scared of wolves. He “flushed” them out using a garden hoe. One got trapped in a snare of chains. I was angry. I moved close to the wolf. I spoke to the wolf, calming it, and breathing with it until it relaxed and trusted me. I slowly removed the shiney silver chains from its huge powerful body. The wolf was free again. End of dream.

Digesting this powerful message, I see that my true essence, my soul is the wolf. My ego wants to keep its power chained up, sequestered. But my being is emerging from the darkness and can no longer be contained. I have now have an inner ally to support my radiant, loving, power to run free again.

Progress!

My ability to stand in the face of great adversity, challenge, terror, conflict, tension, and profound love is only widening and deepening.

Perhaps I will meet you there.

The Biggest Lie I’ve Ever Been Told & Believed

Photo by Josh Levin

The biggest lie I’ve ever been told and believed?

That I’m separate. That I’m alone.

I see how in the belief of that story I have created ongoing struggle and suffering. I see the pain I cause myself and others.

I feel rage beyond belief about this lie, how I was told, how I believed…for so fucking long. I have been seduced over and over by this story. I have owned the story as an unchallenged, unconscious habit. A habit so entrenched it is causing me to die in order for me to get its absurdity and see what is really going on.

Tonight I saw a fork in the road. I chose the path of oneness. The path where I am held. The path of connection.

I understand it’s not black and white, that it is a continuum. Tonight I took a step closer to the Truth. The cosmic truth that I am foaming at the mouth for. My thirst is undeniable now because I know there is more water up ahead.

Tomorrow I might fall down again and believe my habit to be true. I might wander on like that for some time until a blade of grass in the wind reminds me that I am that blade of grass, that leaf falling from the tree, the old woman who walks each day to feel the fresh air against her wrinkled face. I will remember that I am her. And she is me.

And that I am you and you are me.