Wednesday, February 19, 2014


I sometimes look back wistfully at all the ways I unconsciously tried to get out of myself. The paradox of spiritual awakening is that you don’t know you don’t know until all of a sudden: you Know. Then there is an unmistakable inner sense of “how could I not have known?”

I was a master of escape. An absolute Houdini of how to unplug. Addiction, story telling, mind-emotional identifying, pretense, defense, projection, and even schools of spirituality were ways I used to get out of the unworthiness and self aversion that comprised my emotional signature. There were temporary respites for sure. Yet the ways I tried to escape my inner discomfort were themselves both disquieting and uncomfortable. Isn’t that silly? The longer I used a particular escape route the more uncomfortable it became. Until one day I awakened to the realization that discomfort was never the enemy I thought it was. It was clear and unmistakable guidance. It was pointing to what I needed to look at, yet I kept choosing to look the other way. My pain was a messenger with a very important message. Yet I would shoot the messenger and then wonder why I never got the guidance I was so urgently seeking. I was dogged in my perception that when I became more spiritual the discomfort would go away. Once I fixed what was wrong with me I would be happy and the pain would be a distant memory. So another escape I would attempt, only to land right back in the discomfort that met me at every turn.

When I gave up my addiction to comfort and the demand that life happen in the way I wanted, something quite wondrous began to be revealed. Discomfort is a dynamic that shepherds us back toward our True Self. Discomfort is essential to the awakening process. When I began to inscape rather than escape, insights and internal aha’s were all around me. Of course they were all around me because they were being generated from within my own field of awareness. When I became friendly with the discomfort it became friendly with me. I came to know deeply and experientially that it was in service of something greater than my current story line or drama. I was feeling uncomfortable because I was temporarily out of alignment with my Souls greater purpose. It is a fool proof GPS. It is just as essential and valid as is inner peace. But when I chose to deaden the discomfort I killed the message I so needed to receive. A Spiritual being in the realm of physicality will always experience discomfort. It is a dynamic that helps us navigate through this land of duality and seeming separation. It is necessary and essential, and I have come to celebrate it. I don’t identify with it, or believe that I am in some way the message. I simply breathe into it, allow it to be what it is, and allow it to steer me back into my Souls agenda. When the message is welcomed and received, the discomfort subsides. Lesson learned. And the new containment of the pain and discomfort is a sense of inner peace even while there is pain.

Our suffering is a direct result of our resistance to pain and discomfort. The alleviation of our suffering comes as we open to the messages our discomfort is bringing, and to gratefully allow it to lead us to the awareness that we are being led to experience. There is truly nothing to escape. And by “inscaping” we come to directly know the Intelligence that is always within us and always moving us toward our Highest good. Whatever we can’t be with will never let us be. That I can promise you. I know from a lot of personal experimentation.

Say yes to all that arises and follow the messages that are constantly being energetically revealed. The dynamic of discomfort is leading you to a broader perspective and a clearer reality. Listen. Feel. Let be. Trust in the dynamic. Then you will finally know that you know that you know, and the power of non-resistance will be your greatest gift.

Friday, February 14, 2014


So, what are you waiting for?

It feels clearer to me than ever before that the greatest human fear is the fear of love. Yes, I know. Your mind is disagreeing. All sorts of spiritual truisms arise that will prove my thesis wrong. And after twenty years of counseling countless men and women there hasn't been one for which an unconscious fear of love has been the primary cause of their distress.

When we were most open and vulnerable and innocent an unintentional message that who we are is not okay was delivered right into the center of our wide open and undefended hearts. It most likely came in the form of well-meaning parenting. It came in the form of early education and theology. It came from older siblings and unloved others. This wounding happened before we were cognitive beings. It happened at the time when what we felt emotionally was who we believed ourselves to be. And so those initial arrows to the heart became a felt-identity and an unerring attractor. We then built self-stories that matched this emotional degradation. And so instead of living as wide open beings of love we began to wait. We withheld our love until we sensed what was coming at us. We sniffed out every situation in an effort to not re-experience those staggering pangs of grief, fear, and shame. And in withholding the deeper identity of love, we became imposters to what we truly are.

So, what are you waiting for?

