Saturday, March 28, 2020


Staying connected was never my strong suit.

Because of things that happened very early in my childhood people were scary and intimacy was polluted. I learned down in my emotional body that when I was open and available, I got hurt. Before I had the right and the voice to say no things happened to a child that simply should not happen. People who said they loved me used that promise to compromise and abuse me. And so early on I learned that openness was dangerous, and love could be tormenting.

If this is already too much for you, please feel free to scroll on or hit delete.

If you have heard or read me at all you know that I often remind us all that we are hardwired for both connection and protection. Relationship happens in the tension of these dynamics. They are always at play. We are constantly moved in the direction of connection. And our reptilian brains, our inborn mechanism for survival, is always scanning for danger and triggering us into protection when threats are perceived. One of the many tricky parts of these dynamics is that we can be thrown into protection mode whether or not an actual threat exists.

For those of us who experienced early life trauma (far more than consciously know it directly) the hardwired connection and protection devices are regularly crashing into each other as we navigate relationships. At the level of the Soul this is painful yet also purposeful. We tend to attract people and relationships that are congruent to our perpetrators so that we can say no now that we have the voice to do so. So that we can protect ourselves as adults, whereas as children we didn’t know to exercise that right. So that we choose the depth and quality of our connection. A connection that is mutual, appropriate, with boundaries, and steeped in safety.

This can be a very messy process.

Part of this evolution involves learning the difference between perceived threat and actual danger. When I say danger, I am not really speaking of physical threat. I also do not discount it. We must begin to tease out what is perceptual and what is actual. What is intuition and what is imprinted. What is happening in the moment and what reflects a past wrongdoing.

Err on the side of caution.

As an awakening spiritual being, I developed this perception that I should seek connection and atonement with all beings. Especially those who were also treading a shared spiritual path. And so, when my gut would kick in with pangs of warning, I would talk myself out of disconnecting. I would assume it was just my issues around safety and openness. If there was a problem, it certainly must be me. And so I would deaden the impulse to disconnect and stay in tormenting relations for sometimes decades.

Did I mention that staying connected was never my strong suit?

I have learned the hard way that disconnection can be just as important as connection.

I have learned that in order to stay connected to what is truest and most real within me I must know when to disconnect from others who do not share or at least honor my core values. I have learned that I need to disconnect from people who place their own agendas in front of my boundaries and ideals. I have learned that there are many who confuse my love for them with their freedom to define me. I no longer fall for the games of manipulation and control, and I sure do not buy into those who make my discernment and even guardedness a reason to diminish me.

In these days of social isolation and distancing I am using this time consciously rather than letting this time to use me. I am reflecting more within. I am praying and meditating. I am reevaluating what is most important to me. I am reassessing who is most important to me. I am reflecting on my connections, and on the value of my disconnections. I am forgiving myself for the inappropriate people I left in my sphere for way, way too long. I forgive them for my lack of strength and boundaries. I forgive my habitual self-neglect and even abuse, and I no longer tolerate them from others.

As I type these words, I am realizing that staying connected is becoming my strong suit.

I do not confuse the number of connections with the quality of connection. To have a few heart-connected, authentic, respectful, honest, loving relationships is absolute gold. It is gift. It is literally God.

I just had to disconnect to make room for true and deep connection.

And that, my dears, is serviceable disconnection.

Thursday, March 19, 2020


“You are grounded, young man!”

“You will stay at home until I tell you that you can leave!”

“Go to your room!” “You have just lost your privileges!” “You go sit and you think about what you have done.” I actually was only grounded once as a young teen. The threat was ever looming, however. I always tended to be the good kid. The responsible one. The one my mother could always count on. I had an extremely short career as a rebel at about thirteen. I found out was grounding was all about.

It actually wasn’t so bad.

But back to good kid I went.

So, it is a truly shocking experience to be, at age sixty-two, grounded for the second time in my life.

It actually isn’t so bad.