The only way out of this early hurtful programming is through. Moment by moment we are called to make the choice to no longer wait and withhold but to make the choice to return to the open and undefended state of being which is love itself. We are called to take the risk to meet the moment with an open heart and an undefended presence. We are enticed to summon the courage to be the first to open. To be the first to reach out. To be the cause of the connection. To compassion the inner child that still winces from the hurt but knows intuitively that the deeper identity is a unidirectional force of love, kindness, and caring. Waiting to be loved is waiting to live. We are here not to wait for love but to be the love and to give the love in which we then live. Trying to get the love we perceived we lacked is the greatest illusion and the most insidious suffering. We are not here to get love. We are here to give love. And then through that same aperture of openness we receive the reflection of the love we have chosen to give. Giving love is our identity and our purpose. As long as we wait we will not know who and what we are.

So, what are you waiting for?

So, okay. I’ll go first. I am writing these words as an expression of my love. I sense the little boy within who knew great criticism and far too little encouragement. I will not let the remaining wince result in my withholding. I will take the risk to put my love into perhaps unskillfully constructed sentences and allow my caring to supersede my syntax. I will give beyond my thoughts of how this will be received. I will not wait to express my heart. I will love because that is ultimately what I am, and the pain of withholding is far greater than the risk of being rejected. I will no longer wait for you to love me. I will love you now. As is. Your choice to wait is beyond my control. My choice to love is my choice to wait no longer.

So here it is. Here is my heart. Here are my words. Defended no more, here is my love. Receive it if you will. Or wait. It will still be with you when you choose to open to it. Let my love heal the hurt. Let my love restore the innocence, the openness. Let my love. Just let my love.

So, what are you waiting for?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


I feel as if the Universe has somehow pressed my pause button, and I suspect it will be the best thing that has ever happened to me.

As I have discussed here before, last July I received a cancer diagnosis that truly stopped me in my tracks in a most profound way. While the normal activity in my life continued as it had been, the place in which I was experiencing it was somehow radically different. I continued to see clients, speak in churches, exercise, eat, meditate and pray; and yet all of this was occurring in an atmosphere that was unfamiliar yet only mildly uncomfortable.

In anthropology this is called liminal space. The word actually means threshold. It indicates a sense of displacement in which something new is able to come forth. It has been historically used as an initiation rite. It interrupts the status quo of our lives and opens a space in which something different can come forth. It can be a most transformative time. I say can be because the transformation depends on the relationship we choose to have with this space as it arises in and seemingly around us. If we choose to cooperate with the process, an integrated level of faith can come out of the chaos and uncertainty. If we revert to the ego-impulse of getting rid of the discomfort and immediately filling the space, nothing is learned or gained.

In a word, liminal space asks that we stay. That we simply stay with the feelings of fear, uncertainty, chaos, and loss. That we stay with the temptation to escape and pull away. That we stay with whatever is moving within us, yet is most clearly not being generated by us. At least it is not being orchestrated by the surface self. The Soul works wonders within liminal space. Miracles are born within liminal space. It can be a threshold to a whole new way of being. And it is scary. It challenges who we think we are. It calls us to look squarely at our habitual ways of being; at the ways we show up and the ways we don’t show up. When embraced, liminal space can result in nothing less than a quantum leap in consciousness. When denied, a subtle sense of suffering descends like a shroud upon us. Possibility has been rejected. The false self has won this round. And I assure you; another opportunity is on its way.

Just prior to my cancer surgery I was given an opportunity to enter into an inquiry around a rather enormous shift in my Dharmic expression. Since November, the liminal space around the cancer diagnosis has been multiplied and expanded by an additional liminal space surrounding my career. Uncertainty met with uncertainty. The well got deeper, and down into the space I went. It has been a blessing of epic proportion. For someone who years ago could not and would not stay with anything uncomfortable I have willingly and readily stayed afloat in a sea of I do not know. I am still there. And as I have made the choice to stay and to be conscious within this space moment by revelatory moment, blessing after blessing have come forth within my consciousness. Awareness after awareness concentrically flow forth from me. In this vast sea of uncertainty I somehow feel more certain than ever. Not about what is going to happen in my world of form. But in my sense of Who and What I am, and in why I am here in this incarnation.

While uncertainty and discomfort used to be my greatest foes they have become my greatest allies. The uncertainty of this period of liminal space is a chrysalis in which my Soul has been melting and remolding me into a truly different creature. While I am someone who has long embraced and dedicated myself to periods of silence daily and for periodic extended periods, I guess it was time for some quantum unfolding via this additional space. I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I know that I trust what is moving within me at a deeper level than ever. I am profoundly grateful. I am incredibly humbled. And I am different than I was before.

And all I did was stay.