We have been bad. Individually and collectively. We have shown up in countless ways that are less than what we are meant to be. We have been greedy, wasteful, disrespectful, divisive, condemning. We have dehumanized others and we have pillaged our planet. We have diminished ourselves and we have belittled others. We have been selfish, controlling, and self-righteous.

I could go on.

And so, we are being collectively sent to our rooms. We are being grounded. We have lost many of our privileges. We are getting a time out to sit and think about what we have done.

And I pray many of us do just that.

We are not being punished for what we have done but by it. There are consequences for our unconsciousness. That unconsciousness gives way to unskillfulness that has had devastating effects. We have made a collective toxicity that isn’t sustainable to life. And so those effects and that toxicity is being mirrored back to us in ways we cannot ignore.

And humanity has become masterful at ignoring. At disassociating. At denying. What we are doing to our biosphere is but one example. How we treat each other when we disagree is beyond what can be effectively described.

And so, grounded we are. They are calling it social isolation. A luxurious version of solitary confinement.

This does not mean we will stop our overdoing. Afterall, there is social media to troll. Closets to clean. Scary news reports to fixate on. Plans to make and stories to tell.

What if we really stopped for a bit? What if we used this time out to tune within? What if we pondered what this corona-virus pandemic is here to teach us? Not just them over there. Not only they who have the virus in their bodies. What could we all learn? How might we all come through this better, more conscious, more awake and resilient?

There are countless beings suffering, terrified, deeply troubled by all of this. There are so many who literally do not know where their next meal will come from. I do not minimize or deny that. I hold them in my heart. I will do what I can to help them.

As for me, the though of social isolation isn’t scary or troubling. I am a true introvert. Being grounded is a welcome state. I will gladly go to my room. As the leader of a dynamic spiritual community I have not yet found much space to breathe. Though we have suspended on-site operations there has been much to attend to. I am actually looking forward to taking some time to simply sit and be. Ground myself and breathe. Reflect on what is happening in our world and in me.

So, I am grounded. And most likely, so are you.

I pray that you will go to your room. Sit and think about what you have done in life. Pray into what is seeking to live through you now. How you want to show up for the duration.

There is much pain and trauma in our world. Please send your prayer energy shining forth. Hold this world in your heart and use this time as an experience of deepening.

You are grounded, my friends.

Relax. It’s not that bad.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020


I am a somewhat public person who greatly values privacy.

Privacy is not the same thing as secrecy.

Someone once pointed out to me that when I die countless secrets will die with me. I guess at a level that is true. But whenever I am sitting with someone and they share something with me that they had been holding in secrecy the release of energy is palpable. When they say what they have feared to say to another living being, and I do not run shrieking from the room, the relief is beyond description. The knotted energy of the secret is untied in the telling. The shroud of shame is vaporized in a moment of vulnerability. What had seemed so solid and insurmountable is neutralized by the simple act of giving it voice.

Being seen, heard, felt, received in an honoring and loving way can dislodge decades of shame and ensuing secrecy. Secrecy and dishonesty have an amplifying effect on whatever is being withheld. Shame metastasizes in a petri dish of secrecy. It needs to be spilled out, so to speak. It needs to be shared. It needs to be voiced. The adage that we are sick as our secrets is true. It is hideously true. And the release of those secrets can be terrifying.

Having said all that these secrets must be shared with a person that has done enough of their own work to receive the sharing. I have watched and internally winced as I have listened to waterfalls of what amounted to inappropriate disclosure. Telling a mere acquaintance about your darkest encounters is not what I am recommending. That is not the kind of context that has a restorative effect. Empathy and compassion are essential elements from the listener. People whom we meet and then within moments we know of their addictions and abuse are not connected to the content of their sharing. And so, it cannot be met with a deep level of listening. It is the flip side of secrecy.

The more connected we are to our inner experience the more discerning we may be with what needs to be shared and with whom. The more intimate we are internally the privier we are to the toxicity of the secrets we are holding. The more aware and accepting we are of our own emotional landscape the more we can differentiate between privacy and secrecy. This always leads to greater self-honesty and expanding self-compassion. From this we realize what it is that needs to be voiced, and we discern who has earned the right to hear it.

Who has earned the right to hear it.

That was a hard and tormenting lesson for me.

I felt the pressure cooker of shame and secrecy was soon to explode and so I shared things with people who I never should have shared with. I trusted those who were indeed not trustworthy. It was a painful yet well learned lesson.

I now have a few people who have demonstrated that they are trustworthy to hear what I need to share. I rest assured that they will hear what I need to say and not hold me to the current content as being my ultimate truth. The best listeners are those who make no attempts to change or to fix what I am sharing. They simply hold me in their hearts. They know that ours is a sacred contract. That by our giving voice to that which we might prefer to be hidden we heal, and we become free. It is a shared privacy that breaks the bondage of secrecy. The sickness was in the secrecy. The healing is in the sharing.

So, I am a somewhat public person who greatly values privacy.

I do not value secrecy. And I do not confuse the two.

Many secrets will die with me, but they are not my secrets.

Many of what were my secrets died with the confidants who are no longer on the planet. I would be a much sicker person if it had not been for the safety and empathy they provided. I thank and praise them regularly. And I pay my appreciation forward by being a safe space for those who choose to trust me with their hearts and secrets. Together we share and cry and laugh and tell and become free in the liberation of honesty and trust. And the sickness of secrecy is abated. And we are healed. And we are free.

One of my greatest joys is where your secrecy meets my privacy.

Your secrets are safe with me.

Thursday, March 5, 2020


“Hey, cut me some slack.”

It was a familial request that I rarely saw actualized.

It is often difficult to remember that people are doing the best they can based on their current level of consciousness. It is even more difficult to remember that I am doing the best I can based on my current level of consciousness. And that later awareness is the bridge to the former.

Today I am choosing to cut myself some slack.

I watched in fascination recently as something occurred for someone that threw them into a total shame storm. It wasn’t really what occurred that caused the storm. It was the ensuing narrative. I could literally see the shades get drawn, the doors get locked, and the lights go out. I could feel the energy of the commentary. I felt the winds of the core belief becoming activated. The forcefulness of the projection was palpable. The trigger became a tornado. And the person caught in the storm was completely unavailable for help.

Been there. Been that.

I am grateful to be at a place in my own experience to be able to recognize these dynamics. I feel the sense of helplessness in my gut as I realize I so want to help. Part of me wants to grab hold with a hug that won’t let go until the storm has passed. Part of me wants to scream “stop it!” “don’t you see what you are doing to yourself?”

Hey, cut them some slack.

And so I figuratively and literally step back and watch with compassion the storm that I pray will lead to their awakening.

That is how it happened for me.

I have had one or two people in this lifetime that not only spoke the words but engaged the energy. In the depths of some of my worst storms they were there to cut me some slack. In so doing they taught me how to do that for myself.

Suffering is a relentless taskmaster. And most of the suffering is self-induced. It sends us into recoil thinking that we will protect ourselves from the hurtfulness of others. The problem is that we recoil into the source of the suffering. When the shades get drawn and the doors get locked, I am trapped inside with the beliefs, narrative, and commentary that are fueling the storms of suffering. Locked in that war zone there is little chance of someone cutting us some slack. Even if they do we are too caught to notice.

It has been a startling realization that the friendlier I have become with my own unskillfulness and imperfection the friendlier my world has become.

I still have very few people in my sphere who are willing to cut me some slack. And I find that it hardly matters at all. The slack that is cut is internal. The compassion that is generated is self-generated. I am more and more awake to the times I fall into the trap of making my own shame-storms based on what I am saying about me. I am far more likely now to go quickly to the perception that I am indeed doing the best I can at the current level of my consciousness. Knowing this for myself allows me to know it for others. I can hold with mercy those who fall into the storminess of their own self-inflicted suffering.

I cut them some slack.

So today I listen, and I feel into the kind of inner-atmosphere I am holding myself in. I am intent on staying awake to when I may be evaluating harshly or judging mercilessly. I choose to shift my narrative which calms my inner storms. I give myself a break. I cut myself some slack.

And I am doing the same for you.